Crazy? Meermin's for C&Js? Talk some sense into me.

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by K to Wall St, Aug 27, 2013.

  1. K to Wall St

    K to Wall St Active Member

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    Sorry in advance for the longer post - but I added pictures to make it interesting!

    Background: I recently started meeting with clients at work and realized I was in serious need of a shoe wardrobe upgrade from the Cole-Hann-level cheapies I'd been wearing. I bought a pair of C&J Westbourne's (348 last) in Chestnut because I thought they would last forever and be super versatile. Beautiful Shoes.

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    After wearing them 3-4 times, I've realized (A) they're not as versatile as I thought (I probably won't wear them with dark suits often because it draws more attention to my feet than I'd like), and (B) I still think about the cost - its not stressing me financially, just still seems like a lot for shoes that I'm not going to wear a ton (I like value/dollar).

    Shortly after I bought them, I had the need for a pair of much darker brown shoes, but since I'd already spent my short-term shoe budget on the C&Js, I opted for a pair of J.W. Nordstrom brand Adrians in dark brown for $175 because they were cheaper than AE strands' at $375 (in retrospect - a dumb move). They look OK to me for now, but I can tell the quality of the leather isn't there and they'll start to crease or something soon.

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    So now I'm left with two pairs of brown shoes I'm not 100% pleased with.

    Proposal: I've read some great things about Meermin on SF and some other review sites and they seem like a great value for good shoes without spending a fortune. I'm thinking of selling my lightly used C&J and Nordstrom shoes, and reinvesting the money in two pairs of Linea Maestro Meermins - likely the 102461 or 10164 in dark brown and light brown. If I'm doing the euro/dollar and shipping math right it should run me about $311 per pair (including 1 shipping fee averaged over 2 pairs).

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    Questions: In how many ways is this crazy? Seriously though...
    1 - how much could I actually get for lightly used Westbourne's? Couldn't find any good comparables on SF forum or eBay.
    2 - How comparable in quality is the Linea Maestro line compared to C&J benchgrade?
    3 - Is the Linea Maestro line worth it or are they fairly indistinguishable from the classic line (which run $200/pair)
    4 - how do the Meermin Olfe and New Rey lasts compare to C&J 348?

    Would you (A) do the trade to make the new shoes cheaper, (B) do the trade but buy something different that you would suggest (not really into AE styling), or (C) keep the C&J's as a high quality peripheral shoe and just deal with the Nordstroms till they start to look really bad, then re-asses down the road (but block the Meermin website and try to forget in the mean time).
     
  2. YRR92

    YRR92 Senior member

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    You don't want the Westbournes because they're too light...

    But you want to sell them and buy the Meermins which are a shade lighter?

    You need at least two shoes you can rotate with most of your wardrobe. The idea of flipping the C&Js and buying two Meermins isn't terrible (I've browsed BB Peals, have no experience with C&J mainline or Meermins), but it might not be right.
     
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2013
  3. masernaut

    masernaut Senior member

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  4. SuitedDx

    SuitedDx Senior member

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    1. You can ask around but I rarely see Mainline C&J go over $200 used (even in lightly used condition)

    Personally I would keep the C&J unless you are able them at a good price. As mentioned above, get a dark brown (wingtip?) and a black captoe (no brogues) and you'll have a solid foundation. I prefer to save up and get nicer shoes (which after a few years led to a respectable rotation).

    Good luck!
     
  5. kev777

    kev777 Senior member

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    ^^ This !! But if you need the couple of pairs now for work etc you wont be disappointed with the Meermin Linea Maestro's they are a cracking shoe for the price. They will suit you well until such time as you get the funds to add to your collection at a later stage. As above Good Luck !!!
     
  6. Ankor

    Ankor Well-Known Member

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    I think it is a really bad idea to sell well-fitting pair of C&J. Anyway you cannot sell them for the price of new Meermin LM pair.
    Just save some money and get dark brown or black shoes from good maker a bit later.
     
  7. K to Wall St

    K to Wall St Active Member

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    Thanks guys.

    I'm now planning on getting the dark brown Meermins pictured above in black instead - any opinions on Olfe vs. New Rey lasts? (I like much sleeker than AE, though doesn't necessarily need to be as elongated as the 348 C&J).

    I tend to see plain black cap-toe oxfords are a little too "my first dress shoe" (I used to interview in a pair from Bostonian). Plus I like the British feel of a little brogue, but the lack of wingtip or toe medallion keeps them relatively formal. (anyone disagree with this assessment?)

    Probably will just wear my current Nordstrom brand dark browns until there's a real problem of some sort - cant justify replacing them with a near identical style otherwise. (I'm a proponent of an efficiently lean wardrobe) - It's just too bad I'm not getting two pairs from Meermin to leverage the shipping cost across another pair (shipping on 2nd pair is free within a single order).

    Side note: I went into an AE store the other day and was measured as a size 8D - But my C&Js in 348 last are a 7E (UK sizing) - does that mean a 7D in that shoe would fit me better or are the brands not comparable? Dumb question I know, but when I bought the C&Js from a third party shoe store we didn't really discuss width. I just knew the size up he gave me was too big and the size down he gave me were too small.

    Thanks again for helping me sweat the small stuff - my wife thinks I've gone insane.
     
  8. konda

    konda Senior member

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    If you wear the C&J 348 last, good luck with the New Rey. I'd not bet my money on the Olfe either. You are talking about narrow lasts and from what you are describing you have average feet. Keep the C&Js and only look at lasts above Hiro to avoid having to get into the business of returning your purchases.

    If they measured your feet at US 8D width at the AE store then you are UK 7F (or 7E in C&J as their regular width is an E) in the majority of good British shoes you try on.
     
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2013
  9. K to Wall St

    K to Wall St Active Member

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    Sorry, can you clarify? I'm assuming you mean they're very different, but in what way?
     
  10. New Shoes1

    New Shoes1 Senior member

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    7E UK and 8D U.S. are the same size. I would also point out that ordering from Meermin carries with it the risk of the shoes not fitting and you needing to either sell them on EBay or pay the $50 or more in shipping costs and duties to return them. Have you considered ordering a pair of AE's or some other brand available in your area to make sure you get a good fit? When you have a better idea of your correct size and fit issues (high instep, wide foot, etc.) take the plunge and order a pair from Meermin.
     
  11. konda

    konda Senior member

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    The New Rey is like an AE 5-65 last in US B width. Very narrow and for a low instep foot. If you have regular feet, there is just no way that last will work for you. The Olfe is only a wee bit wider than the New Rey. I'd suggest passing on that as well.

    On the other hand the C&J 348 last is extremely sweet. I'd say beautiful. Stick to that if it fits and get MORE C&J shoes. They beat Meermins and AEs hands down in quality and design. Take this from someone who is pissed off every time he sees a sweet pair of C&Js knowing he will never put a pair on his fucked up narrow low instep UK 13 feet.
     
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2013
  12. msulinski

    msulinski Senior member

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    I disagree with this. There is nothing wrong with a plain black captoe. Working in a conservative industry wearing dark suits, these shoes are a must-have. That said, punch or stitch caps are both fine. Just don't get a pair of black quarter-brogues.
     
  13. konda

    konda Senior member

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  14. K to Wall St

    K to Wall St Active Member

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    Really? How widely accepted is this? Was debating between these two from Meermin - I'm not trying to knock plain black cap-toes, it's just that these seem to be more interesting. I'm not putting my food down on this point (sorry). Just trying to figure things out.


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    Konda -
    Thanks for the info - I was trying to stay away from bulkiness of most AE lasts, but it looks like New Rey is going too far in the other direction.

    Will really have to think about more C&J benchgrade vs. Meermin LM. I think you're right that C&J is better, but I like the idea of Meermin maybe being better per dollar - especially if its the difference between owning 2 shoes from C&J or 4 from Meermin.
     
  15. Quadcammer

    Quadcammer Senior member

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    new rey is narrower than the 348.

    black brogues are useless. The black is very formal, while the brogue is less formal. You end up with a shoe that is again not very versatile.

    Imho, you need one pair of black shoes (unless you live in london)...black captoes.

    I have both of the meermins you pictured above. The brogues fit me much better than the adelaides. That said, they both look very nice.
     

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