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Dress Shoe Recommendations

jpp95

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Hello all,

New here, but not new to fashion. For my college graduation, my parents are treating me to a mini shopping spree for work attire. I have a suit in the works, and I am looking at shoes now. I want a lighter brown / tan color, preferably under $400. I like cap toe brogues, but without any embellishment on the toe itself. Leather sole, but a thinner leather sole, so maybe a Blake stitch over a Goodyear welt? I can't seem to pin down a brand because I have heard amazing and horrible things from just about all of them (AE, Beckett Simonon, Magnanni, Bruno Magli, etc.) until you get up into the Santonis or C&Js which are sadly out of my price range. Can someone point me into the right direction?

I've particularly been looking at Beckett and Simonon as they're currently running a sale, but haven't heard much on them compared to the others. I do love the look of their cap toe brogue, though

https://www.beckettsimonon.com/collections/mens/products/durant-oxford-brogues-italian-calfskin-tan?variant=27287873481
 

TtownMD

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I would say you should check out Allen Edmond & carmina. Both can be found on sale & you will be very happy with them. They all ways have some kind of promotion running.
 

jpp95

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Where are you located?
South Carolina. I have decided to give the Beckett Simonon a try as they allow free returns. $169 was too good of an offer to pass up on for full grain calf leather with a glove lining and GYW. I am now debating between two pair of Carmina penny loafers. I really do love the suede, but I do not own any loafers and I feel like the leather may be safer, more versatile place to start. Carmina also uses amazing leather from what I've heard, and I feel somewhat as if I would be missing out on something special if my first pair from them weren't leather.

BS: https://www.beckettsimonon.com/collections/mens/products/durant-oxford-brogues-italian-calfskin-tan?variant=27287873417

Suede: https://www.carminashoemaker.us/men-outlet-shoes/product3602

Leather: https://www.carminashoemaker.us/men-outlet-shoes/tanned-vegano-penny-loafers-80489-1
 

Shawl Lapel

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Carmina does make great shoes, but sizing, especially for their loafers can be tricky. Not sure if they offer free returns since they have a US store now. Justin Fitzpatrick does too, and has a sale going on right now. There are other brands in between those price points to included Carlos Santos, Yanko, TLB Mallorca, Lof and Tung - 2 of which can be found at SF sponsor Skoaktiebolaget. I think calf leather is a good choice as opposed to suede, but these would be hard for me to turn down if I was trying them on in-store I'm sure: https://www.carminashoemaker.us/mens-loafers/cordovan-full-strap-loafers-80372

Do you own any other GYW shoes like Allen Edmonds for sizing comparison?
 

jpp95

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Carmina does make great shoes, but sizing, especially for their loafers can be tricky. Not sure if they offer free returns since they have a US store now. Justin Fitzpatrick does too, and has a sale going on right now. There are other brands in between those price points to included Carlos Santos, Yanko, TLB Mallorca, Lof and Tung - 2 of which can be found at SF sponsor Skoaktiebolaget. I think calf leather is a good choice as opposed to suede, but these would be hard for me to turn down if I was trying them on in-store I'm sure: https://www.carminashoemaker.us/mens-loafers/cordovan-full-strap-loafers-80372

Do you own any other GYW shoes like Allen Edmonds for sizing comparison?
I am typically an 8 in anything I have owned, but that is limited to J&M and Cole Haan. I'm also an 8 in most sneakers, and am a 41 in CPs. I'm more of a sneaker guy than dress shoes. Always loved them, couldn't afford them. I'm trying to broaden my horizons though, especially now that I am entering the business world
 

Shawl Lapel

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I am typically an 8 in anything I have owned, but that is limited to J&M and Cole Haan. I'm also an 8 in most sneakers, and am a 41 in CPs. I'm more of a sneaker guy than dress shoes. Always loved them, couldn't afford them. I'm trying to broaden my horizons though, especially now that I am entering the business world
Most likely a UK then, are you a D width? Normal instep?

If Carmina is what you are jonesing for, I'd try to get up to the ny store or see if they do free exchanges. And I'd opt for a shade darker than tan if you want some versatility.
 

jpp95

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Most likely a UK then, are you a D width? Normal instep?

If Carmina is what you are jonesing for, I'd try to get up to the ny store or see if they do free exchanges. And I'd opt for a shade darker than tan if you want some versatility.
I've read that going a 1/2 size up on the Simpson is smart as they're very tight, which is why the 7.5 works. Returns are not free - $35. But since I'm getting them for nearly $150 off, I am okay with that seeing as I will not have a chance to get anywhere near them in person for a while. I do like the brown suede a lot - I have two walnut dress shoes including the BS I just bought, and that's it. I have a winter weight charcoal suit and a blue-navy all-season wool. I don't wear black too often, I'm a more blue / olive / khaki palette. I think it really just comes down to your thoughts on if I should for sure buy leather because it's Carmina leather or if the suede will be just as premium and "worth it" as an introduction into the brand. Also, it depends on if the suede loafer is too casual to wear with the navy suit. They're cut with a slim leg and an ever so slight break. about 1/4 break at most.
 

Shawl Lapel

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I've read that going a 1/2 size up on the Simpson is smart as they're very tight, which is why the 7.5 works. Returns are not free - $35. But since I'm getting them for nearly $150 off, I am okay with that seeing as I will not have a chance to get anywhere near them in person for a while. I do like the brown suede a lot - I have two walnut dress shoes including the BS I just bought, and that's it. I have a winter weight charcoal suit and a blue-navy all-season wool. I don't wear black too often, I'm a more blue / olive / khaki palette. I think it really just comes down to your thoughts on if I should for sure buy leather because it's Carmina leather or if the suede will be just as premium and "worth it" as an introduction into the brand. Also, it depends on if the suede loafer is too casual to wear with the navy suit. They're cut with a slim leg and an ever so slight break. about 1/4 break at most.
$35 is worth the gamble imo if they're a good sale price already. Simpson does run tight but you will probably be fine with half a size up. I think leather is a better choice over suede for wear with suits. Do you have a link to the model so I can see the color?
 

TtownMD

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If I am correct you can also buy directly from carmina also & return if they don’t work out. I think they will only charge you 35$. And my vote is for Simpson suede loafer.
 

TtownMD

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I'm also debating doing the tan leather penny from Carmina and then getting a chocolate suede tassel, since they're inherently more casual anyway. Have you heard of this brand? I like the silhouette

https://www.fairfaxandfavor.com/products/the-bedingfeld-brown
No I have not, if you know your size & you want quality shoes under 400$. And if you don’t mind waiting for sale in US carmina & Allen Edmonds. As long as shoes fit you. Then you can’t really go wrong with them. If you are looking for fashion forward shoes in your budget check out magnanni. You can also find them at Nordstrom rack for around 200$. It definitely looks dam good but no were near carmina or AE quality wise.
 

jpp95

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No I have not, if you know your size & you want quality shoes under 400$. And if you don’t mind waiting for sale in US carmina & Allen Edmonds. As long as shoes fit you. Then you can’t really go wrong with them. If you are looking for fashion forward shoes in your budget check out magnanni. You can also find them at Nordstrom rack for around 200$. It definitely looks dam good but no were near carmina or AE quality wise.
I wasn't necessarily expecting the quality to be right there with those two brands - not at half the price anyway. Just didn't know if they were worth looking into further at around $200 USD considering the other brands mentioned (Carmina, J Fitzgerald, AE, etc.) don't have a suede tassel that I see
 

TtownMD

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I wasn't necessarily expecting the quality to be right there with those two brands - not at half the price anyway. Just didn't know if they were worth looking into further at around $200 USD considering the other brands mentioned (Carmina, J Fitzgerald, AE, etc.) don't have a suede tassel that I see
If the brand don’t have what you are looking for. Then yes get whatever you want as long as it fits you & you are happy. As long as you know all your options etc.
 

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