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Good Natured Advice Thread (improving a business wardrobe)

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by Claghorn, Jan 6, 2014.

  1. venividivicibj

    venividivicibj Senior member

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    I like the moonbeams more refined texture
     
  2. mafoofan

    mafoofan Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    Why would you want your tweed to have a more refined texture?
     
    2 people like this.
  3. Claghorn

    Claghorn Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    We roll commando, bro, and that shit itches.
     
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  4. venividivicibj

    venividivicibj Senior member

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    I'm not a huge fan of tweed, but I do enjoy the color variegation and pattern in that swatch, so that swatch represents the best of both worlds.
     
  5. TM79

    TM79 Senior member

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    #18 for me. Pair it with mid or dark grey pants and call it a day.
     
  6. CaptainTohm

    CaptainTohm Senior member

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    Does anyone here have experience with both Meermin and Loake shoes? I have a few pairs of Meermins now and I think they're fine, but I've seen some beautiful pictures of Loakes on here. My budget is around $200, but I could be talked into $300 if it was a significant leap in quality and returnable from the US.

    I've begun to resign myself to Meermin being my best option until my budget increases and I can play with the big boys. However, it can't hurt to receive some good natured advice on the matter.
     
  7. sebastian mcfox

    sebastian mcfox Senior member

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    Does this combo work? Too matchy?

    [​IMG]
     
    12 people like this.
  8. Veremund

    Veremund Senior member

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    Looks great to me McFox. :)
     
  9. sebastian mcfox

    sebastian mcfox Senior member

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  10. mimo

    mimo Senior member

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    You're looking in the right place. In that price range, you have the domestic option of Allen Edmonds Shoe Bank (www.shoebank.com) for AE seconds: the advantage there is that you can try on the myriad size options at your local AE store and find out what you like, what lasts fit well, and in which size, then go see what's available on clearance.

    But, if you want to look beyond that, then Meermin and Loake are in the same ball park: $200 gets you Chinese made Meermins or Indian made Loakes. It also gets you sale items from Loake's English-made ranges: check out www.herringshoes.co.uk and www.pediwear.co.uk for large Loake ranges. Both have helpful service and ship to the US, and always have sales on.

    Meermin have some very stylish shoes for the money. The only down sides are that you can only really buy from them direct, and their service can be a bit erratic. Loake have a lot of more traditional last shapes, though the range of options is wide. Their fit tends to be quite generous. You will also find extra wide fittings, not available as standard from Meermin.

    Another in the same ball park, possibly a touch more expensive, is Barker. Again they have cheaper models made in India, but most made in the UK. Try Herring and Pediwear again for good ranges, and also www.robinsonsshoes.com in Northern Ireland, who always have some on sale.

    I like it a lot. Classy, and rather cheerful.
     
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2016
    1 person likes this.
  11. CaptainTohm

    CaptainTohm Senior member

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    @mimo Thanks for the detailed response! I may try to score a pair of 1880 Loakes just to compare to my Meermins, and I'll also look into Barker.
     
  12. ridethecliche

    ridethecliche Senior member

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    There have been a few good things written on here about jack irwin as well.
     
  13. New Shoes1

    New Shoes1 Senior member

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    My advice is to go slow with the Meermin/Loake/Barker shoe acquisition. There is a real trend on SF to go crazy buying entry level brands like Meermin and Allen Edmonds in large numbers, crave an upgrade to C&J, Carmina, Vass, etc. and then proceed to sell off all those Meermin/AE for pennies on the dollar while buying the upgrade brands.
     
    4 people like this.
  14. dazedstate

    dazedstate Senior member

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    I am living proof of this
     
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2016
  15. CaptainTohm

    CaptainTohm Senior member

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    @New Shoes1 Very good advice. I can easily see myself becoming obsessed with Carmina, so moving slowly is in my best interest.

    @ridethecliche I have a few pairs of JE. Their newest Chelsea boot is quite nice in suede, but I've been disappointed with the two other shoes I've bought from them, compared to Meermin at least.
     
  16. mimo

    mimo Senior member

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    Fair advice. But I also know that for some who are wanting to build up some basics, the need is for a couple of entry level staples now, especially if they're at college or just starting in the work environment. Barker and Loake (and AE) make decent shoes that will never embarrass you (outside certain SF threads, anyway). And even if the higher end is where you end up, having a couple of pairs for rainy days, travel and general back up is a good thing: if only to realise that with any quality shoe, it will survive a beating!

    But yeah, it's a rabbit hole for sure. And even now I have to keep telling myself "don't buy it because it's a bargain, wait...".

    Edit: CT, I am also a Carmina fan. Much as I love Vass and several others, the Carmina Rain last is probably my favourite, and that's also an important lesson: put the cost and brand aside, and focus on what fits and looks good. Once you've hit a last the looks and feels great on you, that trumps the brand or even the (finer details of) construction or leather. Returns diminish rapidly once you pass that basic level of quality, and a Carmina or Cheaney that fits well is a way better buy than a G&G that doesn't.
     
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2016
    4 people like this.
  17. Darkside

    Darkside Senior member

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    As am I.

    @captaintohm

    Forgo the purchase of two ties and stretch your budget to the 300+ range, and go for the Kent Wang bench grade captoes. I usually hate this answer when I ask, "What's the best (item) under (price)," but there is just not much quality footwear in the US in the $200 range. Unfortunately, this is not apparent until the 6 to 12 month mark when the durability of the construction and leather quality really becomes apparent.
     
  18. CaptainTohm

    CaptainTohm Senior member

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    @Darkside I do love everything KW... Maybe I'll splurge on a pair of KW captoes (especially since they're easily returned) and then save up for something on the lower end of the Carmina line.

    Most of my problems stem from buying my first batch of shoes in the wrong size. Everything I own is a 10 US, and now I know I'm either a 9.5 or 9.5 E. I should just bite the bullet and go try a ton of lasts at an Allen Edmonds store so I can order online more confidently.
     
  19. TM79

    TM79 Senior member

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    Carmina lasts are very tricky, FYI. The sizing is a bit all over the map. There is a thread on here, though, specific to Carmina sizing. People list other makers and the size they take in those, and then say what size they need in different Carmina lasts based on that. Should be helpful to you, if you haven't already seen it.
     
  20. CaptainTohm

    CaptainTohm Senior member

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    @TM79 Thanks! I just went and subscribed.

    Jumping from Meermin and Jack Erwin to Carmina might be a bit much, but at the same time I feel like I've spent the past year making upgrade purchases, and wishing I would have just spent more initially.
     

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