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Good Natured Advice Thread (improving a business wardrobe)

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

  1. New Shoes1

    New Shoes1 Senior member

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    Let's see the pictures!
     
    5 people like this.
  2. Rudals

    Rudals Senior member

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    Okay.
    The suit we can await on but what about the Carminas? How do they compare to other notible shoemakers?
     
  3. Monkeyface

    Monkeyface Senior member

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    I don't have much experience with the really high end (EG, etc.) shoes besides trying them on in store, but the finishing seems to be on par with the likes of Alfred Sargent, and the leather is very nice as well. They're definitely punching above their weight when you're looking at the price/quality ratio. I'd put them slightly above C&J because of that, especially with the free shipping deal that's going on at the moment.
     
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2014
  4. TM79

    TM79 Senior member

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    I think Carmina stand toe to toe (no pun intended) with some of the higher end shoemakers - I really think EG are pretty overrated/overpriced as are some others.

    At the very least, they aren't 2.5-3x better quality to justify 2.5-3x higher price.
     
  5. New Shoes1

    New Shoes1 Senior member

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    I've had C&J benchgrade and handgrade. I think Carmina is better quality wise than benchgrade and at the same level as handgrade.
     
  6. Rudals

    Rudals Senior member

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    ...But I just invested in C&Js! [​IMG]
     
  7. New Shoes1

    New Shoes1 Senior member

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    Deep breaths, Noodles. There is nothing wrong with your new C&J's. When you're playing at the C&J, Carmina, Alfred Sargent level, it all comes down to what you like and how it fits. I gravitate towards Carmina because I like their lasts and they fit me better than C&J. If my foot was narrower and I preferred C&J's lasts, I would gravitate that direction without hesitation. As long as it fits and you like it, there are no mistakes at this level.
     
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2014
    2 people like this.
  8. Monkeyface

    Monkeyface Senior member

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    1 person likes this.
  9. Rudals

    Rudals Senior member

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    Yes. I may not have tried on every shoes from EH, C&J, Carmina, etc but the 348 last from C&J fits me like Cinderrella's
     
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  10. Rudals

    Rudals Senior member

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    Speaking of Spain's fine products, I called up my local shop and they had a belt from Spain that I had trouble picking up due to his Italian accent. Any good ones?

    And what's a good modest pair of oxfords for Father's Day?
    My dad, being a pastor, said he would not tolerate expensive shoes. But then again, I can just get him something nice and say it was only $100. He has really small feet. 7.5 US size.
     
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2014
  11. TweedyProf

    TweedyProf Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    The ground level shoe would be allen edmonds which if you google sales will often be available sub 300 and eve sub 250 routinely. Park avenues are the basic oxford. They might be having a sale now actually
     
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  12. Rudals

    Rudals Senior member

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    and they're right in DC!!!
    and so are Aldens.
     
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2014
  13. TweedyProf

    TweedyProf Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    Nordstroms has then at 275.
     
  14. jssdc

    jssdc Senior member

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    This I think being the key point. You invested in staple shoes that you were able to try on in-person and therefore knew they would fit and be a 100% successful purchase. The quality differences we end up talking about on here get increasingly esoteric once you cross the initial CJBG/Carmina/AS threshold. Don't get me wrong, I love the esoteric differences but there's no reason for you to regret those purchases whatsoever.
     
    3 people like this.
  15. Coxsackie

    Coxsackie Senior member

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    I own six pairs of Carmina now -

    Shell cordovan "jumper" boots, Oscar last (Skoaktiebolaget group MTO)
    Brown suede "tanker" boots, Soller last (Skoaktiebolaget stock line)
    Blue suede penny loafers, Simpson last (purchased at clearance price from a venerable Melbourne menswear store)
    Shell cordovan oxford wingtip brogues, Rain last (sale price through Farfetch)
    Black lizard monkstraps, Rain last (Gentlemen's Footwear group MTO, worn at my wedding)
    Black Oxford captoe brogues, Rain last (from Unipair, snapped up during their recent 30% discount offer)

    They are all fantastic, without exception. Despite the wide variation in lasts and materials, they all fit beautifully (the blue suedes are a bit tight but haven't been broken in yet).

    I could keep on buying Carminas forever but I already have too many shoes so that's it, I'm all done. Would recommend them to anyone though.

    As for quality comparisons, sure, when I pick up a pair of GGs or Lobbs or EGs, I can sense that tiny bit of extra quality in the leather and extra finesse in the finishing. But as we all know, bang-for-buck drops off drastically as one approaches the stratospheric end of the range for any luxury goods. And idiosyncrasies can start creeping in. I have a pair of GGs that are supremely comfortable and another pair, same size and last, that hurt my feet. I owned a Patek Philippe once which broke as I was winding it. Stuff like that.

    For me, Carmina just sits right at the sweet spot for quality vs. value - on a par with or slightly better than C&J bench, well above Loake 1880, but not much higher than either of those in price. If you want to improve on Carmina, you have to pay just about double. I'm embarrassed to admit how much I forked out for my GG Mayfairs. Those damn shoes just about sent me bankrupt. (Worth every penny though.)
     
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  16. jungleroller

    jungleroller Senior member

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    I agree with everything above ^^ I don't own anything nicer than Carmina but have done plenty of research on other makers and Carminas fit my sweet spot perfectly. The difference in cost to me isn't worth moving up to the higher end makers. I wear my shoes, I don't need crazy chiselled lasts or museum spec construction.
     
  17. Rudals

    Rudals Senior member

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    Thank goodness we're not talking about the likes of Cole Haan. I hope no one takes offence to this but them shoes just gave me blisters and pain. I now have a massive callous on my left foot.
     
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2014
  18. Claghorn

    Claghorn Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    In college I owned Steve Maddens. They were black. And they may have been a bit square toed.

    (to be fair, they were given to me by a girl. They had been left there by, the, uh, previous person to have spent time with her)
     
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2014
  19. Rudals

    Rudals Senior member

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    Uh...I would have burned them shoes.
     
  20. in stitches

    in stitches Senior member Moderator

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    lolwat


    agreed



    this. slow your roll, rudals. no need to hyperventilate at every other post. there is a bounty of good stuff to be had and no one can have all of it. you just need to stick with what is best for you. if the CJ lasts feel like a dream, then you should be a happy man.
     
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