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Green RTW vs. Green Bespoke

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by Bic Pentameter, Oct 24, 2004.

  1. Bic Pentameter

    Bic Pentameter Senior Member

    Likes Received:
    May 1, 2002
    I have relatively wide, but non-deformed, feet and am weighing Green bespoke vs. Green RTW. Any insight or guidance would be greatly appreciated.

    I will see E Green fitters later this year about their pattern order system, and will be sure to ask about modifications to their stock lasts. (I believe that I am an 8E in the 888 last.) However, I have learned that Mr. Gaziano will be in my neck of the woods next year.  My ( quite likely unanswerable) question: "Are bespoke shoes worth it?"

    The archives suggest that Green RTW shoes that cost twice as much as C&J RTW are not 2 times as comfortable or twice the quality, and that Green bespoke shoes that cost 3(?) times as much as Green RTW shoes are not 3 times as comfortable...(but something tells me that the first scratch I put on the toe of a Green bespoke with hurt 3 times as much.)


  2. rayk

    rayk Senior Member

    Likes Received:
    Dec 20, 2003
    Inferno: Circle 5
    There's that "worth it" question again.  As was so well expressed by Alexander in a current thread RE the relative value of Kabbaz shirts, an item is worth the price if you know what you are getting and are willing to pay the price asked.

    While I own a couple pairs of EG RTW, I haven't ever bought a pair of bespoke shoes; however, what seemed an absurdly high price just a year ago now seems much more reasonable.  We don't see things as they are, we see things as we are.  This is most fortunate, as I've been quite able to convince myself that survival without at least one pair of bespoke EG is a categorical impossibility.

    I recently made a request of EG for information RE their MTM program, and received a prompt reply from Sussie with whom I'm sure some of you are acquainted.   Sussie is both an enormously knowledgeable and personally pleasant lady, and I include here a portion of her explanation of the service offered by EG.  It's my hope that she wouldn't take offense to its being shared without her consent:  

    Dear Mr Kalendek,

    Thank you for your enquiry concerning the availability of the Edward
    Green MTM service.  I should perhaps explain this is not strictly speaking a
    MTM service, we come to the US several times throughout the year and visit the
    outlets that carry a selection of our shoes.  This service in
    general enables customers who are not a stock width fitting to have their feet
    measured and then we match their measurements as closely as possible to
    one of our in house lasts.  

    Sometimes we make minor adjustments to the last to accommodate a high
    instep or an enlarged toe joint etc.  Stockists in the US tend only to carry a
    D width and sometimes an E fitting, therefore customers with feet that
    are either more narrow or wider than a D or E are unable to be fitted from
    stock.  In the factory we carry lasts from an A fitting to a G in sizes
    from 4 to 14, so by measuring customers feet we are more often than not able
    to supply them with shoes that are the correct fitting.  There is also the
    additional choice of leathers and models that are not carried as
    regular lines in the stores that customers are able to see when we visit.  The
    price increase for this service over the ready to wear shoes is approximately
    $150- $300 rather depending on the amount or work that is involved.

    The truly bespoke service is totally different because we make an
    individual last to the measurements of each customer.  They are free to choose any
    design and select leathers that are not available for the ready to wear
    or MTM shoes.  The bespoke shoes are also made in a different way totally
    by hand and are structurally completely different.  This is reflected in
    the price which begins around $2,500.  

    In New York the stores that carry a selection of Edward Green shoes is
    Saks Fifth Avenue, Jay Kos at 475 Park Avenue, Mitchells in Westport and
    Richards in Greenwich.  At present we do not have a fixed date for a trunk show
    but it is likely we will be in NYC working with Saks around the end of
    September.  I will keep your name on file and when I know the exact
    date I will contact you.

    I am sorry if my explanation has been too long winded but I hope now
    you are able to appreciate the differences.

    Best regards


    My shoe wardrobe is rather eclectic and includes EG, C&J handgrade, Grenson Masterpieces, Poulsen Skone, and others.  While I don't anticipate that the purchase of bespoke EG will produce a life-affirming peak experience or spiritual epiphany, I'm confident that the process will be most rewarding and pleasurable, and I look forward to it.

    In short, you too seem to have been beguiled by bespoke, and if my own experience is common, then, there is no cure but to go forward.  Only then will you be able to answer your questions in a personally definitive and meaningful way.

    Good luck.

  3. Bic Pentameter

    Bic Pentameter Senior Member

    Likes Received:
    May 1, 2002

    Thanks very much for your thoughtful post, and the excerpt from your message describing the Green MTM service.  Indeed, I am beguiled by bespoke.  I think that my decision to go forward with E. Green bespokes will say more about my psyche than it does about my feet.

    The "worth it question."  Bespoke shoes by Green are well within my means. Purchasing a pair will not put me into debt, but will make the downpayment on the house I hope to buy some day $3,000 or so more "some days" away.  I also live in Japan, and very often we take our shoes off at public places such as restaurants and leave them at the door or entrance to the room.  If I go with Green bespokes, perhaps I will have to start tucking them into my briefcase.

    Last Friday, in preparation for the Green trunk show, I tried on a pair of their RTW shoes at my local men's store.  The clerk told me something interesting.  He commented that in his experience, the Green representatives (who know the foot settles into the generous cork footbed) sometimes recommend shoes that trunk show clients later felt were much too tight, and those clients have later complained to the retail outlet after the trunk show has gone.

    The clerk went on to say that many times he has to act as a go-between when the Green people visit, warning customers to use the Green fitters only as advisors, and urging customers to make their own final decisions as to how a particular pair of shoes fits.  Common sense, really but a bit of a reality check for me.

    I am interested in how "structurally completely different"  the bespoke shoes are.

    Good luck to you, too.


  4. A Harris

    A Harris Distinguished Member Dubiously Honored

    Likes Received:
    Jan 6, 2003
    See the 'shoes explained' thread in the HOF - that will give you some idea. An E. Green bespoke shoe is hand lasted, hand welted and the sole is sewn by hand. Those are three of the major steps in constructing a shoe - for an E. Green RTW shoe they are done on a machine. And those are just the major steps - there are many other smaller steps that, in the making of an E. Green Bespoke shoe, will involve extensive handwork. The final product is lighter, stronger and more refined than any machine made shoe. The difference is not commensurate with the significant increases in labor and final price, but it is a big difference nonetheless.

  5. Renault78law

    Renault78law Distinguished Member

    Likes Received:
    Jan 29, 2003
    Los Angeles
    Tony also mentioned that the materials (the leather in particular) in a bespoke shoe are higher quality.

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