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Help me pick out shoes on a budget

captainmo

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Right now, I'm a junior in college. I need dress shoes for the following

1) Semiformal cocktail/date parties at my fraternity (shirt and tie, maybe a blazer or vest if no tie)
2) Job interviews - this one isn't as important. I had an internship last summer, and will likely work there again next summer and when I graduate. It's an engineering company so there's not a lot of style in the office. For work I usually just wore boat shoes khakis/slacks and a button down.
3) May be something to wear to bars once I turn 21. I'm thinking about black shoes now and a pair of less formal brown shoes eventually.

I don't want to spend more than $150, but could go up to maybe $200

I'm thinking about these - http://www.zappos.com/n/p/dp/38864034/c/2560.html

I've also been looking at something dressier, like lace up wingtips, but can't seem to find anything decent in my price range.
 

captainmo

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They look pretty similar; I do like the Boss shoes a little more. Any experience with quality differences between Boss and CK?
 

Eccentric

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Have you considered a monkstrap? You can find some nice deals in your price range if you give it a little time. You could also look into semi-brogues, which might work nicely with what you have in mind.
 

dopamine

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The Boss shoe certainly looks sleeker, although both are square-toed, which I'm not a big fan of. If you're going to go Kenneth Cole, this might look better: http://zeta.zappos.com/product/7379964/color/3 Not sure about this brand: http://zeta.zappos.com/product/7144819/color/24713 Askmen says that Florsheim is decent for the price, although I'm not sure because I know very little about shoe quality: http://zeta.zappos.com/product/7339449/color/72 http://zeta.zappos.com/product/7269978/color/3 http://zeta.zappos.com/product/7269977/color/3
 

Cary Grant

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I'd go with Florsheim or maybe Johnston and Murphy in your range. Not too exciting but functional and sturdy for the price.

Since you want a lot of flexibiltiy in use, why not brown first? You can where them with your khakis, etc plus they dress up well with charcoal slacks, blue... just about anything but black... whereas black is limited.

Not with a suit but:

http://zeta.zappos.com/product/7339443/color/216 "younger/hipper" maybe more your speed?

Or:

http://zeta.zappos.com/product/7141364/color/22565 Not my favs but not bad for what they are.
 

captainmo

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Originally Posted by DocHolliday
Not to be pessimistic, but with the economy in the tank, are you sure the engineering firm will have a job for you? If this is your one shoe purchase between now and then, you might reconsider a black laceup.
It's a defense contractor, so I'm pretty confident there will still be work for me. If not, I should be able to find work elsewhere. I do really like that pair of Florsheim wingtips, but a cursory internet search turned up that quality has gone down hill. However, it sounds like it only went from being a really nice shoe to now just being a decent one. Either way, the shoes will only be seeing light wear for a few years, until I can buy a really nice pair. If I got a nice pair of brown lace-ups, probably wingtips, would they go if I had the right color suit, say charcoal or navy? Darker browns seem to be more dressy so I'd probably lean that way.
 

binge

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If you're considering buying online, have you gone and tried on the same shoe at a store? Shoes will often vary +/- 1/2 size depending on maker and model. For example, I wear anywhere from a 10D to 10E to 10.5D depending on the shoe.

If you live in an area with a decent mall, then you can hit up a Nordstrom or Bloomingdales or possibly even Macys and find many of of the shoes you are considering from Zappos. You can save a lot of time and effort by trying them on in the store rather than buying and returning via Zappos.

If it so happens you like any of the Allen-Edmonds models, which you should be able to find at Nordstrom, possibly at Macys and maybe at Bloomingdales; you can buy them cheaper from the official Allen-Edmonds store on eBay. That way you can buy a well-constructed, quality shoe that retails for $300+ for half that price.

As for choice of shoe, do some searches on this forum on "Allen Edmonds" and you'll certainly turn up lots of threads on shoes, often with lots of pictures. You'll also find lots of threads debating the styles thereof, often vis-Ã -vis other makers.
 

Cary Grant

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Originally Posted by binge
If you're considering buying online, have you gone and tried on the same shoe at a store?

Zappos make sthis easy- you can order multiple pairs and return the ones you don't want- you have to pay of course but they pay for return shipping and refund you quickly.
 

dopamine

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Brown, especially dark brown, certainly goes with suits. I would argue, however, that a pair of black shoes can be more versatile that brown shoes.
 

speedster.8

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allenedmonds @ ebay have the dryden @129$

Think that might be a decent shoe for some time if they have it in your size ...

The Alldenshop has "specials", worth looking into.

But DO some searching here on SF, you might change your mind on previous selections
 

EngProf

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Burgundy. I don't post much, but half the time it's to say, "burgundy." Goes with just about everything: navy, greys, olive, most browns, black, denim, khaki. Semi-brogues or monkstraps will have a lot of range. A plain captoe may not dress down as far as you'd like; a full brogue may not dress up quite as far as you might occasionally like. But from the description of your situation, any of them will do. Semi-brogues or monkstraps are in the sweet-spot. It's a bit easier to find just the right fit in a semi-brogue than in a monkstrap. But burgundy.
 

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