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Just Starting Out: First Five Pairs of Shoes?

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by bdbuchan, Jul 6, 2011.

  1. bdbuchan

    bdbuchan Member

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    birmingham, al
    I am about three years into my career and just starting to build my shoe "wardrobe." I basically have one pair of shoes: AE McCallisters (walnut calf). I want to grow my collection by strategically adding some shoes that are versatile with maybe a little bit of flash (I really like double monk straps, for instance).

    Essentially, the question is "if you were just starting a shoe collection, what are the first 5 shoes you would buy?" (color and style)
     
  2. patrickBOOTH

    patrickBOOTH Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    While you can search for the "if you can only own 5 shoes" threads on here that get started all of the time I would say you probably should get something less flashy than a shoe that is walnut in color. I say get a black oxford, or at least a very dark brown oxford so you have your interview/conservative shoe. From there I would move to a wingtip, then a double monk. If budget is an issue you can get good deals on Allen Edmonds and Alden. Then I suggest looking at higher end shoes such as Crockett & Jones, Carmina and so on. Also Cheaney makes a good shoe that is similar in price to Allen Edmonds. Good luck.
     
  3. cptjeff

    cptjeff Senior member

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    You'll need something black. Make it an oxford. Other than that, formality ain't a big issue. Apart from doubling with a tux, a black wingtip is fine wherever a dark captoe is. But black is nice to have with gray and (gasp) black trousers/suits, and you'll need something for formal evening dinners, ect. Sometimes propriety is called for, and you'll want a nice pair of black shoes.

    So now, we have, say,
    Black Punchcap
    Light Brown Wingtip.

    I would add a dark brown puchcap or half brogue (punchcap with medallion) a la the AE strand next. Since you like monks, get a pair of those. Burgandy, suede or a brown. Basically whatever.

    Then you should toss a loafer into the mix if you're not wearing exclusively suits. I'm a fan of the classic american style of penny loafers. The Alden Leisure Handsewn is a SF favorite, often in shell.
     
  4. Achilles_

    Achilles_ Senior member

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    Black captoe Dark Brown captoe (or anything conservative) Brown wingtip Something in suede (wingtips, plain toe, half-brogue) DC Lewis double monks (Spoo has pictures up, the colour is amazing [​IMG] )
     
  5. francoamerican

    francoamerican Senior member

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    It depends what you do and how casual or formal you like to be? How often do you wear a suit?Also, do you prefer sleek shoes or chunkier shoes?
     
  6. Trompe le Monde

    Trompe le Monde Senior member

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    NOT in order

    1. black captoes [default]
    2. brown suede penny loafers [jeans/casual]
    3. brown split toe bluchers [less dressy]
    4. burgundy/brown-black-burnished adelaide brogues [dressy]
    5. wildcard: whole cuts, or chelseas, or double monks... suede or calf , personal preference


    im over the whole chukka thing
     
  7. bdbuchan

    bdbuchan Member

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    Location:
    birmingham, al
    It depends what you do and how casual or formal you like to be? How often do you wear a suit?Also, do you prefer sleek shoes or chunkier shoes?

    I don't wear a suit that often; generally I wear slacks and a button-up, occasionally wearing jeans when going out on the weekend. I prefer sleeker shoes to chunky.
     
  8. francoamerican

    francoamerican Senior member

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    I would skip the black captoe.

    As far specifically where to look for quality, sleeker shoes, I would take a look at crockett jones mail order (from UK - mail order has more selection than pediwear and the CJ website.) Pediwear.co.uk and bodileys of northampton both have terrible stock shortages right now. Find out how your foot fits the 341 last. You can mail order a pair of Crockett Jones on the 341 from Barneys and keep them or return them (there is about a $100-$150 cost to buy them at barneys over and beyond what you'd pay ordering from overseas - but time, ethical etc considerations )

    Also, get a pair of alden shell cordovan shoes. Not a ton of variety, and also not the sleekest, but it's a beautiful, long lasting, unique thing to have.

    I'd look at these based on my preferences (in no order)

    1. CJ westfield dk brown

    2. CJ finsbury chesnut

    3. Alden Men's cap toe color #8

    4. AS Exclusive Range Moore

    http://www.afinepairofshoes.co.uk/co...moore-chestnut

    5. Alden NST

    http://www.theshoemart.com/alden-men...deen_last.html

    6. CJ Arden Tan

    7. Peal Split toe Brown (buy on sale for ~$370)

    http://www.brooksbrothers.com/IWCatP...tionsize=#null

    8. Crockett jones Malvern or a 3 eyelet plaintoe blucher (if you don't want to go monk)
     
  9. Threadbearer

    Threadbearer Senior member

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    Outside the Beltway but still in the Danger Zone
  10. LanceW

    LanceW Senior member

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    Little Rock, AR
    1. Your walnut full brogue
    2. Black captoe - AE Park Avenue in black (interviews, funerals, weddings)
    3. Brown perforated captoe - AE Fifth Avenue in dark brown (suits)
    4. Alden LHS in Burgundy (casual it down)
    5. Agreed, I would pick up the DC Lewis monk (fun)
     
  11. voxsartoria

    voxsartoria Senior member

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  12. globetrotter

    globetrotter Senior member

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    I'd also say that 3 really good pairs would be better than 5 mediocre pairs, in my opinion
     
  13. Fraiche

    Fraiche Senior member

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    Here were my first 5 since joining SF (damn you guys for the bad influence on my wallet):

    1. Borrelli - Black captoe oxford
    2. Santoni - Brown plain toe blutcher
    3. Edward Green - Burgundy wingtip oxford (Inverness)
    4. Vass - Antique cognac cordovan chukka
    5. Crockett & Jones - Cigar cordovan wingtip blutcher (Darlton)

    (Actually, 3.5 was JL St. Crepin 2010 but that was a splurge.)
     
  14. mrclam

    mrclam Senior member

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    Dec 26, 2010
    my shoes since joining SF have been: 1) C&J Audleys in dark brown 2) Zee's Black black captoe, basically like the EG berkeley 3) Alden NST #8 Aberdeen (a gift) I'm looking at getting a shoe with rubber soles(not sure what style yet), wingtips, loafers, and double monks in the future. If I were to do it all over again, I'd probably do the same thing, except I'd get rubber soles instead of leather on the zee's. I definitely agree that having 3 nicer shoes would be better than 5 mediocre shoes, and plan to direct my buying in that direction [​IMG]
     
  15. lenahan

    lenahan Senior member

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    May 7, 2011
    Brown Full Brogues, Black Full Brogues, Black Monks, Brown Monks, Black Oxford. The reason? I love wingtips and Monks, and Oxfords, while comparatively plain, are basically required.
     
  16. zerostyle

    zerostyle Senior member

    Messages:
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    Aug 13, 2010
    What's everyone's favorite shade of brown to mix with medium gray pants?

    The lighter colors (walnut/etc) look too flashy to me. Not sure about burgundy - I feel that works better with navy pants.

    Maybe just a very dark brown? Something else? I currently own a pair of black cap toes and a pair of burgundy quarter brogues (the punch cap toe style).

    Also, for those just getting into shoes, does anyone else here feel intimidated to wear the more heavily brogued shoes? For a guy like me who's never been a great dresser or pretty plain, I feel like wingtips of any kind would really stand out.

    I can name maybe only one person under 40 at my work place (in a very urban city) that would have wingtips or medallions on their shoes.
     
  17. blahman

    blahman Senior member

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    My take:

    1x Black Calf Oxfords (plain or cap).
    4x Oxfords. Whatever sensible colour you want; can be suede, calf whatever; and can be wing, cap, or plain. No long wings or heavy broguing - they are, for most part, ugly.

    Option - can switch 1 oxford for 1 monk or loafer (no horse bits or tassels)

    Done.
     
  18. cptjeff

    cptjeff Senior member

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    What's everyone's favorite shade of brown to mix with medium gray pants? The lighter colors (walnut/etc) look too flashy to me. Not sure about burgundy - I feel that works better with navy pants. Maybe just a very dark brown? Something else? I currently own a pair of black cap toes and a pair of burgundy quarter brogues (the punch cap toe style). Also, for those just getting into shoes, does anyone else here feel intimidated to wear the more heavily brogued shoes? For a guy like me who's never been a great dresser or pretty plain, I feel like wingtips of any kind would really stand out. I can name maybe only one person under 40 at my work place (in a very urban city) that would have wingtips or medallions on their shoes.
    Brouged shoes don't stand out as anything other than as nice shoes. You don't seem 'em much on a younger crowd simply because the younger crowd is fairly incapable of dressing competently these days. Wingtips were once the great American default shoe. Now the defaults are butt ugly flat toe loafers. If you stand out, it will be in a good way. And yes, dark brown is a nice choice with light gray. Though lighter browns like a walnut aren't as outrageous as you might think. I pair walnut longwings with medium gray all the time, looks quite nice. Throw on a navy blazer and you have a a wonderful, timeless look.
    No long wings or heavy broguing - they are, for most part, ugly. Done.
    You, sir, will burn in the deepest fires of hell.
     
  19. julius12

    julius12 Active Member

    Messages:
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    Jan 4, 2011
    1. Black formal
    2. Dark Brown formal
    3. Black casual
    4. Dark Brown casual
    5. Whatever suits your lifestyle
     
  20. blahman

    blahman Senior member

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    You, sir, will burn in the deepest fires of hell.
    I was born there. [​IMG] I knew it was bound to upset some of you [​IMG] I still don't like brogues and longwings.
     

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