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MoneyWellSpent's Southern Trad Thread

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by Caustic Man, Jun 13, 2016.

  1. An Acute Style

    An Acute Style Distinguished Member

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  2. orange fury

    orange fury Distinguished Member

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    Vineyard Vines- their Breaker Pant.

    I like the cut, but I wish the rise was a bit longer- it’s not necessarily low cut, but it hits right at the top of the hips. Makes a good casual chino (and I have quite a few), but I prefer the rise on their Club Pant (or, if I’m wearing a tie/blazer, my LL Bean Double L’s).
     
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2018 at 9:01 PM

  3. MoneyWellSpent

    MoneyWellSpent Distinguished Member

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    I was in an AE brick and mortar last weekend. I'm still ok with the quality of most of what they now call the "Heritage" collection. In fact there were even subtle hints of potential improvement in quality in those models with regard to welt/sole finishing, stitch tightness (SPI), etc. Hard to know if it will be universally applied or if it was just a good sample I was looking at though. I was beginning to get rather disgusted with the messy welt stitching allowes by AE in the last couple of years.

    They are clearly moving into a tiered heierarchy of quality though. They have started stamping on the insole what "kind" it is, with the traditional footbed being called "CustomCork". For those of us who prefer traditional construction, it is unfortunate that an asterisk of sorts needs to be placed next to the product to clarify which quality level you are purchasing.

    Some of the new models/collections are literally equivalent to department store Cole-Haan or JM in quality.

    Also, they have cheapened the quality of the standard leather sole on their mainline shoes (obviously not the JR sole on cordovan models) so much that they now require a shank, which is made of wood (possibly poplar).

    Their business model is starting to look exactly like Johnston Murphy, with quality all across the spectrum.

    This may sound ok in theory, but history has proven that society slowly becomes blinded to quality differences and focuses more on the price tag. Eventually the corporate decision makers start to notice that the company sells far more crap than quality, so they slowly phase out quality as a result.

    I'm not going to be surprised if AE starts to look more and more like Johnston Murphy and Florsheim over the coming decade.

    I hope I'm wrong, of course.
     

  4. orange fury

    orange fury Distinguished Member

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    I’m glad that they’re keeping their core models, but as I’ve mentioned in the AE thread, I’m also glad that I binged on AE purchases from 2015-2017. I have more shoes now than is probably reasonable, but if AE goes the way of Florsheim or J&M, then in 20 years it’ll be like I have a closet full of those models people pay top dollar for now.

    The only thing I regret not getting from AE is the college custom-color Neumok they did during March Madness. At this point, anything I want from an American shoe company is shell (Alden) or handsewn styles (Rancourt). I also want to get some Russell Moccasin boots made at some point, but that’s pretty low on the priority list.
     

  5. Artigas

    Artigas Senior Member

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    That was the impression I got as well. AE carries enough weight with me as a name brand that I was willing to actually open and read an unsolicited email from them. Hopefully they don't proceed down a road that has me relegate them to the junk folder.
     

  6. MoneyWellSpent

    MoneyWellSpent Distinguished Member

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    I was also thinking about the words they've used to describe the shoe collections. I don't want to over analyze it, but there is some irony there, and it indicates a not-so-bright future in my mind.

    "Heritage" invokes feelings of stability, quality, and tradition. Particularly with those who appreciate those things. However, much of younger society equates the word with "old."

    The other collections, of decidedly lower quality, are ironically being called names like "New American", "Artisan", etc.

    Those of us who know what we are looking at won't be fooled, but the average consumer will be easily swayed into cheap quality when the sales pitch points them in that direction.

    We SF'ers do take our sartorial knowledge for granted, after all. On the same day that I was in that AE store, I over heard a customer asking if there was any advantage to the shoes with "wooden" heels instead of rubber ones.:eek:

    I also over heard the SA talking to the same customer about the shoe models with Bologna construction vs. welted ones. But, she pronounced it like the sandwich meat instead of the Italian word. :confused:

    I was cringing so hard I had to leave.
     

  7. philipneri

    philipneri Member

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    I am looking for recommendations for argyle socks and for a brown braided leather belt with a brass buckle. What brands do you all like?
     

  8. Caustic Man

    Caustic Man Stylish Dinosaur

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    Golf Knickers makes some interesting argyle socks. Pretty inexpensive, too. PRL is an old standby as is Brooks. AE used to make some nice braided belts but I’m unaware of their current offerings.
     

  9. Roycru

    Roycru Distinguished Member

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    While on the subject of Golf Knickers argyle socks, two recent pictures wearing Golf Knickers argyle socks.

    They are very lightweight and so are ideal to wear on days it's around 105F (like most days here) and they don't slip down like some socks do.

    P1110913.jpg

    P1120103.jpg

    Yes, I do like my Brooks Brothers blue gingham PPBD shirt even if the collar has ideas of its own and does its own thing.
     

  10. orange fury

    orange fury Distinguished Member

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    That’s an attribute I would personally put in the “pro” column
     

  11. orange fury

    orange fury Distinguished Member

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    On the belt, I have an LL Bean braided belt that has been great for the past 4 or 5 years. Made in England and not expensive.
     

  12. Caustic Man

    Caustic Man Stylish Dinosaur

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  13. philipneri

    philipneri Member

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    @Caustic Man and @orange fury - Thanks for the recommendations. Very helpful. However, according to the reviews on llbean.com, the quality of their braided belt has gone down in recent years. So that makes me worry a bit.
     

  14. orange fury

    orange fury Distinguished Member

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    I got mine in 2014 or so, and there were negative reviews at that time too- I haven’t had any problems thus far. To be fair though, I do have a bunch of belts to rotate through, and I’m pretty gentle with putting my belts on/taking them off, so I’m not sure if those reviews are people being rough with them or what.
     

  15. Thin White Duke

    Thin White Duke Distinguished Member

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    You lads been to the Esquire shop on Fountain View yet?
    Odd place for a menswear shop and I used to live walking distance. Next to Ron’s Pub near San Felipe.
     

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