Most versatile shade of brown for shoes?

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by dusty, Jul 5, 2005.

  1. dusty

    dusty Senior member

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    I'll likely be buying my first pair of dress shoes soon (probably Allen-Edmonds), and I'm wondering, since I'll only have one pair, what color should I get? Is there a shade of brown that goes equally well with navy and gray?
     


  2. zjpj83

    zjpj83 Senior member

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    darker is more versatile
     


  3. Teacher

    Teacher Senior member

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    Do you wear these shoes with suits a lot? Then I'd say the dark brown burnished. If not, I'd go with the chili.
     


  4. DocHolliday

    DocHolliday Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    Darker is definitely more versatile with suits. If you're buying these to use as "dress" shoes, then dark is the way to go. But if you want something that you can also wear with jeans or khakis, then a medium brown tends to work better. Won't look as formal with your suits, but that's the tradeoff.
     


  5. cpac

    cpac Senior member

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    If you really want versatility in dress shoes - go with cordovan (the color, not the leather). Allen Edmond's "merlot" color is the same thing.

    It works with pretty much any color suit (grey, navy, tans, even black)), and dresses down well with jeans or khakis if the cut of the shoe is right...
     


  6. dusty

    dusty Senior member

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    Is the chili at least wearble wtih gray and blue suits? They would be worn mostly with jeans and I really like the color. What about the plain brown?

    The cordovan seems really versatile, but I don't know if I like the merlot color; I'd have to see it in person.

    Thanks for the suggestions so far.
     


  7. arkirshner

    arkirshner Well-Known Member

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    There is a real incongruity between the tone of a really light shoe and the dark tone of say a navy suit. Doc's suggestion of a medium brown compromise is well taken.
     


  8. dusty

    dusty Senior member

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  9. arkirshner

    arkirshner Well-Known Member

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  10. DocHolliday

    DocHolliday Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    I love that shoe. But I definitely wouldn't wear it with jeans, or even with khakis. The closed lacing alone disqualifies it for casual wear.
     


  11. NoVaguy

    NoVaguy Senior member

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    Given that you want to a) that can primarily be worn with jeans, and b) can be worn with suits, my choices from AE's dress line that have leather soles and are lace-ups/monkstraps, in order of preference, would be:

    1) Bradley in shell cordovan ($415.00)
    2-tie) Seneca in dark brown ($295.00) or Hancock in brown antibes
    4) Hillcrest/Concord in brown or merlot
    6) Seneca/Hancock/Hillcrest/Concord in black or chili (not all combinations available)

    Stay away from chestnut if you're wearing a laceup with jeans.

    Now, if you don't care about "it must be a leather sole thing with suit" or "it must lace up with a suit" thing, your options increase. With a rubber sole, the Ashland, Stockbridge or Kennett in brown would be an option. Even the Bergland could work.

    With loafers, you can either get a burgundy or brown loafer, either in a tassel or penny loafer format (Randolph, Glasgow, Grayson, etc). Personally, I'll stick with the brown laceup.
     


  12. NoVaguy

    NoVaguy Senior member

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    Agree with DocHolliday about the brown cap-toe. I don't think it will look good with jeans or khakis....
     


  13. dusty

    dusty Senior member

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    I was actually just using that picture for an example of the color, though I do like the shoe. I did not know that a brogue was less formal than a plain captoe.

    Does AE only make that one model of monkstrap, the Concord? I want some monkstraps, but I don't like the bicycle front.

    And yes, it has to have a leather sole.
     


  14. NoVaguy

    NoVaguy Senior member

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    Yeah, I think the bicycle front monkstrap is the only monkstrap in AE's line. They use to have another one, a plain-toe, but for some reason they phased it out. Bad move, imho. I think every top line maker should have it in their standard catalog.

    You can always check Brooks Brothers or Alden out if you think a plaintoe monkstrap appeals to you. I don't have any, but I think a dark brown or black monkstrap would be very flexible given that you want to be able to wear them with both a suit and casual wear.
     


  15. arkirshner

    arkirshner Well-Known Member

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    E had a plain toe monk just discontinued the Garner . I bought a pair last month from an AE outlet over the phone a a great discount. Call around, its an attractive shoe and it won't set off airport alarms.
     


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