Newbie dress shoe question

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by newtofashion, Jul 13, 2004.

  1. newtofashion

    newtofashion New Member

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    Hey everyone- I recently stumbled upon this forum. As a college student just getting started with fashion, I have been blown away by the incredible amount of useful information here. A huge thanks to everyone for their meaningful contributions. Here's my question: I want to buy my first pair of "semi-nice" dress shoes. I've been looking at these Polos on bluefly: http://www.bluefly.com/pages....8683696 Do you think those are a good pair of "starter" dress shoes? Is the color dark enough to wear with a Navy suit (and look good)? Are they too dressy to wear with Khakis as well? Thanks for any insight.
     


  2. johnnynorman3

    johnnynorman3 Senior member

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    I like them a lot. Make sure you use your 15% off coupon if you buy them (coupon code: MISSEDYOU593). That would get you to about $180 w/ shipping. Not a bad deal I'd say.

    I have a pair of the black cap toes and while I haven't worn them yet, I am very happy with the quality of the leather and also with the fit. They are best for slightly narrower feet, and they also run a tad small. The best comparison would be to the fit of Banana Republic shoes in terms of length. So, if you are between sizes, my advice would be to order up (or just to order 2 pair and eat the $6 return shipping fee).

    Are these "high quality" dress shoes? Well, compared to the Purple Label EGs that go for $499, no of course not. But, would 99% of the population agree that a $350 dress shoe is incredibly expensive and high quality? A resounding yes. I think that the Italian made Polos (like the one you linked to) are at on par with the Peale shoes that Brooks Brothers sells.
     


  3. imageWIS

    imageWIS Senior member

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    Greetings and welcome to the forum.

    As to your shoe question, the Italian made Polo's are fairly decent (Lobb's they are not, but nor are you paying for them if they were), and if perhaps someone out there has a 10-15% discount code for bluely, they will be a good deal. Regarding the styling of the shoe, I would say you are safe with a nice brown lace-up.

    Jon.

    Edit: it seems johnnynorman3 has beaten me to the punch (touchÃ[​IMG]), but lets thank him anyways for the bluefly code.
     


  4. newtofashion

    newtofashion New Member

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    Thanks for all of the info (and the coupon code. ) This is my first venture into into a nice pair of brown shoes, so I want to make sure that I get ones that are the most flexible with matching. My understanding is that lighter browns aren't as suitable for "dressy". Is the chestnut color considered a "dark brown"?
     


  5. justlurkingthanks

    justlurkingthanks Senior member

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    Personally (impersonally, too, but you seem like a nice fellah), I think you ought to go for a black shoe. Black would be good for a date and a job interview -- more versatile. Brown says "nice guy;" black says "guy to be reckoned with." Frank Sinatra said a guy doesn't wear brown after dark and we know Frank was a guy to be reckoned with.

    But that's just me talking.
     


  6. johnnynorman3

    johnnynorman3 Senior member

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    I respect justlurkingthanks's opinion, but slightly disagree. While black may be more chic, I really don't think you could go too wrong with those brown ones too. Naturally, you ought to have at least a pair of black and brown dress shoes. But, IMO, if you normally wear khakis you must stick with brown. That color will also look great with gray suits and even navy suits (I personally think brown shoes do indeed go with both gray and navy suits, but that they go better with gray).

    It is hard to tell what color these will be, but they look the perfect shade to me. And brown will always darken with wear or with the use of a darker polish.
     


  7. newtofashion

    newtofashion New Member

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    Thanks for the additional insight, everyone. I read over the entire "what color shoes with a navy suit" thread, and I was blown away by what an epic debate that is. I definitely plan on having a nice pair of brown AND black shoes. I'm going to order those brown shoes right now. Can't wait for them to arrive.
     


  8. inglewood3

    inglewood3 Member

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    Newtofashion,

    I'm a college student as well, and I have a personal opinion on your predicament. It depends on if you mean "dress shoes" as most people our age do, or "dress shoes" as a shoe to be worn with a serious suit. If you are choosing for the latter scenario, I would choose a dark, dressier brown shoe if you do not choose black first (unless you do decide to purchase both). These brown Polo's, in particular, are absolutely not too formal for chinos, and seem to be appropriate at business casual at most.
     


  9. johnnynorman3

    johnnynorman3 Senior member

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    Inglewood, the brown polo shoes would, IMO, work just fine with a suit. Though I think the cap-toe is in fact dressier, the Polos would look great with a charcoal or gray suit, and even navy blue. I agree that they are more versatile than a black cap-toe, to the extent they can be worn with chinos. But I have the shoes in the black, and trust me because of the last they would not look good with a wide-leg chino pant.
     


  10. inglewood3

    inglewood3 Member

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    I had commented before I checked on the material of the sole - I had looked at the shoe and assumed a rubber sole. After this, I will say there are some suits with which these shoes would be appropriate in business, but they are absolutely not dark enough for a navy suit, and would still be more appropriate (as aforementioned) if they were cap-toe. I also have no comment on "wide-leg chino" pants, for I do not wear them.
     


  11. retronotmetro

    retronotmetro Senior member

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    Depending on setting, I don't necessarily see any problem with those chestnut brown shoes and a navy suit. I would not wear brown shoes with navy suits for job interviews, nor would I wear them to court appearances. But for daily wear in a non-bus/cas office, for non-interview business meetings, and for most social settings, I think they would be totally fine.
     


  12. jcusey

    jcusey Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    That depends on the navy suit and the context in which you're wearing it. Would I wear chestnut shoes with a navy suit if I were a New York lawyer who was going to be in court all day? Probably not. Would I wear chestnut shoes with a navy suit in just about any context that I'm likely to be wearing a suit? Certainly. To each his own, but I think that the Italians are clearly correct about this.
     


  13. retronotmetro

    retronotmetro Senior member

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    As an LA lawyer, I could probably wear chestnut shoes with a navy suit to court, but I don't. It certainly wouldn't be any worse than what I see on the contract lawyers who essentially act as "substitute teachers" hired to make special appearances for attorneys who can't be in two places at once. I see those folks zipping down the halls in mismatched suit pieces (blue coat, black pinstripe pants) and running shoes.

    Just about anywhere other than court I'll wear chestnut (or even *gasp* tan) shoes with a navy suit. How else would I get to revel in (show off) the antiqued Edward Green finish?
     


  14. Bic Pentameter

    Bic Pentameter Senior member

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    I bought a pair of C&J Westminsters in tan burnished calf. They were much lighter than the C&J Webpage would lead you to believe. But I simply polished the heels and toes with cordovan shoe polish to great effect.

    In light of Mr. Harris' past post on how to antique shoes, and the fun I have had using his techniques, I may buy all of my brown shoes in tan, then polish them up creatively with darker colored polish.

    Bic
     


  15. johnnynorman3

    johnnynorman3 Senior member

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    I actually rubbed a very light layer of black shoe polish on a pair of brown Alden's I had. This was in an attempt to darken them up. While I wouldn't recommend what I did to others, I did get some nice antiquing effect to the toe and heel portions of the shoe. The shoes also darkened up to the shade I desired. Why wouldn't I recommend it? It was weird how the shoes took the polish -- the first part I touched really soaked it up but then when I was rubbing it was tough to prevent "spotting" -- C & J and Green antiquing are more "streaky." But, I guess the point is that you can darken brown shoes with various polishes/polishing techniques.
     


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