POLL: Brown shoes and dark suits in ENGLAND - CBD? UCBD? Heresy?

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by Balfour, Aug 22, 2012.

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Are dark brown shoes acceptable with dark suits as appropriate professional dress in ENGLAND?

  1. Never

    17 vote(s)
    24.3%
  2. Yes - but not as CBD

    27 vote(s)
    38.6%
  3. Yes - but not as UCBD

    21 vote(s)
    30.0%
  4. Yes - even as UCBD

    5 vote(s)
    7.1%
  1. Stirling

    Stirling Senior member

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    Perhaps it is more subjective now and a question of status (together with inherent confidence). I know a few senior city folk who wear anything but black shoes, they are not wage earners however.
     
  2. williamson

    williamson Senior member

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    No, it does NOT depend on the occasion; in my opinion a suit without a tie is ALWAYS wrong - not just casual, plain wrong! I accept that you are writing from a location with a hot climate; but then it would surely be too hot for a suit in any case.
     
  3. Geezer

    Geezer Senior member

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    +1
     
  4. Bounder

    Bounder Senior member

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    There are some tourists but, trust me, you will have no trouble telling them apart.

    But I don't mean to imply that the City is some sort of sartorial Shangri La where everybody dresses beautifully. On the contrary, most of the people there a pretty gormless when it comes to clothing. But they are still wearing black shoes . . .
     
  5. facet

    facet Senior member

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    Funny, I just came back from a political fundraiser where it was a pretty casual affair. Every guy that wore a suit, had no tie; I was the only one with. I felt overdressed.
     
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2012
  6. stupendous

    stupendous Senior member

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    Not even say, an evening out at a bar or club, or maybe a white linen suit an an all-white party? I'm not trying to be faceetious, but you see these psreads in magazines showing how a suit can go from day into night, so I'm curious to undertand your perspective.

    What about a light or medium grey suit with a fine black turtleneck? This doesn't work?
     
  7. williamson

    williamson Senior member

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    In neither of these cases would I wear a suit. For me, such occasions require sports jacket and tie. Any overdressing on facet's part comes from the suit, not from the tie.
    My rationale is that suit = formal, open-necked shirt = casual. So suit + open-necked shirt = mixed message, mixed metaphor, mixed modes - a mixture of formal and casual is anathema to me. Until the 1990s this was an occasional passing fad, and I hope it passes on quickly!
    The way to go "casualwards" from a suit is to the next ensemble "down", namely to blazer or sports jacket WITH TIE. I have for long been expressing, on SF, my very strong dislike of an open-necked shirt with any lapelled jacket, regarding the look as unfinished and sloppy. I have held this opinion for a very long time and am not going to be persuaded otherwise. In my turn, I cannot understand the (very largely) American dislike of wearing shirt and tie without jacket, which is perfectly fine by me.
    The style works with "brown-shoe" rather than "black-shoe" clothes, so not with the colours you name. I like the look of a tweed suit with a turtleneck, in "autumn" or "earth" colours, but find grey and black too "formal" or "cityish" for the combination. So this point is not entirely irrelevant to the topic of this thread.
     
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2012
  8. Balfour

    Balfour Senior member

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    I agree with the 'suits' part of this - a suit without a tie feels unfinished and odd to me. I particularly dislike this as a mode of dressing down the suit (i.e. middle management are told to dress down, so the lazy and unthinking response is simply to remove the tie). Not a good look.

    I don't agree with the 'any lapelled jacket' aspect of this. On the weekend, for example, I will quite often wear a more casual tweed odd jacket with an open-necked shirt. This doesn't look unfinished. And on many occasions wearing a tie would be to overdress significantly for the occasion.

    I'd welcome any views from people who have given this more thought than me, but intuitively this works for me.

    Anyway, back to brown shoes!
     
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2012
  9. Balfour

    Balfour Senior member

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    I have been unable to escape this feeling when it comes to dark suits.

    I quite often wear odd jackets in the summer for practical reasons (keeping a suit to change into in the office for meetings, etc.) - commuting on the non-air conditioned underground in wool trousers is not fun. I would normally feel very odd in wearing anything but brown shoes with an odd jacket.(*) But I think that fits the mode, so it doesn't create a tension with the convention (although it is clearly not a CBD mode of dress at all). Do you adhere to CBD for the office all year round, or make a concession for the Summer weather in mode (as opposed to summer suits)?

    (*) The main exception being a blue odd jacket and grey wool trousers, but not much utilised in the summer.
     
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2012
  10. Jermyn

    Jermyn Senior member

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    What I find interesting through reading some of these responses, is that some people are genuinely aghast at the idea of wearing brown shoes in London.
    I always thought that "no brown in town" was just a quirky, old-fashioned saying which had little relevance today. Most of my peers either agree with me or absolutely do not care (i.e. they bought black shoes because they were an easy 'default' choice).

    The sole exception to this being the friend I mentioned before, who had this sartorial rule hammered into him at an early age.

    I am interested, how many of you were taught this rule by your fathers etc. as opposed to hearing it later on in life?
    Did you decide to wear black shoes because you were told to do so, or did you go with black shoes as a result of observing those around you?
     
  11. fritzl

    fritzl Senior member

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    oh, well
     
  12. fritzl

    fritzl Senior member

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    they have their place in men's fashion, i think.
     
  13. fritzl

    fritzl Senior member

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    taught
     
  14. R.O. Thornhill

    R.O. Thornhill Senior member

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    I guess I am one of the people who are pretty firm on this "rule" - but I would never say that I am aghast when a colleague wears - say - brown shoes with a navy or charcoal suit

    In my work environment - professional, London-based, quite traditional - I would say that 95% of people wear black shoes with their suits. Not necessarily nice shoes, and we see a worrying number of slip-ons, but they are almost all black. Those who wear brown are typically not English.

    My own reasons for wearing black shoes are not linked to "rules" or a desire not to stand out (wearing pocket squares, knit or cashmere ties all makes you stand one) - but are purely aesthetic. I do not like the look of brown shoes with CBD. Today, I am wearing a deep navy SB suit, a blue-on-white stripe shirt, a navy grenadine polka dot tie and a white linen square. To me, black oxfords complete this look in a way that brown don't

    That is not to say I don't wear brown shoes in town - I do quite frequently, but when dressed more casually in flannels and an odd coat for example

    R-O-T
     
  15. Quadcammer

    Quadcammer Senior member

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    I'll say it.

    Fuck black shoes.

    They suck in just about every way. They are complete uninteresting, lifeless, and look like crap with even the slightest hint of a scuff. They should be for black tie only. No they don't look good with a navy suit.

    I have probably 12 pairs of brown shoes for every one pair of black shoes, and i still hardly ever wear black.

    Black shoes are the devil's work.
     

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