Shoe color w/ navy suits

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by Mike C., Jun 9, 2004.

  1. prinseugen

    prinseugen Well-Known Member

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    Wonderful collection, Mike. And considering your impressive shoe size, I really think you've done splendidly, and I'm particularly delighted to learn that you secured one of those superb pairs of JM handmades. It is somehow more fitting (the right word) that a fellow with an unusual size should score a truly special model like that one--I mean, persons whose feet are accomodated by 9.5 D have a great range of choices available.... I own Green, C&J, old Poulsen Skone, Grenson, Paraboot, Weston, and Lobb Paris. Seven of my twenty-one pairs of shoes may be found on page two of the Ask Andy thread "The best ready-to-wear shoes..."; my five custom pairs are from Poulsen Skone, EG and Lobb. I am besotted by the highly styled and meticulously detailed Vass shoes that may be found on their site, and I have entertained the notion of visiting Budapest, when next I see Vienna, in May (death by mallet-wielding-wife is a genuine threat in this case). In fact, I have spoken with the folks at Louis Boston, and they assure me that Vass shoes are rather easy to fit in their experience, so I might first try a ready-made pair. As you know, Cleverley used to guide the old Poulsen Skone, and I would love to acquire one of the new shop's RTW models, but that will have to wait until the above mentioned Euro-trip, when a London stop-over is planned. Question, Mike: how do your beautiful JM handmades compare to the other fine shoes in your kit? Is the stitching really first-rate? I saw photos of the things posted on-site, and the shoes were really unique, very tasteful and well-balanced in an unusual, distinctive manner. Regards, Jack
     
  2. STYLESTUDENT

    STYLESTUDENT Senior member

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    Tan shoes with navy or charcoal suits is favored among knowledgeable dressers on this forum. But I have always considered the combination a regionalism that is elegant on the streets of midtown New York or downtown Boston and merely conspicuous in, say, a small Midwestern town. Both approaches may be correct depending where worn.
     
  3. kidkim2

    kidkim2 Senior member

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    STYLESTUDENT--You've touched on an issue I've been brooding about for some time.  It's easy for know-it-alls like me to issue ex cathedra prescriptions and admonitions.  In doing so, we forget that every individual is situated at the center of an ever-widening series of sartorial contexts, and that each of these concentric circles further defines his style choices.  Personal characteristics (e.g., age, coloring, income), avocation(s), workplace, community, region--all play roles in clothing-related decisions.  Or they should.  And thus what's right for one individual may be poison for another.

    prinseugen--The J&M Handmades are real jewels.  (Even their hinged, velvet-lined box is exquisite.)  The stitching is monomaniacaly fine.  (Someone--on AA, I believe--measured the stitches per inch, contrasting their incredible detail with other makers' much less rigorous standards.)  I must say, however, that it's taken me a while to acclimate to the soles themselves.  (It is they, not the last, that provide the unique trowel/spade shape.)  Like many on this forum, for me narrow-cut soles, nearly invisible when viewed from above, have always been de rigueur.  The nature of the design makes these soles, on the other hand, highly viisible.  

    I take my ability to adjust as a hopeful sign.  Maybe I'm not entirely petrified yet.
     
  4. prinseugen

    prinseugen Well-Known Member

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    I see what you mean by relatively conspicuous soles on the JM handmade shoes--I, too, like a closely cropped sole, Mike, but your shoes are truly unique. Thanks for explaining why they are....

    STYLESTUDENT: you are absolutely right about regional possibilities--you can get away with a heck of a lot more in New York City, than you can in Sheboygan. However, British tan shoes look patently imbecilic with a charcoal or navy suit, and I don't give a damn who is wearing the blighted combination (Luca di Montezemolo is a serial offender, and the fellow dresses well otherwise).

    Regards,

    Jack
     
  5. kidkim2

    kidkim2 Senior member

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    On the other hand, I'm pleased to report that I once got away with quite a bit in Sheboygan.
     
  6. Phil

    Phil Senior member

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    Jack-

    Your head must be ready to explode when you visit Italy, with all of us wearing our tan shoes with just about everything, including black. Its sad to think 30 million of us look so imbecilic in our tan shoes and charcoal suits.
     
  7. Thracozaag

    Thracozaag Senior member

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    Touche.

    koji
     
  8. prinseugen

    prinseugen Well-Known Member

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    It is sad, Phil--tragic, really...but then who ever said that Italy was the cradle of all knowledge in men's wear? Look, pal, I don't wish to offend anyone remotely Italian, and this is merely my own considered opinion, and you can do exactly what you want in a free country, but light shoes look unimpressive with dark suits for all the reasons stated in my posts above. That said, know that I love visiting Italy, and that the fine hospitality and splendid food one finds in that lyrically beautiful country nicely offset any surprising personal style decisions encountered there.

    Respectfully,

    Jack



    Koji: I don't think you understand the meaning of the word "touche." For the thing to apply, a person would have to be properly nailed, which is plainly not the case here.


    Mike: I won't ask about Sheboygan, since it is obvious that you are on a watch list in that nice little town....
     
  9. Phil

    Phil Senior member

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    I wasnt saying Italy was the cradle of men's fashion, although many people could argue that it is. I was merely saying that a blanket statement of something looking "imbecilic", is a bit harsh perhaps. Each of us has a personal style, and while I might not agree with many peoples choices when it comes to clothes, I would hardly say somebody is patently imbecilic for wearing someting. Furthermore, the fact that so many millions of us love the way tan shoes look with all manners of suits, would lead me to believe that perhaps we are on to something. Ofcourse you are entitled to your opinion, and I respect that. Not everyone can pull off the look, but for some reason us Italians have that certain elan that seems to be simuntaneously elusive the rest of the world's male population and intoxicating to the female population.
     
  10. STYLESTUDENT

    STYLESTUDENT Senior member

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    Mike-

    That's something we have in common.
     
  11. prinseugen

    prinseugen Well-Known Member

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    Your high opinion of Italian men and their intoxicating effect on women notwithstanding, tan shoes with navy or charcoal suits looks weak, at best. Phil, I did not say that the persons who dress in this boldly incorrect manner were imbecilic, but rather that the choice itself was imbecilic--and we both know that smart people make idiotic decisions, as well.

    Let us agree to disagree. I am an Anglo-American traditionalist; you are an advanced thinker: we are poles apart. But I respect your dynamic approach, even if I find it inappropriate. Also, please consider that I am much older than you, and that fact, too, plays a strong part in my objection to such fanciful notions.... I wish you many fine experiences with the female population, sir.

    Regards,

    Jack
     
  12. Phil

    Phil Senior member

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    fair enough, we agree to disagree. I was under the assumption though that many traditional anglo-americans had the habit of wearing tan shoes with grey and blue. I am specifically referencing Alan Flusser's musings about the well dressed men of Madison Ave, who used to worship their Brooks Brothers Peal burnished tan oxfords. Additionally, a group known as the Boston brahmins (i dont understand where the term comes from) are particularly fond of said tan shoes. Please educate me if I am wrong, I love that old fashioned east coast preppy look, and any info on it would be appreciated. Thanks in advance.
     
  13. STYLESTUDENT

    STYLESTUDENT Senior member

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    Though I personally don't wear tan shoes with dark suits, my "regionalism" comment arose from being at the Madison Avenue Brooks in the mid '60s like Flusser. That's where I saw this practice, at the most "traditional" venue possible. I didn't see it in other parts of the country except on those who were from New York. Since then, the style has apparently spread by reference to less "traditional" venues like Milan.
     
  14. Phil

    Phil Senior member

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    Stylestudent - I actually started wearing tan shoes when I was in my early 20s ( i am 31 now). One of my first clients was just like you, spent alot of time in the advertising field, on Mad. Ave, in the 60s, and because of that, wore ancient Peal tan oxfords with every suit in his closet. He once told me he owned 10 pairs of shoes, 9 exactly as I had described, and a pair of patent leather pumps for his tux. I just loved how he wore those shoes with everything, and it rubbed off on me. However, I like shoes too much to just sport an exact pair everyday. Tans (edwardian antique, acorn antique, burnt pine antique - all EG) are certainly the backbone of my shoe wardrobe.
     
  15. Ed13

    Ed13 Senior member

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    I think most people in their twenties wear black shoes because 1) cheap black shoes can look OK but cheap brown shoes look really cheap and cost is a factor & 2) black has one shade and can therefore match many more outfits where different shades of brown may be needed. My first 3 pairs of decent shoes were all black (Bostonian balmorals, Barker 2 eyelet casuals and Dack's full wing brogues). Three pairs for all occasions. Now that I can afford it, I like brown.
     

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