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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    Brahmin: highest or priestly caste among Hindus. Dr. Oliver Wendell Holmes, father of the great American Supreme Court justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, first coined the term in both a novel and an article which appeared in the Atlantic Monthly (1860 or '61, I think...). In the article, he described a more secular but equally powerful group, the city of Boston's elite--in fact, he was using the term to refer to families that produced generations of Ivy League scholars, particularly those who matriculated at Harvard.

    You are clearly a sophisticated fellow, Phil. My objection to light brown shoes with dark things above is rooted both in tradition of a kind not associated narrowly with New York and Boston, and a respect for proper visual balance. It simply looks weird to see a light shoe under a dark suit. And no Bostonian will ever convince me of the obverse. But as a Continental boulevardier, you are free to push the envelope at will. I, however, find that a rich dark brown shoe looks particularly elegant--and just different enough from black--with a dark grey or blue suit. To each his own....

    I've enjoyed this exchange. You're all right.

    Regards,

    Jack
     


  2. Phil

    Phil Senior member

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    Jack-

    Thank you for the kind words. I love dark brown shoes too, particularly the dark oak antique variety from Edward Green. I have found that I wear them most often when my dress shirt is pink, oddly enough. For some reason, light tan shoes look a bit off when I am wearing a pink shirt, and I prefer the look of a darker pair of brown shoes.

    Understood about the light shoes, dark pants problem, it takes time to get used to. Am I correct in thinking that you beleive tan shoes are only appropriate with a light tan suit?

    Do you own white bucks? Im assuming yes. Do you have the same visual issues with the white bucks under a darker shade of pants? Perhaps white bucks under a blue seersucker suit.

    Thanks for the info on the Brahmins, good stuff.
     


  3. prinseugen

    prinseugen Well-Known Member

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    Excellent comment, ED13: you're right about the safe black investment.

    STYLESTUDENT: I unreservedly accept your "regionalism" comments.


    This is not a discussion about whether one ought to own either black or brown shoes. I have four pairs of black shoes--and seventeen pairs of brown shoes. Brown shoes allow a wide range of expression; I simply love all the variegated shades available.... This rather civilized discussion is about what to pair with what. I find mid- to dark brown shoes immensely useful. And I routinely use dark brown shoes in combination with dark blue and grey suits. We all agree that personal style allows a great deal of freedom these days. And if you are the type of fellow who can pull off non-standard combinations, then more power to you.

    Regards,

    Jack
     


  4. prinseugen

    prinseugen Well-Known Member

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    I'm starting to believe that Italians really do know something more...excellent reply, Phil: thank you.

    I own a pair of EG Cadogans in the dark oak antique color to which you refer, and they are smashing shoes (by the way, your comments regarding pink shirts are most interesting).

    I wear light to mid-brown shoes with light to mid-grey suits, and would certainly use them in conjunction with a tan gabardine suit, or together with light to mid- grey flannel odd trousers. And I wear my white and dirty bucks with blue and white striped seersucker suits, since the white stripes are in equal balance with the light blue ones. A white buck is also first-rate with cream linen trousers, worn with a pink or light blue shirt, and a navy blazer. And I certainly use light brown shoes, or tan canvas and British tan co-respondent shoes, as anchors for the choices described above. With a cream linen suit, I wear British tan oxfords, as well. I love brown shoes above all, Phil, but dark suits demand darker choices. In my world.

    Regards,

    Jack
     


  5. Ed13

    Ed13 Senior member

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    Just curious if anyone would wear brown shoes with a black and white Glen Plaid check design suit?

    I have always assumed black would be the choice. If brown, then would you try to also introduce the colour with a stripe in the shirt or an accent in the tie to tie in the shoes?
     


  6. kidkim2

    kidkim2 Senior member

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    ed13--

    Having just acquired a black/white glen plaid suit (Oxxford, from Sartorial Solutions), I've been mulling over the same issue.
    As things stand, I doubt I'd have the nerve to wear brown shoes with this outfit. . . but I'm certainly willing to reconsider.
    After all, I never wore brown with navy until recently. And then, here in Frisco, I took some good natured ribbing for doing so. (Until the ribber was won over. Sweet victory.)

    A related question: Are there accessory colors that would put brown shoes with a navy/grey/charcoal suit out of bounds? I'm thinking, in particular, of bright red. (There may be other hues, too.) I've never been comfortable with red and brown. . . .

    Mike
     


  7. Phil

    Phil Senior member

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    Mike-

    Totally agree about the red accents, I dont like the way that looks with just about every shade of brown. Considering my propensity for brown shoes, it probably comes as no surprise that I own only 1 red tie.
     


  8. STYLESTUDENT

    STYLESTUDENT Senior member

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    Mike,

    If the suit is very casual, you might consider black tassel loafers, which you already own based on your prior posts. If you have the last Flusser book, there's a picture in it of Ralph Lauren wearing this combination. It looks elegant to my eyes.
     


  9. drizzt3117

    drizzt3117 Senior member

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    What about cordovan shoes with a navy suit and red tie?
     


  10. kidkim2

    kidkim2 Senior member

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    STYLESTUDENT--Black tassel loafers with the glen plaid suit: I couldn't agree with you more. (The "value" contrast will be striking--that is, dark footwear with relatively light clothing.)

    It would be interesting to know what others think about this combination.  Especially in view of former admonitions against wearing tassel loafers with suits under any circumstances whatsoever.  Prohibition still operative?
     


  11. prinseugen

    prinseugen Well-Known Member

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    Cordovan is swell with nearly everything, but the objections noted above regarding red ties still apply...reddish-brown doesn't help red to achieve its proper aims (to suggest decisiveness, power, confidence). Oh, and despite the reference to Ralph Lauren's ensemble, I must say that loafers just don't belong with a suit, no matter how relaxed the thing might be. I mean to say that you can always pair even an easy-going twill suit with a tasteful pair of equally "casual" oxfords or derbys. Loafers look fine with odd trousers and jackets, but the new impulse to wear them as real shoes is an abomination.

    Regards,

    Jack
     


  12. kidkim2

    kidkim2 Senior member

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    prinseugen--Because I think highly of your opinions. . . I'm wondering whether what we have here is a "sartorial community" issue. (I mean, e.g., going sockless in parts of the South would indicate extreme poverty; in Sag Harbor it's practically mandatory.) Would you mind revealing your "community"?
     


  13. ROT

    ROT Senior member

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    I tend to like brown suede shoes. But since I'm headed for an after-work thing, I'm wearing black with the blue suit today. Frank Sinatra stuck with the "black after six" rule. But then again, his work clothes were more often than not, dinner jackets.
     


  14. STYLESTUDENT

    STYLESTUDENT Senior member

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    I too have a high regard for "prinseugen's" well-considered posts. Yes, there is a rule, but how valid can it be if it's consistently broken by those universally regarded as well-dressed? Consider the Duke of Windsor wearing penny loafers and a bow tie with a light cotton suit (in Suzy Menkes' book "The Windsor Style"). And as Jack knows, I'm not talking about tan kiltie loafers with a short vamp worn with a dark double-breasted suit.
     


  15. prinseugen

    prinseugen Well-Known Member

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    Because I think highly of your opinions. . . I'm wondering whether what we have here is a "sartorial community" issue. (I mean, e.g., going sockless in parts of the South would indicate extreme poverty; in Sag Harbor it's practically mandatory.) Would you mind revealing your "community"?
     


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