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Shoe Damage Report & Shoe P0rn Central - Part II

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by Oyaji, Feb 20, 2010.

  1. RogerP

    RogerP Senior member

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    I don't understand this. What's it to you what other people do with their shoes? And why do you get to say what constitutes "too little" use for someone else?

    I know guys with 50-plus top quality watches. More than I could wear or use with any regularity and hence more than I would choose to own even if I could afford such. But their ownership of what would be for me an excessive number of pieces doesn't bother me in any way. Nor would I consider it my place to tell them they have "too many" watches.
     
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  2. mimo

    mimo Senior member

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    Pants on fire! [​IMG]
     
  3. Louis XIV

    Louis XIV Senior member

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    Well, I guess I just simply have a different attitude than most of you, but to me products made by the hands of a true craftsman are a unique piece of art.
    True artists create things for a reason and in case of a shoemaker, tailor or watchmaker they create their products to be used.
    Sadly craftsman are not able to earn as much money with the work of their hands as others do in different fields of work.
    So for a shoemaker to be able to feed his family he will agree on selling you as many pairs of shoes as you want, eventhough he knows they will just be another pair in your "collection".
    Why should a craftsman use the best materials as well as take hundreds and thousands of hours of his time to practice and finally execute the best possible quality handwork if the product he puts out will finally only be put into a showcase instead of given the chance to proof it's superiority in daily use?
    Every craftsman I have spoken to so far was very proud of his work and very rightly so, and everyone of them told me he much prefered the look of a used garment of his over a freshly created one.
    Used garments do have a story to tell, they reveal a lot about their creator as well as their wearer and their lifestyles, they are a living testament of the value that is in proper handwork.

    For those folks of you who are into oldtimers, even as a German I have to say I am much more a Bentley guy, seeing how their owners give them the use they deserve, no matter if sunshine or rain, embracing every single fly in the radiator grill, every single chip in the paint and reparing their cars on their own over those "collectors" of Mercedes, who invite you to dinner to their home to show you their Benz sitting in a perfectly tidy garage that neither does smell of gas nor does show any sign of oil on its shiny lightcolored tiles and lets you know it's owner has never exhanged a petrol line on their own.
    They will prefer towing over driving their cars to meetups and they will be always seen running around with a polishing cloth and dare you touch their babies, you will face a proper German bureaucratic lawsuit!

    Collecting commodity without giving it at least the chance of being worn through some day to me is not only waste but disrespect towards its creator and per se in bad taste.
     
  4. MoneyWellSpent

    MoneyWellSpent Senior member

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    I'm not surprised that many will take offense at the notion that someone thinks that they have too much of something. Most people don't like to be accused of having "excess." But I will say that I can appreciate the sentiment behind this post and that it does represent how I prefer to use my belongings. I'd much rather buy the best I can and lovingly use it, watching it grow old and gracefully aging, rather than having a full showcase of barely used things.

    I fully agree that any craftsman who creates an item that is meant to be used as opposed to put under glass, on a shelf, or hung on a wall would rather invest his time in creating something that will be used to it's fullest potential; rather than collecting dust and seeing the light of day only a few times per year. There does seem to be an injustice in there somewhere.

    Of course, there is a slippery slope side to this discussion. To some, a pair of shoes only has to be worn once a year to be "used", while to others, it must be once a month, once a week, twice a week...
     
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  5. isshinryu101

    isshinryu101 Senior member

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    No offense intended. I just had to poke a bit of fun at the idea that 24 pairs of shoes is too many...when it is stated on Style Forum. This is the land of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder! And, ultimately, there is nothing wrong with that. Many visit this site daily and spend considerable amounts of time researching, recording (thru photos), then composing extensive essays about our loves for items that show our personal style. In this world, there is no such thing as "too many".

    To be clear, I DO agree that these items NEED to be worn. As an addict of Vintage Shoes (mainly 1920's- 1950's), it pains me to see a pair of wonderful shoes that still survives, yet sits in a closet and is never worn. What a waste! The question is, "How often must an item be worn/ used in order for it to get the respect it deserves as a work of art"?

    For example, I have these 1940's Stetson alligator Oxford Captoes.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    I LOVE these shoes. 100% handmade and unique. MEANT to be worn, to be sure. NOW, when the heck do I wear them? In a year, I may wear them 2x. They aren't a "regular rotation" shoe, but rather an attention grabber and conversation topic. Twice a year is fine for them. They are quite content to sit in vintage shoe trees and bathe in conditioner for 6 months, then get worn that one time... then repeat. They will one day go to my son (if they fit him), or to some other shoe lover (if they do not).
     
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  6. isshinryu101

    isshinryu101 Senior member

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    Here are 2 more pairs that I hope illustrate my thoughts on the matter.

    Both are spring/ summer shoes, and both are really wonderful, I think.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    1940's Ventilated utip spectators & 1940's perforated captoe specs.

    Can one REALLY wear these on a regular basis? More importantly, did the MAKER really expect that they would be worn often? I believe that the whole idea was to create a "Special Occasion" type of footwear. Something that would be revealed rarely... but would get the attention it deserves because of it.
     
    2 people like this.
  7. JubeiSpiegel

    JubeiSpiegel Senior member

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    I think we should make a distinction between RTW items, and true bespoke items.

    Specifically, the member who's collection was criticized seemed to be full of RTW shoes. How sentimental / philosophical can we get over a manufactured product, regardless of it's material quality?

    As an artist, I can say that art is made for the layman, not for the artist. You understand that anything you make will be at the mercy of it's audience, for better or worse. That is the price of doing what you love...
     
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  8. MoneyWellSpent

    MoneyWellSpent Senior member

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    Following up to what I said earlier, I do have to admit that it is a lot of fun to see shoes which are that old, and are still in nearly new condition. Those would never fit into my rotation, but they are beautiful and really fun to look at!
     
  9. MoneyWellSpent

    MoneyWellSpent Senior member

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    That's another good point to consider. If an item is meant to be used sparingly, then sparing use is still use.
     
  10. MoneyWellSpent

    MoneyWellSpent Senior member

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    For me, the sentimentality takes years to accumulate. It comes from the memories of the events that I wore the shoes to, and they almost seem like a relic of the past, which have testified to my major events in my life. For example, I have a pair of shoes that were worn regularly for about an 8 year period, before I "retired" them. However, I enjoy keeping them in my closet because I can take them out and reminisce over where they've been and when I wore them. They were on my feet when I graduated high school, graduated college, graduated from graduate school, at both of my sister's weddings, at my rehearsal dinner, at friends weddings, at every job interview I've ever attended, and pretty much every other time I had reason to wear a suit. I can't bear the thought of getting rid of them now, even though I don't wear them anymore. They still have their original soles, and they are so stretched out that they don't even fit me properly at this point. But, they still look good, in spite of being RTW and rather inexpensive. I didn't pay much for them, but they are hand-made in Spain, blake-stitched, deer skin oxfords. I got them before I knew much about fine footwear, and now I probably wouldn't give them a second look in a store, but they sure were nice to an 18 year old kid way back when I bought them.
     
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  11. gusvs

    gusvs Senior member

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    Well, many of my pairs are seasonal, meaning they get alot of use part of the year, but then gets stowed away for some months. I try to use most shoes equally much over the year. Having said that though, there are favourites of course which get more wear than other pairs.
     
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  12. meister

    meister Senior member

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    He wore these again the other day to his great friend van Cutsem's funeral.
     
  13. culverwood

    culverwood Senior member

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    The POW's parsimony in some areas and extravagance in others is fascinating.
     
  14. mimo

    mimo Senior member

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    ^^ He would fit in well here.

    What an excellent discussion.

    Personally I am perfectly sentimental about many of my RTW shoes - spectators in particular. But they get worn all year round, at least once a month. And lest we forget, Isshinryu's beauties up there were all off the shelf at one point. He loves them enough to collect, keep and occasionally wear them. I'm sure that would satisfy the artist, or his memory, no end.
     
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  15. MoneyWellSpent

    MoneyWellSpent Senior member

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    How the heck to you all keep track of which shoes he is wearing? I just Googled photos of the funeral, and I see some pictures of PC's shoes, but it would never dawn on me to have looked without your prompt.
     
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  16. VRaivio

    VRaivio Senior member

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    ...now that we've digressed to the dapper Charles, here's a quote on his wardrobe maintenance:

    'Prince Charles Is a Clotheshorse Who Gets His Shoelaces Ironed

    Prince Charles employs 133 staff to look after him and Camilla, more than 60 of them domestics: chefs, cooks, footmen, housemaids, gardeners, chauffeurs, cleaners, and his three personal valets—gentleman’s gentlemen—whose sole responsibility is the care of their royal master’s extensive wardrobe and choosing what he is to wear on any particular day. A serving soldier polishes the prince’s boots and shoes every day—he has 50 handmade pairs each costing over £800 [sic] by Lobb of St James’s—and a housemaid washes his underwear as soon as it is discarded. Nothing Charles or Camilla wears is ever allowed near a washing machine. Particular attention is paid to handkerchiefs, which are monogrammed and again all hand-washed, as it was found that when they were sent to a laundry, some would go missing—as souvenirs. HRH’s suits, of which he has 60, cost more than £3,000 each, and his shirts, all handmade, cost £350 a time (he has more than 200), while his collar stiffeners are solid gold or silver. Charles’s valets also iron the laces of his shoes whenever they are taken off.'

    More juice here:

    http://www.thedailybeast.com/articl...os.html?fb_ref=article&fb_source=home_oneline
     
  17. mimo

    mimo Senior member

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    None of HRH's personal valets are "serving soldiers". There is no taxpayer-funded post in the British Army of "boot polisher to the Prince of Wales". They do often come from a military background, though. The only one I ever spoke to was ex Royal Navy.
     
  18. MoneyWellSpent

    MoneyWellSpent Senior member

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    Very interesting. I think the figure that surprises me the most is 200 shirts. His dress is always so conservative when I see him in pictures that it seems impossible to fathom 200 shirts could ever be remotely useful. Other figures just make me roll my eyes, but don't entirely surprise me.

    If his shoes are shined every day (I assume each pair is simply shined before each wear), it doesn't surprise me that they would start to look so rough. The poor leather is being suffocated from overuse of shoe care products.
     
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2013
  19. mimo

    mimo Senior member

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    I suspect there's quite a bit of exaggeration. My guess would be that they are buffed before each wear, and polished when needed. Just like the rest of us?
     
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  20. MoneyWellSpent

    MoneyWellSpent Senior member

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    I thought about that, but obviously don't know for sure.

    There is an old school tradition (more from the baby-boomer and older generations) of shining your Sunday shoes before going to church. At the same time that this was a tradition, most people only had one pair of shoes that they considered their "Sunday" shoes. I can't imagine how bad that tradition is for leather, to gently wear a pair of shoes for a few hours at church, only to be put into the closet for another week before having more polish caked on top of the previous week's. And traditionally, they were not just buffing the shoes. Good old Kiwi was what was used.
     
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