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Shoes for a military wedding

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by naviator, May 14, 2011.

  1. tgt465

    tgt465 Senior member

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    The description says Oxford (Balmoral), the picture is a Derby (Blucher). Somebody needs to make their mind up...[​IMG]

    In the USA, "Oxford" usually refers to any kind of lace-up dress shoe, including both Balmorals and Bluchers. In other parts of the world, "Oxford" means Balmorals but not Bluchers.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oxford_shoe
     
  2. Yodan731

    Yodan731 Member

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    May 14, 2011
    Cmacey,

    I just checked my crummy Bates and I don't see the USMC approved logo anywhere on them.

    Do you think those standards only apply to clothing? And not footwear?

    My reading of the order seems to give us significant latitude in choosing footwear.

    Thoughts?
     
  3. USAF - 1

    USAF - 1 Member

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    Apr 24, 2011
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    Bay Area, CA
    As a former Navy officer and current Air Force one, I've got the Allen Edmonds Leeds and they are quite nice. Light years better than the bates crap sold on base. Not cheap though, but I've had mine now for six years and are holding up spectacularly. I dislike the patent leather. I think you can also get the Leeds in brown for you aviator types.
     
  4. naviator

    naviator Member

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    As a former Navy officer and current Air Force one, I've got the Allen Edmonds Leeds and they are quite nice. Light years better than the bates crap sold on base. Not cheap though, but I've had mine now for six years and are holding up spectacularly. I dislike then patent leather. I think you can also get the Leeds in brown for you aviator types.

    You can get them in brown, but they have to be custom made. ($125 extra). I actually do own a pair of brown Leeds that I got second hand a while back from an old retired pilot that happened to be my exact size. I had them recrafted and they're holding up pretty well. I used to wear them all the time with the Aviation Working Green uniform before that got cut this past december. Damn shame. Now, if only AE could also make them in White, then I finally get rid of those awful white Bates shoes.

    I generally don't like patent leather either, but those clean lines on the kendall are pretty appealing. That said, based on the overwhelming consensus that a well polished Leeds is indeed appropriate for the occasion, I will follow your advice and stick with Leeds!
     
  5. Mr. White

    Mr. White Senior member

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  6. rabiesinfrance

    rabiesinfrance Senior member

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  7. cmacey

    cmacey Senior member

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    Cmacey,

    I just checked my crummy Bates and I don't see the USMC approved logo anywhere on them.

    Do you think those standards only apply to clothing? And not footwear?

    My reading of the order seems to give us significant latitude in choosing footwear.

    Thoughts?


    It's a good question. They should be marked; the combat boot is the prime example. Could be that where the patent leather blucher is concerned, since all the branches of service wear them, it may be the only uniform item not required to display the USMC stamp of approval - considered O.K. if not marked but purchased from an Exchange Uniform shop. (I'd hate to see a guy try this with the combat boot...)
     
  8. bmac11c

    bmac11c Senior member

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    Jan 25, 2011
    Location:
    Frisco, Tejas
    First, Congrats on your future marriage and thank you for your service! That goes for all you guys who have replied to this thread who wear/used to wear a uniform.

    On to business; I would go for the AE Leeds. I think you'll be able to get the most use out of them. Both for your wedding as well as your daily uniform needs. I for one like to purchase items for their multifunctional use...if at all possible. I wore those ugly assed Bates when I was in and I understand your desire to wear something nicer...an option I really didn't have since I didn't make the big bucks like you officer, 1 each, types [​IMG] .

    Good luck with your search!

    Bmac


    I've been a long time reader here, but this is my first post. The wedding in the title is my own, next March. I'm a Naval officer, and my bride-to-be wants me in uniform for the occasion. The appropriate uniform would be the the Formal Dress. Link to uniform spec I generally don't approve of the industrial quality of the uniform items sold in the uniform shop, so I opt for higher quality items from outside sources wherever possible. For this occasion, I want the best quality available. Since I don't own this uniform yet, this is my chance to make it perfect from the ground up. I've already ordered the jacket and trousers from my tailor. For the shirt I'll be wearing Brooks Brothers with detachable collar wing collar, BB Vest, and BB bowtie.

    The only remaining question is the shoes. The uniform spec calls for a plain toe oxford, and depicts a 5 eyelet blucher. For this, there are two solutions I'm considering, and I'm stumped on which one to go with. I've always been an Allen Edmonds fan, as they fit me perfectly and are a bit of a family tradition, so that's where I'm focusing.

    First option, Allen Edmonds Leeds. Link These shoes are a perfect match for the uniform spec. Plus, I could wear them with any other uniform that calls for black shoes (which is good, since I need new black shoes anyway). For this occasion, I could polish them to a mirror shine (I can almost match patent leather), and perhaps add silk laces to dress them up. The question is, would this be formal enough?

    Second option, Allen Edmonds Kendall. Link These shoes are certainly formal enough, but they are too formal and too distinctive to be worn with anything but the formal dress uniform. Therefore, it's a little harder to justify spending that much money.

    So, any thoughts? I'd be very interested in hearing outside opinions on the matter. Thanks.
     
  9. GBR

    GBR Senior member

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    I'm a Naval officer, and my bride-to-be wants me in uniform for the occasion. The appropriate uniform would be the the Formal Dress. Link to uniform spec Thanks.

    Surely way over the top for a daytime wedding which I assume it is? This borders on costume - surely there visa more appropriate formal day dress?
     
  10. maxnharry

    maxnharry Senior member

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    Feb 26, 2005
    Surely way over the top for a daytime wedding which I assume it is? This borders on costume - surely there visa more appropriate formal day dress?
    First, the tradition in the Navy is that the uniform of the day for a wedding is whatever your bride wants it to be. The uniform you linked to is not our full dress, but our winter mess dress and usually worn for evening social events like an evening wedding, ball, dining out, etc.. Full dress would be service dress blue with medals, sword and gloves: http://www.public.navy.mil/bupers-np...DressBlue.aspx Either way, wear what your bride wants you to wear. As for the shoes, the Leeds are the ones to get. You can wear them with this and any other uniform that requires black shoes. If you are a SWO you can even wear them with your khakis. I know plenty of Navy and USMC officers who wear shoes other than the Bates sold at the NEX/MCX. -Navy Officer, 22 years of service.
     
  11. GBR

    GBR Senior member

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    The uniform you linked to is not our full dress, but our winter mess dress and usually worn for evening social events like an evening wedding, ball, dining out, etc.. -Navy Officer, 22 years of service.

    but it was the dress uniform to which the OP's own link led to.... That be be a considered a reasonable judgement of what he intends to wear.

    As to the bride's choice, the mind boggles.
     
  12. naviator

    naviator Member

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    May 14, 2011
    Surely way over the top for a daytime wedding which I assume it is? This borders on costume - surely there visa more appropriate formal day dress?

    It will be an evening wedding, which is why we decided to go that route.

    First, the tradition in the Navy is that the uniform of the day for a wedding is whatever your bride wants it to be. The uniform you linked to is not our full dress, but our winter mess dress and usually worn for evening social events like an evening wedding, ball, dining out, etc.. Full dress would be service dress blue with medals, sword and gloves:

    http://www.public.navy.mil/bupers-np...DressBlue.aspx

    Either way, wear what your bride wants you to wear.

    As for the shoes, the Leeds are the ones to get. You can wear them with this and any other uniform that requires black shoes. If you are a SWO you can even wear them with your khakis. I know plenty of Navy and USMC officers who wear shoes other than the Bates sold at the NEX/MCX.

    -Navy Officer, 22 years of service.


    And you sir are correct on that full-dress distinction. Full dress would likely be appropriate for a morning event, I think. The option I linked to though is the "formal dress", which is the white tie variant of dinner dress. It uses a different shirt, and has a vest instead of a cummerbund. I'll actually still be using the black bow tie from the dinner dress, but we wanted this option to avoid the "tacky" gold cummerbund. The event will be black-tie, overall. Thanks for the input!
     
  13. USAF - 1

    USAF - 1 Member

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    Apr 24, 2011
    Location:
    Bay Area, CA
    You can get them in brown, but they have to be custom made. ($125 extra). I actually do own a pair of brown Leeds that I got second hand a while back from an old retired pilot that happened to be my exact size. I had them recrafted and they're holding up pretty well. I used to wear them all the time with the Aviation Working Green uniform before that got cut this past december. Damn shame. Now, if only AE could also make them in White, then I finally get rid of those awful white Bates shoes. I generally don't like patent leather either, but those clean lines on the kendall are pretty appealing. That said, based on the overwhelming consensus that a well polished Leeds is indeed appropriate for the occasion, I will follow your advice and stick with Leeds!
    Agreed. The Kendall does look very nice. I also considered them. However, I think you are making the right call, the Leeds are much more versatile. As an aside - good for you for wearing aviation green. I was stationed at both NAS Oceana and Fallon and in four years I saw that uniform being worn twice. Very sharp, and it's a shame they retired it. In the Air Force we have almost no options. It's blues with the horrendous coat, or no coat, or ABUs. Mess dress is okay, but nothing like the Navy's.
     
  14. maxnharry

    maxnharry Senior member

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    It will be an evening wedding, which is why we decided to go that route.



    And you sir are correct on that full-dress distinction. Full dress would likely be appropriate for a morning event, I think. The option I linked to though is the "formal dress", which is the white tie variant of dinner dress. It uses a different shirt, and has a vest instead of a cummerbund. I'll actually still be using the black bow tie from the dinner dress, but we wanted this option to avoid the "tacky" gold cummerbund. The event will be black-tie, overall. Thanks for the input!


    That sounds perfect. Congratulations to you and your wife to be!
     
  15. Kent Wang

    Kent Wang Senior member Dubiously Honored Affiliate Vendor

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    Here is a direct quote from the Marine Corps uniform regs: 3. Male Dress Shoes. (see fig. 3-2). Officers' dress black shoes will be either oxford or chukka boot in style and may be either the bal- or blucher-type. Looks like balmorals are good to go.
    Maybe there's a similar rule for the Navy to allow wearing bals? If that's possible, I think a balmoral would be more preferable to a blucher. I was best man (civilian) at my friend's naval wedding. Are you going to do the sword arch"”and slap the bride across the butt after she passes with one of the swords? Cause that's what happened at that wedding and it was pretty great. Also, I have seen Top Gun over a dozen times.
     
  16. maxnharry

    maxnharry Senior member

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    Maybe there's a similar rule for the Navy to allow wearing bals? If that's possible, I think a balmoral would be more preferable to a blucher. I was best man (civilian) at my friend's naval wedding. Are you going to do the sword arch—and slap the bride across the butt after she passes with one of the swords? Cause that's what happened at that wedding and it was pretty great. Also, I have seen Top Gun over a dozen times.
    The verse and chapter from the uniform regs is: Description and Wear of Uniform Components Shoes, Dress (Black/Brown/White) (Male) Article 3501.54 a. Males. Plain toed, oxford style black, brown, or white, low quarter, lace shoe, made of smooth leather or synthetic leather. The heel shall be an outside heel 3/4 inch - 7/8 inch high with a flat sole. [​IMG] The uniform regs don't seem to know that an oxford is not the shoe in the picture. I agree a balmoral would be better, but think regularly wearing them in uniform on other occasions would be a problem. Most naval officers would recognize that the shoes were "wrong" (though technically in compliance) from what everyone wears. It could pose a problem for a young naval aviator. For an older officer, no problem. I knew an Admiral who would wear custom uniforms from Naples, black leather belt (a no-no) and C&J shoes, but he was an exception (and an Admiral). If they don't do the complete sword arch, with the pat, they're doing it wrong.
     
  17. xudisco07

    xudisco07 Senior member

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    My father always wore the Leeds with his. He also had wide feet, so there were not many options that were in EEE.
     

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