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Shoes for Black Tie Wedding: AE Leeds or Kenilworth?

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by blazikenburns, Oct 19, 2015.

  1. blazikenburns

    blazikenburns New Member

    Messages:
    1
    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2013
    I'm going to a Black Tie wedding in December. My first ever black tie event!

    Here's the thing: I own no black dress shoes. I've got brown shoes and boots of many stripes (wingtip bluchers, brogued cap toes, split toes, chukkas...), but I'm a grad student/teacher and never have cause to wear a suit or business attire.

    So, I need shoes to go with a tux, but I don't want to go for patent or pumps. I want calf shoes that I can polish up for this, but work as black dress shoes thereafter. I'm aware that oxfords are preferable to bluchers/derbies, but from what I can tell, nowadays a plain blucher is basically ok. Besides, I have very wide feet and find bluchers more comfortable.

    I can pick up AE Kenilworths or Leeds from the shoebank in my size for basically a song, so I want to stick to one of those.

    AE's description of the Kenilworth explicitly mentions it as a tuxedo shoe, but most people seem to think that the Leeds is a more casual shoe. To me, they look like they could be worn more or less interchangeably; they're both very plain, unadorned bluchers. The Leeds has a thicker sole, which I suppose is more casual. But honestly, I have a more or less athletic physique with wide shoulders and large thighs and calfs, and I think excessively sleek shoes look anemic on me.

    Mostly, I find AE's 1 last a lot more comfortable and suitable to my feet than the 5 last, so I'm inclined to go with the Leeds, though I acknowledge it is the less traditional choice. I am mostly looking for people to caution me if this is way off base, and that the Kenilworth is much more appropriate in a black tie situation.
     
  2. theplayerking

    theplayerking Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    67
    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2015
    Location:
    Manhattan
    I own both styles. Neither is, strictly speaking, appropriate for black tie (but you know that already). The Leeds is a very substantial (some might say bulky) shoe. Both are extremely comfortable and two of my all time favorites. If I were forced to choose, I would go with the Kenilworths.


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  3. BKBridge

    BKBridge Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    62
    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2015
    Location:
    Brooklyn, NY
    The kenilworth is as appropriate as you can get with an non-balmoral AE shoe. Pretty must the sleekist most formal derby they offer, I frequently wear with a suit. The leeds is way too clunky/casual for black tie imho.
     
  4. theplayerking

    theplayerking Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    67
    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2015
    Location:
    Manhattan
    Here is a side-by-side comparison. The welt is much larger on the Leeds. This is a Leeds 2.0, by the way, and not the one that's available at the ShoeBank.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2015

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