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square-toed black shoes

matadorpoeta

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there was a thread a while back where someone posted pics from a sears catalogue from the early 1900s. the drawings of men modeling suits showed them wearing square-toed black shoes, something many people on this board despise.

i went to the l.a. county museum of art on friday, and saw a painting from 1834, "alexander masterton and his wife and children" by the scotsman william hamilton.

the subject matter was a portrait of a nobleman or statesman with his wife, two daughters, and two boys. they are outiside in a park or the grounds of a large estate, next to a pond where the boys are fishing. they are all wearing square-toed black shoes.

i just thought i'd mention this because i know there are some people who seek historical justification for their opinions on clothing and matters of style.

here's a link to see shoes from that period: http://collectionsonline.lacma.org/m...500791&type=70

edited for accuracy.
 

Morris

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Originally Posted by matadorpoeta
there was a thread a while back where someone posted pics from a sears catalogue from the early 1900s. the drawings of men modeling suits showed them wearing square-toed black shoes, something many people on this board despise.


Very nice post. However, it is somewhat of a blanket statement to say many here despise square-toed black shoes. I find there is a sea of difference between these ... one elegant, the other not.

RLPL Mackay / EG



Kenneth Cole New Yorker

 

matadorpoeta

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many here like 'chiseled toe' shoes, but detest the stacy adams/kenneth cole square shoes.
 

Jovan

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I don't like chisel-toes... but yeah, overly squared toes are bad.
 

acidboy

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the exaggerated kenneth cole types are sometimes referred to as duckbill toes, to differentiate themselves from the proper chisel-cut square toe shoes.
 

matadorpoeta

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Originally Posted by acidicboy
the exaggerated kenneth cole types are sometimes referred to as duckbill toes, to differentiate themselves from the proper chisel-cut square toe shoes.

the point of this thread is that there is nothing more proper about a chisel-toe than there is about a flat-out square toe, at least not in the historical sense.

the point here is that while everyone here may dislike the square-toe, or 'duckbill', it has an historical precedent.

i bring this up only because there are certain members here, who when involved in a discussion about whether or not a certain look is 'correct', seek to justify their position by using historical precedents.

 

tiger02

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I would group this in the same category as "won't wear jeans because Cary Grant didn't." Historical precedent is only one datum; current suitability and objective aesthetics are IMO more important.

Tom
 

Luc-Emmanuel

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I don't think these KC look that bad. Maybe too much of a sole extension.

!luc
 

turbozed

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I don't know if I'd agree with the whole "objective aesthetic" argument. Just based on what we know from history, fashion seems to be one of the things that changes frequently. Who is to say what looks objectively better? Most of it is just social norms and subjective beliefs. Square toed shoes are still very popular sellers so a lot of people still wear them and they don't buy them thinking "my god these are objectively ugly but oh well...." Of course, there are some styles that will stand the test of time better than others. Maybe squared toes fit into this category. Aesthetics are almost always subjective.
 

tiger02

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Originally Posted by turbozed
I don't know if I'd agree with the whole "objective aesthetic" argument. Just based on what we know from history, fashion seems to be one of the things that changes frequently. Who is to say what looks objectively better? Most of it is just social norms and subjective beliefs. Square toed shoes are still very popular sellers so a lot of people still wear them and they don't buy them thinking "my god these are objectively ugly but oh well...." Of course, there are some styles that will stand the test of time better than others. Maybe squared toes fit into this category. Aesthetics are almost always subjective.
You're right, I worded that poorly. To my eye, some things look better than others, such as long sensuous curves over blocky angles. There are some exceptions; shoes are not one.
 

StevenRocks

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Square-toed Kenneth Coles are very "5 years ago." Quality shoes shouldn't seem as dated as they do, so that's a good sign that they are not quality shoes.
 

kronik

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I have a couple of square-toed loafers that I wear as work shoes - Ecco and Steve Madden. I avoid wearing my nicer shoes to work because I have a tendency of scratching them on my darn chair for some reason. But I digress.

Square toes are not nearly as nice as the chiseled toe - a fact that I've discovered in the past months when presented with JLs, EGs, hell, any decent mid-to-high end shoe. They serve their purpose but I wouldn't suggest ever paying 200 bucks for one.. much nicer (read: sexier) can be had at that price point.
 

josepidal

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Originally Posted by Morris
Very nice post. However, it is somewhat of a blanket statement to say many here despise square-toed black shoes. I find there is a sea of difference between these ... one elegant, the other not.

RLPL Mackay / EG



Kenneth Cole New Yorker


I think there's something rather sacriligeous in calling an 888 last shoe a "square toed black shoe" and posting it with a Kenneth Cole duckbill monstrosity.

Then again, I suppose you could say that SF and GQ.com are both fora where you get advice about clothing, so a rose by any other name...
 

Jovan

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Calm down, jose. He said himself that there's a difference between them. One is tacky, the other not. Both of them ARE technically squared off.
 

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