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Starting a shoe collection...

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by bigbadbuff, Jul 21, 2004.

  1. bigbadbuff

    bigbadbuff Distinguished Member

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    My interest in shoes has grown immensly over the past few months... hence I am going to replace a lot of my current shoes with higher-end basics. Of course, my definition of basics will be different from everyone else's, which is what I would like opinions on. Let's say you wanted to build your 'shoe wardrobe', 6-8 pairs, for most any occasion. What would yours be? I'm looking for style, brand if you like, pics, etc. Mine would be these: Alden [​IMG] Ferragamo [​IMG] Puma [​IMG] RLPL Whittakers J&M [​IMG] Ferragamo [​IMG]
     


  2. Tom

    Tom Senior Member

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    My personal opinion is...
    I like the black cap toes, but as for the rest? Why bother?
    If you are going to buy casual shoes, I'd say get the most comfortable, or most activity appropriate good leather footwear available. Birkenstock, Dansko, Filson (boots), Clarks, etc...
    As for sneakers, my opinion is get the right pair for your sport, and never wear sneakers at any other time.
    I suppose I don't really see the need to own casual shoes by Alden or Ferragamo. I also think that slip-ons with little metal decorations are a bit tacky. But I suppose that is the beauty of style... different folks, different tastes.

    -Tom
     


  3. johnnynorman3

    johnnynorman3 Distinguished Member

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    Black cap-toes -- gotta have a pair.
    The Whittakers -- love them obviously. Hopefully Bluefly will get more sizes in.
    The Aldens -- I like the Norweigens, but they just seem to stylish/dressy to constitute a "basic" when you put a commando sole on them. Why not just go with the full leather sole/combination heel and make it your second pair of black dress shoes?
    The J & M -- I like the style for jeans. My favorite casual shoe maker might be Paraboot, though I've never been able to find anything in my size. Take a look at that brand -- lots of cool casual styles.
    The Pumas -- I think the New Balance 991 are so much more old school. The Pumas look like a cross between indoor soccer shoes and Tod's.
    The bit loafers -- I hate the metal detailing. I agree that it is a bit tacky.
     


  4. STYLESTUDENT

    STYLESTUDENT Distinguished Member

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    I think the Alden Norwegian cordovans are shown in dark burgundy, which I'd personally prefer to black anyway, as more casual and as more original "cordovan". But you're buying the shoe, not me.

    I don't have experience with the durability of Ferragamos, but I have the same style black captoe in the C&J Whitehall, which I know will last. Maybe another forum member can tell you if Ferragamo wears well.

    The brown Purple Label captoe shoes are outstanding.
     


  5. Keith T

    Keith T TWAT Master.

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    BBB,

    Gosh, I like these type of questions, but its just so hard to make a blanket statement of what every guy needs.

    If you're talking about the specific shoes pictured, then only you can make a final determination...you know what your own budget is, how they fit in with the clothes already in your closet, what your work environment is like, etc. But I got from the tone of your question that you would like opinions on the style or content that should fill out the initial, basic shoe wardrobe of someone starting from scratch.

    I think you have established a good starting point for the average guy. I would get dressy black lace-ups to start...cap-toe for myself, but a plain toe, Norwegian, or even wing-tip might work best for others....and make them the best that you could afford. You have got to have that one pair that you can start with that are rock-solid-last you more than a decade-no doubt about it-I am dressing up-shoes.

    From there, if you wear suits to work, the next purcase should probably be a brown or cordovan lace-up that are also seriously dressy. If work is casual, then a nice loafer might be in order. But you would want something substantial to rotate with your black pair.

    As an aside, when it comes to dress shoes, you are either a slip-on guy or you're not. I'm not much of a slip-on guy. I have one pair of tassel shoes that I would ever consider wearing with a suit, for instance, and I usually only wear them with sportcoats. I'm more of a lace-up guy when it comes to wearing suits.

    After that, personality really has to take over. Casual shoes are really directed towards whatever the casual activity is, if I may state the obvious. If you go clubbing a lot, then you'd probably go with a funky slip on, or Chelseas, perhaps sneakers if you are more the active type. The rugged among us may select something like the lug soles you pictured, or a boot, maybe chukkas. I do think its a good idea for most everybody to have something of an all-weather shoe, whether Paraboot, Timberland, Rockport, etc. with comfort and durability being paramount.

    I think that particluar pair of Ferragamos will look dated before too long, but the horse-bit style in general is probably a good casual shoe for most guys. I've been looking for the right pair myself for a while now.

    Possibilities become endless, but suffice it to say the prepsters will gravitate towards penny loafers. Athletic types will want more trainers. Bad thing about it is, you really can get hooked on buying shoes, especially the high-end types that the clothesies around here tend to favor.
     


  6. ernest

    ernest Distinguished Member

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    Puma are not to bad...
     


  7. BjornH

    BjornH Senior Member

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    I love the Aldens - great choice. I'm not that excited about the others.

    B
     


  8. discostu004

    discostu004 Affiliate vendor

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    i like the aldens, they look like the first pair of mantellassis i bought. advice: get the best you can afford and build up instead of spending on some that, in a year or so after you maybe make a little more $$, you'll want to replace.
    just my $.02
     


  9. johnnynorman3

    johnnynorman3 Distinguished Member

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    What about the Whittakers? It sucks that they are out, but I assume they'll be back SOMEDAY.

    Bjorn, you must admit that a pair of black cap-toes is a necessity though, right? Maybe the Ferragamos are not the greatest bang for your buck, but at least the style is indispensible IMO.

    I also agree that the shoe purchase should be a bit forward thinking. If you KNOW that you will be making x amount of dollars in the next 1.0 year or so, I think your shoe purchase should be made as if you were making that money NOW -- unless of course you currently don't have the funds to make such a purchase (you don't want to be racking up needless credit card interest).
     


  10. BjornH

    BjornH Senior Member

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    Oh - didn't look at the Whittakers. They are stunning and I suppose the Pumas would look good on my feet as well.

    The J&Ms look clunky to me but the rest are presentable but don't turn me on in any way. For example, black captoes can never look exciting and sexy - one will have to use other yardsticks for them like quality or comfort.

    B
     


  11. itzamazing

    itzamazing Senior Member

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    The Ferragamo slip-ons are currently on sale at Saks for $117, plus an extra 10% off. The NYC store had a few pairs left, I saw a size 8.5 and 12. I'm sure what is left will be gone by the end of the day today, it was pretty crowded.
     


  12. bigbadbuff

    bigbadbuff Distinguished Member

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    It's funny that everyone pretty much dislikes the bit loafer Ferragamos... I only included them b/c I bought them off Ebay last year [​IMG] I really liked them at the time but am less thrilled now that my long term tastes are developing. They, along with several pairs of Kenneth Coles, will be going on Ebay very soon.
     


  13. VMan

    VMan Distinguished Member

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    What size are they? I am interested in the Ferragamos.
     


  14. brescd01

    brescd01 Senior Member

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    Where did those Aldens come from? Those are a LOT nicer looking than the Norwegian displayed in their on-line catalogue: can anyone explain?
     


  15. jcusey

    jcusey Distinguished Member Dubiously Honored

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    They're from Alden of Carmel. Adam Knott, the proprietor, has quite a selection of custom make-ups.
     


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