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THE OFFICIAL ALDEN THREAD FOR 2020 - SHARE REVIEWS, SIZING, ADVICE, AND PHOTOS.

James1051

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Well in my day we didn’t do business casual.. most put on the dog.. after all it was the apparel business.. think Alden Crockett & Jones. I mostly rolled in the Alden Tassel loafers Shell. Workhorse shoes if you’re not in a courtroom.
retirement.. ahh LHSes and augment Tassels with Suede and Chromexel..both Alden and C&J boots.. lots of antique welts. do it.. there’s plenty to do.. yes we traveled a lot before the vid. Thankfully we had just returned from Viking River Cruise Switzerland to Amsterdam when we shut down.. was splendid and can’t wait to do it again.. my 2 cents.. good luck.. my wife had already tossed in the towel so not an issue.. she might have preferred being retired with me still running the business.. lol .. no chance
I started working in the very early 90s so I lived through the casualization of the workplace. For me, I really noticed it when casual Fridays went from no tie or jacket to chinos and then to jeans and sneakers. These days, it seems most people wear pajamas to work or athleisurewear; I simply can't do it.

Last August '19 in Amsterdam and London and then in London again in December for my mother-in-law's 80th (she really wanted to go but not by herself so my wife and I took her mom for the grand tour).

At least I know I am on the correct shoe path having recently acquired Carmina dark brown suede PTBs with a dainite sole and the next purchase will probably be Alden snuff suede chukkas. No tassels for me (that is all my 78 year old father and 74 year uncle wear) but maybe some LHS to round out the collection.

Thanks for the advice.
My career was suit/tie 5 days a week. Company would send people home to "dress appropriately" if one didn't have a coat/tie and showed up. Then the late 1990's hit and all of a sudden people were showing up
"casual" on Fridays, then Thursday and Wednesday and then all the time. The "old timers", myself included, continued to wear a suit/tie. By the time I retired 4 yrs ago, there was no longer an effort to dress "business like". It amazed me that people in the financial services industry, would dress so casual, sometimes more casual than their clients. I had more than one potential client tell me, I don't trust that guy (when talking about an advisor), he's wearing jeans and sneakers.......Oh well, I'm out of there and they can figure it out on their own now, but at least I can still wear decent footwear....
As a guy who started working professionally in the 70s, I have enjoyed reading the comments of some of my contemporaries about the transition away from business dress. I am in court or depositions maybe 50% of all work days, this is the case now and has been for decades, but until about 15 years ago, say 2005-ish, it was business suit 5 days/week. It was expected, and all I had in my closet frankly. For shoes, it was 1 black bal, 1 brown bal, and 1 black tassel. I still think of that as the core of a business footwear wardrobe.

Now, I still wear bus. suits about half of the time, I love a nice suit, that will never change for me. But I have worked more shoes and loafers into the suit rotation. But for the other 50% of the time, I have built a new wardrobe around sport coats and odd trousers that I truly enjoy as much as the suits, and have really expanded the footwear to include boots and bluchers and suede loafers! Thanks Alden (and AE)!! No dress sneakers or white cup sole "casual" stuff here. Its my issue, no judgment intended.

I too have observed many of my younger colleagues trying to pass off Just Rolled Outta Bed Saturday Morning Casual as business casual on their No Court days. It is a big fail, to me, but its their choice and I'm not gonna be the dress code guy. I dress for me, they can do what they want, its a free country. I do think they are missing a great opportunity to enjoy wonderful jackets trousers and shoes!
 

audog

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As a guy who started working professionally in the 70s, I have enjoyed reading the comments of some of my contemporaries about the transition away from business dress. I am in court or depositions maybe 50% of all work days, this is the case now and has been for decades, but until about 15 years ago, say 2005-ish, it was business suit 5 days/week. It was expected, and all I had in my closet frankly. For shoes, it was 1 black bal, 1 brown bal, and 1 black tassel. I still think of that as the core of a business footwear wardrobe.

Now, I still wear bus. suits about half of the time, I love a nice suit, that will never change for me. But I have worked more shoes and loafers into the suit rotation. But for the other 50% of the time, I have built a new wardrobe around sport coats and odd trousers that I truly enjoy as much as the suits, and have really expanded the footwear to include boots and bluchers and suede loafers! Thanks Alden (and AE)!! No dress sneakers or white cup sole "casual" stuff here. Its my issue, no judgment intended.

I too have observed many of my younger colleagues trying to pass off Just Rolled Outta Bed Saturday Morning Casual as business casual on their No Court days. It is a big fail, to me, but its their choice and I'm not gonna be the dress code guy. I dress for me, they can do what they want, its a free country. I do think they are missing a great opportunity to enjoy wonderful jackets trousers and shoes!
Excellent post!
Since retirement, I must admit, I am jeans/casual 95% of the time. I can't bring myself to get rid of a closet full of suits, sport coats, odd trousers though. I do like a good suit, but kind of silly to wear around the house, so I have adopted casual, not Just Rolled Outta Bed casual, but more than I ever have before.
 

Shawnc

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Very interesting conversation about office attire. Coming from a financially poor family/community (youngest of 5, first to go to college) wearing a suit as a newly minted bean-counter made me feel accomplished. And there was an undeniable look of pride on my mothers face every time she saw me in one. After about 10 years the luster had worn off and I was ecstatic when offices started transitioning to bus cas. Though my bus cas and that of some of my younger colleagues are quite different. My problem is that I around 6 years ago I stumbled on to a shoe made of shell cordovan. Up to that point I only knew cordovan as a color. Like many, once I got my first hit I became instantly addicted. Now that I'm roughly 3-4 years from retirement, I will never wear my shoes to the point where they age like I prefer. Sheesh, 1st world problems. Pre-pandemic, I had decided to begin liquidating some pretty special pieces to wind down the collection. Markets understandably soft right now and I'm not looking to do a fire sale. Which leads me to the reason of this post. I love my shoe rack but every few months it requires a proper dusting. To do so involves removing all the shoes/boots. Took a glance down and thought, geeze, that is way too many shoes (also thought of Mr. G for some reason) ...........
20201024_140242.jpg


The really scary part is that this doesn't include 2 of 3 areas used for overflow........

20201024_140311.jpg
20201024_141036.jpg


And the really scary thing is that with all of this, I am still likely below the mean on this site.

Lastly, here is the rack after-cleaning......

20201024_140921.jpg


Believe it not, there is a method to the placement. Every shoe/boot is strategically located on the rack and floor. The important thing is that I am aware that I need help.
 

AHS

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Morning gentlemen,

This is my Alden story (so far)... and apologies in advance for the long post.

In summer 2019, my life and work changed dramatically: I was back full time in Northern California and now working for myself. After a decade of wearing suits every day in stuffy, professional settings — I was now in sportcoats, the occasional knit tie, and casual trousers. I looked at my collection of Edward Green dress shoes and realized I just didn’t want them anymore. Beautiful shoes... but they also represented a part of my life I was happily turning away from and hoped to never return.

Nearly twelve months ago I made a commitment to try Aldens again. But this time I would take a very different and more disciplined approach than I had in the past. I followed a few key pieces of advice I had read on this thread:

(1) First and foremost, I needed to understand and accept that “fit is king.” I have unusually long, narrow feet and the occasional Aldens I picked up on eBay over the years (in a typical B/D width) never fit me well. Working with the Alden shop here in San Francisco, I discovered a fantastic fit with the Barrie last in an 11 AA/B. While no other Alden last fits me as well and comfortably as the Barrie, I can live with that as I really am prioritized on my two favorite styles - LWBs and PTBs - and I am happy to stay on the Barrie last.

(2) I decided I would rather have fix or six pairs I love than 10, 15, 25+ I like. (Yes I would rather have 25+ pairs I love but let’s see how the next few years unfurl...)

(3) I committed to being disciplined and focusing on pairs I really wanted. Even if that meant waiting long periods of time and resisting the urge to buy a great used pair on the Alden BST thread that won’t fit me well. This is easier said than done as 11 AA/B Barrie is not a standard stock size.

(4) I’ll end with some advice @mdubs shared with me a while back re how to buy Aldens in narrow sizes. He suggested I build a relationship with my local San Francisco store and just learn to be patient. These wise words from our mayor have been incredibly helpful.

So here is where I am today.

901 Black calf captoes. Hampton 11.5 AA/B.

F9D6BCF5-7781-4A12-AC6A-5BEF6A87C04D.jpeg


The one exception to my rules above. But they are handsome and I figure I still need a pair of black shoes. Fit is ok.

990 #8 Shell PTBs. Barrie 11 AA/B

A3044E26-F574-45F9-B4DE-AB2A1473477D.jpeg


Was able to acquire these immediately almost a year ago as Alden SF had a pair in stock. Color hasn’t changed yet as I have worn them only a handful of times during the pandemic. Such perfect shoes.

D5511 #8 Shell LWBs. Barrie 11 AA/B


B9A66512-540D-4357-B188-3CC59EBFAE3C.jpeg


These just arrived a few weeks ago from Brick + Mortar. I really wanted #8 LWBs with the antique edge. Took a long, long time as production was halted during the factory closure.

9794 Snuff Suede LWBs. Barrie 11 AA/B

30C65153-8E51-4F62-A862-D1188B5AB339.jpeg


Another pair from Alden SF. Again, had to wait a long while - nearly a year! - between placing an order, waiting for production to begin, and then the restart after the factory reopened. But well worth the wait.

979 Burnished Tan LWBs. Barrie 11 AA/B


62836A55-AA0D-4E08-9894-934DEAD0973D.jpeg


I was able to get these right away as Alden found a pair for me at the factory. My go-to knock-around pair.

That is it for now - at least until a grail pair of PTBs I ordered arrive sometime in early 2021. Next up may be another pair of LWBs or maybe boots? I am always up for suggestions.

Finally, I want to thank all of you who post on this thread. We know the outside world can be challenging, especially in these difficult times.... But your photos, thoughts, and often occasional moments of kindness and humor are a very welcome respite.

AHS
 
Last edited:

woofmang

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Very interesting conversation about office attire. Coming from a financially poor family/community (youngest of 5, first to go to college) wearing a suit as a newly minted bean-counter made me feel accomplished. And there was an undeniable look of pride on my mothers face every time she saw me in one. After about 10 years the luster had worn off and I was ecstatic when offices started transitioning to bus cas. Though my bus cas and that of some of my younger colleagues are quite different. My problem is that I around 6 years ago I stumbled on to a shoe made of shell cordovan. Up to that point I only knew cordovan as a color. Like many, once I got my first hit I became instantly addicted. Now that I'm roughly 3-4 years from retirement, I will never wear my shoes to the point where they age like I prefer. Sheesh, 1st world problems. Pre-pandemic, I had decided to begin liquidating some pretty special pieces to wind down the collection. Markets understandably soft right now and I'm not looking to do a fire sale. Which leads me to the reason of this post. I love my shoe rack but every few months it requires a proper dusting. To do so involves removing all the shoes/boots. Took a glance down and thought, geeze, that is way too many shoes (also thought of Mr. G for some reason) ...........
View attachment 1483582

The really scary part is that this doesn't include 2 of 3 areas used for overflow........

View attachment 1483583View attachment 1483584

And the really scary thing is that with all of this, I am still likely below the mean on this site.

Lastly, here is the rack after-cleaning......

View attachment 1483587

Believe it not, there is a method to the placement. Every shoe/boot is strategically located on the rack and floor. The important thing is that I am aware that I need help.
That's not that many... ;)
 

woofmang

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Morning gentlemen,

This is my Alden story (so far)... and apologies in advance for the long post.

In summer 2019, my life and work changed dramatically: I was back full time in Northern California and now working for myself. After a decade of wearing suits every day in stuffy, professional settings — I was now in sportcoats, the occasional knit tie, and casual trousers. I looked at my collection of Edward Green dress shoes and realized I just didn’t want them anymore. Beautiful shoes... but they also represented a part of my life I was happily turning away from and hoped to never return.

Nearly twelve months ago I made a commitment to try Aldens again. But this time I would take a very different and more disciplined approach than I had in the past. I followed a few key pieces of advice I had read on this thread:

(1) First and foremost, I needed to understand and accept that “fit is king.” I have unusually long, narrow feet and the occasional Aldens I picked up on eBay over the years (in a typical B/D width) never fit me well. Working with the Alden shop here in San Francisco, I discovered a fantastic fit with the Barrie last in an 11 AA/B. While no other Alden last fits me as well and comfortably as the Barrie, I can live with that as I really am prioritized on my top favorite styles - LWBs and PTBs - and I am happy to stay on the Barrie last.

(2) I decided I would rather have fix or six pairs I love than 10, 15, 25+ I like. (Yes I would rather have 25+ pairs I love but let’s see how the next few years unfurl...)

(3) I committed to being disciplined and focusing on pairs I really wanted. Even if that meant waiting long periods of time and resisting the urge to buy a great used pair on the Alden BST thread that won’t fit me well. This is easier said than done as 11 AA/B Barrie is not a standard stock size.

(4) I’ll end with some advice @mdubs shared with me a while back re how to buy Aldens in narrow sizes. He suggested I build a relationship with my local San Francisco store and just learn to be patient. These wise words from our mayor has proven to be incredibly helpful.

So here is where I am today.

901 Black calf captoes. Hampton 11.5 AA/B.

View attachment 1483489

The one exception to my rules above. But they are handsome and I figure I still need a pair of black shoes. Fit is ok.

990 #8 Shell PTBs. Barrie 11 AA/B

View attachment 1483487

Was able to acquire these immediately a year ago as Alden SF had a pair in stock. Color hasn’t changed yet as I have worn them only a handful of times during the pandemic. Such perfect shoes.

D5511 #8 Shell LWBs. Barrie 11 AA/B


View attachment 1483488

These just arrived a few weeks ago from Brick + Mortar. I really wanted #8 LWBs with the antique edge. Took a long, long time as production was halted during the factory closure.

9794 Snuff Suede LWBs. Barrie 11 AA/B

View attachment 1483486

Another pair from Alden SF. Again, had to wait a long time - nearly a year! - between placing an order, waiting for production to begin, and then the restart after the factory reopened. But well worth the wait!

979 Burnished Tan LWBs. Barrie 11 AA/B


View attachment 1483485

I was able to get these right away as Alden found a pair for me at the factory. My go-to knock-around pair.

That is it for now - at least until a grail pair of PTBs I ordered arrive sometime in early 2021. Next up may be another pair of LWBs or maybe boots? I am always up for suggestions.

Finally, I want to thank all of you who post on this thread. The outside world can be challenging in these difficult times.... But your photos, thoughts, and often occasional moments of kindness and humor are a very welcome respite.

AHS
Great story, and a great collection so far. Nice job!
 
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Shawnc

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Morning gentlemen,

This is my Alden story (so far)... and apologies in advance for the long post.

In summer 2019, my life and work changed dramatically: I was back full time in Northern California and now working for myself. After a decade of wearing suits every day in stuffy, professional settings — I was now in sportcoats, the occasional knit tie, and casual trousers. I looked at my collection of Edward Green dress shoes and realized I just didn’t want them anymore. Beautiful shoes... but they also represented a part of my life I was happily turning away from and hoped to never return.

Nearly twelve months ago I made a commitment to try Aldens again. But this time I would take a very different and more disciplined approach than I had in the past. I followed a few key pieces of advice I had read on this thread:

(1) First and foremost, I needed to understand and accept that “fit is king.” I have unusually long, narrow feet and the occasional Aldens I picked up on eBay over the years (in a typical B/D width) never fit me well. Working with the Alden shop here in San Francisco, I discovered a fantastic fit with the Barrie last in an 11 AA/B. While no other Alden last fits me as well and comfortably as the Barrie, I can live with that as I really am prioritized on my top favorite styles - LWBs and PTBs - and I am happy to stay on the Barrie last.

(2) I decided I would rather have fix or six pairs I love than 10, 15, 25+ I like. (Yes I would rather have 25+ pairs I love but let’s see how the next few years unfurl...)

(3) I committed to being disciplined and focusing on pairs I really wanted. Even if that meant waiting long periods of time and resisting the urge to buy a great used pair on the Alden BST thread that won’t fit me well. This is easier said than done as 11 AA/B Barrie is not a standard stock size.

(4) I’ll end with some advice @mdubs shared with me a while back re how to buy Aldens in narrow sizes. He suggested I build a relationship with my local San Francisco store and just learn to be patient. These wise words from our mayor has proven to be incredibly helpful.

So here is where I am today.

901 Black calf captoes. Hampton 11.5 AA/B.

View attachment 1483489

The one exception to my rules above. But they are handsome and I figure I still need a pair of black shoes. Fit is ok.

990 #8 Shell PTBs. Barrie 11 AA/B

View attachment 1483487

Was able to acquire these immediately a year ago as Alden SF had a pair in stock. Color hasn’t changed yet as I have worn them only a handful of times during the pandemic. Such perfect shoes.

D5511 #8 Shell LWBs. Barrie 11 AA/B


View attachment 1483488

These just arrived a few weeks ago from Brick + Mortar. I really wanted #8 LWBs with the antique edge. Took a long, long time as production was halted during the factory closure.

9794 Snuff Suede LWBs. Barrie 11 AA/B

View attachment 1483486

Another pair from Alden SF. Again, had to wait a long time - nearly a year! - between placing an order, waiting for production to begin, and then the restart after the factory reopened. But well worth the wait!

979 Burnished Tan LWBs. Barrie 11 AA/B


View attachment 1483485

I was able to get these right away as Alden found a pair for me at the factory. My go-to knock-around pair.

That is it for now - at least until a grail pair of PTBs I ordered arrive sometime in early 2021. Next up may be another pair of LWBs or maybe boots? I am always up for suggestions.

Finally, I want to thank all of you who post on this thread. The outside world can be challenging in these difficult times.... But your photos, thoughts, and often occasional moments of kindness and humor are a very welcome respite.

AHS
Just an incredible post. Discipline and planning is key and I absolutely agree that for me, less is better. If only I knew that back then.......
 

chipshot

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My father only wore black and 8 Tassels and a full 5-nail Wingtip collection in every colour. He considered Tassels as casual. Never saw the man in any pant that wasn’t finely tailored. Probably wouldn’t care for these ratty 501’s.
271BB62F-9EDF-4EF5-AB15-25CFA46B12B4.jpeg
 

H. E. Pennypacker

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Very interesting conversation about office attire. Coming from a financially poor family/community (youngest of 5, first to go to college) wearing a suit as a newly minted bean-counter made me feel accomplished. And there was an undeniable look of pride on my mothers face every time she saw me in one. After about 10 years the luster had worn off and I was ecstatic when offices started transitioning to bus cas. Though my bus cas and that of some of my younger colleagues are quite different. My problem is that I around 6 years ago I stumbled on to a shoe made of shell cordovan. Up to that point I only knew cordovan as a color. Like many, once I got my first hit I became instantly addicted. Now that I'm roughly 3-4 years from retirement, I will never wear my shoes to the point where they age like I prefer. Sheesh, 1st world problems. Pre-pandemic, I had decided to begin liquidating some pretty special pieces to wind down the collection. Markets understandably soft right now and I'm not looking to do a fire sale. Which leads me to the reason of this post. I love my shoe rack but every few months it requires a proper dusting. To do so involves removing all the shoes/boots. Took a glance down and thought, geeze, that is way too many shoes (also thought of Mr. G for some reason) ...........
View attachment 1483582

The really scary part is that this doesn't include 2 of 3 areas used for overflow........

View attachment 1483583View attachment 1483584

And the really scary thing is that with all of this, I am still likely below the mean on this site.

Lastly, here is the rack after-cleaning......

View attachment 1483587

Believe it not, there is a method to the placement. Every shoe/boot is strategically located on the rack and floor. The important thing is that I am aware that I need help.
wow! I love shoes and boots, but the decision-paralysis I would face every day. I also would be distraught not being able to wear all my shoes and boots as much as I’d like, bc I’d feel pressure to wear a different pair every day or every other day.
 

smfdoc

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Finally need to leave the house today. Grandkids.

6D542833-1F9F-4B4A-BE8B-06014276BF4D.jpeg
 

chipshot

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^ next up for my collection. Love the comfy look of the suede w/ the Wingtip. Very nice and super versatile I imagine.
 

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