Funny enough I went with the SIMPSON first because I was able to try it on in multiple sizes at a Barneys (seems like ages ago now since it was almost a full year before they went under).to my eye, both look too large for you based on these pics. Interesting to hear you sized up for Simpson when based on your description above you Could probably have stayed on an 8.
you don’t HAVE to close the facing on an Oxford, it’s not a competition and a 1cm gap at the top to secure a better fit elsewhere is absolutely the better choice
I’d suggest trying half size down on the Simpson and letting your toes stretch out the front a little.
or look at the Artista line from TLB mallorca which are lower in volume
I could squeeze my foot into 8 UK SIMPSON, but as a new shoe the facing gaped, like a lot. It was kind of hard to tie them, and it was a bit painful to have the facings at anything less than 2 cm. It was also hard to tell if my toes would feel comfortable over time. Since then I have moved to socks that are about 1 mm thinner, so that might have changed things, but don't want to deal with the return process. However, based on my overall foot, I don't know that the rest of my foot will necessarily be comfortable in an 8 UK Simpson.
To add more background to it all, my Brannock sizing is 9.5 D US almost all around (really closer to 9.25 D in width). Got sized at an AE once and they said go with a 9.5 in 65 Last, but that creases worse than the Carmina RAIN (has a lot of room over the vamp). I tried a 9 D US in the 65 Last (pre-owned) and that fit my foot so much better (almost doesn't crease at all). Can't lace it up any tighter than 1.3 cm, but as you said it's not a competition (and frankly even the 9.5 D AEs
don't lace tighter than 1.1 cm).
Should also add, that at least for the SIMPSON Model, the creasing looks worse in the picture than it does in person. As I look at it in person, the worst of the creasing appears to be where the cap toe line would be. The vamp actually doesn't look too bad, and I suspect with more pieces there will be less flex points (as it is my experience that plain toe shoes and oxfords crease a lot because they're cut with extra room).
Funny enough, the next pair of shoes I plan to buy are TLB Mallorca Artista Suede, on the Goya in size 8 UK. But the next two pairs of shoes I plan on buying are a balmoral style boot with rubber soles (for the rain, for whenever I'm back at work with a suit) and another Carmina shoe - don't know what order yet.
Thank you @shrink1061 for the feedback. At a minimum you're helping me lean towards SIMPSON...and giving me second thoughts about going up a half size....the really scary part is figuring out my size in G&G and EG.
Recently ordered a pair of G&G from a store in SF. I plan on returning them, and bought them purely to see my size, for future reference. Got the Sinatra TG73 Last in 8.5 UK, we'll see how that goes.