Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by Mr. Moo, Feb 28, 2011.
Both beat me to it. Was going to reference you and your last work on shell.
Interesting. I assumed that shell shoes were usually of higher quality and thus suited to formal wear as much as, if not more, than calf. I understand the sentiment about not wanting to hide the patina of shell, but since my loafers are already black, is there really any patina or depth to be had?
Patina and black = no.
I really like black shoes. When others wear them. Look much better than brown under a suit usually. But I just cant bring myself to buy them an the colour is just, well, plain black..
I do think black shell can have a nice 'depth' though. Give them a good polishing but don't overdo it is my advice.
Shell is thicker than calf and more 'robust'. Therefore, imo, its more suited for (semi) casual boots than for elegant dress shoes.
Awesome shine but I don't have the patience to do any of that shine on shell, especially when they gets dull/collects dust within 5 mins of wear...
Shell is not formal.
Just because you don't have the patience doesn't mean it can't be done.
I've read many warnings against using products containing turpentine on shell, yet many people swear by using Reno on their cordovan. A smaller percentage say they use wax polish. Has anyone ever done damage to their shell with Reno or wax polish?
Polishing my shells with Reno and wax polish is a relaxing hobby for me but after reading that I should use both sparingly and that the turpentine in both products is bad for the leather I'm getting a bit nervous. I understand Saphir makes cordovan cream polish but I'm referring specifically to Reno and wax polish.
Anyone have thoughts on this?
You will be fine... Nick from Horween recommends Venetian cream for Cordovan which has turpentine...
Shell is not of higher quality than calf, it's just a different leather.
In fairness, that depends on your definition of quality. A definition has to be presented before one can be picked.
If quality is equitable to durability and longevity, shell is much higher quality than calf.
If quality speaks towards presentation or appearance, they can just be called different leathers for different purposes.
If quality speaks towards rarity, shell wins again.
If quality speaks towards difficulty and level of hand-work in manufactering, I think shell wins again.
If quality is regarding the formality (higher quality?) of clothing that it can be worn with, it seems that calf wins.
Some consider ease of maintentance to be reflective of higher quality. Many say that they find shell to be higher maintenance that calf, but those who subscribe to the Mac Method probably say that it is much easier to maintain than calf.
Will shoes darkened with dark shoe cream fade back to its original colour over time? Will constant brushing hasten the fading back to its original colour?
What is it about shell that makes it less formal than calf? Is it because it is stiffer?
I don't find shell to be generally less formal than calf. Assuming parity in design and execution, shell will be every bit as formal as a calf equivalent.
If by formal one is referring to black tie, perhaps, but not in the greater spectrum of dress footwear.
Here are a few links on the formality of shell vs. calf:
Shell is generally regarded as less appropriate for the type of shine that looks good on calf, as well as giving the appearance of being heavier and more rugged.
I will check out those links when I am off my tablet, but I'll just say that I have seen a great many shell shoes that look entirely appropriate with a suit, and never once thought the material alone would render them less appropriate than calf.
Design has vastly more to do with the level of formality than material - at least, as between shell and calf.
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