The perfect penny loafers

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by TauKappaEpsilon, Apr 23, 2012.

  1. TauKappaEpsilon

    TauKappaEpsilon Senior member

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    Can you post a picture? I have the kenwoods and love them but mine are brown grain leather.
     


  2. bourbonbasted

    bourbonbasted Cyber Eliitist

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    All I have at the moment is an Instagram pic that doesn't show all that much...

    [​IMG]
     


  3. NotoriousMarquis

    NotoriousMarquis Senior member

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    Even beat up the sydney takes it for me. It's sleek, elegant, toe is a bit pointed, color is gorgeous.

    it just takes a clunky american idea and chucks it aside and the result is remarkable.
     
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2012


  4. lee_44106

    lee_44106 Senior member

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    Not bad with some wool trousers and 2" cuffs, but try wearing that sans socks and with shorts.............

    It would look weird and not remarkable.
     


  5. NotoriousMarquis

    NotoriousMarquis Senior member

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    I think that look is weird to begin with, but I can see what you mean. To be perfectly honest, though, I don't think that look is great with penny loafers at all, and looks better with tassel loafers, but can certainly understand the cultural role of penny loafers and shorts.
     


  6. Parker

    Parker Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    Is "skin-stitch" the term for the slightly rounded, rolled seam? I've heard the term "pie-crust" for the gathered, Weejun style stitch, which is what Rancourt seems to do too. I think that's what the Ivy diehards prefer.

    Would the skin stitch be more structured/stiff than the pie crust?
     
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2012


  7. TauKappaEpsilon

    TauKappaEpsilon Senior member

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    What is the difference between skin-stitch and pie-crust?
     


  8. F. Corbera

    F. Corbera Senior member

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    Imagine a plain toe blucher or derby. One smooth expanse of leather wrapping the toe and forefoot, going into the sole.

    Now, imagine the shoemaker. He takes needle and thread and begins to work stitches in the skin, the resulting pattern forming a "lake" on the foot bounded by the U of the stitched pattern.

    That is how a C&J or Alden penny is done. One piece of leather with a decorative skin stitch. (The upper is stitched up before the sole is attached, so don't take the visualization above literally.)

    Now think of a moccasin. In its most simple form, it is three pieces of leather: the sole, the U shaped lake, and a strip of leather wrapped around the perimeter of the foot and joined either at the toe or at the heel. The is a "Norwegian" or WeeJun. They still make this shoe in Norway, and it inspired the refined, royal Wildsmith as well as the the egalitarian, American WeeJun.

    So: the "perfect" penny is, to me, a WeeJun variant with the lake a separate piece of leather. The perimeter stitching loosens with wear and you end the shoe's life with a length of duct tape.

    The more urbane Wildsmith version is also great...just not perfect.
     
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2012


  9. ethanm

    ethanm Senior member

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    I see 100,000 pennies, don't you?
     


  10. cptjeff

    cptjeff Senior member

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    Sewing awls are wonderful things.

    And I'm wearing a beat up pair of bass weejuns right now. Not the nicest, but a lot of shoe for the price.
     


  11. emptym

    emptym Moderator Moderator

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    Isn't a moccasin constructed with two pieces?: the "lake" and a large piece (shaped, I know not how) that forms both the sole (or insole if there's an additional sole) and the "perimeter wrap." That at least is what I think of when I read "true moccasin construction." Of course a moccasin could have all kinds of other pieces (a heel reinforcement, etc.)

    And regarding the origin, aren't moccasins a Native American invention? Did Norwegians add the penny strap? For some reason, I'm getting deja vu, but I don't remember how this ends.
     
    Last edited: May 23, 2017


  12. alankford

    alankford Member

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    Bass Weejuns are hard to beat. Classic cheap and durable.
     


  13. F. Corbera

    F. Corbera Senior member

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    The gifts of our colors may be different, but God has so placed us as to journey in the same path.
     


  14. TauKappaEpsilon

    TauKappaEpsilon Senior member

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    I'd like to know what makes a "true moccasin" as well. I've never fully understood what they are. I really like the idea of mocs being soft and confortable but hated the soft sole wearing out so quickly. When I saw the AE Kenwoods I jumped on them because they have a relatively soft upper but a hard leather sole to allow it to keep its shape.


    Many people would agree with you, however, I dont like Bass. I agree they are a good value for the money, however, I hate the leather they use. It looks almost plastic'y' with a shine to it.
     


  15. stevent

    stevent Senior member

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    It's ~$35 to resole a pair of Quoddies and get the uppers refinished and new insole. Pay $150-$250 for a CXL shoe that can last you forever essentially? Much better deal
     


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