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Three years later... "Critique / make suggestions / comment on my shoe collection" redux!

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by TheWGP, Apr 26, 2013.

  1. TheWGP

    TheWGP Senior member

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    Well, I've been kicking around here and AAAC since Christmastime 2009 when I first started to read up on menswear. I caught the shoe bug early and hard... as this post attests, I think:

    http://www.askandyaboutclothes.com/...ent-on-my-shoe-collection-after-3-months!-PIC!

    As you can see, at that time I had 19 pairs. AlanC commented, that "I predict that your shoe wardrobe will look very different in two years." He was right, as usual! Today, I still have only ten of those first nineteen, and I've made extensive additions. I'm currently at 37 pairs, but I've gotten and let go of about five more in between, for a total of 51 pairs I've had in the rotation at various times. More about that later.

    In 2012, I was sure I would take Alan up on his prediction and do a photo; however, I never got around to it. On the principle of better late than never, here's what the shoe collection looks like today.

    First up: brouged shoes!
    [​IMG]

    Top to bottom, left to right:
    Row 1:
    Crockett & Jones unknown model for Gordon Scott as Greenwich on 317 last
    Florsheim #8 shell longwing bluchers
    Alden 97894 cigar shell longwing bluchers

    Row 2:
    Alden 2145 #8 shell medallion tip bluchers
    Alden 974 #8 shell balmoral wingtips
    Alden 9016 black shell perf captoes

    Row 3:
    ET Wright mahogany shell balmoral wingtips
    Alden 929 burgundy wingtip British-sense balmoral
    Alden 928 black wingtip British-sense balmoral

    Row 4:
    Church's Custom Grade Chetwynd V brown wingtips
    Church's Custom Grade Chetwynd V black wingtips


    Next: loafers!
    [​IMG]

    Top to bottom, left to right:
    Row 1:
    Alden for BB whiskey shell unlined LHS
    Alden 6765 mahogany shell LHS
    Alden 67540 ravello shell LHS

    Row 2:
    Alden for BB #8 shell unlined LHS "nice ones" w/JR soles
    Alden 6717 cigar shell LHS
    Alden for BB black shell unlined LHS

    Row 3:
    Alden for BB #8 shell unlined LHS "slipper comfy ones" - sadly these have developed a tear at the back heel :cry:
    Alden 0329 #8 shell plain toe full strap penny loafers - these were made for "OSCC Bespoke" and Alden claims they were only made in calfskin; I have no idea how these got made up in shell - anyone have any ideas?
    Alden 6845 black shell full strap penny loafers

    Row 4:
    Crockett & Jones Benchgrade for Polo RL Darlton light brown shell full strap penny loafers
    AE Juneau brown suede full strap loafers



    Finally: "plain toes" sort of:
    [​IMG]

    Top to bottom, left to right:
    Row 1:
    Alden 13132 cigar shell chukka boot
    Alden 1339 #8 shell chukka boot
    Alden for BB Black Fleece black pebble grain chukka boot

    Row 2:
    Alden for BB #8 shell plain toe blucher
    Alden 93911 cigar shell plain toe blucher
    Allen Edmonds Leeds black shell plain toe blucher

    Row 3:
    Alden 9905 whiskey shell plain toe blucher
    AE Delray chili split tip blucher
    AE Soho black captoe balmoral

    Row 4:
    Cheaney (for Dack's) brown captoe balmoral
    Allen Edmonds Fairgate burgundy shell captoe blucher
    Alden 906 burgundy captoe balmoral

    Row 5:
    John Lobb Chapel chestnut double monkstraps
    Alden 1684 whiskey shell monkstrap
    Alden 1655 black shell monkstrap



    So, well, yeah, that's it, the shoes, three years later. 25 shell, 12 calfskin. The fourteen pairs I got rid of in the last three years, I did so for a variety of reasons, but the only one I kind of regret letting go is the 405 Indy Boot. That said, three years ago I think it was a lot more obvious what I could expand into - today, it's a bit less so.

    I'm still hunting for a pair of EG's that aren't some strange model... and probably some kind of boot with eyelets, not speed hooks... maybe the AE Dalton... a light-colored shell version would be nice. But I'm not in a rush, which may be the biggest change from when I started out. I may let go of a few of these at some point - we'll see.

    Anyone have any more advanced development ideas? I'm really not around a whole lot anymore, but I did want to make sure I got this out there and SF & AAAC have been good to me over the years so I'm interested in what folks have to say.

    For reasons of personal privacy and modesty (and also, it is a ROYAL PAIN to drag this many shoes out of the closet) this will be the last "photo update" like this.

    Thanks in advance for any ideas, critiques, slings and arrows, etc, etc, etc. :)
     


  2. chogall

    chogall Senior member

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    ever consider doing more with less? or, if you can only have x pairs of shoes, what would you get?

    or going bespoke for the experience?

    anyhow, your shoe wardrobe lacks variation in leather. either by preference or by design...
     


  3. Cantabrigian

    Cantabrigian Senior member

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    Wow - that's way more than I could possibly use or store.

    I've got seven pairs of dress shoes and already feel somewhat spoiled for choice.

    I think chogall's recommendation of trying bespoke, or at least replacing/upgrading a few pairs makes sense.
     


  4. UnnamedPlayer

    UnnamedPlayer Senior member

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    Sorry, what the fuck is the point of this thread?
     


  5. TheWGP

    TheWGP Senior member

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    I won't do bespoke, it's way outside my budget. I should point out that I'm typically not getting these at full price.

    Part of what I do want to do is reduce overlap - there's some overlap, for example, the vintage Alden "british-sense balmorals" with the two Church's - that was a lucky thrift find after a friend was kind enough to trade me the Church's.

    Part of the reason for the number is that I tend to like variations on a theme - for example, I tend to favor the Alden LHS quite a bit, so I have it in each color, even one not made anymore through a stroke of luck on B&S.

    That said, I wear these ~6 days a week on average, so depending on what I'm doing and what I'm wearing, pretty much all of these do see wear. Part of the advantage of having this many is that it reduces maintenance, resoling, etc, on the average - and it offers quite a bit of variety.

    Also, the point of this thread is, if you read the title, to solicit suggestions for development. Three years ago the gents on AAAC were quite helpful, and I discussed with several of them and took several of their suggestions in mind.


    chogall, you make a good point - the lack of variation in leather is partly by design. I like shell quite a bit so I tend to go that way. I'm not into exotics (I've had them to sell, never regretted selling) and suede, well, I've had a couple of suede pairs that I've let go. The current suede loafers I have are awesome for fall/winter wear though so they've converted me a bit.
     


  6. Alvinbmx

    Alvinbmx Senior member

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    IMO, I think you have too many penny loafers. Have you tried tasselled or full cut loafers?

    Also, is there any reason why you have so many pair of the same maker? Alden. Perhaps you could try other shoemaker.
     


  7. garymyman

    garymyman Senior member

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    Divert some of your shoe budget to new carpet.
     


  8. Gdot

    Gdot Senior member

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    y u no love the lobbs? :D They look nearly unworn

    What I notice that your collection is predominantly from US makers. I think it would be more interesting to see some shoes from Europe in the mix. The lasts are more complex and interesting in general and even if you want to stay within the relatively conservative range of leathers/colors that you are drawn to you might find more variety of shape would be interesting?

    As you seem to like very conservative, manly shoes I suggest that a few Vass might be appealing to you.

    Since you don't like suede or exotics much you can find additional variety in hatch, pin grain, or pebble grained calf, particularly in derbies, loafers, and split toes.

    Do you live in a very warm climate? You have almost no boots.

    If you do live in a warm climate you should have plenty of occasion to wear lighter colored shoes and they seem to be not so predominate in your collection.
     
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2013


  9. add911_11

    add911_11 Senior member

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    Wow, you have more shoes than me :p

    I think you have a very nice collection. Well done.
     


  10. Pembers

    Pembers Senior member

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    Since your black shoes are all quite 'substantial', my suggestion would be a more elegant pair of black captoes. If it fits you, perhaps a pair of EG Chelseas on the 202 last?
     


  11. TheWGP

    TheWGP Senior member

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    I have tried tassel loafers, and I didn't care for them much. Just something about the tassels. Personal preference, I guess. I do have other makers, but part of the reason I have so many Alden is because that's what's often easily available and inexpensive.



    It's only nine months old, thanks. And my shoe budget is actually quite spare, particularly now that I've slowed down somewhat.


    I do love the Lobbs, when I got them they were in worn-once-or-twice state, and I've only worn them maybe 2-3 times - as they're head and shoulders above anything else I have, and they're light colored, I admit to a bit of paranoia about rain, messing them up, etc, etc - which I've LONG since gotten over for almost any other shoe!

    I do want to get more European makers in the mix - I'm starting to agree with you on the lasts, though I have wide feet (true size 11E-EEish) so I've hewn quite a bit to more chunky lasts, in particular the Alden Barrie and Van.

    I'm intrigued by Vass, but they're quite difficult to get on discount and, back when I was more active on the forum, were quite difficult to get at all (project somethingorother, as I recall).

    I actually live in Ohio, and yes, I need boots. I had the Indy boots but let them go, I kind of regret it but when I get more boots they'll be eyelets - speed hooks aren't my thing, I discovered. I've been tempted by the AE Dalton - but really, any eyelet dress boot is likely to get my attention if it turns up on sale/discount enough.

    That is, sadly, why I don't have more lighter colored shoes - I was pining for a pair of whiskey longwings for quite awhile, but I really have way more call for the cigar pair I ended up getting instead.



    I actually have considered this. The AE Sohos were my first attempt, as they were CHEAP when I got them from the AE Shoe Bank and I needed a black captoe ASAP at the time. I don't wear them much anymore - at this point they're actually sort of backups to the Alden punch captoes in black shell. Sadly, those Aldens have an issue at the back of one shoe, so they'll eventually get too far gone - so I have the Sohos right now for a backup. I'd REALLY REALLY like a sweet pair of very high end black captoes to replace both of those shoes - particularly since I tend to wear black captoes only on the most formal occasions.

    I do think I've concluded an EG black captoe would be perfect - now find me one for less than, say, $500, please! :laugh:
     
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2013


  12. lee_44106

    lee_44106 Senior member

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    Nice selection and you've come a long way.

    Forget the internet solicitation of advice.
     


  13. WiredandTired

    WiredandTired Senior member

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    I only can spot one pair of suede shoes. Perhaps a nice navy or tan suede shoe or more double monks. You could spring for a balmoral boot. I've been coveting carmina shell double monks and boots.

    Also nice collection of shell.
     


  14. ChetB

    ChetB Senior member

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    Great collection, WGP! Seems like you've found what works for you. I'm also a fan of the LHSs and a proponent of finding one maker that suits you best and sticking with them (Alden in your case).

    You mention your proclivity for bargain hunting several times. I'm sure you've thought about it, but with the volume of bargains you've acquired, you could have used the same funds to buy a smaller collection of pretty much any shoes out there, sky's the limit. But if a larger rotation is something you appreciate, and you're happy with Alden over the higher-end European makers, then I guess that's not the strategy for you.

    What about adding some more shoes on the casual end of the spectrum—some Rancourt ranger mocs, for example. Seems those would be in line with your apparent trad sensibilities.
     
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2013


  15. TheWGP

    TheWGP Senior member

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    I have thought about that, Chet - I do think I'm going to set aside a more dedicated and specific fund to specifically be willing to go a little further up the scale. The most I've spent to date is $500 and not even often that.

    I do appreciate a larger rotation, partly because of the situational variety it offers, and I have the closet space for it, so why not?

    I guess the best way to explain Alden is that they're good, but not SO good and expensive I worry constantly about them. It's like how I've accumulated a ton of Borrellis - they're not Kiton for sure, but they are awesome for daily wear and just aren't as expensive or quite so fine.

    Plus, the availability is a factor too.

    I almost pulled the trigger on some AE Daltons in chili for $299 on sale, but held back as I'd really prefer walnut. I do think in boots I'm more likely to stick with USA makers, but move a bit more European with some selected shoes like the aforementioned EG captoes.
     


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