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What to wear with cap-toe brogues?

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by esvoboda, Mar 13, 2004.

  1. esvoboda

    esvoboda Well-Known Member

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    I am considering purchasing a pair of cap-toe brogues, not wingtips. I know that in the U.S., wingtips are traditionally considered for business wear only. Does this rule also apply to a cap-toe brogue?

    Thanks,

    -Ed
     


  2. AlanC

    AlanC Minister of Trad

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    I'm leaning toward getting a pair myself, likely the Crockett & Jones Berkeley in brown. I think they would be suitable with cords and 'country' clothes. I believe the brogueing would give them some versatility outside of a strict business setting.
     


  3. Kai

    Kai Distinguished Member

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    I wear my brogued brown wing tips for casual wear. They look great with corderoy flannel, or khaki.

    The overall feel of the shoe (casual/formal) will depend not just on broguing but also on other features.

    Double sole is more casual than single sole. A more slender waist is more formal than a wider waist. A closed oxford constuction is more formal than the open Derby or Blucher construction, etc. Brown is more casual than black.

    Look at the shoe as a whole, rather than a single factor. Most brown cap-toe brogues I've seen would look fine with nicer casual clothes.
     


  4. esvoboda

    esvoboda Well-Known Member

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    Thank you for the advice. The shoes I am looking at are dark brown, double-soled, wider-waisted, cap-toe bluchers with broguing (whew). My instinct was that they would work with business casual clothes and I´m happy to hear that this isn´t a faux pas.

    The specific shoes I am looking at are made by a shoemaker named Lopez Taibo in downtown Buenos Aires. I am there on a holiday right now. The shoes appear to be constructed similarly to my two pairs of JM Weston, most noticable in the soles and stitching, and a definite notch up from most brands you find at a shopping mall. I´m not sure if I´d say they are better in quality than say Alden as I haven´t examined the latter. The styling is quite conservative. The company has been in business since 1897 and I wouldn´t be surprised if most of their designs have been around at least half as long. They make no attempt to be fashionable that I can see. No Kenneth Coles here. The shoes are only sold at their one store. The top grade shoes sell for $500 (Argentine pesos) which come to about US$170 and you get a tax refund of I think 10 percent at the airport as you leave so the final cost is less than that. They also do "custom" work for a 50-percent premium. They told me this requires two fittings and about 25 days for the final product. They can mail the shoes out of the country if your stay is only long enough for the fittings but the added shipping and customs cost is roughly US$100. If you are a shoe junky and find yourself in Buenos Aires, you might want to drop in and check this place out. It´s on the 300 block of Av. Corrientes.

    I don´t return to the States for a few weeks but if I remember, I´ll try to post some photos.
     


  5. AlanC

    AlanC Minister of Trad

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    Yes, please do. Sounds like an interesting find and a great souvenir.
     


  6. Steve B.

    Steve B. Go Spurs Go

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    I think they'd look good with jeans, too...

    (Dodging mud slung by the many shoefashionistas here)
     


  7. jcusey

    jcusey Distinguished Member Dubiously Honored

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    Please do post some photos when you have the chance. I'm always interested to see new things, especially ones produced by makers I'm not familiar with.

    As for the shoes, they sound great, and they would look fine with business casual clothes. Steve B's right: they would even do fine with jeans.
     


  8. FCS

    FCS Senior Member

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    Esvoboda, do you know any excellent tailors there? I might be going to Buenos Aires at the end of the year and would love to check around. Any other reputable shoe makers that you encountered?
     


  9. esvoboda

    esvoboda Well-Known Member

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    I have not stumbled across any excellent tailors here although I also have not specifically sought one out. I presume you mean one who does a large business making suits from scratch. My take on this city from browsing the better men´s stores is that the better suits are Italian rather than made here. The largest segment of the population in Buenos Aires is Italian, with Spanish (not mestizo) following closely behind, so this makes sense culturally and maybe satorially. There may be some great tailor here but I just don´t know. My web searches before I arrived only led me to shops that can at best do made-to-measure from Italy from manufacturers that I have never heard of. I suspect this isn´t another Hong Kong. I think Argentina does particularly well with leather products. There are certainly a lot of junk, poorly-constructed leather products just like you´d find nearly anywhere else. But there are also some high-end shops that I think equal the best anywhere. Rossi & Caruso http://www.rossicaruso.com/ King Carlos and the Queen of Spain, the Crown Prince of Japan, and Prince Phillip of Great Britain all shop here and have photos on the wall. Quality is top notch. Peso devaluation has made this store a relative bargain. Top-of-the-line luggage in long-grain leather is AR$1,200, about US$400. I think something similar at Louis Vuitton would be about US$1,400. The price for a 3/4-length jacket is about the same. They also sell riding boots (trying to keep this post on topic, lol). Remember, this is the land of the gaucho. Great wallets and belts too. Think US$25 for the best quality wallet you´ve seen anywhere, in my opinion. Casa Lopez http://www.casalopez.com.ar/ This is a larger store. Their products are more fashion-forward compared to Rossi & Caruso which is very traditional. I think they are particularly strong with leather products for women like handbags. Buy your gifts for your lady(s) here and go to Rossi for yourself. The sales people will come at you like bad used car salesmen and push just a bit too much. I tend to avoid this place as a matter of principle. Guido Mocasines http://www.guidomocasines.com.ar/ I´ve looked everywhere for great Argentine shoes. Other than Lopez Taibo, the other old-time producer that I know of is Guido Mocasines and this name was recommended to me as I asked around. However, I saw mostly "average" quality leather and construction here. Their loafers (i.e. mocasines) had glue residue coming out from where the uppers meet the sole. They don´t have that "gravitas" that you get when you pick-up up a JM Weston or other quality loafer, for example. Instead, I thought of current model Bass Weejuns. Well, maybe not even that good. No offense Bass owners. I just expected more. I gather this company has a case of Brooks Brothers syndrome and once made better product. I believe their best dressy loafers are about AR$240, roughly US$80. I don´t think this is any bargain. The more casual loafers are about AR$150, about US$50. I can´t tell you how many leather shops there are in this city. I´ve seen a number of small leather boutiques targeting mostly women with cutting-edge fashion-forward product in all the colors of the rainbow and probably good quality. There are also many so-called leather factories pushing mediocre product, including shoes, on the unsuspecting tourists, many of whom stroll the long Av. Florida pedestrian shopping thoroughfare and other places that tourists congregate. I almost forgot to mention, I bought the dark brown cap-toe brogues today. I noticed that each pair in the same size and style was slightly different, having little quirks. The salesperson said that´s because they are substantionally hand-made. I picked the one with the best "personality" and called it a day. I´ll post photos in a few weeks when I return home and you all can critique, if you like. I know these aren´t John Lobbs or Edward Greens. I bought some chocolate suede plain-toe bluchers and honey-colored monkstraps last week so we´ll have a variety to look at (and hopefully not laugh at, lol). -Ed p.s. I think I´ve read every shoe post on this forum. Fascinating. Also thank you for adding "shoe porn" to my vocabulary.
     


  10. A Harris

    A Harris Distinguished Member Dubiously Honored

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    The shoes sound fascinating, I can't wait to see pics. In fact somebody was asking about Lopez Taibo on the forum a while back, see the thread here.
     


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