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What to wear with spectator shoes?

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by Uunottaja, Mar 28, 2011.

  1. Uunottaja

    Uunottaja Senior member

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    Hello SF,

    This will be my first post on the forum, just discovered you today. I searched for threads that would help me in my decision, but found really none. All discussions seem to lean on the shoes only.

    So, as a student with a limited budget and a love for shoes, I've decided to invest in a pair of two-toned brogue shoes. My problem is, however, that I can't seem to be able to choose between black/white and brown/white shoes. Due to very limited availability in Finland, I've searched the Internet for a pair I'd like and could afford at under EUR 200 (USD270 ish and GBP 170 ish). I've pretty much decided I like Loake's Sloane the most. Loake offers this nice looking pair both in black&white and brown&cream. If you have an idea of some other pair available within the EU for about 150 pounds I'd be happy to hear you out as well (I might prefer a slightly more elongated shaped).

    Loake Sloane:
    http://www.robinsonsshoes.com/loake-...81-53-1013.php

    So, to summarize. I can't afford to buy two pairs, and my heart desperately aches for some spectators. I'm now looking for some ideas to what to wear with these shoes, basically to draw some inspiration to help me make up my mind. I love the way the black&white ones look, but feel that my wardrobe might not be enough to find enough use for these gorgeous shoes.

    Some nice combinations that appeal to me can be found in Tom Ford's Summer 2011 collection, following this link:
    http://www.tomford.com/

    Also, I'd be looking to wear my shoes both in formal and casual situations, so all kinds of tips and hints are welcome. [​IMG]

    Thank you
     


  2. MBreinin

    MBreinin Senior member

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    High contrast Spectators are a Spring/Summer shoe. They go well with clothing intended for those seasons.....i.e., light colored clothing such as white, Seersucker, Whipcord, pale blues, light colored linen, pastels, etc.

    Mike
     


  3. Mark from Plano

    Mark from Plano Lifestyle change - no homo

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    My spectators are the most unused pair of shoes I have. They are rarely appropriate, but when they are appropriate, nothing else stacks up as well. They are a luxury item, no doubt.

    Go with the brown/cream. Will work with many combinations. Black/white are much less useful (only work with greys, etc.).

    I wear them with linen trousers in cream, tan, brown...whatever.

    Good luck.
     


  4. Holdfast

    Holdfast Senior member

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    Firstly, specs stand out. A lot. So if you don't have many other pairs of shoes, and are on a limited budget, I wouldn't get them.

    But if your heart is set on them, for me, black/white is much harder to pull off than brown/cream. Black/white goes well with mid-grey suits, esp. plaid/checked suits and little else in my eye. Some wear them with charcoal suits; I find this looks a bit cheesy.

    Brown/white (or brown/cream), on the other hand, goes with all sorts of colours found in summery outfits: whites, creams, natural linens, darker beiges, etc, etc. Navy works well with them too, and lighter blues to a lesser extent.

    As Mike says, whatever you wear them with, keep them for (at least moderately warm) sunny days.

    (as you may have guessed, I only have brown/white specs, not black/white ones!)
     


  5. Northampton Novice

    Northampton Novice Senior member

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    Firstly, specs stand out. A lot. So if you don't have many other pairs of shoes, and are on a limited budget, I wouldn't get them.

    But if your heart is set on them, for me, black/white is much harder to pull off than brown/cream. Black/white goes well with mid-grey suits, esp. plaid/checked suits and little else in my eye. Some wear them with charcoal suits; I find this looks a bit cheesy.

    Brown/white (or brown/cream), on the other hand, goes with all sorts of colours found in summery outfits: whites, creams, natural linens, darker beiges, etc, etc. Navy works well with them too, and lighter blues to a lesser extent.

    As Mike says, whatever you wear them with, keep them for (at least moderately warm) sunny days.

    (as you may have guessed, I only have brown/white specs, not black/white ones!)


    +1 The brown/cream offer greater versatility and having owned both black & brown spectators I feel brown age far more gracefully.
     


  6. Topcat90069

    Topcat90069 Member

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    Spectators are among my favorite style of shoe. I have several pair in different color combinations. The classic B/W brogue is the most stylish. It is limited in versatility, however, and tends to look somewhat "costumey," à la "Evil Under the Sun" (great wardrobe direction, BTW). Works best as evening wear and with only black, white, and gray combined VERY carefully. I used to have a pair and almost never wore them. I rarely do wear my brown/white spectators, but they're much more versatile.
     


  7. Mac

    Mac Senior member

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    Check out Tom Ford's S/S 2011 collection for ideas.
     


  8. Uunottaja

    Uunottaja Senior member

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    Thank you for all the replies, much appreciated.

    Still looking for some pictures of people actually using specs, especially in less formal situations and with less formal combinations. I'm from a fairly small city in international scale (300,000 citizens), and apart from Helsinki Finland isn't really known for it's great sense of style. Therefore, I'm mostly looking in combining my shoes with odd pants/jacket etc. I'm aware of good and classic pairs for specs such as Seersucker, but I really don't see anyone of my age (24) pulling it here, sadly. The flashy spec shoes with a classy not too out of the oridinary outfit would lift the whole on another level, in my opinion.


    Check out Tom Ford's S/S 2011 collection for ideas.
    Yeah those pictures are what originally made me decide to purchase the shoes for this summer. Especially love the first and the third setup from left.
     


  9. designprofessor

    designprofessor Senior member

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    My spectators are the most unused pair of shoes I have. They are rarely appropriate, but when they are appropriate, nothing else stacks up as well. They are a luxury item, no doubt.

    Go with the brown/cream. Will work with many combinations. Black/white are much less useful (only work with greys, etc.).

    I wear them with linen trousers in cream, tan, brown...whatever.

    Good luck.


    +1
    I own about 4 pair of "spectators" in different combinations. I do wear "two tones" -- suede leather combination shoes in the fall /winter. The leathers may be contrasting color or close in color. this might be a bit of a rule breaker -but the changing texture of the shoe leather compliments heavier pant / jacket fabric IMO. You don't need to put much with a spectator -the shoe does alot of the work.
    Keep it simple. Yes, Brown /white will be more versatile. Have fun.
     


  10. MBreinin

    MBreinin Senior member

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    I have black and white longwing specs, brown and white wingtips and brown and cream wingtips. I think the black and white make the strongest statement. However, like has been said above, they have more limited versatility...if a Spec can ever be considered versatile. When it is all said and done, they get their fair share of stares, regardless of color. So, if you are shy about your wardbrobe, stay away.

    Mike
     


  11. sashae

    sashae Senior member

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    Does anyone have a rundown of the currently available models out there? I've been thinking about picking up these Church's as a summer shoe: [​IMG] ...but would love to know what the breadth of my options are. Looks like Allen Edmonds isn't offering white through their custom program anymore (booooo!!!) I'd /prefer/ to find a blucher, but I haven't had much luck in finding anything yet...
     


  12. Patek

    Patek Senior member

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    I say rock them with anything that you want. Since you are younger and hanging out with people that don't know how to dress, anything you do will amaze them!

    I would even try pairing them with jeans for a more street, hipster look. Wear them with pride and be knows as the guy that can pull off spectators.
     


  13. benitahesson

    benitahesson Member

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    Select a little black dress that is figure flattering. Stiletto pumps can be a perfect accoutrement to a cocktail dress and are often seen on the runways of designers, such as New York-based Betsey Johnson.
     


  14. Mac

    Mac Senior member

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    As for ideas, I'd say keep it linen-ish and rock them with confidence. I just bought these Herring Jekyll: [​IMG]
     


  15. acecow

    acecow Senior member

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