Working on The Street: BB Cardovan vs. Calf Skin?

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by SSer, Apr 8, 2011.

  1. SSer

    SSer Member

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    Long time browser, first time poster.

    I'll be starting my Finance job on Wall Street this summer and while I believe I have all the other necessary items (i.e.: charcoal and navy Brooks Fitzgerald suits among others), I need a new pair of shoes. I've always purchased Kenneth Cole's (which after reading here I've learned is a no-no) and have grown fond of BBs style so I'm looking at their shoes. I want to know, what are the major differences between calf skin leather and cordovan? The two shoes I'm looking at are:

    Cordovan:
    http://www.brooksbrothers.com/IWCatP...lor=Black#null

    Peal & Co.:
    http://www.brooksbrothers.com/IWCatP...=&sectionsize=

    The thing is I don't want to spend over $500, and the Cardovan's never go on sale. I'm looking for a durable, elegant--but not too showy--shoe that I can wear almost every work day. What do you guys think? And are there any other brands I should look into?

    Thank you.
     


  2. saiyar1

    saiyar1 Senior member

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    Pick any black conservative shoe and you're good to go

    NO ONE will have a clue if you're wearing cordovan or even know what it is. As long as it fits the dress code it's perfect.

    Now, if you want cordovan dress shoes because that's what you value, then that's ok. Most people (finance, law, doctors) supposedly dress like crap according to most members here, so I wouldn't expect to walk into something like American Psycho.
     


  3. Ianiceman

    Ianiceman Senior member

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    Not good to wear one pair of shoes 'almost every day'. Hope you're planning on getting at least two quality pairs and alternating.
    Also IMO black calf can be buffed up to a very nice shine but black shell looks a bit dull and rubbery.
    Now burgundy shell sometimes has a great waxy patina - get one of each!
     


  4. Reevolving

    Reevolving Senior member

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    Black captoes are basically invisible.
    A total waste of money above a pair of $100 KC's.
    No one knows the difference, including 1/2 of SF.

    Get wingtips if you want some flair.
     


  5. entrero

    entrero Senior member

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  6. alphaO888

    alphaO888 Senior member

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    No one is going to care what kind of shoes you'll be wearing especially if you're working in the financial district.
     


  7. pgd3

    pgd3 Senior member

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    To me the beauty of Shell is in its durability, the leather is extremely... resistant. To scuffs and scrapes.

    And it conforms to the foot beautifully with time.

    Beyond that I'd say regular calf skin can take a very nice polish and is cheaper.

    If you want to wear a shoe every day, buy something cheap.
    Fine shoes tend to wear out in the linings first, and the continuous wear of a leather shoe will leave it creased, falling apart, and smelly. I'd say plan on 3 pair of shoes, 3 pair of shoe trees, and then a rotation.Ideally of course you have some variety in the shoe as well.
     


  8. aravenel

    aravenel Senior member

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  9. alliswell

    alliswell Senior member

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    Black captoes are basically invisible.
    A total waste of money above a pair of $100 KC's.
    No one knows the difference, including 1/2 of SF.

    Get wingtips if you want some flair.


    No one is going to care what kind of shoes you'll be wearing especially if you're working in the financial district.

    Do not listen to this advice. Dress like you know how a grown up should dress and you'll be treated as one.

    To me the beauty of Shell is in its durability, the leather is extremely... resistant. To scuffs and scrapes.

    And it conforms to the foot beautifully with time.

    Beyond that I'd say regular calf skin can take a very nice polish and is cheaper.

    If you want to wear a shoe every day, buy something cheap.
    Fine shoes tend to wear out in the linings first, and the continuous wear of a leather shoe will leave it creased, falling apart, and smelly. I'd say plan on 3 pair of shoes, 3 pair of shoe trees, and then a rotation.Ideally of course you have some variety in the shoe as well.


    You're going to need at least three pairs of shoes; two black and one brown.

    +1. Get a pair of black Park Avenues

    Add this:

    http://www.allenedmonds.com/webapp/w...Colorval=Black

    and this:

    http://www.allenedmonds.com/webapp/w...Colorval=Brown

    and you're in good shape.
     


  10. ajmanouk

    ajmanouk Senior member

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  11. Allez Allez

    Allez Allez Senior member

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    I wouldn't spend $500 on shoes if you are going in somewhere as a summer intern/analyst. You will just come across as a jackass who doesn't know his place.

    Personally, I would avoid brown shoes until you see others wearing it in the office. I know its supposed to be acceptable in the office, but its a no go where I work. No one is going to break your balls for wearing black shoes.
     


  12. Allez Allez

    Allez Allez Senior member

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    Sorry, I meant $500 on a single pair of shoes. Just get some AE's and then get back to your pitchbooks.
     


  13. KObalto

    KObalto Senior member

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    Shells are very durable, #8 looks great, and goes with a lot of different stuff. If you throw in some black PAs and another pair of brown bals, you will have a decent starting rotation (hey it's baseball season!). OTOH, when I was walking around Wall Street a few months ago, black horse-bit loafers seemed to reign supreme. Not a great look with a suit IMO.
     


  14. aravenel

    aravenel Senior member

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    when I was walking around Wall Street a few months ago, black horse-bit loafers seemed to reign supreme.

    That's the Wall Street uniform right now, but it's also something you definitely don't want to be wearing at a junior level, you'll look like a pretender. Focus on your pitch-books, by the time you get to your fourth straight 100 hour week, you won't care at all about what kind of shoes you're wearing.

    Cordovan shoes are very nice, but as others have pointed out, you don't want to wear the same pair of shoes every day or you'll destroy them very quickly. I think you'd be much better off buying 2 or even 3 pairs of Allen Edmonds for the same price. They're great shoes at the price point, and will last you forever.
     


  15. pebblegrain

    pebblegrain Senior member

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