Shoes

A Shoe Is Not Only A Design . . .

but it’s a part of your body language, the way you walk. The way you’re going to move is quite dictated by your shoes. –Christian Louboutin

As Spring slowly (or not so slowly depending where one resides) blends into Summer, dressing appropriately for any occasion becomes a challenge.  It is a challenge you embrace, indulge and conquer wholeheartedly!  The Spring/Summer seasons bring about different shoe wear.  We have boat shoes, trainers (although these are year round), loafers, driving shoes and the like.  As a person looking to create their own style, one should definitely own a pair of boat shoes, trainers and loafers.  Another style of shoe that should be up for serious consideration are suede shoes.  Suede shoes are synonymous with at least three seasons and sometimes Winter.  photo_grid_1465686783874Personally, I love suede shoes.  I like the look, the feel and they are most certainly bring a casual angle to your overall style.  Every maker of men’s shoes has a variety of suede footwear ranging from any style of shoe to any price range.  In the picture to the right, G.H. Bass Kensington Weejuns ($43.49, I bought them on sale!) are at the top and H & M‘s double monk straps ($69.99) at the bottom.  In the featured picture, I am wearing Johnston & Murphy Ellington Wingtip Oxfords.  I won them on Ebay for $15.  Yes, $15!  The seller bought them at a Johnston & Murphy shop at Reagan National Airport (he left the receipt in the shoe box) and came to the conclusion he didn’t like them.  I liked them and got lucky!  These shoes normally went for roughly $130-140.  I want to drive home the point it is not necessary to purchase items at their original price point.  Research, look, find and decide.  There are times you may have no choice as in the case with the H & Ms above.  They sold out twice online (and appears permanently) and they weren’t at my local brick and mortar.  Their color is a dark taupe which is perfect for Spring/Summer wear so in the end, it is a win-win for me.

img_20150709_1805551The one thing one will love about suede shoes is the versatility.  You can wear suede shoes with shorts and trousers alike.  Some may disagree with the idea of wearing suede monk straps with shorts but I suggest one experiment.  Try them with cargo tailored shorts and a nice polo or button down shirt.  And make sure that belt matches your shoes!  If you’re uncomfortable with monk straps, go with tassel loafers, penny loafers or oxfords.  One thing one should keep in mind is your color palette.  The standard is wearing lighter, more season-friendly colors.  This applies to the shoes too.  If one desires to refine their craft, they must practice.  This goes for creating your own style.  Do not be afraid to try different styles of suede shoes because at the end of the day, you are the one on showcase.  Until next time, jal ga!

 

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Fashion Is Not . . .

Necessarily about labels.  It’s not about brands.  It’s about something else that comes from within you.  Another fine quote, this one from Ralph Lauren (I like quotes that emphasize relevant points).

We are inundated with images everyday from all types of media sources concerning fashion.  It can be chaotic.  In order to create order out of disorder, one must have a gameplan to make sense of everything.  If one is not looking to pay top dollar, what you can do is search online as well as offline for deals.  This, of course is contingent on how much you have to spend or are willing to spend.  Whether you are looking to purchase something high end or something comparable, the deals are out there!   You may have to conjure up your best Roy Ayers impression and keep searching.  If you know how to use Google, Bing, Yahoo or any of the several search engines the world wide web has to offer, you can find anything.  For today, anything is the first thing (and it is up for debate) a woman notices on a man, his shoes.

 

img_20150709_1805551Suede loafers are a staple for spring, summer & even autumn time wear.  I saw a review on a site I follow (Dappered) on a pair J. Crew Kenton suede tassel loafers.  I liked them a lot so I did a search for something similar but at a lower price point.  I came across these $140 Johnston & Murphy Ellington Moc Toe tassel loafers that were on sale.  The total price with shipping offered by the Sierra Trading Post via UPS was $52.10 ($48.13+$3.97).  I would like to state this is some major SCOREBOARD!  I saved $47.90 (Economy shipping offered by J. Crew is $5).  As for the featured picture, the Allen Edmonds McTavish, this was a lucky find.  I wandered into a Burlington Coat Factory to window shop.  The men’s shoe section at this particular site was rough.  But, I did find my diamond in the rough!  The McTavish sells for $295 on the Allen Edmonds website (These were originally discontinued I recall and the price was $325) and as high as $200 on Ebay for a pair of used ones.  I purchased these for $90.  Allen Edmonds is obviously top shelf.  Johnston & Murphy in my opinion is a tier lower.  But what if both brands are too high for your current bank account?  Gentlemen, I present to you JC Penney’s.  Yes, that JC Penney’s.

20160110_114003JC Penney’s offering is their Stafford Collection which is comprised of dress shirts, suits, suit separates, underwear, socks, pjs, robes, accessories and well the topic of this post, shoes.  Their shoes, in particular, the Stafford Gunner cap toe always receive good reviews.  It is a $100 leather boot.  You can find similar for much higher.  The wonderful thing about JCP is they always run some kind of offer.  Free shipping, coupon codes, and percentages off a set amount, etc.  I waited until just before Christmas to press the trigger.  Free shipping and a $10 off coupon brought these to my door for $49.  These shoes are not on the level of the other two but with some TLC and a small rotation of shoes, these can last a few years.

The total of these shoes at suggested manufacturer’s price: $535.  With a bit of patience, some research and luck, I saved $348.

One can find high end shoes at discounted prices but you have to do some recon.  One can find shoes of very good quality that are the retail chain’s brand for an excellent price.  This is a small representation of what one can find online and offline.  Now apply this to sport coats, blazers, dress shirts, chinos, wool trousers, selvedge jeans, etc.  I’m certain you have got the picture. Jal ga!