Page 1 of 5 123 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 45

Thread: Looking for Advice on Building a Shoe Collection

  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    Posts
    11
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Quoted
    4 Post(s)

    Looking for Advice on Building a Shoe Collection

    All,

    I'm looking for advice on how to build my dress/casual shoe collection. I'm at the point where my current shoes need to be replaced. Does anyone have any recommendations on where to start? With all the choices it can be overwhelming.

    For work I typically where suits, dress trousers and chinos from Brooks Brothers.

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

  2. #2
    Varsity Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Posts
    797
    Mentioned
    31 Post(s)
    Quoted
    256 Post(s)
    Here's my personal list of 10 essential shoes I posted at AAAC.
    black captoe balmoral
    merlot semi-brogue captoe balmoral (I want a plum museum Adelaide)
    dark to mid-brown short-wing balmoral
    chocolate suede short-wing balmoral
    merlot or dark brown full brogue cap-toe blucher
    mid-brown to tan Scotch grain longwing blucher
    merlot penny or tassel loafer per your preference
    chocolate suede chukka
    snuff suede PTB, chukka, or penny loafer per your preference
    Indy boot, color of your choice, I prefer mid-brown

    If I were in the UK, there would be more black in the list especially in the closed lacing section. This is a minimal list that doesn't include formal shoes, boat shoes, or work boots used for actual working. I don't have any dress boots listed but you can place a dress boot version of any shoe in the list as you like. This could be paired down even more without much trouble as others will tell you.

  3. #3
    Varsity Member JohnG's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2016
    Posts
    301
    Mentioned
    38 Post(s)
    Quoted
    137 Post(s)
    Before heading down the slippery slope of making personal recommendations, I going to ask three questions:

    1. What is your budget?
    2. From your current range of shoes, what do you find yourself wearing the most?
    3. What is your typical daily outfit (casual, business casual, suit and tie)?

    Just as an example, I fall more in the casual/business casual range and wear a suit maybe 1 or 2 times a month. So if I had $600 to spend and wanted to replace the key shoes in my current lineup, I would go with:

    1. Good pair of dressier suede chukkas in dark brown (not desert boots). These are probably the most versatile shoes I own and I wear them with jeans, khakis, and flannels. I got mine (To Boot NY) on sale at 6pm.com for about $129.00, but $150 for a pair wouldn't be unreasonable.

    2. Brown full grain wingtips (say about $200.00). I use these when the suede boots will not be formal enough, i.e. times when I need to be more on the "I'm a professional" side of business casual (i.e sport coat and a tie). I use them about 1 or 2 a week.

    3. Black closed lace oxfords (cap-toe is what I have): about $150 to $200. These get worn about 1 or 2 times a month, so I didn't feel a need to spend $300 plus on them since they are used so lightly when I wear a suit.

    4. Sneakers or boat shoes: for weekends, downtime with family and friends, etc. I have a pair Converse canvas Jack Purcells I got on sale for $50.00.

    Once I had those, personally I went next with a pair of casual pull-on/Chelsea boots (about $125 to $150) and a pair of boat shoes (Sperrys). So six shoes in total that cover about 95% of my needs.

    If I can give any advice based on personal experience it would be: first, be patient and wait for big sales. Last seasons models show up all the time on flash sales sites, Nordstrom Rack, SaksOff5th, and even sites like Overstock.com. I was able to purchase all my shoes at somewhere between 40% and 60% of MSR because I stuck with "classic" styles and colors and did my research. And second, invest the most in the shoes you're going to wear the most. Like I said, I saw no point investing $300 plus in a pair of oxfords that got worn 10 to 15 times a year.

    Hope this helps!

  4. #4
    Varsity Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2015
    Posts
    308
    Mentioned
    12 Post(s)
    Quoted
    106 Post(s)
    @winghus has you on the right track.

    I wear suits to work most days (conservative big law firm in the south), and my most often worn dress shoe is my burnished brown AE Fifth Avenue. I sometimes wear my black AE Park Avenues to work, and I think they are essential for the occasions which require them--conservative (i.e. federal) court, funerals, and I prefer them to patent leather for formal occasions. For business casual, I usually wear either my walnut AE Waricks monkstrap or bourbon AE Ascher loafer. I see a lot of guys wearing loafers and occasionally monk straps with suits at work, but I prefer to save them for trousers+button up+optional blazer days. I also have some chili AE McGregors that I wear less with suits these days and more with winter business casual. They were my first pair of real dress shoes, and I found them very versatile, but now they are less useful since my dress shoe collection is around 6-7 pairs instead of one.

    For chinos and button up or polo, I opt for my snuff suede AE Dundees or my brown Thursday Boot Co. Captains during the fall through spring. Once I wear the TBC Captains out, I plan to upgrade to the dark brown grain leather AE Long Branches. I also just picked up a pair of tan fargo AE Interstate 90 driving shoes to wear with chinos and polos through the rest of the spring and summer. And of course I wear flip flops and (let the bashing ensue) Chacos a good bit during the summer when I am out and about during the day. It gets hot in TX, GA, and FL, where I split up most of my time, and Chacos are the most comfortable shoe (sandal) ever made.

    One pair of shoes I have worn twice and have absolutely no use for are my black AE Lexingtons. They are a captoe derby. I bought them on sale for like $199 when they were being discontinued thinking they would work in place of a black captoe oxford, and I was wrong. After I bought the black Park Avenues, the black Lexingtons just sit in my closet. I have tried to sell them here for as low as $100, but no bites. I find that anytime I would wear them, I can either step it up a notch to the Park Avenues or just wear a brown shoe instead.

  5. #5
    Varsity Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2015
    Posts
    308
    Mentioned
    12 Post(s)
    Quoted
    106 Post(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by JohnG View Post
    Before heading down the slippery slope of making personal recommendations, I going to ask three questions:

    1. What is your budget?
    2. From your current range of shoes, what do you find yourself wearing the most?
    3. What is your typical daily outfit (casual, business casual, suit and tie)?

    Just as an example, I fall more in the casual/business casual range and wear a suit maybe 1 or 2 times a month. So if I had $600 to spend and wanted to replace the key shoes in my current lineup, I would go with:

    1. Good pair of dressier suede chukkas in dark brown (not desert boots). These are probably the most versatile shoes I own and I wear them with jeans, khakis, and flannels. I got mine (To Boot NY) on sale at 6pm.com for about $129.00, but $150 for a pair wouldn't be unreasonable.

    2. Brown full grain wingtips (say about $200.00). I use these when the suede boots will not be formal enough, i.e. times when I need to be more on the "I'm a professional" side of business casual (i.e sport coat and a tie). I use them about 1 or 2 a week.

    3. Black closed lace oxfords (cap-toe is what I have): about $150 to $200. These get worn about 1 or 2 times a month, so I didn't feel a need to spend $300 plus on them since they are used so lightly when I wear a suit.

    4. Sneakers or boat shoes: for weekends, downtime with family and friends, etc. I have a pair Converse canvas Jack Purcells I got on sale for $50.00.

    Once I had those, personally I went next with a pair of casual pull-on/Chelsea boots (about $125 to $150) and a pair of boat shoes (Sperrys). So six shoes in total that cover about 95% of my needs.

    If I can give any advice based on personal experience it would be: first, be patient and wait for big sales. Last seasons models show up all the time on flash sales sites, Nordstrom Rack, SaksOff5th, and even sites like Overstock.com. I was able to purchase all my shoes at somewhere between 40% and 60% of MSR because I stuck with "classic" styles and colors and did my research. And second, invest the most in the shoes you're going to wear the most. Like I said, I saw no point investing $300 plus in a pair of oxfords that got worn 10 to 15 times a year.

    Hope this helps!
    Definitely this. I paid full price for the aforementioned AE McGregors because I needed one pair to get my shoe collection started, my job began in a week, and I knew I wanted to have high quality shoes for work. That was kind of an emergency situation (my old J&Ms that got me through my internships were worn down pretty badly). I have not paid full price for a pair since then.

  6. #6
    Varsity Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2015
    Posts
    203
    Mentioned
    9 Post(s)
    Quoted
    53 Post(s)
    Lots of great advice in terms of brands and styles. I'll just list my favorites.

    Merlot wingtips - very versatile color, a bit flashy with the brogueing, but dark enough to be subtle. Mercanti Fiorentini is a great choice for the money and I do really like the quality.

    Black cap toes - pretty standard if you are wearing suits or have any black clothes. I don't necessarily have a budget recommendation but Park Avenue on the upcoming Nordstrom sale?

    Brown double monks or plain toe bluchers - depending on your preference. A little less formal than the above choices but still versatile. Check out the BR Wyatt or J&M Conard.

    Lighter brown loafers - for more casual and for summer as well. Look at the BR Paul.

  7. #7
    Varsity Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Posts
    1,497
    Mentioned
    114 Post(s)
    Quoted
    618 Post(s)
    Quality, not quantity. And others have said, work slowly and never pay full price. But, just because something is on heavy discount, don't buy it unless you know you'll wear it enough to justify it, and just because something was bought on heavy discount, don't justify keeping it if your feet don't fit properly in them. Which brings me to my next piece of advice: get your feet measured properly. Having a baseline brannock helps quite a bit when figuring what size to go with. Shoe sizing differs from company to company, and last to last within a company. Lots of information out there in regards to sizing, and there will be some brands you can't try on in store. So by doing proper research, you'll minimize the need to do a return, or try on several different pairs to get the right size.

  8. #8
    Varsity Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2014
    Posts
    681
    Mentioned
    29 Post(s)
    Quoted
    179 Post(s)
    Buy a brown pair of AE Fifth Avenues for $245. Is how I would start it.

  9. #9
    Varsity Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2015
    Posts
    1,015
    Mentioned
    55 Post(s)
    Quoted
    367 Post(s)
    Suits: cap toe oxfords/balmorals.

    Dress trousers: wingtips (blücher/derby or balmoral/oxford)

    Chinos: loafers

    Clearly you can branch out from there, but I would consider that a good foundation.

  10. #10
    Varsity Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2015
    Posts
    363
    Mentioned
    14 Post(s)
    Quoted
    144 Post(s)

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •