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Thread: One pair of black dress shoes, what are must haves?

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    One pair of black dress shoes, what are must haves?

    I'm slowly converting my wardrobe to one that is more "professional". I've spent the past 4 years working at various internet start-ups where there was an anything goes attitude in terms of dress code. Now I am working for a financial company that is "business casual", basically, pair of dress pants, button down shirt, no tie, no suit and I could use a makeover. I have one pair of black shoes that are a clunky square toe-ed pair of Kenneth Cole reactions, with matching clunky rubber soles.

    I've been searching the forum and it seems that some basics I should be looking for are leather sole, toe cap, narrow tow box.

    Do I go laces or slip on? I like the look of monkstraps.

    Any recommendations? Lets cap the spending limit at $300. I'd like something that can be worn with a suit, or slightly dressed down for "business casual".

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    Allen Edmonds Park Ave. DONE

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    I second the AE Park Avenues. They're $335 retail, though they are occasionally on sale below $300. Another acceptable alternative is the AE Fifth Avenue, which has some broguing on it. A laced cap-toe is an essential item in your wardrobe, and you should have a pair of those before you get a pair of slip-ons. Loafers are for loafing, and are not acceptable office wear.

    However, brown shoes are more versatile than black. Brown can be worn with a suit or chinos (and with certain shoes, even jeans). Black will work with a suit, and some business casual outfits, but not much else.

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    If you decide to go the monkstrap route, there are plenty of options in either black or brown including:
    http://www.dsw.com/shoe/mercanti+fio...?prodId=231286
    http://www.yoox.com/us/44432355DA/it...2355DA&sizeId=
    My personal favorite and, IMHO, the best value for your money, are the handmade Meermin's of which I have a pair:
    http://meermin.es/ficha_articulo.php?id=2338

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    Super Moderator bjmcgeever's Avatar
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    I'd caution against monkstraps. I feel like they're a bit of a current fad (one which I like) that may soon go out of style. It's unlikely that something like the AE Park Ave will ever look out of place.

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    Dappered Veteran shad0w4life's Avatar
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    Depends on your foot shape! Don't just assume AE's are perfect,

    AE's are absolutely terrible for me(I've come to this conclusion after owning 7 pairs), they tend to have odd heels or something as certain spots get tender, it's not the back of my heel but off to the side a bit. I think it's due to the stupid lip in the heels, it's almost intended to rub from the looks of it Have similar issue with Herring and Loakes I have as well.

    I tossed on Magnanni's today and they feel great; I switch to my fifth ave's just to see how they feel and I already notice them hitting the tender spot from yesterday.

    I'd say go mantorii and get custom shoes if you have non typical shoe feet, that's the route I'm going after the soles on my AE's are done.

    I disagree with Jack's statement on black: Dark Denim, Work/Suits/interviews, and Clubs are all best in black shoes and you don't want to be stuck without a pair of black for weddings etc. I literally gave away my pair of brown AE cortland's to a member of these forums [who in turn donated to charity ] due to never wanting to wear them. The brown monks from DSW though I want to try if you so choose brown but I'd say solid black pair is a must have.
    Last edited by shad0w4life; January 17th, 2013 at 11:50 AM.

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    I have the AE Park Avenues BUT in retrospect I would have gone with a slightly slimmer shape or at least a longer cap toe. I'm really not a fan of AE's stubby cap toe on the Park Avenues.

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    I love the parks; usually wear them twice per week. I have a pair of AE fifths also. They have a little more flair, but probably not great if they are your only pair.

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    Ironically enough, I wore my PAs today for the first time in a couple months, and they felt and looked great on my feet. I'm not sure why, but the cap toe looked spot-on today.

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    Varsity Member Teej's Avatar
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    I don't personally own any AE's but I have heard good things about them. For $275 you could get some of the aristocrats from j&m. They have a black cap toe that is more plain and a brogued one.

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