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AE color choice

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    AE color choice

    Alright, so with a hefty work bonus recently deposited into my bank account and my upcoming tax return, I think I'm going to up my shoe game and buy a pair of Strands. I plan on going to try some on for size and so I can see how I like them in person, but I'm already struggling to choose between the walnut calf and brown burnished calf.

    I'm going to go ahead and say, that based on the online pictures, I like the look of the walnut better. They just looks snazzier to me, I feel like they'll look better with grey/charcoal/navy, and my current go-to dress shoes look to be around the same color. However, I'm concerned about that color choice for a few reasons:

    1. I'm very bad about getting a new item of clothing I like and completely disregarding older (and in the case of my dress shoes) less fashionable items that serve the same purpose. That is, I'll probably be wearing these shoes 3-4 times a week if I'm not careful. Are these shoes too flashy to wear that often?

    2. I know these shoes will last a long time, but will the walnut color still be fashionable in the future? I feel like the answer is yes, but at the same time, a darker brown just seems more classic to me and better able to stand the test of time.

    3. This one is much more minor, but how far off can a brown leather watchband be from shoes/belt and still be acceptable? This watch ( has become my go-to, but I feel like it won't fly with the walnut shoes/belt. (I plan on getting a simpler, dressier watch in the near future, so I'll probably get something that will match a little better then anyways)

    I've never dropped this much money on a pair of shoes before and just want to make sure I get it right! Thanks!

    Edit: Jeebus, when did I get so verbose?


    Wait, which color are your current shoes? I think the walnut strands are a gorgeous color, but they'll definitely be a signature piece. You won't want to wear them more than a couple times a week because they will definitely draw attention (plus you need to let them rest).

    I wouldn't worry too much about matching your watch band. Your belt, yes... to an extent. I wouldn't get too crazy about it being exact, but your watch band isn't that big a deal.



      Yeah, sorry, I guess that's a bit confusing about the color of my current shoes. They're a light brown pair of basic, somewhat squared J&Ms (pretty close to the AE walnut if the pictures are accurate). I was more just thinking with the AEs, the walnut + the brogue would be pretty eye catching.

      I'd eventually like to pick up a pair of Park or Fifth Avenues too, so I can get some kind of AE rotation going. Until then I guess I'll just need to excercise fashion discipline.



        I just recently bought walnut Strands, and they are definitely a good looking shoe. It's my first real splurge as well, and I'm definitely happy with my purchase. I wanted a shoe that would look good dressed down a bit with some denim, but could also do a step in the other direction with a suit.

        In my opinion, the walnut looks the best on the strand. The shoe really stands out to me in that color, and you get to see a lot of the details clearly. It might not be the best pair with a more formal look, but I can see it being a very versatile piece for me.

        On the watch concern, I don't think it's really that big of a deal. In fact, I don't even match my belt with my shoes. I usually go with a dark brown belt with the Strands and I think it works fine.

        I agree with JC in not over wearing the shoe. I haven't worn it more than twice a week, and I definitely avoid it if there's high chance of rain/snow in the forecast. But that said, the shoe is such a versatile piece that you can wear it twice every week with some subtle differences and still come out looking good each time.



          Thanks KC, I love getting the personal account. Especially when you sound like you were in a pretty similar situation to where I am now.

          I don't get the opportunity to wear a suit too terribly often (I'll more so wear these shoes to dress up business/smart casual on occasion) , but if I end up getting these I'm going to be super anxious for any spring/summer weddings and the opportunity to break these out with my seersucker or upcoming light grey suit.



            I recently purchased a pair of shoes in a color very close to walnut. They go well with my suits when I'm looking for a fun way to mix it up, but I wouldn't wear them for more conservative scenarios. I personally agree that walnut is by far my favorite color for Strands, but if I were buying them, I'd ALSO be prepared to buy something else in a more conservative, darker brown (if I didn't already have something).



              @ Alan

              That last part I think is now my primary reservation. Part of me thinks I should start out with a different pair of dark brown AEs (like the Fifth Avenue) since it's more of a classic/staple item. And then go for the walnut Strands down the road to spice it up.

              Decisions, decisions...



                I just got my Fifth Street's in Brown Burnished Calf today. Its a great color and actually has a bit more lightness to it than how they seemed in AE's online photo. Still very much dark and classic though. I think it'll do great in both dressed up and down situations. I already have British Tan lace up (Cole Haan) so I didn't have a need in that color spectrum.

                I initially was more in love with the lighter/tan browns however I now see the appeal in the deeper more classic browns. It really can go with most anything except black which is nice versatility.



                  Yeah I've come to love the dark burgundy since getting a pair of AE Arlington burgundy kiltie tassel loafers and a pair of AE Cambridge shell shortwings in #8 cordovan. They're really versatile with jeans or even a suit in anything but black



                    Sounds like you are planning on wearing your walnut strands quite a lot! Go the whole way and go for Cordovan so they will last for generations vs a decade or two of calf skin:



                      I bought the Strands in black. The majority of the pants I wear go from lighter shades of grey to charcoal, with a few black mixed in. I personally think black shoes look better than brown when paired with grey all day long.. this of course being an unpopular opinion here. Some of us have to wear black to keep things balanced.



                        How about going with brown (or cordovan) Strands or Fifth Streets as versatile workhorses then going on the lookout for a deal with walnut Dalton boots or the McTavish for the fun?



                          To me -- unless you work in a more creative or relaxed work environment -- an AE Walnut is not work appropriate. Like, say, if you needed to wear suits to work or if it's a conservative business casual environment. But if you work in the right industry, go crazy.

                          FWIW, I tend to try and match my belt and shoes without going too crazy, but I absolutely don't bother matching anything to my watch strap.



                            Personally, I would go for the walnut. Brown shoes are a dime a dozen. You can find them all over eBay for not too much money. Walnut is a much more difficult color to find. Unless you work in a conservative profession, I wouldn't worry too much about the walnut color looking particularly extreme. In 9 out of 10 work environments, wearing leather captoe shoes of any variety pretty much guarantees that you will be out-dressing your colleagues.




                              I work in IT people are impressed if you wear a tie. Anything else is icing on the cake. So I wear my walnutty wingtips with a medium gray pin stripe suit and the only question I might get is "why are you so dressed up"? If I worked upstairs in management, I'd probably dress more conservatively... Though I have seen our company president in some grotesque ultra-burnished grey leather loafers (just plain ugly).