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Shoe Color Versatility

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    Shoe Color Versatility

    Gents,

    I am trying to pick up a new pair of brown dress shoes. I have a pair of British Tan dress shoes (very light brown) and an older pair of medium brown dress shoes which I would like to replace.

    In your opinion, what is the most versatile color of brown? Allen Edmonds may be the best for reference and familiarity. Is it Walnut, Oxblood, bourbon, chili, or brown burnished calf?

    #2
    that should be brown burnished calf without question

    that said, i don't own a single shoe in that color

    i have walnut, bourbon, chili and burgundy

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      #3
      Originally posted by Scofield View Post
      that should be brown burnished calf without question

      that said, i don't own a single shoe in that color

      i have walnut, bourbon, chili and burgundy
      I agree with this, I have a pair of burnished brown fifth ave's and they go great with pretty much anything. I have some Merlot McAllisters too that are probably just as versatile, but I don't really consider those brown so I'm not sure if that is a color you would consider.

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        #4
        For most people it will be brown burnished. It doesn't go well with black pants, but you can wear it with just about anything else, even darker greys. Oxblood goes with black, but I think Merlot is better. I am struggling to imagine a wardrobe where light brown shoes would ever be the most versatile choice. Maybe if someone wears light colored pants all the time? But in that case, light colored shoes might look better, but dark brown would still look fine.

        Light brown shoes are like potato chips. Once you have one, you end up wanting more. The hue becomes more important when the shade is lighter. So, you'll want a redish-brown (like chili) and a yellowish brown (like walnut) and a greenish mid-brown (like bourbon), etc.

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          #5
          Oxblood/burgundy is the most versatile if you're looking for something that can lean more formal (can work with a charcoal suit). A dark chocolate brown is probably better if you're looking for something that can lean more casual (can work with khaki chinos).
          Ben

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            #6
            Dark chili from AE is a good medium/darkish brown and would go with most things unless you got one that was lighter than the ones I've seen in person. I've seen a few online that were lighter, almost regular chili. I prefer AE's merlot over AE's brown burnished as at least MY pair of those look almost black indoors. In other brands, a good dark brown that's not almost black in artificial lighting is probably the most versatile shoe color.

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              #7
              My dark brown PAs, Kenilworths and Presidio loafers look dark brown. I thibk THE most versatile shoe color is merlot, since it looks great with navy, brown, all variations of gray including charcoal and black. If you remove black trousers from the formula, merlot would be seemingly equal in versatility with dark brown. However, although dark brown looks good with charcoal, merlot looks a bit more interesting while classic at the same time.

              Having said that, I don't own any merlot shoes. And although I am salivating over the merlot McAllisters, I have recently overdone my menswear/clothing expenses, and I am in the midst of a very expensive relocation. Also, between my dark and not so dark brown shoes and my black shoes (my personal preference with charcoal anyways), I am filling the void adequately. For now.

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                #8
                I have always considered chili, oxblood and Merlot to be red, although you could wear them with out receiving the same reaction if you wore red red.

                I think there are a couple of ways to look at the versatility question. You could look at the sheer number of pants colors that they go with, or the situations you would wear it. I suggest taking into account your current wardrobe and when you plan on wearing the shoes.

                I think that in more formal situations, darker is better, and in more causal situations, lighter is better. That is, if you plan wear walnut or chili with a smart casual outfit, you might be less likely to be asked why you are so dressed up. That's just my guess.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by winghus View Post
                  Dark chili from AE is a good medium/darkish brown and would go with most things unless you got one that was lighter than the ones I've seen in person. I've seen a few online that were lighter, almost regular chili. I prefer AE's merlot over AE's brown burnished as at least MY pair of those look almost black indoors. In other brands, a good dark brown that's not almost black in artificial lighting is probably the most versatile shoe color.
                  My dark brown Kenilworths look almost black at the burnished toe, but the rest is clearly a dark chocolate brown. Interestingly, burnished brown isn't even AE's darkest brown: the dark chocolate used on the Dalton boot is darker. I think that Loake also has a dark brown that is at least as dark as AE's burnished brown. And the new J. Crew chelsea boot looks awfully dark, too.

                  I agree that a dark brown that really is chocolate brown and not off-black is the most versatile. Burgundy is too much of a statement shoe to wear as often, even if it goes with as many shoes. For that reason, I wear my cognac McTavishes the most of any of my AEs.

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                    #10
                    Originally posted by Me27 View Post
                    I agree with this, I have a pair of burnished brown fifth ave's and they go great with pretty much anything. I have some Merlot McAllisters too that are probably just as versatile, but I don't really consider those brown so I'm not sure if that is a color you would consider.

                    I wouldn't consider merlot to be brown, either. There may be a small amount of brown in merlot, but it is mostly purple and red. I don't see any brown at all in my oxblood McGregors.

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                      #11
                      Originally posted by LesserBlackDog View Post
                      Oxblood/burgundy is the most versatile if you're looking for something that can lean more formal (can work with a charcoal suit). A dark chocolate brown is probably better if you're looking for something that can lean more casual (can work with khaki chinos).
                      I came here to say exactly this. That's really all there is to it.

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