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AE Alumnus or Neumok - OK for business? Business casual?

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    AE Alumnus or Neumok - OK for business? Business casual?

    Hi,
    First time poster. May I have your feedback about whether the AE Alumnus or Newmoks are appropriate for business (suits) or business casual settings? The shoes fit perfectly, but I'm concerned that the contrasting soles make the shoes look too casual (and the AE site lists the Alumnus as casual).
    Thanks,
    Dan

    #2
    Originally posted by danielh View Post
    Hi,
    First time poster. May I have your feedback about whether the AE Alumnus or Newmoks are appropriate for business (suits) or business casual settings? The shoes fit perfectly, but I'm concerned that the contrasting soles make the shoes look too casual (and the AE site lists the Alumnus as casual).
    Thanks,
    Dan
    I have a Neumok (1.0) in olive green, but I only wear it casually, usually with blue jeans (medium or dark wash) and a white or pink shirt, often linen but sometimes cotton. I have worn my pair with chinos. I should try them with grey jeans sometime, as I'm coming to prefer grey jeans to blue - but then again I almost always prefer grey to blue. Perhaps the "acorn hill fire" brown Neumok that's a Nordstrom collaboration would work fine in a business casual setting or with a summer suit. You might get slightly less informal wear out of the navy Neumok than the green, too.

    I am not a big fan of the new Neumok 2.0. Some of the colors are too gaudy. It might be fine in grey chromexcel or brown kudu, though I don't particularly like the look of the kudu. Can't see the point of such a casual shoe in black, and I think the new green, orange, and red are too loud, certainly for business casual, let alone a suit. Not sure about the navy.

    All in all:
    - probably not going to work with a suit, unless it's a summer suit [linen or cotton or, if wool, in a less formal color such as light blue, tan, or light grey].
    - might work with business casual but I'd stick to the brown Neumok 1.0 sold via Nordstrom or to the grey Neumok 2.0.
    - you might get some business casual mileage out of the blue Neumok 1.0 or the brown 2.0 [or possibly the brown distressed 1.0 that's on clearance at the moment, but I would say not].

    AE needs to bring back the McTavish and make a McTavish 2.0. My dublin cognac McTavish does a far better job than my Neumok of bridging the casual/business casual divide, and goes great with a summer suit. It can also make a shift with a business suit that isn't too formal. I like it with my light grey Suit Supply Lazio and a mid-grey suit from the UK. Might go okay with navy, too, but I haven't tried. Wouldn't wear it with charcoal, though. In fact, the cognac McTavish bridges the casual/formal divide better than most shoes in my collection, perhaps second only to my brown Kenilworth.

    Comment


      #3
      I love the Neumok, but I ended up returning mine because I could not find a place for them. I think they would look good with chinos or casual trousers, OCBD, and v neck sweater maybe? But they definitely do not work with business attire. I noticed when opposing counsel wore a pair to court one day. They looked very out of place in the courtroom, even with his awkward olive suit. I would not wear them even with a more casual suit outside of court/office, where I would not hesitate to wear my walnut Warwicks instead of my Park Aves or my Fifth Aves.

      I haven't seen the Alumnus in person, but they look like they could work in a business casual setting. But at that point, why not just go with the McAllister or the McGregor? Not sure if AE still makes the McGregor, but I have a pair in chili that I wear with slacks, button up, and blazer. I actually like the McAllisters better, but I bought the McGregors first and had no need for the McAllisters.

      Comment


        #4
        That is going to depend a lot on the company you work for, the role you play at that company, and the industry you work in. If you see other (successful) men in your business setting wearing similar styles that's a good sign you will be okay, if everyone else is wearing more traditional/formal styles i would stay away from these.

        The Alumnus are derby's so some traditionalist will claim they are not ideal to wear with a suit....but of course 95% of the people you run into on a daily basis will probably not be unaware of this "rule" and of the 5% who are aware a good portion will probably still think it is okay or simply not care. I have not seen them in real life yet, but based on pictures the brown would probably be fine in most settings. The contrast of the soles on the black could be an issue in more formal settings. Basically, I think they would work well in a business casual setting and if you have to occasionally wear a suit I think you could pull off at least the brown ones with no problem. If you wear suits often I think there are lots of much better options out there to compliment that outfit.

        The Newmoks are oxfords, so traditionally that type of shoe is great with suits, however the distressed leather and color options on these make them very casual.....like jeans or chinos casual. I work in a business casual office that leans a bit towards the traditional side and feel like these are too casual to wear to work here. However, i used to work for a smaller IT company that was much more casual and would wear a similar pair of AE shoes (with jeans or chinos) and got lots of compliments.

        Comment


          #5
          I'm wearing a pair of the McGregor in oxblood as I type this! AE discontinued it and almost all the pairs have gone from the Shoebank, probably because they reduced it to $137 quite early on. The McAllister is still a possibility and they still have plenty in merlot - although they jerkily jacked the price back up to $237 after it had fallen as low as $157. Despite having an oxblood McGregor, I jumped on the merlot McAllister at $157. I love both, and the combined cost wasn't far above what I'd ordinarily have paid for one were they not on closeout. Still a splurge, but what the hell.

          Oh, there might be a pair or two of bourbon McAllisters floating around the Shoebank.

          Too bad that, this year, AE have discontinued both bourbon and merlot in the McAllister. Bourbon, merlot, and walnut were surely the best three colors for that model.

          Originally posted by Paddington View Post
          I love the Neumok, but I ended up returning mine because I could not find a place for them. I think they would look good with chinos or casual trousers, OCBD, and v neck sweater maybe? But they definitely do not work with business attire. I noticed when opposing counsel wore a pair to court one day. They looked very out of place in the courtroom, even with his awkward olive suit. I would not wear them even with a more casual suit outside of court/office, where I would not hesitate to wear my walnut Warwicks instead of my Park Aves or my Fifth Aves.

          I haven't seen the Alumnus in person, but they look like they could work in a business casual setting. But at that point, why not just go with the McAllister or the McGregor? Not sure if AE still makes the McGregor, but I have a pair in chili that I wear with slacks, button up, and blazer. I actually like the McAllisters better, but I bought the McGregors first and had no need for the McAllisters.

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by srlclark View Post
            I'm wearing a pair of the McGregor in oxblood as I type this! AE discontinued it and almost all the pairs have gone from the Shoebank, probably because they reduced it to $137 quite early on. The McAllister is still a possibility and they still have plenty in merlot - although they jerkily jacked the price back up to $237 after it had fallen as low as $157. Despite having an oxblood McGregor, I jumped on the merlot McAllister at $157. I love both, and the combined cost wasn't far above what I'd ordinarily have paid for one were they not on closeout. Still a splurge, but what the hell.

            Oh, there might be a pair or two of bourbon McAllisters floating around the Shoebank.

            Too bad that, this year, AE have discontinued both bourbon and merlot in the McAllister. Bourbon, merlot, and walnut were surely the best three colors for that model.
            My McGregors have a special place in my heart. They were the first AE shoes I bought, the week before I started my first real job. My girlfriend (now fiancee, very soon to be wife) convinced me that I needed nice shoes as a lawyer. The most expensive pair I'd had before that were some ugly J&M derbies for like $125 at Belk. I paid like $375 for them because I didn't know about AE sales and wanted them on my first day. I wore them 5 days a week, with suits and business casual, for about 6 months. Then I learned about the oxford with suit rule and also the need to branch out, and now I have 7 or 8 pairs of AEs. I only wear the McGregors with business casual now that I have a pair of brown Fifth Aves and black Park Aves for my suits. I chose the chili color because it matched all of my suits at the time as well as the band on my only dress watch--a Tissot PR100 that my fiancee bought me for when I interned at that firm the summer before.

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by Paddington View Post
              My McGregors have a special place in my heart. They were the first AE shoes I bought, the week before I started my first real job. My girlfriend (now fiancee, very soon to be wife) convinced me that I needed nice shoes as a lawyer. The most expensive pair I'd had before that were some ugly J&M derbies for like $125 at Belk. I paid like $375 for them because I didn't know about AE sales and wanted them on my first day. I wore them 5 days a week, with suits and business casual, for about 6 months. Then I learned about the oxford with suit rule and also the need to branch out, and now I have 7 or 8 pairs of AEs. I only wear the McGregors with business casual now that I have a pair of brown Fifth Aves and black Park Aves for my suits. I chose the chili color because it matched all of my suits at the time as well as the band on my only dress watch--a Tissot PR100 that my fiancee bought me for when I interned at that firm the summer before.
              That's a neat story! I think you can occasionally wear a chili McGregor with a business suit, so long as it's not charcoal. They'd be okay with navy or mid-grey. But I don't know the culture of your law firm, so perhaps I'm wrong.

              My AE trajectory has been similar to yours. My first pair was cognac McTavish, which I did get on a 35-40% discount for $175 at Nordstrom. But shortly afterwards I bought a pair of walnut Strands for my wedding and paid the full $299 seconds price, because I'd only just started the research and so knew about the Shoebank but not about sales. One reason I'm okay having both an oxblood McGregor and a merlot McAllister is that I paid $284 for them combined, which is less than I paid for my walnut Strands. Another is that the merlot McAllisters are mostly for wearing with a suit and the oxblood McGregors mostly with a sports coat and non-matching pants or even for more casual wear. I know have eight pairs of AE as well. So I just decided to cut myself off from further dress shoe purchases until next summer.

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                #8
                RIP Bourbon McAllisters. I love mine and wear then multiple times a week.

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                  #9
                  Thanks everyone for the great feedback! Will look more closely at the McGregors (if I can find any) and McAllisters - also seem to fit, though not as well as the Alumnus...

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Is a suit considered business causal? I think that would be too formal. Business causal can mean a lot of things. I think the neumok are not very business like anyway, depending on the color. For business, a lot of the time you want to wear neutral clothing, so the same factors that make neumoks cool, make them a bit less ideal for business, even if everyone at the office wears jeans.

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                      #11
                      I've never noticed the Alumnus before. I quite like it...but would probably only wear it with jeans or chinos. Neither that nor the Neumok are optimal in the least with a suit. I wouldn't even wear them with certain dressier odd trousers (100% wool, creased). The McAllister really is the one to go for if you'll wear it with a suit. I think it's also OK to dress down with other more casual pants, as long as you don't opt for the black ones. McGregor would be one step down, but still OK with a suit IMHO as long as you chose a darker color.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by ryn View Post
                        Is a suit considered business causal? I think that would be too formal. Business causal can mean a lot of things. I think the neumok are not very business like anyway, depending on the color. For business, a lot of the time you want to wear neutral clothing, so the same factors that make neumoks cool, make them a bit less ideal for business, even if everyone at the office wears jeans.
                        Not sure about OP, but I consider:

                        Business: suit and tie
                        Business Casual: slacks/trousers and button up, blazer for meetings or weather, sweater for weather, tie optional

                        Comment


                          #13
                          The Alumnus is a cool shoe that can be worn in a variety of applications, including with a casual suit.

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