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AE McAllisters or AE Strands

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    Originally posted by srlclark View Post

    I think that, given the OP's stated needs, they are more likely to be too formal than too informal - if anything, he could consider a suede Strandmok or something like that. Neither the Strand nor the McAllister is too informal to wear with a mid-grey suit or with a sport coat and jeans/slacks. And if he only wears the mid-grey suit twice a year, he's not likely to wear a charcoal suit very often should he eventually buy one. Worrying that shoes are too informal to wear twice a year rather than too formal to wear five days a week strikes me as a mistake. Sure, get the shoes to go with the charcoal suit eventually but don't prioritize them as much as all that. That way, you end up with shoes you almost never wear and, as a result, have to wear the pairs that are the right level of formality for your work place and general life too often. Anyway, he already has a black cap toe, which I imagine gets almost no use. (I've worn my black Fifth Avenues three times in the three and a half years I've owned them. Going forward, I doubt I'll even wear them that often).

    armedferret I agree! Get both if possible.

    OP - I agree with you that the Strands are marginally preferable. An attractive brogue design but not so all-encompassing that you can't enjoy the leather.
    Thanks for the thoughtful reply. I think you have helped me to think this through. I will go with the Strand probably for now. I have been using the black cap toes for weddings with my mid-grey suit, but wanted to have a brown shoe to wear with the suit as well as a weekly wear with my work/church dress. I will probably go with a navy suit instead of charcoal after feedback from others.


      Originally posted by armedferret View Post

      just be careful which McAllister you get. Some are made with "bookbinder" leather which can't be conditioned as it has almost a plasticy coating on top of the leather. They WILL crack and nothing that can be done about it.
      Seriously? Really? I had no idea. Yeah--avoid bookbinder leather on a $400 shoe. That's weird.


        Several years ago, AE offered some of their shoes with a polished leather — due to customer demand. (They looked nice and shiny when new.).
        The McAllister is not currently offered with that leather.


          Why choose? Both are great. I have both Walnut and Black Strands, and a pair of Bourbon McAllisters. I wear the McAllisters substantially more often than the others. I'd love to pick up a pair of dark brown McAllisters as well, but the Bourbon color works well enough for most of my situations.

          If I had to pick one, I'd probably end up going with the McAllisters, but my uses lean business-casual, (chinos, jeans). If it leaned a little more formal, I'd probably lean back toward the Strands.


            Originally posted by drocpsu View Post
            Black Strands,
            What do you wear them with, if you don't mind?