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Lowest number of shoes in a lean wardrobe?

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    #16
    I have a related question about the desert boot in particular. As I mentioned in the original post, a chukka or desert boot (yes, I know they're technically not the same thing) is very versatile, and I want to get the most mileage out of a pair of boots that I can. And my beat-up suede chukkas sorely need replacing (fyi, don't buy the "red tape" brand from DSW...falling apart after just over a year). I was initially looking for something in the $100-200 range, as I posted over on the shoe forum, but recent expenses have made me lower this range.

    I also found that my aversion to Clark's DBs was unfounded. The pics online I'd seen made them look floppy and awkwardly-shaped, but when I finally went to a store and tried them on, they weren't awkward at all, and were quite comfortable. Plus, after looking around, no other DB has quite the same rugged look that looks equally good with jeans or dressed up with chinos. (A lot of the suede chukkas look too dressy, to the point where pairing them with jeans would be trying too hard.) So I am sold on the shape and feel of the Clark's.

    The problem, though, is color and material. The chukkas I've had for the past year are a beige-to-taupe color, maybe just slightly lighter than the taupe suede Clarks. The problem is that while these are fine with jeans, they look too light for the gray cords and chinos I recently bought (and they might look off with similarly-colored beige cords). A darker brown would be more versatile, as well as more stain-resistant. What sucks is that there is no medium brown in the suede DBs; they go from taupe right to dark brown. I bought the dark brown, but I'm not sure whether I should keep them. I need a darker color than the taupe, but the brown suede is really, REALLY brown. And they painted the sides of the crepe soles brown as well, which adds to the effect. Reading reviews online, it seems that fewer people go for this color, and I'm wondering whether this has something to do with it.

    That leaves the beeswax leather. These look much better in person than online, and the color is pretty much an ideal mid-brown. The only thing is that I was previously set on suede; I wanted the lighter, more breathable feel, and I felt that suede was a more 3-4 season material, while the leather only seems about 2 (though I could be wrong on this). Plus, the brown suede rocked by McQueen or Daniel Craig (particularly Quantum of Solace) seem so badass. So now I'm not sure what to do. I even tried the J. Crew mcallister boot, but it was way too floppy and unstructured; didn't feel or look nearly as good as the Clarks.

    So I guess my question is, (1) is the dark brown suede a bad idea for a DB, or am I overthinking it, and (2) can anyone who owns the beeswax comment on the overall versatility of the color as well as how they feel in summer? I searched the threads, but didn't find anything specific. Thanks!

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      #17
      It sounds like you're out of school so going with only one pair of sneakers is no longer viable.

      IMO for a professional the lowest amount would be:

      1 pair black dress shoes
      1 pair brown dress shoes
      1 pair casual shoes (fashion sneakers, boat shoes, something you could wear with shorts or jeans and it'd always be OK)
      1 pair gym/beater sneakers

      Wearing the same set of dress shoes to work every day will rip them up in no time. If you're in a casual office environment you only need one pair, though. Ideally the brown dress shoes would have some broguing and be of casual enough style that you could wear them with chinos and jeans and no one would bat an eye. If you live in the Northeast or somewhere with lots of rain/snow, some basic boots would also be warranted.

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        #18
        Originally posted by holmes10 View Post
        I was initially looking for something in the $100-200 range

        So I guess my question is, (1) is the dark brown suede a bad idea for a DB, or am I overthinking it, and (2) can anyone who owns the beeswax comment on the overall versatility of the color as well as how they feel in summer? I searched the threads, but didn't find anything specific. Thanks!
        AE Malvern is only $208 at 6PM right now if you hit your size (down from $335). I have these and love them! I've also had them several years and haven't even had to resole them yet. I much prefer AE's version of the Dainte sole to the crepe sole of DBs. If they have your size, these are well worth the money and will last you much longer than the DBs will:
        http://www.6pm.com/allen-edmonds-mal...fcTest=mat%3A1

        (of course it goes without saying, spray them with some suede protector, use shoe trees, etc.)

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          #19
          Originally posted by Fred G. Unn View Post
          AE Malvern is only $208 at 6PM right now if you hit your size (down from $335). I have these and love them! I've also had them several years and haven't even had to resole them yet. I much prefer AE's version of the Dainte sole to the crepe sole of DBs. If they have your size, these are well worth the money and will last you much longer than the DBs will:
          http://www.6pm.com/allen-edmonds-mal...fcTest=mat%3A1

          (of course it goes without saying, spray them with some suede protector, use shoe trees, etc.)
          I concur with that. The malverns are great! Here's a pic of mine:

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            #20
            I've got a pair of suede Malverns also, and I quite like them. They feel a biiiiit on the clunky side, but they look good and they're going to hold up for a while. Great sole too.

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              #21
              Thanks...the malverns look better in your pic than on the website...looks like a nice mid-to dark brown...I just might be able to stretch to the $200 level...maybe. I usually wear a 10, though, and there aren't any 10s left...do you know whether they tend to run large/small?

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                #22
                IMO they run pretty TTS. I have 10 and I can't imagine comfortably wearing 9.5. I paid $100 for mine as factory seconds, the only issue is that the back strip is slightly off-center. Nobody can notice!

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                  #23
                  Ah well. Guess I will have to pass on them for now...maybe I should just save up for the Church's Ryder III haha.

                  Anybody have any strong love/hate for the brown suede Clarks DBs? Is this something can can be versatile enough to go with jeans, gray chinos/cords, and khaki chinos as well?

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                    #24
                    1) Brown dress shoes - I just added the Beckett Simonon Hughes Longwing
                    2) Burgundy dress shoes - I use AE Lloyds that I picked up on ebay for $80, gently worn, Nunn Bush McAllisters for bad weather, although I probably get as many compliments on these as any of my AE's, if not more.
                    3) Black dress shoes - I have a pair of AE Park Avenues picked up on ebay for $119 (they were a store display with no signs of wear on the uppers and mild scuffs on the soles. I also have a pair of AE Fifth Avenues that I picked up on ebay for $40ish. They have beautiful uppers and worn soles. I will probably send them in for AE recrafting soon.
                    4) Boots - I have some cheaper glued sole RL Polo boots that I picked up on clearance for $80ish

                    I badly need some chukkas and some boats, and maybe a pair of pennies. Would probably get Topsider boats and Bass Weejun pennies, not sure what the most economical but nice chukkas are...
                    5)

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                      #25
                      Do we count workout clothes in our"wardrobe"? I don't.

                      I have a pretty slim shoe situation lately. Brown caps (need to upgrade), black caps, canvas sneakers, and I need a pair of chukkas. I think 5 pairs is the sweet spot.

                      I have a pair of boots for bad weather and a couple pairs of beater shoes for yard work/not giving a fuck, but that's it.
                      Last edited by jesot; January 30, 2013, 03:47 PM.

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