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Five pairs of AE's, four are going back -- what should I get in return?

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    Five pairs of AE's, four are going back -- what should I get in return?

    I own five pairs of AE's, but three are in the wrong width and one is not up to quality standards and is going back. This gives me flexibility in what I get in return. I work in a large IT environment that "requires" suits, but many folks just do pants/shirt, often forgoing the tie or jacket. (Yes, many don't know that it's tie and jacket.) So I'm not on Wall Street or anything, but I would like to wear proper suits. However, based on my position, a full-on suit is probably a little stuffy, so I'm more likely to be found in an odd jacket and pants. Usually it would only be my boss's boss, or my boss's boss's boss, wearing a full suit. Summer is casual dress so this is for wearing Fall/Winter/Spring. My suits are navy and mid grey. Sportcoats in brown and charcoal herringbones. I will pick up some tweeds when possible. I have khaki and navy cotton Thompsons as well.

    1st pair - not returnable - fits great - AE Park Avenue Merlot, 7.5D ($127 on eBay, thanks ninpb, for the tip!)

    2nd pair - returning - bad quality - AE Fifth Street boot, black, 7.5E
    I would like to get a boot that could do double duty with a suit and with jeans. If it can only be one, let's make it work with suits. Keep the Fifth Street black? Get it in brown? Take a Dalton in-store instead?

    3rd, 4th, 5th pairs - Strands x2 and Fifth Avenue x1 (D width; I need E width)
    What three pairs would you get to supplement the above two choices?

    I think PA's are often too plain in brown or black; Fifth Avenue also are a little on the plain side. I dig Strands for sure. Is it bad if I just want Strands in every color? Throw in a McAllister for variety? Suggestions? I think I'll go to the store Monday. I'm just too damn indecisive!

    #2
    Originally posted by marathon View Post
    I think PA's are often too plain in brown or black; Fifth Avenue also are a little on the plain side. I dig Strands for sure. Is it bad if I just want Strands in every color? Throw in a McAllister for variety? Suggestions? I think I'll go to the store Monday. I'm just too damn indecisive!
    We're probably in the same boat of IT environment with only upper management wearing a suit.

    I have Strands in walnut and brown burnished. I wanted the merlot one and pretty sure I saw it last time but I don't see it anymore

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      #3
      Originally posted by 3piece View Post
      We're probably in the same boat of IT environment with only upper management wearing a suit.

      I have Strands in walnut and brown burnished. I wanted the merlot one and pretty sure I saw it last time but I don't see it anymore
      Any regret just owning Strands?

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        #4
        Here is my 2 cents:

        Exchange the Fifth Street for the Dalton, since they can be worn dressed up or down, as you mentioned. With the remaining three, definitely pick up one pair of Strands since you love them. Do you like suede? I have a pair of Neumoks in snuff suede that I think are beautiful shoes. They are basically the McAlisters in unlined suede. I think they can also be dressed up or down, and I really like the look of suede shoes with tweed. I would also toss another blucher in there. The Kennilworth is pretty sleek and can be dressed up or down as well.

        With that said, do what will make you happy. If that means the Strands in every color, go for it.

        Comment


          #5
          Originally posted by marathon View Post
          Any regret just owning Strands?
          No. Like you said PA and FA are too plain and just too formal/serious for my environment (IT; Orange County, CA). I'm happy wearing my Strands with chinos, jeans, and wool dress pants.

          For black shoes I will get PA, if I bother to; I currently own some old bostonian black shoes.

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            #6
            Ok, latest theory. Agree or disagree?

            1. Dalton in brown or chocolate or walnut. I need to see them. Advice?

            2. McAllister in Merlot. (If they exchange.)

            3. Fifth Avenue, black, possibly Strand if FA looks odd (small cap).

            4/5: two Strands in brown, walnut, or bourbon

            Again, suits are navy and grey Thompsons. Brown and grey herringbone Ludlow sport coats.

            Suede shoes I will buy cheap at first, not really considering them yet.

            Is the above five a solid rotation? What would you change?

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              #7
              Personally, I would consider a blucher at the fifth position for added versatility. What do you think about longwings like the MacNeil or the AE for Ralph Lauren Sanderson?

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                #8
                Originally posted by sabrown View Post
                Personally, I would consider a blucher at the fifth position for added versatility. What do you think about longwings like the MacNeil or the AE for Ralph Lauren Sanderson?
                I do not like longwings. What other blucher options are there? What makes it more flexible -- wear with jeans? Also--with two cotton suits in navy and khaki in the rotation, what sort of shoe goes with those? Ones I've already named, or some suede ones I'll pick up separately? (I feel cheap suede can still be comfortable and therefore is OK to buy cheap. Also harder to keep clean and therefore make to last ten years.)

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                  #9
                  Bluchers are inherently more casual, and typically go better with more casual clothes like jeans and chinos. There are a lot of guys that say they can't wear an oxford with jeans bc the look bothers them. Personally, I think the Strand is a fantastic shoe and can still look really good dressed down. Anyway, I also thought a blucher would give you a little bit different aesthetic, since you are proposing three other balmorals.

                  If you don't like longwings, the Kennilworth is pretty classic. You may not like bluchers, but that was just my idea to expand the reach of your collection.

                  I don't see any reason why you couldn't wear the Strands or McAllister with your khaki suits. I don't own any myself, but I have seen loafers suggested with those type of suits too, so that could be an idea...

                  Comment


                    #10
                    1. Dalton in brown or chocolate or walnut. I need to see them. Advice? Bourbon IMO but walnut would work here

                    2. McAllister in Merlot. (If they exchange.) or Bourbon

                    3. Fifth Avenue, black, possibly Strand if FA looks odd (small cap). Sounds good, you could split the diff w/ black Fifth Street boots

                    4/5: two Strands in brown, walnut, or bourbon agree w/ sabrown, get a blucher (Kenilworth in brown) + strands in merlot/brown/bourbon (whichever you're missing)

                    Also, suede really isn't that hard to keep clean. Spray it w/ some protector and enjoy. Get the RL Singleton in snuff suede (made by AE so eligible for 2/$250) - should go with both pairs of cotton suits you have.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      1. Dalton Bourbon.
                      2. McAllister Merlot.
                      3. Fifth Street black boot. (only black shoe)
                      4. Strand Walnut
                      5. Strand Brown, possibly a Kenilworth as folks say I need more bluchers
                      Later/seconds/non-AE: suede bluchers/chukkas

                      Do you think bluchers do double duty or do they remain casual wear? I expect to wear wool trousers most of the year, whether worsted or flannel. I also have the cotton suits, which Fred suggested in another thread shouldn't be worn with balmorals. But this guy wears it well with walnut strands: http://hespokestyle.com/khaki-suit-1/

                      Comment


                        #12
                        X-post from the Shoe Collection thread:

                        I'd say you need more bluchers instead of balmorals, especially if you're not in a suit everyday. I generally won't wear balmorals with jeans or cotton trousers. Regardless of what the rules are, I don't think the formality of the closed lacing works well with the casualness of cotton trousers. I'll wear them with wool trousers, and odd jacket and tie though even though this is against the "rules." I think the formality of the wool trousers and tie make it formal enough for bals for me even though historically this was a fairly casual outfit. Others will certainly disagree with this but this is how I'll wear 'em.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Originally posted by marathon View Post
                          Also harder to keep clean and therefore make to last ten years.
                          Originally posted by LosRockets View Post
                          Also, suede really isn't that hard to keep clean. Spray it w/ some protector and enjoy.
                          +1 to LosRockets. I spray mine with this stuff: http://vimeo.com/66478043

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Originally posted by Fred G. Unn View Post
                            +1 to LosRockets. I spray mine with this stuff: http://vimeo.com/66478043
                            Buy it here.

                            Furthermore, you can find guides all over internet about cleaning suede shoes, including this one.

                            marathon, I'd agree with the above opinions that you may not want as many balmorals, and you might consider Cliftons in Brown as an alternative bulcher option to the Kenilworth. They were $129 on closeout at the Shoebank in my size.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Unfortunately, the Cliftons hated my toes. I do like the look of Kenilworth, actually, with the burnishing. http://dappered.com/2012/08/the-sugg...brown-lace-up/. And a beautiful shot here: http://cdn.styleforum.net/d/d2/d25ac...DSC_9641j.jpeg

                              Thanks for the suede links! The picture of the shoes being fixed is what I imagine being a downside to suede. I will get some suede shoes but not in this first run.

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