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Thread: Newbie Post, Looking for help in building my shoe collection

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    Newbie Post, Looking for help in building my shoe collection

    Hi All,

    First time poster here...have read the forums for countless decisions. Now I would love your help and advice in building out my shoe collection. I've always had a large number of shoes, but I've only recently started buying quality pairs. I've purchased a couple of Allen Edmonds (please hold the comments if you don't think they are quality) so far and with their current sale, was interested in buying another.

    I currently have a Black Carlyle that I use for 'formal' events/my charcoal and navy suit. I also have a pair of Dark Chili St. Johns Monkstrap shoes that I wear for business meetings, and less formal events. I travel a lot for work, and typically wear either Dark jeans & a sport coat, or more often chinos & a sport coat (typically navy, light grey, dark grey chinos), usually involving a flight or two (so comfort does matter). There are the occasional times that I will have to wear a suit for a business meeting.

    I'd like to get another pair of brown shoes to wear and not sure what to go with. Since I already have a dark chili, I was thinking of either the Oxblood, Walnut, or even the new Coffee color AE has. But aside from color, do I go with a cap toe like Park Ave, 5th Ave, or something else like the Mccallister or Strand, or something I'm not even considering?

    I'm sure I will get more shoes later, but this is going to have to last me a little while. So what brown shade and style would be the most versatile to wear to my work meetings in chinos/sportcoat, evenings out in jeans, or a suit if I had to? Does such a thing exist? Thanks in advance!

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    I feel like their new coffee color would hit the right spot in terms of color vs. what you would wear them with. Since you have the Carlyle, I would stay away from Park Ave and 5th Ave because they are more formal shoes that what you would be wearing them with. My vote would be strand and it adds visual texture, a loafer like the Randolph, Strandmok, or something in suede.

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    Varsity Member mebejoseph's Avatar
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    I like my Macallisters, despite the fact that the bourbon color was problematic and I had to strip the color down and re-dye them. I like the fit and look. I have oxblood AE shoes in another model, and that's about my favorite color.

    That said, it sounds like you don't have casual shoes. I also like my Nomad suede chukkas from AE. They are great with chinos and jeans and very comfortable. You might want to try something like that.

    Or, you may want to try another brand.

    jfitzpatrick has some great shoes on sale for 40%, including loafers, monkstraps in suede and leather, and brown oxfords:

    https://www.jfitzpatrickfootwear.com...earance-40-off

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    If you like the Carlyle and want more formal balmorals, take a look at some of the other shoes built on the 8 last.

    A Vernon in saddle brown would be a nice step down in formality from the black Carlyle.

    However, if you want something that is preferred for chinos or jeans, and can work with a suit in a pinch, then you need something that will drop the shoe to essentially casual wear. That means either a light, flashy colour (walnut), a lot of brogue/perforation/pinking, a rougher material (pebble/grain leather or suede), an open lacing oxford (derby) or even less formal design (chukka, chelsea). The more of these you incorporate into one shoe, the more casual it will be.

    From what you've described a mid-brown such as the coffee would work, or the oxblood for a little more flash from the red tones.

    A Strand in suede could work, as it's a formal shoe in a casual material, but I'd probably go with a casual shoe in a more formal material. That way you can really polish it up when needing more formality (most people will notice a reflective polish before the design). A smooth or grain leather chukka would be my suggestion. When needing to go casual, swap from formal round, dark laces to flat, colourful laces and the really catch attention

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    Strandmok, brown. Not with a business suit, obviously.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mebejoseph View Post
    jfitzpatrick has some great shoes on sale for 40%, including loafers, monkstraps in suede and leather, and brown oxfords:

    https://www.jfitzpatrickfootwear.com...earance-40-off
    Well, nuts--it looks like the 40% sale ended a few hours ago.

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    Varsity Member mebejoseph's Avatar
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    Also, I love the way my AE Macneils in Oxblood long wingtips look with my dark jeans and chinos. And they are not bad with a suit if you're trying to dress it down a bit.

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    For what you're describing, I like the strand in brown, coffee, or really any color that is mostly brown with at most a little bit of red. Personally, I don't have any problem wearing closed laced shoes with jeans, and the Strand is plenty casual to be worn with jeans or chinos, while also being appropriate for a suit.

    That said, if they feel too formal for what you are going for, another poster suggested brown suede, which I think would look great as well. You also could go with something a bit more casual, such as the Strandmok or Neumok (if they still sell those). They are essentially the same shoe, but with more contrast in stitching and welt, as well as more casual leather.

    Really, almost any brown lace up shoe with some amount of broguing will be a versatile addition to your wardrobe. Brown is the most versatile color, and the broguing will set it apart from your plain black Carlyles. Whether you go oxford or derby, full, semi, or longwing brogue, and exactly which shade of brown is a matter of personal taste. The pair you buy should be one that you like and are excited to put on your feet!

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    As another poster mentioned, I suggest a loafer, especially for flights and traveling comfort. I think the AE Lake Forest in coffee would be a great addition for your purposes. Would work with jeans all the way to suiting as far as I'm concerned, and with all the color trousers you listed in particular.

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    Second, third, fourth etc the recommendation for the strand.

    I actually own it in walnut— classic. and merlot—It’s a relative of oxblood.

    Fun shoe that can be dressed up somewhat and down.

    I wish a loafer would work for me. Sadly I have neither the foot or the patience for one.

    Coffee is fine. But I honestly think it’s more fun to go with something slightly eye catching like the walnut or the ox. Just me.


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