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Allen Edmonds Appreciation Thread - reviews, pictures, sizing, etc...

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by Mild Mannered, Sep 27, 2009.

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  1. luv2breformed

    luv2breformed Well-Known Member

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    I could see how you might conclude this. Black is pretty neutral, right? But you also have to think about coherence in addition to color. You pretty much want all of your outfit's pieces to tell the same story in terms of formality AND city/county spectrum. So you've chosen black shoes and black pants, let's put the rest of the outfit together. What color shirt are you going to wear? White is the obvious choice. Light blue wouldn't be as good as white, but I suppose it could work. Any of your standard pastels (pink, yellow) would be telling a "carefree" spring/summer story while your black pants and shoes communicate formality or darker colored fall/winter vibe. So while the colors may technically work, the message communicated does not comport and creates incoherence.

    Note also that I say all of this from a Classic Menswear perspective. on the Street Wear and Denim side of things, black is a far more popular color choice, but again the best outfits including it tend to be monochrome black/white/gray ones. Sure, black goes with denim, but so does pretty much EVERYTHING else. Brown also looks way better on NAVY IMO.

    The black McTavish is interesting because he's both pretty "country" and well, black. I almost always associate country with brownish earth tones. I mean with his casual yet balmoral styling and contrast stitching and heavy appearance mean he's just all across the board in terms of classic shoe standing. From a CM perspective he shouldn't exist and is a terrible abomination. However, I think he could be worn well with jeans, although I think I'd prefer if he were a boot instead. I don't know if he'd work where a brown shoe normally would, he might given the stitching and styling, etc. I'd probably try him on and see. A caveat I expressed before is needed. The fact that this shoe is such an inherent abomination demands that the rest of your outfit be absolutely on point if you are going to look sharp.

    Leeds or macneil are sort of the same story for me. The plain fact is that black is a formal color while all of these styles are informal. This is an inherent contradiction within the shoe itself which could be fun to play with and make look good; but they are the furthest thing from versatile. They are advanced or expert level shoes IMO and should never be the foundation of a solid shoe wardrobe. Again if you are going to wear shoes that break the rules that badly you have got to know what you are doing and make sure everything else is perfect.
     
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  2. luv2breformed

    luv2breformed Well-Known Member

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    This is my point. They just plain don't go with anything else. In fact, the existence of denim allows abominations like these to exist.

    [​IMG]

    So you can't call me a hater. :p
     
  3. halfnhalfnhalf

    halfnhalfnhalf Well-Known Member

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  4. peppercorn78

    peppercorn78 Well-Known Member

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    Fair bit of wisdom here. Thanks for laying it out like this.
     
  5. ridethecliche

    ridethecliche Well-Known Member

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    *Points to SWD*
     
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2014
  6. ScottMC

    ScottMC Well-Known Member

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  7. cincikid

    cincikid Well-Known Member

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    Excellent post; thanks for sharing your thoughts on the topic. On a related note, what do you think of the black grain leather?
     
  8. Darkside

    Darkside Well-Known Member

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    Anyone who didn't get a Brooks Brothers Macneil on sale is completely missing out. I am enamored...
     
  9. luv2breformed

    luv2breformed Well-Known Member

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    I love the idea of black grain if you do it right. Here's why. Given black's inherent formality, if you are going to make a casual shoe out of it, every casual detail you can add will help swing it to the other end of the spectrum.

    It kind of says "sure I'm black, but every other detail about me screams casual so I'm quite obviously a casual shoe." There's only 1 thing "wrong" with it (it's color), so it sends a more coherent message. This is actually whY bothers me about the McTavish, it's a bal, it's black, smooth leather, but it's casual! Well, when half your details are formal and half are casual you just look like an abomination.

    Imagine this instead. Black grain, blucher, heavy brouging, longwing, double sole, blobby last, gunboat style. This shoe would own with gray flannels, and own hard.

    One last caveat. It's still not CM. It's still an expert level shoe. But it's a shoe that says I know what I am doing and I broke this particular rule on purpose to put my twist on it. It looks like it was designed by somebody who knows what they are doing in the world of CM, and paired with all the right gear it would be stunning.
     
  10. Spiker

    Spiker Well-Known Member

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    Hey how often does AE do the 2/250 sale? I really want to get some loafer next time that comes around.
     
  11. cincikid

    cincikid Well-Known Member

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    Hard to say, 3-4 times per year.
     
  12. rink

    rink Member

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    luv2, I have really enjoyed reading your advice and expertise in this thread. So much so, in fact, that I decided to register to ask you a question. I recently purchased the BB MacNeil in black grain, which fits this description to a T. I have been strictly wearing them with dark gray trousers in a business casual setting, so I am glad to hear that my instincts have been correct (I pair the dark gray trousers with a light blue or white shirt, sometimes with a tie--typically some variation of dark navy or burgundy). What I was wondering was whether the shoes may be paired with any other color of trousers? The only other color that came to mind was a dark navy pair of trousers - though I typically do not like black shoes with dark navy trousers (reminds me too much of a police uniform, IMHO). I am fine if the MacNeils can only be paired with dark gray trousers, because I have several of those, but wanted to know if the shoes were a little more versatile than just dark gray trousers.

    Thanks in advance for your input. Again, your advice has really been a welcome addition to this thread!
     
  13. Denton

    Denton Well-Known Member

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    So far my Walnut Strands have been my favorite AEs out of my closet. My new Bourbon McAllisters are hot, and haven't worn the Merlot yet. I liked that they were V-tread but I go against the grain on this, all of my AEs have rubber sole inserts.

    Now up to:
    Black Park Avenue
    Chili Park Avenue (webgem)
    Brown Fifth Avenue
    Walnut Strand
    Navy Neumok
    Brown Firenze
    Bourbon McAllister
    Merlot McAllister

    :slayer:
     
  14. bespoken pa

    bespoken pa Well-Known Member

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    I feel like merlot is generally under represented.
     
  15. Denton

    Denton Well-Known Member

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    For being inherently versatile, I agree. In contrast, black is overrepresented.
     
  16. rink

    rink Member

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    Gents, I'm a newbie here and I was hoping to tap into your expertise for some advice. I am looking to round out my dress shoe rotation. Here are the shoes I already have:

    • Black Park Ave
    • Black Grain MacNeil
    • Walnut Strands
    • Walnut Grain Park Ave (would like to sell these)
    • Merlot McAllister
    • Chili Dalton
    • (I also have Cole Haan single monk strap shoes in a walnut shade)

    In my mind, the glaring omission is a dark brown blucher. Indeed, I think I made a big oversight by buying lighter brown shades while neglecting the much more versatile dark brown. At first I thought about getting Mora 2.0s during the Anniversary Sale, but, as described below, the 8 last does not fit me well, and I had to take a pass. So I think blucher is the way to go. Everything points me toward the Kenilworth in dark brown. I think the Kenilworth in dark brown would be the final piece to round out my dress shoe rotation and would fit in flawlessly with my existing wardrobe. I like the 5 last and it would be something I could wear it 2-3 per week - a real workhorse shoe for me.

    Some caveats/thoughts:

    • I work in a fairly conservative environment and mainly wear business casual (on the dressier side of business casual, if such a thing exists) or suits (a few times a month)
    • I wear beater shoes for the commute and change into dress shoes at work, so I do not necessarily need something with a tap sole
    • I do not want "casual" AE shoes (Neumok, etc.), when I dress casually I wear sneakers or boots (have pairs of Wolverine 1000 Miles and Fryes)
    • I do not want another cap toe, so the Lexington is out
    • The 8 last does not work for me (so, sadly, Clifton and Mora 2.0 are no goes)
    • I do not care for suede shoes, and do not see them as a good fit with my style/wardrobe...I'm sure that's sacrilege around these parts, so please bear with me

    If you have read this far: thanks. In light of the above, do you agree that getting a dark brown blucher is the next shoe I should purchase? If so, is the dark brown Kenilworth the way to go? Am I missing a better option (for example, Leeds)? Does the Leeds even have a non-custom dark brown option? I would love to hear thoughts from you guys. Thanks so much in advance!
     
  17. bespoken pa

    bespoken pa Well-Known Member

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  18. 7_rocket

    7_rocket Well-Known Member

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    Black dress shoes will go with any colours of trousers expect brown.

    Brown shoes will go with any colour of trousers expect black pants

    When I started out buying good dress shoes (AE) I bought the black fifth avenue from Brooks brothers and it's very comfortable but the most drab out of my shoe collection.

    Maybe it's in my mind, I wear the fifth ave's once a week.
     
  19. 7_rocket

    7_rocket Well-Known Member

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    I have the dark brown kenilworth and it's a great shoe. Go for it, you won't be disappointed!

    Edit, what is weird is that the kenilworth is on the same last as the park and fifth avenue but I had to size down .5 from my normal size in AE
     
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2014
  20. rink

    rink Member

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    Thanks for the feedback 7_rocket! And a hat tip as well on the sizing advice - will keep that in mind. (Thanks as well for your advice on the black grain MacNeils.)
     
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2014
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