Wednesday, March 30, 2011

[a man and his shoes]

so i know many of you that support this blog are women. you are not just any group of women. many of you are women who like shoes. many shoes. red ones, white ones, some with bows and even those that shows your toes. you ladies like shoes.

BUT

did you know men like shoes too?

you didnt?

well, now you know.

i like shoes. but not just any kind. i am kind of predictable in my choice of shoes. i only buy chuck taylors and dress loafers. some time ago i came across the blog the shoe snob, penned by bespoke shoe maker justin fitzpatrick. let me tell you, if there was a porn site for men...for shoes...this would be it.

i asked justin sometime ago to guest post for me. things have been somewhat crazy around here and across the pond where he lives. depsite all of that i am excited to have him share with you ladies and most definitely the men, some tips on buying quality shoes in a variety of prices ranges.

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THE MODERN MAN'S WARDROBE 

In the evolving world we (humans) are ever-changing. And while change is not always good, sometimes it's absolutely necessary. Part of that good change, is the way you find the modern man dressing himself as well as the amount of clothing that he owns. In the past, most men concentrated on simply owning staple pieces that could get the average man through his life. Yet, this is no longer the case. 
via 
It is no longer enough to just have 2 pairs of black shoes, 3 suits (1 black, 1 navy, & 1 gray), some white shirts and a few boring ties. The modern man wants options. He wants different pieces for different moods, different occasions, different weather etc. He wants brown shoes, gray shoes, loafers, monk straps, chukka boots etc. He wants tweed suits, double-breasted suits, 3-piece suits etc. And all of this is okay. It's not excessive, it's 2011. Women have always been like this, so why can't men? 
The only problem of this need of wanting and having more is the reality of being able to afford it. Obviously, there is a simple solution for the less concerned: buy cheap stuff. But you usually get crap quality when you buy cheap stuff. And for some, that might be okay, but for others it is not. So what do you do? Research is key and in this day-and-age, the possiblities are endless, thanks to the internet. 
So let's say that you have a budget but want to get high quality stuff. First let's remember that just because you can't spend $500 for a pair of shoes does not mean that you should resort to $100 Kenneth Coles. You can argue this point if you like, but there are $300 (full retail) Allen Edmonds shoes that can truly last a lifetime (with resoling) yet there is not one $200 (full retail) shoe that will even come close to lasting that long and that is because anything at that price full retail has a glued on sole and crappy upper leather. But if $300 dollars is too much, what can you do? Obviously there are places like eBay and getting Allen Edmonds seconds. But you can also find a lot of great deals at Nordstrom Rack or on the Buying & Selling thread at Style Forum. 
Remember also that in every country in the world, sales occur in January and July and most places usually have a second mark down after a week or two into the sale to try and push all of the last merchandise out. This is where you can really clean up and get lucky. At places like Nordstrom, you can find brands like Paul Smith, Church's, Santoni's, Ferragamo's, Allen Edmonds etc. for under $300 after that second mark down has occurred. But it's only going to be during the Half-Yearly Sales where you get that second mark down, which are actually in late Dec./early Jan. and end of June. Like I said, research is key, but there is always opportunity to find great deals. I won't lie, I am a bargain shopper myself. Out of the 40 or so dress shoes that I own, if they were not given for free, chances are that I bought them while on sale at that 50% mark-down. 
A general rule to shopping for shoes and getting a good shoe for a good deal is realizing that you should never buy anything with a glued sole. Those shoes just don't last and there is no cobbler who can fix them. Once their sole is finished, the shoe is garbage. Finding goodyear welted shoes at lost cost should be your ultimate goal, as they will last longer than any other construction. But blake construction will do as well, so long as it's for a budget shoe. It's hard to describe the differences between these constructions but an intelligent salesman at any shoe store should know the difference, so don't be afraid to ask. 
 (ok these i would probably NEVER wear, but they are so AWESOME looking!)

The bottom line is: your money can be stretched, your closet can be larger, and the quality of your clothes can still be good, all while on a budget, so long as you shop wisely and patiently. And while I have spent a pretty penny on my wardrobe, if you were to see it in it's entirety, I bet that you would think that I spent a lot more than I did. Thrifty shopping and knowing what to look for has helped save me lots of money and it can do the same for you too.

thank you justin for guest posting and for helping me spend months of hard earned cash on just one pair of shoes...your the best! lol

please visit justin here at the shoe snob to get your daily shoe fix. 

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