Men's Clothing Forums banner
1 - 11 of 11 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
17 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello all I'm new to the board and enjoying every minute of it. I had a few questions since I am just now getting my wardrobe together for the first time. My questions are regarding shoes. I would like to know when and what to wear with certain outfits color excluded.

Blucher - I'm not sure of their use and what to wear them with but assuming from the looks I'm thinking more business casual and with a blazer? And for the record how is it you exactly pronounce Blucher?

Balmoral - I've read enough here to know that they are more on the conservative side and an excellent choice to wear with suits. However, would I be wrong to wear them with a blazer, or better yet a decorative captoe balmoral with a suit?

penny loafers - These come off as more casual so I'm assuming wearing penny loafers with a suit isn't correct. Although wearing penny loafers with a blazer isn't a outfit I'm sure is correct?

And finally do the leathers make a difference? For instance do I wear Cordovan shell shoes to classier events as opposed to calfskin or does that really even matter?

So far I've purchased shoes from Allen Edmonds, Alden, and Ralph Lauren. I'm happy with most of my purchases however I make any more I need to know what I'm doing. Thanks in advance.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
113 Posts
I think you've got the general idea of blucher, bal, and loafer down....seems to me your question is more of when and how to bend the rules a bit.

In Charleston, SC...loafers are definitely part of the blazer look, for instance.

You can wear dressier bluchers with suits in less formal situations. I like to do bluchers with Friday suits that may be almost pushing the fashion forward button...when the other hacks are taking "business casual" to the jeans and polo extreme.

You can wear Bals pretty much anytime with a suit, though save the decorative ones for days when you aren't in the boardroom or meeting with the company's top clients. Go black cap toe for those and you can't be wrong.

Cordovan connotes nothing other than you have a really nice pair of shoes. Just because someone owns cordovan loafers doesn't mean the shoes are ok with a suit!
 

·
Honored Professor | Moderator, All Forums
Joined
·
5,071 Posts
Hello all I'm new to the board and enjoying every minute of it. I had a few questions since I am just now getting my wardrobe together for the first time. My questions are regarding shoes. I would like to know when and what to wear with certain outfits color excluded.

Blucher - I'm not sure of their use and what to wear them with but assuming from the looks I'm thinking more business casual and with a blazer? And for the record how is it you exactly pronounce Blucher?
Traditionally, the blucher/derby style of shoe is indeed a less formal style of shoe and there are those (myself included) who do not wear them with city suits. Indeed, that has long been "the rule." That said, there are many, many individuals -- particularly in the United States -- who do not make this distinction and who commonly pair this footwear with suits as well as blazers or odd jackets. Keep in mind that the open versus closed lacing style is only one element in a shoe's formality...other aspects include the shoe's overall construction, sole, leather, color, last, degree of broguing or decoration, and finish. A good case could be made that a sleek three-eyelet derby in black calf is a far better choice to wear with a suit than a double-soled full brogue balmoral/oxford. Perhaps that's true, but I would choose neither. :) As for pronunciation, fans of Young Frankenstein will caution you to beware of horses neighing.

Balmoral - I've read enough here to know that they are more on the conservative side and an excellent choice to wear with suits. However, would I be wrong to wear them with a blazer, or better yet a decorative captoe balmoral with a suit?
No, one could indeed wear a balmoral with a blazer or a captoe balmoral with a suit. As noted above, there are a number of other elements that might affect the equation...including the nature of the occasion to which you are wearing this footwear.

penny loafers - These come off as more casual so I'm assuming wearing penny loafers with a suit isn't correct. Although wearing penny loafers with a blazer isn't a outfit I'm sure is correct?
Your assumption is accurate. Slip-on shoes are not traditionally appropriate to wear with suits or during business pursuits. Again, reasonable men differ. I have never worn penny loafers with a suit though I know a number of individual who do...including a number who reside on this Forurm's Trad Forum. There was a time that a fair number of this city's lawyers and lobbyists were matching horsebit Gucci loafers with their suits. That doesn't make it right; just a reality.

And finally do the leathers make a difference? For instance do I wear Cordovan shell shoes to classier events as opposed to calfskin or does that really even matter?
Leather, color, texture are all factors. Though calfskin is generally the preferred choice in terms of formality except where patent leather is called for.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
69 Posts
New Year Milestone

I'm brand new here, but have been a moderator at other fora (vintage wristwatches, etc.) and just wanted to congratulate medwards for his 7,500th post--a nice milestone. And judging from his responses, I'd guess they were all eminently sensible and likely entertaining. Thank you :teacha:
Cheers,
RWH
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
196 Posts
Slip-on shoes are not traditionally appropriate to wear with suits or during business pursuits.
Medwards, like a lot of the members on this forum, we value your advice and experience. I understand your comments regarding slip-ons, however I do wonder where such shoes as the G&G Barclay fall into your views. To me it is a very formal looking shoe and would easily pass for an Oxford. In addition there is always Michael's Lazyman MTO of the same shoe!

In addition, I would also be interested in similarly where you place the formal boot, for example the G&G Canterbury or EG Shannon. Thanks.
 

·
Honored Professor | Moderator, All Forums
Joined
·
5,071 Posts
Medwards, like a lot of the members on this forum, we value your advice and experience. I understand your comments regarding slip-ons, however I do wonder where such shoes as the G&G Barclay fall into your views. To me it is a very formal looking shoe and would easily pass for an Oxford. In addition there is always Michael's Lazyman MTO of the same shoe!
An interesting question. Certainly side-gusseted shoes such as these can take on the appearance of a more formal shoe, but they are -- at their heart -- casual footwear. Indeed, if you look in, say, the Edward Green catalogue, that is precisely where they place their Kibworth and Ringwood styles. That said, I have yet to hear of the fashion police making an arrest for wearing such shoes with a suit!

In addition, I would also be interested in similarly where you place the formal boot, for example the G&G Canterbury or EG Shannon. Thanks.
The question of the formal boot such as "Balmoral boots" like the Canterbury or Shannon is a bit more challenging. On one hand, the historical antecedents certainly suggest that boots can be among the most formal of footwear, yet practice tells us that most individuals see boots (any boots) as casual wear. So there is a bit of a paradox. Balmoral boots may indeed be the classic shoe for day wear with, say a stroller, but are often viewed differently. Indeed, in some circles they can certainly seem a bit anachronistic at best and inappropriate at worst. As a consequence, some confine these boots to more countrified occasions, perhaps tweeds and flannels, or in more inclement weather. In the end, the choice is yours. ;)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
415 Posts
An interesting question. Certainly side-gusseted shoes such as these can take on the appearance of a more formal shoe, but they are -- at their heart -- casual footwear.

I created the RJLazyman to look like a formal shoe while having the comfort of the side gussetted design. The imitation lacing, coupled with the medallion and black calf help hide its side gussetted roots and it looks like a modern semi-brogue while under trousers.



The G&G Cantebury is my most conservative shoe and its a balmoral boot. Its black calf, no medallion and minimalist brogueing up front...with trousers covering the shoe...its very traditional for business wear

Now my next order of the Canterbury will make it in black or black scotch grain cordovan, add a Danite sole, brogueing along the balmoral line and the throat stitching and a V/peak cap with medallion will give it a more fuller look like my RJLazyman above



What would Medwards say about G&G's Wigmore boot as to level of formality? Is this a balmoral boot?



Below is a traditional balmoral shoe G&G's Warwick modified with a wing tip front

 

·
Honored Professor | Moderator, All Forums
Joined
·
5,071 Posts
I created the RJLazyman to look like a formal shoe while having the comfort of the side gussetted design. The imitation lacing, coupled with the medallion and black calf help hide its side gussetted roots and it looks like a modern semi-brogue while under trousers.
Yes, but you know it's really a casual shoe. ;)

There is an old story of a very fine furniture maker who taught his son his craft. At one point, his son fashioned an exquisite side table. Justly proud of his work, he took it to his father, who looked it over very carefully. It brought a smile to the older man's face. He then pulled out the small drawer that was part of the piece, turned it over, and the smile became of frown. "The underside of this drawer isn't finished perfectly," he said. "But no one will ever see that," his son replied. "They'll never know." "No," said his father in a quiet voice. "They won't. But you always will." ;)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
415 Posts
Pengranger...the 3 piece boot is awesome

My shoes are not bespoke, but I guess the same process and company is used to make this boot tree. Its like a jig-saw puzzle and its fun putting it back together...especially when you try to mix the front and back



The price was way more than what I wanted to pay, but I suggested an amount and Dean agreed to it (keep in mind I've ordered 6 shoes from them). I don't see myself getting another one...but its much easier to use than G&G's standard shoe trees

My Wigmore boot is a single sole...now that I finally have a double sole shoe (the Canterbury) to compare...this explains how they beveled the waist on the Wigmore only...because its single sole (I mistakenly believed its was a double sole

I'm still undecided about whether I prefer a single or double sole on a balmoral boot...but there is a slight noticeable difference in weight

Next project, is a balmoral cordovan ankle wing tipped boot by Ron Rider along the lines of this...

Would anyone consider this Vass boot to fall under the description of a balmoral?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
213 Posts
A good case could be made that a sleek three-eyelet derby in black calf is a far better choice to wear with a suit than a double-soled full brogue balmoral/oxford. Perhaps that's true, but I would choose neither. :)
Is a captoe balmoral with brogueing only along the seams, similar to the AE Hale or Evanston, a shoe you would wear with a suit? If so, would this be more versatile (easier to dress down) than a plain captoe?
 
1 - 11 of 11 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top