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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have been looking to fill a few gaps in my shoe collection (which is in its infancy) recently.

Firstly, I saw the C&J Lowndes



() and quite liked it. :icon_smile:

My basic requirement is that the shoe does not give an overly large impression of my foot (UK size 12), so a plain monk with just one buckle might not be ideal. Either two buckles, or ideally some brogueing or a toecap (like the Lowndes). Oxblood or (darkish) brown would be nice.


Secondly, I am in slightly split minds about the Merton



(). Obviously a shoe for the warmer season, I am not sure whether the "Beechnut burnished Calf" version or the Mink Suede one



would be more versatile with casual wear (mainly jeans (sacrilege!) and chinos).

Any advice? Can you think of similar models by other makers, ranging roughly up to USD400/GBP270/EUR300 (some flexibility)? I am close to despair, having visited most bookmarked sites (including Finsbury (French), Shipton & Heneage, Bexley).

The short question: what would you do?

Forgive me for the naivité of expecting a clear answer from so many different people - any guidance would be better than none!
 

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As for overall versatility, I would imagine the monkstraps to be the most versatility because they can be both dressy and casual, but as for the loafers, I would imagine both are equally versatile. They would not be appropriate for a business dress environment, but both can be applied to a more casual atmosphere. IMO, I like the look of the suede more.
 

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Suede loafers are great. I have had a pair in my rotation for years. You should also have a brown calf loafer IMO as well. If you are only interested in English made shoes then I think the C&J is best at that price range. If you like American shoes, Alden Suede Loafers or Brown Calf on the Plaza last are similar and very well made for less than $400 US. Check out the aldenshoes.com website. Allen edmonds are also very nice shoes at $350 US.
 

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I have the Lowndes and I really like them.

FWIW, I also love strap penny loafers. However, I think one could do better than the merton in a loafer-for instance, the weston 180 or the cleverley unlined buckskin, which I have.

Do the Lowndes, look for a loafer elsewhere.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I think one could do better than the merton in a loafer-for instance, the weston 180 or the cleverley unlined buckskin, which I have.

Do the Lowndes, look for a loafer elsewhere.
Thanks for those names - I shall investigate! The thing I liked about the Merton was that the lining on the front was at angles, not just your ordinary round one. C&J also have such a 'rounded lining' loafer (the Sydney), but that was one of the reasons I decided against it. I do appreciate that this is very much a point of personal preference though!

Any opinions on the 348 last? Elegant, hideous or so-so?
 

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the 348 is my favorite last of theirs. Cleverly shoes are great but I think they are more the $400 US. Westons can be had for the price or close to it. Look at Sky Valet for Westons.
 
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