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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
So, I'm your typical company IT guy. Chinos and polo shirts make up most of working "uniform," along with chunky soled rubber shoes. At 6'4", 250lbs, I have the physique that working at computers for years can bring.

We have a business casual dress code at work, which really means no jeans and t-shirts -- leans more towards casual than business. In any given day, I can be out in our warehouse or up in the executive suite or talking to the sales guys. I could be under a desk wiring up a computer, or sitting at my desk talking on the phone. In and out of the various buildings on our corporate campus.

Now, I'd like to improve the way I dress. I've kinda gotten started -- purchased a couple long sleeve buttondown shirts, chinos (I needed some that aren't falling off my waist due recent weight loss!), finewale cords, and v-neck cotton sweater from Lands End. They seem to sell decent quality stuff at reasonable prices. Stuff I won't be too upset about ruining while hauling around a computer or something.

My main "problem" is shoes. Like I said, I wear chunky soled rubber shoes -- Dr. Maarten's oxfords are my current favorites. They're rugged and comfy (remember the part about going all around the campus?). I also have a pair of black Ecco square-ish toed shoes that I keep shined up. Yes, I've read the comments on those, I probably won't wear them any more, even though they feel pretty good on my feet :(

I purchased a pair of tan Allen Edmonds Jackson shoes on eBay this week (the shoe trees from a different auction) for a decent price. I partly chose them because I thought the rubber dotting on the sole would help traction.





Got them in today. The shoes look great, until I put them on! I'm not so sure about the chisel/square toe, especially after some comments I've read on the forums about squared toe shoes. The shoes seem to fit great around the heel and side of the foot, but there seems to be a good 1" or so at the end that doesn't need to be there -- is that due to the squaring? I wore them out to the store today, and they felt comfortable enough, but, yea, they just looked kinda long on my foot.

I've already learned a ton from the hours of reading I've done, but what kinds of suggestions do ya'll have for helping the company IT guy improve his wardrobe?
 

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Just great!

I like the way they look, and I'm no fan of "square toed" shoes. They are not extreme and, if they fit as well as you say, the "extra" room in the toes probably helps by allowing a little more space for toes that might otherwise get stubbed by constant walking. In fact, you sound like the most mobile IT worker, and not vegetating before the almighty computer. Maybe a change of diet?

Anyhow, for such a practical shoe, given the traction treadlets, I think you have winners:icon_smile:
 

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I've been plugging the Alden all-weather shoes a lot lately, so here's another chance...

And everyone seems to agree that Land's End has improved in quality dramatically since it was bought by Sears, which seem a paradox for two reasons - Sears is very low-end for clothing, and their new owner is a financier, not a merchant, so many other corporate decisions have meant sacrificing quality for short-term profits.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
the "extra" room in the toes probably helps by allowing a little more space for toes that might otherwise get stubbed by constant walking.
Here's a quick cell phone pic showing the approximate location of the end of my big toe. If my toes were any closer, they'd be crammed in there, so this is the way it has to be. Just different than I'm used to, I guess.

https://i35.tinypic.com/2n1anhd.jpg

You just need to get used to the look of them. My only other suggestion for the IT guy is to invest in a navy blazer and, possibly, a sport coat or two. And keep a nice wooden hanger in your office.
I think that is right. Coming from chunky Doc's to these is a big change. I've seen some nice blazers on sale, but the only person at work I see wearing them on a regular basis is my boss' boss' boss (our VP!). I might pick one up just to improve my clothing selection, but I can't see it becoming an everyday staple.

I've been plugging the Alden all-weather shoes a lot lately, so here's another chance...
I've probably read some of the plugs, and have looked at them on the web. More than I cared to spend right now (remember, IT, not sales :p). The Alden Shop has a Mocc Toe Blucher on special in my size that has caught my eye.

And everyone seems to agree that Land's End has improved in quality dramatically since it was bought by Sears, which seem a paradox for two reasons
I was actually very impressed when I walked in to the local Sears w/ Lands End stuff a couple weeks ago. Sears is not on my list of stores to visit for clothing, but this store impressed me. No tall sizes, but I was able to see some of the stuff in person before ordering the right size online.

I don't see anything wrong with the shape of the shoe. It's still reasonably current to me. Comments on the square toe must refer to those which resemble boxes.
Thanks for setting my mind at ease, everyone. I saw the squared off corners and started to panic, I guess.
 

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First, the shoes are fine, it's just an aesthetic adjustment you'll need to go through.

Other wardrobe adjustments I recommend considering...
- Notch up the chinos to a better maker (ie Bills) in unpleated/uncuffed versions. Get stone and navy as well as the traditional khaki color. Have them professionally laundered and pressed for sharpness.
- Buy a couple tweed sportcoats (Harris recommended) in mult-color patterns to go with multiple outfits. Lands End, LL Bean, and Orvis have some attractive and resonably-priced options.
- Pick up a few long-sleeve polos in fine-gauge cotton, silk, or merino wool to give you a dressy casual option to normal polos or button-down shirts. Stick to jewel tones (rich blues, reds, greens, and golds) to again give you maximum flexibility... and they go great with the sportcoats.
- When you're ready... we shall then speak of getting some turtlenecks and cashmere into your wardrobe.

All the above conspire to make a good professional image that won't alienate your more geeky IT peers.
Focus on fit, fabric, classic styles, and quality over fashion and you'll find that only the people who should notice will notice the upgrades. :cool:
 

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My brother works in technology in Indianapolis, so I understand the sartorial wasteland you are living in, with all due respect to my brother ha. I also understand that the demands of the job can be rough on clothing among other things. I would look to invest in clothing that is made from heavier fabric, this way it will not wear out as quickly if your crawling under a desk fixing a computer or other similar exercises. You defiantly want something that will look nice, which those shoes do, and will last for continued wear.
 

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The Alden All Weather Walker is one of the most comfortable shoes I own. It is made on the Barrie last which runs about a half size large for a lot of people.

Cheers, Jim.
I wear a thirteen. These were special-ordered by H. Stockton for me. Imagine our surprise when a 13 in a Barrie last looks like one of the displays at Nordstrom showing their broad range of sizes ("We have shoes THIS big!")...

We swapped it out for a twelve. They really should warn people.
 

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The jackson is a great casual dress shoe. The toe is by no means square as some may refer to a square toed shoe. If your toe only goes so far, as long as you are not slipping they fit fine. get a sport coat. Maybe the better you look may help in some promotion of sorts. You never know.
 

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I wear a thirteen. These were special-ordered by H. Stockton for me. Imagine our surprise when a 13 in a Barrie last looks like one of the displays at Nordstrom showing their broad range of sizes ("We have shoes THIS big!")...

We swapped it out for a twelve. They really should warn people.
LOL @ 'THIS big!'. The design of that shoe makes it look rather large too I think. Mine are a 12 also.

Cheers, Jim.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
The shoe just isn't growing on me like I hoped it would. I'm thinking that the extra length on the end just makes it look too elongated? I'm normally a 11.5 - 12 in other shoes, and 11.5D feels perfect on my foot. I can definitely appreciate that this is a nicer shoe than I've ever owned. I'm thinking that I'll look for a different shoe with a more rounded toe and try to sell this one. Chalk it up as a learning experience.

I ordered a charcoal car coat from Banana Republic last night for when it gets colder. A bit nicer than the Carhartt I've been wearing in the winter.

I've found myself looking for polo shirts that aren't so.. umm.. meshy? The smoother shirts are less prone to get picks in them from sharp edges on computers. A Lands End shirt is on my list.

I have a pair of stone colored chinos.. the light color sure shows the dust! Good for summer. Don't have navy, but tried on a pair a couple weeks ago. Will probably pick some up.
 

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I would hang onto the shoes and live with them for a while before passing judgement.

Like you, I work in tech (here, chinos & polos would be on the dressier end of the scale!), and recently have been purchasing nicer shoes (RMW & AE), having had mostly the dreaded square shoes previously.

It has taken me some time to get used to a more elongated shoe, but now that I am, I enjoy their sleekness, and have relegated all but the most casual of my square shoes to the donation heap.

The shoe you have looks to my eye to be a very nice business casual shoe, nowhere near the square toes folks here so malign.
 
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