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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I have been able to answer most of my questions by using the search button, so, like the other post I just made, this one is more of an FYI style (EDIT: although I'd like to hear comments/ discuss) except the color question at the bottom....

I recently graduated from college and will be starting a nice new job next week, although I suspect the required flame retardant uniforms and arctic weather gear will slightly impede my fashion choices.

A few months ago, rather than starting my "grown man's" shoe collection with some $300 new shoes, I went to the opposite extreme with great educational and wearable results. I hopped on Ebay and bought a few pairs of the beat-est Allen Edmonds I could find, with the intent of learning how to polish and care for shoes, and hopefully have semi-decent wearable shoes in the end for interviews and other occasions.

The shoes? $20 shipped. Allen Edmonds Arlington. Loafer? check. Kilts? check. Tassles? check. Wingtip and perforations? check. Rocket boosters? well, I'm sure they would have included that, too, if they could. These are the most over-the-top AE shoes I could find for cheap.

They came advertised as brown, looking black, and originally they were something like burgundy/oxblood. Someone had tried to make them black by slopping on layer after layer of black polish, which was flaking off, making a mess, and looking horrible.

After consulting the AAAC forum archives, I decided to strip them with rubbing alcohol. I used the higher of the two concentrations of alcohol, 93% I think, and a toothbrush. In retrospect, I should have used the lower concentration. I also tried using WD-40, which also worked fine. I worried about the "other" oils in WD40, so I went back to alcohol.

Alcohol was harsh enough to remove some of the base color. I applied Kiwi OXBLOOD paste polish from the tin afterward. If I were to do it again, I'd go with a cream to penetrate and restore the color better, and rehydrate the leather.

After a few coats:
https://img153.imageshack.us/my.php?image=dscn3855ss3.jpg

Now for a question: What color belt can I wear with these? Can I go with black? I've never seen a belt in this shade - burgundy is not red enough, and I've yet to see an oxblood belt at several stores.
 

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Swell job on the shoes!
About the belt: I think you can sorta break the 'matching leathers' rule when it comes to oxblood. Black or lighter brown should work (though I've got a couple oxblood ones, so they do show up once in a while).
Incidentally, that's the biggest tin of Kiwi I've ever seen.
 
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