The $1500 Wardrobe – Shoes

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Shoes – The $1500 Wardrobe Part II

Creating a versatile, sharp wardrobe doesn’t happen overnight.  By far, the best course of action is to go slow.  But for argument’s sake, let’s say you have to start from scratch, today.  Over the next 5 days we’ll see how far a strict budget of $1500 can go.  It won’t be easy and some corners will have to be cut, but the goal is to end with a setup of clothes that can have someone looking great in almost any situation.  Remember, we’re playing with a total of $1500 here.  So there will be an obvious focus on real affordable stuff, which can last with reasonable care.  Also, remember that 90% of looking good is fit, so a well tailored $200 suit will look better than an ill fitting $1000 suit every single time.

Brown Dress:  Allen Edmonds 5th Ave. – $261.43 ($335)

You’ll wear these more, so go high quality.

Conservative without being boring thanks to the brogue perforations over the cap toe.  Closed, true oxford lacing keeps them dressed up and sleek, without being pointy or spear like.  Hugely versatile too.  Wear these with that new navy SuitSupply suit, or your favorite pair of dark denim and the light grey J. Crew Factory Thompson blazer.  And they’re friggin’ bulletproof.  Allen Edmonds gets a lot of love on this site (and others) for good reason.  They’re built extremely well, they look better as they age and get a few polishes in them, and if you catch a sale they’re attainable for most.  It’s a big chunk of the $1500 budget, but you’ll be wearing these a lot, so go for higher quality on brown shoes if possible.  On sale through Amazon.  $335 via AE.

 

Black Dress: B.R. Hyde – $140 ($105), Thompson Brogue – $136, or J&M Melton – $119

Glued, glued, and stitched.

Hey DSW… could use some help from the Mercanti or Mike Konos camp about now.  Too bad most of the DSW house brand dress shoes are sold out in black.  Anyway, the thing to take away here is that if you’re on a strict budget, it’s good to remember that you’ll be wearing your black dress shoes a lot less than your brown.  So if you’re going to cut costs, choose to downgrade your black dress shoes before the brown.  Three options here:  The BR pair can dip to $105 if you wait and apply a 25% off code, the Thompson are from YOOX and made in Italy (haven’t seen them in person yet, here’s to hoping there as good as Ciro Lendini), and the  Johnston & Murphy Melton is on sale at Amazon for $119.  Those are goodyear welted but extremely conservative in shape.  For the sake of keeping track, let’s risk it and go with the YOOX Thompson Brogue for $136.

 

The Casual Boot: Clark’s Original Desert in Suede or Beeswax Leather – $76.45 ($120)

Never tried suede? Try it.

Most boots don’t look quite right when worn with jeans and a t-shirt.  These do.  They also will look more than right with a pair of jeans and that grey J. Crew Factory suit jacket.  They’re as versatile as it gets, and the quality is up there for the price.  Hat tip to Farhan for pointing out a few weeks back that Clark’s Original Desert boots, crepe sole and all, can usually be had for mega-cheap on Amazon.

 

The Sneakers: Billy Reid for KSwiss – $27.99 when 30% off ($85.00)

Wait for the next 30% off sale, and these get dumb cheap.

Leave the running shoes for running and the gym.  For when you’re real dressed down, stick with classic looking canvas sneakers like these.  Currently marked down to $40, but with plenty of sizes it’s worth holding out for the next extra 30% off sale items code.  Either color will go with anything.  Live in the south or southern California?  Stick with white for those sticky hot summer days when you’re keeping as much sun off you as possible.  Hard to believe they got this cheap.

TOTAL COST: $501.87
CASH REMAINING: $321.15  (Ouch.  Not much left)

Upcoming Categories:  Wed – Shirts & Sweaters, Thurs – Pants, Fri – The Rest.