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, some corners will have to be cut, and not every last stitch of clothing (like underwear) will be covered. But the goal is finish with a setup of clothes that can have someone looking great in most situations. Remember, we’re playing with a total of $1500 here. So the focus will be on real affordable goods which can last with reasonable care. Also, remember that 90% of looking good is fit, and tailoring costs can vary wildly. So those haven’t been added to the final cost.
The Medium to Dark Brown Cap Toe Oxford: Jack Erwin – $195.00
If you’re building a foundation, skip the flash of a super-detailed brogue or half-brogue (more on that next week) and instead go with a simple, true-oxford (read: closed lacing) cap toe. For the color, there will be time for cognanc and tan. Stick with dark brown. Now, before many of you wharrgabl about the pick… yes, you can hit eBay to try and find a pair of lightly used Allen Edmonds. But some have struck out on eBay, and then there’s the fact that the cork midsoles often mold to the prior owners feet. There can be trouble if your footprint doesn’t line up with the impression left behind. For new AEs, the goal is low to mid $200s for first quality. That means you’re waiting on the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale, a big Allen Edmonds sale, or the Nordstrom Half-Yearly clearances in June and December. For what’s available now, consider Jack Erwin. They offer modern looks without getting pointy or trendy. Blake stitch construction so they’ll be sleek. Nice and solid while being lightweight. Not quite bulletproof feeling like AEs, but worth it at just under $200. More here.
The Interesting Black Oxford: Allen Edmonds Weybridge – $197.00 ($345)
Brown shoes are currently in favor, but the style-community’s sometimes seemingly wholesale dismissal of black is just not smart. Black shoes are clean, mean, and professional. Some say black doesn’t go with navy. Not true. What would you wear with a midnight navy tux then? Tan monk straps? Black shoes CAN get dangerously boring. So since it’s more subdued and somber in shade than a merlot, brown, or cognanc shoe, get after it with some details. The punching & medallion on the Weybridge is equal parts modern, and… strange. But since they’re black, you don’t notice the odd design right away. They’re downright awesome in person. Currently a steal at under $200.
Clarks Original in Beeswax Leather – $72.00 w/ 2OVETRNS
That’s an awfully nice price for a well loved classic. Leather uppers, crepe sole, and timeless style. Just one drawback: Crepe soles can get pretty dirty, pretty fast. But you’re wearing these things casually. So don’t overthink it. They also go with just about everything. Code is good for an additional 20% off select styles sold by Amazon, including the Clarks Desert, and expires tonight.
The Classic Sneaker: PF Flyers Center Lo in Natural – $29.98
With a bit more support than Chucks, the PF Flyers Center Lo is a basic canvas sneaker that won’t be murder on your back. Now, you don’t want to stand for 10 hours straight in these things, but they are an improvement over many paper thin, cheap canvas sneaks. Plus, they’re extremely affordable at thirty bucks. Nice off-white upper, metal eyelets, and that sweet Red/White/Blue heel stripe just above the green PF logo. Wear with wool socks on the weekend now (really) or, sockless in the summer.
TOTAL COST: $493.98
CASH REMAINING: $371.85