Shoes – The $1500 Wardrobe Part II
Welcome to the 5th year of us doing this. Creating a versatile, sharp wardrobe doesn’t happen overnight. The best course of action is to go slow. But for argument’s sake, let’s say you need a major wardrobe makeover, stat. Over the next week we’ll see what a strict budget of $1500 can do.
Despite prices going up everywhere, we’re still sticking with a $1500 budget. The outcome might not impress the menswear snobs, but why care? The goal is to balance quality with affordability, accessibility with versatility. Not every last stitch (like underwear) will be covered. We’re not burning the clothes you likely already have. The goal is finish with a setup of clothes that can have someone looking great in most situations. The focus will be on affordable goods which can last with reasonable care. Also know that since tailoring costs can vary wildly, those aren’t a part of the final cost.
The Dark Brown Oxford: Allen Edmonds Cornwallis Factory 2nd – $224.25
The risk to reward ratio of playing the Allen Edmonds Factory 2nds game is just too good not to try. Remember those “scratch & dent” sales appliance stores used to put on? Right. Kinda the same, although AE Factory 2nds will often show up with no obvious visible reason as to why they were relegated to the 2nds quality pile. Maybe some stitching is a little off, or there’s a small discoloration or scuff to the leather. Maybe you’ll never find whatever is “wrong” with the pair… ever. Know that if you do end up with a dud, you’ll either have to return them to an Allen Edmonds Factory Outlet store, or, get hit with a $10 re-stocking fee if sent back through the mail. Shown above is the brand new Cornwallis, which balances modern flourishes with timeless good looks. They’re dynamite in person, and a perfect foundation dress shoe. Review here. Currently an extra 25% off through 11/11.
The Black Oxford: DSW’s Mercanti Fiorentini Plain Toe Oxford – $139.95
Plain, but that’s on purpose. A fancy pants half brogue might look a little out of place dressed down. These are plain enough to do just that, yet are suit-worthy thanks to their shape and true-oxford, closed lacing. Made in Italy, and DSW’s Mercanti Fiorentini has a reputation for being oddly durable even though they’ve got to use glued soles. Will go on sale from time to time.
The Casual Boot: Clarks Bushacre in Dark Brown Leather – $70ish
Sticking with the same suggestion from last year for the boot. Much darker in person than on Amazon (that right there ^ is what the “dark brown” option looks like in person). A classic casual desert boot in a dark brown leather. Slight variations in tone give the uppers some depth, and they should look even better once they see some wear and some scuffing. Why the Bushacre model instead of the traditional “Original” desert boot? Two reasons: 1. They’re cheaper. 2. The man made sole seems to show less dirt and grime, compared to the natural crepe sole of the Clarks Original Desert Boot. Price varies depending on the size, but it seems like they go for around $70.
The Classic Sneaker: Superga COTU Classic in Grey Sage – $60ish
Another repeat suggestion from last year. Classic canvas kicks that are bizarrely comfortable and unusually durable. White might look a bit better in the warmer months, but grey does more than fine year round. Plus, they won’t start to show dirt as fast as a white pair will. Terrific sockless in the summer, or with socks in the colder months. Great for around the house in winter. Runs about $60 on Amazon.
TOTAL COST: $494.20
CASH REMAINING: $542.45
Upcoming Categories: Shirts & Sweaters, Pants, The Rest.