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I sold my soul and hoped on board the bandwagon by making the infamous apron toe derby which is the new iGent shoe at the moment. Having replaced the double monk in certain crowds (dub monk has now gone fashion), the apron toe derby is all you see in the menswear world. I am unsure though of when I will actually release it as a RTW product as I need to decide which last to put it on first. I am quite torn between my new SEA Last as shown in the dark brown museum calf version or the very popular LPB soft chisel last. Decisions…decisions. What say you?
I have always loved a dark green color for using in footwear. The only problem is that historically it has been hard to sell. But as the world keeps turning and more people, day by day, become more open to the idea of venturing outside of the norm you find that a dark green leather shoes is not so strange after all. And as job dress-codes become more and more relaxed it becomes even easier to think about being different. So I felt that 2016 was going to be the year that everyone would let their hair down and start becoming a bit more bold in their footwear choices. It has slowly been happening and there will be a year where it explodes. Maybe we are a year off, maybe not, but either way we felt that green was the color of the year, hence our two new models in green. And believe me when I say that there will be more for A/W2016!!
The Phinney model was one of my first designs, blending the idea of a full brogue and a saddle shoe to create what I like to call ‘The Saddle Brogue.’ When I first launched them during my first ever collection there seemed to be a love/hate thing with them. Whoever bought them absolutely loved them and always asked me to bring them back but I think that many people weren’t quite ready for that design at the time as they looked like a common brogue but weren’t and being in a city where people often shy away from being different (those who dress smart, not the young generation who are doing everything they can to be different!). So I took a step back from them and vowed to one day re-release them but in a two tone version. So boom, I put two of my favorite colors together to create this quite bold and fun spectator. Let me know your thoughts on them please!
As a shoe brand owner you are (or at least should be) trying to make your shoes better and better. There are generally about 4 main ways in which you can do that: 1. Leather used; 2. Last shapes and thus fit; 3. Construction techniques and 4. small details like fiddleback waists, handsewn aprons, addition of toe taps etc. But being that most shoes are made of leather, that is really the top priority as you really can’t fake bad leather nor leather with faults in it. That being, I was frustrated with a certain leather that I used to use and how it aged and reacted to polish and such. It came from a certain tannery that I believed got too big for their own britches (as they were bought out by a conglomerate) and started to be a lot more inconsistent with their selections. So I switched to Ilcea and their famous Museum Calf, mainly for my dark brown leather but also sourcing many of the other colors to also start using. So, if you are a fan of that leather then fret not, we are now Museum users!
Loafer season is so close I can taste it and I know that as I have subconsciously found myself wearing loafers a lot more these days, even though it is still chilly when the sun is not shining bright. It’s quite weird as I have always loved the A/W season and looked forward to it as I am quite a boot guy and love to layer my clothing (although I hate the freezing cold!). But never have I looked so forward to the Spring/Summer season. And while the Winter was not that cold here in London this past season, it did feel never-ending for some reason, quite possibly with the wind and endless crappy rain. But hey, that’s England for you. But the Sun has come out and I am starting to gravitate towards my loafers. I have already worn both the Laurelhurst in black and burgundyand now I am wishing that I had acquired the Navy Museum one too. But oh well, I can’t have every shoe in my collection. Maybe next year!
It was a stretch for me to release this model as I will admit that it is not your daily use type of shoe. It has its special place in one’s wardrobe. Therefore the guy that is buying it is most likely one that already has nearly all of his other bases covered or is just a massive fan of blue canvas. The reason that made me launch it (after having it in my sample collection for nearly 2 years now) was the fact that I put the green suede/black calf strap sample of it on the social media and it received a huge amount of praise. So I thought, ‘alright, let me set my fears aside and just go for it!’ Now of course, this won’t be a model that is going to fly off of the shelf by any means, but for those that appreciate something different, this is precisely the type of shoe that while being versatile for your Summer attire won’t be something that you see anyone else wearing. For some this matters, for others not so much.
But if you appreciate comfort and versatility, the Shoreline in canvas will certainly give you those.
It was inevitable that after the success of our button boot model, the Westlake, that a shoe version had to follow. The only thing is that I wanted to somehow make it different that what else was on offer as the button boot was not really that different from the rest in terms of the pattern. But I did not know what to do until one of my employees (the only one that is!) actually gave me brilliant idea to make it a saddle button shoe. And for me that was killing two birds in one stone as I love a saddle shoe but never change our Stefano model in terms of color as it is somewhat of a homage to Stefano Bemer. So now, now only do I get to have fun with a button shoe, but also playing around with the colors on the saddle. But for the first one, I am going classic.
And stayed tuned because come Friday I will be holding a presale on these bad boys!
When you are not afraid of a bit of color, a nice spectator shoe will be your best shoe friend. The traditional spectator would be a full brogue one whereby two of the five pieces of the pattern will be of a contrasting color (quite commonly in suede) but I think that I much more prefer the adelaide version of a spectator (hence why I designed one). I like how the middle piece is all one piece of leather instead of being two sewn pieces as those seams cause more rigidity in the shoes where as a one whole piece will feel much nice and more fluid on your foot. And aesthetically speaking I believe that it suits the idea of a two tone better, but that is just my humble opinion.
With the newly added tan soft grain/snuff suede and forest green calf/forest green suede we now have a nice little trio of spectators that are perfect for the Spring/Summer Seasons!
More and more I am starting to love the cleanliness of the quarter brogue. And it’s not that it is so clean like a wholecut oxford but for some reason the lack of cap really makes it more appealing to me, these days. I like the brogueing on the back end, but I am really starting to love the look and comfort of a plain toe (but never mind a nice medallion to accompany). And while the cap toe shoe, whether it a plain austerity version or a semi brogue still leads the pack in terms of common black shoe for work, I have a feeling that soon the quarter brogue will start to rise and become more popular as there is nothing that makes a cap toe more “business like” or “formal.” On the contrary, I would fee that the lack of cap makes this more formal, even with the medallion and brogueing. But this is just my opinion. I am sure that the formal-wear snobs will turn their nose to this very idea. But hey, thankfully we don’t all have to suffer from group-think, do we?!!
Specifically, in which order to buy your suits based off color when you’re building a wardrobe?
An important question to answer as we want to maximize your spending power – the worse thing when buying suits is to purchase one you love but can rarely wear as it’s not versatile or appropriate for situations.
When it comes to suits and colors, some suit colors are simply more useful and versatile compared to others.
I am going to rank suit colors starting with the most useful and versatile so that it is easier for the man on a budget to prioritize. The last colors mentioned would be nice to have for special occasions but are not necessary.
Click here to watch the video on YouTube – 9 Suit Colors A Man Should Consider For His Wardrobe
Without further ado, let’s jump into it!
1. Navy Blue Suit
The number 1 and 2 rankings of suit color in this list may be interchangeable especially in North America.
However, navy blue edges out charcoal grey by a little as throughout the United States, navy blue is considered the de facto color.
All stores specializing in men’s suits will carry a navy-colored one.
Navy suits are ideal for the man who wants to fit in. He wants to be recognized for the effort that he puts in and not necessarily what he puts on.
Another advantage to a navy suit is that if a gentleman wants to get it customized he can include a few fashion forward details because the color is so simple and straightforward.
2. Charcoal Grey Suit
A charcoal grey suit is just about as versatile as navy.
The one advantage that it has over the former is that it is more idea for the younger man as it can add a little more age to him.
Navy suits can make a young man look even younger while charcoal grey does not have that same effect.
Charcoal grey is extremely easy to match. As that charcoal is firmly on the grayscale (absent of color – a neutral) it goes well with a wide range of colors allowing a man to be more adventurous with the shirts and ties that he pairs this suit with.
When it comes to formality – this is adequate for work, church, weddings, funerals, or meeting the president.
3. Cambridge/ Medium Grey
There are many shades of grey which means that there is a marked difference between charcoal grey and medium grey.
A medium grey suit will be a little lighter compared to charcoal.
In terms of versatility it is still about equal to Cambridge grey.
However it is not as formal as charcoal grey and navy blue although very few people and places will be able to tell the difference.
Having the three suits mentioned above will already make for an extremely versatile wardrobe, especially if each suit had slight differences in the details that go into them.
4. Light Grey Men’s Suit
A light grey suit is distinctively lighter compared to its other grey brethren.
This suit works well for spring, summer and fall dressing.
The light grey suit is more casual. It is ideal to invest in one once a man has all of the “must-haves” in his wardrobe.
This shade is a great way to break up the monotony of wearing the more usual shades.
The lighter the shade the easier it is to introduce pattern-such as checks or herringbone-into the suit as the patterns are easily more visible.
I’ve laid them out in the suit buttoning infographic below.
But why do we do this?
Why even care about suit buttoning rules?
1) It sends a signal that you pay attention to the details.
The vast majority of men who violate these rules do so because they do not wear a suit regularly. These small rules are used by “those in the know” to identify other men “in the the know”. It’s like a secret knock!
Childish? Illogical? Perhaps, but it’s the reality.
2) In most situations, this makes a suit look better on a man.
A buttoned suit when standing cuts a cleaner silhouette – when seated unbuttoning allows you to sit more comfortable and prevent wrinkles and button stress/popping.
In addition – many 3 button suits re not made to be buttoned on the top (called 2 1/2 suits) and the lower button is almost always in a position where it restricts movement (and provides no added silhouette forming features vs. a single button buttoned!).
Important to note that we’re talking about SUITS here. Sports jackets are usually buttoned the same way but the rules are much more relaxed because it’s a more casual style.
Most modern suits have a single-breasted jacket. How to button it depends on two factors: the number of buttons the jacket has and where the buttons are in relation to your waist.
A jacket with a high stance has buttons at and above the natural waist, while a jacket with a low stance (more common these days) has its buttons at and below the waist.
Single-breasted one-button jackets are becoming more common (and the classic choice for Black Tie) , and should always be buttoned when standing.
You may unbutton when seated.
Conventional way to button a two-button jacket is to button the top button and leave the lower undone. A few possible exceptions:
– Men who like a very long lapel sometimes button the lower button and fold the lapel all the way down past the top buttonhole.
– An unusually high-stance jacket might look more proportional buttoned at the lower button.
– Very tall men may need to use the lower button rather than the upper to keep the jacket from spreading out above their waist and exposing the trouser-front and belt buckle (looks unsightly with a buttoned jacket).
Conventional method is to always button the middle button and to button the top button if desired, while always leaving the bottom button undone.
Fastening all three buttons at once looks stiff and should be avoided!
Double-breasted jackets are almost always worn buttoned. It’s very unusual to unbutton one.
Double-breasted jackets are described with the total number of buttons on the suit front followed by the number of working buttons — so a “six-on-four” jacket has six buttons but only four buttonholes.
Black shoes and a black suit work great if you’re going to a funeral, but most of the time we’re a little more colorful in our wardrobes.
How does a man wearing a navy, light-grey, or brown suit match his shoes with the suit color?
That’s what this article is about!
Take a moment to get to know the following chart.
It pairs the five most common suit colors — navy, medium or mid-gray, charcoal, brown, and black — with three different shoes to show you which colors work with which leathers.
Now, are these shoe matching rules absolute?
Not entirely — but it’s a very safe guide to follow.
If you’re bucking the advice here, it should be because you’re going for a really unique look or you know the rules and make a conscious decision to ignore them!
For example, we don’t have the burgundy shoes paired with a black suit. But a rocker might wear a black suit with red Converse All-Stars, and that would be, if not exactly timeless men’s style, certainly a style choice that could work.
If no, then go no further. You cannot wear this with anything.
Is the style classic?
I don’t refer to something made in 1950, rather is it timeless in design. Think 2 or 3 button single breasted, notch or peak lapels, 3 pockets (two hip, one left breast). If this is a zoot suit jacket that hangs to your knees or a 1974 Saturday night Fever special, save it for Halloween and go no further.
Is the fabric something that could have been used for a sport jacket or blazer?
Navy Blue – If your jacket is solid navy, and meets all the criteria above, you’re in luck. Simply remove the buttons and replace them with buttons (silver – brass – gold – mother-of-pearl). You now have a blazer.
Solid Black – If the suit jacket is black, and you are medium to high contrast, you can wear it as a night sport jacket. However, to the 1% who pay attention to details, it will be obvious this is a suit jacket unless you have it altered (special buttons, accent stitching). My advice is to just say screw it and wear the jacket with confidence and have a great time.
Charcoal Grey Solid – Solid charcoal jackets is rarely seen in sport coats. I will just say no here.
Light Grey Solid – Like black, except more for daytime wear. The lighter the better, as since most men don’t even own a light colored grey suit they won’t wise up to this jacket’s origins.
Invest in non-plastic horn or smoked mother-of-pearl buttons, and maybe look to have a tailor add aticket pocket. And even though if I saw you I would know what’s going on, wear with confidence and I’ll realize you’re stylish yet thrifty.
Tweed or a Classic Patterned Fabric – You are in luck my friend; you have found a suit jacket that can easily be used as a sport coat. Upgrade the buttons if they are cheap looking, ensure the boutonnierehole is functional, and possibly even add patch elbow or another casual touch.
Other fabrics – case by case basis.
Second – Examine the Denim Jeans
The jeans on the left are sport jacket or blazer safe – the jeans on the right less so, although if you have a solid understanding of style you can pull this off.
I prefer to always wear dark jeans with a jacket – the simple act of wearing the jacket raises the formality of the ensemble.
However if the weather is warm lighter jeans that are well kept can be matched with a dark blazer or seasonal jacket (think brown in fall). Unless you are a musician or artist, avoid torn jeans with a jacket.
Also pay attention to your blue jean fit – loose or low hanging jeans are too informal to ever wear with a jacket.
You want denim that fits you in a similar manner to how dress slacks would fit – close to the body and comfortable. Skinny tight jeans are too fashion forward – leave these at the hipster store and run away quickly:)