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A guide to help the average man... look less average

Filtering by Tag: quoddy

Boat shoes and socks

Mark Kwak

A question I constantly get is this: Can I wear boat shoes with socks?

Up till recently, my advice has always been to wear boat shoes without socks, as that is the "right" way to wear them. I mean, boat shoes were originally designed to be worn on a boat, so wearing socks would be downright absurd when there is water constantly getting on your feet.

Well, today, I'm here to tell you that I've had change of heart when it comes to this particular question. I've begun to realize that indeed, socks look pretty great when paired with boat shoes.

Let me make sure I cover all my bases here. First off, this really applies to when one is wearing pants with boat shoes, not shorts. I say stick to no socks when wearing shorts. Also, this is not to say that boat shoes shouldn't be worn without socks. They most certainly should. However, there has been a situation or two when I've wanted to wear my boat shoes, but opted for another pair of shoes instead because I was wearing socks at the time. Damn first world problems.

What I realized is that as long as I'm not wearing white socks or ankle socks, I could still look pretty good. I especially like it when my sock color complements other parts of my outfit, and the boat shoes help showcase them. Wacky, bold colored socks also look pretty cool, as they add that extra spice to the fairly conservative boat shoe design. Kind of like I paired them here:

DSC_1004

So the next time you put on your cool looking socks and head to your shoe rack, don't dismiss your awesome Quoddys or Sperrys. They might very well look good with your excellent socks.

 

Dress Shoe Makers

Mark Kwak

First off, Merry Christmas Eve my friends. Hope you're enjoying a nice day off.

Beautiful John Lobb captoes. (Photo credit: dieworkwear)

A couple people have been asking me about what dress shoe brands I like. Well, here's a quick list I put together for you all. It's certainly not exhaustive, but hopefully it helps you guys familiarize yourself with some premier shoe brands. Just FYI, most of these shoes are quite high-quality, so they'll probably be much more expensive than shoes at your average Kenneth Cole / Calvin Klein level.

Dress Shoes

Edward Green $$$$ : Stunningly amazing shoes, but will easily cross the $1k mark. Not for the light-hearted... or light-walleted.

John Lobb $$$$: Also extremely amazing shoes, and a direct competitor to Edward Green. Will cross the $1k mark easily just as well. The finish on these bad boys is second to none.

Gaziano & Girling $$$$: Okay okay, I'll stop with the $1k+ shoes here. G&G is also one of the premier makers of ready-to-wear dress shoes, just like John Lobb and Edward Green.

Crockett & Jones $$$: A solid shoemaker from England that makes some of my favorite shoes in the world. Great design, high quality construction.

Santoni $$$: Pure Italian designs using extremely supple, high quality leather. Comfort and design in one.

Tricker's $$$: Pretty innovative company getting press for doing some cool collaborations recently, but ultimately they are pros at their craft in their own right.

Alfred Sargent $$$: Quality English shoemaker that gets a lot less attention than they deserve.

Peal & Co. $$$: High-end Brooks Brothers brand name, but they're actually Crockett & Jones or Alfred Sargent shoes, depending on which one you get.

Ralph Lauren $$$: I'm talking about their "Made in England" shoes, as they'll be constructed by Crockett & Jones. This applies to POLO Ralph Lauren shoes as well.

Church $$$: Solid company, with a solid reputation. Amazing quality and attention to detail, highly recommended.

Alden $$$: One of the last standing classic American shoemakers. Quality of their stuff is absolutely rock solid, but a bit more bulky in design than, say, an Italian shoe.

Tod's $$: Never really tried these on, but have heard rave reviews about them consistently. Might want to find them on sale though, as value isn't the best.

Allen Edmonds $$: Best bang for the buck high quality shoes. Made in the U.S. and is probably the standard in American-made shoes.

Loake $$: Another nice shoe maker that I respect quite a bit. A very good alternative to Allen Edmonds.

Meermin $$: Simple shoes, made with very nice attention to detail. Harder to get, since I believe they're in Europe, but worth a try.

Florsheim by Duckie Brown $$: Duckie Brown makes some interesting designs, but I've been a fan of his partnership with Florsheim. Pretty good quality stuff and you can find it on sale often.

Charles Tyrwhitt $: Follows very classic designs, and provides pretty high quality shoes. Good news is they often go on sale as well, thus giving them one $ sign (still will cost you over $100 though).

Johnston & Murphy $: Solid entry level brand for shoes just as well. Don't expect these to compete with most of the above brands though.

There you go! Get yourself a pair of dress shoes. They are investment pieces, so I'll say this again... they're worth the extra buck or two.