Welcome back to the 4th installment of my closet essentials series. I wanted to put a good amount of thought into my footwear post. If you follow my instagram feed, you’ll know I enjoy shoes. I enjoy shoes so much that I created a series called Shoe Stories in which I post a photo of the shoes I am wearing that day along with a line of text, and perhaps an explanation, or some other supplementary information.
My dad got me interested in shoes. When I was growing up, he wore a suit and tie to the office every day. He wore nice suits. This was the 80’s and 90’s, so many of them were colors and shapes that I would never wear today. My dad is also 4″ taller than I am. Most of those suits were 44L (I think.) I wear 40R. But we actually wear the same size in many shoes (9 1/2 D.) This led me to take an interest in his shoes. About six years ago,I posted an article to The Choosy Beggar about his extensive collection. It was even picked up by Valet. He had several pairs of Alden, Allen Edmonds, Cole Haan, and other slightly more obscure brands. I was particularly drawn to many of the Aldens. On that visit, he sent me home with a pair of Alden penny loafers, a pair of brown suede cap toe lace-ups by a Spanish brand, Sacchi, and a pair of chestnut brown wing tips by a brand called Eggers & Silk. They all made a nice addition to my own shoe collection, but got me started on something much bigger.
See, until then I had not spent a whole lot of money on shoes. I had worked for Armani, and had a few pairs that had fallen apart. I’d purchased a pair from the Cole Haan outlet, and another from the Hugo Boss sample sale. Most of my shoes, however were J.Crew. Keep in mind, this is before they improved the make and design. All but one of those pairs of shoes are now gone – sold or given to charity, or simply thrown away. Once I left a horribly uncomfortable pair in a hotel room in Las Vegas. But I digress.
There was one pair of Alden shoes that I could not get out of my mind. My dad gave them to me as a gift after the birth of my daughter. He’s also given me another two pair of Aldens, and a couple pairs of Allen Edmonds – one monk strap, and a black penny loafer. He enjoys buying/giving me shoes. I also enjoy buying them for myself. Two of my favorite purchases have been a pair of dark brown Allen Edmonds penny loafers, and a pair of dark brown longwing Allen Edmonds MacNeil brogues. (Finally, I reach the focus of the post, and all photos.) I actually purchased these shoes through Lands’ End about 4 years ago. They’ve not been resoled, but I did replace the heels. As soon as the air turns crisp in the Fall, they come out of hiding, and hang around until sometime in April. I love these shoes! If I had to narrow my closet down to five pairs of shoes (M-F) these would without question be at the top of the list. They go with everything from a suit to dress flannels, dark jeans, and even my Cremieux 38 chinos (see the blue linoleum tile photo above taken today!)
What’s your favorite shoe?