The Shabby Professor

Starting Member
Hello all, I'm looking for some advice on choosing a pair of lace-up dress shoes. Please be gentle, as I've only started paying proper attention to my wardrobe for about a year, and still have a lot to learn.

I've got two pair of dress shoes currently, both slip-on because
a) I live in Japan, where the shoes come on and off several times a day, and
b) When I bought them, I had no idea of the significance of the buckles, laces, and other top of the foot adornments.
c) I also don't know a thing about toes. Lots of gaps in my knowledge.

Here they are:



The brown bit loafers are from a company called MDM, formerly of Germany now out of South Korea, and were originally an unattractive peanut butter color, but I've done some work with dark brown and black polish, and I quite like them now. The black monks are Guy Laroche. I mention the brands because I'll probably be shopping around the $200USD mark.

As my name suggests, I'm a university professor (in my 40s) (hence around 200 bucks for shoes). I wear a suit only occasionally, but spend most of my time in dress trousers, collared shirts (with or without tie, depending on my mood) and sport coats (Osaka heat permitting).

However, when I go to the shoe store, I find myself baffled by the variety of laceups. Capped toes, uncapped toes, pointy toes, square toes, things with lots of fancy stitching and holes (btw, I'm not a fan of wingtips. Too much like my dad's IBM uniform). What I'm after is something that will hit the balance between the "HEY! LOOK AT ME! I HAZ LEATHER SHOES" and the "I've given up" salaryman look. Suggestions (or questions, if more information is needed) are welcome, especially in the form of pictures, as not everything has the same name once it's been slid over into Japanese.

Thanks

-val
 
Those shoes are very square. Avoid that, going forward.

There's not really one shoe that does all you want. You dress at three levels of formality:

1. Shirt and trousers.
2. Sportcoat and trousers.
3. Business suits.

You could get a shoe for 1 and 2, or for 2 and 3, but it would be tough to find a shoe that works with all three.
 

Flairball

Super Member
I don't think you'd be off to a bad start with a simple pair of plain toed oxford style shoes. Pretty versatile.


Don't know where you'd find a pair in Osaka, but I do know that there is some pretty funky/uncoordinated fashion sense in Japan.

BTW, I've got family in Hirakata.
 

sleepyinsanfran

Active Member with Corp. Privileges
round toed plain toe blucher in merlot would be the most understated and versatile, based on the concerns you mentioned. The above example has a contrast stitch, which makes them more casual
 

The Shabby Professor

Starting Member
Those shoes are very square. Avoid that, going forward.
Good to know about the square toes, I guess 5-6 years ago when I bought my existing shoe, they were in fashion here. Or perhaps just out of fashion, since I think they were on sale.

There's not really one shoe that does all you want. You dress at three levels of formality:

1. Shirt and trousers.
2. Sportcoat and trousers.
3. Business suits.

You could get a shoe for 1 and 2, or for 2 and 3, but it would be tough to find a shoe that works with all three.
Thanks for that also. Looking at it this way then: What level of the above would you match my existing shoes to? This will help me in plugging one of the holes in my wardrobe.

Thanks.

-val
 

The Shabby Professor

Starting Member
I don't think you'd be off to a bad start with a simple pair of plain toed oxford style shoes. Pretty versatile.


Don't know where you'd find a pair in Osaka, but I do know that there is some pretty funky/uncoordinated fashion sense in Japan.

BTW, I've got family in Hirakata.
Cool, Hirakata is a nice place.

round toed plain toe blucher in merlot would be the most understated and versatile, based on the concerns you mentioned. The above example has a contrast stitch, which makes them more casual
Strictly for information, why plain toe and not capped? I don't have any strong feelings either way, but I have seen some pretty nice looking capped toe (somewhat pointed, but not Keebler elf level) shoes lately. However, I have no idea what caps "mean," in terms of formality or appropriacy.

Thanks

-val
 

maximar

Super Member
Allen edmonds has a bunch of shoes under $200 on sale. You can print a brannock and check you possible size.
whatever shoes you decide (capped or plan toe, etc) you just gotta pick one now and just buy another later. You got a shoe itch, scratch it my friend!
 
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