The Transformations of Ivy Style

drpeter

Super Member
The following post from Permanent Style by a guest writer captures some of the transformations of American Ivy Style in other countries. The Japanese version is well-known -- I had read David Marx's Ametora which the writer refers to, and which is about the development of Japanese Ivy style. The British have long adapted some of the elements of Ivy style into their own trad styles. But I had not heard of French Ivy. It seems that traditional styles in many societies have been influenced by trad style in the US. Here's the piece:

 

TKI67

Elite Member
That was a fun read. As I scanned the photos for the critical attributes, my conclusion was that it was a medley of various articles of nice materials that were not noticeably fashionable with one or two very noticeable elements from the Ivy world, accenting the rest almost the way jewelry does on a well dressed woman. The most noticeable such item is the penny loafer, worn with white socks or no socks. Even if everything else is dowdy, penny loafers telegraph that the wearer has a connection with Ivy style. Added style and connection points if the chosen penny loafers are Weejuns or Alden LHS.
 

fishertw

Elite Member
That was a fun read. As I scanned the photos for the critical attributes, my conclusion was that it was a medley of various articles of nice materials that were not noticeably fashionable with one or two very noticeable elements from the Ivy world, accenting the rest almost the way jewelry does on a well dressed woman. The most noticeable such item is the penny loafer, worn with white socks or no socks. Even if everything else is dowdy, penny loafers telegraph that the wearer has a connection with Ivy style. Added style and connection points if the chosen penny loafers are Weejuns or Alden LHS.
I agree Tim, particularly about the Weejuns or Alden. Problem is that there is a segment of the population who do understand all this but must incorporate orthotics into their shoe considerations and neither Bass nor Alden have the depth in their shoes to accomodate the orthotics. I have had to resort to Allen Edmonds, Hubbard, Gokey etc. who do have removable insoles just in order to have shoes on my feet. Seems to me that the Bass and Aldens of the world are not really reading their audiences as well as they could.
Just my $.02. Cheers, Tom
 

Eligius

Active Member with Corp. Privileges
I agree Tim, particularly about the Weejuns or Alden. Problem is that there is a segment of the population who do understand all this but must incorporate orthotics into their shoe considerations and neither Bass nor Alden have the depth in their shoes to accomodate the orthotics. I have had to resort to Allen Edmonds, Hubbard, Gokey etc. who do have removable insoles just in order to have shoes on my feet. Seems to me that the Bass and Aldens of the world are not really reading their audiences as well as they could.
Just my $.02. Cheers, Tom

Alden does make a few with added depth and removable orthotic insoles, and they are great. Check out Moulded Shoe in NYC. They are all on the Modified last.
 

TKI67

Elite Member
I agree Tim, particularly about the Weejuns or Alden. Problem is that there is a segment of the population who do understand all this but must incorporate orthotics into their shoe considerations and neither Bass nor Alden have the depth in their shoes to accomodate the orthotics. I have had to resort to Allen Edmonds, Hubbard, Gokey etc. who do have removable insoles just in order to have shoes on my feet. Seems to me that the Bass and Aldens of the world are not really reading their audiences as well as they could.
Just my $.02. Cheers, Tom
Totally agree. Most of the shoemakers favored by TNSIL types completely ignore their market. I have never met a long time wearer of Sperry Topsiders who does not vocally and repeatedly say, "Bring back the Kudu!" Alden persists in offering their version of sizing roulette. Bass slaps the Weejun moniker on many things I would never call Weejuns and doesn't even remember the Sportocasin. Maybe folks just like to needle TNSIL types: BB forsaking no iron OCBDs and 3/2 sacks, Press offering MIC, Bean changing the formula for the Norwegian sweater...the list goes on. Shoemakers who refuse to offer shoes for people who use orthotics are awfully short sighted.
 

fishertw

Elite Member
Totally agree. Most of the shoemakers favored by TNSIL types completely ignore their market. I have never met a long time wearer of Sperry Topsiders who does not vocally and repeatedly say, "Bring back the Kudu!" Alden persists in offering their version of sizing roulette. Bass slaps the Weejun moniker on many things I would never call Weejuns and doesn't even remember the Sportocasin. Maybe folks just like to needle TNSIL types: BB forsaking no iron OCBDs and 3/2 sacks, Press offering MIC, Bean changing the formula for the Norwegian sweater...the list goes on. Shoemakers who refuse to offer shoes for people who use orthotics are awfully short sighted.
Your recollection of the Kudu and Sportoccasin warms my aging heart my friend. I have been in search of NOS of these classics for literally decades and fear my time is growing short!
 

TKI67

Elite Member
Your recollection of the Kudu and Sportoccasin warms my aging heart my friend. I have been in search of NOS of these classics for literally decades and fear my time is growing short!
IMO those two shoes belong in the pantheon of greatest footwear ever. I, too, have searched in vain but gave up several years ago. The Quoddy Maliseet sort of bridges them and will have to suffice, although right now they are drying out from the drubbing they got last night taking out the trash and recycling and walking the dog while a frog strangler was in progress. The holiday observance made me forget it was Monday!
 

fishertw

Elite Member
IMO those two shoes belong in the pantheon of greatest footwear ever. I, too, have searched in vain but gave up several years ago. The Quoddy Maliseet sort of bridges them and will have to suffice, although right now they are drying out from the drubbing they got last night taking out the trash and recycling and walking the dog while a frog strangler was in progress. The holiday observance made me forget it was Monday!
About the closest thing to Sportoccasins I ever found was one of the Russell Moccasin models. But then I got into somewhat of a squabble with them about sizing as they refused to find a way to incorporate my orthotics into the depth of the shoe when I was wanting to do a custom order. Later, I saw a statement on their website about not accomodating orthotics. Another missed opportunity for a shoe vendor.
 

eagle2250

Connoisseur/Curmudgeon Emeritus - Moderator
IMO those two shoes belong in the pantheon of greatest footwear ever. I, too, have searched in vain but gave up several years ago. The Quoddy Maliseet sort of bridges them and will have to suffice, although right now they are drying out from the drubbing they got last night taking out the trash and recycling and walking the dog while a frog strangler was in progress. The holiday observance made me forget it was Monday!

Having the Moccasin in both brown and navy hues, I will second Quoddy Trails Maliseet design as a suitable substitute for the Moc designs mentioned above. ;)
 

fishertw

Elite Member
Having the Moccasin in both brown and navy hues, I will second Quoddy Trails Maliseet design as a suitable substitute for the Moc designs mentioned above. ;)
I've had several pair of Rancourt Ranger Mocs which are similar I believe to the Maliseet. I spoke with Kyle Rancourt when I first started wearing orthotics and he let me know they could not custom additional depth or width in the forefoot but could stretch before shipping and not glue down the insoles. It helped a little but still did not get a good fit. We need plackards saying "old Guys with wide feet and orthotics need love too"!!
 

delicious_scent

Super Member
@fishertw Happen to know any makers that will do different sizes for the same pair of shoes? Makers that will actually let me do a trial run with mail-in fittings are preferred. I swear Rancourt used to do this.

I'm noticing my feet are getting wider over the years, so I'm hesitant on even doing this. "Buy it for life" has now turned into "buy it for five years."

My one foot is short and wide, the other one is longer and narrower.

I've compromised by stretching the hell out of every pair, but it's never truly comfortable.
 

TKI67

Elite Member
I do not use orthotics, but thanks to my younger years and many injuries (diver and dancer) I now have bunions on the tops of my great toe joints. In addition to roomy toe boxes I am a huge fan of stretchy leathers like Chromexcel.
 

fishertw

Elite Member
@fishertw Happen to know any makers that will do different sizes for the same pair of shoes? Makers that will actually let me do a trial run with mail-in fittings are preferred. I swear Rancourt used to do this.

I'm noticing my feet are getting wider over the years, so I'm hesitant on even doing this. "Buy it for life" has now turned into "buy it for five years."

My one foot is short and wide, the other one is longer and narrower.

I've compromised by stretching the hell out of every pair, but it's never truly comfortable.
I do not know of any except Russell Moccasin. They take drawings of your feet and custom make the shoes. However-- they do not accomodate for orthotics in the construction of their shoes and have a statement to that effect on their website.. I have an order coming from them in the mail as I write this for a pair of penny loafers from their sale listings in a 10EEE which I hope will accomodate the orthotics and my feet as well. I can usually wear a 10EEE with the orthotics however before orthotics I was in a 9C so the orthotics do make a world of difference in size.. I've now given away and bought at least a couple of thousand dollars worth of shoes from various Mfg.s replacing a lot of really good Alden shoes in the past four or five years. Good luck in your search.
 

delicious_scent

Super Member
I do not know of any except Russell Moccasin. They take drawings of your feet and custom make the shoes. However-- they do not accomodate for orthotics in the construction of their shoes and have a statement to that effect on their website.. I have an order coming from them in the mail as I write this for a pair of penny loafers from their sale listings in a 10EEE which I hope will accomodate the orthotics and my feet as well. I can usually wear a 10EEE with the orthotics however before orthotics I was in a 9C so the orthotics do make a world of difference in size.. I've now given away and bought at least a couple of thousand dollars worth of shoes from various Mfg.s replacing a lot of really good Alden shoes in the past four or five years. Good luck in your search.
Thank you so much Fisher, I really appreciate it. This is exactly what I'm looking for, their chukka/boot and loafer designs seem the most appealing to me.

I hope those loafers work out for you, do let us know how the purchase goes when they arrive. I find loafers an especially difficult fit.

Have you ever thought about going full bespoke? I have, but I can't mentally justify $3000-5000 on a pair of shoes...not yet anyway!
 

fishertw

Elite Member
Thank you so much Fisher, I really appreciate it. This is exactly what I'm looking for, their chukka/boot and loafer designs seem the most appealing to me.

I hope those loafers work out for you, do let us know how the purchase goes when they arrive. I find loafers an especially difficult fit.

Have you ever thought about going full bespoke? I have, but I can't mentally justify $3000-5000 on a pair of shoes...not yet anyway!
Full bespoke would be well above my price range. Being retired and not really needing ANYTHING, I just sort of search until I find things which "scratch an itch" like the Russells that I found in their sale section. Still hoping they work out. The company is really small and I did not get shipping information so they could be arriving by horse and buggy for all I know. It really does seem like a one or two person show but they do seem to know what they are doing.
 

delicious_scent

Super Member
Full bespoke would be well above my price range. Being retired and not really needing ANYTHING, I just sort of search until I find things which "scratch an itch" like the Russells that I found in their sale section. Still hoping they work out. The company is really small and I did not get shipping information so they could be arriving by horse and buggy for all I know. It really does seem like a one or two person show but they do seem to know what they are doing.
While not retired, you summed up my thoughts.

I realized my shoe collection is pretty much done at 7-8 pairs.

Here's to hoping those loafers work out! I'd give them a call if concerned, I do that sometimes with small operations.
 

TKI67

Elite Member
While not retired, you summed up my thoughts.

I realized my shoe collection is pretty much done at 7-8 pairs.

Here's to hoping those loafers work out! I'd give them a call if concerned, I do that sometimes with small operations.
It is wild how many shoes I managed to collect, rotate, and wear regularly when I was at the bank in the late '70s and early '80s and how few I have now, yet still do not use them all. Other than athletic shoes, flip flops, and rarely worn western boots, two pairs of LHS (snuff suede and CXL), one pair of tassel loafers (no. 8), one pair of Quoddys (Maliseets), and one pair of regular beat up dark brown Sperrys is both my entire collection and more than I need. I could lose the snuff suede LHS and the Sperrys and still feel well shod. Ditto for the dusty Luccheses in the corner of the closet.
 

delicious_scent

Super Member
It is wild how many shoes I managed to collect, rotate, and wear regularly when I was at the bank in the late '70s and early '80s and how few I have now, yet still do not use them all. Other than athletic shoes, flip flops, and rarely worn western boots, two pairs of LHS (snuff suede and CXL), one pair of tassel loafers (no. 8), one pair of Quoddys (Maliseets), and one pair of regular beat up dark brown Sperrys is both my entire collection and more than I need. I could lose the snuff suede LHS and the Sperrys and still feel well shod. Ditto for the dusty Luccheses in the corner of the closet.
My most formal pair of shoes I own are a pair of dark brown wingtips on a sleek last. I do find it interesting the parallel we share for owning mostly casual shoes.

I've never had the need or want for anything like a pair of black captoes.

I'm glad I culled my collection overall, and that included many basketball sneakers. They just simply didn't get worn.

I used to have an issue with only buying the 'shiny' shoes first, and built my wardrobe around them.

Wrong approach I realized, I had it backwards. It's been better for me to build my wardrobe first, and fit in shoes later.
 

fishertw

Elite Member
While not retired, you summed up my thoughts.

I realized my shoe collection is pretty much done at 7-8 pairs.

Here's to hoping those loafers work out! I'd give them a call if concerned, I do that sometimes with small operations.
If they don't arrive by Monday, I'll call them back. I counted recently and am at about 10 pair ranging from black AE Sheltons to Merrill low cut hiking shoes. My favorites right now are Gokey oxfords and AE boat shoes. Not having worn a tie or jacket for over a year and a half, I've little use for anything that is dressy in any way. Always good to compare notes.
Cheers, Tom
 
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