dorji

Super Member
1,012
United States
Minnesota
St Paul
Good afternoon Sirs:
I am new to this forum and truth be told am making my first true effort at building a respectable wardrobe. Mistakes have been made; however, nothing too bad. I am interested in purchasing a pair of shell cordovan shoes (have my eye on some Allen Edmonds loafers). I have a pair of Florsheim Imperial cap toe which I do like, and a pair of J&M that I now see are low quality. My question is this: what, if any, rules apply to this style/ color of leather? I see some great feedback on this AE brand. I am referring to the dark burgundy color. Is this the "natural" color? Can they be worn with black? Ia a cordovan belt a must? Your feedback is appreciated. :confused:

DorjiB815
 

Flanderian

Connoisseur
21,137
United States
New Jersey
Flanders
Good afternoon Sirs:
I am new to this forum and truth be told am making my first true effort at building a respectable wardrobe. Mistakes have been made; however, nothing too bad. I am interested in purchasing a pair of shell cordovan shoes (have my eye on some Allen Edmonds loafers). I have a pair of Florsheim Imperial cap toe which I do like, and a pair of J&M that I now see are low quality. My question is this: what, if any, rules apply to this style/ color of leather? I see some great feedback on this AE brand. I am referring to the dark burgundy color. Is this the "natural" color? Can they be worn with black? Ia a cordovan belt a must? Your feedback is appreciated. :confused:

DorjiB815
Shell cordovan is a type of leather, not a color. The burgundy color in shell is called #8 by Horween, its tanner. Shell is obtained from the membrane(shell) that incases a horse's rump muscles. If the shoe you are asking about is shell, that's where it is derived. I find it hot to wear and stiff, but many love it.

However many burgundy color leathers are calf or cowhide. I know AE has a corrected grain (refinished, sealed surface, high-gloss) leather they call bookbinder. I don't care for it that well, but don't mind it in my $45 Dexters. Don't think I'd want it in a better shoe.

If you are asking generally about burgundy as a color for a shoe, I like it, and find it very versatile for both more formal/dressy shoes and informal/casual shoes such as a penny loafer. It's as natural a color as any other dye used to color a hide, which includes all brown shoes and black. You can wear it with black, except that if you're wearing black, you are in evening dress, with which you do not wear burgundy shoes.

As I added the above as an edit, I could not provide a smilie for my last remark intended, in part, in jest. I'm not a fan of black clothing in general, but having spent a few days in Manhattan to enjoy the dogs, I acknowledge its practicality in urban settings. Virtually any other color will be filthy within a few hours.
 
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dwebber18

Super Member
1,554
United States
Colorado
Denver
Yeah burgundy is a fantastic color. Khakis, grey suit, navy chinos whatever you are good to go with burgundy. I would try on a shell corodovan shoe if you can to make sure its something you are interested for all the concerns stated above. Many are happy with shell some are not so its a personal thing, but burgubdy color is very nice and versatile.
 

Tonyp

Inactive user
2,400
United States
california
Los Angeles
I love shell cordovan and have many pairs in several colors. As stated above the #8 shell is a very versatile color. I were my shell cordovans with basically casual attire. chinos, jeans, and casual wool slacks. I do not wear them with suits. Many do. I will wear a pair with black cotton pants but not black slacks. Don't wear penny loafers with a suit at night. Wear a lace up oxford. Balmoral if possible looks best. You don't need a shell cordovan belt. A belt that closely approximates the shoe color is fine.
 

Sean Archer

Senior Member
514
Shell has ruined me. It's too damn good. I would suggest burgundy for your first. Absolutely stunning. They are also pretty much idiot proof. You can shove your feet in a pond, let them dry then wax them with Kiwi.
 

82-Greg

Active Member with Corp. Privileges
334
Don't forget ...

Shell is also relatively weather proof. Hence, for your rainy day shoes/boots shell is fantastic. Alden is considered the best source for shoes. For boots, consider Ron Rider.
 

rbstc123

Super Member
1,116
United States
Georgia
Athens
I enjoy shell and calf the same. SC does wear like iron and if you do get that unfortunate scrape (in the #8 color at least) it covers up much nicer than on calf. It practically disappears after a matter of time.

I used to be obsessed with it because it was new to me. Now, with the prices continually rising and my shoe collection pretty well rounded (at 13 pair), I like it and appreciate it for what it is but I do not have to have every shoe in a SC variation.

Will I purchase it in the future?... Absolutely!:cool:
 

Orsini

Honors Member
4,759
United States
California
Lawndale
The #8-cordo is a very versatile color that can look marvelous with both dark and earth tones.

A #8-cordovan belt would, of course, be absolutely sublime but "regular" leather in a burgundy tone is very good.
 

dorji

Super Member
1,012
United States
Minnesota
St Paul
Thank you all!

Fortunate to have found this forum-what seemed to me a beginner's question was answered promptly with no condescending remarks.:icon_smile: Now, why are most dress pants found at the department store made of polyester? This just doesn't seem right. (I have been wearing 100% cotton "chefwear" kitchen pants to work for 10 years/ jeans at home).