Orgetorix

Honors Member
4,206
United States
Kentucky
Louisville
So what's the deal with cigar shell cordovan? The stuff comes in (and ages to) so many different hues, shades, and colors that it seems schizophrenic.

Sometimes it's just a plain, dark brown--so dark it's difficult to distinguish any undertones.



Sometimes it's a rich reddish-brown that I would kill to own.





Sometimes it has a more unpleasant greenish cast that doesn't look as nice when new...



...and ages to a really horrific baby-poop green that I wouldn't touch with a ten-foot pole, let alone put on my feet.




And sometimes it ages to sort of a bland, neutral dark tan.




So what's the deal? I understand different shells take the dye differently, but this much color variation seems extreme. While the other Alden shell colors (except black) vary somewhat, cigar seems by far the most unpredictable. It's enough to make me hesitant about buying any cigar shoes, especially sight unseen.


PS: no offense intended if I've dumped on any of your shoes. My opinions of the color shades are just that--personal opinion.
 
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WillBr

New Member
38
United States
CA
San Francisco
I share your fear of purchasing cigar shell...have almost pulled the trigger on the PTB countless times, but even the pair to pair variation in the store was staggering.

The wingtip boots you pictured are gorgeous...but are you sure they're cigar? My old 984s are that exact color.
 

YoungClayB

Super Member
1,105
United States
North Carolina
linville
lighting has a little to do with it...here are a picture of my PTBs in natural sunlight...much more appealing that the picture of them above.
 

TheWGP

Senior Member
991
I've experienced the same thing - taking good pictures of cigar is very heavily light-dependent, and getting the color balance right is near impossible. They do have a lot of variation, though... but I'm not sure I'd say it's more variable than, say, whiskey. More variable than #8, though? Definitely.
 

PeterW

Active Member with Corp. Privileges
191
Agreed. So what's the right niche cordo color after #8.

I'd like to branch out. And does the answer depend on which shoe?

Howabout:

LHS = Ravello
Chukka = Whiskey
PTB = Cigar

???
 

Orgetorix

Honors Member
4,206
United States
Kentucky
Louisville
The wingtip boots you pictured are gorgeous...but are you sure they're cigar? My old 984s are that exact color.
The guy who sold them at SF said they were. http://www.styleforum.net/showthread.php?t=61109



Agreed. So what's the right niche cordo color after #8.

I'd like to branch out. And does the answer depend on which shoe?

Howabout:

LHS = Ravello
Chukka = Whiskey
PTB = Cigar

???
To me, dark cognac ("dark brown" for Crockett & Jones/RL Polo) is the ultimate brown shell color. It just isn't quite as readily available. It has its own color variations (see here), but seems to be much more consistent and the variation is in lighter and darker versions of the same color. Cigar varies so much that it's hard to recognize different instances of it as the same color.

As an interesting aside, I noticed that AE had a couple of models available (briefly) in cognac shell in the '80s or '90s.
 
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Orgetorix

Honors Member
4,206
United States
Kentucky
Louisville
^ Those all look good to me too. It'd be interesting to see how Clay's change color as they age.
 

TheWGP

Senior Member
991
Just realized I have photos of both my cigars up. Only one is really good, but these are real, worn shoes - no offense to the Shoemart/Leffot photos, but they're always kind of ideal like that! Note: the chukka pic is actually from before I got them in hand, both shoes look like the left shoe (on the right in the photo) in terms of varied mid-brown evenness.

I consider myself fortunate not to have encountered the odd greenish cast some have experienced. Also, I would posit that if you're looking for a mid-brown, ravello (or mahogany, if you can find it - it's in between ravello and cigar) are great solutions without relying on the color variation/development of cigar.



and the PTB's:
 
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