Friday, 8 February 2013

Things for Spring 2013 - Part 1

As I've been getting a lot of feedback to write more stuff like this, here it goes. Things I'm strongly thinking of getting this spring, for reasons explained.

1. A washed semi-casual shirt

Glanshirt. Picture from Frans Boone.
I've grown to like the sort of "washed" materials a lot lately. When used in a casual setting they give add a touch of nonchalance that very few other things can. Glanshirt (pictured above) is a maker that has been making this kind of shirts for a longer time, but mostly due to the steep price tag I haven't bought one myself so far. Now it might be the time to get one.

What colors would I get? A soft white cotton twill would be my first choice perhaps, but different kinds of light blue with a subtle pattern wouldn't be bad either. Collar type should be spread or button-down.

What to wear with? I'd go for a cotton jacket, preferable extremely lightly padded or totally unstructured. Perhaps a lightweight knit. For the bottom I'd go for light colored chinos in a slightly rugged cotton fabric, leave the socks out and jump into a pair of sand colored suede plaintoe derbies.

Other manufacturers than Glanshirt might be SuitSupply, for example. Let's see what kind of options and if any without the ultra spread collar they will have in their S/S 13 collection once it is available in whole.

2. Brown toe cap oxfords

Toe cap oxford in brown calf and Hiro last. Picture from Meermin.

I've lately been selling most of my full brogue shoes, as I've been finding them increasingly unattractive and unsuitable for my wardrobe. What I prefer to wear instead is something without any or just some brogue detailing, and a semi-elongated and not too aggressive shape. So, a natural choice is the toe cap oxford. Also, it must be noted that this reflection mainly concerns brown toe caps. A black toe cap is still very much an option only when a suit is worn.

Most would say that a toe cap oxford is only for formal use, but I have to admit there are some guidelines that at this point in life and in this environment I don't really need to care about. I personally see this kind of a shoe to fit the Italian stuff such as my LMB 1911s or Bogliolis the best. A toe cap oxford on the right last has that elegance of an oxford shoe, but in brown is not too formal. The clean and beautiful lines and the quality of the leather play the major part instead of the smaller details.

So, again, how would I wear this apart from the normal more formal use? To be honest, I see it as a totally OK option to replace your loafers and worn with perhaps a blue or navy unstructured jacket, light colored shirt, perhaps cream, white or navy chinos and without any socks. One of Bill Cunningham's pages last year actually was about wearing oxford shoes without socks, if I remember correctly. Maybe that's where this thought process has began, so some credit to Bill.

Meermin's brown toe cap oxford in Hiro last (pictured above) is what I've been thinking of myself, but other options might include Carmina's toe caps or C&J Radstock in the 341.

3. Plain toe derbies

Church's Stratton. Picture from Frans Boone.

Plaintoe derby is also a shoe type that I'm still to own. About a year ago there was a small click inside my head and I suddenly started fancying both longwing gunboats and PTDs. Both shoes work around the year, and both are perhaps a bit more attractive in suede during the warmer months.

A few things I personally hold important when looking at this shoe type. First, the vamp piece should not be cut into three pieces, like in many plain toe derbies. Instead, the vamp leather piece should run all the way to the rear and there should a small leather pieces (if someone knows their name please elaborate) should be there for the shoelace eyelets, like in the Church's Strattons above. Second, the shape shouldn't be square in any way, but a good balance between sleek and chunky. Third, especially in suede options I prefer a natural color welt or a red Dainite.

The above shoes are still on sale on Frans Boone, in three colors. It's also one of the best looking plain toe derby I've seen, and if you're not intimidated by the quickly-wearing red brick sole I would recommend them for anyone looking for a beautifully shaped ptd. Other good options come from Meermin and if you don't mind spending ~500 Euros Alden or Tricker's will give you the best options.


  1. Brown shoes are always useful, but what shade of brown? Chestnut, mahogany, cherry, cognac? Of course one must have them all and so you end up as a poor man with many beautiful shoes.