13 July 2009

The (not so) White Shoes

Ah yes, the good old white bucks. Seems this Summer they're quite the rage. Here's my pair:

Made in the U.S.A. by Worthmore, which my homework tells me was a second label of Florsheim back in the old days. Sort of like shoes for college kids made by the company that also makes dad's double soled wing-tips.

Not a bad pair of shoes for $1.99. If you don't believe that, the price is still written on the bottom in grease pencil and won't wear off:I love white bucks, but they do present a bit of a dilemma. This pair is pretty clean, and these shoes do look good clean, with seersucker, blazers, white pants and the like. But they also look good beat to all hell. I seem to remember that being particularly stylish when I was in the eighth grade. The dilemma lies in the deciding which way to wear them.

I've had these shoes for a long time, but as much as I do like them, every Summer I wind up wearing them only once or twice. I can't shake the fear of dirtying them irrevocably. But truthfully, occasions requiring clean white shoes present them selves rarely in my life. So today I decided to take the plunge and wear the hell out of mine this year, to the playground , in the back yard, the rain, everywhere, with the most casual of clothes. I'm pretty sure I'll like them better once they're a bit destroyed. Besides, for two bucks, (har, har) what's to lose?

Here they are today with my favorite somewhat-too-frayed khakis, and some bright striped socks:and an un-ironed pink J.Press oxford, button down collar unbuttoned:
A friend put it quite well today. His advice was to wear the damn things to death. Five years from now, when someone gets married outside in the summer, use it as an excuse to by a new pair. Keep them clean for the wedding, then proceed to wear that pair to death.

Sounds like a plan to me.



16 comments:

Dickie said...

I know this as come up before, but don't remember the answer: Why leave the button down collar unbuttoned even in casual/non-iron situations?

David V said...

A little "off-white" wouldn't be a bad thing.

Barima said...

I had the same piece of advice given to me regarding shirts over the weekend. I'm slowly starting to believe in it. But I'd definitely apply it to bucks. Great find, as always

Giuseppe said...

Dickie,

I'm sure I could come up with all sorts of silly answesr to tha question, but the truth is that it's really nothing more than a vain affectation on my part...like Agnelli and the old watch-over-shirt-cuff trick.

david said...

That is one of the design I saw in California when the End of Summer Sale there. I like to buy it but accidentally I left my money.

Anonymous said...

when i was a kid I had a pair of tan suede bucks....now I can't find them anywhere...but don't want to buy them online somewhere at Bass because they may not fit...

Young Fogey said...

Well, some guys like to leave the collar buttons unbuttoned (we had this discussion before).

However, it's the other buttons that caught my attention this time. I have heard the following adage, and like its wisdom:

A gentleman may leave one button unbuttoned during the day; two at night; and three if he can see the Mediterranean.

I can see expanding the last to include "or if you are in the tropics," as that's the intent.

Thoughts?

Cody Pendant said...

I have a similar pair of white bucks, Traditionals by Cole Haans, purchased at a thrift store.

Mineral Spirits will remove the grease pencil marks quite easily! You can also sand the soles with fine sand paper to restore the color of the Coral soles. It removes the oxidized dark color back to the eraser pink. White chalk powder will restore the color back to white and for stubborn stains use some watered down sneaker liquid white polish.
Viva the White Bucks!

Giuseppe said...

It was damn hot ouside, and I'm an Italian.

Young Fogey said...

Fair enough. I'm not saying I buy into that, because I never unbutton more than one button, regardless of time or location--and I lived in the tropics for several years. I just think it's a nice rule of thumb for those who like such things.

Some Assembly Required said...

What kind of khakis are those? They seem well-loved.

Young Fogey said...

Wait a second! You and your friends were wearing white bucks in eighth grade? I don't think that anyone I went to school with started wearing anything other than tennies until high school, and even then they were in the minority.

Just what kind of patrician background do you come from, anyway? ;-)

Seriously, I think it's great that you were in an environment that had such sartorial flair from such a tender age. I'm a little jealous.

Jim said...

A nubuck brush and eraser should take care of all of your scuffs--to regain the pure white you'll need a chalk bag. If you are having trouble finding a chalk bag, use some old t-shirt type fabric filled with gymnastics chalk. You need to poof it on as if it were a powder puff. Works better than anything else.--Jim

Athens/Style said...

I follow your blog for some months now, and I'm realy envy of the oportunities you have in US of buying clothes in such a cheap prices...I'm from Athens/Greece, and here this kind of market is non-existing...
Apart from that realy like your taste in clothes, and all the Amricana style :-) Greetings from the Mediteranean Sea!

Giuseppe said...

Some Assembly,

J. Crew, old and frequently worn. There's even a wallet-hole at the right hand hip pocket. I love that kind of wear and tear. Few things are as cool as a freshly cleaned and totally destroyed pair of khakis with a blazer and tie.

ADG said...

Damn G-Man...When I'm next in Boston, you gotta take me thrifting.