23 September 2009

Compromise

I know what I like, and I generally don't screw around with what I don't like. I admire real quality, and rarely am I willing to settle for less. But I'm also an incurable cheapskate, and I'll be damned if I'll pay the accursed "retail" for anything, if I can help it. So, I've learned to compromise.

Two weeks ago, Fall came on hard and it rained quite a bit in New England. I was sorely wishing I had some rain shoes. No, not those silly rubber things that go over the dress shoes, but proper rain shoes. Specifically, the classic L.L. Bean rubber moccasin.

A true American classic, if ever there was one. Imagine, a rubber shoe, styled like a casual dress shoe. The perfect fusion of dress and casual. Worth every bit of $59, retail, made in the U.S.A., guaranteed to last forever, and so forth. Even I was ready to buy new, when all of a sudden:


this pair of Bean gumshoe lace-ups comes my way, for $9.99. Short top, three eyelets, fits like a shoe, not a boot. The day I found them, it was raining like hell, and I changed into the right there in the store, I was so excited.

Is the Bean slip on moc cooler than the lace-up? No question. Do I like the rubber moc better? No question. But, if you're going to be a cheapskate, you've got to learn how to compromise.

The trick is to do it without sacrificing quality, or real style. Because those are two points on which no gentleman should ever compromise.

20 comments:

Max said...

I think the mocs look a bit odd and the laceups much cooler. Good find.

Pigtown-Design said...

I love the mocs! I had them for years. The look didn't go over so well in the UK. So I started wearing wellies.

L.A.S said...

I love all styles of Bean boots (besides the clog version), but I am partial to the "boot" versions i.e. 8"-12"...nonetheless fantastic boot, which I intend on purchasing for myself and posting about.

Tucker said...

I prefer the laced gumshoe to the rubber moc. I like my ankles dry.

Dickie said...

While I have the Bean mocs, they do tend to let water in on the sides when it's really coming down, so you may be better off with the lace ups.

Young Fogey said...

"...do it without sacrificing quality, or real style. Because those are two points on which no gentleman should ever compromise."

Sorry to be a dissenting voice, but there are those of us who would disagree that these Bean shoes are in any way "stylish." (As an aside, I remember when colorful knock-offs of these shoes were fashionable in the early 80s.)

Having said that, I mut agree with your claim about their quality, and I would definitely wear them in the yard or for camping. Great find!

Dale P.L. Chadwick said...

I can't get over that heel in the L.L. Bean model - it's too high for me. I wear wellies with a quilted jacket in the fall/winter and wellies with my khakis tucked in with a polo in spring/summer. Sans nationalistic divides, Hunter>L.L. Bean.

Kurt said...

I like the lace-ups better, too. Nice get.

ADG said...

Throw some leather laces in there my man and you've got a "look".

Pitboss12 said...

The thrifting gods smile on you quite often.

Anonymous said...

While I believe in sticking to the originals, my options are limited to what the thrift shops offer. I found the Eddie Bauer version of the lace ups, complete with the most incredibly warm and comfortable shearling interior. For me - imitation over original.

foolio_iglesias said...

I own the Polo knockoffs,and they aren't even close to being waterproof;the welts on the front are stitched(!)...you should change the laces,though...

Julian said...

Like the lace up's better too.
Love your blog and read it all the time. Very inspiring! I moved to NY 15 years ago from Berlin and was even before a big fan of classic American clothes. I used to have a full wardrobe from Brooks Brothers bought (mostly)at the Salvation Army. I switched over to the British variation years back, when I started to make some money. Now I'm rediscovering American styles again. Have two kids now myself and sometimes get caught with my red corduroys from Cordings on a playground in the middle of Brooklyn.

luap said...

I like the lace ups better, too, but is it really that much cooler in Mass. than it is in Philly. Today it was 82, but it felt more like 92. I swear July is back.

Seth said...

I've a similar pair of lace-ups and they're fantastic for wet weather days. Also great once the snow has sat on the side of the road for a few weeks and turned to that grey slush that takes forever to disappear. Even saved my feet during a monsoon once.

That said, today I did wear "those silly rubber things that go over the dress shoes." Meh, whaddaya gonna do?

Sophie said...

I found a pair of the LL Bean lace-up rain boots at a thrift store in Florida. They're in great shape and very comfortable. I wear them often in England. I've never seen anyone else wearing them this side of the pond.

Anonymous said...

As an American I am obligated to vote for LL Bean over Wellies.

Padeen

AthensStyle said...

Is it only me, but I do not consider these "shoes" syylish at all...I wont wear them not even in my backyard. Sorry but they look akward to me...

Giuseppe said...

Athens,

I think these shoes strike a lot of Europeans as a little weird. Hell, they are a little weird. BUt here in New England, they are the absolute standard in foul weather foot wear.

Josh H. Lasserre said...

I'll bet that if you send them off to be reworked at Bean they could simply install the mock upper.