20 April 2009

Cloth Shoes

New cloth shoes for the summer, in classic navy blue and white:

Two days ago, as a sort of birthday gift, I forced Mrs. G to leave the house alone for a few hours to do whatever she wanted. This of course meant shopping , and in true Mrs. G form, she came back not only with things for herself, but gifts for me and the kids. On Mrs. G.'s birthday, everybody wins!

A brand new pair of Sperry sneakers.I never would have bought these for myself, and she knows this, but I am glad to have them. The price of a new pair of cloth shoes these days is something I find a bit shocking, but fortunately I have a wife to take care of these extravagances for me. They'll be great with no socks, khakis, blazer and repp tie, should the weather ever decide to hold above 40 degrees. (I've been wearing a down vest outside all week....no lie.) Now all I have to do is wash the old natural canvas Chuck Taylors and I'm set.

p.s. when did men start taking blue jeans so damn seriously? The twist people get in these days over their dungarees really makes me laugh. See previous post.


Toad said...

A belated Happy Birthday to a wonderful woman.

Young Fogey said...

Great shoes! I can't wait to get a pair myself.

Both you and Simon Crompton suggest tennis shoes (or whatever you want to call them) with ties (Simon goes so far as to suggest Converse trainers with a suit!). I just don't understand this combination. To my (perhaps parochial) eyes, athletic shoes of any type are far too casual for the greater formality of a sports coat or tie (and the idea of wearing such shoes with a suit is just bizarre).

I can handle loafers, tasseled or otherwise, with jackets and ties. The Duke of Windsor sometimes wore tasseled loafers with double-breasted suits--a no-no that he was able to pull off with aplomb. I understand the sockless approach; I never wore socks with my espadrilles, and I don't have a problem with those who go sockless with other kinds of shoes. But sockless and a tie? Again, I just don't get it. To me, it's too great a gap between the casualness of no socks and the formality of a tie (or sports coat).

I guess I'm just too fussy in my sartorial preferences.

When you do pair your fantastic new shoes with a jacket and tie, please post pictures. Knowing how well you dress, I might have to change my mind.

Clinton said...

Better question: when did people start taking oxford shirts so seriously that they invented both an acronym and a set of rules about when to button or not button the collar?

ms. mindless said...

i take my jeans pretty seriously, but i don't expect my fiance to do so. i take care of it for him! i bring home the artfully faded perfect-wash jeans and he wears them, no questions asked. by the way, levi's does make some nice fits that are a bit more modern than the 501s and still at a very reasonable price. try the 527s, i've gotten my fiance two pair at macy's for less that $40 and they are not too tight or too fancy looking.

Giuseppe said...

Young Fogey,

Thanks for the comments. I understand how you feel about the sneaker and tie issue, but I've always felt that an artful mixing of formal and casual was one of the earmarks of American style. Plus, I have a feeling that tennis shoes with blazer and tie was quite popular among the 1930's yacht club set. Try it sometime, say for a barbecue at a friends house or a casual dinner at a seaside restaurant, and I'll bet you like the results.


Dead right.

Ms. Mindless,

Good suggestions all, but I am strictly a 501 'shrink-to-fit' kind of guy.

Mrs.G. thanks you.

David V said...

I believe the reaction, by some, to jeans come from their almost ubiquitous use as pants suitable for every occasion.

Andrew M. said...

You are extremely lucky to have someone who knows your sartorial taste so well. In my experience, unless I ask for something very specific, I never get anything I like clothes-wise. Also, happy birthday to the mrs.

Anonymous said...

Like the shoes.

We take jeans so seriously because Levi's are not what the used to be. When they were made in the US they really had a comfortable fit. On the Levi website they sell a 501 selvedge jean the fits perfect and it is nice and soft.

Same hold true for oxford shirts. LL Bean no longer makes an untreated "no iron" cotton shirt that I grew up wearing.

The outfit you are wearing is perfect for a casual Saturday. Couple that with a Harrington G-9 and you have a great look.

Anonymous said...

"When did people start taking oxford shirts so seriously?"

They are the sine qua non of WASP/Ivy/Prep/Trad style.

My father grew up in Los Angeles in the 1950s and tells me that he never remembers seing an OCBD. When he went to Stanford as a freshman in 1960, he saw young men dressed in a style completely different from what he had seen in Southern California. It was and is a mark of distinction and deserves to be worn properly. An unbuttoned collar is like an unzipped fly: a sign of carelessness.

Giuseppe said...

Don't forget, a conciously chosen act of carelessness is also an earmark of this particular style.

GK said...

Good shoes. I just got the slip-ons of the same shoe and a pair of white Jack Purcells today, I tried the Tretorns, but they were a bit small. ACL has a good article on Summer shoes today. It is just about that time for us all to wear our Summer shoes; and get out in the garden.

Young Fogey said...


I appreciate what you have to say. I'm intrigued by the possibilities of wearing navy Sperry topsiders with a sports coat. I think it would work better with, say, a Madras plaid jacket--but I would never wear such a coat. It's just not in my personal clothing vocabulary (not yet, anyway).

I love how you expose us (well, me, at least) to a different clothing sensibility. You (and other fashion bloggers) are broadening my horizons, yet I still maintain my fundamental clothing "identity," which is detailed, even meticulous, and neat to the point of fussiness (in some people's estimation). I would never dream of telling anyone to dress as I do; not only would it not suit everyone, I would prefer to keep my style for myself!

You're absolutely right about what dégagé means; I personally find some (but not all) elements of it contrived. As far as I can tell, you do not cross that line, and I salute you for doing it so tastefully.

Foster Huntington said...

I love how canvas shoes break in and the dyes fade. buy them in April wear them all summer and part with them in October. my only problem with the sperrys is that the soles are pretty flimsy and end up hurting my feet. I prefer the vans variety,


Dhr. DeLuxe said...

Great shoes G!
A true classic, with both European and American roots. We call them 'plimsoll'.
Originating from the 1830's (yes, 18...) in England, they were introduced in the US by Dunlop.
Originally to be worn on the beach ('sand shoes'), the sharkteeth pattern on the soles made them ideal for boating too.

They fit very neatly in your wardrobe (as they would in mine :-)
And I'd have a pair of Dunlop Volley's for that (hard sought and hard to come by in EU) American prep/sports look.

Looking forward to your summer garments!

3button Max said...

sneakers w/blazer is great..