On Black Shoes and Busting out of the Groupthink Cycle
I also thrifted these items along with the PRL madras shirt posted earlier. The ties are a hand block printed Robert Talbott neat for Cable Car Clothiers, and a BB diamond neat. The shoes are from Johnston & Murphy’s ‘Handmade in Italy’ line, which have ‘bondwelt’ construction (i.e., glued on soles) and retail for $275-395.
I would never pay full retail for these, or even clearance prices. But if they’re my size, the soles are in good shape (these are), and I see them at the thrift for under $15 I generally will grab them. I’ve got three pairs that were all $12 or under and they’re fine for my needs. If you can’t resole a $12 shoe, wearing them out is still a good value proposition.
As someone whose sartorial education was mostly picked up in bits and pieces from the peripheries of StyleForvm, I’m no stranger to the groupthink that can dominate there. One of the most overwhelmingly dominant sentiments on SF is that black shoes suck, ipso facto (hardcore traditionalists and CBD folks may differ on that point, but they’re in the minority). As a result of buying wholeheartedly into that notion, I feel a little weird and self conscious every time I wear black shoes.
I’m going to embark on an effort to wear black shoes more often, perhaps even once a week (!), in the hopes that I can wean myself off the brown shoe groupthink, and hopefully expand my shoe rotation in the process (I currently have 4 pairs of black shoes that rarely get any wear, and that’s silly). We’ll see how it actually goes, but these tasseled loafers ought to help some.