Brown Shoes

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wordword
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Brown Shoes

Postby wordword » Sat Jan 30, 2010 9:09 am

I bought a dark-charcoal suit. and now i'm about to buy shoes. i'm not huge into fashion (and i'm broke), so i would like to just buy one pair of shoes that i can wear w/ a suit and at less formal functions.

i do not like black shoes. but are they essential? can i get by the next 3 years with dark-brown shoes (oxfords)?

jrs12
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Re: Brown Shoes

Postby jrs12 » Sat Jan 30, 2010 9:21 am

I share your distaste for black shoes, but you should have at least one pair. If you're still a student, I suppose you can put it off for a little while, but you should certainly have black shoes by the time you're working.

Also, be careful about trying to get one pair of shoes that does everything. There's really no such thing, though some are more flexible than others.

For a more formal brown that goes with just about every color, try oxblood/cordovan/burgundy/merlot (the color goes by different names depending on the shoemaker).

Finally, please don't be too cheap with your shoes. They're far more important than your suit. Good shoes will last well over a decade, and they're one of the first things that people look at. At a minimum, you need leather soles if you're wearing a suit.

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thickfreakness
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Re: Brown Shoes

Postby thickfreakness » Sat Jan 30, 2010 10:25 am

Get some cordovan shoes and a matching cordovan belt. Main thing is to make sure your belt and shoes are the same color. I will agree that black shoes are essential, but you can pull off some cordovan ones. If you roll with a lighter brown it can work, but definitely not with a charcoal suit. Brown shoes go better with olive and brown suits, slacks and coat, etc. Definitely look at your shoes as a wardrobe investment, because a quality pair (when cared for appropriately) will last for a while.

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iamtaw
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Re: Brown Shoes

Postby iamtaw » Sat Jan 30, 2010 11:03 am

in general I dislike the look of brown shoes with a black/charcoal suit. kind of a no-no. though aside from that they are pretty versitile. a nice pair of wingtips will work either formally or casually.

mugwump
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Re: Brown Shoes

Postby mugwump » Sat Jan 30, 2010 11:23 am

Consider two pairs of relatively affordable well-made shoes (e.g. Ecco, Allen-Edmonds, Cole Haan): one, black, and the other, cordovan...they will last a long time with proper shining and care (invest in good quality shoe trees). Get two different styles, perhaps a cap-toe and an updated wing-tip. Of course, have matching belts. People will notice if you are wearing the same shoes and suit repeatedly...not good for the image.

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JazzOne
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Re: Brown Shoes

Postby JazzOne » Sat Jan 30, 2010 11:28 am

OP: You really need some black dress shoes. I also prefer brown shoes, and I bought a pair of brown dress shoes last summer. I had some interviews last week, so I bought a suit that would match my shoes so I wouldn't have to buy another pair. The suit is dark blue, and I wore it with a white shirt. However, I own a really cool purple shirt that I hardly wear because I don't dress up often. This purple shirt looked terrific under the blue coat, but I hated the purple shirt with the brown shoes. If I had black shoes, it would have really increased the color combinations I could wear. Black shoes go with practically everything. You can wear khaki pants with black shoes, but black pants with brown shoes is not fashionable. As for the brand, I recommend Johnston & Murphy. You can get a pair for about $100. They are fairly conservative and durable.

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pleasetryagain
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Re: Brown Shoes

Postby pleasetryagain » Sat Jan 30, 2010 11:30 am

I dont know the general opinion on Kohls around here (Im broke so I <3 kohls).. but they have some nice shoes for under $100.

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Rotor
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Re: Brown Shoes

Postby Rotor » Sat Jan 30, 2010 11:35 am

Don't wait until you are "working". You'll need to make a great impression at the interview and shoes are just as important as the suit itself.

I'm a firm believer in black shoes w/charcoal suits. I know it's expensive, but it pays to dress well. (ignoring the policy argument whether it should...fact is, it matters)

edit: forgot to +1 Jazz's recommendation for J&M's. As for Kohl's (and other discount places), it's an OK option, but they won't last like quality shoes.
Last edited by Rotor on Sat Jan 30, 2010 11:44 am, edited 1 time in total.

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GeePee
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Re: Brown Shoes

Postby GeePee » Sat Jan 30, 2010 11:42 am

If you don't like black shoes, you really shouldn't have bought a charcoal suit. I really don't think brown and charcoal can work under any circumstances. Plus, you should always have a pair of black shoes. Black shoes and a charcoal suit are a classic business look that is never out of style.

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Cole S. Law
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Re: Brown Shoes

Postby Cole S. Law » Sat Jan 30, 2010 11:50 am

If you want to be a professional attorney and you're not Gerry Spence, get used to the idea of black shoes. Whenever I see someone wearing brown shoes with a gray or black suit, I think they either clueless, don't care, or unbelievably cheap. There are plenty of reasonably priced shoes on zappos.com that will pass muster in all but the snootiest of firms. Even in the snootiest surroundings, inexpensive black shoes will look better than brown.

--ImageRemoved--

wordword
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Re: Brown Shoes

Postby wordword » Sat Jan 30, 2010 1:42 pm

interesting. i was sure that dark-brown/cordovan shoes were legit with a dark-charcoal shirt.

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Cole S. Law
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Re: Brown Shoes

Postby Cole S. Law » Sat Jan 30, 2010 2:05 pm

A word of caution about what is "fashionably acceptable." Men's fashion is driven by the recommendations and pictorials in magazines like GQ. Their choices tend to be very fashion forward and trendy. What Tom Trump Supporter Brady wears to the espys is not what you should wear in front of 55-year-old partners and judges. Brown shoes may be increasingly acceptable, but law tends to be conservative and slow to change. I would stick with black.

Anonymous Loser
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Re: Brown Shoes

Postby Anonymous Loser » Sat Jan 30, 2010 2:07 pm

Judging by the preponderance of square- or bicycle-toed rubber-soled monstrosities I see worn at firm recruiting events and OCI programs, law students are probably the very last group of persons you should turn to for shoe advice.

wordword
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Re: Brown Shoes

Postby wordword » Sat Jan 30, 2010 2:10 pm

haha, +1. i am clearly no ones fashion expert, but the square-toe gives me indigestion.

________________________


i get the vibe that Brown Shoes work for everything but interviews, agree?


for interviews, be conservative as possible is the rule?

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Rotor
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Re: Brown Shoes

Postby Rotor » Sat Jan 30, 2010 2:23 pm

Anonymous Loser wrote:Judging by the preponderance of square- or bicycle-toed rubber-soled monstrosities I see worn at firm recruiting events and OCI programs, law students are probably the very last group of persons you should turn to for shoe advice.

Yeah. Because no law student ever spent any time in a real work environment prior to school. :roll:

I'll admit, I have seen the same thing and have the same reaction. But that some do it doesn't mean that everyone does it.

And to wordword: absolutely go as conservative as possible at the interview. But as for the second half of the proposition, it really will depend on a ton of variables. Personally, I would never wear brown with a charcoal suit. Period.
Last edited by Rotor on Sat Jan 30, 2010 2:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.

wordword
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Re: Brown Shoes

Postby wordword » Sat Jan 30, 2010 2:23 pm

mugwump wrote:Consider two pairs of relatively affordable well-made shoes (e.g. Ecco, Allen-Edmonds, Cole Haan): one, black, and the other, cordovan...they will last a long time with proper shining and care (invest in good quality shoe trees). Get two different styles, perhaps a cap-toe and an updated wing-tip. Of course, have matching belts. People will notice if you are wearing the same shoes and suit repeatedly...not good for the image.


how many suits could a 1L need?

On a side note, how many suits do practicing lawyers own? How many different suits do they wear in a week?

[<------------------------ Never wore a suit before.]

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Steven Perry
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Re: Brown Shoes

Postby Steven Perry » Sun Jan 31, 2010 1:09 am

I've noticed a few of these threads about clothing around here, and I'd recommend that any prospective law student get themselves a subscription to GQ. Every month they usually have editorials on proper business attire etiquette.

As for the question itself: brown shoes can work with charcoal suits, but if the suit is too dark, then you're essentially breaking the brown on black rule. When in doubt, I think it always helps to go with plain black. Just keep them polished and no one will question your style choice.

Though if the suit is closer to gray, a dark brown with a matching belt is a fantastic choice; the same goes for navy suits. In fact, I'm not a very big fan of black on navy blue.

As for the number of suits, a practicing lawyer could have 2, to 22. I'm thinking that by the time I go to law school, I'm going to have a least two, very nice, tailored suits. Keep in mind, I'm a huge fan of suits. I had two in high school, and I'm looking to update them for a more modern look.

PS: squared toes are the Devil's shoe of choice. Same with his penchant for Ed Hardy, carpenter jeans, and everyone's favorite evil offspring, the carpenter short.

letsdoit1982
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Re: Brown Shoes

Postby letsdoit1982 » Sun Jan 31, 2010 1:15 am

Does anyone know if double vents on the back of suit jackets are acceptable for interviews (and law in general), or are they a bit too trendy?

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James Bond
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Re: Brown Shoes

Postby James Bond » Sun Jan 31, 2010 1:16 am

letsdoit1982 wrote:Does anyone know if double vents on the back of suit jackets are acceptable for interviews (and law in general), or are they a bit too trendy?


They are acceptable.

And GQ is not how anyone going into law should aspire to dress. we've been over that many times as well.

letsdoit1982
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Re: Brown Shoes

Postby letsdoit1982 » Sun Jan 31, 2010 1:19 am

biv0ns wrote:
letsdoit1982 wrote:Does anyone know if double vents on the back of suit jackets are acceptable for interviews (and law in general), or are they a bit too trendy?


They are acceptable.

And GQ is not how anyone going into law should aspire to dress. we've been over that many times as well.


How is GQ different? I don't have a subscription, and the suits on their website looked pretty normal.

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James Bond
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Re: Brown Shoes

Postby James Bond » Sun Jan 31, 2010 1:20 am

letsdoit1982 wrote:
biv0ns wrote:
letsdoit1982 wrote:Does anyone know if double vents on the back of suit jackets are acceptable for interviews (and law in general), or are they a bit too trendy?


They are acceptable.

And GQ is not how anyone going into law should aspire to dress. we've been over that many times as well.


How is GQ different? I don't have a subscription, and the suits on their website looked pretty normal.


Skinny ties and over-tailored (euro-trash) attire is not the look of a professional.

letsdoit1982
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Re: Brown Shoes

Postby letsdoit1982 » Sun Jan 31, 2010 1:24 am

biv0ns wrote:
letsdoit1982 wrote:
biv0ns wrote:
letsdoit1982 wrote:Does anyone know if double vents on the back of suit jackets are acceptable for interviews (and law in general), or are they a bit too trendy?


They are acceptable.

And GQ is not how anyone going into law should aspire to dress. we've been over that many times as well.


How is GQ different? I don't have a subscription, and the suits on their website looked pretty normal.


Skinny ties and over-tailored (euro-trash) attire is not the look of a professional.


I see. I think the best advice is to look at what the partners at the firms your applying to wear.

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James Bond
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Re: Brown Shoes

Postby James Bond » Sun Jan 31, 2010 1:27 am

letsdoit1982 wrote:
I see. I think the best advice is to look at what the partners at the firms your applying to wear.


As long as they aren't too old. 45+ year old professionals dress different than 25-45. Dress shirts should not substitute as parachutes as they did in the 80's for instance :wink:

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Cupidity
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Re: Brown Shoes

Postby Cupidity » Sun Jan 31, 2010 1:29 am

How much are you looking to spend?

I ask because I was in the same situation and found the perfect pair of shoes.

Charcol colored Cole Haans. I got them for 48$, problem is they are 250$ shoes.

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OperaAttorney
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Re: Brown Shoes

Postby OperaAttorney » Sun Jan 31, 2010 1:57 am

Cupidity wrote:How much are you looking to spend?

I ask because I was in the same situation and found the perfect pair of shoes.

Charcol colored Cole Haans. I got them for 48$, problem is they are 250$ shoes.


Cole Haan does offer some cool deals. Over the Christmas break I bought a pair of black Cole Haan Oxfords for $80. They were marked all the way down. When my classmates ask me to recommend an affordable, stylish brand, I always direct them to Cole Haan.




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