A package was waiting by the door this afternoon! My maternal grandfather relied on split-toes and wingtips/brogues for his dress shoes all his adult life until his death ten years ago at 89. My grandmother followed a year later. It's funny, but there has not been a day since that I don't think about them.
A couple of years ago when Wisconsin-based shoemaker Allen Edmonds was purchased, there was some concern in the menswear community that it was the start of a long, slow, inevitable decline that would eventually end in cheap, plastic-like shoes being produced in sweatshops outside the U.S. with no customer service to speak of.
Thus far, that has not happened, and both the company's products and customer service remain second to none. Very helpful, polite, and professional people on the telephone when you call with a question by the way. The company pays the return postage too. Anyway. . .
Today, a pair of split-toe oxfords I purchased cheaply on Ebay a year ago returned home from AE where I sent them just five weeks ago for recrafting. Like new! I splurged and opted for the premium package which included new soles, heels, cork footbed, complete refinishing of the leather in its original color, along with AE shoe trees and flannel shoe bags. They look great, and I'll wear them on the first day o classes in three weeks when the autumn semester begins here at MSU. Hopefully, the pair of dark chocolate suede wingtips I also sent to AE for similar treatment will turn up in a day or two.
The point of all my shoe blather is this: Purchase quality items when you build your adult wardrobe gents, and not only will they last you a long time, but they can be refurbished, repaired, and will stay looking good for decades as part of your clothing, shoe, and accessory rotation. Just say "No!" to fast fashion.
FYI. . .
There are plenty of more expensive men's dress shoes made around the world, but Allen Edmonds are about the friendliest to your wallet, and the company's customer service is, once more, stellar in my experience.
And two days later. . . these beauties awaited me at the front door following their complete recrafting by the good folks at the Allen Edmonds factory just outside Milwaukee, Wisconsin. There is nothing quite like the aroma of (almost) new, quality leather shoes. I wish I had taken a "before" photograph. It's hard to believe these are the same shoes sent off across Lake Michigan just five weeks ago. Dare I say it? I cannot wait for Fall. These will look super with a tweed sports jacket and a pair of corduroy pants.
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