Monday, October 24, 2011

Footwear for Menfolk

{In Search of The Perfect Man Shoes}

On the docket for the the weekend: finding hubs a new pair of Man Shoes. He's trodden the earth for the past two years in a beloved pair of rugged, handsome, and practical Timberland Earthkeeper boots, which he loves for sensible reasons and I love for aesthetic ones. They are the perfect Man Boot. P. also has a pair of very abused, very awesome desert combat boots, from that time he spent doing deserty, combaty things. But P. is a now a Civilian, a Professional, a Grownup, getting Two Simultaneous Graduate Degrees. He can't wear Man Boots to class every day, people (well, he could, and he does, but we're trying to avoid that). Hence the search for the perfect Man Shoe. Stipulations: must be attractive enough to pass sartorial muster, practical enough to change a tire in, and comfortable enough to walk in all the livelongday.

And so, the journey begins at Brooklyn Circus, where Harlem Renaissance dandy style meets a 1950s New England duck hunter's closet, plus a few devastatingly beautiful vintage bomber jackets and a collection of rare books- the place is to DIE for. But P. does not go for the navy-and-cream saddle shoes. So on to Epaulet: beautifully-tailored classics, all handmade in the US. All handmade in the US for people with quads the size of asparagus stalks and feet the width of free-range quail cutlets. So we ended up at Smith + Butler, a fantasia of rugged outerwear, luxurious woolens, and a vague reverence for early American motorcycle culture. There is an artful display of wooden target arrows, a profusion of heavy flannel, the smell of saddle leather. (This whole Urban Woodsman style is rawther amusing to two urbanites who actually do know their way around a pole ax and a shotgun, but I'm not complaining; it's Very Attractive.) All three stores, absolutely beautiful. All their clothes, absolutely beyond the budget of grad school students. However, at Smith + Butler we found Man Shoes he liked. Man Shoes we could afford.

The top contenders: Squaw Valley moc-boots by SeaVees which were redundant but beautiful (someone get these for their fella for the holidays, please), SeaVees around-town suede ankle-mocs, which look rad, I promise, with pants, and the can't-go-wrong, always-classic Clark's desert boots in beeswax. Which is what homeboy ended up with. And because I was such a good winglady I got treated to a post-shopping date with a seat in front of a fireplace and a glass of the best hot mulled wine I've had outside my mother's kitchen. Did you guys get that? FIREPLACE. HOT MULLED WINE. At Black Mountain Winehouse, in Gowanus. Which will be my go-to perch henceforth, 'til the Gowanus canal explodes in a fiery, toxic boom.

And so. All in all a weekend of exuberant pecuniary and gastronomic consumption. Shazam.


  1. building on bond is my FAVORITE PLACE EVER. so glad you found it! also, i love how this post about man boots starts with flowers. LOVE YOU!

  2. ok, we might be thinking it's the only shirt he's got, based on the last two posts.

    oh my, it's not the brooklyn i used to know! the "gowanus" of all places, it used to only mean "stinky canal".

    i just posted about g. hamilton's blood bones and butter. fab book. (you introduced me to her sister from canal house!) have you read it?

    looks like the weather's behaving for you in nyc!

  3. A worthy hunt, kidlets!

    I have never had to participate in a man shoe hunt, possibly because D has a deep and abiding love for many different genera of man shoes and he keeps himself well stocked. Whether or not said stocking is an appropriate use of funds sometimes gets called up for debate, but he always wins because I like a good shoe on a man.

  4. That fireplace vignette looks so cozy and perfect! And you're cracking me up with "deserty, combaty things". :) I'm glad your hunt was successful!

  5. this made me smile and very hopefull when it comes to tomorrow; it is man-coat hunting time in Berlin by then.

  6. Your asparagus quads and free range quail cutlet feet made me laugh out loud!

    I have to say ditto to Rachel. My own homeboy has very little concern for most things style or fashion related, but he's got a sneaker/shoe collection that rivals my own. Those SeaVees ankle mocs remind me of these curiously named Puma Volvo Boat Race moccasins that he snagged at an outlet last year: (his look like the ones on the right, but in taupe shade). They are his "dress shoes." Good choice on the Clarks though! May have to sneak those into his collection for the winter months.

  7. Mulled wine and a crackling fire- awwwwe nice!! Your adventures in search of the perfect footwear was a joy to read, had me laughing out loud at the afore mentioned places (already noted by earlier comments). I have been missing in action much of the summer months but it appears you are back from your travels in India and living in Brooklyn/Boston?! Suppose no more desert scenes then, but Brooklyn not a bad place to land! There are some of us out here who are living vicariously through you!!

  8. I just went through this with Martin, and he ended up with almost the exact same desert boots. I'm glad that's over for the next couple years - until I have to update his style again! ;)
    And oh my - hot mulled wine by a fireplace?! I'll be up that way in November and Black Mountain Winehouse is definitely getting a stop-in!

  9. wow...craving the spaces and places in your pictures..........when should i move there? :)

  10. so - let's try this again...

    about two weeks ago i tried to get my man to buy the same exact boots - he's funny about shoes and wasn't convinced they were 'the ones.' i will have to show him your other suggestions.
    I am currently pretending to hold that most delicious looking latte...i bet it was heaven.

  11. How wonderful! Your description is to die for! Just a few weeks ago I went just there, Court Street, the small Book Court, Smith and Butler.
    I love BoCoCa, not the name though!
    So many nice little places, but I agree, some of them are outrageously expensive. MY son explained that in this neighborhood live some of the most successful musicians and hence their families and offspring can afford the price tags.
    No matter how much I support Made in USA, $800 sweaters are not in my reach any time soon!

  12. I want some woman shoes that serve the same functions, especially the "comfortable enough to walk in all the livelongday" part.

  13. That is one rad courtyard garden....Sage!!

  14. This comment has been removed by the author.


Your turn: