New Shoes – Charles Tyrwhitt Semi-Brogues

Its always nice to wake up and find a package waiting at the front door, and in this case its the new shoes I’ve been patiently waiting on for the past 2 1/2 weeks. Black semi-brogues from Charles Tyrwhitt. I have a difficult foot to fit, so instead of spending the money on a trip into Brisbane, I decided to take a chance and by a pair online; 13 business days later, here they are.

I wasn’t expecting a great deal from the shoes, Charles Tyrwhitt isn’t exactly known for their quality (although I still like them), and they aren’t a shoe store. I had done a bit of research however, and decided that they were the best option (they have a 6 month returns policy, so even if I didn’t like the shoes I could just return them), and I had a discount voucher anyway. The size was a bit difficult, I usually wear a 10.5AU, which were 1.5″ too long but just wide enough and after a bit of research I settled on a 9.5G UK fit, confident that I could swap them if I needed to. If I have nothing else positive to say about the shoes, I will say this: They fit perfectly.

As I said above, I have done some research, and opinions seem to be divided, but in general they are described as something you should buy if you can get them cheap, but definitely not full price. So far, I’m happy with the $197 I spent on them (with postage and my $20 discount), considering my last shoes were $130 from Myer, and are already falling apart. 
The shoes themselves are leather uppers (of course), with leather soles and a rubber heel. The leather upper is very stiff, and I imaging will take quite a bit to wear in, and they come well polished (which I will of course go over again) and feel, if I’m completely honest, a little plasticky. I can’t say for sure if that’s a bad thing, but I imagine they will soften some as I wear them.
Charles Tyrwhitt don’t make their own shoes, and general belief is that they are just rebranded Loake shoes, which I don’t think is a bad thing, and if true means that they are made in England, which I like. They are also Goodyear Welted, which is something I can’t say about my other shoes.
I’m not an expert on shoes, I certainly know enough that I feel comfortable buying my own, and offering advice to others, but I can honestly say that I think these are the best pair of shoes I have ever owned. Definitely not the best pair I will ever own, but for what I spent on them, I’m very happy, and will most likely be getting a pair in brown sometime soon. They are also far better than a majority of shoes I have seen for sale in QLD stores. As usual, all comments and questions are welcome.

5 Reasons a Man Should Dress Well

5 Reasons a Man Should Dress Well


Why Should I Give a Damn?
Let me preface this by saying that there are far more than five reasons that a man should dress well, but these are the ones that I think are some of the most important.
1.    Respect
It’s not so much about having others respect you, as it is about you showing your respect for others and yourself. Dressing well shows that you respect others enough to put in the effort, and they in turn are more likely to show you respect. Along the same lines, looking like you just rolled out of bed all the time can give the impression that you don’t even respect yourself enough to put in the effort; and how are others supposed to respect you if you don’t respect yourself.
2.    Confidence
  Dressing well gives you confidence. Don’t believe me? Put on a well-fitting suit, shirt, and tie, and look in the mirror. Chances are you look pretty damn good; you could probably put James Bond to shame. That suit’s not wool, it’s solid steel; it’s a suit of armour, and you’re ready to take on the world, or sip on a martini at the bar while seducing a beautiful woman. You have a big presentation at work? No worries; Job Interview? It’s in the bag; Proposing? Who would say no to you? That’s the feeling a good suit gives you, and if that’s how your clothes make you feel every day, then the world is your oyster. (Note: Be confident, not arrogant)
3.    Details
 Dressing well requires paying attention to the little details. Your jacket sleeve showing just that quarter inch of shirt cuff, your trousers breaking just above your shoe, your cufflink just peeking out of your jacket sleeve, the handkerchief in your breast pocket; when you put in the effort to get these details right for yourself, you start to notice them in other people.  Eventually, you start to notice other little details as well, and when you wife or girlfriend asks if you notice anything different about her you can say “Yes, you got a haircut, it looks lovely”, or “I like your new earrings”, even before she asks.
4.    Dress for Success
 They say not to dress for your job, but for the job you want. Not as the man you are, but as the man you want to be. When you look like you are in charge, chances are people will treat you as if you were. If your boss sees that your co-workers look to you for guidance, and the clients all prefer you to your co-workers, then you are much more likely to get that promotion.
5.    Responsibility
I have three suits, six shirts, fourteen ties, and three pairs of shoes that I wear regularly. They are my favourites.  Before the day I plan to wear a suit I will hang it up in my bathroom and steam it with my steamer, then I will press it. If I know I’m going to have a busy week, I will do all the suits at once. The Saturday before the week begins I will wash and iron all my shirts (more on that later), and hang them. I will also polish my pairs of shoes (more on this later as well), and then I will usually go over them the morning or night before I plan to wear them. The night before I’m doing whatever it is I’m doing, I will plan my outfit, down to the cufflinks and pocket square, and place it on my valet stand. I do these things because I am responsible for my appearance; and if my shirt is wrinkled, or my shoes are scuffed, then there is no one to blame but myself, and that reflects poorly on me; and that is the opposite of what dressing well is supposed to do
Like I said at the beginning, this is nowhere near an all-inclusive list, and I certainly encourage you to find your own reasons. As I hinted above, I will be doing posts on how to iron your shirts, and properly polish your shoes. Comments and questions are always welcome.