December 27, 2010

Ralph Lauren Darlton Shortwings

Posted in Clothes tagged , , , at 3:58 am by Brown Boots



I purchased these shoes in the past month or so. These are Ralph Lauren Darlton wingtips made by Crockett & Jones (an English shoemaker) using cigar shell cordovan from Horween. These are solid shoes that will probably last the rest of my life. I highly recommend these to anyone looking for a shortwing. When I first decided to get new shoes I knew I wanted a sort of wingtip in cigar shell cordovan, but I couldn’t decide between a shortwing, longwing, or a wingtip boot. These got my attention and after finding a good deal on them I pulled the trigger. The color, leather, last, and styling on these are all amazing, and they work with almost any outfit.


November 14, 2010

Sun-bleaching leather: Alden pocket knife holder

Posted in Clothes, Personal Projects tagged , , , , , at 9:45 pm by Brown Boots



A while back I bought the above Alden Shell Cordovan pocket knife holder and pocket knife. As an experiment, I decided to try out sun-bleaching leather, and this seemed to be a good item to try it with. After about 1-2 months of being taped to my west-facing window, the branded side has become many shades lighter from sun exposure.  This could be done to shoes, belts, and watchbands with some very interesting effects as the sun lightens portions of the leather differently. Just remember if you’re doing this to shoes you should condition the leather afterwards, because in addition to lightening the sun will also dry out the leather, shortening its lifespan.

August 6, 2010

Compass footwear trade show

Posted in Clothes tagged , , , , , , , at 1:28 am by Brown Boots

This week I went to the Compass footwear trade show, and it was amazing. I forgot to take pictures of any of the shoes, but I was really excited about a lot of what I saw there. Some highlights:

  • The Eastland Made in Maine collection is amazing. Very soon they are putting out a collection of handmade moccasins using Horween leathers and made in the USA. They’re basic models are very similar to Quoddy and the many other moccasin/boat shoes out there, but they also have some more interesting boots and other models. Sartorially Inclined has some great pictures of the line from the capsule show.
  • The Wolverine 1000 Mile collection has expanded to include many more new models and designs. Coming soon are a few canvas boots, a denim boot, and a 1000 mile boot made with shell cordovan. The Wolverine agent gave me a Horween leather keychain, and I’m way too excited about it.
  • Timberland’s Abington line has some great new models coming out, many of them using suede.
  • Mark McNairy’s various lines all look great. The Bass Weejuns collaboration is very nice and there was a big selection from his New Amsterdam line being shown as well.
  • I kind of love the Florsheim by Ducky Brown collection. They have such a large collection of shell cordovan and Horween leather longwings, some in really nice colors and some in tacky colors. They’re made in China, but I’d be interested in seeing how they hold up since they use such high quality leathers.

May 30, 2010

Vintage Florsheim Shell Cordovan Longwings in burgundy

Posted in Clothes tagged , , , , , , at 5:55 pm by Brown Boots

I’ve been looking for a pair of shell cordovan longwings for a while now. A few months ago I bought a pair of Church shell longwings in burgundy off eBay that unfortunately did not fit me, so they had to go. I stumbled across these Florsheim longwings last week though, and had to get them.

The uppers on these are in near perfect condition, it looks as though someone tried these on and then never really wore them afterwards.

For those who don’t know, Florsheim is an American shoe company that today produces very cheap quality shoes. In the past, Florsheim shoes were very high-end and were on par with shoe companies like Alden today. Some even say the build quality is above and beyond Alden, which is saying a lot. They even used the same Horween shell cordovan that Alden (and many others) use in high-end shoes. At some point the ownership of Florsheim decided to change strategies though, and started making low-end shoes that really aren’t worthwhile. Fortunately a lot of vintage Florsheim shoes are still out there either lightly used like mine or legitimate deadstock. This is sadly the case with many other American shoe companies, such as Bostonian, French Shriner, and apparently Allen-Edmonds might go the same way. There are pretty amazing deals out there if you just look for shell cordovan shoes by these companies.

April 28, 2010

Vintage Navy Omega Seamaster

Posted in Clothes tagged , , , , at 10:58 pm by Brown Boots

I recently retired my Seiko automatic and put the shell cordovan band on this vintage Omega Seamaster. This has been one of my ideal watches for a while, and I was fortunate enough to find it in navy. I love the face on this, it has a deep purple shade to in most light. I’ve tried dating this watch but haven’t been able to find any precise info just yet. Right now from what I’ve found online it seems this was made in the 1970s.

March 9, 2010

Yuketen wallet/money clip in navy shell cordovan

Posted in Clothes tagged , , , , at 12:31 am by Brown Boots

I purchased this Yuketen wallet pretty recently in navy shell cordovan. It’s amazing. Right now the leather is extremely dark, indistinguishable from black in most lighting. As the leather fades the blue will become more noticeable.

This is the first piece I’ve ever purchased by Yuketen. All of their goods are handmade with really high quality materials. I wish their stuff were more widely available. Surprisingly even in NYC it seems pretty difficult to find most of their line.

February 22, 2010

Allen Edmonds Cambridge in burgundy shell cordovan

Posted in Clothes tagged , , , , at 12:06 am by Brown Boots

I got these beautiful burgundy wingtips in shell cordovan on eBay a while back. Though I got a  great deal on these, they unfortunately didn’t fit and I had to resell them on eBay. You can’t tell in this picture but the leather aged very well resulting in some some amazing colors/fading that only occurs with shell cordovan.

February 7, 2010

Church Shell Cordovan Wingtips in Burgundy

Posted in Clothes tagged , , , , at 4:50 pm by Brown Boots

I got an amazing deal on these on eBay. They’re in really great condition, and since they’re made of shell cordovan they will probably last the rest of my life.

January 17, 2010

Great Shell Cordovan info on Focus On the Donut

Posted in Clothes tagged , , , , , , at 6:54 pm by Brown Boots


This blog has a ton of great information about shell cordovan leather. A great article to start looking into shell cordovan goods.

January 12, 2010

Another Seiko 5, on a shell cordovan strap

Posted in Clothes tagged , , , , at 3:08 am by Brown Boots

I got this Seiko 5 for Christmas. Seiko 5s are great because they are well made automatic watches and they come in so many different styles while still using the same movement.

This one came on a metal bracelet which I swapped out for the below brown shell cordovan band. Shell cordovan leather is a great choice for watch bands, they pretty much last forever and don’t need any sort of polishing or conditioning like regular leather. Shell cordovan bands cost a bit of money but are definitely worth it since they look better and last so much longer (20+ years).