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Sunday, May 12, 2019

Unboxing and Review Fes boots by Txture

Cruising Facebook this past winter, dreaming about the arrival of the warmer days of Spring and Summer, I came upon these beauties: The Fès boots from the good people of Txture Indonesia.  Handmade (as are all Txture boots and shoes) from Natural undyed vegetable tanned leather uppers and heavily waxed chestnut colored calfskin with some great broguing details, I was smitten from the start.  I contacted them right away to put in my order (I think I may have been the first).

Love the split toe construction, and the brogue detailing and stacked leather sole and heels:

The Ecru colored laces look perfect with this leather combo

The Unboxing:
A couple of months later, I was rewarded with the arrival of the very first boots that I have ordered from Txture so far.  I say 'So Far', because I'm certain that I'll be ordering more pairs of shoes and boots from them in the future.  The box is basic but functional, the boots come in a nice branded cloth bag with a great brochure and extra laces.  On first sight, the boots are absolutely stunning everything the photos.  Stitched with contrasting Ecru thread, these have all the styling of a great summertime boot:

The lug sole caps will give great traction in the springtime rains

Love the customized my name in the footbed!

Love the look of the Norwegian Split-toe design

Materials and Construction:
Upper: Two-tone (Pull-up x Vegetable natural leather)
Lining: Vegetable leather
Footbed: Vegetable leather
Insole: Vegetable leather
Welt: Indonesian vegetable leather
Midsole: Indonesian vegetable leather
Outsole: Commando rubber pad:
Heels: Regular heels with half top piece rubber
Construction: Single stitches Norwegian Hand-welted

I typically wear size EU 44 or 44 1/2 (UK size 10, US size 11), but past experience with shoes and boots from Indonesia indicated I would be better served with size EU 45s and these fit pretty good, although a bit roomy, so my next order, I will go for size 44 or perhaps 44 1/2.  These boots start out as pretty stiff and will take a bit of breaking it, but there is no doubt that they're built very solidly and will be worth the work of breaking them in.

The Styling looks equally great with Chinos and Denims:

You can see the white creasing which appeared right away is a result of the use of this heavily waxed Chestnut brown leather.  This can be brushed away with a shoe brush:

Saturday, May 4, 2019

Tan Leather and Navy Suede 'Prestige Whitworth Brogue' Spectator Shoes from Samuel Windsor UK

Having been Asked to act as online Ambassador for Samuel Windsor UK, they requested that I choose the first pair of shoes that I would be interested in reviewing, I made a beeline for their
Prestige Whitworth Brogue spectator shoes.  I have been trying to add a number of pairs of shoes to my summer shoe collection this spring and these two-tone spectators will perfectly fill a hole in my collection.  These shoes are from Samuel Windsor UK's Prestige line, which consists of handmade, mostly Goodyear welted shoes (as are these).  These are handmade made for them in India.  So upon their arrival, the first wearing was a complete joy.  The fit of these shoes fit my UK size 10 feet perfectly.  These are not super lightweight shoes that one would expect from the very reasonably priced shoes.  They have a similar weight and substantial feel of many of my other Goodyear Welted brogues from such companies at Grenson and Gordon & Brothers.  The overall fit and finish are in keeping with shoes that cost 3-4 times that price that Samuel Windsor in Charging and offer an extraordinary comfort right out of the box, quickly earning them a place of prominence in my spring shoe rotation.  They feature a solid natural colored leather sole and leather stacked heal that I think really suited the overall look of the shoe, the heal and sole being caped by a sturdy non-slip rubber (this is my ideal layout for our somewhat rainy weather we get here in Bavaria).  One slight issue is that the heel cap, which is in blue rubber does mark my wooden parquet floors.  This is not a huge issue since I don't typically wear my street shoes in the house, but worth noting.

The Unboxing:

Lined in soft leather from the lacing to the heal and cloth lined in the forefoot, they offer great all-day comfort and breathability.  I can say that I wore them with very thin no-show socks for a full work day right out of the box with complete comfort.  The footbed has a nicely padded heel that feels almost tennis-shoe like.

Overall I can after several wears say that I am thoroughly impressed with and can happily recommend these shoes from Samuel Windsor and given their pricing, am certain these will not be my last pair from them.   I have posted them several times already on Instagram with different outfits and have received compliments on them each time.  The two-tone colorway is remarkably easy to match and I am really looking forward to wearing them through this spring and summer and many to come.

Tuesday, April 9, 2019

Newly Arrived for Spring/Summer - 'Bucktown' White Bucks by Florsheim

Very Brief History of the White Buck Shoes:
There are few shoes that represent summer more quintessentially that white bucks (short for Nubuck).  look at photos of American College-age men dressed for summertime from the 1950s and chances are, they'll be sporting white bucks in various levels of distress.  So prevalent were these shoes among the attendees of Ivy league colleges that East coast law, investment banking, and management consulting firms which drew their new recruits from these elite universities became know as 'White Shoe' firms. New York Times Magazine published an interesting article by William Safire on the topic way back in 1997, which is worth a read.

The Unboxing:
These arrived fairly quickly from Nordstrom's in the US with all taxes and duties collected in order to avoid the long trip to German Customs.  Nicely packaged and presented from Florsheim:

In any case, if you're a man who loves traditional dress, a snappy pair of white bucks are a must have for the summer months.  I am happy to say that I've recently taken delivery of a great looking pair of Bucktown' White bucks by Florsheim via the Nordstrom website.  These beauties are nicely made from white suede with a very lightweight brick red rubber sole, a cool striped cotton liner, and with a padding pigskin leather footbed.  The sole is more spongy that for instance Dainite sole (even though of similar design) and the shoes are therefore lighter and provide a much softer step.  What this sole gives up in durability, will doubtless be made up for in comfort.  These shoes very certainly are soft and flexible with the comfort and weight of court shoes.

These shoes are best suited for casual office wear,  garden parties, around town, and resort wear, not tromping through the countryside as grass stains will be difficult to remove.  I am looking forward to enjoying many days at the lakeside drinking G&Ts while wearing my 'Bucktown' white bucks.  I can even envision seersucker in my future.  I'm getting thirsty already.

Sunday, April 7, 2019

Newly Arrived and Just in Time to for Spring/Summer a Straw Boater Hat from Gamble & Gun

Those of you who have been following The Landless Gentry blog for a while will know of my fondness for the classic Boater Hat.  It's accessory for Spring and Summer that adds a great deal of character and a huge dash of style to just about any traditional summertime outfit (this is true of both men and women).  Last year having acquired a Panama boater hat with I still love, I've decided for this year to add a more traditional stiff straw boater.  During my online searching, I kept coming back to this very special Boater hat from England's Gamble & Gunn hatters.  Located in Devon, UK, this traditional hatter have a really wonderful and informative website offering everything from tweed caps and traditional felt hat to a couple of models of straw boater.

The model I purchased is their Striped Ribbon Boater that I found to be more interesting an unique that the typical boater hat with black ribbon (and since my Panama boater has a black ribbon, I was looking for something a bit different).  Quoting from their website:

'We have commissioned one of Britain’s oldest firms Toye Kenning & Spencer to create our custom ribbon trim. Still run by the Toye family, the firm has grown and diversified since its foundation in 1685 however its original values are unchanged- superb craft skills, quality, and service. The company holds a royal warrant from her Majesty the Queen as supplier of gold & silver laces, insignia, and embroidery and was commissioned to manufacture the medal presented to serving personnel in celebration of the Queens Diamond Jubilee.'

Needless to say, I was smitten.  Having ordered, the hat arrived very quickly to me here in Germany from England packed nicely and I must say, I couldn't be more pleased.  The hat itself having been made in England is of very high-quality construction and the ribbon is stunning.  Inside a Gamble & Gunn's great looking label and a very nice wide genuine leather sweatband.  I ordered a size larger that is recommended because I wanted to add some padding for my unique long oval head shape to add a bit more comfort (these hats are pretty stiff) and with the addition of a bit of foam inside the sweatband, the hat now fits me well.  I'm looking forward to warming summer days wearing my great new hat, which I fully expect to wear with joy for many years to come.

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