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The Sartorialist Goes Shopping For Fashion Week


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Monday, August 28, 2006

The Sartorialist Goes Shopping For Fashion Week

With Fashion Week quickly approaching I thought it might be fun to take you with me as I prepare my wardrobe for about 30 days of fashion shows.

One of the most important elements in a successful shopping trip is timing.
If you are shopping for Fall, a quiet weekend in August is a great time to go. Everyone else is at the beach and new Fall collections have just hit the stores - and sizes are still available! This Saturday the city was empty and uptown was extra quiet so it was a perfect time to head up to Barneys!

Like any women would tell you "start at the bottom" - SHOES!

Lidfort ,which is exclusive to Barneys New York, is one of my favorite shoe brands.
Just classic enough but also just stylized enough, not to heavy-soled and clunky like a lot of Italian shoes and not too narrow and sole-less like a lot of English shoes.
I bought two pairs of Lidforts about ten years ago and they still look great!
Actually, that could be the basis for another post - is it smart to make shoes so well constructed that I only buy them every ten years? Even though I consider myself a loyal Lidfort customer the salespeople are a bit cold to me for the nine years in between purchases.

I love this single lace style and they are a perfect color. It goes without saying that I will not even consider wearing these until I get the proper shoes trees. I love the solid toe variety that doesn't split in the middle.
To me the most important aspect of a good shoe tree is the spring. The stronger the spring, the flatter your shoe will stay and not get the creases across the middle.
Does anyone have a recommendation for a website that sells good, I mean really good. shoe tress?

I never buy black shoes and I don't think I have ever bought loafers but these are just fantastic. For me it is the extended vamp in the front and the fact that they feel more like a "slip on shoe" than a loafer.

For the quality of Lidfort shoes I think they are a steal at around $500 each.

Tonight- buying my Ralph Lauren Black Label suit at The Mansion and tomorrow my adventures in buying APC jeans - it was pretty funny!

Comments on "The Sartorialist Goes Shopping For Fashion Week"


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (9:50 AM) : 

If you're looking for a good shoe tree, try Allen Edmonds. They make high-end men's shoes, and the shoes are all "Made in America", if you're into that sort of thing. But they also have great accessories, like shoe trees, which makes the store a worthwhile stop.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (9:53 AM) : 

Please, post also pictures by your new suit and your news jeans.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (10:08 AM) : 

Dear Sartorialist:

Have you considered using Woodlore's full shoe trees in your new pairs of Lidfort shoes?


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (10:13 AM) : 

Dear Sartorialist,
since you were so kind and had a link (among others) to Vass shoes on the opening page I phoned them whether they actually sell shoe trees separately.
Unfortunately they just can't seem to get enough shoe trees, even for themselves, so they will not sell any for about the coming 3 or 4 months.
I hope you get some useful recommendation soon: every day you can't wear your splendid new shoes is definitely a waste.
Also looking forward to your upcoming fashion weeks posts!


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (10:15 AM) : 

While on the topic of shoes...I was walking down Madison Ave. and happened upon Peter Elliot's 'outlet' on 82nd Street. I bought a pair of cordovan shoes by a Spanish company called Carmina for $300. I love them. Since these are the nicest shoes I've ever owned, I really want to treat them well. The salesman was saying to not let shoeshine guys use Kiwi polish...and that a lot of guys use black polish on brown cordovan. Any thoughts from the group on these two points?


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (10:21 AM) : 

isn't it amusing that fashion 'week' goes for thirty days ;)


Blogger The Sartorialist said ... (10:23 AM) : 

I only use a creme polish that won't mask the original color.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (10:23 AM) : 

Dear Sartorialist,
If you do not buy black shoes, what do you prefer to wear with black or gray slacks?


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (10:25 AM) : 

Dear Sarto: You write "Just classic enough but also just stylized enough, not too heavy-soled and clunky like a lot of Italian shoes and not too narrow and sole-less like a lot of English shoes."

Do you have the typical qualities of English and Italian shoes reversed?


Blogger The Sartorialist said ... (10:37 AM) : 

Anon 10:25
I meant it as two separate issues - overall style and a separate issue about the soles of the shoes but I see what you mean.

Anon 10:21
a "fashion week" in three different cities can add up quick!

Anon 10:23
I don't own any black pants and I always wear brown shoes with grey pants.

Since I bought those loafers, later that day I bought a great pair of black slim cotton jeans at APC - not denim but a cotton almost like cords but without the cording. they will go great with the loafers.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (10:43 AM) : 

check out for awesome cedar shoe trees...


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (10:46 AM) : 

I was rather confused by your 30 days of fashion shows considering the new york dates are 8th sep - 15th sep but figured you were covering other cities & noticed you just posted stating that .... so i take it you're on the N.Y to London to Milano to Paris bandwagon?


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (10:58 AM) : 

I've had a few pair of shoe trees from Nordstrom and they have treated me very well. Great spring, solid toe design. They work great for Italian or British designed shoes.

Also wanted to say that I'm a huge fan of your blog. Such a simple idea yet it took this long before it became real...


Blogger ENID P. said ... (11:32 AM) : 

I love the shoes.....



Anonymous Anonymous said ... (11:35 AM) : 

For those of more modest means who are similarly inspired by beautiful shoes, try the Barney's Warehouse sale, ongoing and ending September 4th. I picked up two pairs of absolutely gorgeous, handmade Italian shoes (Alexander Hotto and N.D.C) for just under $300 together, which is very much akin to theft.

Off to find shoe trees and thanks for the shoe care tips.


Blogger Butch said ... (1:00 PM) : 

The shoes are perfect in form--but am I the only one to find the leather a mite too...glazed?

In any case, bravo. No other purchase so satisfies, I find, as the right pair of shoes.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (1:02 PM) : 

I used the regular cedar shoe trees for years with OK results but nothing works as well as a fully carved shoe tree like they sell at Lobb or Berlutti. They are very expensive but they fill the entire shoe removing any creases and keeping the shape "like new". They are specially good when polishing so that you don't get cream and wax accumulating in creases. Berlutti has several different shapes of trees for each size, some with a more square toe and some more pointed, so bring the shoe with you for the proper fit. Lobb and Berlutti shoe trees are not cedar. So, you should rotate wearing them as they do not absorb mosture as efficiently as cedar, but the results are excellent. Also, Berlutti has these great pastic trees to use when polishing your shoes or when traveling. They weigh nothing. If I don't take them, I roll up my socks and stuff them into the toes of my shoes when traveling. It saves space and my shoes look great.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (1:03 PM) : 

My Johnston & Murphy shoe trees have been nothing but good to me and my J&Ms.

Highly recommended.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (2:12 PM) : 

Anonymous, I faced the issue of taking care of my Cordovan shoes some time ago. I actually own 7 pairs - in Burgandy and Black. Never, ever let Kiwi polish near the, and I found even creme simply runs off them. The trick - an old guy from UK taught me - was to use those new Kiwi sponge wipes. He was shocked at how good they were and said he wished they were out years ago. Bizarre, I know those things look cheesy etc. But they work well on Cordovan. Don't smear the wipe polish too much just a brisk polish and you're off. Cordovan in the most waterproof leather there is - they need cleaned as opposed to polished. So every few days wipe them with those sponges. Or occasionally use the creme. Apart from that... nothing. Don't overuse the sponges... since you'll look too shiny. Wouldn't want that for God's Sake...


Blogger Alice Olive said ... (3:18 PM) : 

Perfect place to start with the shoes! Love the simplicity and sleekness.

And by the way, the shoes aren't a "steal", they're an investment.

They're an investment in your personal style.

Plus if you project the total cost over 10 years, the average weekly wear comes down dramatically!


Blogger EMNH said ... (5:35 PM) : 

Thank You Mr. David Allen. Great Luck to you both on all your ventures in life. Good Friends are Priceless.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (7:48 PM) : 

Hi Sartorialist,
Have had white shoes before? if so, how do you wear them and with what kind of pants/color etc


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (3:51 AM) : 


Why don't you buy black shoes? I seem to do the same thing but I mostly wear chinos.


Blogger Laurence John said ... (6:40 AM) : 

like those brown shoes !


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (12:36 PM) : 

You may laugh, and you may not want to be caught dead there, but I have found excellent cedar shoe trees at (again, please don't shun me) Syms and Century 21. There I said it. I mean with full heel and toe. They are much cheaper than the ones you find in expensive shoe stores, usually around $15, and they are equal if not better quality. Trust me, I'm very picky about what goes into my John Lobbs while I'm not waering them.


Blogger HFT said ... (1:30 PM) : 

love the shoes , just bought a pair on your " recommendation"


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (4:31 PM) : 

the shoes are fab!


Blogger VertigoVirgo said ... (5:39 PM) : 

Those are the kinda shoes that get you dates fellas.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (4:25 AM) : 

Great looking shoes! I'd actually never heard of the brand. They still look a bit traditional to me (I'd go for Berluti or Lattanzi every time) but there's no question as to their elegant and understated character. Bravo!


Blogger The G Manifesto said ... (8:07 PM) : 

Those single lace shoes are very unique.


Blogger Abogado de Ropa said ... (12:16 AM) : 

Check out
for great shoe trees.


Blogger maleImelda said ... (8:00 AM) : 

i bought two zegna cedar wood shoe trees from eBay several years back. like many things in life, i don't think there's ever a one-stop website for shoe trees. having said that, how does one keep shoes in order? I have just taken photos and pasted them onto the boxes. Even then - still a mess. Any suggestions?


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (10:31 PM) : 

I absolutely agree with Gus about Lobb trees. I've tried most of the better makers' ready-made trees, and only Lobb's can compare with bespoke. They're heavy, expensive and not cedar (maybe maple or beech?), but maintain the shape of a shoe perfectly and without a spring. For anyone keeping shoes nine or ten years, they're worth every penny!


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (8:40 PM) : 

I've purchased mine from Bloomingdales whenever I shop for my shoes at Battaglia in Chicago.
Definitely a place for exclusive european styles.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (11:06 AM) : 

My choice is always cedar shoe trees from Muji. Fitting your requirement, the Muji cedar shoe tree does not have a split in the middle, and it works (and looks) like its plastic counterpart. Cedar shoe trees from Muji are inexpensive and produced in the United States... Nowadays it's difficult to find good and inexpensive things that are not made in China...


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (1:17 PM) : 

Dear Sartorialist,
when you say a "Just classic enough but also just stylized enough", Bontoni and possibly even Berluti come to mind. Although the Bontoni is a classic shoe, its unique detailing and coloring creates a uniquely fresh and contemporary element of style.


Anonymous dining table said ... (9:18 PM) : 

Hi, It is my first time to visit your blog. And I find it so interesting. I like this post. Those shoes are so fascinating and it is so attractive. I want to have all of them.


Anonymous Wall Mirrors Gal said ... (10:57 AM) : 

The Lidfort shoes are such classics. And- I like your tips for shopping when everybody else is lounging at the beach. I really like to have my space when I shop without a crazy frenzy surrounding me.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (4:48 AM) : 

I love this single style lace shoes and other one is also good. But I want single lace shoes.
Send flowers to Pakistan


Anonymous Dining Tables said ... (10:34 AM) : 

So shiny! So fabulous. Love it!


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