Sizing! Just how broad are you!

Sizing! Just how broad are you!

The thoughts behind this blog entry are mainly about how different shoes can come up different sizes.

Modshoes stock a range of shoes by different makers,sometimes within their own ranges the shoe sizes vary as well.

So is an 8, an 8 in all makes?

Well straight away you have to consider the style of the shoe. The cut of the shoe, the design of the shoe, how is it going to stretch, is it laced or slip on? The point being some shoes are designed for a thinner foot.

For examples here are two brogues, one by Loake, the other by Delicious Junction. Both are really good looking shoes. Both stylings are good to my eye, meaning the Loake is slightly rounder, and the DJ a more flattened front. Both come in black or oxblood. Both have leather soles. One is £78 and one is £150.

Now the first thing you may think is well, I can save myself half the price. And that is a fine argument. But, and this a big but, which one is going to fit like I want it to?

Now this is the exact reason, I started the Modshoes website. There is not one website out there that could tell me the difference, and more importantly, whether either of them were any good.

So now I have a pair of both and yes they are different , the Loake is designed for a wider foot. My left foot is 8 and my right 8.5. So when I am buying I need to know if the shoe is going to grow to the shape of my feet. The Delicious Junction Upsetter on the other hand (or should i say foot!) had a narrower feel. So much so that I may even consider going up a size to see if it feels right.

So what am I trying to get at? Well here are some simple pointers as I see it;

  1. Make sure you know your proper size. In the UK, Clark’s will measure you, and the cheap outlet Brantano will also.
  2. Do you have a wide foot?
  3. Does the design of the shoe lend itself to stretch if the shoe is a little tight to start off with. More on this in a bit.
  4. If you are a wider kinda guy, are you going to have to give tight Italian winkle pickers a miss!

So how do you accommodate your foot.

A lace up shoe is always going to flex more. Stand to reason doesn’t it. The lace is very forgiving in terms of your front of foot. A Derby lace up is more forgiving than an Oxford. Brogues tend to come in both Derby and Oxford styles, so if you are buying online, you know the Derby is safer.

Next up in my mind is the leather.
Cheap leather is never good. Whether you are buying a lace up or a loafer, you want the foot to be accommodated properly after a few wears. Some quality loafers can take up to a year to wear in, I have heard Sebagos are meant to be like this. But they also last for years!

So time to start naming names!

Delicious Junction Sizing

We sell a lot of Delicious Junction shoes. We sell them because they are a good shoe at a fair price, and aim their styles at MODS. Not all of them but over 50%. The leather is good on the shoes we stock.

Rudeboy
They do vary, the Rudeboy which is very popular, I would say is slightly wider then most loafers. I advise people to come down a size, rather than go up.So if you are an 8.5, go for a 8.
The Upsetter
The Upsetter though, comes up small, I have tried on an 8 and 9, my normal size being a large 8. But I would get the 9’s because the cut is narrow. Same with the Upsetter boots.

Their other shoes also vary a little, but in the main the loafers come up big and the laces smaller. But this is maybe because I have a wide foot.

The Delicious Junction have only taken a few wears to feel right. The leather on all the shoes I own of this brand have taken about 5 hours of wearing to feel comfortable.

In this video I danced for an hour in a brand new pair of Delicious Junction Detroit loafers and they started feeling good after that hour. The Detroits are the one exception to the range of loafers, if you are an 8.5 go up a size, not down.

Loake

Loake though does tend to be more standard in sizing. And as you would expect from a UK maker that’s been around for a while, the range is consistent. But you pay for that, Loakes start at £99.

The leather Loake use though takes a bit more wearing in. Will it last longer! Only time will tell, but I know lots of soulies with Loakes and Bass Weejuns that are years old and still going well.

Ikon

Ikon we also sell, and again are very like the DJ line. Now maybe this is because both are made in Portugal ! And as such have European sizing rather than stricter UK.


I do want to come back to the design, stitching and leather, all of which play a part in how the shoe is going to fit on your foot.

When considering buying a shoe, think about whether the leather will stretch, also the stitching. Has the designer designed this for a narrow or a wide foot?

A loafer has the stitching to stretch, but if the leather strap across the top is made of cheap leather, it won’t stretch well!

Look at the Loakes here for example.
The Brighton has a wider look, the Georgetown a narrow. Both are very good leather and stitching.


I suppose I would like to conclude that you get what you pay for. Are the Loakes worth twice as much? Well I think so, but are you going to wear them every day or for long hours?

Meaning, if like me you go out once a week, and you have a few pairs of shoes, it is unlikely that a pair of shoes are going to wear out fast, so have more pairs of cheaper shoes.

But if you intend to spend many hours dancing at a soul club, with loads of talc on the floor, then go for good quality ones, your feet will say thank you!

So please watch the video and come back with comments, and also your own experiences of sizing.

Comments and also your own experiences of sizing, very welcome below

Oxblood Brown or Black Brogues, what colour?

Oxblood Brown or Black Brogues, what colour?

Brogues come in many colours and many shades, not to mention styles, but I wanted to concentrate on colours.

When buying a shoe you should consider ‘what I am going to wear them with‘, and that will help you to consider the most appropriate colour.

So, are the shoes mainly to go with jeans for a casual look, or suited and booted? I think about where I am going to be wearing the shoes. So for instance, I go to at least one Northern Soul do a month, where I may be wearing jeans or trousers. I am not likely to have a suit on at this kind of event. During the day though, I am more formal at work, and I tend to stick with classic business Black and Greys, and on occasion a dark blue pin stripe suit.

A ladies very slight brogue. http://www.modcloth.com/shop/shoes-flats/brown-sugar-brogues

A brown brogue is a very versatile colour, and possibly goes with any other colour of trouser including blue jeans. The one time i would say it doesn’t work is with black trousers or a black suit.

‘Black and brown makes a frown’

Aside from black, brown will go with every colour under the sun. From navy to grey and green to burgundy, the deeper, richer, tones of brown and tan shoes will much better compliment a wider variety of colours than black shoes – making them much more versatile.

Not just a Skinhead look, this brogue colour with jeans is very popular in the UK at the moment.

A light brown (Tan) brogue is very popular with the Smart Skin. Oxford Paul ,who lives around here, has several pairs which he combines with light faded jeans and a classic ‘Twisted Ben Sherman’. Worn with confidence it is a good striking look.

One style that DNA Groove do, is the brown suede brogues. I love some of DNA’s designs, think they are really good, especially the basket weavers. All DNA Grooves design are very MOD. The dark browns ones I like the most, the brogue fits well with the colour and styling.

Again shading plays a part, because the darker the shoe, the easier it sits with other trouser colour.

So if you are thinking of buying a brogue, perhaps brown is the best option?

Like these Black Brogues from Churches, £390 !

Black brogues are still a worthy contender though. Black goes with everything, but in my opinion can sometimes look a little stark. Meaning black is more for formal occasions. I wear black loafers with dark blue jeans, but have never liked the faded jeans with black shoe look, too 80’s for me!

For work, I have a pair of Half Brogue Loakes in black. The lacing style is an Oxford, which give the shoe a more formal office look. I wouldn’t wear these with jeans, they just dont sit right. The front is more pointed. I wear this make of brogue because I want something tough which will last.

I have seen the Oxford style black shoes at a Northern Soul do only this weekend, but whilst great for dancing and functional, I dont think it is a great looker!

Which brings me on neatly to Oxblood Brogues. This is my fav colour of Brogue. I don’t think all styles of Brogues suit Oxblood and I don’t think it is for every occasion. What i do like though, is that it stands out enough to say ‘This is a going out shoe’.

Oxblood isn’t everyone’s first choice of colour by any stretch of the imagination, but they are in fact one of the more versatile colours that you can wear. Oxbloods are compatible with all shades of grey, most navy hues and are perhaps a little bit more suitable when worn with black. Not dissimilar to brown brogues, they work with pretty much every colour you could think of.

When we were in Brighton recently, it was Remembrance Sunday, a guy walked past in Black Crombie, Dark Grey Trousers and Oxblood Loake Royal Loafers. The look was very smart and worked well. The same shoe could then be worn with jeans.

One style of oxblood brogue I have seen that looks very good, is combined with a Tassel Loafer. Not two styles you would immediately put together. The shoe is not a heavy shoe, but has a light sole. Terry my friend who owns them wears them with 16inch bottom blue trousers. The loafer part stops to show just the right amount of sock. The shoe is not an obvious choice and not one you see lots, but worn in the right way, which terry does, is very MOD.

The make of these is Mario Bruni. Very nice but not for the faint hearted.

I would go so far to say that should you wish to make an easy, simple statement, Oxblood is the way to go. Oxblood can be utilised in a near identical fashion as brown but the colour is bolder, more interesting and definitely more individual.

I have seen the style work well with a suit and also with jeans at Northern Soul do’s.

My favourite Oxblood Brogues, The Loake Royal. This is one mother of a shoe. Great with a suit, great with jeans at a soul do! They last ages, and why we sell them.

The oxblood colour lends itself well to being that little bit smarter than the Light Brown Brogue.

One issue you might have is that they are an unquestionable step in a new direction for most of the population, so you will have to wear them with a great deal of confidence to pull them off convincingly. But in the main you are buying these shoes to go out in, so why not stand out and wear them with pride!

Here are few examples of Brogue Shoes we like.

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Brogues we sell:

 

 

Oxblood Tassel Loafers

Oxblood Tassel Loafers

The Tassel Loafer (or Tassle Loafer) is a classic Mod style. For me it started with The Specials and the Two Tone movement of the late 70’s. In many of the pictures, the band can be seen in a cross blend of MOD, Skinhead & Rudeboy style. And on their feet a mixture of shoes, but two favorites, Brogues and off course Tassel Loafers.

The Specials, 7 people with 3 of them wearing Tassel Loafers. And the iconic sleeve.

The tassel loafer is a variation on the Penny Loafer. Examples of the shoes can be seen certainly in the 50’s with the IVY League look, Alden’s and Bass Weejuns everywhere. The original shoe was a copy that Alden made, I believe in the 30’s. The Alden loafer is more pointy than the traditional MOD loafer.

As we know a lot of the look for MODS and Early Skinheads was taken from the IVY League look and I also think the Jamican Rudeboy look. The Jamican look I assuming came also from Black America!

Recently I have been trying to find Blue Note, Modern Jazz players wearing the shoes, but no luck yet, but I do seem to think this may also be why the shoe in on the scene.

Style wise, there several variations, Bass Weejun just have the Tassel, where as Loakes Brightons come with the feather. IKON is very similar to the Loake. Delicious Junction, who we stock, do both styles. The Merton is very like the Bass weejun and the Rudeboy, as it name suggest has the classic feathers.

The Rudeboy has the leather upper and sole. Stitching at the back of the shoe and a hi shine. Meaning the shoe looks great straight out of the box. To me the box is important as well, as I like to keep my shoes in tip top condition, so a decent box means I can keep them on top of the wardrobe out of harms way.

The Classic look, look at the guys towards the back, harringtons, monkey jackets and loafers. The guy in the foreground in Tassel Loafers

Colour wise, the shoes comes in 3 colours, Black, Brown & the very Popular Oxblood. The Oxblood colour is not a pure colour, but very nice effect in a cherry red , which has had a slight bit black shoes polish added which gives it a Vintage look. If you look at the picture you can see the effect. It reminds me a lot of the look that Trad Skins went for in the 80’s when they were trying to distance themselves from the OI Boys.

Notice the Mottled effect

The shoe as always looks great with a suit and jeans. Looked after the leather upper and leather bottom will last ages. I personally have a pair and they are really comfy and not at all like the cheap shoes I had as a 2nd generation mod in the 80’s.

The Oxblood Tassel Loafer is a very popular style with us, feel free to ask questions.

SHOES WE SELL:

 

Tassel Loafers Review
Delicious Junction, Loake, Ikon and Bass Weejuns get a review. 4 different types of Tassel Loafers, including a womens pair!

Tassel Loafers

What can be said about the Tassel Loafer, to me they are the Street MOD shoe. The tassel along with the feather exsudes MOD. Again, I think this is because so many people have had a pair. Other than the Desert Boot nothing signifies more of what the public think as MOD.

They go in and out of fashion and are definitely a throw back, but why not. They are a shoe for going out in! They are a shoe to dance in, all night. They can come with leather soles which means you slide around a dance floor.

They look excellent with jeans, and a suit. I think you get my drift.

Like the rest of the classics loads of people make them, and again buy the best you can afford. Cheap ones look cheap and fall apart. Looked after well and polish straight after an all-nighter, you don’t want the talc drying them out.

Tassel Loafers Review
Delicious Junction, Loake, Ikon and Bass Weejuns get a review. 4 different types of Tassel Loafers, including a womens pair!

SHOES WE SELL:

HISTORY:

Tassel loafers came into being in the post-war period of the 1940s, right when tweed jackets, Shetland sweaters, and penny loafers dominated prep schools and Ivy League campuses. As college students graduated, they wanted something as comfortable as their slip-ons, but were a bit dressier and more sophisticated for their new life in the business world. It was around this time that an actor named Paul Lukas came back from Europe with a pair of oxfords. They had little tassels at the end of their laces, which Lukas thought made them look more lively. So he took them to a couple of New York shoemakers to see if they could make something similar, and they in turn took the job to Alden. The company’s president at the time, Arthur Tarlow, came up with tasseled loafers and they were an instant success. That makes Alden’s model the original, and Paul Lukas the first man to wear this style of footwear.

The above is taken from the website http://putthison.com/post/30457460870/the-charm-of-tassel-loafers-i-really-like-tassel

PICTURES:

mod shoes rudeboy tassel loafers with gibson clothes 01 mod shoes suede tassel loafers with gibson clothes 02 mod shoes rudeboy tassel loafers with gibson clothes 04 mod shoes rudeboy tassel loafers with gibson clothes 03 43 mod shoes rudegirls in tassel loafers 12 mod shoes scooter mod wearing tassel loafers

Aldens Tassel Loafers
Aldens Tassel Loafers

mod shoes the specials in tassel loafers mod shoes mod in tassel loafers and parka Tom Ford Tassel Loafers

Loafers

Loafers are my favourite shoe. It helps that you can get plain and tasseled. Being my age, I am second generation MOD/Two Tone kid, they appeal because they looked so right, and worn by one of my favourite bands ever The Specials.

Two Tone was it MOD? But hey what it did do was bring loafers on to the feet of many young people. The proper ones cost a fortune then and still do! But the quality is so much better.

The original Loafer was designed just before the 2nd World War and has its origins in Norway. Norwegian farmers would wear a shoe when ‘cattle loafing’, hence the name. The shoe developed further in America by the company BASS, and they called them Weejuns, after the Norwaygians. They added the all important strap across the front of the shoe.

The term ‘Penny Loafers’ comes from prep school students wanting to customise their loafers, the penny being wedged in the front strap.

The Loafer look for MODS, I assume, comes from the Jazz players, meaning the Blue Notes lp etc. and because of the college boy look, ie, Harringtons, Levi’s and Loafers. A defining look even today.

There are several makers these days as you would expect. Prices in the UK vary a lot.  You can buy an ok pair for about £50, but spend a bit more and go for a old school make and you can feel the difference. BASS Weejuns are a thinner shoe, where as the Loakes have a more sturdy look and feel.

SHOES WE SELL

PICTURES:

The Classic look, look at the guys towards the back, harringtons, monkey jackets and loafers. The guy in the foreground in Tassel Loafers
The Classic look, look at the guys towards the back, harringtons, monkey jackets and loafers. The guy in the foreground in Tassel Loafers

mod shoes red socks and loafers 02 Prada Penny Loafers mod-shoes-basket-weaver-loafers-for-women-06 36 mod shoes penny loafers and button down