Hey I'm thinking about getting some boots by Mark McNairy. If you google "Mark McNairy Cap Toe Derby Boot Waxed Burgundy" it should be the first link you see. Anyways, if you had any experience with handling stuff from Mark McNairy I'd love your opinion... and if you have any other recommendations around this price point that'd be great too. Thank you!
Not my style, but if you like them, I say go for it. For me, these unique models are the ones to get from McNairy, cause otherwise I’d just buy the more conservative ones from Sander’s directly. They will certainly be well made, goodyear welted, blah blah, etc. And I don’t think there are too many comparables out there - maybe Tricker’s or Grenson.
Corollary to the last question: are there any pieces or materials that haven't aged as well as you thought they would?
This one’s a bit harder to call, as I like to really put some wear into a lot of my clothing to a give it some age and character. As such, most of the aging that has gone sideways is due to my own misuse. I have a pair of C&J brogues - the Wigmores - which I spilled beer on, and they have never looked the same, which is a bit sad.
I've recently gotten interested in upgrading my wardrobe, but at the same time I've always been a fan of searching for deals and thrifting. In terms of real true quality, what are some of the brands I should keep my eye out for? Are there any signs that I should be aware of when buying 2nd hand? I'm mostly referring to shoes, suiting, and coats. Also I'm interested in learning about the tailoring, construction, material, etc of menswear do you know of any good resources/books that would help me?
The signs to look for in second hand goods are typically the same ones that indicate quality products in the first place. With suits/jackets you should look for good fabrics (wools, cashmeres, cottons - no crazy silks or fucked up synthetic blends), hand stitching, canvassing, lining materials, button holes, and the overall silhouette or cut of the coat (various components of this include button stance, lapel roll, vents, balance, drape, pitch, etc). With shoes I look at sole wear, welting, leather quality and condition, last, etc. Condition-wise, I tend to overlook the various aspects that could be easily repaired by a tailor or cobbler. Look for signs of wear that cannot be mended, like shiny fabric in tension spots on a jacket (i.e. elbow, knee, seat)
There are so many good brands out there and clothing is so subjective that it’s hard to narrow it down to what specifically you should keep an eye out for. However, I can give you a brief rundown of what I would look for personally and you can agree or disagree accordingly.
For tips on tailoring/construction you should read through various articles on AskAndy and Styleforum - they are helpful. The seminal books on menswear are probably Dressing the Man by Flusser, Gentlemen by Roetzel, and anything by Boyer. The Suit by Antongiavanni is also good.
One last question (sorry to bother) There are so different opinions about this (at least from what I've heard). Loafers with or without socks? some people say it depends on the place you are at, but I'm not sure about that. Thank you very much!
When it’s warm I tend to go no socks which really fucks with your insoles, but I think it’s comfortable. It’s really a personal decision and you can buy no-show socks too if you like the sockless look but are wicked sweaty. Socks on when it’s cold.
I'm the anon from the chinos question. Well, they're not exactly for office, they're for college actually. I'm starting college next year, but I really want to look nice and sharp, something casual.
Snuff suede loafers are hard to beat. Sanders makes a nice pair on the cheaper side and Aldens are great if you’ve got the money. Dress them up or down accordingly. Drivers are also a good choice, as they’re casual, but not as ubiquitous as boat shoes or whatever.