Shoemakers and cobblers use machines if they choose to. Most factory-made shoe companies use machines because it's efficient and less time consuming. I wouldn't necessarily say machines compromise quality unless they malfunction or feed incorrectly. Personally, i'm fine with machines as long as the shoemaker hand-sews the welt. Some shoe purists prefer "hand-made shoes". While … Continue reading Machines in Shoemaking
My obsession for the last two years has been searching for the perfect almond-toe Japanese shoe. A lot of shoemakers use sharp angles or too-round proportions. That's just their style. Han. Shoemaker at Atelier Rikka doesn't make shoes in crazy styles or colors, at least on his Instagram. The designs are simple. I wanted something … Continue reading Han. Shoemaker – Beautiful Almond-toe Shoes
I bought this bag about a year and half ago, and have used it quite frequently for weekend travel. The designs between Lotuff and Frank Clegg are similar but I thought the Bridle Duffle Travel Bag looked much more structured and handsome than the Harness Belting Leather bag by Clegg. Lotuff was also an inch … Continue reading Lotuff Bridle Duffle Travel Bag: Review
A few months have passed since I covered Levi's Lot 1. This is a follow-up review of their bespoke service. Levi's bespoke jeans start at $750 or $950 (excluding tax) depending on your customization. During the summer in northern California, I had the opportunity to commission Levi's Lot 1 in San Francisco. I had read … Continue reading Levi’s Lot 1 Bespoke Jeans: Review
Pictured above is the sole of my derby shoe that has reached its demise. And only just after one year of wear. What's wrong with them? The toes have worn out. Almost completely. Shoe heads can also tell that the sole's blind-stitch is exposed. It's the little flap sticking out. I expected that sooner or … Continue reading Quick Tip: Toe Taps
Eyelets are pretty straightforward and uncomplicated, but they do impact the look of your shoe. The number of eyelets you choose should depend on the aesthetic you're aiming for. A Frenchy-type shoe may experiment with one eyelet, maybe two for example. I like to have at least two to three eyelets because one can look … Continue reading How Many Eyelets?
It's a common concern and rightly so. I often see menswear threads fraught with debate about the hefty costs of bespoke. Writers and popular models can often afford bespoke, yet a large margin of avid readers (and the general population) cannot. It's a nice reality check and one I commiserate with. Really, unless you make … Continue reading The Cost of Bespoke
Trunk shows are fantastic. They allow customers access to brands without having to fly all the way to London, Italy, or Tokyo (although the Japanese rarely travel). The United States is a little inconvenient for most craftsman, especially since large cities are located across the country. I do appreciate those who visit (e.g. Edward Sexton, … Continue reading The Pros and Cons of Trunk Shows
Three is a good number. You'd wear these jackets on a casual outing, stroll around the park, or on the plane as a cover-up layer. The jackets I've curated are fairly lightweight, but also versatile and subtle. The olive-green technical jacket - rainproof and indestructible. This is my go-to throw on jacket when I need … Continue reading Three Light-weight Casual Jackets
There are actually more options than you'd think. Quality waxed cotton laces are best for dress shoes. You can choose your length, color, and style (i.e. flat or round laces). Some laces have special metal tips, which I appreciate. For professional dress shoes, try matching your shoelaces to your shoe color. Contrasting laces are better … Continue reading What Shoelaces Do I Need?