DRUM1807 Side-gusset shoes also known as lazyman shoes have quite a history.  According to Anita Capwell a Victoria&Albert Museum volunteer this model is linked to Joseph Sparkes Hall (1811-1891) author of a book entitled ‘Book of the Feet’.Capffture

According to Anita Capwell “Sparkes Hall’s development of the elastic boot went hand in hand with 19th century industrial inventions and innovations in rubber and elastic. He had been making waterproof over shoes (galoshes) made with rubber since 1830 and was interested in developing and incorporating new materials into his footwear.wfw

Slipper-like shoes worn at the time were difficult to keep on and laced or button-fastening boots were time consuming for the wearer. Initial experiments were a failure because the early elastics were simply not elastic enough however using wire and India rubber he eventually succeeded. In 1837 he had patented his first design for a slip-on boot with the gusset made from tightly coiled wire and cotton and three years later he created the first patented boot that incorporating what we would today recognize as elastic.

Until recently I had no side gusset shoes in my wardrobe. Despite their history I do not like them in particular and they do not match my taste. Although brothers of loafers, they claim an outfit that is a bit too pretentious for me, as I am a good friend of sport jackets and chinos trousers. Nevertheless, I have to admit that I have been amazed to notice that they lack almost entirely from the offer of the RTW producers.


For several years now, the range of models has broadened and now we are able to buy, for instance, button boots, but it appears that side gusset had not yet convinced the producers that it deserves to be included on their list.DRUM1788

Until recently though, when, probably under the pressure of the Asian market (because shoes are usually taken off indoors in Japan for exemple), Yanko brought them in light, and now you can buy them from websites like Skolyx. The RTW model in the image  has a half- rubber sole and is a brother of a boot model with an almost Victorian air pictured below. Both are made on the same Yanko last – 915. DRUM1801

Yanko is an interesting producer for which Toni Llobera announces important modifications in the branding policy. News are long in coming though for some time now. In the meantime, however, you can pay a visit to Skolyx in order to see some currently available models.DRUM1809 DRUM1797 DRUM1795 DRUM1794 DRUM1793

26231422_1723411304389311_1768593085523318852_nAfter many years of absence from his native country, Alexandru Maftei returns with a new studio downtown Bucharest, on 24 Tudor Stefan street. The first studio was opened in a chic neighborhood of Bucharest, with private houses from mid XXth century and with quiet streets, but, in my opinion, a low traffic area and, therefore, one lacking visibility. Now they reoriented towards one of the glam areas of the city, where they are in a pretty select company, at walking distance from Brunello Cucinelli. I am glad that they returned, because there is a demand for bespoke shoes, Bucharest being a fast growing city. The grand opening will happen on the 1st of March, the event being attended by Alexandru Maftei himself. The meetings with him are highly agreeable, his shoe making experience being  vast. I am very glad about their coming back and I wish them good luck with their new location. For more info please contact them at bucharest@maftei.at.26231080_1718494964880945_4525871586651846249_n

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In the City of London, it’s the ultimate sartorial faux pas. “Never wear brown in town,” runs the adage about what shoes the gentlemen of London’s financial district must eschew in order to escape the opprobrium of colleagues.

This unwritten rule works to the disadvantage of people from less affluent backgrounds, according to a study by the government’s social mobility commission.

The commission found that graduates with first-class degrees from elite universities are being “locked out” from jobs in investment banking if they commit the cardinal sin of wearing brown shoes. The same goes for those who appear uncomfortable in a suit, wear a loud tie, or lack esoteric qualities such as “polish” or “aura”.


According to the report, catchily titled Socio-Economic Diversity in Life Sciences and Investment Banking such rigid criteria have “set up barriers for individuals from non-privileged backgrounds”.

Leadenhall Market, in the heart of the City, is where hundreds of financial hotshots spend their lunch breaks, grabbing gourmet sandwiches from a clutch of hole-in-the-wall cafes or sinking pints of lager in one of its historic pubs.

“Brown in town isn’t done, it’s just sartorially wrong,” says Mark Baker, who works with many financial services firms for IT company IPsoft. “The guys in Savile Row would turn in their graves. It’s important to dress appropriately based on the clients you work with.”

Jason Meyers, 43, whose design and construction firm counts several financial services companies among its clients, is aware of the rulebook but isn’t a fan. Referring to a pair of high-end shoemakers, he says: “If you work in insurance they won’t let you through the door of [insurance market] Lloyd’s of London without a pair of black Church’s or Cheaneys.”

“I’ll put on my black shoes if I’m meeting a client in finance or insurance. You’re looked at like a bit of a spiv if not.”… Full story : www.theguardian.com/business/2016/sep/02/city-of-london-dress-code-brown-shoes-finance


One of the most interesting recent blog posts I’ve read was written by Torsten for Satorial Notes, which you’re probably following. Torsten s blog is a fine example of a quality blog. Also at this chapter I have to remind you about dieworkear.com, which abounds in new and interesting information. Aside the fact that the information is of a good quality, the text of these two blogs is written in a manner that denotes a particular sensibility of their authors.1U0A4923

Going back to the Sartorial Notes post about the amaizing history of the male suit, Torsten observes a casualization of the male suit after 2015 - Now the Slimane style is about to become old hat.(…) At least there are many tendencies here and there that the suit will widening again. Casual impulses from streetwear and athleisure influence.1U0A4937

It’s interesting the fact that in a private conversation with someone involved in the shoemaking industry, this person confessed the same  increasing pressure of the casual style. Suits have become quite rare, the current preferences heading towards the so called sport jackets or blazers, chinois trousers and other garments  that fit this kind of wardrobe. Producers enlarge their range with boots which, until yesterday, were hard to find – jodhpur, for example, or reinterpret the classical models in a casual key so that the casual – formal transition becomes fluid in both directions.

Although there are people who mourn for the renouncement of the classic registry, casualization also comes with a series of advantages – new textures are discovered, the game of colors becomes more interesting, in general there is more space left for expressing one’s personality. Of course there are also dangers. Some people left to combine things tend to become ambulant hangers for half of their wardrobe. The recent Pitti could be considered to represent the two faces of Janus – you could see both types of casualizations, both the peacock one and the tasteful one.1U0A4920

Shoes are not an exception, so for the new pair of boots commissioned at Buday I chose two materials that can be easily combined with blue-jeans and sport jackets – Suede and a rubber sole (crepe). 1U0A4931

For casual footwear, I find suede works great in boots. The idea is to get a boot that sits perfectly between town and country look. I need something that is wearable in everyday environments, but that also looks at home with tweed or chinois.

I have written recently more about my latest preference for rubber soles.


The most comfortable and aesthetic model remains Yoyo from Saint Crispins (above). The runner-up would be the slim rubber soles from Edward Green.(below)Chelsea_082_R1_DKOCALF_add4_1

The variant chosen for the boots in the image is a soft rubber similar to crepe rubber, very elastic, which is very comfortable. I am highly pleased with the way they turned out. The pronounced margins, the tall profile of the sole and the very versatile color put them in the top of my autumn-winter boots. I was inspired from a TYE model and the result is quite satisfactory. The boot look more sturdy than the model, the change of the leather makes the boots not too pretentious and the combination of wide last & rubber soles assures comfort.IMG_3259_3-thumb-450xauto-558

The only reproof I would have for the people from Buday, or better said the only suggestion, is that they should refine their lasts. I understand the fact that most of their buyers come from the Austro-Hungarian area, but some of the lasts are not very appealing. The lasts that I prefer the most are Paris and London (especially for boots).1U0A4928

A positive aspect which I’d like to mention is the good communication with the shoemaker. I usually had some pretty difficult communications with Hungarian shoemakers, but in the case of Buday things went very softly. There is a high flexibility and the possibilities of making modifications are more numerous than you’d think at first sight. The result is as I have previously said, a satisfying one. 1U0A4922Buday is, in my opinion, one of those shoemakers to whom you go with reserve, but who conquers you due to the construction’s simplicity and the practical models from the point of view of the design. They made shoes for walking not for displaying in a showcase. For that though I must admit that one must have patience and must be willing to put a bit more effort in communication. The result might come out as a pleasant surprise. Below another wonderful pair in bordeaux hatch-grain.

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