We recently received an inquiry about leather v. rubber soles. (you, know, the bottom of your shoes). Most menswear blogs loathe rubber soles; they’re new, a-traditional, and less expensive. Menswear, in all its own horn-tooting, is all about tradition and craftspersonship (because let’s be honest, your “hand-formed” leather soles were probably made by women who were being exploited). Rubber soles fly in the face of tradition and “craftspersonship” because they’re produced by machines. We say this: know your clothes and do what YOU want.
Leather soled shoes literally have leather for soles. These soles are thin, low-profile, traditional, and delicate. Leather soles are great for the traditional vibe; they are beautiful and classic.
Leather soles, however, cannot withstand a lot of wear, especially outside and double-especially rain, snow, etc. Leather soles require new soles somewhat frequently. New soles run $15 and up. (Note: If you walk around on wet concrete or stone in leather soles, you will bust your ass! My brother suffered a concussion from slipping on slick marble on Christmas Eve!)
You can also buy rubber overshoes for your leather soles, and your weather problem is solved.
[Update, Jan 3] Ooops… left this out: leather soles are also bad because they come from baby animals, and animals are so much better when they’re alive and not slaughtered/on your feet. So if you must buy leather, buy vintage, because otherwise it’s brutal, inhumane, and wasteful of our precious resources to continue the exploitative and inhumane economy of leather production.
Rubber soles are infinitely more comfortable and more flexible than leather soles. They are thicker and made for exploring the wilderness. Rubber soles range from hiking shoes to vibram soles to crepe soles.
However, rubber doesn’t breathe at all. You will have to wear socks with these shoes. Also, rubber soles are newer than leather soles; they’re thicker and not as classy nor seen as classic. When you finally have to resole these babies, you may have to send them back to the makers (like, for Red Wings Boots, resoles costs $100…), or you may not be able to resole them at all. (However, this is a minute point; it should take years to wear out serious rubber soles.)
As for which one you should buy…it’s about aesthetics and your pocket book. If you really like leather soles and you can afford the upkeep (new soles, leather treatment, etc.), go for it. If you want a pair of shoes you can wear wherever, whenever, get some rubber soles!
A Bicycle Built For Two is one of my new of my new favorite sources for queer formal wear inspiration! A beautiful display of carefully picked lesbian and queer wedding photos. I was scrolling the other day and found this dashing couple, AnnMarie & Anne:
Obvi I had to get in touch with them and ask them about their outfits.
AnnMarie (suit, bow tie) told me, “I knew what I wanted to look like on my wedding day from the time I was little. I am obsessed with English styled suiting from the mid century. I am also equally obsessed with classic menswear. I wanted my look to be dapper and polished and really show my personality. I was born a 67 year old man and I really wanted that to show through.” She wound up with this amazing vintage, bespoke suit made in 1967, from the Etsy shop, Brightwall, and then she got it tailored.
Anne told me that she prefers simple dresses, and had surprising luck at David’s Bridal! ”I wanted a dress, but I hate shiny fabric, beads, sparkles… Basically most wedding gowns. They just aren’t me. I wanted simple and clean. I found a lot of beautiful vintage dresses that were all too teeny tiny, so against my instincts, we checked out David’s Bridal. And we found the dress! It’s shantung, which is more matte, and structured (learn something new every day). And it has pockets!! Overall I wanted to feel like myself, and for me that means simple and classic, but with fun details.”
Suit: Etsy shop, Brightwall + tailoring
Tie and Pocket Square: Custom made through Etsy shop Divinedomestication.
Vest, Suspenders and Socks: Men’s Wearhouse + tailoring
Shirt: Blank Label
Shoes: Calvin Klein Men’s Felix Oxford, bought on Amazon.
Hat: Sugarcube in Philly
We got great submission from another adorable tomboy-type in bold colored jeans. Getting one great pair of bold colored jeans can REALLY enhance your wardrobe. Especially if you’re like me and have 5 light blue shirts and not enough to add for contrast. If you’re nervous about adding too much color, this maroon is a tame choice to start out with. I really like a lot of the colors CottonOn has right now.
Follow Hannah: litheos.tumblr.com
Anonymous asked: So my style is pretty masculine-of-center, and I've never been quite sure of what to wear to jump under the covers. During the summer I usually stick with a t-shirt and some boxers, but what do I wear when it's too chilly for that combo?
And looks dammmn good in them. I bring you my favorite outfits from his 7 Days of Dapper feature.
“I love whipping out my suit for formal events such as seeing the Boston Symphony Orchestra or the Boston Ballet.”
7 Days of Dapper
Photography: Sonrisa Murray-Fox
Don’t mess with this kid cause she’s got badass hair, fancy clothes, and awesome kicks.
Follow Tristan: http://tristansayshey.tumblr.com
Notice hir use of the tie clip.
Follow the dapper gentleperson: http://genderbendingriotqueer.tumblr.com/