Category Archives: Accessories and Furnishings

Shoe Restoration

You can have shoes restored to practically their original condition through the Tom James Recrafting Service. It is awesome! We have received shoes that look like they were caught at the bottom of the river and were returned looking brand new. The cost is a fraction of replacing some pairs and worth every penny. Here are your options.

A. Recrafting – This process is done by stripping the old wax & polish build up, re-dyeing the uppers and applying a brand new protective finish, waxing and hand polishing the uppers to a high luster. The shoes are then resoled including new cork insoles and full heels.


B. Prestige Package – This process combines the first process but also includes new full cedar shoetrees and a cotton flannel shoe bag for travel and protection.


Note:Some Vibram soled shoes cannot be resoled or refinished. Italian and domestic soled shoes are distinguished upon the recrafting and the proper sole is added.


scuffed shoes By eschipul flickr.com

Choosing the Right Shoes

Put your Best Foot Forward

Steve R. writes: While I like my shoes and have several pair, I am sometimes unsure what style to wear with certain types of clothing and what color will look the best. Can you give me some general advice on what goes with what?

TomTalks: Shoes can make or break an outfit. Shoes are the foundation. Second only to your overall look (and perhaps grooming), the shoes you wear get the most attention and can significantly impact the first impression that others form. Developing a good shoe wardrobe and knowing how to wear each style and color will go a long way toward defining your style.


The Starting Five

As every sports team is comprised of first string players and those who back them up, your shoe wardrobe should have a minimum of a starting five in the rotation (not including your tennis or other athletic shoes, sandals, etc.) What styles best constitute your starting five will depend on the typical formality or your day-to-day dress and your personal style. The five above, all from Allen Edmonds, include Park Avenue, Delray, Hillsborough, Wilbert, & Route 100.

To keep it simple, one pair should be clearly formal and dressy, a shoe to wear with a dark suit. Another pair should be obviously casual – to wear with jeans or khakis, but never with a dress pant. The other three should be somewhere in the middle.

What you add to your rotation beyond the starting five should provide more options and depth to complement how you dress most often. If you are among the more sartorial crowd who still wear a suit most days, then you will want at least two or three more pair of formal dress shoes. Whatever the case, the goal is to develop enough rotation and variety that no matter what you choose to wear, your footwear is a perfect complement.

Above is another group of five with a stronger emphasis toward the casual, including Fifth Avenue, Norwich, Big Sur, Katmai, & Sanibel.

Color Coordination

You may have noticed that Brown shoes of varying shades have moved their way to a more prominent place in footwear fashion during the recent decade or so. Very simply, brown goes with everything (except perhaps black.) Dark brown is an ideal complement to a navy suit while a medium brown – walnut, bourbon, chili, etc. – works especially well with medium blue, shades of gray, and all earth tones.


A staple color in the 80’s, Burgundy (Bordeaux) is another way to augment your color options. Many experts would argue that shoes in this color range are the most versatile. The burgundy penny loafer (Walden) and the classic dress slip on (Presidio and Randolph) are the most essential styles.

Following the principles outlined above should help you to develop a shoe rotation that will allow you to put your best foot forward with any look and any occasion.

Stylish from head to toe (or at least at the feet),

tom@tomjames.com

The Two Tie Knots Every Gentleman Should Know

One size does NOT fit all where ties are concerned

If you’re like most men, you tie the same necktie knot every time without hesitation.

However, just as some collars are better suited for your face than others, some knots are better suited for certain collars than others.

The proper knot is the one which fills the tie space of the collar appropriately.  Collars with a wider spread have more tie space to fill and thus demand a larger knot;  collars with a narrower spread have less tie space to fill and work best with a smaller knot.

But don’t worry about having to master an array of knots.  A selection of two is fine for most men’s shirt wardrobes: a smaller knot for narrow spread collars and a larger knot for wide spread collars.

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What is the Best Shoe for Me

Dressiness, styling and comfort are the main factors to consider. For the business world, these factors are boiled down into the selection of either a lace-up or a loafer.

Lace-Ups: In general, lace-ups are dressier than loafers and are best to wear with suits. Lace-ups usually have four to six pairs of eyelets and fall into one of two categories: bluchers or balmorals.

 
Blucher   Balmoral

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