I’m literally taking a break from watching Fight Club on a Saturday afternoon to write this. As I’ve mentioned innumerable times, I’m vain as fuck and like to dress well. For a couple of years now, I’ve been patiently seeking a bargain on a decent pair of single-monk strap dress shoes. For a long time, everything I found fell into two categories:
- Shoes that I loved but that were too expensive to justify purchasing (I mean like Paul Evans for $400).
- Shoes that I could afford but that weren’t quite the style I wanted (small or wrongly-colored buckles, for example).
So a couple of weeks ago I was browsing through Burlington Coat Factory on my lunch break. Yeah, I know, bad habit. But it gets me away from the office for a mental health break. Sue me.
Anyway, I ran across a pair of Florsheim (decent brand, about on par with Cole Haan) single monks. They were scuffed and shopworn, but in the clearance rack for $30. I liked the shape, the fit, the buckles and the flaps. The leather looked a little “plastic-y,” but it was real leather of reasonable quality. As with most things, I decided to think about it for a while.
So I went back yesterday, thinking I *might* buy them, but I still wasn’t sure. But — much like my recent blazer purchase — they’d been marked down again! This time they were $22, compared to a $125 retail. Hmmmm!
Yup, still dinged up, but I was pretty sure I could fix that with some shoe shining and elbow grease. I didn’t spend all that time in the Army without learning to shine shoes, that’s for sure. I bought them and brought them home.
This morning I plunked down on the couch and started Fight Club while Tradwife made me a giant breakfast frittata. I got out the shoeshine kit and went to work. Twenty or so minutes later, I had these bad boys:
I took them a little darker by using brown shoe polish, a trick I learned at Dappered.com. I definitely like this shade better than the more tan-leaning original color.
These single monks are a bit more casual than my double monks, and will look great with everything from a casually-worn (no tie) suit to chinos to jeans. For $22 and some elbow grease, I finally have that pair of single monks! Good things come, as they say, to those who wait.
Update: here they are in action.