Saturday, February 7, 2009

Belgian Shoes: Man-Up

As one person so aptly said about Belgians….

“The brilliance of the shoes was how they resembled a simple pair of penny loafers, but instead of a slit to hold Lincoln's copper likeness; there was a tiny leather bow. So elegant, so correct, and so very desirable.”

I still have my Bass Weejuns …penny loafers from college. Two pairs actually. The standard brown pair that everyone had as well as the coveted navy blue Weejuns. (You don’t remember navy blue Weejuns and I’m sure you’d argue whether or not they were ever coveted by anyone) The navy blue ones were the sh_t when I was in undergrad….amidst the Preppy resurgence of the late 70’s-early 80’s. So, I suppose that I’ve always had an appetite for loafers…they are the man’s no brainer shoe right? I wear every version of them….Alden variations being the prevailing choice these days.

I also suspect that part of my affinity for “go to hell” clothes comes from living in a southern fraternity house …four years of blurry nirvana. We were obnoxious in most ways but especially in that southern preppy madras-seersucker kinda way. My confidence in wearing GTH clothes…patch madras pants... and navy blue Weejuns was well entrenched before I emerged from my teens.

Now I’m not saying that Belgian Loafers are necessarily GTH shoes. What I would posit is that if you think them too effeminate…if you feel tentative about wearing them…then don’t buy them. You have to have a healthy dose of don’t give a sh_t to wear them with the elan and confidence that should accompany them. I love ‘em and wear the heck out of ‘em year around…comfy wool socks and Belgians in the winter and sockless during the summer. I can also wear Stubbs and Wootons while voraciously remaining inextricably hooked on the opposite sex.

I read a few posts from somewhere a few years ago where guys were kinda checking in with one another about whether or not to buy Belgians and/or how and when to wear them. The posts included the predictable responses of… “I wear them as house shoes….I have black ones that I wear with a dinner jacket” …etc. Then there was a guy who said that the little bows were too effeminate so he removed them with nail clippers! Geez…spend close to four hundred bucks for a pair of Belgians and then perform some kind of “reverse neutering” on them? … As if THAT’s gonna make them more of an Alpha Male’s shoe. If you are that kinda guy…just take a pass on the option of being shod in Belgians.

Belgian Shoes…like a bowl of biscuit batter in the South or a hanky about to be inserted into a breast pocket …can smell fear a mile away. They all have strong characteristics that must be dealt with confidently. You’ve gotta step up to all three with the same approach…treat ‘em like you own the hell out of ‘em…let ‘em know who’s boss…handle them with strength and aggression or the outcome will be embarrassing. They’ll walk all over you.


Kathie Truitt said...

Hey, I'm lovin' your blog!!

Are you familiar with "Stubbs and Wooten"? Wow, they have great loafers. Go to their website if you haven't already. (

They're expensive but very nice. I'd definitely trade in my cowgirl boots at least one day a week for any pair of these!

ADG said...

Thanks Kathie....for your kind comments. Indeed I've got S&W's along with some other high falootin' loafers. But tonight, for the trip down to Richmond, I'll be in a pair of old beat up Nocona Cowboy Boots!

Sartre said...

These are great...I'm feeling the urge at least to put them on the (lengthening) list. Where do you like to get yours?

Sartre said...

P.S. FYI, there is a chap who appears in a number of photos in Bunny Tomerlin's blog wearing what appear to be blue Belgians.

ADG said...


Only two places to get them. The store in NYC and London. Can't remember who in London handles them. They are great. Once you give 'em a go, you'll be hooked I bet.

allie in g'town said...

I just stumbled across your blog, while fereting for pics of Belgian loafers for the posting I'm working on, and laughed and laughed at your Belgian musings. I hope you don't mind but I may have to quote you. Swing by on Thurs for a gander...

Collar's Up!
Allie in G'town

ps You are right up my prepster alley and I will now be dropping by on a regular basis

ADG said... all means....steal the pics...take the's yours. I've just walked to my office in Old Town in my cordovan Belgians...nothing more comfortable.


allie in g'town said...

Missed the honk! My Belgian posting will be up in the am where I happily gave you full credit for everything I plagorized. Thank you for being so generous.

Collar's Up!
Allie in G'town

ADG said...

Allie....I'll look forward to the post! I'll honk tomorrow. I took GW Pkwy to Chain Bridge today.


Summer is a Verb said...

yeaaaaa....the DJ played my request! XXOO

Mrs. Blandings said...

I have them on my wish list for myself, but I fear I may buy the men's version. The women's is too feminine. Ha. Seems even this girl wants to butch them up a bit.

Thistlewood said...

Just discovered your blog.
Very good job my man. This is the opinion/editorial comment that should be attached to The Sartorialist.
Going to take me all Christmas to read your postings. Ordering more Belgians right now. Much more comfortable than S&W.