Removing Chewing Gum From Your Shoes
A friend of mine stepped in some gum recently with leather-bottomed shoes and asked if I knew a way to get rid of the gum. I admitted I didn’t, but thought the question was worth researching. It’s probably inevitable that we’ll all step on a piece at some point. 
The most common tactic discussed involves finding a way to freeze the gum. You could put your shoe inside a giant plastic bag and inside the freezer for a few hours, then try to scrape it off with a dull knife, razor blade or even a popsicle stick. Other freezing methods involve rubbing an ice cube over the gum or even shooting the gum directly with a can of compressed cleaning air. 
You’ll likely still have some residue after you’ve removed the bulk of the gum. The most common suggestion I’ve seen is to use rubbing alcohol on a paper towel. Another suggestion is Goo Gone. You may want to consider rubbing some leather conditioner on the area after you’re done — alcohol tends to remove moisture. 
-Kiyoshi

Removing Chewing Gum From Your Shoes

A friend of mine stepped in some gum recently with leather-bottomed shoes and asked if I knew a way to get rid of the gum. I admitted I didn’t, but thought the question was worth researching. It’s probably inevitable that we’ll all step on a piece at some point. 

The most common tactic discussed involves finding a way to freeze the gum. You could put your shoe inside a giant plastic bag and inside the freezer for a few hours, then try to scrape it off with a dull knife, razor blade or even a popsicle stick. Other freezing methods involve rubbing an ice cube over the gum or even shooting the gum directly with a can of compressed cleaning air. 

You’ll likely still have some residue after you’ve removed the bulk of the gum. The most common suggestion I’ve seen is to use rubbing alcohol on a paper towel. Another suggestion is Goo Gone. You may want to consider rubbing some leather conditioner on the area after you’re done — alcohol tends to remove moisture. 

-Kiyoshi

It’s On Sale: Florsheim Longwings
It’s rare that I can recommend a brand new dress shoe for under $100, but the Florsheim “Veblen” longwing is currently on sale at MyHabit for $89.
Jesse wrote in the past about the original Florsheim longwings and how they’re worth seeking out on eBay or vintage stores, but you can’t really say the same thing about most modern Florsheim shoes. However, there are a few exceptions and the “Veblen” model is a good budget shoe. 
They typical sell for around $200, which is rare to find for a Goodyear-welted shoe and is why I think they’re a good deal if you’re on a tight budget. I wrote about them after my roommate picked up a pair and was impressed. I recommended them to another friend and he’s enjoyed wearing them as well. 
MyHabit still has a full range of sizes available and their sale ends on Sunday. Worth a look and if you need an invite you can use our referral link. 
-Kiyoshi

It’s On Sale: Florsheim Longwings

It’s rare that I can recommend a brand new dress shoe for under $100, but the Florsheim “Veblen” longwing is currently on sale at MyHabit for $89.

Jesse wrote in the past about the original Florsheim longwings and how they’re worth seeking out on eBay or vintage stores, but you can’t really say the same thing about most modern Florsheim shoes. However, there are a few exceptions and the “Veblen” model is a good budget shoe. 

They typical sell for around $200, which is rare to find for a Goodyear-welted shoe and is why I think they’re a good deal if you’re on a tight budget. I wrote about them after my roommate picked up a pair and was impressed. I recommended them to another friend and he’s enjoyed wearing them as well. 

MyHabit still has a full range of sizes available and their sale ends on Sunday. Worth a look and if you need an invite you can use our referral link

-Kiyoshi

The Elevator Pitch of How to Start Dressing Better
A few weeks ago while out with friends and acquaintances I was asked a familiar question when the fact came up that I blog about men’s style: “How can I start dressing better?” 
This isn’t an easy question for me to quickly answer and is beyond the attention span of most people in the course of a free-flowing conversation — especially over beer at a bar. While I’m happy to talk about the subject at length, I do try to avoid chatting someone’s ears off about my various obsessions. 
Entire books are written about the subject and an overwhelming amount of resources are available on the Internet. Even Jesse’s 25-pieces of basic sartorial knowledge is tough to rattle off when you may only have enough time to tell someone a few sentences. 
What I needed was the “elevator pitch” of how a guy can begin to dress better — an idea that he can act on and sets the ball rolling. 
Now I suggest one simple thing: “Wear nice shoes.”
Ugly shoes can ruin an otherwise acceptable outfit and nice shoes can elevate an ordinary one. While it’s no shortcut to having better style, it does begin the process to get a man thinking about the subject. 
Learning about nice shoes implants the idea of aesthetics and higher-quality purchases in a guy’s head. At the very least, guys who take this advice will stop wearing ratty gym trainers and rubber-soled “sporty” hybrid dress shoes. 
I think that once a guy starts down this path, he will eventually broaden his view toward the rest of his wardrobe. If he’s wearing nice shoes, then perhaps he begins to think about getting a few nice shirts. Or a sport coat and proper fit.
And maybe one day he’ll become too self aware about his pocket square collection to know that he doesn’t have any seasonally-appropriate ones for his tweed jackets and spends an hour looking for the right one that blends burgundy and tan.
Or maybe not. It may just be enough that he’s wearing better shoes, which I think is a good thing. So, that’s my new pitch: “Wear nice shoes.” 
-Kiyoshi

The Elevator Pitch of How to Start Dressing Better

A few weeks ago while out with friends and acquaintances I was asked a familiar question when the fact came up that I blog about men’s style: “How can I start dressing better?” 

This isn’t an easy question for me to quickly answer and is beyond the attention span of most people in the course of a free-flowing conversation — especially over beer at a bar. While I’m happy to talk about the subject at length, I do try to avoid chatting someone’s ears off about my various obsessions. 

Entire books are written about the subject and an overwhelming amount of resources are available on the Internet. Even Jesse’s 25-pieces of basic sartorial knowledge is tough to rattle off when you may only have enough time to tell someone a few sentences. 

What I needed was the “elevator pitch” of how a guy can begin to dress better — an idea that he can act on and sets the ball rolling. 

Now I suggest one simple thing: “Wear nice shoes.”

Ugly shoes can ruin an otherwise acceptable outfit and nice shoes can elevate an ordinary one. While it’s no shortcut to having better style, it does begin the process to get a man thinking about the subject. 

Learning about nice shoes implants the idea of aesthetics and higher-quality purchases in a guy’s head. At the very least, guys who take this advice will stop wearing ratty gym trainers and rubber-soled “sporty” hybrid dress shoes. 

I think that once a guy starts down this path, he will eventually broaden his view toward the rest of his wardrobe. If he’s wearing nice shoes, then perhaps he begins to think about getting a few nice shirts. Or a sport coat and proper fit.

And maybe one day he’ll become too self aware about his pocket square collection to know that he doesn’t have any seasonally-appropriate ones for his tweed jackets and spends an hour looking for the right one that blends burgundy and tan.

Or maybe not. It may just be enough that he’s wearing better shoes, which I think is a good thing. So, that’s my new pitch: “Wear nice shoes.” 

-Kiyoshi

It’s On Sale: Alfred Sargent Shoes

Every once in a while I come across a sale that’s frustrating because none of my size is available. Count the Alfred Sargent shoe sale at Wingtip as one of those experiences. They have captoe oxfords (in both brown and black), double-monks and brogued balmorals on sale right now at 50% off. For those of you with size 10.5D feet, perhaps we’ll have better luck next time.

-Kiyoshi

It’s On Sale: Allen Edmonds Shoes
Right now you can find a wide range of Allen Edmonds shoes at around 33% off, many under $200, at both the Allen Edmonds clearance section and at Lands’ End.
Lands’ End has a few options under $250, including the MacNeil longwings, dark-brown Strand captoe brogues and suede Grayson tassel loafers. If you’re looking for a more casual shoe, the walnut Stewart plain-toe blucher and suede Katmai chukka boots are both $194.
The Allen Edmonds clearance section has a much larger selection, but limited sizing. I found the Park Avenue in walnut grain to be one of the nicer items available in a wider range of sizes.
-Kiyoshi

It’s On Sale: Allen Edmonds Shoes

Right now you can find a wide range of Allen Edmonds shoes at around 33% off, many under $200, at both the Allen Edmonds clearance section and at Lands’ End.

Lands’ End has a few options under $250, including the MacNeil longwings, dark-brown Strand captoe brogues and suede Grayson tassel loafers. If you’re looking for a more casual shoe, the walnut Stewart plain-toe blucher and suede Katmai chukka boots are both $194.

The Allen Edmonds clearance section has a much larger selection, but limited sizing. I found the Park Avenue in walnut grain to be one of the nicer items available in a wider range of sizes.

-Kiyoshi

Q and Answer
Chris S. writes:
What considerations are necessary in the cuff/sock/shoe colour/pattern decsisionmaking flowchart?
A good question, Chris.
We can start with this: gym socks are for gym shoes.  If you’re wearing basketball sneakers, you’re probably off to play basketball, and you should wear athletic socks to do so.  Same goes for other athletic endeavors.  I buy my gym socks at Costco, and I always buy the same kind so I don’t have to worry about losing one in the wash.
For casual wear, gym socks are dicier, but most padded athletic shoes would look silly with any socks but gym socks.  (Excepted: the simplest classic canvas and leather sneakers are usually more suited to a finer colored sock.)  If you’re wearing shorts and athletic shoes, no-show athletic socks (the kind that encircle the lowest bit of your ankle) are the most appropriate.
Once you’re wearing proper shoes, the basic rule is to match your socks, more or less, to your pants.  The basic principle behind this is that you’d rather lengthen the appearance of your legs than the appearance of your shoes.
In dress situations, you should never show bare leg.  That means that over-the-calf dress socks are best - you can buy them at most reputable men’s stores, though shorter socks are the norm.  I’ve found great pairs at great prices at the Nordstrom Rack with some regularity.  You can also find solid quality plain men’s dress socks (Gold Toes, for example) at warehouse stores like Costco.  A few pairs of plain charcoal grey and a few pairs of navy will build the foundation of your sock wardrobe.
We’re big supporters of colorful and patterned socks, generally, but stay away from novelty socks.  Argyle is a wonderful choice, with the color pallette varying by season, though we would be disinclined to pair argyle with a suit.  Obviously, too, the color, weight and feel of the sock should be consonant with the rest of your outfit, particularly your shoes and pants.  Patterned socks can be quite nice with casual pants and an odd jacket.  We’ve had good luck with sock sales at Banana Republic, which often get down to $2 or $3 per pair in-store.  These usually won’t be very tall, but that’s less important in a more casual context.
Bright socks are wonderful, but they are most effective when used as an accent in an otherwise conservatively styled outfit.  Perhaps purple socks with a navy suit and dark shoes pick out a color in your necktie, perhaps they’re just fun.  But that’s Advanced Placement dressing.  Get your no-skin-showing, no-gym-socks game tight before you start in on stuff like that.
And no socks?  We’re no Sartorialist, but we’re fine with that when the weather’s warm.  We do prefer loafer or “no show” socks, which will protect your shoes a bit from sweat and your feet a bit from blisters.

Q and Answer

Chris S. writes:

What considerations are necessary in the cuff/sock/shoe colour/pattern decsisionmaking flowchart?

A good question, Chris.

We can start with this: gym socks are for gym shoes.  If you’re wearing basketball sneakers, you’re probably off to play basketball, and you should wear athletic socks to do so.  Same goes for other athletic endeavors.  I buy my gym socks at Costco, and I always buy the same kind so I don’t have to worry about losing one in the wash.

For casual wear, gym socks are dicier, but most padded athletic shoes would look silly with any socks but gym socks.  (Excepted: the simplest classic canvas and leather sneakers are usually more suited to a finer colored sock.)  If you’re wearing shorts and athletic shoes, no-show athletic socks (the kind that encircle the lowest bit of your ankle) are the most appropriate.

Once you’re wearing proper shoes, the basic rule is to match your socks, more or less, to your pants.  The basic principle behind this is that you’d rather lengthen the appearance of your legs than the appearance of your shoes.

In dress situations, you should never show bare leg.  That means that over-the-calf dress socks are best - you can buy them at most reputable men’s stores, though shorter socks are the norm.  I’ve found great pairs at great prices at the Nordstrom Rack with some regularity.  You can also find solid quality plain men’s dress socks (Gold Toes, for example) at warehouse stores like Costco.  A few pairs of plain charcoal grey and a few pairs of navy will build the foundation of your sock wardrobe.

We’re big supporters of colorful and patterned socks, generally, but stay away from novelty socks.  Argyle is a wonderful choice, with the color pallette varying by season, though we would be disinclined to pair argyle with a suit.  Obviously, too, the color, weight and feel of the sock should be consonant with the rest of your outfit, particularly your shoes and pants.  Patterned socks can be quite nice with casual pants and an odd jacket.  We’ve had good luck with sock sales at Banana Republic, which often get down to $2 or $3 per pair in-store.  These usually won’t be very tall, but that’s less important in a more casual context.

Bright socks are wonderful, but they are most effective when used as an accent in an otherwise conservatively styled outfit.  Perhaps purple socks with a navy suit and dark shoes pick out a color in your necktie, perhaps they’re just fun.  But that’s Advanced Placement dressing.  Get your no-skin-showing, no-gym-socks game tight before you start in on stuff like that.

And no socks?  We’re no Sartorialist, but we’re fine with that when the weather’s warm.  We do prefer loafer or “no show” socks, which will protect your shoes a bit from sweat and your feet a bit from blisters.