Shoes 201 – Shoe Care – Suede Shoes

This is an excellent video and article by videojug about the proper care, cleaning and revival of suede leather shoes. Peter Schweiger,  the 5th generation owner of the British bespoke shoemakers James Taylor & Son, , demonstrates the techniques.

How To Clean Suede Shoes

How to Clean and Care For Suede Shoes - Video

How to Clean and Care For Suede Shoes – Video

Step 1: You will need:

  • 1 suede protector spray
  • 1 suede cleaning brush
  • 1 small knife
  • 1 nail brush
  • 1 sponge
  • 1 shoe tree/ white tissue paper
  • 1 crepe rubber/ pencil eraser

Step 2: Introduction

Suede is a kind of leather with a soft raised surface called a ‘nap’. It can spoil more easily than leather so needs a special level of care. It makes sense to always spray new shoes with a protecting spray.

Step 3: Protection spray

These sprays can be bought from footwear shops, and will protect your shoes from the water damage and staining. Before applying the spray, lightly brush your shoes to remove any dust or dirt. Always brush in the same direction to lift the nap. Make sure you follow the manufactures instructions on the side of the aerosol can. Shake well, spray away from your face, and as with all aerosols, only use in a well ventilated area.

Step 4: Scuff marks

Even with a protection spray, shiny marks can still appear if you scuff suede shoes, flattening down their surface. Restore by brushing back and forth with a suede brush. If the shoes are very worn, scrape with a sharp knife to lift the nap.

If your suede has dirty marks, try removing them with one of the sides of a suede brush

TOP TIP
Experts recommend using a little crêpe rubber, or even a pencil eraser to ‘lift’ the marks from you shoes. The dirt will transfer from the suede to the rubber

Step 5: Removing mud

If your shoes get muddy, wait till the mud dries, then use a stiff brush, such as a nail brush to remove the dirt. Move with a sweeping action, and keep all your strokes in the same direction. Work all the way around the shoe, including the edges of the sole. Pay special attention to any dirt stuck in detailing.

Step 6: Wet suede

If part of the shoe gets gets wet, the water can leave a tide mark and dry a different colour. So wet the shoes all over, sponge off any excess water and insert a shoe tree to keep the shoe in shape as it dries. If you don’t have a shoe tree, stuff the toes shoes with white tissue paper, or any white paper to hold them firm.

WARNING
Don’t use newspaper if your shoes are very wet, as the print may leech into the shoes

Leave the shoes to dry overnight. Then gently brush to restore the texture.

Step 7: Stains

Stains like oil and grease are almost impossible to remove.
Work into the area with a suede brush to see if that lifts the stain, treating it as you would a scuff.
If not, remove the laces, and wash the shoes with a little water and a stiff brush.

If this doesn’t work, it may be time to say goodbye to your dirty shoes

Step 8: Storing suede

When you’re not wearing your shoe, wrap them in tissue paper and put in a shoe box, heel to toe. Don’t keep them in plastic bags or airtight boxes and avoid humidity, which can make them mouldy and avoid bright light, which can discolour suede. Keep them in a dark dry place.

Kingpin Chic at Kingpin Chic Vintage Mens Clothing at Wychwood Barns Gadsden’s Toronto Vintage Clothing Show

Kingpin Chic Vintage Mens Clothing at Wychwood Barns Gadsden’s Toronto Vintage Clothing Show

Kingpin Chic Mens Clothing at Wychwood Barns Gadsden’s Toronto Vintage Clothing Show

By special request Kingpin Chic will be opening up our collection of fine gentleman’s apparel one day only on Sunday, October 23, 2011 at the Gadsden’s Toronto Vintage Clothing Show Wychwood Barns located at 601 Christie Street Toronto, Ontario. The hours for the show are 11 am – 4:00 pm and admission for adults is $8.00, and for children 12 and under there is no charge!

Church & Co. (Church’s) and Gentlemens Shoes

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Very few products distinguish themselves as the ‘gold standard‘ of their market. Even among these, the brand is often purchased by another company, who trade on their item’s reputation, all the while shaving away its quality in the name of profit until he reputation itself is also ruined. In mens footwear, there is one company that I stand by without hesitation as the gold standard of their field – Church’s.

 Canvas & Leather Spectator Shoes by Church's

Canvas & Leather Oxford Spectator Shoes by Church’s

To own a pair of Church’s is to own more than an excellent pair of handmade leather shoes. You are part of a tradition in mens footwear that dates back to 1675, with the family of Thomas Church officially founding Church & Company with his sons in Northampton, England.

Black Leather Brogued Wingtip Derby's 'The Grafton' by Church's

Black Leather ‘Brogued’ Wingtip Derby ‘The Grafton’ by Church’s

It was Church’s that created the ‘left’ and ‘right’ shaped shoe in 1881 (for which they were awarded a Gold Medal at the 1884 International Exhibitions in the Crystal Palace, London) and established itself as the premier English shoemaker when Queen Elizabeth II awarded them the prestigious Queen’s Award for Exports in the Award’s inaugural year – 1966.

Black Leather Wingtip Oxford Shoes by Church's

Black Leather Wingtip Oxford Shoes by Church’s, Ladder-laced

In case you think all this royal attention makes Church’s too stuffy, consider that they were the shoe of choice for James Bond in the films The World is Not Enough, Tomorrow Never Dies (black leather Monk shoes – the Presley) and Golden Eye (brown leather brogues) and this was the most sartorial Bond, played by Pierce Brosnan. Not tough enough for you? Daniel Craig wore both a pair of Church’s chukka boots (in dark brown suede with a rubber sole) and Church’s Oxfords (in black leather with a half cap) in Quantum of Solace. So there.

James Bond, Church's Shoes and a Gorgeous Lady

James Bond, Church’s Shoes and a Gorgeous Lady

Close-up of James Bond Church's Shoes

Close-up of James Bond Church’s Shoes

And in case you were wondering, Church’s is able to refurbish Mr. Bond’s Oxford’s to almost new, as they did for the editor-in-chief of Wallpaper magazine. His Church’s brogues are over 20 years-old!

Gentlemens Boots – The Jodhpur

Every gentleman should own at least one pair of short boots. Both sole and upper should be made of leather in . They should reflect his ability as a man of action when required and as a man of substance regardless. With this in mind, examine the Jodhpur boot.

Bespoke Jodhpur Boot by James Taylor & Son, UK

Bespoke Jodhpur Boot by James Taylor & Son, UK

I am going to make a clear distinction between the Jodhpur and both the paddock and Chelsea boots, and we’ll examine them both at another time, as they are also both fit to occupy a gentleman’s footwear wardrobe.

The Jodhpur boot is descended from the earlier forms of riding boots, and has evolved into stylish footwear. The Jodhpur is a low, ankle boot with a strap and buckle fastener. When selecting your Jodhpur I implore you to abstain from any that contain a zipper down the inside. While the zipper makes the boot easy to put on and remove it also cheapens its appearance and makes the strap and buckle a mere ornament.  A gentleman should always be mindful of elements of his dress that contain only ornamentation and have no purpose lest he slip into foppishness.

A Pair of Black Calevo Jodhpur Boots

A Pair of Black Calevo Jodhpur Boots

The Jodhpur boot is perfect for formal dress and casual, and most suited to events outdoors. I find them very fit for driving manual vehicles, especially convertibles, and for active social engagements. Adding a pair of Jodhpurs to your outfit lets you move from one activity to another without having to change your footwear. Think of them as a gentleman’s cross trainers.

Article first published as The Gentlemens Cross Trainers – The Jodhpur on Technorati.

Style Site of Note – Put This On

This style site is of particular note as it accompanies a decent web series about, well in their own words, “…dressing like a grownup.” I like the weave of their tweed.

Put This On shares the Kingpin attitude towards dressing and the male wardrobe and it is clear that neither of the hosts,  Jesse Thorn or Adam Lisagor, are fops but true men of style.

Their approach to style of male dress encompasses the larger manner of living to which a grown man should elevate himself. They should have an entire channel.