Customer insight, by Jerry Tharapos

Wildsmith

 

It’s been a long wait and now my Wildsmith Niven have arrived. I am so excited.

 

Whilst on holidays in May last year I had the privilege of visiting Herring Shoes in Devon, and got a glimpse of some of the new Wildsmith range.  I was very impressed by what was on offer and started to save my pennies, even though I did invest in two pairs of boots at the time.

 

Herring have just relaunched the Wildsmith brand with some fabulous shoes.  The brand was founded by John Wildsmith more than 170 years ago and represents the pinnacle of shoe making.  Apparently the brand has quite an auspicious heritage with actors, royalty and various famous world dignitaries being part of the Wildsmith clientele. Browsing the range and names of the shoes will give you a hint of who some of the famous clients of the past have been.

So, back to the Niven wholecut. It comes in black, chestnut and mocha calf.  I decided to go with the mocha. The colour is rich and stunning. Whilst black is always beautiful and a must in every man’s wardrobe, the chestnut is also a standout as the colour grabs you and goes well with a more relaxed setting.  The mocha on the other hand is a little bit more daring and can be dressed up and be very formal or can fit the bill for a more relaxed and casual look.

 

The Niven is simply exquisite and clearly takes its cues from its namesake.  It has the elegance and simplicity that only a wholecut can offer but with a twist.  The last is sleek and modern but maintains classical lines that will make it a gorgeous addition to any ensemble for many years to come. 

 

Now to the twist.  The shoe exudes the sophistication that can only be achieved with a wholecut shoe, but that medallion punching on the toe! It is unique and so definitive.  It is simply stunning.

 

As you would expect with a shoe of this class, it is beautifully made with the best leathers and handmade craftsmanship. As with most beautiful things, the beauty is in the detail. If you turn the shoes upside down you will see what I mean.  It doesn’t get better than channel stitched welted soles. Like the Wildsmith of old, the new Wildsmith range continues to represent the pinnacle of shoe craftsmanship.  And more specifically, a wholecut shoe is made with one piece of leather which means that the leather needs to be perfect and it requires the most highly skilled craftsman to make them.

 

I do love my Niven wholecut, it is however only one of many wonderful options.  Credit to the team at Herring, the Wildsmith range is quite comprehensive and I am certain one, two or even more pairs would be suitable for the most definitive and stylish men.

 

Now, that the Niven is out of the box, what to wear them with?  Yes, I have it! Of course, my flannel grey three piece Prince of Wales check would go fabulously.  And I do have several fedora options too but what colour? Clearly, the Niven in mocha is so versatile.  So many possibilities.  And with all those celebrities and royalty of the past … it looks like I am in good company.

 

One more thing, as with all things how you look after them is directly related to how long they last and how good they look over time.  I make a habit of ensuring that all my shoes are stored with shoe trees, which I believe is a must.  In this instance, I couldn’t go past pairing the Niven with the Wildsmith shoe trees.  It is an essential investment for such a beautiful shoe and they look pretty good too.

 

And, by the way, if you are ever travelling in Devon or just near the vicinity, do yourself a favour and visit the guys at Herring Shoes.  They are most gracious and would be happy to show you around their showroom.  But, if you have a weakness for fine things and great shoes, you will need to be very strong willed not to spend some money.  As for me, I am not so strong willed but do have a great shoes collection, thanks to Herring.

So gents, Mr Niven and I are stepping out and signing off … cheers

Herring at Pitti Uomo 93, Winter edition.

Herring Gidleigh bag

Everytime I go to Florence for Pitti, I always have something in mind.

Travel light!

So I can only take a few pairs of shoes. They are the heaviest things in a suitcase and it can be a big deal when you take a flight now. The fair goes on for four days but I ‘only’ took three pairs.

 

  1. A pair of brown tasseled loafers, versatile and comfortable. I wore them the first day and the last day.
  2. A pair of tweed slippers. I wore them the second day, matching the Gidleigh bag I was carrying.
  3. A pair of dark blue double monks for the third day and my travelling.
Herring Gidleigh bag and Sandringham slippers

With these three pairs I was ‘safe’. I even had options for my evening meetings and my dinners.

Pitti is a fair dedicated to elegance but also to business, the biggest one dedicated to menswear in the world.

So again, you must be able to find the right balance between chic and practical. That is exactly what I’ve been trying to explain to you Gentlemen for almost 2 years…

 

 

Gui Bo (Menneedmorestyle)

Herring Matisse

The power of great shoes

Processed with VSCO with s3 preset A great pair of shoes will make you look great and feel great. There is a mystical effect when you tie the laces of a fine shoe and the handmade shape cups your foot in supple leather. Just putting them on makes you feel special and alerts you to the importance of what is about to happen, whether it is your wedding day, a business meeting or that all important first date. As with all items we choose to wear, your shoes say a lot of things about you that are often subconscious but are interpreted by those around us. A classic black toe-cap oxford at a funeral shows a deep respect for the deceased and the family – yet it is superficially just a plain black shoe. Similarly a subtle two-tone shoe at a party may hint at a flamboyant nature, hidden beneath a conventional front.

What is interesting is that many people choose their shoes with little thought even though they are in many ways the key to every outfit. It is often said that if you look at a man’s shoes you will be able to judge a lot about him. Next time you are at your office, walking around town or doing the shopping, take a look around at people’s footwear. You will see some very well dressed men with scruffy shoes – what judgements are you making when you see that mix? At the other end you may see a very casually dressed man in old worn shoes, that are nonetheless well polished and looked after. Now take a look down and see your own shoes – what would you think if you were seeing them on someone else?

As a very general rule a well looked after pair of shoes indicates a thoughtful, meticulous and maybe old-school approach to life, regardless of the age or apparent wealth of the person’s clothing. Badly maintained shoes on the other hand do not speak well of the owner. Remember you only get one chance to make a first impression.

Great shoes are a really great investment in yourself.

ORWELL BROWN 1

Gui’s tips for wearing belts

 

FECNOTE, EXFORD, LANGLEY, MOOR 1Last time I told you how much I love braces/suspenders.

But that doesn’t mean that I don’t like belts. I do wear them… sometimes.

There are two important things to think about when choosing a belt.

Firstly they must go with your shoes. A blue suede belt with blue suede shoes for example, or brown leather with your brown monks.

Secondly if you are wearing a tie, this tie should just touch your belt and not hide it.

Also a bonus tip; try and avoid low rise pants or you are going to look like you are “cut in two” with short legs and a huge trunk!

A last trick for you gentlewomen and gentlemen. If you want your belts not to be too deformed (because when you wear them often, they are), just think about wearing them the other way.  Right for left handed, left for right handed and you will even out the distortion.

Enjoy these first days of Autumn/Fall!

 

A tribute to braces / suspenders

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It’s time for me to tell you something that will change your life gentlemen! Maybe that is a bit too much but seriously it might…

Do you think braces are just for old fashioned people, that they are ‘Old School’? That they are only for old guys?

No they are not!

Surely you are sick and tired of people showing their behind because their trousers/pants slip down when they bend over or sit down. What about your own trousers slipping or the constriction of wearing a belt?

If you don’t find these things irksome you are not like most of the human race!

Please try wearing braces / suspenders, you will feel soooo much better and much more comfortable. They feel as light as air, just like a toddler feels in an overall or a craftsman in dungarees.

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You can wear any trousers with braces but I prefer the original style button fixing to clip-ons. All Herring braces come with both mechanisms so you need not worry – just choose your favourite.

Just one more thing. Don’t forget that you must match your braces to your shoes, just like the rule I told you about with a belt. The leather part of the braces or belt should match the leather of your shoes.

Enjoy the summer holidays!

BRACES
Herring braces

Sock styles

12834514_1028832343863833_598116580_nFirst and foremost, noooo white socks with shoes. No exceptions. Sports shoes and some sneakers are the only possible styles to have white socks.

I hope it is obvious to 90% of you gentlemen but we must help the 10% who still kill our eyes everyday. (It’s true that in the 60’s for example, we saw JF Kennedy and students wear their penny loafers with white socks. It’s been called the “Ivy (league)” touch ever since. Very American. Very casual. Their loafers were the first sneakers).

You don’t wear black suits do you? You shouldn’t. Unless you are in mourning or an undertaker of course. I hope you wear grey or dark blue suits with black shoes. A suit is a business outfit so keep it as simple as possible. These subtle little details will make a big difference though. Try to find grey/black or black/blue socks. I always try to find the right colour so there is no difference between my trousers and shoes. Try also to choose knee high socks. No one wants to see your hairy ankles. Please.

MONTPELLIER 4
Herring Montpellier

With your casual outfits dare and have fun: but that does not mean Mickey Mouse socks or The Simpsons. Ever.

I love to find the same textures or fabrics as my blazer, jacket or cardigan. Or the same colour as my tie or pocket square. Sometimes the same pattern as my twill jacket or vest/waistcoat.

Heavy fabrics like wool will keep your feet warm and cosy, lighter cottons will help you not to feel too hot and sweaty.

Socks are also a good way to protect your shoes and to make them last longer, of course.

FENCOTE GREEN 5
Herring Fencote

Not just shoes…

12834514_1028832343863833_598116580_nThis time, I won’t talk about shoes.

I just want to share about something that really surprised me,in a very good way. When you first think about Herring, you think about…shoes.
I did at first. I used to visit the website only for their shoes. Then I noticed that they had added luggage, bags and briefcases.
I tried them and loved them. Incredible value for money. Great design, great colours etc. But I have already told you about that!

Now I have discovered something else. Herring’s clothing.
At first I was like: “Hmmm…really?!”
I tried the scarves, then the ties and finally the jumpers… Almost everything actually. My analysis is quite clear: pretty damn good!

Don’t get me wrong, because it could sound like this is just an advert.
It isn’t, it’s just that I’ve been wearing their last cable knit jumper for a little while and I just love it. Quality, fit…and price!

When I created Men Need More style, my goal was clear. To let people know that they could find the right products at the right price. An item that will last, something which flatters without spending a fortune.

Classic, timeless stuff for gentlemen.
It’s possible.

Now you know…

MATISSE NAVY 6
CABLE KNIT JUMPER 1

Customer insight- David Driegert, Virginia

IMG_8362Following on from our customer review from Jerry in Melbourne, we have been sent the following post by one of our ever loyal US customers, David Driegert Jr from Fairfax, Virginia.

We love nothing more than hearing what our customers think about their shoes and if you would like to write a review then please do get in touch by emailing chris@herringshoes.co.uk

Enjoy.

Herring Windermere Review

Here in Northern Virginia we get a wide variance in our Winter weather, from cold and snowy to mild and dry.  When that wet Winter weather starts to set in a pair of leather soled dress shoes just won’t do. I needed a shoe that could go with my business casual dress and stand up to any wet weather coming my way. I worked closely with Chris Clark at Herring to find the right shoe for my needs. With his expert advice we chose the Herring Windermere boots.

The boots arrived quickly and are a beautiful rich burgundy color with very soft supple leather and a nice grain detail. I ordered my normal size and they fit wonderfully with just a bit more width so I can wear a nice lightweight boot sock for the colder days. There isn’t enough room to wear a heavyweight boot sock, but anything lightweight or medium weight will work wonderfully with this boot.

I’ve worn the boot only a week now and the break in is very easy. They have become increasingly more comfortable each time I wear them. I honestly expected a much harder break in period especially with the full commando soles, but these boots are proving me wrong.

One area of note, these boots do not have the quick lace notches for the top lacing. I’ve kept the top two lace holes empty and feel that gives me a bit more flexibility in my ankle area. This is especially helpful when driving my manual car and does not detract from the overall look and style of the boot.

If you’re looking for a boot that can easily work with business casual dress to jeans and flannel, has soft beautiful supple leather, a rich color and comfortable style that can handle Winter weather, look no further than the Herring Windermere.

Sincerely,

David G Driegert Jr
Fairfax, Virginia

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Great shoes need great socks

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Last month I wanted you to understand that your feet deserve better, so my tips were about how to treat them the best way you can.

This time I want to “bring back to their former glory” something too often neglected:

your socks!

Obvious, isn’t it? But somehow 80% of you guys don’t wear good ones. You often buy cheap, too big, too small or poor quality socks that won’t last. Isn’t that a bit crazy?

Your socks should cocoon your feet. So again think about quality. Think about good material and fabrics. They will last longer, you will feel more comfortable and you will look so much better as well.

Choose different ones for Summer and Winter. You won’t sweat too much when it’s hot and you can make a fuss of your feet by wearing a mix of wool and cashmere when it’s cold.

You know that amazing feeling when you sleep under your favourite duvet? That feeling of well being? Well, trust me, good socks are the exact same thing for your feet.

You must also change your socks everyday, or even 2 times a day after a crazy morning running after your dog/wife/client/car/customer/bus… and it’s raining hard!

You need to show some common sense, because if you want the best shoes, they deserve the right socks.

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Customer insight- Jerry Tharapos, Melbourne

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This article has been submitted by one of our loyal customers, Jerry Tharapos.  He is from Melbourne, Australia and has become such a regular customer that we thought it would be great to hear directly from him. Jerry has kindly written the following article. If you are a Herring customer and would like to feature then please get in touch as we would love to share more of your insights.

In recent times, there has been a lot written about style cues coming from the 20s and 30s.  Probably because of a lot of period dramas.  I have always loved that era, the colour, textures and patterns of the cloths.  Things were so well made then, and bold and flamboyant.

About 30 years ago, I saw my boss wearing a double breasted Prince of Wales check suit and I thought it was the best thing I’d ever seen.

I’ve bought many shoes from Herring.  I have the standard must have’s but always get enticed by the spectator brogues and the colours that are a little bit left of centre.  For instance, recently I bought a pair of olive wing-tip brogues and a pair of purple suede brogues.  I’ve been buying shoes from Herring for about 5 years now.  The customer service is always excellent and the range of shoes is quite diverse.  I also do OK from the sales, twice a year.  I started off buying from the classic range, now I appreciate the offering from the premium range and I have bought a number of pairs from the 1966 range.  I have 3 sons and they enjoy Dad buying them Christmas and birthday presents from Herring.  I mentioned that the customer service is excellent, and it is, but the point of difference is that there is a genuine desire to delight the customer and I am proud to say that the guys at Herring have now become my friends.

FullSizeRenderBut shoes are only part of the story. I have also built up a good range of jackets and suits. Plaids, window pane and Prince of Wales check are de-rigueur in many different colours.  I have a tailor in Melbourne that has similar tastes, so I am one of his best customers. And, I love hats. I have a small head so it is difficult to find something that fits me well.  I also enjoy having a variety of styles and colours.  So, the only option is to get them made by a milliner in Melbourne.  She has made hats for Mick Fleetwood and his band and, apparently, one of his band members coveted a brown porkpie that she made for me.  I told her she should have sold it for a bomb and made a significant profit!

When choosing my outfits I think there are three basic and essential ingredients that make a point of difference and style to a gentleman’s wardrobe. Let me explain in more detail.

Firstly, and most importantly, I think it has to be the shoes.  Apparently women judge a man’s shoes twice as much as men judge a woman’s.  So, they are the first thing you need to get right. My preference is for oxford semi-brogues and three colours are essential; chestnut, mahogany and burgundy.  But of course you also need the classic; black “oxfords, not brogues”.  The oxford is an elegant style for a dress shoe and a semi- or quarter-brogue creates enough interest without being over the top.  Once you have the staples, you will begin to become more confident and then you can mix it up with different styles, colours, leathers and suedes.  The Herring Fencote is an excellent example of this. No wonder it is a best seller.  I often get asked about the number of shoes I have and the truth to that question is, “I do not know”, but I always get positive comments about them so does it matter?

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Secondly I think about the body; the waistcoat. A waistcoat will always make a two-piece suit pop, even in a plain charcoal or navy. You can make a significant statement with the colour and cloth of a waistcoat.  A subtle burgundy plaid waistcoat under a navy suit looks very classy.  You can wear the same waistcoat with a suit, chinos or jeans and get a three wholly different looks.  Three or four different waistcoats that compliment your existing wardrobe, have the affect of significantly increasing the number of options and outfits.  Also, some nice suspenders (braces) under the waistcoat will also give a unique twist.  Other men may not notice the suspenders (braces) but, like it is with good shoes, the ladies will notice the flash of colour under your waistcoat, and will be impressed.

Let’s top it off with the third ingredient – a hat. A Fedora is without question the one thing that will make your style complete. Again, the number three features here.  Three essential colours need to be in your wardrobe; and they are brown, grey and navy blue.  It is an unfortunate thing that men have stopped wearing hats but, thankfully, I believe that there is a resurgence of the Fedora.  Once you have the staple colours, you can add more and become more adventurous.  Would you wear a purple porkpie?  Not sure about you, but my answer is, yes!  And if you are even more daring you can get your hats custom made for a bespoke look.  I often get asked, “how many hats do you have?”.  Probably the best answer comes from Helen Mirren, playing Hedda Hopper in the recent movie, Trumbo, when asked, “New hat?” Her reply “… daily darling, daily.”

In the end, whilst other people’s views and advice can trigger some positive changes in what your wear, the real secret is to be comfortable with your own choices – “Know, first, who you are and then adorn yourself accordingly” – Epictetus.

Regards,

Jerry Tharapos

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