July 14, 2010

Make Do and Mend, II

It has been a while since I last harped on this subject, but I was put in mind of it during a recent trip to the cobbler, who has breathed fresh life into three pairs of shoes. It is a rare thing for me to be in the same country as all of my shoes, and I have wasted no time in fixing up these summery selections. Nothing irks me more than the way life leads us towards the disposable, the frivolous, the temporary. Contrary to the popular notion, they still do build them like they used to; it’s just that you have to look a bit harder to find them (whatever ‘they’ may be), and you have to look harder still to find those with the skills to maintain them. When I buy a pair of shoes, I buy them with a mind to them lasting at least ten years. Good shoes are expensive, but if you divide the price by ten, and then compare with the kind of shoes that will last you only a season before being binned, you will find that they make economic sense.

The only thing is to find a decent repair man. The shoes here in question presented a variety of challenges, all ably met in this instance. The penny loafers (Ballin, Italy) were the easiest job. A simple black heel.

These rather amusing summer loafers (Café Noir, Italy) came replete with wooden heel, capped in tan rubber. I think my man found a decent match for it.

And the final pair (also Italian, but I bought them five years ago and can’t remember the maker) represented the greatest challenge. The heel was easy enough, but due to a couple of unfortunate rain incidents and some over use in their early years, the leather around the top of the sole had split, and there was some looseness all around. My man successfully repaired the damage, sanding away the most afflicted areas, and making all secure. This pair is acquiring a lovely patina as they age, and I would be loathe to lose them.


  1. I really adore my cobbler, he's just amazing with my dying/nearly dead shoes. They always feel like new when them come back to me, especially my study Amish-made work boots.

  2. Great post. I agree there are some quality items that last a very long time, although it might take a little effort. Hang on to what you wear and make it work.

  3. Thank you both, and welcome to Mr. Styled. I shall enjoy endulging in your blog.

  4. Thanks for the visit Mr. beatum. Hope you stop by again. I have an odd one one tap for Sun.


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