He loved her, of course, but better than that, he chose her, day after day. Choice: that was the thing.
Two years after seeing a pair of handsome, single-buckle boots on master tailor Antonio Panico, I finally got a chance to own a pair through Edward Green’s made-to-order program. Like Panico’s, mine have a single buckled-strap going across the top of each shoe, where laces would otherwise be. Unlike his black sueded pair, however, mine are made from Edward Green’s dark oak leather, which I would argue is the best dark brown calf in the business. These were also made on the company’s conservative, round-toe 202 last, and finished with light antiquing at the toes and slightly weathered-looking brass buckles.
Edward Green recently revamped their made-to-order program so that there are now two tiers. Well, three if you count Top Drawer. Top Drawer is the company’s premium made-to-order service, where shoes are produced with fiddleback waists, the client’s initials pegged into each sole, and extra time and attention at each stage of the manufacturing process. My chukkas (and the Shannons I wrote about earlier this year) were ordered through the standard made-to-order program, which was recently split into two offerings (at least when you go directly through Edward Green). For simple customizations, such as a change in leather, the upcharge is now just 150 GBP, while more complicated requests, such as a change in the pattern, will cost more.
Leffot delivered me my first pair of made-to-order dress boots last week. They’re Edward Green’s Shannons, a discontinued design from one of Edward Green’s old catalogues, now only special ordered by people who spend too much time on clothing forums. I asked for mine to be made from their 89 last and built from their Dark Oak Antique calf leather. The 89, originally custom made for Ralph Lauren’s Purple Label collections, is a shapely round toe that derives from EG’s 808. Since I wanted this to look like a regular dress oxford in every way except for it being a boot, I asked for a single leather sole instead of double, and had blind eyelets put all the way up the shaft. Thus, these only reveal themselves to be boots when I sit down. That’s when my 2” cuffed, grey flannel trousers slide up my leg like the sexy napped woolens they are, and you see the flash of smooth brown skin that is English tanned leather. It’s then that you feel hot as your face blushes from excitement (presuming you’re an observant man who happens to know an uncanny amount about shoes). “Shannon? Is that you?,” you whisper to yourself. Yes. Yes, it’s Shannon. You admire until you feel your wife tapping you on your shoulder, at which point you turn around, only to catch her disapproving glare. She’s again upset that you sneak glances at well-dressed men in the way that some sneak glances at women.
My order took seven or eight months to deliver, but I’m not the type to worry over deadlines. In my opinion, part of the pleasure of ordering things custom is the process, and if you spoil it with a lot of impatience, you’re kind of missing the point. I also don’t expect good things to be delivered immediately, just as I don’t expect good food to come out of a microwave. So long as the final product is beautiful and the person on the other side is honest, I’m happy.