The end of the year means it’s time to hand out some awards. No, there’s no little statues to pass along, but over the next few days we’ll still highlight some of the best in affordable men’s style from this past year. And it was a good one. Feel free to send in additional nominations here.
The dead simple, comfortable Chelsea. $100ish with codes.
The Single Monks in Burgundy Italian Leather. Around $100. Has gone for less.
It was going to take a lot to shove the return of JC Penney’s Deacon wingtip boot from this position… but this duo from Banana Republic is arguably one of the biggest surprises of the year.
Banana Republic’s shoe quality used to be less than stellar. But for whatever reason, these two models got good quality leather, terrific shapes, and comfortable lasts (for most) out of the box. And while they were often excluded from codes, they weren’t always excluded. $110ish for either of these seems like an enormous steal. Would most of us pay full retail for these things? Almost certainly not. But at almost half off, they look and feel much better than a pair of shoes that cost just a bit more than a hundred bucks.
There’s not a single shoe lace between them, but both styles can be worn with everything from jeans to suits, come in versatile shades, and are sleek without being pointy. Let’s hope B.R. keeps this up.
Also Receiving Votes: JC Penney’s Stafford Deacon and Gunner Boots. The Allen Edmonds Cornwallis Oxford. Anything that showed up from an Allen Edmonds 2nds sale without any obvious defects. The Joseph Abboud Jared Sleek Penny Loafer. The Always versatile Clarks Bushacre or Original Desert Boot. The Allen Edmonds Warwick Single Monk.