It should have been obvious from my piece back in May on Gaziano & Girling’s new Deco line that I would be very tempted by them, and this is the result a few months later.

They are gorgeous shoes, whole-cut Oxfords in a luscious black calf. Apart from a light bit of bleaching on the toe, the styling is kept to the last and waist treatment. But what style. A narrow rounded waist spreads flauntingly into a square sole, creating the so-called spade effect. The toe box is long, though the shoe is also deceptively wide across the vamp.

That is probably where I went slightly wrong with the sizing. I was concerned that the last would be too narrow, and so went for a 9 rather than my normal 8 1/2. As a result the shoes are a little too big. You can see that in the wearing (about a dozen wears so far) they are creasing in a few different lines on the vamp. That’s always a risk with whole-cuts, of course, but it is exacerbated in this case.

The style itself will not be to everyone’s taste. For me, they are a wonderfully sharp alternative to more classic, subtle business shoes like the Cleverleys I wrote about last week. Perhaps with silk laces for black tie, rather than meetings. Then again, even those Cleverleys are sharper than the more square-toed Cleverleys I got in the sale two years ago.

Incidentally, in the picture above you can get a better sense of the ‘gap’ around the waist that gives shoes such as these such delicacy – as I referred to in that Cleverley piece last week. That’s the most exciting aesthetic thing about bespoke shoes, for me.

For more details on Deco, see feature here.

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Hi Simon
Could you explain what makes the Deco range special? I want to know what’s the difference between the same model that you have and the Grant , the whole cut shoes from their standard range.
I have got two pairs of GGs and I like them a lot but found them a but MUCH at times, “Look at my shoes” type. Are Deco range takes this to another level or tone it down?


Simon, another excellent article.. As you’ve mentioned black tie, I wonder if you could advise on the merits of patent shoes, or non patent such as the G&G’s above? I’ve been weighing up the aston by herring shoes (out of stock) and some by german shoemaker Harr ( Both fit the ‘around £100’ bill for shoes that really will get very light use probably once every 6 weeks on average. And whilst on the subject.. your advice of what trousers to wear with a lovely single breasted velvet jacket would be much appreciated

Bespoke Lawyer

Nice article. I am curious about the fit. If the shoes are truly bespoke, how can they be too large. Were you not measured?


I had a similar issue on sizing with a pair of John Lobb Garnier II. They are not a full one cut as such but the front section of the shoe is like a one-cut. I asked John Lobb to replace the in-sole by a slightly thicker one. The cost is minimal (EUR 15) and this is not visible at all. This is about a quarter of a size. The fit is now excellent.