Gaziano & Girling introduces my loafer – ‘The Crompton’

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Monday, January 8th 2018
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The hatch-grain loafers I commissioned with Gaziano & Girling back in 2012 have consistently been among my favourite shoes - both for me and for readers.

The mid-brown colour is tremendously versatile (everything from cream to mid-grey trousers, chinos to worsteds) and the texture created by the hatch grain has aged beautifully.

I first wrote about them for The Rake in 2012, back when I was running their website. Since then they have featured in numerous shoots and posts, such as this comparison with Cleverley and the particularly popular post ‘Which office are you?’

Apparently the design has also been popular with G&G’s bespoke customers, and there have been requests to have it available on made-to-order.

As a result, I was honoured to find out that G&G have decided to introduce the model into their range, and call it ‘The Crompton’.

It won’t feature the one-piece, seamless construction of my pair (that’s only available bespoke) but everything else is the same.

The last is the G&G standard loafer last, KN14, and as it’s MTO customers can have it in any leather and sole - not necessarily the chestnut hatch-grain leather pictured.

The price is £1,470 including VAT and shoe trees, or £1,225 without VAT. Delivery time for MTO is currently 3-4 months.

I would also like to make clear that this is not a commercial collaboration - I don’t receive anything either from covering this model or from its sales.

It’s just a really nice thing.

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Anonymous

After seeing these on the site numerous times, I placed an order for these exact shoes with them in November – during G&G’s trip to Chicago.

Thanks Simon for the inspiration!

Bob

Would have been interesting to see a side by side comparison of your bespoke to the new RTW/MTO version

Bob

For those of us who don’t have the opportunity to see bespoke shoes in the flesh it’d be interesting to see the scale of the difference

Felix Eggert

are There any other differences construction wise, apart from the seam you mentioned?

Don Ferrando

Comparing the big picture above with the new shoes demonstrates how nice some wear makes shoes if they are properly maintained!

Luca

Dear Simon,
Re your residency running the old Rake website – I heard from several in the industry that your wife used to write the short articles and add your name to the by-line – is that true?

ezequiel

i really do no see the point in asking these kind of questions

Neil

Ooh. When I was in G&G in September I was asking about these after seeing some images posted on Instagram. Great to see they’re in the mto programme.

As a question, would you recommend a hatch grain calf leather loafer as unlined for the summer?

Gonzague

I dislike pretty much everything about these shoes, but it seems obvious that many people feel excited about them. So hats off to you; how honored you must feel!

Gonzague

I know, but it is easier when just one or two details are the issue. Here I would say that these are loafers without key loafer elements (ex: being a one cut it has no seam around the top) but plus some elements that do not belong to loafer codes (perforations). That would be great if after a while I would find some overall esthetic coherence but I just can’t see any. In the end the overall shape does not look like a loafer to me. Last, the crossing band seems too small vs the rest and the design if its opening not large enough. But that’s just me. Innovation is great and sharing it always welcome. So thank you. I don’t mean to be a party pooper here.

Laurent

Congratulations Simon on such a great honour!

Just to avoid confusion, the loafers pictured are not yours, but the RTW model? At least that is what I presume as the shoe-trees are not bespoke ones?

Cheers, Laurent

P.S. Its not too late: Happy more year to you!

Juan Manuel

Nice indeed. You must be chuffed!

John

Hi Simon,
This is the kind of development we are to expect from the potential connection between bespoke and MTO or even RTW in the menswear industry. Indeed the items that spring from the bespoke side should be so inspiring that their introduction into the lower ranges are to be widely welcome. And this is exactly what makes the industry a lively world and our tastes and sense of style ever evolving.
Frankly, a bespoke item whose design doesn’t make it really desirable to those who can afford it or even can’t afford it has its true place in a museum as an expression of craftsmanship of a certain time.
So long live to the Crompton!
John

Martin

This beautiful leather looks like a better alternative to Scotch grain, which I think you never mentioned in any shoe post. So I wanted to ask what your opinion on Scotch grain is? Too shiny? And is it cheaper?

Vassilis

Am I right to assume that the MTO as opposed to the bespoke model is not hand made!

Calvin

Simon

I need your advice. I’m considering 3 pairs of G&G shoes including this Crompton. But I’m wondering if you could advice on colors on each style in respect to your point about versatility when it comes to wearing formal to causal wear.

1. Crompton – loafer in hatch grain
2. Grant or Bowlly – Whole Cut
3. Savile single monk strap or other monk strap models

Would a Rioja Crompton be as versatile as the chestnut in your opinion?

I’m thinking….Rioja in Crompton, Blue patina on Whole Cut and Mid brown on monk strap.

Would that add versatility to my collection? Already got Burgundy Adelaide, Black semi brogue Captoe and in process of commissioning two brown patina Oxfords.

Also regarding shoe trees, I’m wearing UK9 D in G&G, do you think it’s essential to buy lasted shoe trees, costs £125 a pair, or would normal shoe trees like from The Shoe Snobs, costs £30 would do the same trick? Would the difference be worth £95 more each pair? Both are just natural wood.

I know shoe trees are very important but £125 each pair seems a bit excessive.

Appreciate your help! Cheers

Calvin

Cool thanks! So a medium brown Savile single monk strap would be as versatile as your Crompton loafer then I’d imagine? These days people seem to like wearing monk strap with suits.

Do you think £125 a pair shoe trees is justifiable though?

Appreciate your input as always!

Calvin

Hi Simon

After two weeks intensive studying of G&G shoes, I placed my final order earlier today. Took the plunge and made a big investment on ordering 4 pairs from them.

I have just embarked on this sartorial journey as it’s my 31st Birthday two weeks ago, planning to spend the next 10 years to change my whole wardrobe and lifestyle as I’m also changing my career. I have very limited budget as I’m going back to Law school this Sept in the Netherlands and will need to spend a lot of money on that. However, I thought I should start from bottom up, slowly piece by piece, investing in high quality RTW/MTO shoes in my opinion is a good start as I can wear them with jeans, simple shirt and knitwear even if I don’t have a suit or overcoat yet!

So far based on reading your various numerous articles that I have been reading with joy, yet a lot of question marks due to lack of knowledge since 2015, I have acquired…

1. Edward Green Burgandy Adelaide cap toe no medallion
2. Crockett & Jones Handgrade Black Oxford semi Brogue with medallion

Those were bought during the Post Christmas sales, not the best experience especially EG customer service was rather rude, but good deal nonetheless.

Other shoes in progress…

3/4. Two pairs of fully handmade Oxford & Adelaide by Norman Vilalta x Parisian Gentleman special edition (1202 collection)

Will skype with Norman but I’m thinking to have dark brown/Black patina on the Oxford and then medium/light brown patina on the Adelaide. They will be genuinely fully handmade by Norman. Very excited!

The rest are from G&G…

5. Crompton in Rioja Hatch Grain
6. Savile single monk in Canyon patina (medium/dark brown)
7. Savoy cap toe with bigger Brogue in Margaux patina (Burgundy/Black)
8. Deco – Bowlly whole cut in Savile patina (light/medium blue)

By summer time, I’ll have all these shoes ready and they can cover every day of my every week, you always said don’t wear your shoes two days in a row, I remember!

Despite spending quite a lot on these shoes, I have not yet decided on whether I should order the G&G lasted shoe trees, which is £125 per pair and I need 3 pairs. The Deco Bowlly comes with trees itself. Frankly £375 could be spent on buying another pair of C&J handgrade shoes during winter sales, is what I am thinking.

If the G&G lasted shoe trees are around £60, I can still kinda accept them as they would fit perfectly. But for factory made shoe trees that cost 4 times more than what others are offering, is just very puzzling to me.

No doubt I believe all the shoes I have mentioned above are of great value for money but they are high quality leather shoes, a work of Art really. Not a piece of wood made into a last shape by machine.

In your knowledge regarding shoes related factory production, does it really cost so much to make lasted shoe trees? I can understand if it’s handmade…..

I would like to know what you think of my choices above? What would you suggest to novice like me when it comes to shoe trees? And would you say the next step in my sartorial journey should be investing in high quality wool trousers in different shade of grey?

Again, I’m thinking I don’t need a suit yet, but I really only have jeans in my drawer, I should probably get some trousers to wear with knitwear and shirt? What should I get? These are all for European Winter by the way, how heavy should the wool be in this case?

Summer time, honestly I’m more of a short and polo shirt guy.

Thank you very much for your input. Really appreciate your advice.

Cheers

Calvin

Thanks Simon

Yes indeed it’s a lot of shoes, the reason being 1. They had a promotion going on and I know they seldom offer discount, so I took the chance. 2. As I’m going to be a “poor full time student” very soon, I know in my situation most likely I can’t afford to buy anything really, like you said a pair a year, especially when I’ll no longer have my full time paid job.

Nonetheless, at least I was not buying 4 pairs of Prada paying the same $$! That would have made you laughed!

What do you think of Norman Vilalta as a master shoemaker?

I have a lot of knitwear already except roll neck style that seem to be very popular in winter with a suit or sport coat.

As for trousers, should I go for Flannel as I’m mostly wearing them in winter? Or normal wool fabric? Should I get plain dark grey mid grey light grey? Or navy? Should the fabric be heavy for winter weather?

Thank you again

Shem

Speaking of loafers Simon, I’m getting a pair but am debating between brown calf or black calf. How versatile is a pair of black calf exactly?

Lindsay Eric McKee

Hi Simon,
Two questions.
1. I have a RTW pair of Crockett & Jones that I am breaking in.
If I were to go up a notch in quality and in particular the fit, would Edward Green be a good next step up or opt for Gaziano & Girling RTW or better MTO.
2. Are the G&G MTO shoes more superior to their RTW shoes?

Michael

I wanted to note note that although the quality of construction for Gaziano MTO is the same as the main RTW selection, you may find the fit is superior if you order in the store.

When I placed an order, they made some minor modifications to account for the shape of my feet (and their slight difference in size). The difference in comfort level was similar to difference between lasts in EG (i.e. a noticeable improvement in comfort but not a miracle). The main pleasure with MTO is undoubtedly getting to pick exactly what you want (within reason, of course).

Anonymous

Curious to know if you would wear these shoes with denim and/or chinos, Simon? Thanks.