It’s tempting to align national character with the clothing and shoes made in a particular country. Italian suits have a certain swagger and Italian-made shoes are sleek and sporty. The British cut elegant suits with a little more rigidity, and Northampton is known for its luxurious but stylistically subtle footwear—they make shoes for royals. The United States, on the other hand, is the source of the casualization of the world; we live where jeans and T-shirts became everyday clothing. Our contributions to tailoring? The practical, soft-shouldered sack suits of Brooks Brothers. The oxford cloth button down collar shirt, worn until frayed beyond repair. In the realm of footwear? Work boots. Boat shoes. Penny loafers. Plain toe bluchers. The sort of practical, hard-working and unassuming shoes made by a quintessentially hard-working American company like Alden.

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Tags: americana, sartorial, alden