good buy, checked x3

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One of the things I was particularly thrilled to find in the sales are these Dieppa Restrepo Calis in a lovely, classic burgundy. I seem to specialise in landing these shoes during sales - my first and second pairs were sale finds too in 2013, and I find them to be pretty value, given the quality.

I was giving my old ones a good clean a couple weeks back, and realised that lining them them up side by side gives a good idea of how these shoes hold up to frequent wear.

I don't take especially good care of my shoes and it shows - the tan pair, the oldest pair, has obvious discolouration, probably from the times I carelessly cleaned them with a wet wipe. After I started applying leather conditioner regularly - once every few months - they started to look much better, but the damage is done and it's undeniably lost some of its richness.

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Nonetheless, I think they're holding up well. Don't be put off by the peeling edge on the sole of the tan pair - that's the Vibram sole I had added to the shoes when I first bought them. Vibram soles are essential since it rains here a lot, and apart from protecting the leather soles it also saves me from slipping. Not terribly impressed that one side is peeling though - going to need to have a word with my cobbler about that.

The thickness of the leather soles has largely remained, and there's no sign of the shoe coming apart anywhere else yet. The leather darkens when rain gets on it but it's so far dried without leaving visible watermarks.

The white pair was always going to be high maintenance, but I think I'm doing all right. Like my first pair, it always looks better after I've given it a good clean and condition (sadly, all of twice a year). There's no visible discolouration. The heel cap is a little worn in one corner, so I may replace it soon - the first time I'll be doing so for this pair.

Clearly, they wrinkle quite a bit, so if you're looking for that glossy, immaculate, shell-like finish, these are not for you. But they have kept their shape pretty well and I don't keep them stuffed or use shoe trees. The discolouration of the tan pair made me hesitate a bit about choosing a pair in a rich colour like burgundy - how do I know it won't happen? But my feeling is that had I taken better care of the tan pair, it might have aged better, colour-wise. After conditioning them regularly (twice in six months), I thought they were looking better. I don't polish my shoes though - too much work!

I've replaced the heel cap on the tan ones once, and I'm due to replace the ones on the white one soon - I've been told to be careful about that; once the wooden part gets worn it's pretty pointless replacing the cap after, diminishing the lifespan of the shoes.

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Miss Sophie recently posted about the diminishing returns we get from brands as they grow in popularity - I hope this isn't the case with Dieppa Restrepos. They've become my staple, the grown-up version of the sneakers that used to rule my life. Are these the best-made options out there? There are doubtless better shoes, but then those options are also more expensive. My Margaret Howell oxfords roundly beats the Dieppas in terms of workmanship and quality of materials, but then MH shoes start at about GBP300 (I could afford mine only because I was at a sample sale). Dieppas are half the price, and less, if you, as I do, wait for the right pair to show up at the sales. They suit my wide feet and I never had to break them in - I go sockless and haven't gotten a single blister. I like how they're more casual and laidback than a classic oxford shoe but they're still elegant and more substantial than say, a pair of jazz shoes.

I'm also a big believer of never depending on a single pair of shoes. The most well-made pair of shoes are unlikely to last long if they're worn every day, year in year out, and rotating shoes is a good way of extending the lifespan of a beloved pair of shoes.

In terms of care and maintenance, I can't profess to be an expert. I bought the Ecco leather cleaner and conditioner at a department store because I have store credit, and so far they work pretty well.

For leather shoes like the Dieppas, I spray the shoe cleaner into some kind of cloth that doesn't scratch - old ones for cleaning spectacles, or ones used to polish shoee, and just wipe the shoes. I rub the grubbier bits a little harder and so far haven't experienced any discolouration - I clean a bit at time, let it dry out, and check if I've done any damage, to be safe. When I'm done I wipe all over with a clean dry cloth, let it air a bit, and then I apply the conditioner - again, I do a small section at a time, and I don't use too much on the cloth at a time. The best is not to press too hard at one point for too long - some shoes darken a bit overall, and I want it to look as even as possible.

I'm always impressed how good the shoes look when I make the effort - the leather really glows after conditioning, even the shabbier, scuffed up bit.

Suede, unfortunately, is more of a pain - I have a suede brush and eraser but I can't seem to get the dirty spots off. I'm definitely thinking twice before I get any suede shoes in future - certainly it has to be in a pair that looks good even when dirty.

I particularly like nubuck - they're soft and they looks pretty good dirty and stained! I like that matte quality they have, in contrast to the polished look of other leathers. I follow the same cleaning process described above for my nubuck boots, and the only difference is that nubuck darkens more when I apply the conditioner.

What are your go-to shoes?

Comments

Shutterbug K said…
The tan pair looks so handsome!

My go-to's are my Gentle Souls flats and Ecco boots. They're not the slickest design, but I can walk miles in them.

I'm curious--how do you keep the toes un-scuffed? I've got quite a bit of damage and discoloration at the toe box for most of my shoes. Have you ever had a similar problem diagnosed at the cobbler, and is it a fairly easy fix?
eizhowa said…
My go to shoes are Porselli flats. They are not available in my country, and I have to import them, so I always try to score a pair in the sales, so that the price is doable. They need a lot of resoling, but are so worth it.

I really like this post. It is so much more interesting to see a family of well loved items, rather than more new stuff that has not develloped a soul yet.
miss sophie said…
i love all three - even the 'patina' on the tan ones add to the charm, like an old friend :)

the only pair of suede shoes i have are my first pair of Marant dickers. somehow they've managed to hold up really well even though i have worn them through all kinds of weather.
Pret a Porter P said…
They can rebuild the heel. Trust me, my ballet flats that I have in several colors, I keep rebuilding, rebuilding, rebuilding...
Alison said…
Ooh this is so interesting! I don't often buy shoes in multiples, so I love the progression of wear going on here. IMO a bit of discolouration can even be a bonus for a really well-loved shoe - it's like the white converse deal, some things just look better a bit worn down!
Ammu said…
So gorgeous! I agree with your advice about rotating pairs - I am currently going back and forth between my black 12th street by Cynthia Vincent flat ankle boots and my black Ferragamo Varas (probably my favourite shoe - durable and always elegant).
Karoline said…
I bought the Dieppa Restrepo Calis in burgundy a while back, unfortunatly I got huge blisters the first time I wore them (sockless, so perhaps my own fault), and after that I haven't dared to stick my feet in them again. I really should give them another try(with socks, mind you) because they are simply too beautiful to collect dust on the shoe shelf.

I worked in an Ecco store for a couple of years, and now solely use ecco products for all my shoes. They have a great gentle foam cleaner which works on all types of footwear, suede even. That seems to do the trick on dirty spots everytime, finish with ecco shoe cream and waterproofing spray and my shoes are all set.
Kali said…
These shoes look pretty sturdy, elegant and comfortable indeed. I've kept this model on the corner of my eye ever since I saw them in turn at Amanda's and your blog.

For the sake of availability and convenience I have turned to the easier-to-find-in-France Repetto Richelieu Zizi, which are basically the same type of shoes: more "structured" than Jazz shoes, yet comfortable enough to wear without socks when the weather allows. I currently have 2 pairs of those (tan and chocolate) and I looking at adding a third, some sort of oatmeal or tea rose suede pair for spring/summer. Perhaps in 2015, or in 2016, depending on what adequate colour I can find.
I'd definitely like to try those on as an alternative though, if I can find a reseller around Paris.
jamie-lee said…
I really like the way that these have aged - they look so wonderfully worn in like a good pair of denim.

Lucky that you manage to come across your size during the sales - I'm always a little hesitant not really knowing my size (I think I'm a US9 but I forget...)
lin said…
shutterbug k: Actually the shoes are quite scuffed, but using the conditioner really helps, it minimises the discolouration and scuff marks. I've not consulted a cobbler about this though- nothing's worried me that much yet!

eizhowa: porsellis look lovely, i love how they don't have such low vamps. but i think my feet needs more support!

i prefer to post about stuff i've worn too, even if it's a new purchase. you need a few months to really get a feel of something.


miss sophie: i think maybe the next time i buy suede shoes i will avoid tricky colours, like pale rose pink..

pret a porter p: perhaps i can persuade my cobbler, when the time comes.

alison: i'm still wearing my old converse, because the thought of breaking in a new pair sounds tedious!

karoline: that sucks! i wear my dieppas sockless too but haven't had problems. i do sometimes get blisters from new leather shoes on the first wear, only for it to be just fine after. maybe your calis deserve a second chance.

i think i have the same foam cleanser! didn't realise it could be used on suede.

kali: they're good for my feet, which are pretty broad - so if you have narrow feet don't take my word for it!

jamie-lee: shoes are always a bit of a risk when ordering online, which may also explain why i feel loyal to these - now that i know my size i'm reluctant to try something unknown.
Jade said…
i have a bit of a dieppa obsession--the calis, the dinas, the lady boots, the coca colors, and the mer boots are all in my closet. the calis and dinas get the most wear, particularly for work. i must've bought my first pair in 2010 or so, and i'm pretty pleased with how they've turned out. i second the importance of vibram soles and regular heel replacements when needed. i use skidmore's leather cleaner from time to time on them, and they do pretty well in the outside world. and i always, always rain and stain repel my shoes after buying them--i'm not too kind on my shoes!
A├»ssa said…
The burgundy pair is so so good, I'd really like to get a similar model. The color is fantastic, classic and funky.
I'm usually wearing my Acne boots and alternating with brogues and oxfords.

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