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Tag: shoe shine

Edward Green Shoe Shine Tutorial

Edward Green trunk show

On October 24 and 25 we will have the pleasure of hosting Edward Green for the first trunk show in our new Chicago location. Attendees will have the pleasure of meeting Lauren Faulkner, master polisher at Edward Green. She will host a shoe shine tutorial at 1pm and 4:30pm on both days. She’ll demonstrate proper shoe shining techniques, as well as answer any questions you may have about caring for your shoes.

A complimentary shoe care kit will be provided. All you need to bring is your favorite pair of Edward Greens. Space is limited to twenty. If you’d like to attend, please email events@leffot.com with the date and time you’re interested in.

RSVP

William Abraham and A Shine & Co.

You are cordially invited to join us for a trunk show with William Abraham on November 7 from 11 AM to 7 PM and November 8 from 11 AM to 6 PM. Bram Frankel, founder, will be here to present the collection.

A Shine & Co. will also be here to offer complimentary shoe shines. With locations in both San Francisco and New York, A Shine & Co. has been in business for nearly twenty years and offers shines of unparalleled quality. A good shine is an important part of caring for your shoes, and who better to take care of your shoes than the shine masters.

Inspired by impeccably tailored suits and exquisite suiting fabric, William Abraham introduces an elegant aesthetic and a distinct sartorial perspective to the world of fine socks for men. Until now, only two options have been available: traditional, old-school socks, or trendy, fashion-statement socks. William Abraham offers an option for the style-savvy gent: fine socks designed with modern elegance and sartorial sophistication.

Knit from nature’s finest noble fibers like cashmere, merino wool, Belize cotton, fil d’ecosse cotton, mulberry silk, and ultra-rare fibers like vicuña and cervelt, the William Abraham collection embodies a continuous search for the world’s finest yarns and craftsmanship.

With by far the widest variety of fine-fabric socks and over-the-calf socks, the William Abraham collection is the fine sock destination for modern elegance and sartorial sophistication.

Shoe shines will be available first come, first served, and will be in-chair only.

Shine Time

I’m old fashioned when it comes to caring for my shoes. I’m also pretty straightforward in my approach. I use two basic items, a white cotton tee shirt for application (which I’m considering marketing, think 70’s tie dyed).

And my grandfather’s old and well worn horsehair brush for shining.

Step #1
I know a lot of people polish their shoes with the shoetrees inside but I prefer to take them out. That way I can put my hand inside and keep a better handle on the shoe.

Step #2
If the shoes have laces, I remove them before I begin. This satisfies two objectives. It allows me to polish the tongue and prevents polish from ending up on the laces.

Before*

Step#3
I begin with an application of Saphir Renovateur in order to clean and moisturize the leather. This is a very important step in my opinion. It’s always amazing how much dirt is removed from the surface and how much better the leather looks after being conditioned. It almost looks like it plumps up a bit.

To apply the Renovateur I wrap my tee shirt around a couple of finger and apply very sparingly over the surface of the uppers. I like using a cloth versus an applicator brush because I have better control over the product. I always use small amounts rather than a large glob which is A) messy and B) a waste of product.

I work the Renovateur into the leather but I don’t rub very hard, it’s not really necessary as the product does most of the work. After applying to both shoes I wipe them off with the tee shirt to remove excess créme.

Step #4
I’m a wax lover and use it almost exclusively.  I find it redundant to use créme after the Renovateur. I will use créme if I need to add color back since it has more pigments. I don’t really play around much with colors (again old fashioned). I use black wax on black of course and neutral on most non-black shoes. Occasionally I’ll use a color close or darker than a leather color to “enhance” it a bit. My feeling is if I liked a leather color to begin with why change it? I prefer to let it develop on it’s own.

I apply small amounts of wax with the tee shirt usually starting with the toes where I push the polish in, then move to the heel counters doing the same. The vamp and waist get a lighter, gentler polishing (so a wax build up doesn’t occur). After I polish one shoe I move to the second. I let the first rest and after the second is polished I usually apply another application to both.

I don’t like highly shined toes (bulled) so I don’t use the wax + water method for a high gloss finish.

Step #5
The brushing is my favorite step. I put my hand in the shoe and brush quickly and lightly back and forth across the toe and work back to the vamp, waist and heels. I prefer brushing to shining with a cloth because the bristles brush away any excess polish that gets into seams and brouging. I know I said I don’t bull my shoes and I don’t but once in a while when brushing I do spit on them, don’t ask me why I probably saw it in an old movie once….

After*

Gaziano & Girling Mitchell in Vintage Maple

Step #6
Replace laces and trees and voila! Mission accomplished. I polish my shoes at least once a month even if I haven’t worn them. I do the same with the shoes on display in the store. They need the conditioning even more sitting under lights all day.

And that’s about it. It’s not brain surgery and you really can’t mess up too much. Personally I find the process relaxing and satisfying. I encourage you to try it for yourself. Feel free to contact me if you have any questions I’m happy to help.


Guest Post

From time to time I’ll be asking guest’s to write a post on the Leffot blog. My friend in London Simon Crompton writes a wonderful style blog at www.permanentstyle.co.uk.

When he’s in New York, which he was this past week he makes time to visit the shop. Simon has graciously agreed to let me post a piece he wrote about the joys of a shoe shine he received in London.

The Pleasures of a shoe shine by Simon Crompton

Walking along the Burlington Arcade last week, I took the opportunity to have a shoe shine. It’s rarely offered in London these days, which is a shame. So it was nice to support someone that’s making the time to set out there and ply his wares.

(Though I wouldn’t be surprised if he is subsidised by the Arcade itself – a shoe shine boy fits with the image of timeless London and luxury the owners doubtlessly like to create.)

It also occurred to me that I have never had one in London before. In New York, in Tokyo, in Singapore. But never in London. Probably just because one is more in the mood for extravagances when one is abroad – I often have a proper cut-throat shave when I’m in New York, and that’s not something I’d even consider in London.

But then the shoe shine wasn’t that much of an extravagance: £3.50 isn’t bad considering how much satisfaction a perfect polish on my Oxfords will give me.

The point to this piece, though, is that the shoe shine boy’s method was interesting (he wasn’t a boy, obviously, but no other word seems quite right after “˜shoe shine’).

I requested cream rather than wax polish, as the shoes in question could do with some nourishment. He insisted on doing both cream and polish, though, as the application of cream does take off a little of the patina created by layers of polish.

First, the laces were tucked away behind the tongue and each shoe was given a good cleaning – rubbed with a damp cloth all over and particularly scrubbed at the edge of the vamp, where it meets the sole.

Once cleaned, cream was quickly brushed on (brushed, please note, not rubbed with a cloth). It was brushed in circular motions, to work the cream into the leather and to make sure it didn’t miss any brogue holes.

Polish was then brushed on (which surprised me, I thought the cream would be buffed first – but apparently there is no need). A spritz of water was sprayed over the mixture – more efficient than the old spit-and-polish tradition – and finally the whole thing was brushed by two large, horsehair brushes, working in opposite directions on either side of the shoe.

To finish off the effect, a buffing with a cotton rag. Though apparently women’s nylon stockings are better.

Ninety per cent of that process I would have done myself, but the method and application of both cream and polish was interesting. Efficient, too. I walked away five minutes later with a smile on my face and my eyes staring admiringly downward.