Ever since Esquire magazine ran a one page spread on a pair of chestnut-brown derbies by Bally, I haven't been able to get them out of my mind. Their rich, warm colour. Round toe design. The burnished leather. It really is a shoe that stands out based solely on its hue. Everything else comes secondary. The colour, comes first. Another reason why the colour resonates with me so much is because it is reminiscent of the shoes that were worn by members of the police, military and prison services during the Apartheid regime. I remember the shade clearly, it was chestnut-brown.
Because it is an earth tone, it has a direct relation to red and brown. There can be slight confusion with, one of my all time favourite colours, ox-blood. A deep tan can also be considered within the chestnut-brown family. This is definitely a shoe and colour for autumn, where coordination with tweeds and flannels would be de rigeur.
In my opinion, a sapphire blue flannel suit would be the best complement for a shoe in this shade. I do have the suit. I just need to fix it and complement it with these beautiful shoes, without invoking images of my country's past.
PG: Man to man, generation to generation.