Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Wants: R.M. Williams

I seem to be the only blogger, besides ASW, who has Ben Silver on their radar. They first appeared on mine when I was about 12 years old. Like all 12 year olds, I was lacking sufficient funds to get my dad anything for his birthday I thought he would like and would be cool. So my brother, sister and I would always pitch our money together to get him a present. Since we had no idea what our dad actually liked, we had to ask our mom.
My dad's a bit of an anglophile, as he spent a semester abroad there and fell in love with the aesthetic. His suit wardrobe has been full of tweeds, flannels, and darted coats ever since I can remember. While he was there, he stocked up on school ties and military ties. This, of course, is almost a crime in Britain. One would not dream of wearing a school's tie to which they did not attend. Which is why my dad was very secretive and did not pull any out until he returned home (good plan, eh?).
Mom, knowing my dad was an anglophile, pulled out a Ben Silver magazine which contained old Regimental ties. I can't recall what tie we got him, but I do remember flipping through the magazine, and seeing clothes that blew my mind away. Ties, suits, shoes, and shirts abounded. Just imagine that page from The Great Gatsby: you know, the "such beautiful shirts" page.
Since then, whenever we get a catalog, I flip through it, and look at the beautiful colors. Now, Ben Silver will carry some shoes from other companies, and in a recent catalog, I spotted these by R.M. Williams.


Chelsea boots are supposedly brought over to America by The Beatles, but I'm too lazy to do more research to make sure that this is true. They may have appeared in America before The Beatles and if they did, shoot me a comment, and let me know. Chelsea boots are dressy casual (ew, that term) that go with jeans and a suit. Plenty of companies have made Chelsea boots, but these (see example A, not B) catch my eye for a specific reason. The cloth part of the boot, that which makes getting into the boot easy, is significantly different than the leather and matches up with the pull-on straps. And the pull on straps, oh my: talk about appropriate branding. It's just a touch, just enough to let the ladies know that no, this is not a generic brand; this is quality, this has an attitude, and this will make a stand. Though at $535, I won't be getting these anytime soon.
For those who don't know R.M. Williams is an Australian based brand that sells boots made for the range. Like LL Bean, they've got a repair policy, though, I must say, the repair policy is the one thing that bothers me about this brand. Take a look here. It's a bit sketchy in my book. I'd like to hear customer's reviews of this brand's repair policy.

Branding your personal style is sickening, but you might as well embrace it with style, because it's here to stay. Consumerism has been around since Adam and Eve ate that apple, it's just proliferated under the shadow of the industrial revolution, so deal.


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