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Unless we’re born into very fortunate circumstances and manage to make great decisions at every phase of our lives and manage, let’s face it, to be incredibly just plain lucky, we’re going to have to make some sacrifices at some point.
These can be choices about education, career, family, health, but there’s one thing that’s certain: we’re all going to pay a price for the choices we make. It’s just a question of when.
To clarify, consider the following: one person makes the choice to study hard in school, early in life, to get a good education. Let’s say they become a lawyer. Because they paid a price early–maybe they didn’t party as much as their friends during college–they have may have more career options, earning potential, and financial security later.
Classmates who didn’t burn the midnight oil so diligently, however, may find themselves in a lurch upon graduation, with mediocre grades and an uncertain future. They pay the price, too, only later.
Maybe a young married couple decides to save money early in the marriage, live modestly, have children later. They don’t throw the big party at the new house, drive the new cars, max out the credit cards. Perhaps they pay a price for their choice and have financial independence ten or twenty years earlier than their friends and colleagues.
Most everybody will pay a price. It’s important to simply be aware: know the choice you’re making, know when you’re making it, and know why you’re making it.
It may make the tough times easier.
As you know, I’m very reluctant to promote consumer products on this blog. Old Money is about being, not buying. Still, when a product exhibits value, classic design, and enduring quality, it warrants consideration and notice.
Allen Edmonds, established in Belgium, Wisconsin, almost 100 years ago, is a great example of an Old Money essential. Their men’s shoes are built, as a salty acquaintance of mine put it, sturdy as a brick outhouse. And I cleaned that up for publication. (Wink, nod.) What his description lacks in elegance, it makes up for in accuracy. I’ve owned three pair of AE’s for more than a decade now. It’s simply impossible to wear them out if you provide them even the most minimal of care.
The company has retail stores around the continental U.S., but everyone I know simply orders online through the AE website.
What’s more, Allen Edmonds offers a recrafting service. If you’ve worn your AE’s into the ground, as many men have, and don’t have access to a quality shoe repair vendor, you can simply send them back to the AE factory. Craftsmen there will resole and refurbish them, bringing them back to an almost-like-new condition.
But it will be a long time before you get to that point, trust me.
They’re versatile, as well: proper with a suit, dashing with a pair of jeans. Personally, I’m a Strand man, but you’ll find your own favorite. And remember this: you can still dress casually in a quality pair of shoes, but you can’t be really dressed in a crappy pair of shoes.
AE shoes are not inexpensive, but in this case, you really do get what you pay for: a pair of shoes that will last a lifetime and never go out of style.
Allen Edmonds shoes. An Old Money Essential.