Archive for the 'What One Guy’s Buying on eBay' Category

11
Aug
11

What One Guy’s Buying on eBay: Carmina shoes


I would estimate that for 99% of readers of this post, a pair of Carmina laceups would be the best shoes in your closet.  I would say that they’re the best shoes in mine.  I would further estimate that 99% of the readers of this post have never even heard of Carmina.  That’s partly the point of this series of posts – bringing to light little known makers of the highest quality goods.

Whereas, in my initial ‘What One Guy’s Buying on eBay’ post, I talked about Martin Dingman (a cursory search of eBay will turn up over 100 listings), this post focuses on a much rarer beast.  eBay can often go for a month with only one Carmina shoe listing in one size; yet, when your number is called (i.e. your size becomes available at a good price), I can’t recommend more that you pounce on them.  For example, there’s a pair of Carmina shoes on eBay at this very moment, in size 7.5US that are amongst the most elegant shoes I’ve encountered (the listing can be found here).  Judge for yourself, they’re the same shoes as are pictured above, except in brown.  At the time of this post, the current bid is $102 (no reserve), with a Buy It Now price of $250.  While $250 may seem like a bit of an investment, keep in mind that ‘The Armoury’ men’s store in Hong Kong, one of the only places online to purchase Carmina shoes, has these precise shoes for sale at a cost of HK$4,500 (or, nearly $600 Canadian), and these shoes will last a lifetime with proper care.  Sometimes Carmina shoes are listed at higher prices – but quite regularly a diamond in the rough will appear.

Shoes, like watches, are one of society’s (and, more importantly, women’s) clearest identifiers of social status and taste.  So, when the opportunity to thrust your shoe wardrobe into the upper reaches of the social strata for $200 appears, DON’T HESITATE – JUMP ON THE CHANCE!

Also, I’d be remiss not to point you to The Armoury’s online store and website at thearmoury.com.  If you can’t quite track down the pair of Carminas you’re looking for on eBay, than this Hong Kong store is likely your best bet.  Beyond that, their website is well worth a perusal as they sell some of the finest men’s clothing and accessories in the world (Drakes ties, Fox Umbrellas, John Smedley knitwear, to go along with stunning tailored clothes) and their Tumblr site may just be my favourite place online right now for men’s style photography: thearmoury.tumblr.com

Thanks for reading and please feel free to add comments below, email me at oneguysstyle@gmail.com, or follow me on Twitter, @oneguysstyle.   For the first installment of the ‘What One Guy’s Buying on eBay’ series, please check out my post on Martin Dingman belts here.

10
Aug
11

What One Guy’s Buying on eBay: Martin Dingman belts


A big part of what this blog is about is maximizing the bang we can get for our bucks.  There are a number of sources for excellent deals on clothing items and accessories on the internet, and two of my favourites are eBay and Styleforum.com’s Buying & Selling pages.  One of the ‘tricks’ to eBay is uncovering items that fall into two camps: 1) Makers of high-quality items that aren’t widely known, and therefore attract few bidders; and 2) Makers of high quality items that aren’t known, and therefore attract few counterfeiters.  Sorry to say, but you’re unlikely to score a great deal on a Prada suit on the ‘Bay – and, that listing based in Malaysia with ‘Prada’ spelled incorrectly should probably give you pause as well.  Your best bet is identifying a few under-serviced, under-hyped brands to bid on when they come up.  To help the readers of this blog out, I’m going to be running a new series of posts identifying just such brands.  The first brand I’m highlighting is Martin Dingman.

Martin Dingman makes accessories.  Made-in-America, high-quality leather goods, with a particular focus on belts and shoes.  My experience with his shoes is limited – however, his belts now make up a major portion of my closet.  For whatever reason, the idea of purchasing an expensive belt never quite sat well with me.  It seemed like an item that was seldom focused on and even covered up, if one is wearing an untucked shirt.  Worse still are belts with logos the size of car trunk badges (the ‘H’ belts from Hermes are offenders in this regard) that we really could use as a society to uncover the ‘D-bags’ amongst us.  Then I discovered Martin Dingman – whose belts range from stunning alligator and crocodile, to high-quality calf leather.  They feature exquisite buckles, no visible branding and really might be the perfect belt for the office.  In particular, the crocodile print belts from his calf leather and suede collections look fantastic.  Best yet, few people have heard of Martin Dingman, which means that you can uncover some amazing bargains.  To whit, my first Martin Dingman purchase: a brand new, polished black leather, crocodile print formal belt with gunmetal buckle, which set me back a whole $20 on eBay.  As soon as I picked it up, I was a convert to the quality belt (although, only where I can purchase it for less than a mediocre belt).  This has been followed by a number of further Martin Dingman acquisitions, capped off by a stunning suede belt for $35.

So, set your eBay search to ‘Martin Dingman’ in ‘Clothing, Shoes and Accessories’, and make sure to find a belt that’s approximately 1-2 sizes above your actual waist size (so, if you wear pants in size ’34’, look for belts in ‘35’ or ‘36’).   Happy hunting.  You can also check out Martin Dingman on their website, and read more about a proud Ozark Mountains-based company who make consistently high-quality products: www.MartinDingman.com.




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