Friday, September 4, 2009

Southern Staple: White bucs

While I have had this post in mind for a while, I haven't gotten around to it, but wanted to get it in before Labor Day, the official end of White Buc(k) season.

The white buc has been around for the better part of a century and has quite a storied past, particularly in the South. It is even featured in the Official Preppy Handbook (and if that isn't a good pedigree, I don't know what is). The shoe, however, seems to have waned in popularity in recent decades, especially compared to its tan cousin. Perhaps it is the the fact that they stand out so much, or perhaps because the fastidious have a hard time keeping them perfectly clean (as you can see from mine, this is not something I lose any sleep over). Even in the South, they are a fairly rare sight. I would have even expected a bit of a rise in popularity given the endorsement from this article in the New York Times this summer, but I have seen little effect.

The white buc is most commonly worn with a seersucker suit or trousers, but I think that paired with plain khakis, the shoe really shines. The khakis tone down the whole look and may make the wearer feel less like the ice cream man, though for a true southern gentleman, this has never really been a problem. I think it also works well with khakis shorts, sans socks, of course.

Speaking of socks, this is the only area where I have had difficulty with this shoe. I feel like I always have a hard time figuring out what socks to wear with them, especially when wearing my seersucker suit. I typically reach for navy, though sometimes I feel the contrast is too harsh. I have a pair of light yellow socks that I sometimes wear, but I still feel those aren't quite right. Typically I end up going sockless, as the hair on my ankles seems to be the best match for this summertime staple.

The pair that I own were a house brand purchased at Mobley & Sons in Birmingham (my favorite mens store in the city) a couple of years ago. They were around $150 and made in Brazil, but are very comfortable and have held up well. Now that summer is ending, you may be able to find them on sale pretty soon, and I suggest picking up a pair to wear next spring.


Titus said...

The best sock option, at least with the seersucker, is some light-blue socks. I have a fantastic pair of sky blue socks with a monochrome argyle pattern. They're perfect with the blue seersucker.

Charles said...

I like'em with jeans. I don't actually own any right now, but I've owned a few. I usually end up spray painting them for fun.