Archive for July, 2010

Buying New Zealand Made: Shoes! (McKinlays)

July 14th, 2010 2 comments

I popped into the The Last Footwear store (41 Cuba Street, Wellington) this weekend with an eye to seeing if they had any New Zealand made mens shoes. I was led directly to a range of McKinlays shoes, and ended up purchasing a pair of ‘Cargills’ for the sum of $249.


Previously, I have purchased Hush Puppies for my formal shoes, and found the quality to vary wildly between excellent and downright shoddy. So, in a complete lack of fairness, I’m giving the McKinlays exactly one chance to show themselves to be better. The leather and general all round construction is somewhat heavier than I’m used to, being more on par with a pair of safety boots than office shoes, so I have high hopes.

The downside of this heavier construction is that the shoes will need wearing in before they can be called “comfortable”. I’m hoping the corresponding advantage is that I have found a pair of shoes that will handle my endless traipsing around Wellington for more than a year before deteriorating past the point of public acceptability . The retail assistant had told me tales of shoes from the same company that had lasted ten years, and promised me that when the soles had worn out, I could return them to the store and have them resoled by the factory, for much less than a new pair. I hope these shoes turn out to be equally as sturdy.

I shall report more in six months or so once they have a bit more wear on them.

Buying New Zealand Made: Shirts and Cloth

July 12th, 2010 Comments off

Rixon Groove has a sale on. Having put sufficient time in at the gym to get rid of the effects of my holiday indulgences, and then having gone so far as alter my profile into the bargain, this seemed like a good opportunity to address the the fact that none of my shirts fit me any more.

I had intended to see if there were any short sleeves shirts going, but alas, it’s all the winter stock. I had planned to get a couple of short sleeve shirts made up, but settled instead for getting measurements, and buying a pair of long sleeves shirts for around 50% off, for approximately $90 each.

So what exactly, does a shirt with an RRP of $180 get you apart from warm fuzzies for a supporting the local economy and a lower carbon foot print?

In a word, quality.

It’s the little things, such as buttons that are properly tied off, cuffs that end on the wrist, a tail that sits properly over a pair of jeans, a top button that can be moved if you have a big neck like I do, and of course, the quality of the fabric. The black shirt is a heavy cotton and linen mix. It wouldn’t be suitable for a hot summers day, but I can wear it in a cool office without feeling the need to don a jersey. I also purchased a purple article in exceedingly light 100% satin cotton.

Rixon Groove will also make shirts to measure. I wish I had written the detail down, but from memory, it comes down to about $160 dollars per shirt, plus materials. They have a large selection of fabrics in a swatch book, including some incredibly nice cotton from Egypt.