Brands to Know: Taft
A while back, I had the sudden urge to purchase a pair of Chelsea boots. This purchase had been on my mind for almost two years, but at the time I'd convinced myself that I didn't really need them. This time, however, I put some serious effort into looking up my options. The offerings from Bottega and Common Projects were way out of my budget. On the other hand, I didn't want to buy a cheap, shoddy lookalike from a fast-fashion brand. What I was looking for, essentially, was a pair of boots that displayed quality workmanship, but didn't break the bank.
Impossible, right? Think again. Taft is one of the recent wave of brands taking the direct to consumer route, avoiding the markup that comes from dealing with retailers.
Founded in 2013 by couple Kory and Mallory Stevens, Taft is a brilliant example of a homegrown menswear company done right. They focus on high quality materials and detailed workmanship, and it shows in their offerings. Apart from a wide range of Chelsea boots, Taft also offers a mix of traditional-inspired shoes, as well as more contemporary options, such as The Gable, a hybrid monkstrap sneaker that's sure to turn heads.
Despite the wide range of selections, I had to stay focused. Eventually, I decided on the Jude Boot in the Tonal colorway. However I had some concerns about the sizing of their shoes, having never bought anything from them before. Some browsing on Reddit told me that the easiest way to get sizing advice would be to text Taft's contact line directly. How many brands these days have a dedicated number that you can just text for inquiries?
I shot the hotline a quick inquiry, and I was surprised to find that the person responding to me was Kory Stevens himself.
My boots came within a week of ordering, and when I received them, they were basically perfect. They even came with a really handy shoehorn - which, unfortunately, I broke while in a rush. But that's a story for another day.
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