Tobacco and Snuff Suede are two quintessentially English shoemaking materials, and both have been go-to colours for shoemakers for well over 200 years – if not longer. At Crockett & Jones, we tend to gravitate towards Snuff, which is a little more muted and lighter in colour than Tobacco, but we keep some handsome pairs in the latter too.
A warm, mid-coloured suede like Snuff comes into its own in two contexts. The first is warm weather, and the second is for smart-casualwear. Let’s start with the former: in summer loafers come to the fore and we make multiple unlined designs in Snuff Suede that are purpose built for blue skies and sunny afternoons. The first is Richmond 2, an unlined take on our quintessential Grantham 2 penny loafer with medium-round toes, neat raised aprons and tonal Chocolate City soles. It’s a timelessly good-looking loafer this, with impressive fitting qualities care of our go-to 376 loafer last.
The new Solent loafer with its impressively springy SUPERFLEX leather soles and featherweight construction. Each of these will work comfortably with everything from breezy linen trousers and a Breton tee, through to chino shorts and a washed linen shirt. A word should also go to the perennially popular Sydney penny loafer in Snuff Suede, which is easy to wear year-round and seldom goes out of style.
Speaking of old favourites, we also use Snuff Suede in our Chukka boots, from the original C&J Chukka on its iconic No.200 last, to its contemporary cousin, Chiltern, which is set on rubber Dainite soles with slightly slimmer (but still rounded) toes. Either of these are perfect year-round with chinos or jeans, and snuff looks the part with either indigo selvedge, stonewash or off-white denim. Both are relatively roomy in the forepart, care of their casual lasts, so if you’d like something that’s just a little smarter, you could try our low-rise summer Chelsea boot, the Cranton, instead.
We would say this, but low-rise Chelseas are thoroughly underrated spring and summer boots – and perfectly comfortable in warm weather. Like the aforementioned boots, Cranton with its distinctive last, the 377, packs in plenty of character with its asymmetric fitting qualities. You could even wear these to a casual summer wedding or a formal party with a blue linen suit, if you’d like to try something a little different.
All of which leads us neatly to Snuff Suede’s close cousin, Tobacco Calf Suede, which is a little finer than Snuff but no less durable. Currently, we only have two pairs of Tobacco Calf Suede shoes in the collection, the first of which is Westfield a true classic. A handsome semi-brogue Oxford with a punched toecap and lovely brogued detailing, Westfield’s broad rounded toes never fail to look the part. In fact, in Tobacco Calf Suede, we think it makes for an excellent summer office shoe worn with a lightweight blazer, open-collar shirt and smart navy chinos.
The alternative to Westfield is the only Hand Grade model we offer in Tobacco: the Cadogan penny loafer. Cadogan, like all our Hand Grade shoes, benefits from the highest levels of handwork and flawless attention to detail. The apron is meticulously hand-sewn and the soles are finished with closed channels. It’s a lovely choice for weddings (a loafer worthy of the groom, no less) or else to wear during the spring and summer months in a formal office. It’s long, sweeping toes (care of the Hand Grade 363 last) lend the Cadogan no small amount of presence too.
When all is said and done, every man’s wardrobe can benefit from one or two pairs of Snuff Suede shoes at least. It’s a great ‘accent’ colour in a shoe collection – perfect to mix things up when you’re in the mood for something that feels elegant, but fresh. Its true English character lends Snuff Suede a very particular kind of elegance too; traditional but not stuffy. Try a pair for yourself and you’ll doubtless see what we mean.