Photo by Salt Water New England

Sunday, May 15, 2022

White Bucks from Barrie of New Haven

Photos by Salt Water Eastwood and Archives

My husband bought these white bucks from Barrie's in New Haven over 30 years ago.  They are pure examples of the classic shoe, white buck with red soles.  Typically trotted out after Memorial Day, these made an early appearance today.  

Barrie's was a New Haven mainstay for years.  I first started going to their York Street store with my father as a small girl.  We would start at J. Press where Gabe and my father would exchange their usual air punches and insults.  After his business was concluded there,  we walked through the connecting door to Barrie's.  Their Chukka boots were his favorites and he had many pairs.  We continued this pattern for decades.

For our wedding, my husband and his groomsmen followed suit, so to speak.  Trousers, (some) blazers, ties, and Brown crests from Press, then white bucks from Barrie's.

Shown here with:

 


From the Wedding Archives...

Outfitted at Press and Barrie...

Ever True..

Holding up to Ball Tag with the Bridesmaids in the Other Golf Cart

 

22 comments:

  1. Sweet! These photos remind me of my baby brother (who's no longer a baby). Thanks!

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  2. A great look. I love that the khakis are the proper length, not the over the ankle look which has become so "fashionable" of late.

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    1. Teaching in a boys' boarding school, I used to tell the guys their trousers should never remind anyone of what they'd would see under the partition of a neighboring toilet stall.

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  3. Barries set the standard. Full stop. Period. Their what we called “Ghonga boot” was a must have. It was an ankle boot with an oversized tongue buckled on the outside, overlapping the quarter (I think that’s the shoemaker’s term). Sharper and better looking IMHO than the Chelsea boots pounding the pavements today.

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    1. Frederick JohnsonMay 15, 2022 at 8:58 PM

      Those Ghonga Boots which we called Barrie Boots were a favorite of mine. I was a loyal Barrie patron from 1965 till they closed, then a customer of Paul and Richard until they closed. There may have been Alden, AE and such in those days but It was just Barrie’s for me.

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    2. You also had Arnold’s Shoes in New Haven, back in the day. Arnold’s was not quite as swish as Barries. The quality was perceived a bit lower. The prices were not as high. They didn’t sell Ghonga boots. But Arnold’s was still better than any other shoe store not named Barries. Part of the cache of Barries was the free shine they’d offer you if you strolled into the shop wearing their shoes. This was a treat for a 12 year old who wanted to look sharp making the rounds between The Co-op, Cutlers, and The Doodle. And everyone knew, it was easier to get a ride hitchhiking home if your shoes were shined.

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    3. Frederick J JohnsonMay 16, 2022 at 11:21 AM

      Anon,
      You are so right, my second charge account was Arnold's Boot Shop (1st was Congress Pants, 3rd was Yale Co-Op. Barry from Cutlers is still around.

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  4. ROBERT REICHARDTMay 15, 2022 at 5:52 PM

    Always nice to see the white bucks emerge again in the Spring. I have a pair identical to your husbands of the same vintage although I didn’t get them at Barrie’s. And since I rarely wear them, they’ve held up well, and with a little chalk look almost new.

    These shoes became popular primarily with the American youth of the 1950s, and projected a clean-cut, civil, presentable, and youthful image. (The then popular singer Pat Boone favored this type of shoe, and it became his trademark. Try to envision today’s tattooed, hooded, masked rioters in them? Not easy.) No, the rebellious kids of that calm mid-century era intentionally wore their white bucks scuffed and dirty – talk about sane civilized defiance.

    The origin of the suede white buck actually began sometime back in the 1940s from companies like Regal (slogan – “Compare With Your Own Eyes” - Price $8.95), and Roblee (they offered a model aptly called “THE IVY BUCK, for upper class comfort on campus” - price $12.95). These were the ultra-prep/collegiate footwear of the time, and thankfully are still around today.

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    1. In the '90s, Pat Boone briefly did some modeling for a mail-order clothing catalog, and they carried Bass white bucks during his time there.

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  5. Barrie's never failed. So sorry they are gone. Glad to have the shoes I bought from them many a year ago, and still very serviceable! Cheers!

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  6. Love the Brown insignia on the blazers (at least that's what I think it is).. Guess it dates me to say the wearers look too young to be in college, but the coats of arms and coordinating ties are stunning. Having been to Brown, I hate to say I never saw those blazers and ties before. And btw really don't care for white bucks, but am probably alone in my opinion.

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    1. Yes you most likely are. This is a post about white bucks. Worn in the wedding of the author.

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  7. I love the way the bucks are styled in these photos, past and present. Those blazers are also fantastic!

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  8. Do they still sell chalk bags for a tidy?
    I agree with Seadog, must show the ankel.

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    1. I think he meant must not show the ankle.

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    2. He's a she and she meant what she said

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    3. I read Seadog wrong, I prefer seeing the ankle, but it only works on a trim body, if proportions off, be consistent and cover that ankle.

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  9. Double breasted blazers with a crest, team tie, white shirt, khakis and white bucks were the dress uniform for A3 in 1992. Every day for every event, from practice to races to social events, there was a mannequin dressed in the required uniform.

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  10. Any recommendations on current makers of white bucks?

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    1. ROBERT REICHARDTMay 18, 2022 at 2:44 PM

      You might want to try Oak Hall for a reasonably priced pair: https://oakhall.com/products/peter-huber-mens-classic-white-buck
      or
      Ben Silver for a deluxe pair:
      https://www.bensilver.com/The-Bermuda-Buck-in-White,1660.html?ns_md=CSE&ns_sc=GoogleProducts&ns_cn=GoogleProducts&utm_medium=CSE&utm_source=GoogleProducts&utm_campaign=GoogleProducts&gclid=Cj0KCQjwspKUBhCvARIsAB2IYuvGDiZoUG_oY1xFKIFPcbDwb8Bp2_rDHqZeoUl1aquFZ4OJL2IArU8aAorREALw_wcB#.YoU-SqjMKUk

      Hope this helps.

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    2. The Prairie WASPMay 20, 2022 at 3:56 PM

      Alden still makes them. The aldenmadison website has them to purchase online. I have a pair. Very well made.

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  11. Go Bruno 🐻 and the with bucks. I do love my white bucks after they get dirty, though.

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