Shoes I Have Loved: Vintage Bass Weejuns 2 Tie Moccasins

| 11 Mar ’09 | 12 Comments

Vintage Bass Weejuns Lace Up - Similar to Sportoccasins

Vintage Bass Weejuns Lace Up - Similar to Sportoccasins

Back in 2000 I was sent on a mission to LA on behalf of well known TV company to talk to Warner Bros about why they didn’t really need to buy into Warner’s own version of the internet, called Entertaindom, instead of using the real internet for free. Strange but true. Anyway the point is that I got to stay 5 days in LA just for one meeting, drive a Mustang Convertible and cruise up and down Pacific Highway 1 blaring out jazz and bossa nova to bemused passers by. And of course shop.

Part of my mission was to get a Golden Bear suede stadium jacket with a round neck shawl collar, just like I’d seen in the 80s in John Simons but could never afford back then. I rang up Golden Bear and spoke to a nice lady who was one of the owners and of course she remembered the J Simons models. Well you would wouldn’t you? The only store in UK selling your products. I told her I was looking for this specific jacket. I described my size and height over the phone (oh foolish man) and Sherry said she had some old stock jackets and she’d get one of the girls to run up a shawl collar for me and replace the standard one. She’d also ship the jacket from San Francisco to my hotel in time for my arrival. Good old fashioned American service.

Unfortunately, when I got to LA and saw the jacket it was massive, like a baggy track suit. Golden Bear had been so nice that I couldn’t call them up and return it. I tried wearing it out in LA but knew it looked a bit preposterous even though no one would tell me (Mrs Weejun would have laughed but she wasn’t around in those days).

Anyway, that lead me to thinking: ‘Hold on, I’m in the USA with time on my hands – let’s go thrifting!’ I drove around for hours trying to find an area that was dodgy enough to have thrift stores, but not too dodgy to park a rental Mustang and talk with a British accent. Eventually I spotted a charity store on Wilshire Boulevard with parking nearby in a drive-in drug store. I went in hoping to find a FLIP type experience of oxford shirts and chinos aplenty, but there wasn’t really much in there at first glance. Then things looked up and I found a Ralphy Purple Label grey herringbone hacking jacket for $5.00. I went to pay at the till and behind the woman taking the cash there was as row of shoes on a high shelf.

They were staring straight at me.

The old heart started pounding as I asked to have a look.

Lace up Bass Weejuns – in MY size. For $3.00.

So that’s how come I got these beauties here.

Unusual Side Lace Detail Echoes Boat Shoes

Unusual Side Lace Detail Echoes Boat Shoes

They are not Sportsoccasins and from the man made heel sock and type face I’d say they were late 60s earliest, or 1970s. The lace through detail on the sides is different from any other models I’ve seen. The soles and heels were worn right through so on my return to London I took them to KG Shoes in Mornington Crescent (to the man who used to resole loafers for Gucci back in the day) and he did a great job on them. Oh and the Golden Bear jacket I sold to Johnny Rushton of shoes fame.

This year I tried to buy a Golden Bear jacket I found at Sierra Trading Post. What they sent me was not the jacket in the photos and it was truly appalling – made in China and with gorilla arms. Another shame. Sierra Trading Post refunded all the money even the shipping, but I’d have rather had the jacket.

But hey, I still have the 2 tie Weejuns in true oxblood and my meeting with Warner Bros only lasted an hour. Both true consolations.

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Category: penny loafers, Shoes, vintage, weejuns

Comments (12)

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  1. Decline & Fall says:

    I like the heel and sole on ’em. It’s a shame so many casual shoes go rubber nowadays.

  2. 3button Max says:

    great post-
    I remember a pretty similar shoe in the LL Bean catalog early 80s…

    bit of a stretch here ..but….
    these look like the same upper as the weejun tassel then add laces- makes sense – marketing wise…
    before the era of the stupid “Kiltie” tassel loafer

  3. John DeWilde says:

    Yes, I have several pairs of the LL Bean (style 351840) in my size and a pair in size 12. Awesome shoes!!!

  4. Alexander Greene says:

    Great shoe. I have been searching for a pair for many years. I f anyone knows of a place to get them; I woiuld be most grateful if you would supply information. this shoe is ready for a comeback.

    Vintage Bass Weejuns 2 Tie Moccasins

  5. Linda says:

    Thanks to constant searching on eBay, I now own two pairs of Bass WeejunTie shoes (women’s), and both pairs were NEW in box, never worn! Amazing nostalgia, these were my favorite shoes, and required wear to be “cool” when I was in high school. I always missed my “Tieweejuns” (as we all called them), and now I just have to find one more pair that actually fit me! Still, it’s fun to have them around, smelling like new leather, in pristine condtion, and reminding me of how I felt when I got my first pair. Glad to know there are other folks who cherish them.

    • The Weejun says:

      I like that Linda ‘Tieweejuns’. I recently sold this pair because I found a deadstock pair in the box on Ebay too. I need to dig those out and start wearing them, but it’s always a shame to take the first steps outside with new pair of 40 year old shoes!

  6. don carter says:

    In the 1960s, I had a pair of lace up Bass Moccasins that I dearly loved. I’d give anything to find a pair today if at all possible. Is there anyplace a fellow could go to find them?

  7. Linda Marie says:

    I still have my 1969 Tie Weejuns. The kilties are attached as some
    early 70’s models(Bass Brogues) came off. I still wear them fairly
    often but only when its dry weather.

  8. Linda Herner says:

    I have two pairs, because I am obsessed with Bass WeejunTie, and will never forget my wonderful pair that I wore (to death) in the 8th grade, I won’t rest until my eBay vigilance pays off with a pair in size 8 medium (dream on), but I have found a pair in 7AAA, and another pair in 7AA, the first with “Neolite” soles, and the second with leather. They are strictly memorabilia! Both pairs are brand NEW, never worn, and the first only cost me $13, the second $25. Totally worth it just for the memories, but I’ll know I’m the luckiest person ever if I get a pair in my 8B, so I can actually wear them again too! I wore nothing but Weejuns for years, but the WeejunTie was my favorite beyond measure.

  9. don carter says:

    Glad I found your website. I’m 65 years old and I owned 2 pairs of tieweejuns when I was a kid in high school. Just wondering where I could find another pair? I owned both a black and brown pair.

  10. Frank Mitchell says:

    I have a pair of Bass three eyelet lace ups. It is the Bass Zypher model. I bought them in 1964 as I recall. They have had new leather soles and heels. I keep shoe trees in them and they look like new. Always comfortable, and my favorite dancing shoes.

  11. don carter says:

    I had a black pair from Rhodes in louisville and a brown pair from levys. This was back in the mid 60s. Great shoes! I’d give anything to have a pair of size 12s of these.

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