Wednesday, June 3, 2009

On Shoe Shopping

Enzo Angiolini Waters, on sale for $89

Enzo Angiolini Felissa, on sale for $98.96

Kors Michael Kors Bang Platform Sandals, on sale for $156.90 (down from $225)

Jill Stuart Salem High Heel Gladiator Sandals, on sale for $161 (down from $230); also available in white or camel

L.A.M.B. Frankie Open Toe Thong Pumps, on sale for $248.50 (down from $355)

Coach Jenkins Gladiator Heel (also available in beige), $328.00

In this dismal economy, it's perfectly understandable for one reader to ask about inexpensive shoe options. Here are some pointers about shoe shopping:

1. Nine West, Aldo, Steve Madden, and Enzo Angiolini have budget-friendly shoes with high fashion styles (many of them actually mimic high-end designer fashions), but keep in mind that many times, these shoes may not be as comfortable or high-quality as designer shoes (I warrant that this is not always true, as I have seen poorly-made expensive shoes, but generally, this is the case). If you want a trendy style that will be worn for one or two seasons, these brands provide good options.
2. Keep in mind that you can purchase higher-quality shoes during sale seasons for similar prices as the brands listed above. Many designers have diffusion lines (lower-priced or contemporary lines) that are in the $200-300 range. Some of these include BCBG, Kors by Michael Kors, Marc by Marc Jacobs, and See by Chloe. Tory Burch, Pedro Garcia, Coach, and other contemporary designers also have high-quality shoes for lower prices than high-end designer ones (I'm waiting for those green Coach beauties to go on sale).
3. If you live in NYC or LA, check out sample sales for inexpensive shoes. (I have seen Devi Kroell python shoes for under $100.) Of course, if you don't live anywhere near a major city, check out online sample sales: The Outnet (Net-a-porter's discount site), Billion Dollar Babes (slashed contemporary goods), and Gilt Groupe** (this site is for discounted high-end goods). If you live near an outlet, such as Woodbury Commons, you're sure to hit upon a veritable mother lode of discounted goodies. If you aren't squeamish, check out your local consignment store.
**You have to be invited to join Gilt, but use this link to join:
4. Consider investing in expensive, well-made shoes that will last years to come. My YSL Tribute platforms are incredibly well made. Although I "walk like a horse" (to use a friend's self-disparaging comment) and tend to ruin cheaply-made soles, these shoes hardly look it after a vigorous walk down NYC's mean streets. They are worth the expensive price tag. (Many women can hardly stomach the thought of spending that much on a single pair of shoes, but if they add up the price of several of their cheaply-made shoes that wear out very quickly, it would equal those and last longer.)
5. Take care of your shoes to make them last longer. I know this has nothing to do with purchasing "inexpensive shoes," but I think care is another important element to consider when thinking of your shoes. I used to horribly mistreat my shoes: I'd wear them in the rain, day after day, etc. Make friends with your local cobbler to add a protective sole (to extend the shoe's life), repair ruined soles, and shine them when they get dull. Wear rain boots in rainy weather, and purchase two types of shoes: nice ones for work or special occasions and durable, cheap ones for wear-and-tear situations. Knowing how to take care of your shoes ensures more use and pleasure. And we all know that shoes bring pleasure to the fashionista within each of us!


K.Line said...

Great post!

-h said...

i definitely put a protective rubber sole on the shoes i am more protective of. i use NW for the trendy and knock around shoes, but at times ive been surprised they they make something durable and comfortable.

ryan manning said...

A shoe is an item of footwear evolved at first to protect the human foot and later, additionally, as an item of decoration in itself.

WendyB said...

This reminds me, I need to get that spray to protect suede...

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for this post, this really helped me. I also love those green Coach heels as well. Thanks for the tips.

miss cavendish said...

Who is the best NYC cobbler? I want to put protective soles on my annoyingly slim-soled Loeffler Randalls and want someone sensitive to the plight of these special shoes to help them when I visit this summer . . .

The Little Fashion Treasury said...

Hi Thumbelina.

Oh you did a great job with your " care for the right shoes", smiled about your last sentence "... shoes bring pleasure to the fashionista within each of us".

Happy sunny & relaxing week!!

Diabolina Da Fashionista said...

good options, mama!