My fellow Shoe-A-Holics, living in a country (Italy) known for its fine leather goods, I quickly found out (after dispensing about half of the shoes I owned before I moved), that I couldn't buy all the shoes I had dreamt of buying because of my...ahem, large feet (as I was (im)politely told after having asked for a size 42.5 (US 11) in a sexy leather boot, and that a 'size 42 is a man's size!'). Shopping online was my only alternative; while it has become a lot easier with easy returns and free shipping , this was not my experience back then. So here is some shoe advice:
SEEK OUT REVIEWS! An invaluable tool when shopping online, or even just researching a future purchase, reviews are the next best thing to trying on the shoes in a brick and mortar establishment. In the past 6 years, I have bought only one pair of shoes in a store, so I do practically all my shoe shopping online. When I bought these sandals, there were no customer reviews to aid my buying experience. Inexpensive and gorgeous, I went ahead and purchased them (and their compliment in black). I wish that there had been reviews or even a single review (you can read my review of these shoes), because these shoes are as painful as they are beautiful.
Now, nothing is absolute. Reviews only reflect one person’s personal experience with an item, which may or may not be the case for you. When I read reviews this is my approach:
1. I read the reviews and take an average of the ratings, usually disregarding the very best and the very worst. Some people rate the shoes based on appearance alone, indicating they have never worn the shoe, so 5 out of 5 is meaningless. Also, the manufacturing process is not perfect, and if someone received a defective item, then a zero is most likely indicative of the defect and not the shoe. I have also read some reviews where people rate the time in shipping, and don’t even review the shoe!
2. I like to look for specifics in the reviews. For example, I was researching a pair of shoes, and the website on which they were priced lowest, it read that the upper was manmade, but the other websites the upper was listed as suede. The first reviewer had pointed out the error in the specification, and that they were in fact suede.
3. The last thing I look for is if there is a commonality in all the reviews. For example, I found a beautiful pair of designer sandals online with a wooden mid-sole, but every person indicated that after the first wear, the wood had chipped. One person had written that the wood had been chipped upon arrival, indicating poor materials had been used. Another time, I read reviews on a strappy studded sandal, and all the reviewers mentioned the studs fell off with the first wear, indicating poor craftsmanship.
There are so many things to consider when choosing to shop online, but my best advice is to read the reviews, and if you are able to buy online with free shipping, free returns or free in store returns, then your online adventure will be virtually hassle free!
Baci a tuttti!
Day 310: Tuesday February 5th 2013
Style: Heeled Gladiator Sandal
Heel: 3.75 inches (9.53 cm)
Platform: 0.5 inches (1.27 cm)
Material: Suede Upper and leather lining with metal rings and stud details
Curshing on these beauties? You can still find a pair on Amazon.com...if the size is right!
Beautiful in any color; click here to see these beauties in Black!
How I Styled It
One sure fire way to get more milage out of your summer clothes is to winterize them; that is making them wearable both in the summer and the cooler months, by adding normally cold weather items to them. With this dress (I got from Rue 21, years ago), I could have added a sweater over it and tights under it and worn it as a 'skirt', or, if the straps were thicker (these are spaghetti straps), I could wear a turtleneck under it and pair with with leggings and wear it as a tunic. To winterize my sundress today, I decided to wear this suede button down dress (Bomb Boogie Clothing, I thrifted in Italy) open (like a vest). Suede is my cool weather luxe fabric, and with the suede sandals, and teal suede bag (a market find for 5 Euro, $7), I manage to stay warm when a breeze comes along. SN