Monday, September 5, 2011

A Woman's Right to "Choos"

Hello again, stupendous shoe shoppers!

Jimmy Choos
Ladies, we all have the right to Choos. And Blahniks. And Weitzmans. Maybe you are, as I am, an admitted "shoe whore." Maybe you're an Imelda-in-training. Maybe, like one of my good friends, you like shoes but don't spend much on them. And, maybe the need for shoes just pisses you off. But, like it or not, sooner or later we all go to a store and buy them. Whether you wear low-cost or Louboutin, knowing your own personal style and wearing only what makes you look and feel fabulous demands that you know a bit about what you're buying.

Stuart Weitzman
Now, before I get into either the nitty or the gritty of shoe designers, I want to warn you shoe savvy souls about something that can be a huge help or a huge irritant in the shoe store. I refer, of course, to THE SHOE SALESMAN (or woman - I'm not a sexist!). Most of these folks are warm, helpful and knowledgeable about their products. The ones who are not, however, pose a great threat! First of all, shoe salespeople (there, is that better?) usually work on commission so take those compliments and comments with a POUND of salt. The asides like, "Don't you love those? They're brand new." are designed to entice because honestly," don't buy those because they've been here forever and they're going on sale next week" could lose them money, as could "no, we don't have them in your size," which is why four other pairs get brought out when they don't. Once you try on your selections, though, beware of the salesperson who tells you how wonderful they look when you're unsure. If you're not sure, wait. You can always go back if you love them afterwards but chances are you won't return them if you buy them now. And my biggest pet peeve is another caution-beware of the clerk who responds to "they're a little tight" with "oh, they'll stretch out when you wear them." Your feet are precious and singular and ARE NOT SHOE STRETCHERS! Just like with men, ladies, don't buy them thinking you're going to turn them into something else! Your foot can only stretch most shoes by a quarter of a size and that's with a lot of pain and blisters. That expression "if the shoe fits, wear it" was coined for a reason! Unless you, like myself or Kim Kardashian, don't care how they feel as long as they're stunning, BUY THE ONES THAT FIT!

Manolo Blahnik
How do we make sure they fit? I also tell my clients to buy shoes in the afternoon or evening. Why? Because that's when your feet are at their most swollen which means, especially if you're trying on dressy shoes, that you won't get them home and suddenly feel like they're too small! And another thing...don't let anyone hurry you along in your shoe quest. Walk and stand, turn and walk some more until you KNOW that your purchase is the unquestionable answer to a prayer. Always try on shoes the way you'll be wearing them; with a trouser sock, hose, tights or barefoot if the department allows it. That insures that the fit is correct and the look is fabulous. Learn what heel heights and toe shapes work for you - and go so far as to learn which designers makes shoes that fit your foot well. You can save yourself a lot of time and money by starting with brands you know - but don't be afraid to try on that incredible Betsey Johnson wedge in pink and lilac, it might just be the perfect shoe for that grey skirt...
Manolo Blahnik
Next week, lovely loyalistas, I'm going to start in on the shoes that every woman should have in her closet. I'll even tell you the styles and colors! So, until then, stay true to yourself and your own authentic style, because "trend is today, style is forever!"

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