When it comes to investing our hard-earned money – and okay, using our plastic cards – to buy designer wares, we might as well do it right… Being the label-wearing and designer aficionados that we are, it does help when we get to score off pieces from sample sales, through privileged discounts at our favourite department stores, and such and such. There is, however, the rare occurrence that what we might believe to be is a Prada pair of shoes is actually nada, or the Manolo Blahniks we just acquired are not what we think they are.
Then, of course, there is buying from the established stores themselves; because you won’t be fleeced there but also, some styles go out of stock fairly quickly – and you might even have to have your name wait-listed till the next stock comes in… Buying designer shoes can seem to be a task , but there are ways to approach it, so that you know your money is being spent wisely while acquiring your dream pair of designer shoes.
CONSIGNMENT SHOPS ARE YOUR FRIENDS – NAY, YOUR BEST
As was established before, buying designer shoes at full price from the most coveted brands can be a bit of a task, not to mention an investment that will consume much of your savings… It is important to remember, while being a loyal patron of haute couture, consignment shops allow you to find your dream pair of Louboutin pumps or Dior sandals but at relatively affordable rates.
So… what exactly is a consignment shop, you ask???
For the uninitiated, a consignment shop is a clothing or accessories store that sells other people’s clothing and goods. These shops also leave you the freedom to carefully examine pieces at length, unlike when you’re at a branded store that you may or may not find intimidating with the sales assistant following you around…
DEVELOP A DISCERNING EYE; BE ABLE TO TELL WHICH ONES ARE KNOCK-OFFS.
This involves paying a keen amount of attention to the shoes in question; remember that the best shoes are made completely of leather. There will be an insignia present on the leather construction stating this – and the quality of the leather must feel supple and yet thick. Avoid the pairs that possess thin or stiff leather, this feature attributes to poor quality. When it comes to the stitching and seams, designer shoes should have no seam at the instep. However, the leather of such shoes should be stitched together – never glued.
And one more thing, the interior of the shoes should not possess bulges, bumps or ridges. Basically, the inside seams must never turn outwards! When you are examining the pair of shoes you desire to purchase, definitely observe how the heels, outer soles and inner soles appear. They should not show signs of excessive wear.
AND IF THE SHOE FITS… GET IT!
Moving to one of the more crucial aspects of this entire process, the size and fit… For starters, your toes should be at least half of an inch between the tip of your big toe and the pointed tip of the shoes (on the inside, of course); this also means that you should be able to flex your toes in the toe enclosure at the tip of the shoe!
Remember that the fit must be snug; slippery heels means that the shoes are too big for your feet which will most definitely be painful to walk about in. Walk around the store for a better idea on how they feel in terms of the fit while you consider the above factors. And don’t forget that your feet might swell up as the day progresses, so do keep your shoe shopping adventures and expeditions for a late afternoon or evening; this is to ensure you find the most appropriate fit of the shoes you’re investing in.
DON’T FORGET TO MAINTAIN YOUR BABIES, ONCE THEY ARE IN YOUR POSSESSION.
Pat yourself on the back, hooray! Now that you’ve got your babies home, you will and must want to take proper care of them. We recommend investing in a pair of shoe trees; these will help your shoes to retain their shape over time, especially if you wear your shoes on rare occasions. Polishing your leather shoes is a must; cream or wax based polish maintains the colour of your shoes, and keeps the leather clean (and supple). Patent leather shoes can be treated with petroleum jelly for a lustrous finish – be sure to wipe off the excess though before you slip your feet into them.