Monday, November 19, 2012

One is not like the other, sadly.

Carolyn from Sole Society
Flavian by Vince Camuto
I desperately want the Vince Camuto "Flavian" boots. Unfortunately, they're $250 and not the type of boot that I can justify for that price. They are gorgeous, but just out of my price range. So, instead, I bought Carolyn from Sole Society for $35 after credits and referrals, hoping that since they're the same tone on tone style that I'd be happy with them as a substitute. I would have, too, but they are the oddest fitting shaft I've ever felt. They are way too small on my lower calf and too tall and wide at the top of the calf. I just could not make them work. The foot fit well though, and they're made wonderfully with supple leather, but I just can't wear them. So, I had to send them back. I guess I'll keep pining after Flavian until my Shoe Fairy manages to get them for me. In the mean time, I'll just not remind myself that Shoe Fairies don't really exist.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Trend Report

Or - a squirrel goes window shopping and wonders what in the hell is going on.

I'm too afraid of heights for these.
Is that a platform or a pink brick?
First up: I like my platform heels. I do not deny that. They can make an otherwise boring shoe pop. They also make it possible to routinely wear shoes with 6" heels on them. However...there is a limit and then the shoes cross into tackiness. For me, that limit is about 1.5" with a visible platform and 2" if it's hidden. Even at those heights, the shoes need to be a bit muted for it to work, or else they're going to get the wrong kind of attention. I wish designers would take heed and bring these things back down to less dramatic heights. They also make it near impossible to walk on uneven or sloped surfaces and that terrifies me.

Caution: Not for the short
A trend I love right now is booties. But I'm short and they make me look stumpy if I wear them correctly. So, the few pairs I have, I wear under my pants which totally defeats the purpose and the style. I really wish I could wear them the way they're meant to be worn, which is with either skinny jeans or a skirt/dress. They make my legs look super short though, and I wear heels to combat that in the first place. Why would I choose a style that negates that? I envy all of you that can wear them though. Side note: When it comes to peep toe boots and booties? Don't. Just. Don't. They are confusing and no matter what you think, they're unflattering. I'm sorry, but they just are.

Shoe or sculpture?
I don't get the heelless wedge trend. I know some girls love them and think they're the shiznit, but I just don't like them. They look awkward and the proportions are all wrong. I tried a pair on and they don't really feel any differently, but in the few minutes I had them on I could tell it would require sobriety and extreme caution to wear them all night. While I like for my shoes to make a statement and be on the artistic side occasionally, I don't want people looking at my shoes and wondering if I'm actually wearing art that's supposed to be in a display case in a museum.

I might give these Maddens a shot.
The trend that I'm almost ashamed to admit I am beginning to like is the wedge sneaker trend. But not the color blocked or blingy ones. I have seen a couple of pairs of simple, neutral, non-flashy ones that I could see myself wearing. Though the bright, flashy ones I've seen on other girls actually look pretty good, I just can't do those. I haven't broken down and bought any yet, but I expect that will happen in the near future. I may hate them when I get them, but I'm going to at least give them a shot.

I've already written how I'm digging the riding boot trend, so I'll leave that be. And although I love corset back heels, even I'm beginning to tire of them. Take that with a grain of sand though because I just ordered another pair from ShoeDazzle and also have my eye on one more pair that ShoeMint just released. I can resolutely state that I'm over studs though. There must have been a huge sale on them because pretty much every designer has put them all over everything. Hopefully they run out of them soon.

What trends are you loving and hating right now?

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Now, with even more Squirrel!

Guess what?!?!?!

I've launched a general life related blog, Inside the Branches. It will be for everything that I want to say that just doesn't really fit on a shoe blog. Don't worry though, this blog isn't going anywhere, I'm just adding another layer to my content.

Check it out from time to time. Maybe you'll find something fun and exciting, or at least mildly humorous.

Friday, November 9, 2012

When contests go south. Part I

Also known as the "Sole Society Saga".

I'm sure many of you heard and even participated in the Sole Society "Sole Sister Connection" Contest back in September and early October. For those of you that didn't, the gist was to get current members to make "connections" with other current and new members by entering email addresses in the Friend Management area of their site. They were going to award a $49.95 credit for EACH 20 connections you made. Can you see the flaw in this contest from 3 miles away? Yeah. Apparently Sole Society was completely shocked and unprepared for the massive influx of the Facebook shoe community sharing ALL their email addresses in groups. Some of these lists reached 200+ legitimate email addresses. Copy and pasting was done in droves, and some women, myself included, racked up over 400 email addresses, which would have been 20 credits valued at $49.95 each, or a total of around $1,000 dollars in credit. The official contest said that the Sole Sister with the most connections would win a year's worth of shoes - $600 in credit.

When they were questioned about it during the contest, they said, in various formats, that:
  • They were aware of how many connections were being made
  • That the majority would not be penalized by the few cheaters
  • There were no catches
  • There were no limits as to how many credits we would each get
  • The only rule was that you couldn't use multiple accounts to rack up credits.
When the contest ended, they posted some blather about needing 7-10 business days to count the connections due to overwhelming response. On business day 10, they, at 5pm Pacific time, emailed everyone that participated and said "Here's one credit, that's all you get, because someone cheated".

Needless to say all hell broke loose. There are many BBB complaints about this, law enforcement was contacted, and lawsuits were threatened. Nordstrom, Sole Society's money bag, even turned a blind eye to what was going on much to everyone's dismay. Sole Society gave out a bogus, unmanned email address to everyone who had issues or questions about the contest, and said that the customer service reps would be of no help. Then, the real kicker was, and still is, they scrubbed their Facebook page. All negative references to the contest were deleted and the posters and commenters on those posts were blocked from the page.  I was blocked for suggesting that we leave their customer service reps alone and instead bombard their marketing department. I'm still blocked and can't post, comment, or like anything on their page.

Sole Society got in way over their head with this contest and not predicting that this would happen was, plain and simple, stupid on their part. They are completely inept when it comes to social media, obviously, and are a blight on Nordstrom's good name. They went and did exactly what they said, in writing, that they weren't going to do: they blamed a few cheaters for ruining it for everyone, when really, their marketing director screwed up royally and should be fired for not foreseeing this shitstorm.

After about two weeks, I finally threw in the towel and decided that me spending my credit would cost them more than any other damage I could do, I bought some boots, which I ended up hating. They're going back, and I'll reuse the credit on something else. At least they're getting dinged with the return shipping and they'll have to pay the shipping on whatever I replace them with. It's petty on my part, but makes me feel just a tinge better.

**Note: I put off posting this for over a month because I'm hoping they think that this has gone away, but it hasn't. It gives fresh fodder for Google to have waited this long to post. Also, I say this is Part 1 to this story because I'm hearing that there is new movement in getting Nordstrom involved in this fiasco. What may come of that, I don't know, but if anything does happen, I'll be sure to update as appropriate.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Wedge-tastic, and not so much.

I have gotten several pairs of wedges from Sole Society lately. Some have been hits and some have been misses. About 50/50, really.

First up, the hits. I got Carmen in purple and love, love, love them. They're a great height, fit perfectly, and are an obvious Tory Burch knock off with the cute medallion on the vamp. I wish I liked some of the other colors that they have, I'd get them all.

I also grabbed Parker because I needed a leopard wedge and was sucked in by the pony hair. These are also a great height, fit wonderfully, and are superbly made. They are definitely worth the $60 they retail for. I have no complaints.

And now, the misses:
They're even darker than this in real life.
On the site - normal Zebra
Have you ever seen a brown and black Zebra? No? Neither had I until Margaret came in and aren't anything remotely close to what is shown on the site. On the site, they're an off white and black zebra stripe with silver hardware. In real life, they're a dark tan and black stripe with gold hardware. I was not pleased, to say the least. I like my zebras to either be au nauturel or pink. I'll give them credit for comfort though, so much so that I seriously considered swapping them for a different color in the suede version, but decided I don't like the color of the wedge on them. Instead I decided on a totally different pair of wedges, which brings me to Krista.

BCBG Trinity
I got Krista in black thinking they'd be a cute, but non-boring commuter shoe but I was wrong. They're definitely comfy and the perfect height and comfort for commuting, but they are deathly boring. the rhinestones on the toe and heel just don't stick out like I was hoping for. I sent them back and got Sheila instead. Luckily though, a few days later, I was at Marshall's and found the 'real' version of Krista, BCBGeneration Trinity in purple jewel and fell head over heels in love with them. They may not be a practical color, but they're the gorgeous that I was hoping for with Krista. I'm supremely happy with them.The best part is that they were only $40, instead of the $50 that I paid for Krista.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

So cute, but so impractical.

I got Sheila from Sole Society this week. I've been eyeing them since they were released, but I had to wait for credits and stock to meet at the right intersection for me to get them.

They're gorgeous, well made, comfortable, and so damned cute. But. (There's always a 'but', isn't there?) What appears to be black on the site - the strap, heel, platform and leopard spots - is actually chocolate brown in real life. Which is still pretty, but means that I can't wear these with a LBD now and that ticks me off. I have no clue how I'm going to style them now. I don't own anything brown and don't have a want or need to buy anything brown. The shoes are the bomb though, so I'll figure something out.
I always thought leopards had black spots.
This is the 2nd time that I've ordered something from them and the colors ended up being different in real life. (The other is a pair of wedges that I'll be discussing later. ) I also know that the pair that appears to be red in this shoe is a rust color and the leopard is a different color than shown. They really need to hire either a new photographer or web designer, because their current ones are color blind.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Cotton Candy for my feet!!!!!

Y'all know I'm a sucker for pink, right? I can't say no to it, really. So, when JustFab released Rosalind last month, I about keeled over. They're sooooooooooo cute! But I had already blown my shoe budget on a furnace repair so I couldn't do anything about it. Until a dear friend offered up one of her credits to get them for me. :)

They're amazing in person. They fit like a dream, and came in perfect, though they were later pulled from inventory for quality issues. (I hope, for everyone who missed them's sake that they come back) The best part? They are the color of Cotton Candy and the faux suede is the perfect material to further that illusion. They're just so soft! I've had them less than a month and I've already worn them TWICE. That's unheard of for me.

So, thank you, Ashley, for the amazing gift!

Monday, November 5, 2012

The $200 Question

See this boot? It's by Charles Jourdan and it is $198.00. No biggie, right? You either love it or you hate it and you'll either pay that for a pair of boots or you won't. I've paid more than that for boots on more than one occasion, and I'm sure I will in the future, too. Again, no biggie. You may even be thinking that's a good price on them because that label tends to retail for over $300. It's not a fantastic deal, but it is still a deal. Once biggie. Right?

Wrong. These boots are a big deal because that price isn't at Nordstrom or Nieman Marcus, or even Amazon. It's at ShoeDazzle. Yes, I'm talking about the formerly subscription based $40 per month shoe club. Several months ago they started offering many things at a higher price - $42.95 to $59.95. This was met with lots of complaining from their members, just as the same had happened when Sole Society started the same price changes last winter. Women began to buy the higher priced items, some begrudgingly, others only when they had discounts available, some even happily. I guess this made ShoeDazzle think that if customers would pay $50, then they'd pay $200. How you make that leap in logic is beyond me.

The thing is, this could have worked for them, and it may still. But there was a huge marketing fail here. The entire "Designer Brands" line was launched without any prior notice, no mention of what it really was, and not even so much as a simple email campaign. The assumption by existing customers was that these were ShoeDazzle shoes that would be packaged as such. However, after talking to my contact over there, I found out that these have nothing to do with the ShoeDazzle name, and are merely sold by them. They are not rebranded, they will come in their original designer-labeled box, and are genuine designer products at (slightly) reduced prices. There should have been a big marketing roll out detailing all of this, but they totally missed that boat. This will not be the new norm over there either. The "Low Stock" label is NOT a conspiracy to make it look as though they're selling like hot cakes. They only ordered a few in each size as a test run. Depending on how these sell, they may add more 'real' designer goods later.

I think the big story here is who, exactly, these higher priced items are geared towards. They sure as crap aren't meant for the ones that refuse to spend more than $40 on any shoes, and they really aren't meant to make the girls that shop in the Penny Saver or on the Groupon site happy. These are geared towards two types of clients: the existing customers who aren't so hung up on the $40 price point and also spend 'real' money on 'real' designers on 'real' websites and stores, and new customers who routinely spend more than $100 on shoes elsewhere, and will gladly buy these or the other offerings in the collection that range from $60-$200, as long as they're reasonably priced for what they are. Those particular ladies aren't going to be on the site for the $40 stuff, most likely. They're looking for real materials and names. While I'm sure ShoeDazzle would love to see them grab a pair or two of the 'cheap' stuff with their $140 Chinese Laundry pumps, they'll make their money even if they don't.

It remains to be seen how all this is going to play out. It could potentially bring in higher end customers that buy higher margin items while raising their profits. It could also weed out a lot of existing customers and cause them to ultimately lose money on the lower end stuff. But, the business of business is profit, and sometimes a company has to think outside the box to accomplish that. It may work or it may not, but I give them props for trying. As for me, I'm not the least bit enamored with the inaugural line, but if they end up with something I like at a better price than I can get anywhere else, I'll be all over it. I'm an addict, remember? It doesn't matter where I get my fix, as long as I get it. And I think ShoeDazzle is banking on there being more women like me.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

I'm baaaaaaaaccccckkkkkk!!!!!

You missed me, didn't you?

Seriously, I've had 3 really busy weekends in a row so my usual weekend chores have been moved to weekday evenings, which is my normal blogging time, so I've been letting the blog slip. Unfortunately, having clean clothes and groceries trumps telling you about shoes. Sorry. I'm a terrible shoe whore, I know.

But, now, I'm back. And my next few weekends look clear as glass. Yay! Which is great, because I have a whole list of things to blog at you about. I've gotten tons of new stuff, sold tons of old stuff, and been right smack in the middle of some Grade A shoe drama. (Sole Society, anyone?)

But, for now, I'm off to do laundry so that I can get caught up here starting tomorrow.

I will leave you some shoe porn, though. Are these not the most fantastic riding boots you've ever seen? I WILL find a way to get my hands on these and I will NOT pay $250 for them, or anywhere even close to that.
Vince Camuto "Flavian"

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Boot Season is Here!

Although I love the warmer months and prefer tropical temps to frigid temps, I worship at the altar of the tall boot. Of all styles of shoes, they are probably my favorite, hands-down. From soft, comfy Uggs, to sexy leather stilettos, I just love the style. I tend to wear them with pants tucked in, but made a few attempts at wearing them with skirts or dresses. 

From seasons past, I've built a decent collection of boots, but there are still holes where I have unfilled needs. One of those needs is for a basic, not too butch or biker, black riding boot. I wanted a boot with a little detail, but not much, and with enough shape that my feet don't end up looking like I'm wearing rain boots. I've tried several pairs for the last few years and kept being disappointed, either with fit, quality, or price.

Last month, I decided to take a chance on Lorca from JustFab. They're a pretty basic boot, with a zipper on the diagonal instead of straight up and down, and have a little bit of a point to the toe. Feminine but not overly so. I really didn't expect much, but the zipper intrigued me and I thought I'd like to see them in person. When they came in, I honestly wasn't swooned by them, then I tried them on for a style shot with a pair of my JustFab skinnies, and after wearing them for a few minutes I decided I really like how they fit and feel. The pleather isn't shiny, but it isn't too dull either. They're really soft on the inside, too, and are pretty comfortable. Although, they're not what I visualize when I think of the 'right' riding boot, they're pretty awesome.

I should add that I wore them to work and had two coworkers opine that they have a military vibe, but they're guys and they're dumb. If anything, they're un-military looking, which is what I want.

I'm going to keep looking for the perfect pair, but until then, these will more than suffice. And, well, for $40, they are a great deal.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

These Boots Were (not) Made For Walkin'

Sheila in purple
Last year, I got a pair of purple, faux suede, stiletto, tall boots from JustFab by the name of Sheila. It was a whim and I regretted it right about the time that the 30 day return window closed. So, I tried to sell them on eBay. For months. And they didn't sell, even though I wasn't asking much for them and they were really popular boots when they were in stock at JustFab. Finally, after some prodding from some Sole Sisters, I decided to give them a shot and try to wear them. Much to my surprise, I managed to wear them with some style and even felt pretty good about how I looked in them.

Odon in Pink
Fast forward to about a month ago. Someone posted in one of the Facebook shoe groups that had the Michael Antonio 'Odon' boots on sale in some colors for $23. These are the same boots as Sheila from JustFab.* Included in that sale were pink and blue. Having no clue where or how I would ever wear them, I grabbed the pink immediately. I figured if I had come up with a way to wear the purple, I could surely find a way to wear the pink. Then, in another group, the next day, someone else mentioned the exact same sale and convinced me that I should get the blue also. 2 pairs of boots for less than $50 is a steal, so I, being weak, grabbed the blue, too.

Odon in Blue
I wore the pink ones with my gray skinnies from JustFab on the very first cool-enough-for-boots day we had this year. They were quickly dubbed "Barbie Boots" by my coworkers. They're not the most comfortable boots, and balancing on that pencil thin stiletto wears my ankles out after a full day, but they're cute and for the price I paid, even if I never wear them again, I think I got my money's worth.

I haven't worn the blue yet, but considering they're the most muted of the three colors, I expect I'll end up wearing them more than the others. But, even if not, sometimes, a deal comes along that makes it worth stepping out of your comfort zone for.

*If you aren't already aware that a lot of the shoe club shoes are rebadged items from other brands, then consider this as me letting the cat out of the bag.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

A Fall Full of Iron Fist

Between JustFab,, and, I got some great deals on several pairs of Iron Fist over the last month or so.

Sweets For My Sweet
From JustFab, I won a credit in a Pinterest contest and used it to get Sweets For My Sweet. I had put off getting them since they're the same shoe in a different fabric/pattern as Key to My Sole. Which really isn't comfortable. But, they're adorable and even if I never wear them, I wanted demonic Pez dispensers on my heels.

From, I used a LivingSocial deal and got the Havana Breeze Platform and the Love Me Love Me Not Flat for a grand total of $10. (I got enough referrals on my LS link to get that for free!). Havana Breeze is the same shoe as Koi Samui, and is pretty steep. The colors are so vibrant and the bling on the bow is just adorable. I the Love Me flat is really cute and, again, vibrantly colored. They are a little thin and flimsy, like all Iron Fist flats, but their comfort and cuteness makes up for it.

Race With the Devil
Love Lace Oxford
And, from, I grabbed two pairs that I've been eyeing from previous seasons. I finally got my Race With The Devil pumps. These are BADASS. That is all. They're charcoal gray, with hotrod-esque striping and a chrome heel. But the real awesome thing with these? They've got little minature dice that dangle from the back. I'm not going to lie - those drove me nuts for the first hour or so that I had them on. They swing up and hit my ankle and it's irritating, but I did get used to them. It's a small price to pay for such an awesome shoe. My second pair from Punk was the Lovelace Oxford. I got these to wear with trouser shorts but then it turned off cold before I had the chance, so I think I'm just going to wear them as casual flats with jeans. They're even cuter in person and I'm glad I finally found them in my size for a price I was willing to pay.

Iron Fist is rolling out their Fall/Winter 2012 stuff now, and there are some previews out of the Spring 2013 stuff. With a few exceptions, I'm not madly in love with anything, and I may be over the Iron Fist kick for a while. Especially if they keep upping the heel and platform heights. Some of the proportions in their new stuff is just comical and not cute at all. I hope that's not the case with all of it, because their stuff just can't be beat for the "Wow!" factor.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Under New Management

Can they return to the Dazzle?
No. Not me, silly. ShoeDazzle. Well, not 'new' management. It's more like the old management came back because the 'new' management just wasn't cutting it. As many long time ShoeDazzle customers know, last fall, they hired a new CEO, Bill Strauss, to try and finally get the company into the black. When Strauss came in though, there were several high-level departures that took place shortly thereafter that went mostly unannounced, but the shoe and commerce blogs took note. Strauss proceeded to change the entire structure and focus of the company to something more akin to a typical online shoe and clothing retailer. They stopped the monthly subscription model and started offering more accessories and even started a clothing line. Instead of twice-weekly Dazzle Deals that brought customers to the site in anticipation, they started carrying various other items such as luggage, styling tools, lingerie, and gifts on a regular basis. In the midst of all of this, quality and customer service both took a nose dive, the former in the name of cost cutting, and the latter, from what I can tell, by reigning in their once legendary white-glove treatment (also in the name of cost cutting, I'm sure). Their shipping was changed to a slower method and warehouse processing times increased, even though many of us suffered through their infamous warehouse move last summer with the promise that the new one would make processing much better and faster. Many items were suddenly being offered at a higher price than the usual $39.95. They upped the price of shipping for Canadian customers and started charging shipping on anything below full price.

Their once vibrant and fun Facebook page slowly became a boring place where people only went to complain. They lost a boatload of longtime customers. Others, like myself, who stuck around, went from buying dozens of items a month to buying once every few months, if that. It just wasn't worth the hassle - there was a good possibility that there would be quality issues, which coupled with their new, crappy shipping and processing times, meant that it may be a full month, or more, for you to get an undamaged, wearable item. It was from this frame of mind where terms like "CrapDazzle" started to get tossed around frequently.

Then, last month, they very quietly issued a press release that was picked up by just a few style and commerce sites. Bill Strauss had resigned and Brian Lee, the original founder, was taking back over as CEO. Angels began to sing! All over Facebook, ladies were thrilled with the news. Would he put the Dazzle back in ShoeDazzle? A few sources inside the company were cautiously optimistic.

Only time will tell if it will make a difference, but there were some odd changes and offers in the days immediately following the announcement. They offered a $15 credit to all their existing customers. This was a payment credit and not a discount so you didn't get hit with the new shipping charges. Then, they started running a Buy-One-Get-One-Free deal for new customers, but it's also available to existing customers, but only vocally through Customer Service, or if you find a link for it - like right here. But, then, they started charging shipping on BOGO purchases, no matter what the total and whether or not you bought a non-BOGO item with it. And they're offering another $15 credit deal - which, again, gets around the shipping charges, so it begs the question: Why? Maybe it's an attempt to see what drives sales so they can reboot and focus on that.

Whatever it is, I hope that they figure it out soon. I used to love ShoeDazzle. I credit them with opening my eyes to buying shoes online. I've met some great women because of them, and they've got some great customer service agents and supervisors that I love to death. But, now, there are just too many other options to justify most of the hassle and higher prices. I'll continue to buy when I really love something, but unless they change their ways and regain some of their original luster, I don't know how much that's going to be or how long I'm going to stick around.

It's going to be very interesting to see what comes about in the next few months, whether it be good or bad.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

A unicorn in the flesh

Last month, I was going through my Amazon wishlist and happened to see something that floored me. My unicorn - the Aldo Calcagni wedge in lilac suede was in stock...FOR HALF PRICE! I've been wanting these since last winter and refused to pay $100 for them. Then they were gone and I regretted it. They were the one shoe that I kept searching for, just hoping that I'd find them again.

I really shouldn't have gotten them, but I couldn't let them go again. Unicorns sightings are rare, afterall.

Now, for the shoes themselves. I wish I had a postal scale to weigh these one. I don't know how, with the thick tread sole, real suede, and uberpadded insole, they are so light weight. It's amazing. They are a little tight, but most Aldo shoes do run smallish, so that was to be expected. My one disappointment is that they were obviously a floor sample. The right one is a little dingy from where it was handled quite a bit. But, only a true shoe whore would notice that. I'm still thrilled with them and can't believe that I managed to snag them after all this time.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Getting back into the swing of things

I've had a very rough and stressful couple of weeks, but I've gotten tons of new stuff to show you and talk about. I promise to try to start getting caught up this week.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

You got me on my knees, Layla

I'm really digging Sole Society right now. I've gotten a few pairs from them in the last month and have yet to be disappointed in quality or service. I've not been disappointed in price, either, but that's mainly because I've had coupons, codes, and credits, and I can't say no to a good deal.

They're a little less red, and a little more purple than here.
One of the things that I love about Sole Society is that they are often rebadged Jessica Simpson and BCBGeneration shoes for significantly less. That is the case with these, too. These are sold by Sole Society as Layla, but they were originally sold as the Jessica Simpson Beijo. Beijo originally retailed for about $100 but Layla was $60 before my store credit on Sole Society. They're real suede, super comfortable, and the colors are just gorgeous. These are available with a gray leather upper and blue/black platform, as well as the a turquoise suede with a black/gold platform.

I like these enough that I momentarily considered one of the other colors, but decided against it since they're so distinct. And, I've got almost as many blue shoes as pink, which is quite the feat.

If you aren't already a member of Sole Society, I highly recommend them. They're owned by Nordstrom so they will always have higher end stuff than the other clubs. They, as of right now, still use UPS to ship to your door and returns are super easy if you have an issue. They also have a good referral program, which means that I would LOVE if you'd use my link to sign up. There are no discounts for first time buyers right now, but that usually changes mid-month, and I'll put that code here for all of you to use.

Monday, September 10, 2012

A dot-dot here and a dot-dot there...

Aren't these just the most adorable things you've ever seen? They're polka dots. On satin. And it's irresistible.
These are Kacie from Sole Society. From what I can tell, as with most Sole Society shoes, they're rebadged designer shoes. In this case, they are the Jessica Simpson Oscar. They fit exactly like those, which mean they have ample toe room and so I wear a 6.5 in them. They're a little stretchy and plenty wide. They also come in a patent orange and patent nude. I'll admit I'm a little worried about the durability of the satin, but I don't wear most of my shoes very many times, so I think they'll be fine.

If you aren't a member of Sole Society, please consider using my link to sign up -

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

The Purple Giant

I love the "Edith" Mary-Janes I got from Shoemint back around Christmas. They're gorgeous, real suede, and freaky tall. I said then that if they had them in other colors, I'd buy them all. In fact, I searched for their doppelganger, the Steve Madden "Viktoree", in purple in my size for months and never found them.

Then, JustFab released "Payson"in purple, tangerine, and nude. I didn't think much of them to begin with, honestly. Then as girls started getting them, the consensus was that they are Edith/Viktoree, but in faux suede. And the pictures of them made me swoon.

I had a credit and decided to take a chance on them. I really wasn't expecting to like them all that much since they're not the 'real deal'. They have the same sizing recommendation as Edith to go up 1/2 size, but I stuck with the 7 and took my chances since my 7.5 Edith's have stretched after multiple wears. These are a little tight, but not unwearable, and they're a soft enough material that I'm happy I didn't go up any further in size. If you are even remotely wide, go up at least 1/2 size. Maybe a full size, and let the strap hold you in.

I gotta say, I'm pleasantly surprised. Very much so. The color is gorgeous and the faux suede is one of the better I've seen! They don't feel anywhere near their 6" height either. There is a little bit of rippling in the fabric on the platforms, but it's not noticeable unless you're inspecting closely them like I do when I take them out of the box. I'm extremely pleased with these and thrilled that I gave them a shot. Now, I just have to wait for it to cool off enough for me to wear closed toes.

They've since released "Nikita" in gray, black, and leopard and they're the same shoe, too. The gray are next on my list. If you get the chance or have the money, I highly recommend you try one of these for yourself.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Why fight it?

I don't know why I even bother fighting it anymore. Every time I get my mind set on a pair of shoes, no amount of trying to talk myself out of them will work. I knew from the first time I saw these in Shoemint's sale section that I was going to end up with them. Pointy toes and all.
In person, they're not quite as egg shell of a finish, and more of just a plain ol' leather, but the blue is still amazing. And the leather is really really soft. They run smaller than my normal pointy toe sizing and I had to exchange the original 6.5 for a 7 so that I could add an insert for padding. They are 4" with no platform and they feel a little steeper than that even.

Before I'd ordered these, I was worried about pastels in August, when I should have really been worried about closed toe anythings in August because it has been scorching here since June and there's no sign of it letting up. So, these are being set aside until it gets cooler and my feet won't scream as much at being in locked up in full coverage shoes.

I'm still not a huge fan of pointy toes, but I'm more and more willing to consider them.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

****DEAL ALERT**** has another Living Social deal: Pay $50 and get $100 in credit!!!! I got one and you can, too! Then, once you get yours, try to get 3 friends to buy one, too and you'll get your free. That means $100 in credit for $0.00! And it's running for nearly 2 weeks, so you have time to sweet talk some other girls into buying it on your link. :)

Here's my link if you want to get it:

September Shoe Club Roundup

Fall, and boots, are the big headlines for September in all the shoe clubs. Even though we, and most of the country, are still experiencing decidely summer temps, the world of fashion must move forward. And forward means cold weather. More suede, rich colors, boots, and fur.

JustFab stuck with trends this month.
JustFab released an awesome selection of boots and booties early this month, on the 30th of August, to coincide with their Labor Day Sale. Since I really went overboard on boots last year, I am only allowing myself to fill in the gaps that I missed. Which is very sad, because a LOT of their boots are ahhhmaaaaziiiing!!!. They also stayed with current trends and released cap toes pumps, super tall platforms, and animal prints/textures. All in all, it's a nice collection, and several things got added to my wish list over there.

Can YOU tell what the pattern is?
Shoemint also stuck with suede and boots, but to everyone's dismay, their already over-priced club got even more expensive when they released their boots at up to $120 a pair. For a club. I don't care if they're designed by God himself and hand sewn by virgin shoe fairies, you cannot expect to sell for that price in a club. Also, I have a tech quibble with their selection this month. There is a suede wedge with some type of studs on the back of the shoe that look interesting. At least they would, if they had actually taken a picture of the back of the shoe so that you could see the pattern. Gah!!!! At least they didn't appear to end their sale on the 1st, like they'd said. There are still some great deals in that section on their site.

This seems to be the majority of what ShoeDazzle released in pumps.
ShoeDazzle. Oh, ShoeDazzle, where do I begin? First of all, it doesn't appear that they released very much new stuff. It seems they're moving towards the Sole Society model and releasing throughout the month instead of all on the 1st. (For example, I bought two new releases earlier this week, and my "August" purchases were all actually released in July.) I seriously only found about 5 new pumps - and a big chunk of them have that silly metal heel and spikes or studs. One of them is real suede, and they kept them at $39.95. That's impressive considering I expected the 'real' stuff to jump in price. What I didn't expect to go up so much in price was their boots. Most of them are now $44.95 and $49.95, including some pairs that are rereleases from last year that were $39.95 then. Considering that domestic shipping is now only free in certain circumstances, this tells me, yet again, that they're having financial difficulties, and are trying everything they can to increase revenue. (Hilariously, JustFab is making sure that everyone knows their boots are still $39.95 in their sale and all their ads. "Every Item $39.95! Even Boots!")

I have left Sole Society out of this round up since they now release one pair per day instead of everything on the first of the month. I kinda like this model, BUT, it's making it hard for me to spend any of my credit money with them because I'm always afraid I'm going to miss something I love by one day. They've had several pairs that I have drooled over lately, so that's a very real possibility.

Since all four of these clubs are still running sales through tomorrow at least, you should definitely be shopping! Go! Don't miss the deals!


Thursday, August 30, 2012

More Sale Info

JustFab launched their September boutiques early last night and with it came their Labor Day Sale - which is basically buy one, get one 1/2 price. I'm trying to decide on a pair of riding boots and another something. Probably a pair of Iron Fist pumps. With this sale, they are allowing the use of credits for the first item, then you have to pay the other $20 out of pocket. This is a welcome change from them not allowing credits to be used for sales at all.

Also - I did take advantage of the ShoeDazzle sale that I told you about yesterday and blew a credit + $20 on a pair of nude pumps and a yellow bag. I'm a sucker for these types of sales. Well, any sales, really.

I've opted to not buy from the Sole Society, Shoemint or Jewelmint sales, though. But you totally should.

There are other non-club sales happening, and I'll do a roundup of them either later today or tomorrow.

In the meantime, happy bargain hunting!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

End Of Summer Sales

It's still in the mid-upper 90's here so you wouldn't know it, but the end of summer is rapidly approaching AND Labor Day is less than a week away. And you know what that means - SALES!!!!

First up is Shoemint - they're running up to 50% off tons of stuff. I've already gotten two pairs from this sale - Kathryn and Dayna - and am considering the cutest little blue suede flats I've ever seen, Patricia. If you aren't a member already, they are running a code for 35% off your first pair - RACHEL35 - if you want something that isn't in the sale. Also, if you aren't a member, would you mind using my link to sign up? They have a rewards program now, and as I've said before I love their stuff, but not at the $80 price point, but I'm all about referral credits.

 ShoeDazzle is doing $20 off of any two items in their Boutiques Collections as part of their "Fall Access Pass" promotion, until 9/4. Considering that they've changed their shipping so that you get charged if you spend less than $39.95, thereby making individual discounts moot, this is about as good of a deal as you're gonna find over there anymore. There are a few things in my Favorites that are covered by this sale, so I may take advantage of it.

Next is Sole Society. They're doing a Buy One Get One on most of their summer wedges and sandals. I've already got a few of these from before they were on sale so I'm trying to convince myself to just walk away from this. Like Shoemint, if you aren't a member and want something NOT in the BOGO, they have a code for $25 off - AUGUST25. Again, I would love if you'd use my link to sign up. They have a wonderful referral program where each referral is worth actual $$ in your account and not just points.

Finally, Jewelmint is having a sale on a select number of items. I've gotten a few things from them, with no real complaints except that I typicallay won't pay $30 for single pieces of costume jewelry. Of course, that's what makes this sale so great. Again, here's my link to sign up for this one, though I'm not aware of any first time customer codes for non-sale items.

There is also a rumor that JustFab will be having a Labor Day Sale starting on Friday, but I've not gotten confirmation of that and am not sure what it will entail, though I've heard it'll be a BOGO.

Happy Shopping, Divas!

Monday, August 27, 2012

Nothing Left To Lose

Sometimes, you do things that you thought you never would. Sometimes those are things that would have made you gasp in horror in any other situation. I'm almost ashamed to admit what I'm about to, but desperate times called for desperate measures, and ultimately, all ended quite well.

Before. Inside of the left shoe.
Remember how I said I'd fill you in on what was going on with my green Estephanie from ShoeDazzle? Well, this is it. When I got them out of the box, I found a massive spot of glue on one of them. They were otherwise perfect, and though I wasn't madly in love with the color straight out of the box, it quickly grew on me. Not only that, but I. Am. Sick. Of. Returns/Exchanges. So, I took matters into my own hands. (I figured I might as well try, since I pretty much wrote the book on cleaning this stuff already.) I decided to try and get thick, black, icky glue off of real suede. On my own, and with only what I had handy. On last Sunday, when I attempted this, that included an UGG Suede cleaning kit, a KIWI suede care kit, a butter knife, an X-acto knife, Q-Tips and a bottle of Goof Off. Yes, I was going to attempt to clean real suede with a solvent based adhesive remover.

After. It's still there, but not nearly as bad.
After hours (yes, with an "s" on the end) of dabbing on Goof Off, scraping carefully with the X-acto, and then cleaning with the UGG Suede cleaner, and smoothing over with the butter knife and suede care kit, the stain is much less noticeable. Enough so that I can now wear them and unless someone is waaaaaaaaayyy too close to my feet, they're never going to see it. Are they perfect? No. Do they have an odd chemical smell? Yes.  But, there will be no exchange or return involved and I'm feeling pretty darn good about my effort.

Although there was no additional damage to the suede by doing this type of cleaning, I don't recommend it. There are proper ways to clean suede and this isn't one of them. I think I was just lucky that it was the exact right type of suede or something. But, it's good to know that maybe suede isn't as gentle as we all feared and if you think you've ruined it, there are options you can try to clean it. So, before you toss out the next pair that you spill coffee or wine on (I've done both), maybe try a few different cleaners just to see if it works. Maybe you'll get lucky like I did.

Oh, and I went back and got the blue Estephanie, too. Which isn't really blue, but is teal green. I'll fill you in on those later.

Happy cleaning!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Consider it marked off the list

Finally, after months of drooling, I found the blush Betsey Johnson Mortica in my size and at a really good price. I've been wanting these since before I got the black ones, even. I know, I know. Before you even say it. I know it's yet another duplicate pair in a different color. If you've read more than two or three posts on this blog, you know I do this frequently.

Those adorable skulls!!!
These fit just like the black ones - true to size but wide. They're the same 5.5" heel with a 1.5" platform that feels steeper than it is, though I don't think these are as bad as the black. They don't seem to have the stiff fabric issue that the black does, or if they do, I haven't noticed it yet. They really have a totally different look to them though. They're much more feminine and softer in appearance. I'm so happy that I finally got them!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Wrong season

Martina from JustFab
It is going to be 91 degrees here today, which means it's beginning to cool off. Even so, it's not remotely close to boot season yet and I can't seem to figure out why I want to buy riding boots. I wanted some last winter and never found and I really liked at a price I was willing to pay. But this year, JustFab released their boots early and now I'm having a hard time reminding myself that there is a reason why my 20+ other pairs of boots are still hibernating in the basement. And will be for another 6 weeks at the least.

Yet, I want Martina. They're simple, not overdone, and really cute. The best part? $40. That's my kind of boot. But it's August. It's still summer. I'm still wearing sandals and peep toes. I just can't do it. I want to so badly. I guess I'll watch them for the next month and see if they start selling out, but I assume that a lot of ladies are just like me and aren't willing to let go of summer yet.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Still on a quest for wedges

In my quest to beef up my collection of closed toe wedges, I found this nugget in ShoeMint's sale. They're definitely not worth $80, but if you can snag them in their current sale for $40, do so.

These are Dayna in taupe. I thought I wanted the blue, but I decided these would be more versatile. (As if my shoes really need to be versatile. If a pair doesn't match, I'll just grab some that do.) They're pretty comfy. They fit me well in the 6.5, so if you're between sizes, like me, then go down. Though they're a little heavier than I usually prefer my wedges, they aren't unmanageable. The strap is also removable, if you're like me, and don't really care for ankle straps.

Overall, they're not bad at all.  I'm always amazed by ShoeMint's quality, it's just too bad that they're so overpriced on the everyday stuff. If you have the chance to get something you like from them at a discount, do so. It's totally worth it. That being said:

If you aren't already a member of ShoeMint, they're running a great deal right now. Get 50% off your first full priced pair with the code MEMSHM50. And, if you use my link, I'll get points towards a free credit since they've just launched a rewards program that runs across all the Mints - Jewel, Home, Shoe, Style and Beauty.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

This Looks Promising

Tomorrow, Monday August 20, 2012 at 6am PST (7am mountain, 8am central, 9am eastern), will be running a "Yard Sale" Clearance event. I can't promise you'll find anything, but I know that when 6pm runs sales like this, they run them with gusto and there are usually some AMAZING deals.

Set your alarm and make sure to check it out. You just never know what you may find at a price you can't believe.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Come Join the Fun

JustFab has officially launched their Brand Ambassador program, Fabshionista Circle. You can win free shoes, play games, connect with friends, and have a blast while doing it. And, if you're really active and good at promoting the brand, you have the chance to become a Style Queen, which has even more perks!

I played around with it last night, and it's a little like drinking from a firehose at this stage, but I'm sure they'll hammer out all the kinks once it really gets rolling.

What are you waiting for? Click my link and get yourself signed up!

If you aren't a member of JustFab, use this link, and get 50% off your first purchase if you buy on the first day you sign up!!!!!

UPDATE: 8.19.12 - I am not liking this game at all. My Facebook news feed and all of my groups are COVERED in these links. It's become a game of Best Spammer, and I'm over it. I really, really, hope they add more content and this link stuff dies off. 

Thursday, August 16, 2012

ShoeDazzle Gets Real

In my mind, the biggest news of the shoe clubs in August is that ShoeDazzle is offering a real suede pump, Estephanie, for $40. They're a simple pump, with an almond toe in a solid color. They are available in 5 colors: fuchsia, blue, purple, yellow and green. Nothing special, really, just the fact that they're real and only $40. Other than a couple of random one-offs, usually in sandals, this is the first time any of the $40 shoe clubs have offered real leather. Lately, the opposite has been true and it seems like these clubs were in a mad dash race to the bottom to try and see who could cut quality the most and get away with it. All is not roses and rainbows though, as there are a couple of caveats before I go forward. The first being that their advertisements and marketing around this shoe are calling the $40 "special fall preview pricing", which either means that other suede and real leather is coming at higher prices, or the whole line is about to go up in price. Either does not make me happy. The other thing that's sticking in my craw is "Why?". Why now? What has happened that they feel the need, or had the ability to do this?

I set aside those questions and grabbed the fuchsia and the green. (Don't judge me, I had a coupon). After a stupidly long wait due to their ridiculously slow shipping, they came in on Friday. I was expecting a giant mess, honestly. I was pleasantly surprised, though. At least with the pink ones. The green ones have an issue that I'll discuss later.

Not bad at all.
As for the pink, the color is pretty true to the site, and they fit nicely. The 'official' sizing said they're 1/2 size small, but I found them to be on the narrow side of pretty true. I went with the 7 on that recommendation, but could have gotten away with the 6.5. They're a mid-heel by ShoeDazzle's recent standards at 5" with a 1" platform. I was worried, with the seaming on the toe, that they'd have a nipple since they seem to have issues with getting that right, but they're perfectly sewn and the seam lays nice and flat. All in all, I have no complaints with the construction of the shoe. Somehow, they've made a shoe out of real suede, made it well, and still managed to be able to sell it for $40. I'm sure they're losing money on these, which brings "Why?" back to mind.

This color is a little off.
As for the green, all of the above applies, except the color is more grassy than the website shows and there is a very obvious smear of glue on one of them. That situation is still being handled and I'll let you know what comes of it. I wasn't in love with the color when I opened the box, but they've grown on me now. I don't have that shade in anything else, for sure.

I've got a credit coming soon and I'm seriously considering using it for the blue ones. I've got tons of blue shoes, second only to pink really, but nothing in that particular shade. I figure, at this price, and especially with a coupon/credit, it's definitely worth stocking up on a shoe that I genuinely like and are well made.

So, a tip of the stiletto to ShoeDazzle for such an impressing shoe.

***DEAL ALERT!!!!!!***

Get a pair of shoes from Sole Society for only $25 by using this link for Plum District!

If you buy before 5pm Pacific time today and use code "FLASH16" you'll get an additional 25% off! That's shoes for $18.75!!!!

Run! Go!

This coupon only works on new Sole Society accounts. If you're not already a member of Sole Society, the use my link to sign up.