they were delivered.
a large ominous box from zappos sat in my room this evening. i knew that within contained six pairs of black leather flats, all vying in competition to be my cherished chaussures d'été.
my current ballet flats are a $10 purchase from payless, and although they work decently well, the fake leather ('manmade') surface has begun to peel and shard, and they don't breathe very well, which makes for ickiness when summer days get longer and warmer. so i decided to splurge and see what that could get me.
this weekend (i put in the order on saturday; how ridiculously fast was that?) i hand-picked six pairs, all selected for their genuine leather makeup (the upper, at the very least), unique style (or as much as the selection afforded), and affordability.
i'll quickly review each pair, with the three rejects first, and the three runner-ups following.
these were supercute and smelled deliciously leathery. the toe is coyly blunt, reminiscent of a pointe ballerina shoe. the trim, though trendy, was very much subdued and faded matte gold. however, despite its looks, the shoe itself was quite narrow and long, which ill-fitted my short and wide. if you are blessed with such shapely feet, i'd give them a try. plus, the sole is printed with a lovely gold floral pattern, which roused a gleeful coo from my roommate.
type z aubrey
i was really rooting for these out of the box, since they're eye-catchingly different and have an urban aesthetic: distressed leather, bunchy heel, japanese lines. however, they were quite uncomfortable for two reasons, including a narrow foot, and a distractingly undercupped heel. your foot doesn't feel too secure; the shoe seems a bit shallow for a slip-on flat. plus, some seam or texture on the heel ruching (still cute!) scratches slightly on the skin. not acceptable. however, i love the cork insole. i bet that keeps small-footed goddesses cool on hot days!
style-wise, these are literally identical to the steve madden ones (below). i'm not sure which is the original and which is the copycat, but no matter. i don't think this bodes well for my relationship with bronx (sister to dear diba!) because these flats are sooooo narrow. and hard. and make my feet look all misshapen and daisy duck-esque. not exactly the pinnacle of grace and charm. this is extremely sad because i lovelove the bronx shoes aesthetic. maybe it's just not meant to be. any similar lines that may accommodate a wider foot?
alright, here are the three runners-up. i need some voting action here, because i love them all!
steve madden pout
these are a clear finalist. they're comfy, they're leather, they're remotely trendy. i would be singularly wild about these, except they're extremely similar to the flats i already have (same silhouette, round curves, subtle doo-dad on the toe, etc). i also have some inexplicable thing against steve madden. could be the whole fraud thing. also could be how i fell in love with a strappy black platform steve madden pair in high school that kept breaking, but i kept replacing. wear, break, wear, break. (similar story to my naturalizer auburn hi boots.) anyway, for this pair, altogether good news... but are these really worth $60? to finance the empire?
first thing: i would need to exchange these for a smaller size. so keep that in mind; these are european 40, so i'd probably want to investigate 39 or 38. that's why my toes are floundering in two inches of shoe territory. this style is oh-so-retro, doe-eyed sweetness meets biker babe. the twist accent reminds me of a sandal pair my sisters used to wear, in white leather and stained pink from huckleberry picking. i like how it's kind of 80's, but not screaming it from the top of the lungs. they're soft and comfy, and the heels are really hard! they scratched a tiny bit on the hardwood floor, which may be good or bad, depending. these aren't shoes that are scared of hitting the streets. plus, the box comes with a little baggy of extra heel pads. just the little part that surfaces the small heel, a pair of about 1" squares of black whateverheelsaremadeofcomposite. how thoughtful!
easy spirit tigereye
i would need to exchange these for a smaller size. these are the only ones that came in a wide size, so i would probably exchange these 8.5W for 8W (believe me, my hidden toes are swimming). the style is classic; these are very ballet sneakery and although trendy, the trend was so last (or last last) year. (i can say the same for the awful metallics that are resurging again, but i digress.) anyway, they're more sporty, but perhaps that's not a bad thing. the strap is surprisingly not digging into my skin, and the soles are natural gum rubber. i've never tried easy spirit, and the brand itself makes me think of older women who forego style for sole cushioning. however, that's what i first thought of naturalizer, and those boots carried me through!
anyway, i'm eager to hear what you think. votes, nay + yay? here are some considerations:
all of the finalists are roughly the same price, between $60-70 (yes, i'm reeling too). though i think my days of shopping at payless are dwindling.
i would like these to be mostly matching with both casual and dressy skirts + jeans.
you can vote for more than one!