Manolo Blahnik’s Hangisi (2.8-inch heel) crystal-embellished satin pumps, $995, saksfifthavenue.com.
at the end of this month gave me license to buy a new swanky dress. But then I decided I needed a new pair of shoes, too, because the black silk frock needed a little oomph. The only drawback was that the rhinestone-embellished, mid-high-heel shoes I saw that I wanted were selling for $995 a pair. (That’s what the ones from Manolo Blahnik
and other high-end shoe designers were averaging.)
Emily Black Pearl Pump ((3.5-inch heel) with gold pearl detailed bow. $895, emymack.com.
Even in Pittsburgh at a Emy Mack
, a store I frequent where the prices are mostly in a reasonable range, the ones with bling at the toes were in the $800-plus category. To amortize the cost, I’d have to wear those shoes a lot. And who has so many black-tie events? And, really, fashion wags to the contrary, I wasn’t going to wear such fancy footwear with jeans.
Something Bleu’s Brinsley kitten heel with crystal embellishment. $368, simplysoles.com.
I browsed more wallet-friendly sites like online-only Simply Soles and then Lord & Taylor. Both had some choices in the $200-$400 range. But because I happened to be in Annapolis, Maryland, with some boating pals on a cool, rainy day at the end of August, I suggested we go to the discount shoe stores in the mall, namely DSW and Nordstrom Rack.
Kurt Geiger London’s Pia Embellished Satin Kitten Heels, $185, lordandtaylor.com.
I struck out at Nordstrom Rack and after an endless round of trying shoes on and not finding the “one” at DSW, my friend pointed out a pair of black satin kitten heels. They were so comfortable (I could dance!). I could overcome the plain Jane of them with a blingy shoe clip, my friends advised (or maybe I concluded on my own).
Finally, my shoes with sparkly toes for $64. / photo by Janet Kelly.
When I returned home I searched on Etsy, where there were plenty of glittery choices. The twinkly bow-shaped ones I liked were sold out, but the owner of Etsy shop Pompees said she could make me a pair that would be ready in a few weeks. They arrived yesterday. I even got a discount because I had to wait a longer time than she initially promised. Cost: $29 for rhinestone clips. Shoe cost: $35. Grand total: $64. See the photo and let me know what you think in the comments. I’ve also included photos of the other much more spendy choices.