Fashion & Beauty

Shoe Economics

Manolo Blahnik’s Hangisi (2.8-inch heel) crystal-embellished satin pumps, $995,

TWO WEDDINGS 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,

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,

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,

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.
—Janet Kelly

6 thoughts on “Shoe Economics

  1. Nancy G says:

    I remember that shopping trip! And I love the shoe jewelry you found. Perfect.

    1. Janet Kelly says:

      A great way to get around spending far too much $$$.

  2. Love those twinkle toes! ❤️

  3. Carol says:

    LOVE DSW and this article. I think I would be hard put to spend hundreds on one pair even if I was a millionaire 🙂 as I’m so hard on shoes. I also try Marshall’s with sometime success. Good for Mary 😉

  4. Renée says:

    The shoes and clips are beautiful! What is the brand of the shoe you purchased?

    1. Janet Kelly says:

      It’s called Abella. Got them at DSW in Annapolis.

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