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Perfectly Imperfect Beauty: Summer Shoe Shopping Tips and Haul

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Summer Shoe Shopping Tips and Haul

My summer shoe wardrobe was in a major need of an overhaul this year. Some of my most beloved sandals had been worn down to pancakes or were missing one too many jewel to be presentable, so they had to be retired. Well, that and the new shoe shelves I bought for my closet were looking empty and lonely. So armed with my shopping strategy and my budget, I hit the ground running (thankfully not barefoot...the situation wasn't that desperate). 

My 10 Shoe Shopping Tips

1) Remind yourself what you already have to avoid past mistakes (green and aqua jewelled gold sandals? Seriously, what was I thinking?!) and buying styles that are to similar. You only need so many casual black sandals. If you are like me, repeat that to yourself over and over. That and you don't need to buy it in every colour Lydia!!! 

2) Window shop online to familiarize yourself with styles, trends and prices. I adore DSW both in-store and online. A bonus is you can make a list of the shoes that caught your eye so you are productive when you get to the store. 

3) Set a budget before you leave the house. A pretty shoe can sway even the most stringent budgeter, so it is wise to set your bottom line before you are influenced by row upon row of bedazzling shoe goodness. 

4) Start with the essentials and then supplement with trendier buys your budget allows. If you want more trendier and colourful pieces then check out places like Payless, Winners, TJ Maxx and Marshalls. Get the look for less is my moto when in comes to trends! Note: Essentials does not = unfashionable. It simply means that you will have them and cherish them for longer than the fluorescent neon wedges that are all over the runway. 

5) Consider confort, versatility and style. The brand doesn't matter if the shoe is cute and you can walk in them. The Aldo shoes I salivated over online were mechanisms of cruel torture once I tried them on. No fashion moment is worth that much pain. And on that note, 4 inch heels are demented for everyday walking-I don't know what I was thinking.

6) Find a sales associate and fellow shopper that has a similar style to you if you need an extra opinion. Stay away from the woman behind the cash wearing clogs unless that is your thing. 

7) Walk, walk, walk, walk. If they aren't comfortable in the store, they are only going to get worse. 

8) If the shoe just fits, consider going up a 1/2 size. It doesn't matter if you are a size 6 or 10-feet swell in the summer from heat, humidity and walking.

9) Give yourself time. You don't have to buy every shoe you see, love and want the moment you behold them. I very rarely pay regular price for a shoe because I know in a few weeks it will go on sale or there is a surplus pair waiting for me at the outlet. I took 2 months to put together my summer shoe wardrobe. Different shoes will appeal to you depending on your mood and you won't feel bad that you blew your whole budget in one day and can't get the 50% off sandal that just stole your breath away. 

10) Three words: Cross-Border Shopping. Now I love Canada and supporting my local economy...BUT, my goodness the Americans have cheap shoe prices. I bought 2 pairs of BCBG sandals at the US outlet for the price of 1 pair on sale here in Canada. 

And now for newest additions:


(these tie up the legs-super cute!)

Now if only the Vancouver weather would cooperate so I can take these babies out for a stroll. 

Do you have any pre-buy rituals that you follow when looking for shoes?



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