Cost Per Wear – Shoe Edition
In an effort to edit myself and my future purchases, I thought it would be a good idea to analyse my shoe collection. This is by no means a ‘show-me-your-best-shoes’ post. My shoe collection is neither breathtaking nor inspirational. Most of my shoes are well used and I am happy about that.
As I am trying to achieve an edited wardrobe, putting things in writing makes me take stock of how much I already have, understand my purchase mistakes and learn from them. (Please note that an edited wardrobe doesn’t mean becoming a minimalist or going monochromatic for me).
EveryDay, Work Shoes
1. Ferragamo Vara pumps, in Black: I bought these on Ebay for less than $50. For the number of times I have already worn them, they are well worth the price. I initially thought these were the Vara pumps and that was how they were listed by the seller. But upon closer inspection, I realized that they are not the current Vara version. The heel shape is slightly different. I talked about them to my SA at the Ferragamo store and she told me that they are a model called ‘Lillaz’, which has been discontinued.
Cost per wear: I’ve had this pair for 1.5 years now. I’ve worn them at least 140 times now (2 days a week or more). That brings their cost to less than 50 cents per wear.
Note: These need a little bit of TLC every other week. The leather needs polishing. I think it is Kid / Calf Leather, from the looks of it. This is not the kind of leather I prefer. But for my first Ferragamo pair, they are beautiful and the price was unbeatable! I recently spent another $50 dollars on them. My cobbler added new insoles and outer soles to spruce them up. I see myself using them until mid of 2017.
2. Ferragamo Vara pumps, in Bisque Patent: My dear husband gifted these as an anniversary present, a few months ago. They cost about $600 inclusive of the taxes. I lusted over them for so long! I’ve already worn them about 15 times. They are extremely comfortable. While most people think the bows are too cute, I don’t feel that way.
Personally, I prefer Patent leather over Kid leather. I love the stiffness of Patent. The fact that patent leather will not stretch as much as other kinds ranks high on my list of requirements. I don’t like the whole Patina on leather, especially for my work shoes.I know there are many women who like the whole worn in look. I really don’t have that ‘cool girl’ factor.. to feel confident in worn in / worn out shoes. I like my things to look new, well kept and polished. Patent leather does that for me.
Note: I have been searching for some footsie socks that can be worn with this pair. The insole is very soft and I am afraid that it will wear out too fast.
Cost per wear: $40 (But that is because they are pretty new. I see it going down to at least $6 within the next 8 months)
3. Ivanka Trump Boni Pumps in Nude: I bought these about a year ago. I needed a simple, nude patent single sole pump for work. It is really, really hard to find simple pumps, in a size 4, at an affordable price. Luckily I found these on the Nordstrom website.
Cost per wear: I must have worn these a 100 times now. I paid $120 (inclusive of taxes). So, my cost per wear is coming down to almost a $1.2, at this point.
Will I buy them again? – I don’t see myself buying any more Ivanka Trump shoes, both due to my political inclinations and the recent news about blatantly copying Aquazzurra’s designs
Bottom Line : Her dad is a douche (there, I said it!), her company rips off designs from high-end designers. But for nondescript pumps, her line has decent ones, that are relatively comfortable at an affordable price. I see these shoes lasting another year easily (another 100 wears).
4. Saks Fifth Avenue Nude Flats:
I bought them at the Saks Outlet about an year ago. They were just a casual shopping buy. I tried them on, and they actually fit – surprise! I think I bought them just because they fit. It is so rare for me to walk into a mall store, pick up a shoe and for it to fit. I wear these when I cannot bother with anything else. I wear these to Costco, running errands and getting in and out of the house for anything. They are really not showing any signs of unusual wear. I cannot even recall how much I paid for them.(This is why I hate buying from the store. My online purchases have email receipts). If I had to guess, they cost between $40 and $50. Bottom line: For a casual, unplanned purchase, they are well made and comfortable.
Cost per wear: About $1 at this point. I will try and find a replacement for this pair when it wears out. Something I can slip on in a rush, run errands in etc. I want to actively keep the price point low on this replacement. Something under $150-200. Well made. Relatively indestructible.
5. Sole Society Harla Loafers:
I absolutely have no need for these. I don’t even remember why I bought them in the first place. Maybe I was just shopping online at 2 am in the morning, and found a pair in size 4? Maybe the blogger I was into during that phase kept pushing Sole Society? They cost about $60 (all inclusive). They are surprisingly comfortable for the price I paid.
Cost per wear: I must have worn them about 30 times. So $2 per wear at this point. I will not be replacing these when they wear out.
6. Charlotte Olympia ABC Flats:
I wrote a whole post when I got them!
Best day in them: I wore them clubbing one day and it was the best night-out I had in a long time! In the past, I always felt the need to wear heels or pumps when going out clubbing or partying. For whatever reason, I decided to give these a spin that day. Ah! the sweet, sweet liberty of dancing away in flats. I think the trick is to wear an easy, breezy, swingy dress and flats. Yes, everyone else towered over me! Every other girl looked knock-out in high heels and sexy dresses. But, you know what? I smiled more, I hugged more, I laughed more! I even ran around to fetch my drink from the bar! I call them my ‘Liberty Shoes’ now. 🙂
Cost per wear: I think I wore them 5 or 6 times now. The cost per wear on these is still a whooping $70. They were bought in Febraury 2016. I really don’t know why I haven’t worn them more often. Maybe, it’s because they live in a box. Also, if I did not have these other pair of sole society flats, I’d wear them more on casual outings.
Note to Self: Your lifestyle doesn’t need any more flats. Your personal or work wardrobe doesn’t really need flats when you have shoes with heels under 1 inch ( Varas). One well made, interesting pair of flats is enough. Another inexpensive pair for running errands, and you are all set!
Casual Heels / Sandals
7. Tory Burch Ankle Strap Wedges:
The suede got imprinted within the first 5 to 6 wears.
I had a ‘I love everything Tory Burch’ phase about 2 years ago. Probably reading too many articles on how she built a fashion empire working out of her Kitchen got to me. Thankfully, my googly eyed fascination for Tory Burch has only these shoes to show. I did not buy anything else from their stores and I’m very proud of that. I think those flats with the giant gold logo look… ugly! I think the brand could offer better quality for the price it charges its customers.
Cost Per wear: I bought them for $190 and must have worn them about 10 to 15 times. About $13 or $14 dollars at this point.
8. Kat Maconie Ankle Strap Sandals:
These shoes were bought during the whole ‘Ankle-Strap-meets-Chunky-heel’ trend. Despite of this being a trend, some women look fabulous wearing these kind of shoes with jeans. I AM NOT one of those girls! I have short legs and ankle straps make me look shorter.
Also, these shoes were from a UK based designer that I never heard of. Shoescribe had them in a size 4.5 and I had to get them…because no other designer was making ankle strap heels in my size at that time. Uh! I need to get over my anxiety of NOT finding shoes in my size. It just makes me grab anything and everything that crosses my path. When these sandals arrived, I could immediately see that they weren’t well made. The leather was already breaking into fissures at places.
But in their defence, I abused these Kat Maconie sandals a bit. I wore them almost every single day for a few months. Then, I got tired of them and never wore them in the last 6 months. They were just sitting there and occupying precious real estate on the shoe stand. So I gave them away.
Cost per wear: I bought them for $190 (That seems to be the going rate for mediocre shoes!). I definitely wore them 50 times or more. That comes to $4 per wear.
9. Anyi Lu Toni pumps:
Ah, these have a back story. One fine day when I was aimlessly browsing through the shoe section of my Nordstrom store, I found a very beautiful shoe – Anyi Lu Gigi. I haven’t heard of the designer before. The shoes were beautiful and well made and very comfortable. I decided I’d check out more about the brand before I buy it. The designer’s story was very interesting. She was a long time Chemist, with a corporate job who decided to make shoes that were beautiful AND comfortable . I have a thing for women in STEM as I am one. Her background appealed to me, so did her designs – especially the Gigi and Georgia.
But here is the kicker, I decided to get the Toni. I chose this model because I did not have any peep toes or strappy sandals. I thought that these would be a great summer / casual shoe. The shoes came home. I loved how they looked on my feet. But they made this squeaky little sound with each step. I thought it was just the sticky gum on the insole. The straps were comfortable for about 30 min on the first day out. They started rubbing the skin on my ankles after that. In retrospect, I just should have sent them back as I did not really love them! I should have exchanged them for a another pair that did not squeak!
Note: I have to mention that Anyi Lu shoes are still considered some of the most comfortable shoes by a lot of women. Just look at the reviews! Maybe I just got a bad pair. Maybe I chose a model that doesn’t work on my feet.
Cost per wear: At $320, worn 10 times, it comes to $32 dollars per wear! When I bought them, I saw myself wearing them a lot. Quite a disappointment. Hopefully they will break in if I wear them a few more times?
10. Senso Suede Strap Sandals:
Yet another Impulse buy at the beginning of this year. They even featured in my Weekend Wishlist! What a waste. I haven’t found any occasions to wear them. I don’t know when I’ll have enough time to wrap these around my ankles before getting out of the door! These just don’t suit me or go with the rest of my wardrobe. I saw this design on a few bloggers and wanted them. These shoes are great in concept, well made and beautiful – just not for lifestyle.
Cost per wear: Worn once!! $155
Party / Dress Up shoes
10. Ivanka Trump Boni Pumps in Silver:
I don’t know why I don’t reach for them as much as I should. Again, having them live in a box is really not working out! Out of sight, out of mind? These are nice shoes. They are really beautiful, yet subtle in real life. I should wear them at least 60 times. Let me make these my ‘go-to’ party / event shoes.
Cost per wear: Just like the nude ones, I paid $120 for these. Worn about 6 times. That brings them to $20 per wear. I plan on bringing this down to $2 or $3 in the next 18 months.
11. LK Bennett Mila Single Sole Sandals:
These were another impulse buy. All of a sudden I wanted a gold color strappy sandal to go with my traditional Indian clothes. I had a wedding to attend. I wanted to take advantage of the LK Bennett sale. Why? Sometimes I think I am more smart than I really am. I fell for the classic ‘On Sale’ trick in the book. How smart can I be? 😦 The sad part – I did not make it to the said wedding! I wore them only once and left them in India, at my parents home!!
Cost per wear: Yep, $162 per wear
*I purposefully left out my ankle boots (1 pair) and running / active wear shoes (2 pairs), slip ons (1 pair). Those shoes are worth it and don’t need to be analyzed on a cost per wear basis. Their cost per wear for them is most definitely around a $1 or less at this point.
Category 1: Shoe Champions
1st prize: Vara pumps in black ( 0.25 cents per wear)
2nd prize: Ivanka Trump boni in nude, Saks Fifth Avenue nude flats ( about $1 per wear)
Notes to Self:
1. Classic styles and shapes in neutral colors will always work for any occasion or outing.
2. Always, have a neutral pair of flats – something affordable (under $150) that can be used to run errands. (This is a shoe that you have the liberty to be a little rough on.)
3. This is a no brainer – Always try to find a deal on ebay or consignment stores for high-end shoes.
Category 2: Shoes with potential
1st prize: Vara pumps in Bisque Patent and Charlotte Olympia Flats in Burgundy
2nd prize: Ivanka Trump Boni pump in Silver
Note to Self:
Please keep your shoes where you can see them, definitely NOT in boxes.
Category 3: Bad Shoe purchases
Anyi Lu Toni Pumps, Tory Burch Ankle Straps , Kat Maconie Ankle Strap shoes, LK Bennett Mila Sandals, Senso Suede Strappy Sandals (Count: 5!)
Money spent on bad shoes: More than $1000
Notes to Self: Shoes from mid price range brands THAT YOU DON’T NEED FOR WORK / EVERYDAY LIFE, burn holes in your pocket. I could’ve bought two pairs of shoes from real shoe designers. Two pairs that could have lasted at least 3 to 4 years. Two pairs in simple, classic designs that I can wear for a really long time. I could have bought those Manolo Blahnik Pumps I’ve been wanting for so long!
Sell or donate at least 3 of these pairs as soon as possible.
My current shoe count, including boots and active wear stands at 14. All other shoes have been donated or returned or sold off. I am donating Kat Maconie ones (#8). I plan on selling or donating a few more pairs that I don’t use .
My ultimate goal is to never have more than 15 pairs including slip ons. 15 is already a huge number. I will try and bring down in the next few years.
I’d really appreciate your thoughts on my cost per wear analysis. What is your most worn pair? Which shoe purchase do you regret the most? What is the price point that works great for you? Do you have any fantastic finds on ebay or consignment stores?
Please find overall Lessons Learnt in the next post.