Tonight I finally wore my Chanel ballet flats. They've been sitting, in my closet, since January 26th 2008 (I still had the receipt). They're beautiful shoes-- black leather with black patent leather toe caps with a tiny leather bow on each and the trademark interlocking double C logo. They're made in Italy and are a size 37.5. Why have they been in my closet for two years? First because time passes too quickly and second, wouldn't you be hesitant to take a pair of $550 shoes out of the house for the first time??
The first pair of expensive shoes I bought were a pair of black Gucci loafers when I was a first year associate. Do you remember George Bush's $300 tax rebate? It got me $50 away from Gucci loafers. Gucci Loafers, Chanel Flats and most other fancy sounding shoes are often made in Italy. Italians can make very beautiful shoes. Unfortunately, however, they can't necessarily make two very beautiful shoes that are actually the same size.
When I was looking for the loafers I had to try on multiple pairs. I bought one pair at Saks, and still not completely convinced that they were the most comfortable, well fit shoes in the world, bought another identical pair at Bergdorf. At the end of the day, in order to make a pair which actually fit both feet properly, I ended up with one shoe from Saks and one from Bergdorf (I returned the other pair-- while still technically a pair, but of mixed heritage--to Saks... it was closer to my apartment).
It took me weeks to finally take the plunge and wear them out of the house. Looking back on it, I probably should have gone with the more classic leather soled version (I chose a lug-sole... very early-aughts, I know). I figured I walked to work-- these shoes were practically the equivilent of a car!
When I got to my office and stepped into the elevator, a woman colleague noted--"are those Gucci?" Why yes. Sure, I should have put that $300 from the government in the bank or in a tax-free municipal bond or something, but instead I bought shoes. (Which I may say, I still have, in my closet and since thankfully my feet finally reverted to their original size after pregnancy, I can still actually wear them).
The ballet flats? Fit both feet properly and are wonderful.