Finding fabulous shoes is more than a happy coincidence for me. I’m a bona-fide shoe connoisseur and my closet proves it: I have cunning red high-heeled Mary Janes, summery sandals, and serious statement shoes. The best part? I don’t pay a fortune for my shoe fetish. I save money on shoes by knowing where to buy and by following three simple rules.
First and foremost, know where to buy shoes to get the most bang for the buck.
Department store shoe sales. You can find wonderful shoes at department stores and save a pretty penny. Look for sales, especially at times like back-to-school season and Black Friday.
Outlet stores. Score du jour! Found a pair of beautiful shoes for an upcoming wedding for $15 at an outlet store. Be wary and knowledgeable about prices and brands, concentrate on the shoe brands that you know and love, and try everything on.
Shoe discount stores. You can usually find good, solid 20% to 40% off sticker price at shoe discount stores like Designer Shoe Warehouse or Famous Footwear. Also check out fashion discounters like Ross, Marshall’s, and T.J. Maxx. Beware, though—check for quality and fit carefully. It’s not unusual to kiss a lot of frogs in a discount store, but there are wonderful princely shoes to be found at great prices if you’re patient and selective.
Consignment stores and thrift stores. My favorite Carlos Santana shoes—sexy pumps with pointed toes and faux crocodile tips—came from a local consignment store. (I swear they whispered my name from the front showcase…) I’ve also found high quality, barely-worn shoes at Goodwill in upscale areas. Your Mileage May Vary, and the thought of wearing someone else’s shoes may be out of your personal comfort zone, but buying high quality shoes second-hand saves you a bundle.
Three tips to help you save on shoes:
Don’t buy if it doesn’t fit. I don’t care how beautiful the shoe looks. I don’t care how much you saved. If the shoe makes you miserable by 10 a.m., it’s just not worth it. Don’t fall into the trap of assuming that if you’re a size 8 in one brand you are a size 8 in all brands: try on the sizes above and below what you usually buy until you find one that fits properly.
Don’t buy it if you won’t wear it. I learned this lesson the hard way. I bought a pair of absolutely beautiful plum-colored pumps for a ridiculously low price. The problem: my wardrobe is full of reds and pinks, and the shoes just don’t go with anything well. I’ve worn them only two or three times, and each time I wondered if others were thinking, “Those shoes just don’t quite go with that.”
Don’t buy it if you don’t love it. Life’s too short to compromise on shoes! Buy what you love, buy good quality, and have fun with your footwear. Sure, there are times you need to buy shoes for a purpose, such as running shoes or sensible shoes for a job where you’re on your feet all day. Buy the shoes you love for these purposes, too: shoes that meet your need, shoes that make you feel good, shoes that help you accomplish your what you want to do. Get your money’s worth out of your shoe budget by only buying what you love.
What have I missed? Where do you go to satisfy your craving for beautiful shoes at great prices?