Friday, September 23, 2016
Savior Of The Shoe
Now that Loehmann's is gone, I do this a lot less than I used to, but I still do it. I buy shoes I shouldn't buy. The reality is, I shouldn't even be buying any shoes that aren't my beloved Abeo Balboa flips or Sketchers Go Walk slip-on sneaks. However, in my mind, I imagine myself out at fancy parties or somewhere other kinds of shoes are sort of required. Sure, every now and again, I do find myself at a charity event, a wedding, bat mitzvah, or work related gathering where I need to be more dressed than my usual work go-to of cargo pants and t-shirt.
I buy shoes. Not like Carrie Bradshaw-people-who-LOVE-shoes buy shoes. I buy shoes on a deal. And apparently, unlike my friend Alex and other people, never in a neutral. I may own like one pair of black boots and a couple pair of black shoes for dresses, but I definitely don't own anything in a beige or brown. I want to look at my shoes like I look at lampshades. A sea of rainbow color. I will not be happy until I have the whole sixty-four crayon box rainbow. In fact just recently, I felt the one thing I was missing in life was an insulated all weather boot in some kind blue. Somewhere between just regular cobalt type blue and a navy. Not boring dark navy though, but more of a brighter navy. Having a hard time finding exactly what I'm looking for. I actually had a pair of metallic navy but they were lined with some kind of faux shearling. Who knew that the lining would pull my pants down every time I walked? Sitting they're stunning. Walking, I'd be naked before hitting the corner.
One thing I was definitely missing was a pair of plain black, skinny heel boots to wear with a dress. Like a BCBG stretch jersey just-above-the-knee length dress. The last time I bought black boots that have a heel and are meant for a dress like that was for my ten year high school reunion. In 2002. Back when a chunkier heel was still in.
I found the perfect pair of black, skinny heeled boots last winter. Stuart Weitzman, leather like buttah, perfect boots. Except the heels were like four inches. Something crazy for me when generally, my highest heel is no more like two or two and a half inches. I don't even know how you're supposed to measure heels- do you go all the way to seam or where it meets the sole? Regardless, these boots were HIGH.
I stalked them at Saks Off Fifth because I wasn't paying over two hundred dollars for them either. They retailed normally for around six hundred but I certainly wouldn't be paying that. They weren't getting any cheaper at Saks Off Fifth, as I'd visited them at least three times over a month. I finally got them on eBay for one hundred and twenty. I was thrilled. I got them, wore them once, to The Wendy Williams show, and then I thought I was crippled. Not only couldn't I walk, somehow I stepped in a grate in NYC and ripped a piece of leather clean off the heel. I knew I couldn't ever wear them again and I couldn't sell them because I ruined the heel.
I just let them sit for months. The other day I remembered I saw an article about Vinny, the owner of the shoe repair place in Ridgewood. I read that he cuts heels down. This was intriguing. I wanted to go there but I was afraid it was going to cost me more than the shoes did. It seemed like a lot of work. I told my friend I was going and she said it was probably going to be expensive. She had shoes done in our town and it was expensive. But she said it was done by a third party. I knew Vinny does the shoes himself so I thought that would be a better bet.
IT WAS. I am SO HAPPY I went there. Vinny is amazing. I asked him how much it would be to cut down the heels a bit and he's said it would be twenty dollars to not only cut the heels but to fix the leather I ripped, as best as he could. TWENTY DOLLARS? What? Sure thing. Fix my boots! I asked when they'd be ready and he said I could pick them up the next day by noon. Noon??! Uh, ok. It's still over eighty degrees here and I don't need them yet, but ok! You pretty much had me hello. And twenty dollars.
I dropped them on Wednesday, picked them up on Thursday and they are perfect. I tried them on when I got home and miracle of miracles, I could walk. Comfortably. I wish I'd done this to other shoes I bought and never wore sooner. I have a pair of hot pink satin (or some kind of material) shoes I love but have never worn because they're just too high. Those will be my next small project. I feel like I could buy any shoes I want now and just have the heels cut down. It's a whole new shoe world!
But there is one cardinal rule you MUST follow when you go to Vinny. DON'T LOSE YOUR TICKET. He's busy, he's a mom & pop store, and he has A LOT of shoes there. Don't be a pain the behind. Make sure you know where your ticket is when you pick up. He's also nice enough to offer curbside service. We all know how difficult it is to park in Ridgewood. He'll bring your shoes right out to your car. We call that old school.
Thank you Vinny! You're the best!
Quality Shoe Repair
18 Oak St, Ridgewood, NJ 07450
Monday - Saturday 7:30 am - 5:30 pm
Now offering convenient curbside pick up.