October 17, 2011

Ballerines



My Personal Photos

Burgundy! Burgundy! Burgundy! I've been searching for something burgundy to add to my wardrobe. Burgundy is such a luxe jewel tone for fall. It pairs well with winter white, navy, black and gray. When I spotted these flats I knew they were the perfect way to bring burgundy into my wardrobe. Admittedly, I'm not a girl who opts for flats. We all know I love my heels, even when walking or standing is required. I use my ballerines almost exclusively as a commuting shoe. They're perfect for dashing around town. 

When my favorite pair of ballerines gave way, I decided to replace them with this bright pair. I already have a few black ballerines, so color in a luxurious suede is a perky change. For a girl who lives in heels it may sound strange to say that I often find ballet flats uncomfortable. Too often the leather is stiff with little give. If I'm wearing flats I want them to be just as comfortable as the ballet slippers I grew up wearing. I have trouble finding ballerines that fit my narrow feet. The handcrafted Repettos are paramount when it comes to craftsmanship and comfort. 

Hand sewn with inside-out seams, Repettos appear extremely delicate, but are made from the highest quality materials. Natural deeply dyed leathers are softened to ensure suppleness. There's something comforting in relying on a brand that I wore during childhood. The workable drawstrings enables the shoe to be pulled for a tighter fit, like a true ballet slipper. The option of making the shoes fit snugger is perfect for my narrow feet. 

I can't wait to start the workday in my new ballerines, but first there are a few preemptive care measures that need to be taken. I have always found Repettos to be far more durable than they look, but here are a few care and maintenance tips:

* Prior to wearing, apply a water and stain repellent product. Trusted cobblers have constantly recommended this one. It's great to spray on from time to time. It dries clear and quickly without changing the natural aspects of the suede.

* I can't stand when drawstrings fray or unravel. A tiny drop of liquid sealant prevents the drawstrings from unraveling. The best brands dry clear. 

* Once I've worn my Repettos, I use a suede eraser and a brush to gently remove dirt. 

* After breaking them in I take my ballerines to my cobbler to have the soles resoled. I tend to get so excited to wear my shoes that I put this step off. Having a leather sole put on isn't very expensive but it really extends the shoe's longevity.

*** There are additional care tips here.

35 comments:

  1. Excellent post! Thank you for the tips, they're really useful! Whenever I buy a new pair of shoes, I tend to wear them non-stop, so taking good care of them is a must. I think the colour is a great choice! I just bought myself a burgundy scarf and I love the elegant touch it brings to an outfit, without making it look dull.
    On a different note, on my next trip I'll definitely get my hands on a pair of Repettos, since I've seen only great reviews on them!
    Bisous!

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  2. They are really beautiful!! I have wanted a pair for so long, but nowhere near me sells them, and i can't find an online retailer that will give me the length of the outer sole, as they all say they don't have access to their stock. So I'm stuck admiring them from afar. Good to hear you like the quality though : )

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  3. Oh they are lovely. I am excited to bring burgundy into my wardrobe as well. A thin silk-blend tee from Kain and a pair of bespoke trousers in burgundy cotton with purple silk cuffs.

    Am looking to invest in a pair of mid-heel (2 inch) closed-toe pumps - I tend to wear 4-inch heels or flats but have realised that I could really use a good pair of mid-heels. Am considering ordering either the Ferragamo Vara pumps or something by Kate Spade. How has your experience been with KS footwear? Do they run true to size?

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  4. Such a beautiful and rich color. Looking forward to seeing you pair them with your attires. And great tips too. Regarding the last tip, I often neglect to have my shoes resoled because I get so excited to wear my shoes as well, haha. I always postpone doing it, but I guess it's because resoling your shoes in Norway is terribly expensive and I can't afford resoling my shoes all at once. Haha. I often wait till I travel to Paris.

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  5. gorgeous! i've always loved that color. thanks for the tips on caring for suede shoes. i've never been able to convince myself to buy any pair of suede shoes for fear of damaging them instantly.

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  6. Love them! really beautiful color. Repettos are the best ballet flats, they just adjust really nice to the shape of your feet. I took my two pairs to the cobbler and added an extra sole so they last longer (here is 15€). I going to use your tip to seal the drawstring, I hate unraveling as well! I am a 39 but in Repettos I buy 40, I find ballet flats usually run small. In my next trip to Paris I am planning to go to the shop, but maybe that's not good for my wallet...

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  7. Anna- Thank you! I’m glad you find the tips useful. I know exactly what you mean about wearing your ballerines non-stop. Since I use them for commuting and long walks I can go through a pair so quickly.

    I’m glad to hear that the color is versatile. I instantly loved this burgundy color when I saw them over the summer.

    I have been dreaming of a burgundy scarf. Might I ask where yours is from? It’s such a pretty color against the face.

    I love the Repetto store in Paris. It’s always fun to see so many options in front of you. I especially love seeing the dancers from all the companies getting fitted.

    Anonymous- Thank you! They can be tricky to find. Especially since they are hand sewn and not massed produced. The quality has always been excellent, which is something I value.

    Ammu- I owe you an email!!! Thank you! I love the thin silk blend tees from Kain and I’m not a tee shirt person. Your trousers sound so classic and yet very now.

    I’m very much a fan of the 4 inch heel:) Although I know for weeks we’re I’m going to be running around all the time varying heel height is necessary. You can’t go wrong with the Ferragamo flats- I go back to their shoes again and again because they’re so well crafted and last FOREVER.

    I have bought three pairs of Kate Spade shoes. Two are the same just different colors, but they are all peep toed. I’ve really been impressed with how they’ve held up and how comfortable they are. I have found that they run true to size.

    Fleurette- Thank you! I’m realizing that I have a thing for shoes in rich colors. Sometimes I’ll plan a look around a colorful shoe.

    I’m trying to hold fast to not wearing these before they are resoled. I know a lot of people feel that it’s not worth it to resole a pair of shoes after you’ve already spent so much on them. A cobbler once told me that you should purchase a pair of shoes if you aren’t willing to resole and purchase a shoe tree for them.
    Having shoes resoled in Paris when you travel is smart. Much less expensive and there are so many wonderful craftsmen.

    Felcia- Thank you! It’s a color that makes me so excited for autumn. If only the weather would cooperate. It’s been feeling like summer.

    I adore suede shoes. I’ve found that they’ve held up really well. I try not to wear suede in the rain (although you can if you waterproof), but I’ve found that if you take care of them well, you won’t damage them.

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  8. Thank you for the help :) I am going to check out the ferragamo store in Delhi and see how the vara low heel shoes fit. They are so classic, and if they fit, they will work seamlessly with the rest of my wardrobe. I am with you on re-soling shoes. I think caring for the things you love is part of the pleasure of owning beautiful things. Luckily India has terrific cobblers, I send my shoes off to be polished and my local cobbler does such a good job cleaning the inside and outside of the shoes, they come back look new.

    I should say, before I tried a tee from kain I never saw the point of expensive tee-shirts. Now, I am a convert, I wear my silk-blend and 100% linen draped tees all the time.

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  9. Lunaday- Thank you! I like that the color stands out but still works with my neutrals.

    Adding the extra sole is imperative to making your Repettos last. You only need 1-2 drops of sealant to keep the drawstrings from unraveling. Unraveling drawstrings look so untidy in my book.

    I find that Repettos run small, so I order a half size up from my regular size. The shop in Paris is always a shopping destination for me. I always feel a little nostalgic when I see dancers getting fitted for new shoes there.

    Ammu- Yes, the Ferragamos really can integrate quite well into a wardrobe and be worn dressy or in a casual way. I love that they are so classic and timeless.

    Having an appreciation for your items and taking care of them well is part of the joy of owning beautiful things. You put it so eloquently.

    There’s nothing like a good cobbler. They really can make shoes look new. They’re artisans in their own right. I have had a few items fixed and been so amazed by how they turned out. I love having shoes polished and cleaned.

    I only wear tees as layering pieces. I feel odd wearing them alone, but the Kain tees are beautiful.

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  10. They are so pretty - I love burgundy, and I've added a burgundy cardigan and a sweater to my wardrobe this fall. I try to take good care of my shoes too, and always get a protective sole and a rubber heel cap.

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  11. Garderoben- Thank you! I've been looking for a burgundy sweater, but can't seem to find the right shade. It's such a pretty color.

    A protective sole and heel cap are such a good way to protect your shoes.

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  12. These are beautiful, jealous!x

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  13. Your flats are lovely! Burgundy is my favorite fall colour for anything, clothing, nail polish, lipstick...
    May I ask how often you get your shoes resoled? I have 2 pairs of ballerina flats which I've worn for 1, respecitvely 1/2 year and until recently I didn't know you could resole shoes to make them last longer.

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  14. Milly: Thank you:)

    Florina- Thanks! I agree about burgundy for fall. I associate fall and cooler weather with my favorite burgundy nail polish. I prefer pale pink to dark colors, but have found that Chanel Tulip Noir looks beautiful in the fall.

    I think how often you resole depends on how often you wear the shoes, in what conditions (dry, wet, salt, snow), how long your walking and even how you walk. It's different for different shoes that I have. I always make sure that I don't let them wear down too far.

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  15. These Repetto are so pretty ! I really love burgundy too.

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  16. Excellent tip about how to avoid fraying drawstrings -- that's definitely something that I wouldn't think of at first but would find bothersome once it starts to show wear.

    And as always, beautiful selection! The burgundy really is a nice touch.

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  17. Woow good choice and very nice colour indeed.
    It is true that Repettos are fragile and even if you apply some water repellent it would be better not to wear them during wet days.
    As an alternative you can have Pretty Ballerinas or Lanvin's flats which are great and sooo comfy.

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  18. Those shoes are beautiful, and the shade of burgundy is very rich. I must say though that I am quite the opposite from you! I live in ballerinas and loafers with my one pair of heels being for special dressy occasions.

    Also, being from somewhere where it rains constantly I absolutely agree about the necessity of weatherizing.

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  19. Emma S.- Thank you!

    Rachel- The fraying drawstrings is one of those things that bothers the perfectionist in me. Although, I sort of hate to admit it:)

    Thank you! I always feel a bit overwhelmed when there are so many color, fabric and textures to choose from, but I knew this was perfect when i saw it.

    Eveange66- Thank you!

    I like to wear wellies in the rain because I don't like the idea of ruining my shoes. Most importantly, the product that I use protects against stains, which is somewhat inevitable.

    I haven't tried Pretty Ballerinas. Thank you for the recommendation. The Lanvin flats are great:)

    Austere- Thank you! I love your ballerinas and loafers. I think flats can be just as chic as heels.

    Waterproofing is so necessary and for the impatient the new formulas dry super quick;)

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  20. Repetto flats are the best! This gorgeous rich plum is going to look absolutely chic and great on you :)

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  21. Joy- Completely agree! I've never had a bad experience with Repettos.

    Thank you! I hope to be able to make them look chic.

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  22. The burgundy colour is so elegant. Love ballerines, too. (How can you not?!) I love your care tips. You're so right that proper care can really add to any pair of shoes' longevity.

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  23. Alice Olive- Thank you! This color really stood out in my mind as soon as I saw it at Bergdorfs.

    I'm glad that you liked the care tips. I hope to incorporate more tips into my posts in the future;)

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  24. what size do you take in repetto flats? is it your normal size?

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  25. You bought Repetto!!! It's my favorite brand of shoes! They are so beautiful, chic and comfortable. I have like fourteen or fifteen pairs.
    xx

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  26. Anonymous- I always go up a half size with Repettos, but I have very narrow feet. The Repetto website and Bergdorf always recommend going up 1 full size as they run small.

    Camille S.- They make gorgeous flats. It's one brand that I feel I can depend on consistently.

    14-15 pairs! Oh my:)

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  27. what a gorgeous color for repettos! they're beautiful :)

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  28. miss sophie- Thank you! Hope Shanghai is treating you well.

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  29. I only ever wear Repetto flats. I even managed to convert my friends and my mom. I own 4 pairs in different colors which I rotate all the time. I love the Repetto flagship store in Paris. The selection is out of this world.

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  30. Chocolate, Cookies & Candies- I love that you converted your friends and mom. I really feel that once people try Repettos they never go back.

    The flagship in Paris is one of my favorite stores. Too many choices.

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  31. Hi, I know this is an old post but I thought I would ask anyway.. I just got my first pair of Repetto Ballerines and I'm just wondering what kind of sole you get? The only part of the shoe I worry about wearing down quickly is the bit where the sole and toe connect. Do you get a sole put over the original sole? or do you get the entire sole replaced?

    Thanks!

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    1. Excellent choice!

      The most durable thing would to do would be to add a cobbler add a Vibram half-sole. A good cobbler will mold and custom fit the half-sole onto the current outsole. This way when you'll wear down the half-sole and not the actual outsole. It's fine to wear your shoes a few times before you add the half sole. A skilled cobbler will do some design work to make the half-sole work with the rest of the shoe, since that bothers some people.

      I don't don't have a full sole put on, because I tend to wear out my shoes in one specific spot.

      The most important thing is to make sure that you get a Vibram sole. There are others, but Vibram is by far the most durable.

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  32. wao wonderful i am absolutely entertain about ballet dance further it remarkable shoes thanks for bring this post.

    Ballet business | Rachel Withers

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