June 26, 2012

Style Essentials- The Black Patent Pump

My Personal Photo

Hope you all had a lovely weekend. We had a nice reprieve from the scorching heat and humidity in the form of nice crisp breezes. 

The word that comes to mind when it comes to my wardrobe is CONTENTMENT. I take pleasure (and a bit of pride) in only adding items that will meld seamlessly with my wardrobe. Oftentimes, finding these items is an exercise in patience. One such item is the black patent leather pump. 

The black patent pump is an essential in my wardrobe- it’s elegant, graceful and chic. Perfect for every occasion- it transitions easily from day to night. I keep a pair of black patent pumps at the office. For a while, I’ve been looking for a pump to replace a pair of black patent pumps that had seen better days. Since patent leather is easy to maintain, I kept breathing new life into my pumps.

The black patent pump is an investment piece in many professional wardrobes and yet elusive. My criteria for the “perfect black patent pump” includes-

  • A subtle pointed/almond toe to balance a sturdy heel
  • 4 inch heel
  • Quality leather lining, sole and uppers
  • A single piece of leather lining the instep from the tip of the toe to the heel. (This speaks to the craftsmanship and quality. The alternative is when the heel is attached separately. The sole of the shoe is sturdier when a single piece of leather lines the instep.)
  • A timeless shape (Not dated or overly trendy.)
  • Discretion- No red soles
When I spotted these on sale at Bergdorf (Bergdorf does a great shoe sale) I scooped them up. The Manolo Blahnik Tuccio pumps met all of my criteria. Very little caught my eye in the sales. Due to the distribution size curve in which buyers purchase items, I rarely find the items that I covet early in the season on sale in my size. The Manolo Blahnik Tuccio pumps were a pleasant surprise and have quickly become a wardrobe essential that I’ve been living in.

Have you indulged in the sales?

36 comments:

  1. Great post! I agree, the shape is definitely important. A good pair of black pumps should outlive trends.

    aspiringforever.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Tian- Thank you!

      Shape is so important. I prefer a tapered shape- they fit a narrow foot better but they're so hard to find. For well over a year I looked for something to replace a pair that I loved but were discontinued.

      You're so right, a good pair will outlive trends. I love shoes, but I don't like when you look at a pair and they're so trendy that you instantly remember the season.

      Delete
  2. These are lovely - so elegant! Patent leather is just so durable and chic. I can see them fitting seamless into your wardrobe.

    I haven't indulged in any sale shopping - I am not much of a sale shopper unless I see something I have already had my eye on for some time. Among regular purchases, I recently picked up a Clare Vivier nubuck bag in navy. Much as I love my pebbled and glossy leather bags, a recent bout with a bad back pushed me to use a lighter bag. And leave the iPad at home unless absolutely necessary. I hope the Vivier bag proves durable - it's unlined, which makes it very light, but also makes me nervous about its lifespan! I have one of her custom-made clutches (which she lined for me) and that's still as good as new after two years of regular use, so let's see!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ammu- Thank you! I searched and tried on just about every pair over the last year and a half. I just couldn't find anything that came close to the pair that I had that were wonderful. Patent leather is so durable and easy to maintain too.

      For me it isn't a question of being much of a sale shopper. 0s 00s and 32s just sell out on NAP as soon as they hit the web. If you even comntemplate purchasing it's sold out. I think that makes me a bit disgruntled when it comes to sales;) I usually just stumble upon an odd item like these shoes that have been on my list for ages and happen to be on sale. At the same time I'm very astute to the gaming in retail. The shoes are still full priced at Neimans despite the fact that Neimans and BG are one and the same company and many times I've had BG pull stock from Neimans.

      I'm sorry to hear about your back:( That's awful. I'm trying to be more cognizant of not carrying to much for lond periods of time on my shoulder. I gravitate toward beautiful but heavy bags. The Claire Vivier bags are beautiful. Unlined would make me nervous but she makes a great product. The newly opened LA store looks so cute and she's scouting in NY and Paris which makes me so happy.

      Delete
    2. It's always worth waiting for the perfect item - I took ages before I bought my first pair of Ferragamo Varas and now I am hooked. I think I even prefer them to my ballet flats.

      I hope my intuition about the Clare Vivier bag works out. She is very talented and I think, pretty good value for money (at least as far as the clutches are concerned).

      Delete
    3. Ammu- So true! So many of my favorite items were well worth the wait. The Ferragamo Varas are the perfect shoe, I think. So ageless and classy. The Varas are so comfortable and come in so many different widths:)

      Let me know about the bag. She is talented and I like that she makes a really well-made product that's accessible.

      Delete
  3. Good call on going for a discreet pair. They have a timeless appeal that will serve you well.

    For the sales, it’s all about prioritizing what I really want and within what my budget allows. Some things I delay on and if it’s gone it’s gone, and others are snap decisions. I did order a piece from Brook & Lyn’s sample sale though. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Prêt à Porter P- Discretion is important. I really wanted timeless- something for meetings, board interviews, etc.

      I think that's a healthy perspective. Truthfully if I'm delaying or indecisive in any way there usually is a reason.

      Oh I can totally imagine you in Brook&Lyn jewelry.

      Delete
  4. I'm not even a heel girl most of the time (I own one nice suede pair from J. Crew) but those are wonderful. That perfect almond toe and heel are indeed elusive. Great find!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. rachel- Thank you!

      The almond toe is so hard to find. It was starting to feel a bit like the neverending search. I could envision exactly what I wanted, but I just couldn't find it.

      Oh your J.Crew pumps sound pretty. I consider the suede pump an essential too!!!

      Delete
  5. You have the nicest shoes and I've probably said it before but you always look impecable! I'm not indulging in any sales, I opted for having some more money for vacation and summer activities. Also I feel like I don't really want anything, key word - contentment. While new wardrobe additions are exciting, I'm quite happy that everything I've seen in stores leaves me indifferent.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Florina- Thank you! That's so sweet of you!

      I agree, I would never sacrifice a vacation or summer activities for shopping. Thoses experiences are so rewarding and lead to much more longterm happiness and fulfillment, I think.

      Contentment is best feeling. So much that I see in stores leaves me feeling exactly that- indifferent. It's not bad, but I just don't feel moved.

      Delete
  6. No sales shopping for me this time around, as I'm saving it all for travel. A short visit to Oslo, a trip to my parents, and hopefully somewhere warm and sunny later this year. I'm at a point right now where I don't think my wardrobe really lacks anything, except maybe a semi-casual blazer. Still haven't totally figured out all aspects of the whole work-wear thing, but I'm getting there!

    Your pumps are perfect by the way, and I love that you favor discretion over red soles :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Maja H- Your travel plans sound wonderful. What warm destination are you thinking of?! The trip planning is half the fun.

      Getting to the point where you don't lack anything is so satisfying. Ah the semi casual blazer sounds perfect and like one of those items you would wear all the time. Workwear is hard to nail down. I feel like even in a short period of time it has changed so much.

      Oh yes! Discretion is key;)

      Delete
  7. These shoes look great on you. I used to have a patent flap and it is very low maintenance. Just a simple wipe down is good.

    I havent been able to get anything from the sale season yet, although I did score some past season A.P.C. pieces from ebay lately.

    You have a great sense of refinement in your choice of clothes and it is inspiring to read your thoughts on style.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. justeileen-Thank you! I love how low maintenance patent leather is too.

      How exciting about your A.P.C. pieces. They sound like keepers.

      Glad you enjoy the blog!

      Delete
  8. Replies
    1. Eva Ana Kazić- Thanks classic and simple sometimes is the only way to go;)

      Delete
  9. I've seen Louboutins on plenty of ladies and they look amazing in them. BUT, there's me. I was close to tears when I strutted out (oh okay, that was an exaggeration)...I meant staggered out of the hotel room in agony to attend hubby's best friend's wedding which was held downstairs. An hour later, I staggered back up to the hotel room to swap into my Giuseppe Zanotti jeweled flats. I've worn Manolos in the past when I used to work in a corporate environment. I'd love to find a pair similar to yours.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You are definitely not alone there. I haven't even been able to find a pair of comfortable flats, as far as CL is concerned. Maybe it's because I have long toes, but his shoes just HURT me. Anyway, I find that Marc Jacobs, Chloe and of course Ferragamo do a great job with shoes.
      Those Zanottis sound amazing, btw. Evening flats are so chic!

      Delete
    2. Chocolate, Cookies & Candies- Why are the simple things so hard to find?

      Oh no! I haven't had any issues with Louboutins being uncomfortable or painful. Although a lot of styles run on the narrow side, so that might be why. I will say that people rave about the Simples but they have always been were too wide on me and not tapered enough for my taste.

      Your flats sound beautiful and so festive for evening.

      Delete
    3. Ammu- Totally agree- evening flats are so chic. I always think of Sofia Coppola and Vera Wang (who always puts models in flats at her presentations and shows.)

      Delete
  10. I also take some pride in the longevity of the pieces I choose to invest in. I love it when someone compliments my dress or shoes and I have to think about how long I ago it was purchased!

    Your Manolos are perfection!

    I also scour the sales carefully. American retail is so wonderful for that. I was watching a divine dress in Barney's since the sales started... but the price tag didn't get to where I wanted it. So hard to resist because it fit so beautifully.

    Then I was rewarded for my patience and for trying it on in-store. Gilt delivered the price I wanted!

    Buy low, sell high as they say! (Of course, I have no intention of selling....)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Alice Olive- Thank you!

      Yes! I love that! I think I also enjoy the surprise that people have when they realize that it is possible to invest in items that don't look dated and that have longevity.

      I'm so intrigued by your dress- it sounds wonderful. A beautiful dress that fits well is always so hard to resist. Yours sounds gorgeous. I have to ask who makes it?!

      I just finished the Gilt book. I've heard A&A speak and I've been a member but I have yet to purchase. They do seem to deliver and the book really was an inspiring and humble read. It left me really carefully considering my own leadership style in the workplace.

      Delete
    2. I love Gilt. I am often surprised at how quickly they will have a designer's latest collection on sale. Delivery is prompt, too.

      I don't know about you, but I find I vary in size from designer to designer, sometimes even within a designer. So, for me, it always helps to have tried items on in the store.

      The latest investment is Narciso Rodriguez - he is a favourite of mine!

      Delete
    3. Alice Olive- It's pretty amazing what Gilt has built. Good to know about the delivery too.

      Ah Narciso Rodriguez does the best dresses- the cuts and fit are always gorgeous yet understated. Swoon.

      I know what you mean about sizing. I tend to rely on a few designers who work for me but have to try everything on in store.

      Delete
  11. Those really are a perfect shoe! I have so much trouble finding shoes because my feet are a size 35 and many designers don't go down to that size, or if they do the shoe is too wide. I agree with your comment about waiting for sales, small sizes just sell out so quickly, vanity sizing really is a pain.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous- Thank you! Every once in a while you stumble on perfect. I can always convince myself otherwise, but these just seemed like the right replacement.

      It's so true about the retail business model with respect to sizing. It's especially hard if your too tall and have long limbs, then you can't even rely on petites, which is an endless source of frustration for me.

      Delete
  12. Nice find, and an undeniable classic! I only own one pair of "true" heels, and they're a pair of black patent ones I use for dressy occasions (and even then I'm more likely to opt for flats). Though I've managed to hold on to them for the past four or five years, the style is starting to be less appealing to me. However, since I wear them at most twice a year, I'm in no rush to replace (mostly because after all this time they still look new).

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. humannracing- Thanks! I think it's worth the search to find that classic item that goes with everything.

      Flats are so chic for dressy occasions- I like that they're unexpected which has a certain appeal. I feel the same way about trousers for evening- they stand out in a confident in one's own skin kinda way that just can't be faked.

      I know what you mean about not being in a rush to replace items. I don't own a simple white t-shirt and yet I'm in no rush because I really don't wear tees other than to layer under sweaters. I figure at some point I'll come across the right tee.

      Delete
  13. Oh, you're so lucky!!! They are perfect! I had a great sale purchase once, when a D&G store in the mall was shutting down and they had everthing 60% off. I got a pair of leopard print heels (actually, THE perfect pair of its category,too!:p) totally in my size, but they are a bit difficult to walk, since they are very unstable. Next time I'll wear them I'll need a male arm! ;-)

    PS: Thanks for following my on Twitter! ;-)

    ReplyDelete
  14. Dora Panariti- Thank you!

    Your leopard print heels sound amazing. Such a classic that I've yet to be able to incorporate, but man does a touch of leopard in a flat or heel look beautiful and so chic.

    So funny about needing a male arm;)

    ReplyDelete
  15. these are divine! i'm still on the hunt for a classy, dare-i-say investment pair of black dress/work pumps, and i'm looking at MB more and more. do you find them to fit true or run half size small?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. miss sophie- Thanks! It's so hard to find the perfect pair, but I do love an investment pair of heels.

      I find that they run pretty true to size for the most pair, but narrow which works well for me. I have read a lot of people say that that some of the styles run a half size small, which I can see if the foot is wider.

      Delete
  16. I loathe my collection of Louboutins now, I second your desire for discreet shoes and bags too.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Tabitha! Ugh... That's so disappointing. Such a good point about discreet bags- I've never been an It bag girl but there are a few recognizable bags (the Kelly, reissue, Celine box) that I love.

      Delete