Oy, i felt like a walking stereotype a couple of Sundays ago! Mr. E and i went to San Francisco, where we spent almost an hour in the Union Square Fluevog store (San Francisco is one of two cities with a double helping of Fluevog stores - worldwide!). My dashing husband had spotted a divine pair of shoes on sale and thought they might make a nice Valentine's Day present.
After my purchase, stylish bag in hand, we walked the streets looking for a bite to eat. (If any SF residents can give us a recommendation for a reasonable, decent cafe in the Union Square/Financial district which is open weekends, we would be much obliged!) On our way to a sub-par dining experience i spotted a likely spot for a gritty urban portrait. Mr. E obliged and snapped a couple of pics. By this time, i couldn't feel more predictable. "Style blogger on the rampage for shoes made by 'it' designer John Fluevog, illl-clad for the weather, was photographed by her husband in some type of edgy, public setting yesterday........" Good grief! Well, you can't be eccentric all the time, though we try.
I hope you don't lose any respect for me, but i'll understand if you do ; ) On to the advice! I've read innumerable blog posts gushing over the incomparable divinity of Fluevog souls. Now that i've got my hands on a pair, having tried on 20+ different styles in the process, i'd like to share some what i have learned with you. A lot of this information applies to shoe buying generally, but much is specific to Fluevogs.
Edited to add: Patti's put up her Visible Monday post - ooh lala! That woman wears a leather skirt! Go check out Patti and all the VM ladies! If taking self-portraits in my carport next to the washer and dryer doesn't make you feel visible, i don' t know what would. Back to Fluevog:
Do a lot of online research before you go to the store! I cannot emphasize this enough. The Fluevog company puts out a lot of very unique styles. This has practical ramifications. When we went to the store, there were around 80-100 different styles of shoe on display (i didn't count, just estimating) There were shoes on every flat space, including the floor and benches. But i didn't see these Cascades anywhere, though they were listed on the website. I had even called a couple of days earlier to see if the store had any in stock, and had been assured that they had several of each color in my range of sizes. I approached a sales associate to inquire. She went in the back and brought out six boxes. If Mr. E hadn't found them online and i hadn't called ahead and i hadn't asked the associate about them when we were in the store, i would have left empty-handed. Research online beforehand, make notes/print out pertinent pages/bookmark shoes on your phone, call ahead, and ask for what you want in the store.
This is especially important if you want to get shoes on sale. It only makes sense that the staff will feature the newest stock if space is limited. Pricing of new Fluevogs can be intimidating. But their sale prices are excellent, and there is always a lot of stock on sale. You just have to know what you are looking for when you go to the store in order to take advantage of this pricing. on edit: Mr. E informs me that Fluevog has sales every January and July.
I was pretty determined to get these Cascades as soon as i saw them in the mirror. But, with a 3 1/2" slender heel, i predicted they would be your basic 'sit in a chair and look amazing' shoes. I normally take a size 9.5 in US women's shoes. I have not been able to get my foot into a size 9, much less walk around in any, since i was in junior high school (possibly not even them! Correct me if i'm wrong, mom). I was leaning towards going with the 9.5s when i decided, "we're here, who knows, just try the size 9 for the hell of it". The difference in comfort level was phenomenal - like wearing an entirely different shoe. The sales associate said, "Look! You're prancing!" She exaggerated, but still. Make certain to try one or two sizes up and down from whatever size you think is the best fit. Because of the uniqueness of the various styles, you can't really take a lot of information from one shoe to another. Better to over-investigate.
Try on many different styles of shoe. Fluevog creates shoes which not only look very different from other shoes on the market. Individual Fluevog shoes are shaped very differently from other shoes in the Fluevog line. Because of this, they also fit very differently. When i first visited the Fleuvog store, i tried on about 6 pair of boots. Some fit my feet terribly (i couldn't even get into a size 10.5 in one style), others were okay but not great. Then i tried on these Amazing boots and they were beyond comfortable and supportive. It really surprised me! However, i have nothing to wear with them so i passed. These leads to my last point:
it's only fair that you put in some effort. I hope this information helps you start living with the shoes of your dreams.
Blouse and Skirt: own design
Belt: Betsey Johnson
Shoes: Miracle Cascades by John Fluevog