Privilege Blog

Delayed Gratification. And Too Expensive Shoes.

About 4 years ago, I bought these shoes.

As of this morning, they look like this.

For good reason. I have worn these shoes 3 days out of 5 every work week since I bought them. They are black. They are flat. They are classic. They are terribly comfortable. They are now dead.

Saturday I bought these.

“Well,” you might say, “Well, LPC, aren’t those Ferragamos, um, rather pricy?” “Why yes they are, ” I would have to answer. $420, to be precise, and quite non-High WASP in my directness. That’s what happens when you buy no new black shoes for 4 years. You defer gratification. And then you go for the big hit. And you feel quite satiated. For the most part. You have two marshmallows, not one.

This High WASP buying cycle is quite common, although this is probably an extreme example. I had my Manolos repaired and refurbished at least 3 times. I polished them. I loved them. And, as is common when you love something, failed to notice when they were no longer serving me. I kept thinking I would fix them again. All the while, in the part of my mind that I keep for shameful behavior, I was plotting. I was fixating. I was researching*. I was committing in my heart to these Ferragamos. As a result, I wore my Manolos, frayed, for far too long to be appropriate. That shabby chic thing people attribute to High WASPs? Nah. We are just telling ourselves we will mend the toile, all the while planning for the interior designer to come and cover everything in yellow faille with piping.

Delayed gratification has its benefits. And its symptoms. No? BTW, this was not my only purchase Saturday. But we are practicing delays.

*Allie is partly to blame for the Varinas.

30 Responses

  1. I like your approach. I am all for buying classics that last, when and if you can afford it. I want to know what else you carted home that day. The shoes are pretty special.

  2. They will last forever, though, they really will. My mom's are at least 30 years old, have been resoled multiple times and still look good.

    I am starting to approach the age where I wouldn't feel like a kid playing dress up by wearing them. I may have to go do a little shopping. They really are a classic.

  3. I've made friends with our local cobbler, who is truly a miracle worker. Love both the Manolos and the Ferragamos! Both are classy, gorgeous, timeless shoes.

  4. Uh, those Manolos…, I always go for terribly comfortable when it comes to shoes. Do the Ferragamos measure up? They must, I assume, or you wouldn't have bought them.

  5. Ah. Maya. Stay tuned. Let me just say as a preview, I am not perfect. I should say it again. But once will suffice.

  6. Whoa, love the new shoes!
    Sometimes one marshmallow just won't do.

  7. love the new shoes and there is something to be said about shopping like a frenchwoman- materialism is good and fine as long as you buy the nicest that you can afford- are really in love with the piece- and wear it to bits and shreds. funny how they always look so put together when americans (generalization here) buy often and of shoddy quality and it shows.

    all 'bout 2 marshmallows!

    xoox and thank you for the warm fuzzies :)


  8. I love your new shoes! Ferragamos are timeless. It looks like your Manolo's lived a happy life ;)

  9. If you wear your Ferragamo shoes 3 times a week for 4 years, you will only be spending $0.72 per wear. Hope they're comfy!

  10. Ferragamos are just so very lovely. I wear mine practically every day and they are perfect with everything.

  11. Thanks for the comment- you obviously have great taste in shoes so I'll take it as a compliment!

  12. That is the good thing about REALLY well made shoes. They can take a beating and then be made to look good by a very talented cobbler! Cheap shoes are a one shot deal. Once they start to go…they are gone. Oh well…one of these days I'll be able to buy the good ones again.

  13. I still have my first pair of Manolo's. I bought them 13 years ago (my God!) They are the classic black 3" heeled slingbacks. They look horrible. I haven't worn them in at least 8 years, but I can't bear to throw them away.

  14. Beautiful! Still a bit over my comfort level price wise but once I actually have furniture…. watch out!

  15. Not sure about the ladie's shoes, but the best part of owning Alden's/Crockett's etc, is sending them back to be refurbished. They literally start like your second photo and come back as the first – I'd look into that at Neiman's or ask a good cobbler to work his magic for you.

    Best of Luck!

  16. Being a mid/low level WASP, I married a high WASP – one who is considerably bewildered by my love of cheap shoes. He, on the other hand, would not blink an eye at your shoe purchase, since he has some very expensive shoes of his own in his side of the closet. And yes, he wears them until they are no longer wearable, for many years.

    Can one aspire to high WASPitude?

  17. The price-per-wear absolutely went through my mind. Repeatedly. My Manolos have had a happy life. I would have them repaired again, it's not the rips and tears, it's the fact that they now appear to be irretrievably bent into elf shoes…

  18. And Jan, one doesn't have to aspire. One can simply claim the identity and it's yours. I'm giving it away right here, right now…

  19. Love the new Varina's! I am hoping to find them in navy for the fall, enjoy your new purchase!

  20. fabulous shoes–great purchase :) and i am glad you said no to the leggings. even at my age, i say no :)

  21. Love the new shoes! And it's all about cot-per-wear. If you wore the old ones three days a week for four years, I'd bet you got more than your money's worth :) PS I wear my black flats that much (or more), too!

  22. There is NOTHINg quite like a pair of Varinas. I bought a pair of Manolos in college and am very sad at the way they have held up. However, mother on the other hand has had some of her SF flats for over 20 years and they are still in tip top shap! Take your new pair to the shoe man and have him put the special piece of rubber on the sole to prevent it from wearing down and your can last two decades too!

  23. Oh yes. I always get that little piece of rubber. And sometimes even the heel taps….in rubber too. Varinas in navy? No, no, back away from the credit card LPC. The rest of you have at it.

  24. Oh I love my cobbler, and good shoes are always worth the money, even worth stretching the money a little for as they more than make up for it in their life and their ability to withstand use and multiple repairs. Putting on those little pieces of rubber and sometimes even heel taps is something I was brought up with, that and shoe trees, and couldn't imagine not doing so.

    1. They have held up – but, unfortunately, I haven’t been able to wear them much because I bought too small a size! I’m thinking of putting them up for sale on the blog if I can only figure out how. Wonderful, classic aesthetic though.

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