Designer shoes' many attractions are well established. The influence of such popular entertainments as Sex and the City and Confessions of a Shopaholic on the minds of women across the globe have linked designer shoes with notions of happiness. But the thrill of being able to pay a few hundred dollars for a pair of Manolo Blahnik pumps without batting an eye is something too few women get to experience.
This is not to say, however, that this thrill is entirely out of reach for ordinary working women. Buying designer women's shoes on consignment is one way to indulge champagne tastes while sticking to a beer budget. You can snag haute couture footwear at discounted prices.
Make consignment shopping a habit. You're more likely to find just the right women's designer shoes at just the right price if you visit a few consignment shops regularly.
How to Spot Quality Women's Designer Shoes
You'll need a discerning eye to find the best women's designer shoes at the best prices. A few simple tips will help you spot the best consignment bargains -- as well as any knock-offs masquerading as the real deal.
Construction. The best shoes are made entirely of leather. Women's designer shoe makers will generally indicate all leather construction with an insignia stating this fact. Beware of shoes having only leather uppers, or, worse, no leather construction at all. These generally indicate inferior quality.
Quality of the leather. Women's designer shoe leather should be thick yet supple. If the leather feels thin or stiff, it's of poor quality.
Stitching and seams. Designer women's pumps should have no seam at the instep. The leather of designer women's shoes of any sort should be stitched together, never glued.
Shoe interior. The inside of designer women's shoes should have no ridges, bumps or bulges. Inside seams should never turn outward.
Heels, outer soles and inner soles. Heels, outer soles and inner soles should not show excessive wear. Wear to these portions of shoes need not be a deal breaker. They can be replaced. The cost of replacement should, however, factor into the amount you're willing to pay for the pair of shoes.
Finding the Right Fit
Of course, inspecting shoes for quality of construction is just part of the equation when it comes to buying designer women's shoes on consignment. The real bonding with your shoes begins when you try them on. These few simple guidelines will help you find the best fit:
- Your toes should not reach the tip of the shoe. There should be at least half of an inch between the end of your big toe and the end of the shoe.
- Your toes shoes flex easily in the shoe's toe box.
- Your heel should fit snugly. Any slippage around your heel as you walk means the shoes are too big.
- Your ankle should be snugly nestled if you're trying on women's designer boots. Any slippage around the ankle as you walk means an ill-fitting pair of boots.
Be sure to take sufficient time to walk about in the shoes you're trying on, taking several laps around the sales floor if you need to. This will give you a better sense as to how they'll feel were you to wear them under ordinary circumstances.
Keep in mind that feet have a tendency to swell as the day progresses. It's smart, then, to confine your shoe shopping to the late afternoon or evening in order to find the most precise fit.
Caring for Women's Designer Shoes Bought on Consignment
Once you get your designer shoes home, you'll want to take proper care of them. This way you're sure not only to get long use out of them, but to preserve their great looks as well. The following suggestions will help keep your women's designer shoes looking and fitting great:
Invest in a pair of shoes trees. Regular use of shoe trees will help shoes retain their shape against the wear and tear of daily use.
Polish shoes regularly. Wax or cream polish not only refresh the shoes' color, but keep shoe leather clean and supple.
Treat patent leather shoes with petroleum jelly. Petroleum jelly returns luster to the leather. (Just be sure to wipe any excess jelly off your shoes before wearing them.)
Use a white pencil eraser to remove blemishes from suede shoes. If the pencil eraser doesn't work, try some fine-grit sandpaper.
Avoid wearing a pair of shoes two days in a row. Even in cool conditions feet have a tendency to sweat. Keeping shoes out of fashion rotation for two days allows them the airing they need to dry.
Have a shoe repairer install heel and toe taps on your shoes as soon after purchase as possible. Heel and toe taps will keep you from having to replace the entire heel in the future.
Buy shoes roomy enough to accommodate cushioning insoles. Cushioning insoles prevent wear to the insides of the shoes, and prevent shoes from acquiring unpleasant odors -- things which are vitally important if you plan to resell the shoes at some future time.
Buying Women’s Shoes on Consignment: The Price Is Right!
Millions of women have discovered that looking uptown doesn’t mean risking falling into skid row. Buying designer women’s shoes on consignment affords you the financial freedom to purchase the hottest new pumps from Salvatore Ferragamo, the jazziest new boots from Bruno Magli or the sexiest new espadrilles from Prada. In fact, buying women’s designer shoes from consignment shops can often be a thrilling adventure, because you’re never sure just what kind of shoes you’ll find. Consignment shops offer a variety of labels and styles, many of which are rarely found in traditional department stores. This makes buying designer shoes from a consignment shop a sound financial as well as sartorial investment.