Friday, September 12, 2008

A Second Chance

Sounds like a romance, doesn’t it? I guess it was, but of the sole-ful variety.

Some five, maybe six years ago, I saw a pair of Emma Hope shoes in Hello Magazine.

I’d always loved walking past Emma Hope’s shop as I entered Sloane Square, but found that the court shoe style was a little too Marie Antoinette for me (if I had to pick a style queen, I’d choose Wealtheow).

Anyway, these shoes were the antithesis of court: they were flats, made out of a cool pistachio suede, punctuated with some smooth mother-of-pearl discs. Delicate and stunning.

The problem? They cost ₤239, about $400, not including international shipping, and that was five to six years ago, before our eye became “adjusted” to a higher sales tag on shoes.

Besotted as I was, though, I called up Emma Hope and had them sent to me.

They arrived, I swooned. I tried them on, and found that the sole was so flat that it was like walking in a cardboard box—you hoped that the shoe would stay on as you rigidly moved across the room. And because the sole was so flat, there was absolutely no protection for that gorgeous sea-glass suede: it would be soiled the minute I took a step outside.

So I sent them back, but always slightly regretted it. I mean, these shoes were objets d’art! I could have happily put them in my duck-egg-blue china cabinet next to my blue-and-white Wedgewood and gazed at them daily.

But that would be impractical, even for me.

So I waited and waited for word that the return had been processed. The shoes didn’t arrive in London, so I applied to have them traced. They were untraceable.

I forgot about the whole thing for about 11 months because it gave me a headache. Big credit card bill, no shoes to show for it.

Then, just as I applied for my shipping insurance to kick in, my original, battered package reappeared on my doorstep. Something had gone wrong at customs, and the box was returned to me.

I had a second chance!

But sometimes one’s first instincts are right. I opened the box, shivered with delight, and tried the shoes on. Still no arch support. Still ready to be soiled with one hearty stride outside. They went back for good.

But now, the bewitching shoe fairies at Tibi have seen fit to taunt me with this tender morsel.

There’s the same slim sole (a potential problem?), and a not dissimilar mother-of-pearl decoration. I'm seeing them with an ankle-length pair of peg-leg trousers.

What to do, gentle readers? Be strong, or order them?


K.Line said...

Ooooh, this is a toughie. How much are the Tibis? I say, try 'em. You are very good at the order online/sendback. So it's a slim risk (ha - pun intended!)...

WendyB said...

I wonder if you could have put some kind of insert into the original pair to give you some support. Just curious!

pve design said...

What are you waiting for, they look like they were made for you! Charge em!

miss cavendish said...

K.Line, The Tibis are a "trifling" $300 and change (I should have made sure that my photo showed the orice more clearly). With the cost of shoe inflation, that makes them about $50 bucks from the vantage point of 5-6 years ago!

WendyB, I have a long history with shoe inserts (had arch surgery b/c I'm a runner with very high arches) and my feet literally can't take any kind of insert. Sometimes I even remove the lining in shoes!

pve, I just might. As K.Line notes, I'm very comfortable with the online return process!

enc said...

I vote: order them! They're beautiful! This sole looks slightly more solid, and you can always send them back if they don't work.

(don't slap me!)

enc said...

That really is an incredible story.

miss cavendish said...

enc, I did order them this morning And guess what: they're on back order! Until Thanksgiving! But they *are* coming, eventually, and I can have a "third chance" at romance.

The story does indeed have its twists and turns. But it's accurate! No "shoegate" here . . .

Songy said...

damn those back orders. Why can't they say it before? Or did they?

miss cavendish said...

No--it was an annoying surprise when I was about to pay for them!!