Gladiators & Ankle Wraps: Splurge vs Steal

Monday, 25 March 2013
tommyton
photo credit: Tommy Ton

taylor-tomasi-hill-comme-des-garcons
Photo credit: Streetpeeper
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I have not worn anything that remotely resembles spring/summer attire nor accessories since last August, thanks to the 6 month long winter we've been having (sorry, still moaning....). To cheer myself up without resorting to drawing pictures of the sun on the wall, I've been glued to the laptop doing some major online window shopping. I've trawled through all the major websites to view the latest spring/summer shoe collections - peep toe, sandals, espadrilles, gladiators (not the Roman human variety), wedges.... you get my drift. Anything to remind me that spring OR summer still exists in this part of the world.

Last year, I became enamored, no obsessed with ankle straps after seeing numerous several year old photos of Sofia Coppola wearing hers. So I began my journey trying to locate  mid heeled ankle strap sandals and it proved to be an impossible task. This year, however, made up for the ankle strap drought. Fast forward to 2013 and it's practically raining ankle strap sandals everywhere. It's all you can find in every High St or departmental store. I scrolled through numerous shopping websites only to have to sift through several hundred versions of ankle straps in varying height and color.

Perhaps it's an overexposure to ankle strap because I'm increasingly drawn to gladiator heels now. The two styles are polar opposites. One's subtle, quietly elegant and unobtrusive. The other one can be classified as bada$$, in your face, LOUD and eye-catching. It's a bit like comparing Sofia Coppola with Kim Kardashian. I'm channeling the former in real life but my alter ego demands a little of KK at times.


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1. Giuseppe Zanotti  2. See by Chloe  3. Givenchy (or this)  4. Kurt Geiger  5. Halogen  6. Kat Maconie  7. Sam Edelman (Global here)


I still love the idea of strutting my stuff (whatever that's left of it) in 3" heels but I had to ditch the idea when I had sharp pain shooting up my sports battered ankle whilst trying on the most gorgeous gladiator booties last week. Bummer. Siiiigggh. As my fellow gym attendee told me recently, it all starts to go downhill at 40 (he's in his 30s and had no idea I'm approaching the big 4-0). Thanks, bud. I'll remember you in my next life.

Some of you already know that when I'm buying a pair of pants, I do the "squat test"  in the fitting room. Like the squatting exercises you do in the gym. Or when you have the unfortunate experience of using the public (squatting) toilets in Malaysia. It's to make sure that my butt crack ain't showing, the seams don't split and the belly doesn't spilleth over (aahh....sorry for the visual). As for shoes, I do the "London test". If I'd survived 7 hours of traipsing around the streets (cobbled, paved) of London without a blister in sight, only then would these shoes be deemed comfortable. Needless to say, I'm still sticking to chunky heels, wedges or anything that sticks close to the ground until my lifestyle changes (being chauffeured driven, the 7 year old can fly to school and I don't have to chase her.....etc etc).




33 comments:

  1. I love the See by Chloe & Givenchy for splurge, but I'm thinking those heels would get stuck in the cobble stone sidewalks here. Love the Kurt Geiger mock croc chunky heels, which sadly is still a splurge to me! Do I sense another pair of Sam Edelman in your collection, soon? ;)

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    1. I think if I get either the See by Chloe or Givenchy, I'll have to make sure I navigate between the stones verrrry carefully. Hahha....I've got the Sam Edelman wedges in my cart.... still deciding between 2 pairs.

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  2. Great post, I was searching all last year for the perfect ankle strap shoes also and now there are sooo many great choices, though last year I was wanting a pair with higher heel but now i'm feeling lower = chicer. I am also loving the gladiator styles you mentioned, the ones Taylor Tomasi Hill is wearing in that second pic are perfect! I hate to focus on age here but I honestly can't believe you are approaching 40! I'm not trying to flatter, just after meeting you, i'd be surprised if you said you were turning 30 let alone 40.

    Take care and thanks for sharing your wonderful picks with us,
    Daniella xx

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    1. I'm totally digging the ones that Taylor Tomasi Hill is wearing those. The lower heeled Valentinos really appealed to me too. I'm so pleased that the designers are finally producing more lower heeled shoes because I honestly can't walk in anything higher than 2.5 inches.

      Just tweeted a HUGE thank you to you. You made me float right up the ceiling with your comment. 30??!! Whoooeeey....you really made my day.

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  3. Anyone considering Sam Edelman , they are really excellent sandals: I bought the tan Trina sandals last year after reading about them on this wonderful blog, and can't wait to get them out this year.
    Very ,very well made and so comfortable ....and I am usually Ms Critical when it comes to footwear .

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    1. Thank you so much, Estrella for the lovely compliment. I'm really surprised how well designed Sam Edelman shoes are considering their price point. I've paid 4x that amount for my Louboutins and they're painful to walk on yet the Trinas are beyond comfortable.

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  4. Ah, I love your tests! Mine is either "I walked through London or Paris in these", but frankly, I just buy the brands I trust and they never fail to impress and make me feel comfortable.
    As for the choice of style - both are beautiful and would be difficult to choose just one. :)
    x

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    1. Natalia, which brands do you find comfortable and chic? I'm always on a lookout for comfortable heels.

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  5. Getting old sucks! My mom told me that as you age the skin on your soles gets thinner (makes sense, so does all the other skin) and wearing heels is less comfortable...not that she'd know from personal experience - Mom doesn't do heels - but damn her for being right. I'm 45 now and it's a bit more painful to wear single-soled shoes. Platforms help, but sometimes they're just not as elegant as one would like.

    I don't know what I would do if I had to walk on cobblestones all the time! I tried it most recently in Charleston SC, last year, and it was ridiculous. Pack wedges, next time...

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    1. Really??!! THe soles get thinner??!! I thought about platforms a lot but I just couldn't do it. I have to be practical and resort to wearing wedges too.

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    2. Yeah...less fatty pockets on the bottoms of your feet. *sigh* I didn't believe her, so I looked it up. Sad but true!

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    3. Ok, I'm now resigned to my fate. I wish the designers would pay attention and put a nice cushion under the insole.

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  6. Dear Marlene, always exciting to seeing that you have a new post up. You always have interesting topics and I love to read it again and again :)
    It is funny you said that you will remember your gym mate in your next life..hahahaha !

    Cheers and have a good day to you !
    Best regards,
    shan ty

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    1. Hi Shan Ty, I hope you're feeling better. Ack...I sure have the most interesting conversations with my friends here. Aww...thank you for the lovely compliment. You're so sweet!

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  7. Deraest M, You picked the right topic yet again! Last year, I also was looking hi and lo for a pair of Celinesque one strap hi heels (but bot too hi or else I'll break my ankle (the limit is 2,5"...)...Couldn't find a pair! Now al I find are my hearts desire, I love the Givenchy but such a splurge! I will have to check the Sam Edelman ones or ChloƩ, on sale of course:)
    You know, 40 is the new 30s, that's what I've been telling myself for over a year now. I hated the big 4-0, but eversince I have touched base, I don't see myself aging at all, I just feel 40 all the time, not 41 or 42 etc...That's a good thing, no? Oh, and you look 30 at the most!!
    Bises, xox
    F

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    1. Freida, you're good for my soul! I've got my eye on the Givenchy heels. I've put them in my cart for the longest time but £450 is a lot to spend on a pair of heels. Right now, the Sam Edelman ones will have to do.

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  8. Your squat test had me smiling with the visual! But in all honestly, how practical. Dare I say if I did this test, I would never buy half of my shoes. We are lucky here in some ways though. Easier streets to walk on with high heels. I wouldn't dare attempt my heels in London. The thought petrifies me.

    I love the Givenchy heels. Simple and a great height. Those babies will surely be poplular. I recently bought the Aquazzura ones that in the first pic. Totally bad ass!

    xx Mandi

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    1. I think if it wasn't for the crazy paved and cobbled streets, I would've caved in and bought skinny heels. I've actually sprained my ankles a few times here so I have to be extra vigilant these days. It was so different back in Auckland!!

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  9. I like the Kat Maconie, they look as though they would be comfortable and I don't do uncomfortable anymore! I love summer sandals but usually of the flat variety!

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    1. I've read about Kat Maconie somewhere but was surprised to see that her price range is somewhat affordable.

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  10. Perhaps we all need a little bit of flash (or KK) in our lives. A bold shoe is a nice, subtle way to add it. The Givenchy heels are to die for- simple and streamlined but really gorgeous.

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    1. Yup, totally digging the idea of channeling KK seeing that my lifestyle is too sedate. Gotta rock it up a bit.

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  11. You're too funny Marlene, but you already know I love your sense of humor. These are great finds but I gotta say I'm partial to the Givenchy heels. Which ones are you leaning towards? :)

    xxTheresa

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    1. Sadly, the Givenchy. I have a weakness for Givenchy heels but am trying to be sensible and buy Sam Edelman instead.

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  12. Really enjoyed reading this post, you have such a talent for writing! Love the Givenchy heels, darn! Must immediately forget they exist...

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    1. Aww...thank you, Kayin. Same here. I tried the Givenchy heels yesterday but again, they didn't have my size. I was rather relieved seeing that I've just "saved" myself £450 :P

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  13. I love the Givenchy and Sam Edelman. I also bought the Sam Edelman Trina last year after seeing them on your blog and I wore them nonstop on our vacation to Italy. We did a TON of walking and I was comfortable the whole time. I'm thinking about buying the snakeskin version this year :).

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    1. Chloe, I'm so pleased the Trina sandals worked out for you. I wore them in Paris and I was on my feet for up to 10 hours a day. I'm with on the comfort factor and they're easy on the eyes too.

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  14. Hi, I would so love those Chloe one's, but it's great to see lot's more affordable options. Thankyou xx

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    1. I'm glad that there are finally more affordable options. Just wish they have smaller sizes!

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  15. I am looking for something like number 3 in your pics (just slightly higher). I used to see a local store selling something like that all year round but I wasn't into this style at that time. Now that I am digging it, the stores don't carry it anymore! Arrrgh. Finding shoes is not an easy task given that I have small (bounded) feet.

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    1. Hear. Hear. So sick of shoe shopping!! I spent 6 hours in various shoe stores and NOTHING in my size.

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  16. i have these tests too. if i can survive it walking to work and back without mutilating my feet then they make it into the daily pile. love the sam edelman ones, they look practical and awesome!

    steph / absolutely-fuzzy.com

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