Monday, May 13, 2013

Melrose Meetup, Part 1

From left: Cheryl, Joanne, Mae, and me

As promised, here's the story of my last visit to the Fluevog store on Melrose with Joanne last Friday. Along with two of her best friends, Mae and Cheryl, who live in the L.A. area, the four of us took over the place as we did "research" for possible purchases during the upcoming International Fluevog Day this Wednesday on May 15 -- when you can get 15% off regular-priced shoes and accessories IN STORE or free shipping with every online order. (Yes, this means that I will probably be back to the Melrose soon!)

Awesome dealers Kate, Alice, and Kimberly were on hand to help us try on at least 25 pairs of shoes all together (and also to take some of our photos -- THANK YOU!!). I ended up with a lot of photos but I don't think I was able to capture every single try-on. The dealers were very patient with us, and it was lovely to chat and hang out with them as well.

Since there are so many photos, I'll break this up into two posts. Today, I will be reviewing the shoes I tried on. Tomorrow I'll post photos of the other ladies trying on shoes because, even without fit details, a photograph of the shoes on someone's feet can be super helpful. The stock photos are beautiful, but the question is whether the shoes will look good on. The nice thing is that you'll get to see an array of different shapes and sizes wearing the same or similar styles, tomorrow. Without further ado, on to my reviews.

My sizing note: I am a true size US 5.5. I have relatively-flat arches, wide toes, and narrowish ankles. I wear 5 in the Operetta, Mini, Attention, and Bellevue families; 5.5 in the Fellowship family; 6 in the Radio and World families; and 6.5 in the older styles of the Miracle family. My other shoes are most often in size 6 but run slightly large on purpose (because they’re boots or ankle boots).

Fluevog | Amazon SALE 25%-32% off
Big Presence | Faraday in ivory and taupe patent. These shoes were the star of our collective visit. I completely missed these when they first came out this Spring, but after I saw that they were on sale at Amazon along with quite a few other Spring styles, I wanted to try them on at the store. And once the other ladies saw them on me, they all wanted to try them on, too, hence the awesome group photos. You can see they look great under skirts/dresses, business pants, and both casual and dressy jeans. These shoes are a combination of elegant, delicate, and kick-ass with the pointed steel toe. The black-and-gold colorway didn't move me (though I should probably try them on sometime just to see), but the ivory and taupe are fabulous. And guess what? They're incredibly comfortable! No lie. J-Ro said she didn't think she'd like these shoes, but she said the steel toe would make her students think twice before complaining to her about their grades. (Amen.) And we cracked up when Mae said the shoes looked like you could fire people while wearing them. LOL! Size-wise, I think these run true to size ... I'm wearing size 6 here and you can see in the solo photo that they're a little long on my size 5.5 feet, but the slingback elastic and the oxford style keep my feet pretty securely in the shoes.

7th Heaven | Angela in acid green. I was definitely surprised by this one. In the stock photo, they look big and clunky, but they are absolutely adorable on! And the colors are amazing. The green/aqua/yellow is my favorite. These are size 6, and I'm not sure how to describe the sizing. They're quite wide, but I noticed that my toes were touching the toe of the shoe. So I guess they run 1/2-size small in length, but are very wide. Bottom line for me, however, was that they were too loose given the width. The maryjane wasn't quite enough to keep me in. Which is a shame because I think they're fantastic. I'm surprised they haven't flown off the shelves, but honestly, there's been such an embarrassment of riches this Spring season that some amazing styles are bound to get overlooked. If you ever get the chance, though, I urge you to try them on and see if they'd work for you!

Integrity | Amie in aqua patent. I'll admit, I used to think that I couldn't spend over $100 for ballet flats, but after getting my Amies in cream (on sale but still over $100), I am a convert to Fluevog ballet flats. They are so ridiculously comfortable, and they're a breeze to slip on and off. I use my Amies most days of the week even though you're supposed to let your leather shoes rest and dry out. It's been 7 months now with my Amies and they're still my go-to everyday shoes; I need to take better care of the cream leather, but the lining isn't gross and ready to be thrown out like most of my flats. I am seriously jonesing on the newest colors, aqua and purple. I tried on the purple as well but the photo didn't show the color very well so I won't bother to post it. But you can see how amazing the aqua color is, even with my washed-out photos (sorry about the photo quality, by the way: the sunlight was super bright that day, and I only had my old iPhone 4 to take photos). These are size 6, and the Spring colorways all seem to be running 1/2-size small, so these fit perfectly on me.

Fluevog | Amazon SALE 21%-25% off
Big Presence | Desmond in ivory patent. Another beautiful pair of ivory Big Presence shoes. The leather is the same used in the Faraday above, but for a very simple and elegant pump style. They'd be perfect for an office job, but I love the way they look under my casual skinny jeans. They're pretty comfortable, though strangely not as comfortable as the Faradays. I think this family is one of the best families to come out in the last year. I tried on three sizes of this shoe -- 5, 5.5, and 6. The size 5.5 fit best, so I'll say that these run true to size.

Fluevog | Amazon SALE 20% off
Prepare | Portage in aqua. I'm always excited when a new style comes out of the Prepare line -- again, in my humble opinion, one of the best families to come out in recent years, though some don't like the clog / platform style. The Portage slingback is like the Guide but with more coverage at the vamp (and this extra coverage is reflected in the higher price). I love the colorways it came in this Spring, aqua and purple. I now wish I'd tried on the purple so that I could photograph it, because you can't have too much of purple shoes! I tried on the size 6 in the Portage, and my feet felt pretty secure while walking around the store. These run close to 1/2 size small in length.

Fluevog | Amazon SALE 21% off
River | Seine in coral and fuchsia. These are one of the more interesting pairs to come out this season, and this particular colorway is lovely. The three-buckle style is a little confusing, but they're color-coordinated (no suck luck with the black colorway, however!). Even though they're interesting, I don't know how comfortable they'd be for me. They don't have any arch support, for one thing, and the lasts/soles aren't very flexible. But the soles are made of alternating stripes of leather and rubber so it provides more traction than if they were all leather. These are in the same family as the Loire (reviewed here), but they are not as narrow. I'm wearing the size 6 in this photo, and they actually look fine lengthwise, so these probably run close to 1/2 size small in length, and they're average width. Pardon the unsightly tattered hose, the try-on hose I chose was pretty flimsy. I'm thinking the sandals would look much better on my feet without the hose, and I'd definitely indulge in a pedi if I ever got these. :-)

That's it for today. Stay tuned tomorrow for Part 2 of the Melrose Meetup!

xo, Gladys

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