Fashion Rant: 7 Pairs of Zara Shoes or 1 Jimmy Choo? (Investing vs Buying in Fashion)


UPDATE: Cheers @Independent Fashion Bloggers (IFB) for featuring this post on their site on their weekly Links à la Mode roundup.

I was going through my shoes the other day as I’ve been intending to have a closet clear out (but never get around to it…) and discovered that I have more than 25 pairs. Gasp. Some of which I had bought and forgotten about and still have their tags on. Lawd.

When did my stash get this BIG?!

Then I rembered this article that said that for every 6.6 (which I round up to 7) pairs of Zara shoes that you buy, you COULD HAVE been able to afford a Manolo Blahnik or a pair of Jimmy Choos. 

I take Zara here to stand for popular high street brands like Office, Aldo, Mango, Topshop etc. And Jimmy Choo here could be anything from Louboutins to Balmain.

Now the average pair of Zara/Topshop/Office heels is £60. I read an article that said Zara’s average price per shoe is £65 given that they sell shoes that range from £9.99 up to £180 sometimes. But I’ve settled for £60 in my case as that’s the most I’ve spent on a pair of Zara heels.

£60 x 7 = £420

With £420 you would have been able to bag this £375 Jimmy Choo Abel Suede Pumps.

This Sophia Webster Evangeline metallic and patent-leather sandals at £395

Or for an extra fiver, this Christian Louboutin Burgundy Satin Iriza 100 satin d’Orsay pumps at £425.

“Investment dressing” is simple: channel the funds you’d spend on fast fashion into quality purchases.

Of course, this concept of buy less and invest more is only true if the following conditions are met:

a) Most or all of the high street (Zara, Mango, Asos, Aldo etc)  shoes you buy cost £60 and above.

b) That you have more than 7 of these items.

c) That you care about designer and branded shoes. Yes, I know a lot of people who can afford it, but are just not into Choos, Manolos and Louboutins. A pair of Toms and they’re good to go!

d) That Jimmy Choo and Manolo Blahnik and all the other high end designers of this world keep their base prices below £450. I struggled to find a pair of Christian Louboutin heels that I loved at £420 or below.

e) That you LOVE what you can find at these high end shops for £420. I ain’t paying for no wacky ass Fendi shoes just because they are ‘designer’.

f) That your job, disposition or lifestyle permits that you are able to wear these shoes enough. I won’t be buying a pair of Balmain heels that I’ll only wear one in 3 months:/

It is very easy to spend small amounts every week on shoes. You don’t really know how much you have spent until you declutter your wardrobe.

If you love Valentino, Gucci and Balmain shoes, I swear this works! All you have to do is every time you see a really cute pair of heels that you can’t resist and CAN AFFORD, put away the equivalent of the cost of the shoes. 

I tried to do this last year and it was so hard, goddamn. Zara had to go and manufacture some really yummy pairs…

Investment buying is great because:

a) You are guaranteed of quality even though a lot of people have had terrible experiences.

b) Less clutter. You don’t shop as often as you would normally do. 

c) You get more wear out of your shoes.

d) Reselling pays off. If you take proper care of your shoes, you would be able to easily sell them on Ebay if you think it’s time to upgrade your footwear.

I definitely covet some high end shoes  – Gianvito Rossi, Sophia Webster, Christian Louboutin- but I definitely would not completely look away from high street options because they offer great styles too!

Do you care about brands, design, quality or do you just want to have as many options as you can in your shoe closet?

What are your shoe buying criteria?

Are you an investor or buyer?

Are you a Topshopper or do you choose Choo?  (Couldn’t resist that line:) )

xo

Lydie

31 thoughts on “Fashion Rant: 7 Pairs of Zara Shoes or 1 Jimmy Choo? (Investing vs Buying in Fashion)”

  1. I’m more of a buyer. I get the concept of investment buying but I only invest in large ticket purchases for my Home. The older I get the less I care about wearing certain brands.

  2. Lydie, Remember I mentioned that Zara is very good at mimicing high end fashion into their own. Even though they get the design right, the quality will always remain Zara’s quality, I mean shoes.

    As I have gotten older, I do not shop on impulse but wait to buy quality pieces. I buy the ones I can wear to all occasions though e.g the pigalle takes me to work and dinner.

    I will always be the investment buyer. Good shoes last longer! Love the article.

    Mojisola

    http://www.mojintouch.com

  3. Honestly, you are just the CUTEST! But anyhow: Let’s talk about shoes…I love the Jimmy Shoes but it seems a bit much to spend that much on shoes – quite frankly. I’d rather buy a nice handbag. Try ’em out though and see if they ARE SUPER DUPER comfy because that would be an indicator for me whether or not they are actually worth paying the price.:)
    Sending you much love!
    xoxo, Vanessa
    http://www.whatwouldvwear.net

  4. This is such a great topic. I guess it really depends on each individuals approach to shopping. I personally think accessories can “upgrade” your overall look…especially for menswear. You can wear one heck of a dapper suit, but if your shoes and belt are not on point… it really brings down the whole look! I wonder if that is the case with women’s fashion? BTW, those Sophia Webster Evangeline heels are fierce. Those you save up for LOL!

  5. This is such a great topic. I guess it really depends on each individuals approach to shopping. I personally think accessories can “upgrade” your overall look…especially for menswear. You can wear one heck of a dapper suit, but if your shoes and belt are not on point… it really brings down the whole look! I wonder if that is the case with women’s fashion? BTW, those Sophia Webster Evangeline heels are fierce. Those you save up for LOL!

  6. I’ve also found that it’s much better to invest in quality pieces, I personally only invest in shoes or handbags because I feel like spending a lot of money on clothing is a waste of time . I’m currently saving up money for my first loub pumps, which one would you say is more worth it, the choo’s or loub’s?

  7. I prefer to have a few options, rather than investment buy. I don’t wear heels that often to feel like I will get enough wear out of them for such a big price tag. Although I have never been into designers anyway! I find I only get rid of shoes and clothes when there not my style any more rather than quality whether its bought from Topshop or Zara! So I can’t even imagine parting with £400 for shoes only to find next year I’m really not that into them any more lol

    Carol
    Reginalondon.com

  8. I’m still trying to figure out my “signature style” so to speak so for me shoes from Zara are more my speed. But honestly I don’t think I would ever spend much for a pair of Choo’s or other high end brand, I’d much rather put the money towards a great vacation. Really great article!

  9. Couple of thoughts.

    1. In my opinion. this factor is a major miss with fashion bloggers. They feature stuff that they havent really tested over a period of time. So all readers know is how cute it looks, which i can see from magazines/catalogs etc. But ideas to pair, yes! End of the day, minus points for lack of quality analysis.

    2. Quality over Luxury. Some how, fashion bloggers repeat this manta of 1 pair of quality red soles over n cheap shoes. Loubs/Choos are luxury. The choice isnt between 60$ zara shoes are 600$ Loubs. I own a pair of 400$ prada ballet flats and 150$ Chole Haan ballet flats. They get the same wear and 3 years later they seem to hold up well. I dont think i need them to last ten more years for hygiene reasons. But quality is what we need to talk about over luxury.

    3. Zara shoes can NOT be compared to other similar priced brands. Here is why. Good shoes that are breathable should have leather upper, leather inner and leather/rubber sole. You are not allowed to label shoes as leather shoes once upon a time unless they have these criteria. But thanks to the new rules, you can if you just use leather for the upper area. Zara uses synthetic insole and various material soles. And can call them leather shoes. They do not breath, arent environmentally friendly, and are not very comfortable ( to me who is used to leather ). Similar price point stores like Aldo have real leather shoes, that are made of cheap leather ( pig leather is cheapest but not durable at all ).

    4. Big bucks is not equal to quality/comfort. Ask the Loub wearers about it. They have stories. Hence the stowed shoes that are reserved for big events. Handmade shoes can be a hit or miss. You need to really find the right pair. If one were to only buy a pair of loubs and they were a miss, how do we get away with it ?

    I really wish there were more articles that talked a little in depth about shoes and not some superficial aspects.

  10. This is such a great post! I think investment pieces are the way forward. You can always tell a cheap shoe from a mile off and the nicer the shoe, the more you can get away with when it comes to spending less on the clothes. It’s easy to find a well-priced dress, but put it with cheap shoes and it looks bad. Pair it with good shoes and it’s transformed into something that looks much more costly!

  11. I like having choices way too much to spend a bundle on only one pair of shoes so for me, high street is definitely the way to go. I’ve always had a soft spot for brands like Zara and Aldo and I do think some of their shoes are relatively comfy enough – AND pretty enough. That being said, I think it’s safer if everyone’s shopping habit depends on their budget, and my budget REALLY doesn’t allow me to have a rackful of Loubs and Choos!

  12. I think every woman needs to mix highs and lows, whether it’s shoes, bags, tops, pants, etc. I live in NYC and I would not be able to stand getting a pair of $700 shoes all dirty and scuffed up. So I have everyday shoes that are mid-point price ranges (Aldo, Tory Burch, Michael Kors, etc), and then I have a collection of higher end designer shoes for nicer or special events (Stuart Weitzman, Aquazzara, YSL). I don’t think you necessarily have to go all budget-friendly or all investment. It’s really about choosing wisely for your lifestyle and having all the right pieces in your closet!

    Belinda
    http://www.snapshotsofmycloset.com

  13. Thank you for this article. I have been investing in my shoes as I’m growing up and can afford to spend a bit more than now. Gone are those days when my shoe closet was full of Primark and other high street brands…now its looking the opposite. Its more Zara and other a ‘luxury brands’ here but I’m defo looking to invest in quality brands now and buy the odd pair from Zara.

    Liza | http://www.yaalia.com | YaaLia’s Fashion Sense Blog

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