Shapes

Tips for a Shoestring Budget

Shoe DreamerFor some women, shoes are simply a necessity. For others, they are the accessories around the rest of the fashion world revolves. At either end of the spectrum and everywhere in between, these guidelines can help you make the most of any budget (graphic at left borrowed with permission from http://eyeswideapart.blogspot.com).

Shoes You’ll Use

The first principle, and the foundation of all others, is to only buy the shoes that truly work for you, shoes that you’ll wear enough that you feel you got your money’s worth out of them. Each time you consider purchasing a pair, ask yourself questions like: “How often will I wear these? Do they fit my current wardrobe? My personality? My lifestyle?” If you’re comfortable with the answers, go for it. Even if the shoes cost a little more, you know you love them and you’ll wear them to death. If you feel like you’re trying to justify the purchase, though, put those babies back on the shelf!

Shop Off-Season

It’s the oldest trick in the book … buy your winter coats in springtime, and swimwear during the fall. Shopping off-season is one of the surest ways to save money on clothes, and it works on footwear, too. Although they’re full-price now, those espadrilles you’re eyeing will be marked down substantially in a few months to make way for winter styles. But don’t wait too long, or your size may be gone before you get there.

Keep to the Classics

Comparing stylesYou know by now that trends can change as quick as the weather (and in the Northwest, that’s fast!), so unless you’ve spotted a brilliant bargain, you’ll want to stick to styles with versatile, classic appeal. So … you’re in need of a tall black boot. On one page, you see a suede, slouchy boot with striking buckles and gorgeous stacked heel (right). On another is a soft, stretchy boot with a medium heel and subtle stitching (far right). When it comes to adaptability, it’s not hard to choose, is it?

Remember to consider your lifestyle and career type, too. If you’re a stay-at-home mom who lives in jeans, one or two pairs of evening shoes should be enough. A full-time businesswoman, though, ought to have plenty of pumps on hand.

Considering Color

Neutrals like black, brown and tan are often considered the “safe” shades, and for good reason. These conservative colors, although at times boring, are versatile and suitable for many an occasion. But sometimes the best deals are on the unusual colors, so before you sign online to Solestruck, take a good look at your closet. Do you have own a lot of soft, pastel dresses for evenings out? Invest in some great silver sandals. Are you more into earth-tones? Subtle bronze heels could add sultry finish. Do you stick to solid slacks and blouses? Show some sass with a pair of animal-print or patterned flats.

Whatever you choose, keep the first principle in mind: only buy shoes that you’ll actually wear. Those patent orange stilettos may be extra adorable at 75% off, but they’re a waste of cash and closet space when you never wear them.

Get caught up on the Gossip

Finally, one of the most obvious but often overlooked ways to save money during shoe shopping is: the sales! Stores are always discounting existing items to make way for new ones, offering coupons to loyal customers, and holding any number of special events to entice new visitors.

Sign Up for EmailFor online shoe stores, the best way to be alerted to these sales is via email newsletters. The next time you visit your favorite, look for some type of “Sign up!” option (Solestruck’s can be found at the bottom right corner of any page, shown at left) and enter your address. Most retailers also offer this option during the checkout process. In addition to receiving announcements about sales, you’ll also probably hear about new brands, features on the website and exclusive coupon codes.

– Katie

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