Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Something's Afoot

And, for once, I didn't buy it...

During Spring Shoe theme week, a while back, I alluded to a fun shopping moment I had with my friend Jennifer. She is a most delicate creature - petite with fine bones and tiny little feet. You might imagine that such podalic refinedness would be desirable. However, you wouldn't be the gal who searches high and low for walkable, wearable, office appropriate and or other shoe styles that come in your size.

Take it from her - and I've shoe shopped many times with J over the years - it is no fun having feet that are smaller than a 6. Especially since a size 6 today is more like a size 7 was 10 - 15 years ago. You know, it's vanity sizing?!

Cut to two, post-lunch window shoppers who drop into 9West, just to look at a red gladiator one ordered in on a whim the week before. While said gladiatress was admiring a sandal she was destined to purchase, Jennifer spied - of all great things - 9West Kids. This was comprised of about 6 pairs of shoes in "child sizing", the largest of which was considerably bigger than a women's 5 and a half. Guess who walked out with two adorable styles (btw, not childlike enough for actual children, IMO): one plum mary jane and one black patent wedge sandle with a peekaboo toe.

The moral of the story? If you are a delicate flower, get thee to a 9West and see if you get lucky.


  1. It's nice that she got the goods for once. Being a "different" size can be tough.

  2. The vanity sizing is an intriguing concept. When I was younger, I remember my mother always requesting a 7 1/2-8 shoe and I just assumed that I should follow suit. Oddly enough, it took years before I realized that those sizes were too tight and that I should be wearing an 8 1/2. Go figure.

  3. Enc: I know. And you can make the argument that, if pants are challenging for one's shape (for example) there are still skirts and dresses. What do you do when the options for gorgeous footwear are so limited. I suppose it's analagous to having large breasts in the era before really great bras for big boobs started being widely available.

    Miss C: So interesting that you would just assume you'd have the same shoe size as your mother. Kind of sweet - though painful :-)

  4. I've gunboats, so I feel the pain. I do best with some combination of wedge and narrow toe, but there are exceptions. Flats are totally out of bounds.

    When I was a teenager, shoe depts/stores did not normally carry the 10 I needed. If you asked, you received horrified looks in return.

    Nine West is certainly stepping up (out?) with some exciting designs.

  5. I always envy women with small feet, not only the last remaining sizes on sale are in 6 and less, but now they can get kids' shoes for less!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Furthermore, I find my hands and feet tooooo big anyways for my height.

  6. Suzanna and Kitten: My feet are on the larger side of things. Very oddly, they used to be a 9 but seem to have shrunk to an 8.5. Of course, according to Jennifer, this is because they're making all the shoes bigger - kind of like the way Banana Republic vanity sizes a dress in a 6 when, anywhere else, it would be an 8 (or even bigger).

    I think the wedge is a great option for the larger foot. I like them a lot.

    And, K, my hands are totally huge for my size (not that I care, particularly)...

  7. This comment has been removed by the author.

  8. Glad I'm not the only one to notice the size shift in shoes. At first I thought it was because I was buying sandals, which had less material and more stretch to them, but a few months ago I tried an 8 and realized it was far too big, and then that a 7 1/2 was also a bit loose.

  9. Sarah: I too thought it was a sandal issue at first. But it's crazy how the shoes keep getting bigger all the time! Pretty soon you'll be a dainty size 6 (sort of...)