Hey there! If you read my last post, you know that I’ll be writing about why you may not want to buy from Charlotte Russe until you try a little alternative. But first…a history lesson!
A History Lesson:
I’ve never been particularly feminist, but i’m sure we’re all aware of the negative feelings towards high heeled shoes in that school of thought. In some part, it’s got a basis in history. Lotus shoes and foot binding were used to create an aesthetic experience at the expense of women’s health. As early as the 15th century, there were a type of slip-on heels (that went over regular shoes) used to protect women’s feet and shoes from mud and dirt. Of course, it had the added benefit of limiting how quickly and how far women could go.
Catherine de Medici is often credited with having commissioned the first pair of “high heels” as we know them today. At a reported 4’11, she was intimidated by the height of her husband’s mistress. She asked her cobbler at that time to add a two inch heel to the (normally flat) shoes of the time. They became hugely popular thereafter and retained this popularity until the time of the French Revolution. At the time, only members of the royal court were allowed to wear heels! As the popularity of the French monarchy declined, so did that of the heel. (Did you know Marie Antoinette walked to the guillotine wearing a pair of heels?!)
High heeled shoes would remain unpopular well into the 1850′s. There, in Paris they made a slow re-emergence but it wasn’t until the 1920′s in America that they made a really popular statement. Who brought them back you might ask?
Feminists. Or rather, Suffragettes. The flappers of that age famously wore high heels while running their errands, protesting for the vote and dancing it up at nightclubs. Critics of the Suffragettes portrayed them as sloppy and unfeminine. At the same time, some Suffragettes criticized feminine fashion as a marker of weakness. Some rather forward-thinking ladies managed to find a middle-ground in this by wearing menswear inspired, mid-heeled button boots! Alternately, women wore lace up boots or t-strap heels as a way of proclaiming they could be mobile and fashionable.
It wasn’t until the 1950′s that Christian Dior and Roger Vevier created the first true stiletto. In the 60′s, these extended to boots and mini-skirts (hello Mod era!) Ironically, it was also around this time that the 70′s wave of feminists began to assert that such shoes were a tool of man meant to bring women down. Unfortunately, nothing is quite as effective as a good-ole beheading for killing off a fashion trend so heels and platforms continued to make a steady rise in popularity. The 70′s are well known for their high platforms and even up till the 80′s Elton John was rocking them!
The 90′s saw a minor loss in stilettos, primarily due to the grunge-comfort movement. However, they never quite disappeared off the radar and haven’t to this day. Hilariously (IMO) the heel is now a focal point of shoe fashion. There are heel-less heels, inverted-heels, ballet and armadillo heels etc.
So why is it that after all that history I didn’t shop around first? Baaah!!
Lesson The Second
The lesson I learned, as I was browsing the Charlotte Russe website was that their shoes are a great deal. This is especially the case for their designer knockoffs. Seeing the deals made my eyeballs go heart-shaped and my brain puddle. Maybe that’s why I missed the first cardinal rule of shopping? Compare, compare compare!
It turns out, there are only so many places that shoes come from in this world. One of Charlotte Russe’s major shoe suppliers is a wholesale brand called Qupid. Charlotte Russe’s Qupid imports are cheap…other places’ are cheaper.
This pump is available at Charlotte Russe in Champagne Beige for $42.50USD
… Or you can get it in Black, Champagne Beige, Fuschia and Red for $31.40USD at UrbanOG.com
How about this Velvet, “Corset-Back” Pump? Charlotte Russe has it in Black and Red for $38.00USD. GoJane has the same colors…for $26.40USD regularly and on sale for $17.95USD right now. Bliss shoes also has Black and Red for $24.20USD. Black and Red not your colors? Shop Reflection has the same shoes in a Nude velvet for $33.99USD.
And while Charlotte Russe excels at the “designer-inspired game” some places play it just a little bit better.
On the Left we have Alice and Olivia’s Miranda Suede & Satin Bow Pumps, normally $295.00USD and currently on sale for $205.99USD at Saks Fifth Avenue. And on the right we have Charlotte Russe’s platform pump with a suspiciously similar back CR saves you a pretty penny by pricing their shoes at $38.00USD (it’s also available in leopard for $35.50USD). But don’t jump on them yet!
Above is a Bamboo knockoff from UrbanOG listed at $29.40USD (and available in Black, Red and Nude.) On the right is Hot Topic’s Qupid import shoe, the same as the one sold at CR, in black listed for $34.50!
ShoeRazzi recently spotted Jennifer Lopez rocking Gucci’s Huston pump. You can buy the real deal from the Gucci Website. They have them in the solid colors at a $389USD (normally $1100!!) and some crazy patterns as well (prices vary.) Or, you can buy Charlotte Russe’s near-impeccable knockoff versions in Berry, Dark Teal and Royal (blue) for $38.50USD.
ORRRRRRR….you can hop over to UrbanOG.com again to buy the Qupid version (did Charlotte Russe re-brand them?!) in Berry, Black and Dark Teal. How much? $29.90USD!!
Getting tired of pumps? Let’s look at some boots.
Up top are Valentino’s Sold Out Bow-Topped Over-the-Knee Boot. They’re regularly, $1,595.00USD and probably sold out because they were on sale for $717.00USD at Neiman Marcus.
Charlotte Russe was pretty “inspired” by these babies, their version will set you back a piddly $50.00USD (and they’re available in Black or Taupe.) Those are the ones on the left. On the right are Ami Club Wear’s version for $35.99 in Taupe and the same price for Black.
Now, there’s quite a few other shoes that can be found for cheaper than cheap; but i’m so lazy! Have you spotted any? Are you also guilty of not comparison shopping? …Do you also want more shoes?