Living on the Wedge
You guys know I’m something of a bargain hunter. I love getting a good deal on something, so much so that I can still identify exactly how much I paid for a majority of the zillions of pieces that make up my wardrobe. But now I’m getting into a weird stage in my life where I’m starting to think that I should maybe go for quality over price? (I know, adulting is weird.) Don’t get me wrong, I will still head to Forever 21 for a trendy piece of jewelry that I won’t cry about if it turns parts of my body green.
But now here I am, oh so close to my thirty-first birthday, and starting to wonder if the money I’ve spent of the “fast fashion” items that I’ve picked up in the past should be used towards better-made pieces that could potentially last me more than a season or two.
So this brings me to my latest quest (or obsession, as some would call it, but let’s not get all judgey here): the perfect summer wedge. I have been rocking a pair from TJ Maxx that I spent $30 on five years ago. They have elastic straps and a heel covered in a braided hemp material that has slowly been shedding over the years. I would like to think that I have well gotten my money’s worth (I mean, that’s a whopping $6 per year) but seriously, it’s time for those babies to head to shoe heaven.
Here’s my current conundrum – I want a new pair of neutral, tan wedges. However, in my older, wiser age, I have become increasingly pickier without really expanding my budget. And I read approximately 648 more blogs now, and of course fell in love with a super-expensive pair of Tory Burch wedges that go with everything that there’s no way I could ever bring myself to actually buy (nor would I be let back into my home if I went out and spent this on a whim).
But they’re beautiful, supple leather in a perfect in-between brown and tan shade that obviously would go with everything (as exhibited on a constant basis by Cait of Southern Curls & Pearls). And to add insult to injury, I just happen to go online today and see that they are marked down from $325 to $227! Have I lived on a very expensive island for too long that I now think, “hey! That’s a great deal”?
In an effort to calm my constant craving for said wedge, I decided to search a few of my favorite affordable stores and see if there was anything remotely similar at a lower price point that would temporarily quench my insatiable shoe thirst. So I bring you, my way cheaper wedge options:
Let me explain the very specific criteria in which I searched:
- I was looking for a light cognac/neutral/beige/tan wedge that could be worn universally with pants, skirts, dresses, etc. Day to night and all that business.
- I hate the look of cork. Do you know how many wedges there are that aren’t made of cork? (I’ll give you a hint – you’re looking at them)
- I was also kind of over the hemp thing. Which again, eliminated 75% of the options out there for wedges. One of these pairs has a hint of it because it was getting ridiculous and basically unavoidable.
- I really wanted a solid platform (no wood/fake wood – the closest I got was the Target pair, because again, I was working with very little options).
- I wanted a thicker strap for general security, because well… I sprained my foot once because of an Old Navy flip flop. So there’s history there.
- I wanted height, but even at 5’3, I gotta draw the line somewhere. There’s a lot of cute Jessica Simpson options, but they are no joke, five inches tall. I live on an island made up of sand and cobblestones. You do the math.
And in the end… I still haven’t decided. Yes, my heart (and sole wink) yearns for the Tory Burch pair, but it’s just not a practical option for me right now (plus once your husband buys you Manolos, you’re pretty much not allowed to ask for another fancy shoe for like at least five years). I was all set to pull the trigger on the Target pair and at least get through this summer, but the practical side of me decided to read the reviews and saw multiple complaints saying that these wedges just fall apart immediately. So now I’m just kind of hanging back in shoe limbo.
So what would you do? Fork over the big bucks or rock a bargain brand and hope it makes it through the summer? If you need me, I’ll be here, drooling over my laptop.