THE Shoes

Wedding shoes are an integral part of the wedding-day outfit—sure, the wedding dress is what people see first, but a peek under the hem of the skirt or a slight lift of the dress to walk down a few steps or get your groove on during the reception can be an opportunity to surprise guests with a glimpse of a very special pair of heels. I know picking the shoes before you pick the dress seems a little backward, but it didn’t take me long to decide what my tootsies would be donning on my wedding day. But maybe I should backtrack a little bit first to give you an idea of what I’m talking about.

For as long as I can remember, I have always been obsessed with The Wizard of Oz. From the age of two until about seven or eight I went through a phase of dressing up as Dorothy Gale. I loved to go outside and pretend I was lost in the land of Oz, complete with a handmade gingham jumper my mom had sewn for me and glittery red Capezio flats I wore practically every day. It’s an obsession handed down to me from Papa Dillo, who would sit and watch the movie with me and entertain me by singing all the songs and mimicking the voice of the Cowardly Lion.

Oh, you want proof, do you?

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All dressed up as Dorothy Gale for Halloween. I was probably three or four here.

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I even wore those ruby slippers out to restaurants. My parents were cool like that. Notice, also, my innocent eyes somehow convinced them to buy me that extravagant monstrosity of a dessert. Pretty sure this is at a Luby’s.

So, while dreaming up looks for the big day, my natural inclination was to somehow pay homage to my childhood obsession without going crazy or over the top. I didn’t want a Wizard of Oz themed affair, but I did want some aspect of that part of my life to be present. I scoured the internet for hours and hours, trying to come up with a way to Oz-ify our wedding day without being campy or cheesy. A pair of ruby slippers seemed to be the natural choice, but every pair I’d found either had four-inch heels, were stilettos, or were covered in glitter. I was in the market for something that looked as close as possible to the Judy Garland originals. I was beginning to lose faith that I’d ever find a pair to match what I’d pictured in my mind. And then I found them.

A website (which shall remain nameless) sells handmade versions of the shoes. They use leather two-inch pumps and cover them with sequins, complete with a rhinestone bow on the top, JUST like the ones in the movies. I was in love, but for the $100 price tag, I was a little nervous. So, I did the only practical thing a girl of my mindset could think of—I asked for a pair for Christmas.

Unfortunately, Santa’s mail services were running slowly, so on Christmas morning I had an envelope with a picture of the shoes to open up, along with the promise that they were on their way. Elated, I anxiously waited for the mail to come each day, hoping our mailman would have them for me. After what seemed like an excrutiating period of time, the shoes were FINALLY delivered to my parents’ doorstep. It took everything inside me to restrain myself from ripping open the box, but I managed to muster up some self-control for the sake of the blogger in me.

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Photo by Miss Armadillo

I will admit I was impressed with the way they were packaged to avoid damage during the shipping process.

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Photo by Miss Armadillo

And here they are, the long-awaited ruby slippers!

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Photo by Miss Armadillo

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Photo by Miss Armadillo

I was initially thrilled with the way they looked—maybe I was wrapped up in the sheer excitement that they were finally, finally here, the shoes I had dreamed about ever since I was a little girl. After I’d put them on and admired them for a moment, I slid them off for a closer look. That’s when the trouble started.

The first thing I noticed was that the shoes weren’t quite the same. Can you tell from this picture?

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Photo by Miss Armadillo

If you look closely at the bows, you’ll see that the left shoe has three rhinestones on each side of the marquis-shaped stone, while the right shoe has only two. Problem number one.

There were also some issues with the sequins themselves. For example, on the toe of this shoe, there appears to be a bald spot where a sequin has gone missing.

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Photo by Miss Armadillo

Some of the color on the sequins was also already rubbed off, revealing the silver underneath, like these, for example:

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Photo by Miss Armadillo

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Photo by Miss Armadillo

The heels of the shoes were also covered in unsightly excess glue.

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Photo by Miss Armadillo

There was also stray glue all over the rhinestone bows on the front.

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Photo by Miss Armadillo

To top it all off, the website advertised they were selling LEATHER shoes, while the stamp on the inside of the pump clearly indicated otherwise:

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Photo by Miss Armadillo

I’m not sure what went wrong here. The website reviews revealed nothing but happy clients, but I certainly am not happy, especially for the $100 price tag these slippers came with. The website says they honor full refunds and exchanges within 10 days of receiving the package. Rather than exchanging them for another pair, I decided to just return them. I don’t want to bash the people who sold me these shoes for the mere fact that sometimes handmade things just go wrong. I’m not vindictive or mean, but for $100 this wasn’t what I was expecting, if anything because I was mailed shoes made out of synthetic material when the website claimed they were made of leather. I can make shoes that look this good myself. My parents have offered to give me the $100 for supplies to do exactly that. It’s just another thing added to the already expanding DIY list, but I guess the old adage proves true: If you want something done right, you have to do it yourself.

What do you think? Am I being unreasonable about being dissatisfied with the quality of my purchase? Am I going into bridezilla mode or do I have just cause for returning these for a refund? Have you ever been disappointed in the quality of an item you spent an exorbitant amount of money on?

BLOGGER

Mrs. Armadillo

Location:
Houston, Texas
Wedding Date:
March 2013
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comments

  1. Member
    seabeeny 68 posts, Worker bee @ 1:28 pm

    Sorry you have had such a bad experience! FWIW, now that you’re DIYing possibly, when the post started, the first thing that came to my mind was Mrs. Fox’s glitter sole DIY (here: http://www.weddingbee.com/2011/12/16/how-i-pimped-out-my-wedding-shoes/). So obviously, whatever you want works best, ha, but I think a white heel with a red glitter sole would be lovely! But, maybe I think this because red is one of my colors and I’m considering a last-minute red paint or red glitter sole to the flats I’m wearing. ;)

    And since you asked, no, I don’t think it’s bridezilla-y at ALL to exchange them for a full refund, BTW. That’s not a $100 product!

  2. Member
    missgreenbean 463 posts, Helper bee @ 1:31 pm

    If you had paid $30 I’d say unreasonable, they look fine…but $100?!? No. Nuh-uh. Perfectly within reason to return inferior products and DIY it.

  3. Member
    stephlovessaul 87 posts, Worker bee @ 1:48 pm

    What a bummer! I would have sent them back too thats so not cool. I’m glad to hear that another bride thought shoes first dress second, I thought I was the only one! I bought a pair of Filo Glitter Louboutin’s and went through 3 pairs before I had a pair that didnt have an issue. I’m sure you’ll find your Ruby Slippers!

  4. Member
    mstoadstool 2485 posts, Buzzing bee @ 1:50 pm

    For $100 I’d expect flawless perfect shoes and seriously the sole fact that they advertised them as leather while being synthetic material is enough. They look gourgeous tough, I hope you get great results with your DIY ones.

  5. Member
    BookishBelle 1629 posts, Bumble bee @ 1:51 pm

    Exactly what PP said! It is NOT worth $100, and to say it’s leather when it’s not is flat out fraud, if you ask me. If you have the time to find new ones or DIY, I don’t blame you for returning them, bride or not a bride, you should get what you pay for!

  6. Member
    hyena 2537 posts, Sugar bee @ 1:56 pm

    If you’re not satisfied with the product — whether it’s perfect or not — you should get a refund! No point in keeping something you’re not happy with. I would be irritated about the imperfections as well, especially for wedding shoes!

  7. Member
    potion 223 posts, Helper bee @ 2:18 pm

    At first I was thinking “meh, they’re adorable, wear them anyway!” and then I read the price- I’m with you lady, send them back! Good luck on the DIY…I bet you could find red glittery pumps elsewhere, though, if you run out of time ;)

  8. Guest Icon Guest
    lealorali, Guest @ 2:44 pm

    You bought sequined shoes. Off the internet. What did you expect?

  9. Member
    mstreasure 1655 posts, Bumble bee @ 3:05 pm

    Miss Beanstalk has a tutorial on how to glitterize your shoes. I did it for my bachelorette party shoes, and it’s super easy. The glitter will not come off. I’d recommend it!

  10. Member
    jacofblues 1468 posts, Bumble bee @ 3:12 pm

    I think that for the $100 price tag your expectations weren’t too high! If the price tag was lower of course you would be thinking it might not be 100% but for that price I would be expecting nothing less than good quality and the material to match what is advertised! You did the right thing returning them!

  11. Member
    graywolf 725 posts, Busy bee @ 3:13 pm

    i agree with you – no need to make them work if you’re not 100% satisfied. maybe for any other day when you wont have lots of in depth detailed pictures of everything! you’ve got time to both DIY and keep your eyes out…

  12. Member
    doctormo 3 posts, Wannabee @ 5:00 pm

    You were right to return them. I am wearing red heels to my wedding. You may be interested into looking into them http://www.amazon.com/Aerosoles-Womens-Tapestry-Pump-Patent/dp/B0060HAYDA/ref=sr_1_14?ie=UTF8&qid=1348703871&sr=8-14&keywords=aerosoles+red. They have 3 inch heels and are really comfortable!

  13. Member
    This Time Round 10219 posts, Sugar Beekeeper @ 5:33 pm

    I am LOVIN the W-Oz Red Slippers… too cute !!
    Bonus points to whomever sewed you the appropriate blue gingham jumper.
    I am happy to hear that the sequin shoes were a FAIL and are going back. I have had experiences with such shoes, and well, sequins are a nightmare, they do not wear well at all… fall off, flake, bend, etc. Not a good choice for a girl who likes her shoes !!
    As the others have said there are several Bees who have done DIY projects in regards to glammin’ up their Wedding Shoes. Be it glitter or Swarovski crystals (my fave… and a lot more IMO like the “Dorothy” originals) there are much much better chioces… and not only will your shoes rock, but mean so much more to you, cause you did em yourself.

  14. Member
    RoseTylerWannabee 182 posts, Blushing bee @ 5:51 pm

    awwww I am totally bummed out to see a real life version of those! I was eyeing them for my wedding next year, and yours do not look like the advertised version at all. Are you going to return them? you could probably touch them up a bit yourself if you needed to. it would drive me crazy though, if you pay that much you expect a quality item, especially since the seller has 100% feedback.

  15. Member
    ChicagoDreamer 509 posts, Busy bee @ 7:52 pm

    I would return them too. I love handmade things (I DIY a lot), but these just look poorly made. I think you’d do far better yourself.

  16. Member
    Gamer Bride 5 posts, Newbee @ 8:19 pm

    I too, am obsessed with the Wizard of Oz! At first glance, they are totally amazing; it sucks that the quality wasn’t there! Especially since you paid $100 for them. Good luck on your DIY adventures!

  17. Member
    castle 1191 posts, Bumble bee @ 8:39 pm

    Bummer that they ended up being poor quality. I think you could DIY shoes yourself for that same price. Wishing you luck! Can’t wait to see what you come up with!

  18. Guest Icon Guest
    portia, Guest @ 12:40 am

    Have you seen the red Tom’s that are super red sparkly? I know they are flats, but they might be a good shoe for getting ready and switching into at the end of the night.

    I agree with some other posters here, you can simply go with a super red glittery sole. I have done this to four of my heals (purple soles on black shoes, gold on nude shoes, blue on brown shoes and red on navy shoes) and they all look great. It adds just a pop of color but they are still wearable year round. You could always incorporate the red sparkle into your nail polish.

  19. Member
    jacofblues 1468 posts, Bumble bee @ 2:19 am

    Miss Armadillo I just saw an ad for style tread and these heels on the ad and thought you might like them! You could always add a glittery shoe clip of a bow. http://www.styletread.com.au/glitz-red.html#.UGQY8bLiYs0

  20. Member
    siimplycraziie 161 posts, Blushing bee @ 5:08 am

    Miss A, I had the SAME shoes for my wedding! One of my bridesmaids gifted them to me… I did not have the same issues you had with missing sequins in places, or the front bow being different… though, I didn’t examine them as closely as you did either. However, I can tell you that after walking in them during ceremony, outside for pictures and our first dance, the back heel of them was almost completely silver from where the red coloring rubbed off. It’s not noticeable in any of the pictures I have of them, but when I saw them the next morning I was a bit let down at the sight.. they looked like something I had worn for months beforehand, not shoes I wore a total of an hour, at best.
    I can’t wait to see what shoes you end up with! :) and if you’re interested in seeing how the “bad eggs” look in pictures etc… I have a couple in my recaps :)

  21. Member
    sword 1029 posts, Bumble bee @ 6:44 am

    I LOVE that you are honoring your childhood love of Dorothy. What a fabulous idea! I’m sure whatever you figure out will be way better than those 100 dollar shoes!

  22. Member
    msarmadillo 497 posts, Helper bee @ 9:46 am

    I totally returned them, you guys! So glad you all have my back! The seller was very cooperative and gave me a full refund, which was great. :)

    @doctormo: HOW AMAZING ARE YOU? I totally just ordered a pair of these for my DIY adventure! Thank you!
    @Jacofblues: Those are so cute! Unfortunately, they no longer come in my size. :( Thank you for thinking of me, though!

    After browsing the Weddingbee DIY section, I’ve decided to strass a pair of heels with red rhinestones! I’ll be sure to post an update when I’m finished with them! :) Thanks for all the amazing ideas, everyone!

  23. Member
    coyote 1562 posts, Bumble bee @ 11:50 am

    Sigh I really wanted those shoes to work out for A, but I totally would have expected more for the $100 price tag. Yikes! Can’t wait to see what you end up doing. :)

  24. Member
    mspony 9265 posts, Buzzing Beekeeper @ 7:38 pm

    I was totally hoping these shoes would work out, they are so adorable! I think returning them was absolutely the right thing to do, they should be much better quality for that price!

  25. Member
    msfox 1635 posts, Bumble bee @ 9:07 am

    It’s absolutely understandable why you’d want to return them.. it’s shoddy work, and *not* worth $100. Sure, maybe it was a one-off pair, but still. I’d be disappointed too!

    A thought for if you decide to DIY – were you going to use the sequins? One of my bridesladies got married a few weeks before we did, and she blinged out her shoes using little crystals of different sizes. She used a clear color but I”m *sure* they come in red.. it’s time intensive, but looks fab when finished!!

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