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
    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!

  2. 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!

  3. Member
    coyote 1508 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. :)

  4. 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!

  5. 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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