In Fashion: The secret to buying shoes? Wait for a sale
Mar 16,2007 00:00 by Sharon_Mosley

Whenever a new season approaches, I'm out the door and on the prowl for a new pair of shoes. This spring is no different. After a long winter stuck inside boots and booties, my feet are ready for their spa treatment and pedicure. Then they're ready to slip into a new pair of sandals and breathe again.

But first, it's off to find that "perfect" pair of shoes to celebrate the fact that spring has sprung - at least the temperature is above 50 degrees and boots just no longer seem to be the thing to wear. So when I breeze through one of my favorite department stores and see a 75 percent off sale on shoes, I decide I've picked the perfect time to shop - maybe not for summer shoes, but who cares? Not a shoe fanatic like me who has had her eye on a pair of Donald J. Pliner velvet and leather pointed toe mules that "spoke" to me last fall. Yes, sure enough they have one pair left in my size. Voila! My wish has come true and at 75 percent off!

BUYING SHOES - It is time to place your orders for spring's latest shoe arrivals. CNS Photo courtesy of Donald J. Pliner.

I guess I should credit the "law of attraction." After all, I have recently read "The Secret" by Rhonda Byrne (Atria, $24, 2006) who has assembled a group of men and women who believe we all have the power to harness our thoughts and send them out to the Universe, attracting back like thoughts. You can be anybody you want or you can have anything you want. All you have to do is place an "order." Ask and you shall receive. (Didn't someone else say that?)

But of course, you have to be "clear" about what you want. Well, I knew I wanted those shoes months ago, but I didn't know I was going to get them for hundreds of dollars less.

So here goes, I'm placing my "order" for a few more new "spring" shoes:

First of all, just because there are lots of "adorable" ballerina flats out there this season, doesn't necessarily mean I'm going to wear them. I've never been into rounded toes (they seem to just make my whole body look more round if you know what I mean), but my daughter loves them and she has been dancing to town in them. Banana Republic's cashmere ones are her favorites.

There are still plenty of "flats" available this year and supposedly "stilettos" are out for awhile - until our feet rest up. So instead of a ballet style flat, I'm thinking about investing in a pair of black patent leather slides, maybe like Stuart Weitzman has in their collection.

I'm all about patent leather this spring. It reminds me of decades ago when we all wore our patent leather Mary Janes and that was about the extent of our "dressed up go to church" shoes. But I'm too old for the Mary Jane thing too. One of my best friends still wears them and she is a funky soul, so she looks good in funky soles. Instead, I think I'll place my order for Pucci's black patent slingback with the big black buttons or the Valentino black patent platform sandal with the Lucite heel - to die for.

The latest wedges also remind me of a time gone by when teetering on squishy cork was a real talent. But now that I seem to need a little more "support" from my footwear, I think I'll go for Donald J. Pliner's crocodile print wedge sandals or the metallic platform peep toe pumps from Christian Louboutin.

The wedge espadrilles are also hot shoe trends this spring, but I'm still wearing my "custom-made" versions from Barcelona that I had made there 10 years ago. They were a lifesaver on those hilly cobblestone streets and I've kept them as a nostalgic reminder of a great trip. If I did "order" some new ones though, I might consider Burberry's new quilted check espadrille.

But mostly in the spring and summer I like to wear slip-on thong sandals or slides. Unless, I'm wading through my garden in the backyard and have my plastic clogs on, then I'm truly into comfort when the warm weather arrives. I think I'll check out Cole Haan's black patent mule or Manolo Blahnik's braided metallic thong.

But first, I need to concentrate on that $25,000 check I've got taped to the mirror in my bathroom. Until that money arrives, you'll find me checking out the sales racks.

Sharon Mosley is a former fashion editor of the Arkansas Gazette in Little Rock and executive director of the Fashion Editors and Reporters Association.

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