In the last few years, magazines have run the phrase "investment piece" ragged, but I don’t think that everything designer is worth the cash. However, I am an advocate of spending a little more on something you’re going to wear every day, like a bag, but only if (a) you can swing it and (b) it’s something you truly love. For me, that’s the Manolo Blahnik BB pump. Just look at them! They’re perfect. So simple, but never boring.
Fancy folks call them “court shoes.” Sometimes really expensive things are super beautiful despite their simplicity. You can tell Manolo himself cared deeply about the shape of his BB pumps. You can wear them with anything, truly. They come in a rainbow of colors and patterns, but I’d probably choose black or nude for maximum wear. The 3.5” heel is high enough to make me feel skinny and make my legs look super-long (which they’re not, because I’m Norwegian and made to bear children) but not too high so I’m teetering around like a teenage girl in her first pair of heels.
The classic pointed-toe pump has been enjoying a resurgence lately; I’ve seen the BB on the feet of Victoria Beckham, Kim Kardashian, Gwyneth, Rihanna, Solange -- practically every celebrity has worn them. They look perfect with nearly every silhouette, from skinny jeans to a full skirt. Plus, I think a pointed toe looks so much more chic than a rounded toe, don’t you? It draws the eye up in a long, lean line. The round toe can look juvenile, while a pointed toe announces, “I am a woman and I am here to get shit done!”
But on my freelancer/shop-girl salary, the BB and I won’t be together for a long, long time, unless I find them at a resale shop in a size 38. It can happen! Until then, I'm making do with H&M basic pumps, which are a whopping $24.95.
Of course, they’re not NEARLY as fancy as the Manolos. They’re imitation suede, whatever that means –- is that like microfiber? I would always choose leather over suede, especially in Minnesota where the streets are constantly salted during winter, but for a shoe this perfect I’m not going to turn up my nose.
The H&M pumps are just pointy enough, meaning they don’t smash your toes up. They have a 3” heel, which is perfect for running around all day. Since discovering these little gems I’ve gone through at least three pairs of them in black. (This is partially because I walk kind of funny and swishy and drag on my right heel to the point where it can’t be re-capped.)
The best part about the H&M pumps is that they’re COMFORTABLE. As you know, I work retail and therefore I'm on my feet at least seven hours a day. I can wear my pumps for almost all of my workday, which is saying something considering one of my stores has marble floors; definitely not the most supportive surface to stand on for hours. You should see my spider veins. The shoes support my weight evenly, which is so important with a heel.
When I say I wear these with everything, I am not kidding. I wear them with dresses and tights to work, with skinny jeans cuffed at the ankle, with leggings, with shorts in the summer. They go with everything! So until I can afford a pair of Manolos (and I WILL!), I am perfectly happy trotting around in my H&M shoes. What shoes are haunting your dreams?