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The Happiest Place on Earth (for me!)

November 24, 2009

Some people think it’s Disney World. For me, the happiest place on Earth is a shoe store. (Well, I also enjoy a good nap, or sitting in front of a beautiful $4,000 Mac Powerbook Pro with the Adobe Master Collection Software preinstalled. ) But shoes…they just make me happy.

(Disclaimer: I don’t have any sponsors, this is merely a list of the stores I like and shop at)

Image via Aldo

Aldo…Oh, Aldo. How do I love thee?

Aldo is like that guy who’s always available to be your Plus One at functions. No matter how many crazies run in and out of my life, Aldo has always been there to help me make a grand entrance, even after the shoddier shoes have bit the dust.

Aldo shoes tend to hover near the $75-$125 mark, but they are extremely durable. I’ve had a pair (called my 45-minute heels, because they are so high and pointy that even I can only wear them in 45-minute increments) for almost three  years now, and they look as good as the day I bought them.

Image via Gwen Cready

Nine West is like the country cousin of Aldo. They are a little less formal, a little less experimental, but just as good.

My six-month booties (appropriately named since I had to wait six months for them to go on sale before I could afford them) are from Nine West, and they have lasted through 14 months of rain, snow, ice, sleet, a sprained knee* and I find myself wishing I had bought a second pair.

*note to everyone out there: GET THOSE NON-SLIP pads for the bottoms of your shoes, otherwise be prepared for a several weeks on crutches and a year’s worth of physical therapy.

image via the Wall Stree Journal

Charlotte Russe is a great store for super-trendy shoes at super-cheap prices. The most I’ve ever spent on a single pair here was maybe $40. Usually the shoes are more in the $20-30 range, and they always seem to have a “buy one, get one for $15/half off/free/etc”

I walked through one in the Chicago suburbs yesterday (I HAD to go to Ikea, so I braved the worst driving I’ve seen outside of Boston to get there–Chicago city drivers are much better that suburb drivers as a whole. ) and they had studding on lots of shoes, and zippers, feathers, cork…all the trendy stuff, it was out and LOUD in the rear of the store. If you want happy feet, head to Charlotte Russe.

Image via Spring Shoes facebook page

The little sister to Aldo is Spring. They run a little less expensive, somewhere between $40-80. Spring and Aldo are kind of like the Gap in relation to Banana Republic.

My Kitchen Sink shoes come from Spring.

Image via Macy's

Originally Marshall Field’s flagship store on State Street in Chicago, Macy’s bought out the chain in 2005. Most of the interior has remained the same since the takeover, including the famous Walnut Room (If you’re going to be in the area in the next month, GO THERE. Why? A two-story Christmas tree! Indoors!

I like Macy’s as a gathering place for two of my favorite shoe brands, Guess and BCBGirls. They are similar in look to Aldo or Nine West, but their fit tends to be a little better.

Also Macy’s is a great place to explore (i.e. try on) lots of different shoes and then buy them online at Amazon. Shhh, don’t tell!

Image via Payless

“Payless” doesn’t always have to translate into “Get Crap” especially at Payless Shoe Stores. I like to buy the more trendy footwear here (like my orange shoes) in an attempt to spend less money on a shoe that will probably only last one season.

Ironically, I bought a pair of leopard print flats here three years ago, and they are still going strong.

image via hauteworld

I don’t currently shop here, at the flagship Christian Louboutin boutique in Paris, but I would really, really like to!

image via

And the next time I find myself in Dubai, I’m heading straight for the Manolo Blahnik store. Besides selling classic and amazing shoes, this is the cutest store I’ve seen in a while. I like how the colors make it feel exotic, almost tropical.


This store is my Disney World.

One Comment leave one →
  1. Susan permalink
    November 24, 2009 5:24 pm

    LOL- I should post about my favorite places… mine are all online, is that normal? 🙂

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