Time for another FlueReview! Actually, I should have visited the Melrose store at least a month ago, when the Spring collection was being rolled out. Why? Because my sizes in my most-coveted styles and colorways are flying off the shelf. In a couple of cases, they’re completely gone already. The Liz in teal? Gone in both 5 and 5.5. The aqua Assured sandals? Also gone in both 5 and 5.5.
Nevertheless, I was still able to try on a lot of exciting shoes over the weekend. This post is going to be a little photo-heavy, so bear with me.
Let’s get down to the nitty-gritty reviews, especially on sizing. What you should know about me before I start: I am a true size US 5.5. I have relatively-flat arches, wide toes, and narrowish ankles. I wear 5 in the Operetta, Mini, Attention, and Bellevue families; 5.5 in the Fellowship family; 6 in the Radio and World families; and 6.5 in the older styles of the Miracle family. My other shoes are most often in size 6 but run slightly large on purpose (because they’re boots or ankle boots).
The most notable new families this past Fall and this current Spring season seem to run true to size, such as the Hopeful, Integrity, Big Presence, and Kitschy Kitschy Boom Boom — although the current season of the Integrity ballet flats runs small.
(click on the photos to go to the Fluevog.com webpage for each style)
Integrity: Amie in gray and orange. I have a pair of Amie flats from the Fall line in size 6, and they are large on me (I wear them with socks). However this size 6 pair of gray/orange Amies from the Spring line fit me wonderfully. I’d say they’re running half a size small this season. I recommend the Amie style in general. Comfortable, durable, and lovely.
Integrity: Arabella in black and ivory. The first time I saw a photo of the Arabella flats, I had a frisson of excitement for the Spring season. I love the brogue and ballet flat mashup. They are so elegant, and I’d say they’re built like the Amie. Comfort and delicious style in one. This pair was also in size 6 and fit me perfectly. Like the Amie, they’re a half size small.
Radio: BBC in purple suede. If you didn’t know, I’m a Radio fan. I love these purple ankle boots (size 6; Radios run narrow so the 6 fit me just fine), but I already have another pair of purple suede Radio boots, the PRI. I just wanted to try these on, and I wasn’t disappointed. If they weren’t suede, I would have seriously considered them.
Hopeful: Assured in black. This pair that I’m wearing is a size 5. While the left shoe fits just right, there is a bit of toe-overhang on the right foot (which I dislike greatly). Like most people, I have a foot that’s larger than the other, in this case the right foot. Dealer Kate at the Melrose store suggested I size up in these (and also that I take off the stockings so that I could get a better fit).
Hopeful: Assured in camel. Here are the Assured in size 5.5. The left foot is a little loose at the heel but the ankle straps hold me in pretty well. If I bought this style, I would get the 5.5. Aren’t they gorgeous? I originally thought I’d get the black pair, but the camel color is much more versatile for spring … plus the triangle cutouts look much more striking on the camel. Between true to size and half-size large.
Hopeful: Cheerful in aqua. In general, the Hopeful family is — for me — one of the more exciting new families in Fluevogdom. These oxfords on my feet were size 6 and ran a tad large, although I could probably wear these well with socks. (Who wants to wear socks with spring shoes, though?) This style is thus true to size. I think I’m in love with this aqua color, as you’ll see in the other shoes below (it’s more a turquoise, though, don’t you think?).
Bellevue: Eleanor in pink. This style was a surprise for me. First of all, I preferred the size 5.5, when I expected the size 5 to work. (I’m a size 5 in earlier styles of Bellevues.) I tried the 5 in the black colorway (which wasn’t that exciting, especially since I recently got a pair of black Paris pumps in black), and it fit a little too snugly at the toe box. The 5.5 size fit perfectly, and the pink made me really happy. The two-tone colorway and the flowery art deco detail at the heel seriously worked for me. Gorgeous spring shoes. True to size.
Presence: Imagine in aqua. This style was a two-part surprise. First, let me just say that I am not a pointy-toe shoe person. I like the Truth family and they actually fit, but when it comes down to it, I couldn’t buy a pair of pointy-toe shoes. Another pair of Presence shoes, the Wizard, are on a very nice sale right now and fit me, but I can’t bring myself to buy them. HOWEVER, I would totally make an exception for these aqua flats. I love the color and the art deco suede cutouts at the toe. I don’t know how comfortable they’d be walking around, but given that they’re flats, they can’t be all that bad right? The second part of the surprise was that this style runs VERY SMALL. I believe I’m wearing a 6.5 in these photos, but I would totally size up to a 7. That means they run about 1.5 sizes too small. Yikes! [ETA: I did indeed try on the 7 during a subsequent visit, and they fit perfectly. Definitely 1.5 sizes too small.]
Desire: Mentor in aqua. I believe Desire is a completely new family this Spring (please correct me if I’m wrong). They’re not particularly wow-them shoes, but I am drawn to them nevertheless. I was talking to Kate and she and I agreed that they’re perfect lounge-and-errands shoes. They sort of look like house shoes, given the loafer style, but can and should be worn outside for a little extra style. I call them stylish suburban mom shoes. Um, that doesn’t sound too appealing, does it? But they felt reeeaaallllly comfortable. These are size 6, so they run half a size small.
Queen Transcendent: Nefertiti in pink/black/aqua. Ahhh, I couldn’t leave the store without trying on the newest style in the Queen Transcendent family. I loved the mary jane look of my Elizabeths and was a little apprehensive about the flatter-factor of the ankle strap in the Nefertiti. I usually don’t like to obscure my narrowish ankles because they give my thicker calves a curve they otherwise wouldn’t have. I don’t know if it’s the multi-color effect, but I think these shoes are flattering, period. Miranda, one of the part-time dealers, was trying them on at the same time, and they looked just as great on her different legs/feet. Very impressive, Mr. Fluevog! These are size 6, but I could probably go down half a size. Too bad they don’t come in smaller sizes. 😦
Kitschy Kitschy Boom Boom: Liz in black/pink/white. Finally, we come to the Liz. Oh, Liz Liz Liz. This is the biggest reason why I should have visited Melrose much sooner than this, if only to try them on. THIS was the pair that I was really hoping for. (And there was something cool about buying two different pairs of shoes in back-to-back seasons with basically the same name, Elizabeth and Liz.) If they didn’t fit the way I wanted, oh well, there were other fish in the sea, but I at least wanted to see how they fit. Unfortunately, by the time I arrived, ready to put my favorite pair of the season on layaway for my upcoming birthday, the smallest size available in the Liz was a 7.5, which is what is on my foot in this photo. Far too big, obviously. (And the only sizes left in the teal were 10 and 11!) I couldn’t possibly decide to put any of the shoes on layaway without knowing if I could fit the Liz. Seeing my distress, wonderful Kate said that she would call the New York store to see if they could transfer the size 5.5 to Melrose so that I could try them on. (She and fellow dealer Anthony surmised that I was probably a 5.5 in these shoes because of the small toe box.) I found out today that YES! the NY store agreed to the transfer, and so I will be visiting the Melrose store in the very-near future to try them on properly. I will post an update on that when it happens.
Can I give a big shout-out to my Melrose dealers? Kate went above and beyond on this! Plus she’s generally awesome.
To sum up, the Spring 2013 line has been particularly spectacular … and this is after a fantastic Fall 2012 line. I’ll be the first to say that last year’s Spring shoes didn’t make my heart beat that fast. I still bought some beautiful shoes last year, of course, but I was close to getting some Fluegasms trying on LOTS of shoes this past Saturday. The amazing colors! The adorable styles! Who’s with me?
Other shoes I tried on but didn’t take photos of:
Big Presence: Desmond in yellow — Size 5.5, true to size, and super stylish. These would be great for the office, actually, in mid-summer. If I had an office job, that is.
Rivers: Loire in black and bronze — These run WAY too narrow for the base of my toes; I couldn’t even get them on in the size 6 (which was the correct size for foot length). However, if they fit you, they’re really gorgeous, especially in the aqua and silver colorway.
‘Til next time, fellow Vogers!