If you spend any time online and haven't heard of shoe clubs it's likely you've been hiding under a virtual rock.
The latest in fast fashion for your feet to hit the web was started by Shoe Dazzle, a Kim Kardashian endorsed venture wherein, for $39.99 a month, you select a pair of shoes from a selection pulled for you by the site based on a series of style questions answered by you. Quite the mouthful, but a fairly simple concept.
The concept was then followed up by two additional companies, Sole Society (owned by Hautelook) and Just Fabulous (endorsed by the ladies of Who What Wear, who also sell their own collection through the site.)
In the name of science, and, well, shoes, I have been a member of all three clubs for the past three months and the following is my experience.
This month's closet and alternates.
Bought From: 1 month out of 3.
• It's very cheap: $39.95
• The selections are fun and colourful.
• You can view your alternates without requesting them and still request additional alternates.
• Cute "featurettes"
• The quality is what you expect for $40 shoes – not horrendous but not hand stitched leather.
• Many of the shoes can be purchased cheaper on other sites such as Go Jane or at local markets (!)
• They send way too many emails, at least once a day, from "Dazzle Deals" (daily flash sales) to closet "reminders"
I do love the one pair of shoes I purchased (pictured above) they're fun, reminiscent of the Miu Miu's I could never ever afford and I haven't seen them anywhere else. That said, I've owned them for nearly three months and not worn them once, other than to take these pictures….The emails are really annoying, to the point of not wanting to be a member anymore, and the Dazzle Deals – whilst a good idea – haven't been really been worth it.
I love my one pair (even if I haven't worn them!)but I haven't been motivated to buy any others since for the reasons above and a matter of taste.
Bought From: 3 Months out of 3. (Courtesy of Sole Society)
• Affordable: $49.95
• Good quality shoes (leather options)
• Wearable shoes – trend driven and classic.
• Styles exclusive to Sole Society.
• The pricing isn't competitive (comparatively)
• Limited selection available immediately (you have to wait for alternates)
• More editorial content would be great.
Sole Society definitely has the best offering of shoes. It's hard to say if my 3/3 months would be entirely accurate had I not have been gifted the shoes, but every month I have struggled to choose a pair from the six offered to me, not because I didn't like them, but because I liked all of them, so I'd like to think based on that I definitely would have spent my own money!
The real leather options are amazing, especially given the cost, the styles are all trend driven but not too much so, that you couldn't wear them for years. I love the two I received so far (pictured above) and I think I've decided on the embellished gladiator sandals in this months closet…but I love the beige ones top middle and tan ones bottom right…see what I mean about struggling to choose?!
This months shoe and bag closets
Bought From: 0 months out of 3.
• Affordable: $39.95 a month.
• Varied selection
• Fantastic purses.
• User friendly
• Some exclusive styles.
• Other styles available through editorial.
• Everything I want (the purses!) are always sold out!
• A lot of the shoes look cheap (I can't say for sure having not seen them in person)
• It's you, not them…according to them. They have to change the above pop up message you receive when you decline that months closet – I realise it's supposed to be funny – it's not, it's irritating, because guess what…it's not me!
The fact of the matter is – I could of, and maybe would of, bought a handbag, 2 out of the 3 months, IF it hadn't been sold out. This month they featured the above handbag – gorgeous, but sold out! There was also another lovely ombre one in my first month (and the fact I remember how lovely it was months later is it's own testament) – also sold out.
Despite being a "shoe club" Just Fabulous really wins points in the bag arena – the shoes haven't really inspired me to buy, I liked this months "Christina" but I already own really similar shoes so it's just not worth it.
Shoe Clubs..the overall verdict…
What's not to like? – There's no commitment, there's some very affordable shoes, some very fun shoes (and purses) and you know…it's club, it makes you feel special (when you're not receiving a ridiculous quantity of emails and being told you have a problem for not buying….)