Thursday, May 9, 2013

A Rockstud Story

Depending on who you talk to, the popular Valentino Rockstud pumps are either a work of art or downright ugly. I'm of the former train of thought, whereas every male I've encountered have strongly voiced their opinion for the latter.
Valentino Rockstud sandals

I've been lusting after these shoes for about two years. About a year in, I seriously considered going the route that Elle took and buying knockoffs, to the point where I badgered her for detailed seller info. In the end, I opted to pass due to uncertainty over sizing. The cost was a fraction of the real pair, but that wasn't enough to sway me. Then came a period of time where my obsession waned, even after seeing Jean wear hers so beautifully.

It's not until recently that I began to fall back in love with the Rockstud pumps all over again. I can't pinpoint the exact reason... hormones going crazy because I'm about to turn another year older? I'm a sheep and wants what's popular? I could use a pair of low heeled pumps in my life? It's probably a combination of all the above.
Valentino Rockstud sandals

Now that most sizes are back in stock and in an array of colors, I took my sweet time contemplating. In the midst of my thinking, I asked DH for his opinion:

me: so... $900 shoes. yay or nay? in poudre
DH: no even before looking
me: HAHA why???
DH: no even after looking
DH: are the studs gold? 24k
me: would that justify the price? "Golden pyramid studs"
DH: it's just random studs. doesn't look good, doesn't make you look good
DH: stop getting shoes with studs. unless you're planning on dueling to the death and you need to kick someone in the face with the studs
DH: you're prob at the point where you regretted asking for my opinion, huh?

Nope, I never regret asking for his opinion. What he doesn't know is that his opinion counts for... not a whole lot when my mind's pretty much made up. Shh, we can keep that between us.

After much deliberation, I did indeed purchase the Rockstud pumps in poudre, size 36.5 (sold at Nordstrom, NM, BG, Saks). I went with the lower heel (2.5") with 3 ankle straps over the higher heel (4") with 2 straps. I typically wear 36-36.5 in European sizing and chose to go with 36.5 after reading reviews. The length is perfect, so I think 36 would've been too short for me. The toebox was surprisingly roomy and fits my medium-to-wide feet nicely -- such a rarity as most designer shoes run narrow, in my experience. I'd say if your feet is on the narrow side, don't size up. I haven't tried on the 4" style myself, but have read that the toebox runs narrower compared to the 2.5".
Valentino Rockstud sandals

Hands down, these are the most comfortable pair of heels I own. I can actually stand for hours, the criss-crossing back straps don't cut into my heel, and my toes aren't squished like sardines in a can.

A couple nitpicky elements about the shoes, but certainly aren't deal breakers. The ankle straps aren't ideal for narrow ankles. Due to the placement of the studs on the straps, the tightest hole is rendered useless because the buckle can't be extended far enough. Thankfully, the multiple ankle straps do help hold my feet in place just fine, though every once in awhile there's a slight flip-flopping sound against my heel. The pointy toe is sharp. Somehow I stabbed one pointy toe against the fleshy part of the other foot. Is it sad that I immediately hoped the shoe wasn't damaged before even checking to see if my foot was okay? Regardless, DH will be happy to hear that I can defend myself not only with the studs, but with the pointy toe.

The $900 price tag is steep and was the biggest hurdle I had to mentally jump over. They are my (few months early) thirtieth birthday present to myself. Are designer shoes ever worth the price tag attached? I don't think so. The quality of the Rockstuds is nice... a couple hundred dollars nice, not close to $1k. When it comes to designer shoes, I tend to stay away from "classic" looking pairs and buy ones that are unique in some way. I'm willing to pay more money for an interesting design that I can't find for cheaper (at the time). I also understand that I'm paying a hefty markup for the brand name, and have come to terms with that.

Will the Rockstuds ever go on sale? It's hard to say, but I'd guess not anytime soon for this particular style (in both heel heights). The shoes have been around for at least a season, with more colors added and sizes routinely back-ordered. It also looks like within the last week or so, the price of the shoes went up from $895 to $945 (due to demand?) I hope Valentino isn't going the route of Chanel with yearly price increases. I bought my pair a couple weeks ago during NM's gift card event, so with this purchase, I'll receive $200 in NM credit. Aside from an outright sale, this might be the best deal out there. I have seen other styles in the Rockstud family (ie: wedges, flats) go on sale, so they're worth keeping your eye on if you're not particular. For nice dupes (without being knockoffs), check out:
- Sole Society Anneke mid heel pump for $59.95 here or here
- Halogen Martine studded t-strap pump for $59.96 here, here, or here
- Sam Edelman Ocie pump for $89.90 here or $91.00 here
- Halogen Micah pump for $79.90 here
- Halogen Olson flats for $69.90 here or here
- BCBGeneration Darron pump for $69.95 here

The shoes make such a statement that I'm leery of wearing them with anything but solids and neutrals. I'm sure my stance will change because they're too pretty to just be sitting at home. The straps extend above the ankle, so outfit pairings may become a bit tricky. Skirts and dresses will work fine, but pants is another story. I'm thinking cropped pants that are looser at the hem might work. Or perhaps skinny jeans covering some of the ankle straps could be pulled off. I'll save the experimenting for the future, but for now, a safe outfit consisting of neutrals and solids.
Untitled
Untitled
tee: H&M (similar)
belt: H&M (similar)
skirt: Forever 21 (similar)
shoes: Valentino Rockstud (sold here)

54 comments:

  1. I too have a deep love for these, but have not taken the plunge...yet lol.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If you need enabling, I'm here for ya ;) Heck, I can be a great devil's advocate too.

      Delete
  2. I love these on you! I think they'll go with everything you own; the color is so beautiful and neutral. I've been eyeing the rockstuds for a while now and love how classic the point is. So excited for you! And I'm glad they're comfortable. Means you should wear them more :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Which style/color are you eyeing, mingming? And have you tried them on in person yet? I went to a couple stores in Tysons 2 and it seems like small sizes were a rarity, so hopefully you won't have trouble finding them when (if?) you take the plunge!

      Delete
    2. I honestly love all the variations. Everytime I see a picture of someone wearing them, regardless of the height/color, I love how they look. I haven't tried them on though, mostly because I know if I do I won't be able to stop thinking about them if I do! Plus I should totally wait to make sure my new puppy won't eat shoes. Talk about an expensive snack!

      Delete
    3. So true, so true. Sometimes I hesitate when ordering filler items to get free shipping because I may end up keeping more than initially expected.

      Eep! I don't know what I'd do if my shoes were chewed through. Probably faint on the spot. I've heard horror stories from my cousin re her shiba inu (who isn't even a puppy anymore!) Thankfully none of the items she tossed out were expensive. Good luck with the puppy training!

      Delete
  3. I've been seeing these shoes everywhere and it looks so classy. I love how it's only 2.5 inches high which makes it comfortable and easy to wear on any occasion. Wish I had it in me to just make the purchase...haha

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Let me know if you need an extra push, Linh ;)

      Delete
  4. I love them!! xo

    http://allthingsprettyandlittle.blogspot.com/

    ReplyDelete
  5. these are stunning! they do make me think of gladiator, but not in a bad way, lol. i think these are the perfect early bday gift :) i'm the opposite, i try to spend more on more classic things. i'm boring

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I never got into the gladiator flats phase, but these heels? No problem, haha.

      I think it's wise to spend more $ on classic items because they'll probably never go out of style. I lean towards the classic for handbags because they're more durable. Shoes get scuffed up with wear and probably won't last as long, so I'm perfectly ok with spending more money on the unique factor.

      Delete
  6. Cee, you should become a shoe model! I thought I was getting bored of seeing these Rockstuds, but you put new life into these, haha! They look so pretty on you! I approve this purchase and look forward to seeing more of them with your outfits :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're too kind, Olyvia :) I bet in a month, you'll be so sick of seeing these shoes on me.

      Delete
  7. I've loved these shoes ever since i saw them a few months ago. I wish i could justify spending that much on them but I can't and my husband would kill me. Love them though. They look fabulous on you.

    Agi:)

    vodkainfusedlemonade.com

    ReplyDelete
  8. Haha, I am happy to learn you decided to keep yours! You won't regret your choice (though sticker shock might never wear off). They look fantastic on your feet (as creepy as that sounds)! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. What sticker shock? Short memory span comes in handy at times, haha. Kidding kidding.

      Delete
  9. I have only a pair of the Rockstud flats in Fuschia, but I reeeeeaallly want the black on black kitten heel. I just can't pull the trigger...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The black on black is b-a-d-a-s-s, if I say so myself. I considered that color combo but don't believe I can pull it off. I'd love to see pics if you ever take the plunge!

      Delete
  10. When I first saw just the picture of the shoes, I was with the latter, didn't see the beauty in it. But the pair on you, they look gorgeous! Great that it's comfortable too. Very nice!!

    Allison
    Reaches the Sky

    ReplyDelete
  11. Green with envy. These are exactly what'd I'd choose out of the options, & they look fantastic on you....

    ReplyDelete
  12. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  13. I wasn't sure how I liked the 3 strap version but now that I see them on you, they look great! Yes, 4" heels may look sexy, but 2.5"-3" are soooooo much more comfortable. It is a lot of money for shoes, but given how sensible you are financially in every other aspect of your life, I think you can pull it off without feeling too guilty.

    (Sorry, signed in under the wrong Google account earlier!)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yep, the guilt only lingers until I pay off my monthly credit card bill ;) Then I can enjoy my purchases the way they deserve.

      Delete
  14. You look amazing in the last photo! I think the shoes were well worth it :) Great outfit!

    ReplyDelete
  15. they are so beautiful! Sometimes we just need to splurge and seeing them on, they look so much better than in the store sitting on the shelf. Congrats! xo

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The same thoughts crossed my mind when I saw them in stores -- the straps flop down like Dumbo's ears, lol! But agree, they look much better on.

      Delete
  16. They're absolutely gorgeous Cee! I've been lusting for a pair of studded Valention's for a few years now. They look great on you!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It wouldn't hurt to give the studded wedges you own a companion. Kidding, kidding :)

      Delete
  17. Haute! Like that you asked hub's advice but then also didn't take it ;). Happy (almost) 30th to you! My hubs got me an LV bag for my 30th, so it's definitely a birthday worth celebrating BIG. Can't wait to see you style these other outfits.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Do tell Lisa, did you get overly emotional when you turned 30? DH and I are already joking that we'll both be crying on ours, lol. Speaking of presents, perhaps it's time that me and him start exchanging gifts again. We haven't done that in so long because he says I'm hard to shop for. Hey, it's not my fault that I just buy what I want instead of waiting ;)

      Delete
  18. So pretty! I think the rockstuds are gorgeous (had no idea that guys thought differently about them, haha) and I can't wait to see how else you style them. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. A guy who works in my building saw me walking from behind and said "Your shoes are so... shiny" lol. I wasn't sure if that's a compliment or insult, but it's the most positive opinion I've heard out of a guy's mouth yet.

      Delete
  19. The shoes look okay on their own in the pictures. But they look gorgeous when you were wearing them!! :) I totally understand the struggle of spending that much for a pair of shoes. But from reading through your experience above, I think it's totally worth it just from the enjoyment you got out of having and wearing them. Please do feature them often in your future posts (maybe with a couple of shots showing the back of them? the "shiny" comment from the guy got me curious in seeing how they look from the back now).

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Not even in the 2nd photo? ;) For some reason I was so proud of how artistic that shot turned out, haha.

      I'll keep the back of the shoe shots in mind, but don't hesitate to remind me if I forget.

      I think the lights just so happened to hit the studs at the right time as I was walking, so the guy probably did a double take and thought, whoa look at all that bling!

      Delete
  20. Omg they look gorgeous!!!! You totally rock them and I don't think they look good on everyone either. LoL at your convo with DH. I think my bf has come the realized that when I ask him for his opinion, I'm not really asking but speaking outloud.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Lol, everything we say is just a rhetorical question then. Nothing wrong with that.

      Delete
  21. Very pretty! Birthday gift is always a good rationalization. :)

    ReplyDelete
  22. Congratulations on your purchase - they are definitely a work of art and worth the price.

    I'd usually rather spend on designer bags rather than designer shoes - but the rockstud flats are the ONLY shoes that have made me reconsider...they are just beyond gorgeous!

    I've recently found dupes for the rockstud flats at forever 21 (I posted about them on my blog) - but sadly they didn't dupe the heels - although I did pick up a pair with pyramid studding...couldn't resist them!

    Your conversation with DH was hilarious - funny how our loved ones *try* to help LOL!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I saw the F21 dupes! I remember also seeing dupes for the wedges sometime back from... Ivanka Trump, perhaps? The day someone makes dupes for the heels, they'll probably be sold out within hours, lol. I can only imagine the demand.

      The great thing about asking people you trust, you know they'll tell it like it is!

      Delete
  23. Love the Rockstud! My bf very kindly bought me the black on black flats and I'm still pining for a pair of kitten heels. Would love another black on black pair but am wondering if the nude would be a better choice. Congrats on the lovely shoes and happy birthday! :)

    fauxionista.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Since you already have black on black, I vote for the nude in heels :)

      Delete
  24. omg yes, these are the most comfy shoes evaaa, way more comfy than the flats version!!! hubby got them for me cuz, according to him, i was willing to move to a new city for him...albeit the new city is only an hour away from my old resident lol. you look smoking hot and classy in these shoes, Cee! <3 well worth the splurge!

    -Sunshine

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Girl, how've you been?! I've missed your blog posts. How's married life treating you, aside from the move? Moving is moving, whether down the street or across the country. I'm still adjusting to a move half an hour away FROM LAST YEAR, haha.

      Delete
  25. they actually look really good on you! matches your skin tone well and doesn't look gauche. i'm not a huge fan of this popular pair because it is so expensive and i can't personally justify spending 1 grand on a pair of heels when i'm a broke student. however, i think you did nautical stripes and a clean trench well with these

    pandaphilia fashion

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I completely understand. I'm lucky that my life is pretty stable now and I can afford splurges every now and then. I certainly envy the life of a student in many other ways though -- wish I can turn back the clock.

      Delete
  26. LOVE them on you Cee. Hmmm, I think this calls for an experiment. I so want to ask my hubby what he thinks of the shoe, without disclosing the price at first...just to see how appealing (or not) he might find them. Muahaha.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. HAHA please do!! And share with me his thoughts ;)

      Delete
  27. Yay! So glad you took the plunge, especially for such a landmark (traumatic?) birthday. I bought myself some Val Rockstudage for my same (definitely traumatic for me) birthday last year, by way of that burgundy tote I carry everywhere. =)

    Happy early birthday & enjoy your beautiful new shoes!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Whoa, great minds think alike, huh? The birthday will indeed be traumatic, more so for DH than for me surprisingly lol. Perhaps because his birthday is before mine so I'll always be able to say that he's older.

      Delete
  28. wow you look SO nice in them..... you rock them better than jean, even though i am seriously inlove with her. hehe

    ReplyDelete
  29. I absolutely adore mine as well! A great purchase. Love your story!

    alilyloveaffair.com

    ReplyDelete
  30. i don't know who wouldn't be able to resist these shoes.
    I recently bought a pair (the 4" in yello) and am madly in love with them.
    They have an attitude, sex appeal and are far from boring.

    - Zaychishka

    www.zaychishkastyle.com

    ReplyDelete
  31. Great shoes, absolutely sexy. I think the closest thing to these for men are definitely a pair of AEs.

    ReplyDelete
  32. I'm not much into fashion and I accidently came across this blog post, but, my god, your writing style is amazing. i wish you success and hopefully you will keep producing more and more great content. Congrats on purchasing those pretty shoes!

    ReplyDelete

I'd love to hear from you. Constructive criticisms welcome!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...