The Thrill Of The Chase


Ask Madame, Question #2 –

The other day, a good friend asked me the following question on one of my Instagram photos:

“How do you afford/budget for all of this amazing stuff?!  Teach me your secrets!!”

The truth is, I rarely ever spend full price on designer items.  I either buy them at a sample sale, or super discounted during the end of season sales.

My approach to shoe shopping is relatively simple— I set my budget, go in with a vague idea of what I’m looking for, and then I go from there.  Since there tend to be a ton of items on sale, I browse with the options narrowed down to my size, favorite brands, and price range.

However, I tend to be a bit meticulous while choosing my investments.  It’s my belief that when you’re splurging on designer shoes, your purchase should fit into one of two categories…


The Trophy Shoe

Completely impractical, but absolutely beautiful, the Trophy Shoe is only worn three times a year at most.  The rest of the time it will be kept in a prime viewing position and appreciated as a piece of art.  This shoe will become the crowning glory of your wardrobe.  It will be kept in prime position for viewing year round.

Examples— These Alaia shoes that are 6 inches tall with absolutely no platform (anything from Alaia for that matter will certainly be the crown jewel of your wardrobe,) these Louboutin sandals, my Walter Steiger booties.


The Ride Or Die

The only way you will relinquish this shoe is if it is pulled off of your cold, dead foot.  The opposite of the Trophy Shoe, the Ride Or Die, is a completely practical investment.  It’s comfortable enough to wear on a daily basis and matches almost everything in your wardrobe.  These shoes pass the “cost per use” equation with flying colors.  This is a classic style of shoe that will last for several seasons, and you will continue to get them repaired until there is no more natural material to repair any longer.

Examples— My Chanel ballet flats which I wear almost every single day, my Saint Laurent hi tops, these Louboutin pumps.


Anything that doesn’t fit into these two categories is frivolous and should be passed over.  If it’s not beautiful enough to be a work of art, but not comfortable enough to wear every day, drop it and walk away.  If it doesn’t fit perfectly and isn’t worthy of being a glorified piece of art (shoe #1), return it.

Before I make the plunge, I tend to browse several sites, adding items to my cart and then revisit them later to make sure I have explored all of my options, and have found the best price possible.

For instance, this season I invested in these Chloe booties.  They were already discounted 50%, then I waited to purchase until Farfetch had their additional 20% off sale.  After that I received an additional 20% off on top of that from a voucher I had been saving.  (You can read more about vouchers/the art of sale shopping in this article.)

Question answered?  If not, feel free to leave me a comment and I’ll be more than glad to help you out!

In the meantime, shop some of my favorite designer picks that are currently on super sale…

Happy Shopping! 



  1. afroditebalsen
    January 14, 2015 / 5:40 pm

    You are a shopping goddess and I have so much to learn from you :3
    I am lucky enough to be a person who doesn’t care about shoes. Don’t get me wrong, I like them, but I don’t consider them the highlight of my outfits. Plus, I get frustrated if I can’t walk comfortably and I am only comfortable wearing flats (which can hardly be the highlight of an outfit as you probably know).
    I don’t particularly care about jewelry either, therefore I only have bags left to be obsessed with. And those, sadly, don’t go on sale as much as the previous categories. How about a guide on designer handbags shopping? :P

    Arianna, Nymphashion ♡

    • January 15, 2015 / 7:27 pm

      Flats can be wonderful! You can save up for some of the Chanel two tones, the Gucci horsebit loafers, or even the Vivier buckle shoe!
      I completely feel you– bags are beyond pricey. I always recommend checking designer consignment stores, and if you can swing it– sample sales ;) Will definitely write a feature about bags though!

  2. January 12, 2015 / 12:27 am

    I want all of those shoes!

    • January 19, 2015 / 10:36 am

      Hi Libys! Thank you so much I’m glad you like them! xx

  3. Jenny
    January 11, 2015 / 6:22 pm

    Excellent post and I also wait for the sales if buying designer items! I also love your selection at the end x

    • January 19, 2015 / 10:43 am

      Hi Jenny! Glad you enjoyed the post. I hope you had a great weekend and have a wonderful week! xx

  4. January 11, 2015 / 3:41 pm

    Love your advice, and thanks for your honesty!

    • January 19, 2015 / 10:43 am

      Thank you so much Sienna! I’m glad it helped, please let me know if there’s anything else I can help with! xx

    • January 19, 2015 / 10:50 am

      Thanks Edita! I’m glad you enjoyed them. Have a great week! xx

  5. January 9, 2015 / 7:16 pm

    Christine, you have an insane shoe closet!!! Great tips, I definetly need some designer shoes in my life and there’s noooo way I could buy them full price :) Haha your categories made me giggle- I think I’ll invest in some ‘ride or dies’ :P

    Have a great weekend

    Rachel xx

    • January 9, 2015 / 10:52 pm

      Do it! There are so many great sales going on right now! It’s funny, (well actually quite sad, haha) your weight will fluctuate in your life but rarely (unless you have a baby) will your feet change sizes. That’s always my justification for spending more on shoes! :)

  6. Simona
    January 7, 2015 / 7:23 pm

    UaU beautifull shoes! I love combination of styles!
    Some nice dresses on Talis Romania – Tendinte pentru 2015: Cum ne adaptam garderoba la noul an?

    • January 8, 2015 / 11:26 am

      Hi Simona! Thank you so much, I’m glad you liked them! xx

    • January 8, 2015 / 11:39 am

      Hi Jennifer! I totally feel you–I can’t even go on the outnet. It’s like I get sucked in and start saying crazy things like “Oh $1100 for Alaia Shoes? What a deal!”

      Hope you’re having a great week! xx

  7. January 7, 2015 / 5:00 pm

    Those shoes are gorgeous! I have a trophy shoe category as well, and even though they are not from famous labels, they are one of a kind (can`t walk in them) shoes for special events. But to be honest I`m not fussy with shoes: I work in a shoe shop so I have quite the collection. However, I like to invest in bags, because they last longer and don`t go out of fashion that easy.

    • January 8, 2015 / 11:44 am

      So fantastic! It makes me so happy to know someone else does this as well. :) I am so jealous you work in a shoe shop– I think I would be poor if I did! xx

  8. January 7, 2015 / 11:57 am

    I wish I could splurge on something like this! I’m so cheap! Spending $5 on a meal is a lot to me! Even at a sample sale with a coupon and an additional discount, I have a hard time taking the plunge! I love your idea of a “trophy shoe,” though! When I moved the last time, I ended up with a small room that functions as my closet and office. I’d planned to get a book shelf and display my shoes as art, but that wonderful plan still hasn’t come to fruition!
    : signe : the daily savant :
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    • January 19, 2015 / 10:55 am

      I finally bought my “shoe (book) case” but I haven’t set it up yet! It’s a wonderful idea for maximizing space–especially if you don’t have a lot closet room. I’m in a studio in NYC so I have a very small closet, and bought a rolling rack for my larger pieces like coats.

      I wish I could be more like you. I’m terrible at being frugal… it’s one of my big weaknesses! Would love to hear your tips.


    • January 19, 2015 / 10:56 am

      So glad you enjoyed the post! Let me know if there’s anything else I can write about to help! xx

  9. January 6, 2015 / 11:29 pm

    I need to follow suit like you and start to invest in some nice pieces. Occasionally, I do, but for the most part I’ve been really into fast fashion lately. I’d much rather buy less in quantity and more in quality! Great tips – I never buy full price either :)



    My Closet Life Blog

    • January 19, 2015 / 10:58 am

      I feel you on the fast fashion bit–it’s great because you can always change up your look! For me, personally, I started looking more towards quality over quantity when I got an office job. It’s hard because you can’t really go around wearing something super flashy, so having a piece like a great blazer or a classic pair of pumps is really useful!

      Have a great week! xx

  10. January 6, 2015 / 10:06 pm

    I can’t even breathe after seeing the black heels you are wearing with the multiple straps across..OMG if I die and go to shoe heaven, I hope I was well behaved enough to get a pair!

    • January 19, 2015 / 10:59 am

      Hahahaha! In that case I really hope shoe heaven has a lot of chairs! Those shoes have absolutely no platform and go straight up to 6 inches. It’s like walking on your tip toes! Hence… the “trophy shoe.”

  11. elb743
    January 6, 2015 / 3:31 pm

    What a wonderful piece. The way you articulated why did you buy certain shoes and how you justify the expense. I am laughing a little as I read this, and certainly can relate to you…
    Crazy about the red CL.. But I would not be able to walk Iin them without a platform.
    You are certainly a savvy shopper, but we knew that.
    Xx, Elle

    • January 19, 2015 / 11:00 am

      Thank you so much Elle. It means a lot to me that you enjoyed reading it! I hope you had a great weekend! xx

  12. January 6, 2015 / 9:06 am

    These are great tips and your shoe collection is to die for! Love the red Loubs!! xx

    • January 19, 2015 / 11:01 am

      Thank you so much Joanna! I love them too– tough to walk in, but beautiful to look at! xx

  13. Shybiker
    January 6, 2015 / 9:05 am

    My motto is — never apologize, never explain. We’re all entitled to be happy. Buying stylish shoes is healthy for us.

    • January 19, 2015 / 11:01 am

      “Never apologize, never explain”

      If I did that a lot of people would be very hurt and very confused, haha! But I totally get what you mean and think that’s a great mantra for living your life. Shoes make me happy :) xx

    • January 19, 2015 / 11:02 am

      Thank you so much Mel! I hope you had a great weekend! xx

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