“Shoes, shoes, omigod, shoes” are the chorus of a YouTube music video making the viral rounds. The Shoes video may be exaggerated take on the stereotype that all women are consumed by footwear, but not in my case. I am obsessed, especially with this year’s bold, colorful, statement-making heels (like these Michael Kors platforms at left). So I went to compare out the end-of-summer selection at Century 21, DSW and Loehmann’s. A shoedown, if you will.
The Century 21 department store in Bay Ridge was my first stop. In a separate building behind the main store, I found a wide range of sandals, pumps, casuals and clearance items, mostly from mid-level designers. No Louboutins in sight.
My Century 21 haul, from left: Harajuku Lover slingback t-straps, $39.97 (regularly $90); BCBGirls cropped booties, $59.97 (regularly $139); Betsey Johnson pink kitten heels, $74.97 (regularly $165); Michael Kors canvas platforms, $59.97 (regularly $109); Betsey Johnson mules, $69.97 (regularly $180).
DSW is a specialty retailer that sells shoes and nothing else, so it cames as no surprise that it had the largest (and most organized) selection of shoes. Like Century 21, it also had lots of mid-level designers, but it seemed to have a larger selection of up-to-date styles.
My DSW picks, from left: Liz Claiborne slingbacks, $59.95 (regularly $79); Guess by Marciano slingbacks, $59.95 (regularly $99); Nine West pumps, $39.95 (regularly $79); Michael Kors toe ring mules, $66 (regularly $130); Steve Madden gladiator cropped booties, $59.95 (regularly $110).
The smallest selection of the three. The shoe section was hidden away behind racks of frumpy dresses and blouses. Shoe boxes were scattered everywhere and often the display shoes were the only ones left. Like Century 21 and DSW, Loehmann’s offered mostly mid-range designers, but if you look hard enough, you’ll find some treasures.
The Loehmann’s merch, from left: Lauren by Ralph Lauren heels, $49.99 (regularly $98); DKNYC gladiator pumps, $59.95 (regularly $135); Coach gladiator pumps, $99.98 (regularly $328); DKNYC stilettos, $39.95 (regularly $98); Steve Madden pumps, $49.99 (regularly $90).
So who won the shoedown? Since I picked all of the styles, I couldn’t very well decide myself. So I turned to Patti Gilstrap, owner of the Park Slope boutique Flirt. Her vote was Century 21: ” brightly colored, fun, and flirty yet wearable.”
Century 21, 472 86th Street, Brooklyn, NY 11209 (718) 748-3266
DSW: Atlantic Terminal, 139 Flatbush Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11217 (718) 789-6973
Loehmann’s, 2807 East 21st Street, Brooklyn, NY 11235 (718) 368-1256