Monday, March 11, 2013

My Collection: Classiques Pumps

I'll kick off the work week with a beautiful example of office pumps.  If you're like me and looking to add trashed and abused shoes to your collection, you often can't go wrong with office pumps.  You'll have to make some sacrifices- they're usually fairly plain and the heels aren't insanely high, but they're usually a hell of a lot more worn out than fancy pumps that were slipped on for the occasional date, fancy dinner or formal event.  That's because office pumps are sometimes worn on a daily basis over a period of years, racking up miles over the course of countless long days.  Some pumps are visited by the feet.  Office pumps are often lived in, such as these.

This is a pair of 7M Classiques.  Despite the French-sounding name, the logo tag on the insole proudly states these are a product of Italy.  As is the case with other pumps in my collection, the height of the heel isn't really low or high, but for the sake of simplifying things I'll list these as high heels.  Some of these photos were taken with the flash on my camera turned on and that gives them a white-ish appearance but they're actually bone.  I'm sure that made them go well with pretty much everything in the wearer's closet.

The leather uppers (yes, this time I know it's real leather because everything is leather, even the outsoles) are very wrinkled and misshapen, particularly around the areas where the shoes flex.  I'm willing to bet a lot of those wear-related defects disappear when there are two feet inside of them, and I'm thinking these will be one of those pairs I make sure get on my friend's feet for a photo session in the not-too-distant future.

A closer inspection of the leather upper reveals a mess of little cracks, which is usually a sign of aging.  I have no idea how old these shoes are but I wouldn't be shocked if they've been around fifteen or twenty years.  They don't look like anything that's been sold since at least the start of the new millennium, although a reader of this blog much more in tune with fashion trends would be better equipped to prove me right or wrong.

The pumps stink... which, of course, is a wonderful thing.  They're a few feet from me as I type this and their delicious aroma is making their presence known.  In fact, they smell a lot like the shoes I used to buy from the thrift store, so I'm wondering if the seller duped me into thinking these were her pumps, or if that smell is common to older shoes.  I guess it doesn't matter because with this kind of trashing and abuse, I'm happy to have them in my collection.  Here you can see the color having been rubbed off the lining in some spots as well as a great amount of wear having been inflicted on the insole, which is beginning to work its way loose.

It's fun to think about what a pair of shoes goes through over the course of time, starting out life being stored in a box so as not to risk them getting damaged to ending up as a disposable item.  At what point does the wearer go from avoiding puddles to walking right through them?  Gently removing them from her feet at the end of the day to kicking them off into a corner upon walking in the door?

The wearer of these pumps kept them on from the moment she left in the morning until the time she got home.  The back of the right shoe is seriously scuffed, meaning it came in contact with the floor mat in the car as she drove to and from the office.  This area on the back of the left shoe is perfectly intact.

I love the way leather outsoles wear over time.  The material seems to fray a bit, making it a little soft and fuzzy.  Leather outsoles also seem to stain very easily, leading them to appear a lot more worn than they actually are.  These are just starting to feel a little thin in the areas under the balls of the feet, but are still in great shape.

The top pieces are worn very evenly, indicating the wearer of these shoes knew how to walk in them.

Only upon looking at them from the sides is it obvious how long these shoes had been in someone's service, as the top pieces likely started out about twice as thick as they are now.  Regardless, these pumps were worn hard as one of someone's "go to"pairs but held up well in the face of everything thrown at them.  I'll be on the lookout for more just like these.

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