I Never Buy Shoes With This Cheap-Looking Detail


(Image credit: The Style Stalker)

This statement is hardly groundbreaking, but I love buying shoes.(I challenge you to find a fashion editor who doesn't.) What I don't love is spending tons of money on shoes, and I'm guessing that you don't either. That said, when I'm shopping for affordable shoes, in particular, I've learned over time (and lots of shoe shopping) that there's one detail that I tend to avoid, as it can look quite cheap unless done well and with high-quality (i.e., expensive) materials: hardware. Whether in the form of studs, chains, oversize buckles, or embellishments, hardware on shoes is tricky to get right. If you love it, it's better to invest in a pair that's on the pricier side.

What do I look for when shopping for affordable shoes that look expensive? For the most part, it's hardware-free neutral colors, preferably genuine materials like leather, suede, or calf hair, and unique details like a sculptural heel shape or square too (which are often found on more expensive styles). Or you could just scroll to shop some of my favorite (hardware-free) shoes on the market that only look expensive.

Next up, the detail that makes your jewelry look cheaper.

Allyson Payer
Senior Editor

Allyson is a senior editor for Who What Wear. She joined the company in 2014 as co-founder Katherine Power's executive assistant and over the years has written hundreds of stories for Who What Wear. Prior to her career in fashion, Allyson worked in the entertainment industry at companies such as Sony Pictures Television. Allyson is now based in Raleigh, North Carolina, and is originally from Baton Rouge, Louisiana. She holds a BFA in theater. Her path to fashion may not have been linear, but based on the number of fashion magazines she collected as a child and young adult, it was meant to be.