Friday, 16 July 2010

Odd Boots for a New Bag



Olive leather bag, Marc by Marc Jacobs

 I have to report a sad loss to my wardrobe.  A couple of days ago when the weather turned far more wintry than summery I put on my YSL Imperiale boots for the second time since buying them.  The first time I wore them was just after I bought them, at at the beginning of a very wintry spring.

I noticed this time that without the added bulk of tights one was much looser than the other.  Imagine my horror to find that when I turned them over and scratched some dirt off where the size was printed on the larger right foot to notice that what I initially had thought was 36.5 was 38.5 while the left was 36.5!!  The size difference was slight enough that you need to look pretty closely to see it but then you can see that one shoe is bigger than the other.  I was mortified.  Certainly with tights on and with a high heel the size difference hadn't been so obvious until I tried them with bare feet.

I rang the store I bought them from immediately and explained what had happened, including that I had bought them in the sale three months ago, had worn them once, had been told when they were sold to me by the sales assistant that they were a pair in 36.5 and had taken it on good faith that that was what I had bought until now. Surely somewhere in the stockroom was the other odd pair which they could sort some sort of exchange out with me so I didn't have an odd pair.

Despite feeling very sheepish and silly saying all this the girl I spoke to on the phone was more than sympathetic and told me to come into the store as the manager at her discretion had agreed to issue an exchange note for them - in the meantime she promised to hunt down the odd pair.

I went in the next day with the boots but the pleasant sympathetic sales assistant I spoke to on the phone and her helpful manager were nowhere to be found.  Instead I was given a rather cold reception by the manager on duty who informed me that the manager who had agreed to issue my exchange was not authorised to do so and it had been her last day that day.  She also made out that it was my fault for trying the boots on and not noticing that they had been different sizes.  All the while the sales girl who had originally handed me the odd pair of boots when I tried them on (after checking at my request that they were both 36.5) was standing doe eyed in the background.  The odd pair was nowhere to be found in their stockrooms either which makes me wonder if some other poor soul has also found out she has forked out a small fortune for a mismatched pair of YSL boots.  I will never assume a sales assistant is competent to check sizes on shoes or for that matter anything again.

I loved those boots and in my weaker moments had toyed with keeping them despite the mismatch but after being treated like what felt like a criminal for something that was as much their mistake as mine I ceased to care that I was handing back a pair of boots they couldn't re-sell.  I insisted I should at least get the exchange I had been offered until she said she would ring customer services to check if an exchange was possible.  I then wandered off to check out what was in the store while she made the call.  The manager finally approached me with a somewhat more contrite manner saying that she could after all offer an exchange so I was free to choose something of the same value or more and pay the difference.

Not much in their stock appealed to be honest.  But I was determined to get good value for the money I had spent on a pair of boots that I'd expected to wear for years and didn't want to waste it on expensive cocktail dresses I would get no wear out of, or on strange directional pieces that were already dating as they hung from the sale rail.  I've said before I've never been much of a bag lady but needed to pay more attention as my choice of everyday bag was generally letting my choice of outfit down.  So when I spied this Marc by Marc Jacobs bag in a smart and sombre tone of olive with brass hardware fittings I knew that the disciplined choice would be to go for that rather than last season's jewelled and hopelessly high heeled ankle boots from Alexander McQueen.

I've had my new bag just over a day and it has so far been my companion to both an interview and the pub and it looked great with both outfits.  But the loss of those boots still bites and I am never, ever going back to that shop again!

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