Friday, August 20, 2010

Calvin Klein Parma

Have you ever been talked into buying a shoe online? Not by your friends or by a glossy magazine, but just because of glowing reviews you read on the internet?

My case study today is the Calvin Klein Parma shoe from 2009. This shoe’s good reviews ran far and wide. Zappos alone had almost 50 reviewers rating them 5 stars and raving about how comfortable they were, how they own them in three colors, how they danced all night in them, etc., etc.

Hmmm. Looks pretty. Amazing range of colors and textiles. Sturdy heel. Platform turns a 4.5 inch heel into 3.5. Doable. $120? No thanks.

But this shoe lingered on in my mind, like so many do. I visited it once in a while.

One day I encountered Parma in person, at DSW. They weren’t in my size, but I tried them on and tripped around the store, feeling like a giant. I took them off and thanked God that I had never bought them. They were way too high, and I couldn’t think of any place I’d wear them. I felt a sense of relief.

I wish the story ended there, my friends. However, eBay is a proven weakness of mine. And I shouldn’t have even been looking. But when I did, and I saw them there, new, in my size, for $40, it was all over. With no competing bids, these non-returnable wonder shoes were on their way to me.

I regretted my purchase soon after they arrived and I put them on. Why did I ignore my DSW test-walk? What was wrong with all those girls who wrote such faithful reviews of praise?

It’s not that these shoes aren’t comfortable. I guess they are. But they are so steep, my foot becomes vertical in them, and since this shoe has no back, I become a deformed bent-kneed AT-AT walker*, clop-clopping around as my heel smacks the insole with every step.

Sadly, this is where my story ends. Parma has never been worn out in public. They look so cool and strappy as they sit in my closet. I have hope that someday, I’ll be able to wear them, like with a Halloween costume or something. Maybe I could go as a Fashion Victim.

*gratuitous Star Wars reference


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