We all have that one item in our wardrobe. The item from Hell. It’s akin to the lemon of a car that you may have had years ago before the lemon law went into effect.
It’s true. Cars aren’t the only lemons. We all have that one item of clothing that is the bane of our existence.
It could be an expensive coat that, for some reason is always ripping in a certain spot at the seam or has buttons that continually fall off. It could be a pair of pants that you love but for some reason, the hem keeps getting undone.
You get the picture—right?
Well, for me, it’s a certain pair of boots. A pair of Tory Burch boots. And if I hadn’t spent a good amount of money on them, I would have tossed them in the trash a long time ago.
These are the boots. And they have been nothing short of a headache since I purchased them back in 2012! But they’re just so beautiful!
But—I spent a lot of money on these horrific excuse of designer boots. And they are, hands down, the worst pair of garbage that I ever overspent on—even when I made the purchase at Nordstrom Anniversary Sale six years ago.
I’m not kidding. These boots are like that old boyfriend you know is so bad but you just can’t get rid of….
Let me explain. I wanted a nice rich Cognac brown pair of riding boots that would lend itself well to my beloved Kooba Sloane Bag. Now mind you, I absolutely love my Kooba Sloane. I’ve had her for about eleven years—possibly twelve. This bag is not only pleasing to the eye, but it is well-constructed, strong as all get-out and fits a good amount of my “stuff”. I had seen this bag but it was just way out of my affordability radar at the time. Retailing for $645, and me, being a divorced mother with one child away in college and two children home at school, it was out of reach.
However, I got lucky. The bag ended up on sale at Neiman Marcus and I had a gift card. I ended up paying $200 for it—a treat for my birthday. This is the bag that survived a child throwing up all over it on a flight back from France. She’s survived storms and house moves. Kooba was over my shoulder as I went through menopause and my divorce. She was also with me for my first Colonoscopy—of which the doctor said “Nice bag—my wife was eyeing that”.
And the more she ages, the better the leather looks. And years later, the bag still receives compliments.
She’s been puked on, thrown around in cars, gone through so much with me, yet, she gets better with age. My Kooba Sloane has been aging gracefully!
Anyway, I wanted a pair of boots that would best match the color of my Sloane bag simply because I have a “thing” for matching my footwear to my bags. And after years of searching in vain, that special pair of boots was found during a Nordstrom Anniversary Sale 2012.
What other boots? My crossed eyes only saw the Nadine boots from Tory Burch. They were so stunning and the perfect color!
The Tory Burch “Nadine” boots, which, I believe were inclusive to Nordies. (Read this review from the blog To Brighten My Day )
It was a perfect time to make the purchase. I had a job at a healthcare company and was making a decent salary. The retail price was $495 USD and with the deep discount of the infamous Nordstrom Anniversary Sale, I purchased the boots for $300. Mind you, I had never made such an expensive boot purchase before in my life and since then, never have.
My circle of boot friends! And none of the boots were as expensive as the Tory Burch Nadine boots. And none ever needed as much repair!
I’ll spend more on my leather Longchamp bags but not boots. And so, this was a big deal for me.
The boots were a bit snug with heavier jeans, but since the majority of my jeans are skinny ones, it was no big deal. The foot of the boot looked really clumsy too. The way it was constructed just made my foot look three sizes larger, and at an 8 ½, I don’t want bigger feet. But it didn’t matter. The color was perfect and I liked the hardware.
And so, the saga of the Boots from Hell began.
During the fall into winter of 2012, I finally got to wear the boots. Since purchasing the boots in August, I hadn’t been able to wear them due to the warm weather. The first time I wore these really pricey boots, they were the most uncomfortable footwear, next to the Tory Burch Reva flats, I had ever put my narrow feet into. Now—I was able to accept the uncomfortable factor simply because after breaking my Reva flats in, they were extremely comfortable. I figured it would be the same thing for the boots.
I should have earned my lesson after breaking in Tory Burch Reva flats. It took forever to break these shoes in–but years later, they are comfortable. Might I mention the tunic in this photo? It’s also Tory Burch and the stitching on the bottom is already becoming undone. Never again, Tory. Never again!
My narrow foot was swimming within the width of the boot. To drive my car, I had to take the right boot off—it was like having my foot and leg in a thick cardboard box. But the boots were the perfect color. Walking in the boots was just as bad. Being clumsy by nature, walking in these was turning my clumsiness into a fine art.
After two wears, I placed these boots back into the box and didn’t take them out until 2014. I just could not bring myself to return them.
Now it’s 2014. I gained a bit of weight. Like—everywhere. But—the cooler weather was great for wearing boots. The boots wouldn’t zip up. Even with skinny jeans. I had no idea that with a weight gain, the boots wouldn’t fit. But they were the perfect color—and that hardware. Since I paid $300 for the boots, there was no way I was going to try to zip these beauties up and risk breaking the zipper.
Honest to God, with the weight gain, this was as far that I could zip the boots up. And I didn’t even try because I didn’t want to ruin the boots. Into the closet they went. Unworn for almost two years.
Now it’s 2016. Fall. I lost weight and was continuing to lose weight. On a whim, I took out the boots. They fit again. They zipped up beautifully while wearing skinny jeans and even more beautifully with Pixie Pants and dresses. With my Kooba Sloane bag eagerly anticipating her booty buddies, I made them a perfect match. Then I forgot that these boots were a bitch to break in.
At this point, I didn’t care how long it would take to break these in. Finally, in late winter, the leather in these incredibly stiff leather boots wore in, and the boots were more comfortable. The foot part still looked ridiculously big but it didn’t matter. The color was perfect.
Late winter, the boots are finally broken in and are looking good with my Longchamp bag while Sloane takes a break in bag rotation.
Winter left, Spring came around and as I was getting ready to zip up my boots, I noticed that the zipper pull had a crack in it. And when I pulled up the zipper, the pull broke. WTF? How cheaply made was the hardware on these boots? You need to understand, I take very good care of my shoes and my boots. I’ve had shoes for over ten years that still look like new. I’m very particular.
I couldn’t believe it. How could a piece of hardware break when the boots have been in the closet longer than on my feet?
The zipper pull also had the “Tory Burch” logo cut into it. I took the boots to the Tory Burch boutique at the King of Prussia Mall. I thought that perhaps since the pull was a TB logo perhaps they could repair the boot gratis. This was such a difficult thing for me to do because I was emotionally scarred from a previous trip to the Tory Burch Boutique at KOP Mall. (Read my review of this horrific store: My Review of Tory Burch store on Google). True to Tory Burch Corporate Culture, I was treated as though I was a dried up, bloodied human sized scab that was now oozing pus. When I finally approached Miss Mainline Sales Assistant and explained my conundrum. She ever-so-smugly smirked and said. “We don’t do repairs”.
How I looked going into the Tory Burch Boutique
How the snotty Tory Burch sales assistant saw me.
Off to Nordstrom I went. Luckily, Nordstrom was able to send the boots out to be repaired. I was told that it would take some time for the boot to be repaired. But at this point my reaction was “Fine.”
Did I mention that it took three months to get the boots back? Thankfully, I had them repaired during the summer months.
Fall 2017. The boots are repaired, the zipper is beautiful and the match is perfect. It was well-worth the $15 I had to pay for the repair, but the aggravation was priceless. The color of the boots has also darkened somewhat over the years, making them an even better match for my Kooba Sloane.
Happily in my Tory Burch boots again–and my Kooba Sloane is thrilled!
I’ve been happy wearing these boots. Yes. The foot part still looks too big but I no longer have to take the boots off when I drive and they are broken in to perfection with the exception of the clumsy looking foot.
And then it happened. Two weeks ago. I went to zip up the left boot and it wouldn’t budge after being zipped up halfway. Now—I know I put on holiday weight, but not enough that these friggin’ boots would no longer fit. Besides—the leather stretched a bit over the years. I tugged again. Nothing.
I took the boot off and noticed it. You know the fabric part of the zipper? Where it meets the actually zipper? It was torn. Big time.
At this point, I wanted to throw the boots in the trash. But I couldn’t bring myself to do it. I had a moral dilemma here. Thousands of customers take advantage of the Nordstrom return policy. Why couldn’t I? Regardless of my past gig selling handbags, I was still a customer. Regardless of the fact the boots were purchased in 2012 and I had worn them on and off. Regardless of the fact they were sent out by Nordstrom to get repaired. My dilemma was—do I return, or send back out for repair.
What will happen? Will I return the boots only to be denied? Will I be able to have these boots from Hell repaired–or will the repair request be denied?
And off I went to Nordstrom. I’ll tell you, I felt bad. I’m not a returner. But what happened was very interesting. The shoe department at Nordstrom is always fully-staffed. It wasn’t when I took the boots in. Sitting in a chair was a salesman (I’m being sexist), he looked bored so I decided to brighten up his day. I explained that I used to work at Nordies and that I wasn’t a serial returner because I couldn’t stand serial returners and then I explained about the boots. Let me tell you something right now. Nordstrom prides itself on great customer service. This guy was a real tool. Apparently, the only person who could have helped me was the manager who was on an hour break. I was offered no assistance and no help, which was pissing me off because I know Nordstrom’s stellar customer policies very well. Yes! This less-than-stellar service was now at Nordstrom!
With a sigh I went over to the handbag department. The assistant manager, Jamie, that I used to work for is now the manager. And I love her. So together we set out to find the original sales transaction. But the problem was that we couldn’t find it. Nordstrom overhauled their credit cards and policies last year and everyone was given a new number. Add to that, I don’t think I used a Nordstrom card. I think I used my bank debit card. No problem, after some laughs and good conversation, not only did I realize that I missed Jamie, but I decided to just get the damned boots repaired. Again.
Back to the boot department. I was directed to the designer area because Tory Burch’s cheaply made boots are “designer”. Why couldn’t “tool man” tell me that in the first place? This time around I got lucky. Jasmine, the designer sales assistant was a doll. She took down all the needed information about the boots, assured me that there was a chance that the boots could not be repaired because Nordstrom changed their repair policy but they would be sent out for assessment. She gave me my receipt and I was miserably on my way.
In addition, when I handed the boots over, I noticed a little hardware screw was missing from the back of the boot. When I pointed it out, I was told that couldn’t be replaced.
If Nordstrom cannot repair the Boots from Hell, I will bring them to a local shoe repair to see if they can do the job. If Nordstrom can repair the boots, I’m sure the cost will be about $50 to $60 as the entire zipper will have to be repaired. This will bring the price of the $300 plus $15 for the zipper pull repair up to almost $400. Some big sale item.
Lesson learned? Don’t buy Tory Burch boots. Not now. Not ever. Never. And stick to the less expensive brands. Today I’m wearing a pair of boots that I also purchased at Nordstrom. The boots are the Ellerby Riding Boots from Enzo Angiolini and I paid around a hundred bucks for them back in 2014. They are comfortable. They have never needed a repair. They are beautifully constructed. And the brown trim on the top makes for a great match to my Kooba Sloane Bag.
These Ellerby boots from Enzo Angiolini are some of the best boots I own. They are Bonaparte’s favorites! Always looking sharp, I can wear them with my Kooba Sloane or any black bag. And they were far less expensive that the Tory Burch boots!
What about you? Do you have that item from Hell in your possession? Do you have that overpriced item that you can’t part with or realize was a mistake from the get-go? Tell me. Please! I gotta know! We all need to know!!!
It’s a shame that one pair of boots could cause such stress—and I’m singing “Shame, Shame Shame” today. Remember this from Shirley and Company?