Sometimes You Do. Sometimes You Don’t. Getting What You Pay For.

A pair of sandals brought on the inspiration for this post.

The sandals that inspired this blog post!

This past birthday, I received a gift card to Nordstrom. It lent itself to a good amount to be spent in the store.  Considering that my body grew larger, I couldn’t quite bring myself to use the card for upsized clothing. And, as I have a seemingly overabundance of beauty products, there was no need for me to head to the makeup counters.

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Although limited in clothing due to the pandemic weight gain, there’s always room for summer sandals!

Inasmuch as I’m a sucker for shoes, I was nearing that time of year where my proper shoes head for hibernation in the bowels of my closet and the sandals make their annual appearance. And that’s when it hit me. The purchase I needed to make.  Tory Burch Miller Sandals. | Tory Burch Women's Miller Patent Thong Sandal | Flip-Flops

Yes. I did. With a gift card and a credit to my account. I finally made the purchase.

For a few years, I’ve been admiring these sandals simply because I like the esthetics. The Sandal looks good. They can be dressed up or down and have a very feminine vibe. They are quite attractive.

However, I was wary about making the purchase—and I’ll tell you why.  I’m not a fan of the Tory Burch brand. When I worked in the handbag department at Nordstrom, Tory Burch bags were by far, the most popular of the “Bridge” brands. (In case you aren’t aware—a bridge bag is the one that isn’t in the “designer” luxury category and yet, isn’t in the “fast fashion” or inexpensive categories. These are the brands that run in the middle. Although I have to say the price point for many bridge brands borders on luxury prices).   Women of all ages go crazy for anything Tory Burch.

Tory Burch Bags: 15 Picks From the Semi-Annual Sale Up to 62% Off

I have this Tory Burch bag. I never use it because I use my Louis Vuitton Neverfull instead. It’s a nice bag but not a “Wow” bag. I feel the same way about all the brands bags but women go crazy over the brand.  What can I say?

My dealings with the brand run the gamut of okay to meh. Some years back I was a huge fan of the Tory Burch Reva Flat.  These flats were a bitch-and-a-half to break in.  Blisters and sore toes finally heeded to what ended up to be a pretty darn comfortable shoe. In fact, although old, they are in my rotation of shoes to wear during “bad” weather.

My black TB Old School Reva Flats. I happen to wish the brand kept the elasticized back. But who am I?  Anyway, it took forever to break these in and now they are comfy like bedroom slippers. I’ll keep wearing them till they fall apart–which will most likely be soon from the looks of these!

I’ve had a horrible experience with a pair of boots that broke and had to be repaired countless times. Ultimately, I wrote to the company and actually did get help in the fact I was able to send them the boots and they sent me a credit. I’ll give kudos to the brand’s ONLINE customer service! To the boutique at King of Prussia Mall–the customer service is horrific!

The thing that sucked about these boots is that they looked absolutely beautiful. I loved them. And then, the zipper just kept breaking and breaking and breaking–Read about it:  The (s)Tory of the Boots From Hell-Part One

The Saga of the Boots from Hell Comes to an End.

You get the gist of where I’m coming from—right?

Back to the sandals—at $198, I just was not going to shell out my money for these very popular sandals. But…a gift card, along with a store credit and a sale (and not the awful Anniversary Sale), allowed me to come home with a pair of the coveted Miller Sandals for nothing out of my pocket.  The sandals I purchased were in the shade “Makeup”, a nice, neutral nude/blush color that would go with everything.

Pretty sandals they are. And the nude color lends itself well to most of my summer clothing!

The sandals run a bit small for the masses but when you have narrow feet, as I do, then they run TTS. And so, just a few weeks after my birthday in Mid-April, I treated myself to a pair of the Tory Burch Miller Sandals.   And in all honesty, I liked the look of them so much that I ordered a printed pair from the Tory Burch website—which, I might add, were on sale for a deep discount!

I don’t know what the deal is, but the pair I ordered off the TB website (on the right) at a deep discount is wearing much better than the ones from Nordstrom!

It’s sometimes difficult to describe, but once the warm weather hits, I just want nothing to do with shoes.  My toes need a break from squeezing into pointy-toed flats and heels.  My feet need the freedom from being confined all winter. And, since I live to drive barefoot, I love my sandal life!

And I’ve worn these quite often to work!

Now, given the fact that the Miller Sandals are such a nice neutral shade, I ended up wearing them a lot. I mean, a lot.  Mostly to work because that’s the only place I go to anyway. I wore them in NYC once and a few times on errands. Never to the beach.

The sandals have a leather upper. The sole is rubber. The foot bed is a foam padding covered by fake leather. So, we’re not talking about an entire leather sandal here. And the $198 price for the regular Miller Sandal climbs upward to $228 depending on which model you buy.

At a price of upwards to $228 depending which Miller you buy, these are rather pricey.

These Miller Sandals have been with me for a little over three months.  And lo and behold, last week I noticed that the leather “thong” separating my big toes from the rest is peeling.  The leather is peeling!!!!   The foot bed is showcasing the oil from my toes—and it makes the sandals look pretty dirty when they aren’t on my feet.

Close up of how the footbed is wearing–after a short time.

Don’t even get me started on the wear and peeling of the “leather” on the thong area! 

At over three months, what will they look like after a year? Or two? How will they hold up—and I take very good care of my footwear.

For me, you don’t get what you pay for when purchasing the Tory Burch Miller Sandal.  They have the quality of a $39 pair of sandals.

As pretty as the sandals are, there is no way on earth they are worth the price tag of $198 and upwards.

The printed Millers are wearing better but then again, I haven’t worn them as often as the others. It’s a shame because they are a beautiful sandal–just not worth the money at all!

Which brings me to my beloved Rondini Sandals.

I know at this juncture I sound like a broken record that skips and repeats but Rondini sandals are worth every dollar and euro spent.  In fact, in USD, each pair of Rondini sandals that I’ve purchased over the years were less expensive than the Tory Burch Miller Sandal.

My Rondinis. The youngest pair is from 2017–the last time we were in St. Tropez. That’s five summers. The oldest is either ten or eleven years old. They all have worn beautifully. The leather forming to the shape of my foot. The patina from the leather is gorgeous and every single pair came in at under $200 USD. You definitely get what you pay for at Rondini!

First off, they are custom fit and made in the studio. You are getting the perfect fit in a sandal. The sandals are all leather. No man-made plastic or faux leather. And the sandals that I’ve had have lasted years—one pair a decade and a few more inching on that. Believe me, I got what I paid for and then some. And if you can’t make it to St. Tropez, you can head to Rondini’s Website. The customer service is stellar!

Back to Nordstrom.

The skirt I eagerly awaited for.

I posted about my purchases from the disappointing Anniversary Sale. And I was eagerly awaiting a brown knit skirt that I was sure would be a great buy.  It wasn’t.

Sorry not sorry but this skirt just didn’t look right–now matter how I tried wearing it.  It was just “off”.

The skirt was shoddy. It had a cheaply-constructed hem—the kind you know would never lay quite right after a wash or dry clean.  It was flimsy and the brown was slightly “off”—it wasn’t a true rich brown.  I thought about keeping it for those winter days when the weather is horrible. Then I thought some more and realized I would never wear it even in bad weather.

The brown shade just wasn’t as rich as I thought it would be and the construction was downright shoddy. It’s garbage.

Back she goes!

I’m actually headed to Nordstrom after I finish this blog post. I’m eagerly awaiting returning this!

In my pro-aging journey, I’m becoming a bit more particular about what I buy as far as clothing goes. I haven’t purchased one summer item. And it has nothing to do with the weight gain, it’s just that I don’t want to spend the money when I have a closet full of clothes that work for me.

As an aside, this Lilly Pulitzer Wynne Maxi Dress is definitely a favorite and is worth the money. I’ve worn her for the past two summers on a constant rotation!

I will say, though, that I’m incredibly disappointed in the Tory Burch sandals. What about you?  Have you had experiences where you just paid too much money for an item that wasn’t worth it? Please share!


About Catherine

Far from perfect, but enjoying life as a non-perfect and flawed individual at 60 years young. I'm still wondering what I'll be when I grow up! The characters in my life's screenplay include my better half. He is a refined Frenchman who grew up in Paris and summered in St. Tropez. I grew up in Long Island and summered in Long Island. I am not refined. My three grown children are also a big part of my life. For their sake, they happily live where their careers have taken them! But I can still mother them from a distance! I write about the mundane. I write about deeply shallow issues. But whatever I write or muse about--it'll always be a bit on the humorous and positive side! It's all good!
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13 Responses to Sometimes You Do. Sometimes You Don’t. Getting What You Pay For.

  1. Nancy says:

    Yes and they were all from Nordstroms…some Anniv. Sale and some not. Cheap fabrics, disappointing quality, same as you experienced. I was at a nice mall in Indianapolis yesterday and saw very little I wanted. Summer clothing is never my fave…haha…I like to hide in jackets/long cardigans, etc. I was interested in adding a few summer items to my closet but not smocked, babydoll, prairie ruffled styles…thats pretty much all I could see out there in retail land. Fall so far is not looking much better. I love classic styles like well made shirt dresses (the kind Talbots sold LONG ago) and lined jackets/blazers/skirts and items like these are not easy to find. I also do not need to spend (nor could or should I) $$$$$$ for my clothes but I am happy to spend $$$ for good quality/fit and style. Do not know a single store that is possible that also has real XL sizing. Anthropologie is my favorite store but even then…its hit and miss for me.

    • Catherine says:

      OMG. Nancy. Don’t even get me started on the babydoll ruffled thing. A very mature instagram influencer was sporting a babydoll top with ruffles around the arm holes. I could not believe that a woman in her 60’s would wear such a horrific top. And it was all for clicks on like to know it. I can’t tell you how many women commented as to what a beautiful shirt it was. It was awful. Absolutely awful and thus is the reason I’ve stopped following so many influencers. I swear they don’t wear the shit they shill.
      And your words about Talbots–you’re correct. Talbots was great LONG ago. Now it’s shoddy and “meh”. Anthropologie is great but I just never get around to going there. I’m basically done with Nordstrom. And I have enough clothes but it is ridiculously disappointing! XOXOXO

  2. Jill Sheeha says:

    Thank you for your review of the TB sandals and the note about Nordstrom. Like you, I have have never been a TB fan and wonder what all the fuss is about.

    Also, Nordstrom is starting to look and feel like another run of the mill dept. store. I thought I was the only one thinking this way and as I read blogs from “women” I find this seems to be the consensus. Having shopped there for 40+ years I am sad to see the demise.

    Us Nordy Gals aren’t done shopping yet but Nordstrom seems to think so.

  3. Teresa says:

    Catherine, thank you for sharing this post with us. I’ve not yet purchased anything TB, and now I’m not sure I will. I will say that if you have access to a QVC outlet, GO! They regularly discount [sometimes up to 70%] the footwear that is already discounted when it airs on tv. I, like, you need nothing at this stage of the game, but I do love a good find especially when it’s deeply discounted!

  4. vavashagwell says:

    I’ve never been drawn to Tory Burch for some reason. Although I do have a pair of gold boots from that brand from probably 10 years ago. They are fine, have worn well, but I really don’t seek that designer out at all. Sorry about your sandals, that is truly disappointing. Good to send the skirt back, too. In my later years I’ve become much more alert to the details and quality issues of ready-to-wear clothing. Can’t say I’ve purchased much this year, either. It seems as if a lot of the styles out there are dismal. As in the lack of interesting colors, and my god all the ruffles and poofiness – I can’t stand that. So, I’ve been sewing my new garments on my Bernina sewing machine. Have you looked at J. Crew lately? Awful!

  5. Juliet says:

    Im sorry about those sandals, what a bummer. I think with summer sandals I expect a lot of wear as I like to be out and about and walk as much as I can in the lovely weather so its not just how they look when new but I try to invisage how they look as they wear, I dont mind if they wear with lots of use and its fair wear and tear, but things splitting and what have you – not good. Like Vava above, the sewing machine is getting a hammering these days due to the poor pickings, glad the skirt went back – it doesnt deserve to take up space in your wardrobe when something better is still waiting for you to find it

    • Catherine says:

      Vava. You know, I haven’t even looked at J. Crew since the winter. I’m on a self-imposed no buy of sorts and there’s really nothing that hits me as a “Wow”. That skirt was garbage and it is an indication of where Nordstrom is headed. Don’t even get me started on the ruffled prarie clothing. WTF? Is this Little House on The Prarie? Grown women in those ensembles look ridiculous. Seriously, we are better off without! XOXOXO

  6. Sandra says:

    I purchased a winter jacket at Nordstroms several years ago and the zipper broke after a few months. The store allowed me to return the jacket without a problem. I rarely shop there, but I feel that their customer service is good. Have you tried returning the shoes?

    Good luck!

    • Catherine says:

      Hi Sandra, I think had I paid for those sandals with cash, I would have taken them back but since it was a gift card, I’m a bit lazy. But I won’t be spending any more time with the TB brand. XOXOXO

      • Bluetulip says:

        Cath, all the overseas brands/products costs way more here at least 20-30% based on the exchange rate and then add at least $40 plus in shipping if ordering overseas, so it has to be something super special to order. I had a look at Rodnini, GBP or Euro pricing so yeah double if it is GBP.. Yes Spring is coming , we have had a few warmer days and the days are getting longwr…yeeeaaahhhh 😊

  7. Bluetulip says:

    Hi Cath

    I have wanted the Miller Sandals for ages as well, however have been reluctant as I have read the reviews on Nordstrom, seems the most recent reviews are they yours. I want the Vintage Vachetta Leather, I think did read reviews that in that colour they were ok. If I was to buy from Nordstrom they come to AUD $286, plus shipping….so yeah not willing ti throw $$$ money away. Also buying less too because it is Winter here and well I really am not going out much now with everything going on…

    Dianne from Australia

    • Catherine says:

      Holy Shit! Dianne. Those Millers aren’t even worth the USD price let alone the AUD price! I’m wondering what the price would be for Rondini sandals from France to you. Hey. Your winter will be ending as we head into the cool weather. Wahhhhhhhhh! XOXOXOXO

    • Bluetulip says:

      Cath, sorry I replied on the wrong thread

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