Tip Of The Day: Instead of spending money on new shoes, even if they only cost $20 a pair, I am trying to make do and actually WEAR THE SHOES I OWN. Some pairs, however, are looking a wee bit ragged. What to do? I could polish them myself, I suppose. Better yet, I could have the lovely folks at George’s Shoes & Repair polish them for me, for only $5 a pair. Yes, it’s true, I am a lazy slacker.
Tip For Tomorrow: What I wore on my last date (including how much it cost and where I bought it), and what a waste of an outfit THAT was.
Further Elucidation Of My Cheap Deal: My mother, your mother, everybody’s mother at one point in time or another has admonished us to take better care of our things. For example, your shoes. If your shoes were kept clean and polished, you’d only need three pairs, right? One brown, one black, one gym.
Okay, NO. No, I need at least 50 pairs of shoes to make me happy, but I recognize I have a problem – one I am actively trying to fix. However, regardless of the number of pairs of shoes I own, I should still take care of them all, right?
With that in mind, I DO try to clean and polish my shoes myself. The black ones (I own at least 15 pairs of black shoes – why are you looking at me like that?) I find the easiest to manage. You can buy a tube of squeeze-on black polish at Target for less than $5. But the brown shoes I own (only five pairs) are trickier to deal with.
First, each pair is a different shade of brown, thus requiring its own shade of polish. Second, the color in the tube or tin never seems to match my shoes exactly. Third, polishing shoes is messy and lacking in fun. So, as a result, my brown shoes are rarely polished.
The situation came to a head this winter regarding my favorite pair of brown, squishy flats. I bought them two years ago to wear with a pair of brown pants (another fave), and they match exactly. I didn’t want to polish them myself, for fear I’d ruin the color. But they were looking like something Johnny Depp would wear to the premier of “Pirates Of The Caribbean, Part 4: Just How Much Money Am I Being Paid For This Dreck?” And as much as I love Depp, I do not want to emulate his boho/street urchin chic.
So I had two options – 1. Buy a similar pair on sale at Target for $12.99 (the color matched my pants, but they weren’t real leather, or as nice as my original pair) or 2. Have the ones I currently owned professionally polished.
As is my tendency, I procrastinated until the back-up shoes disappeared from Target’s shelves. Now I had the one option – take them to a shoe shine shop. Lucky for me, I live four blocks away from one. Even so, it still took me two more months to FINALLY bring them in. Like I said, I am a lazy slacker.
RIGHT NOW AS WE SPEAK (er, type), my shoes are being tended to by the lovely folks at George’s Shoes & Repair in Arden Hills. There is also a George’s Shoe and Leather Repair on Grand Avenue in St. Paul, and it is run by the brother of the Arden Hills store. These are true family businesses, which warms the cockles of my heart. Whatever a cockle is, mine’s toasty.
For $5, George in Arden Hills will polish your shoes. For $10, he (or she, they aren’t sexist) will clean the salt off your shoes with a special salt cleaner and then polish them. My shoes (because I live in MN in the winter, where we wade through enough salt slush to form a second Dead Sea) were salty, so I opted for the $10 treatment.
Note: this is still $2.99 cheaper than buying a new, lesser quality pair (see how I did math there? FUN). And I wasn’t wasteful, so it’s like I recycled, kind of. Which, as we know, makes Al Gore happy. And as I adore Al Gore, I try to make him happy when I can.
Of course, if you are not a lazy slacker, you can polish your shoes at home. Kiwi Shoe Polish, a company based in Australia, is the brand pretty much every store’s carries. I love all things Australian (in particular, Australian MEN) so I highly recommend their products. I particularly recommend having an Australian man come to your home and polish your shoes for you, using the Kiwi brand. That would be IDEAL.
Where To Go: George’s Shoes & Repair, 3673 Lexington Avenue North, Arden Hills. Or, George’s Shoe and Leather Repair, 672 ½ Grand Avenue, St. Paul. You can find Kiwi products at Target in the shoe section, or Walgreen’s, or anyplace that sells shoes, really.