After building a solid collection of basic work pumps over the years, my interest lately has been on shoes with unique detailing or in fun colors. I’ve always had a soft spot for bows (from Ferragamos to makeshift clip-on ones), and longed for a pair of heels with feminine, statement bows. Here are two suede contenders that I tried on this month:
1. Diavolina Suede pumps in fuchsia, also in black (sold via ASOS)
After being disappointed by the sizing, comfort, and quality of various ASOS-brand shoes, I pretty much swore them off for footwear. However, ASOS carries various brands in addition to their own, and offers the same convenient free shipping & returns. I’ve never heard of Diavolina before, but saw that they offer genuine leather/suede shoes down to a sz US 4 or 5 in certain styles.
Sizing & Fit: I am usually between US 5 to 5.5 (5 in Ann Taylor, 5.5 in BR/J.Crew) and ordered a US 5 / UK 3 in these. When the shoes arrived, the bottoms said 36 and I was bummed thinking they sent the wrong size. However, they were a perfect fit and felt comfortable for the few minutes that I tried them on.
Quality & Design: Solid construction, genuine suede upper, leather lining and synthetic smooth soles. Minimal toe cleavage with classic 3.5″ straight heel. Color is a true vibrant fuchsia in person, and the bow is comprised of three layers with patent sandwiched in the middle. My only qualm was that the bow lacked dimension and was a bit flat/rectangular for my liking.
2. Manolo Blahnik 90mm Lisane Bow (sold out online – similar idea for $45, or other Lisane bows)
Knowing that most department stores are having their final designer clearance, I contacted my Nordies sales associate with a few style #’s that caught my eye earlier in the season. These designer sales begin each winter with 30 to 40% off and progress until late Jan/early Feb, so I had low expectations at this point. I was ecstatic when he reported that the Manolo Lisane bow pumps (which I loved on Sarah) in “bordeaux” were left in a 34.5 and 35.5 for about 70% off retail. If you are interested in calling a store to check stock, the style # is 574768 and shipping is free.
Sizing & Fit: I normally would’ve gone right with the 35.5, however, I recently got to try on Kelly’s gorgeous Manolo BB pumps in sz 34.5. I didn’t even want to shove my foot in (in fear of stretching them out), but she assured me that they run big. Sure enough, those fit perfectly and so do these bow pumps in 34.5. I’m sure different styles may vary, but I would say this style runs half to one whole size big.
Quality & Design: When I opened up the box, the bows were like little works of suede ribbon art. I couldn’t stop admiring them. The construction is of noticeably good quality, and the uppers, soles, and lining are all leather (with “handmade in Italy” imprinted on the bottom). My qualms with this shoe are with the lower (3”) curved heel shape and longer pointy toe area, which together lend to a more matronly look.
Verdict: In the world of bow pumps, the Diavolina’s are a youthful, fun contender whereas the Manolo’s are more classic and mature. The deep bordeaux color is more versatile for me personally, but the fuchsia adds a punch to outfits. A combination of the artful loop bows with higher, straight heels would’ve been my ideal shoe. Nevertheless, I loved the Manolo’s enough to keep. I sent the Diavolina’s back this time, but am certainly open to trying their shoes again.