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Archive for August 4th, 2006

A Tale of Two Shoes (and a Color Fanatic)

Friday, August 4th, 2006

shoesI ordered some shoes as a “Buy it Now” on Ebay, knowing that they would definitely fit. I also knew that if anything didn’t work out on the purchase, I would have to “eat” the shipping cost to return them. I figured it was worth the risk to save about $20 off the retail price… I would have to wait longer to get them if I paid full price.

I also know that turquoise is the hardest color to match well on a monitor. I tried to order shoes in a variation on turquoise. So why was I surprised when the shoes came and were different than the photo?

Stock Dansko jade photoThe photo on at least 3 computer monitors was a hot greenish-turquoise and called “Jade.” I know that no jade stone is this color but I’ve purchased clothing this color with that name attached.

The shoes came… and they were the color of jade stone. Yellowish-gray-green. No misnomer here… the name was right, for stone rather than fabric. Drat. I like a lot of greens, but my colors are mostly blue-undertoned and I don’t do well with colors if they have gray in them. So here I was, yellow and gray undertones.

I remembered, though… that I had transformed sandals last summer using permanent colored markers on the leather and nail polish on the buckles. I also remembered dyeing a leather coat once upon a time. So I started thinking of options. I went up in the box full of shoe polish. And found something called “Bright Navy” cream dye-based shoe polish. Tried it on a hidden spot under the end of one strap. It did change the leather color in a subtle way and the stitching in a strong way. I decided to go for it.

shoesSo I slathered the blue polish on the light green-gray shoes. It worked. Honestly, it’s subtle but the difference is that now they are a grayish blue-green and I can live with that. I call it “minivan green.” There were a few years when I saw a lot of moms driving minivans this color.

I was prepared to freehand scribble on the leather with turquoise or blue markers and make them into a noticeable art project. It turns out they are now wearable with my summer clothes, sans graffiti. And that is why I bought them… my other pair of shoes that are comfy enough to stand up in for hours, are clunky and black and sort of winter-like. These have a strap on the back of the clog so they are a little more summery, especially in a lighter-than-black color. My feet just have not found a sandal yet which makes them happy for any length of time and the strappy clogs are a good compromise.

I’m relieved. I have worn the shoes now two days in a row… once with an African dress (from Kenya) and once with a beautiful “Punjabi” outfit from India. I’m all set.

Photos: 1) Almost done polishing… with only the left strap still the original color… notice color of polish. 2) Tiny stock photo used by all online vendors selling this shoe in this color. 3) Right shoe before, Left shoe after.