(if I was a real fashion blogger, that would be a succulent in the middle, of course *wink wink*)
My love affair with Robert Clergerie started in 2002 when I bought my first pair. That’s 2 years B.B. (Before Blogging) BTW. I haven’t worn that particular pair (the square-toe flats) in a VERY long time, but when I bought them, and for a few years afterwards, they were on HEAVY rotation, and they’re quite worn. They were the softest, most beautifully made pair of shoes I had ever owned. They probably still are.
After that pair, I became obsessed, and purchased four more pairs within the next few years. Besides my oldest pair, I have one other “old” pair (purchased in 2007, and now, three “newer” pairs, my Pepo sandals are only two years old, and my Frazzia sandals & Nalo loafers very new (this year). I also have a pair of Gavale slides coming Friday. Whoa.
Why Robert Clergerie? Easily, it comes down to the styles; they’re the perfect mix of fashion-forward, timeless, and exquisite craftsmanship (they’re made in France). But just as important is comfort; Robert Clergerie’s shoes are without question the most comfortable I’ve ever owned. But sizing can be tricky, and the reason why I got rid of the pairs I no longer own only comes down to the size; they just never really fit correctly. I wore them, for a while, but they weren’t good enough to keep wearing.
So my grand total for Robert Clergerie shoes ever owned comes to ten. I still own 5 pairs (with one on the way). Not bad. Actually, I own more pairs of Robert Clergerie shoes than any other brand. Even at my heyday, I only owned 4 pairs of Repetto flats and maybe 4 No6 clogs (I’m now down to 1 each).
The ones I had to let go of:
“Nude” platform wedge sandals – These were lovely, but the leather on the top of my foot always rubbed a bit, and they were HIGH, so I sold them.
Heart wedges – these PAINED me to get rid of, but seriously, they were SO HIGH, and I couldn’t walk in them. I got them for a great price, and I loved to just look at them, but not enough to have them take up space.
The third pair I owned, but had to sell was a pair of high mules with a grid pattern on the sole, from 2003 or 2004, really nice, but they were way too big on me (THESE!!! not my auction though…). I bought them out of desperation during a business trip in Chicago because the shoes I was wearing were KILLING me. The SA assured me they were the right size, and they worked at that point (probably because my feet were swollen from walking so much) and were comfortable for the rest of my trip, but didn’t last long after that.
Finally, I had a pair of flat thong sandals that I LOVED so much that a friend gave to me, but they were a full size too small. I wore them for a while, but couldn’t make them work…
(Left to right: my oldest pair of flats, “nude” wedges I sold, ankle-strap wedges from 2007 that I still own, but don’t wear often)
I definitely don’t think Robert Clergerie (now designed by Roland Mouret) is for everyone; the styles are very distinctive, and as my husband would say, sometimes border on 90’s activist shoes. But if they are your style, and you find yourself loving pair after pair, year after year, then I highly recommend buying a pair to try out. I’ve bought two pairs at full-price (one I still have) but the rest, I’ve purchased for nearly 50% off at the “end” of the season. Even at 50% off, they’re expensive. But given the track record of my older pairs, I’m happy to make that investment for amazing, comfortable, beautiful shoes.
A bit more on the sizing issues though. If you’re lucky enough to have a store nearby that sells Robert Clergerie (Gimme Shoes in SF is a good one) try them on there FIRST before ordering anything online. I am typically a size 8 or 38 in Italian/European brands and a 39 in Repetto. In Robert Clergerie, which is French sizing, I seem to fluctuate between a 38.5 and a 39, depending on the shoe. My two oldest pairs are labeled size 7.5 interestingly enough. Totokaelo is a great resource for Robert Clergerie and allows comments on items so you can read how others find the fit and ask sales associates for more information. Also Nordstrom and Zappos seem to get a lot of reviews on Robert Clergerie.
There’s TONS of older Robert Clergerie on eBay, although most of those styles leave a lot to be desired.
More resources for Robert Clergerie online:
6pm (great for older/discounted styles)
The Dreslyn (has frequent codes)
La Garconne (excellent sales)
Totokaelo (great resource for sale items)
What do you think? Are Robert Clergerie shoes appealing to you? Do you own any? I know a few of you have purchased the Frazzia sandals since I started wearing them 😉