If the Shoe Fits, Buy It

I’ve worked for a few different retailers in my young life, but at Dillard’s, I have the time and opportunity to really connect with my customers.  Jennifer has kindly given me a chance to share with you some inside tips on shoe shopping!

Kelli finds balance working at Dillard's.

If you’ve been on the hunt for a shoe you’ll love, be sure to take your time looking for and trying on various brands and styles.  It’s okay to do some research; browse selections online so that you’ll know what shoes fit into your price range and which you have no desire to try on.  A rule that is generally true: you get what you pay for.  Higher end shoes not only feel and look better, but they last longer, too.  “Comfort shoes” aren’t always the cutest, but designers are trying to find a happy medium.  Great comfort brands to check out are Ecco, Josef Seibel, Merrell, Nurture and Clarks.

Trying on shoes is vital.  I tell people daily that every brand, every style, every shoe fits differently.  Set aside a half hour to an hour to find a shoe that will work for you.  Take a moment to properly fit both feet with a Brannock device.  Most department stores have them, and associates should be trained to use them.  If a shoe is a little tight, ask an associate if they have the capabilities to stretch shoes.  A little stretching solution and time on the shoe stretcher can go a long, long way.  There are also products to help a loose shoe fit more tightly, like Foot Petal products, starting at $6.95.

So when’s the best time to get the associate’s undivided attention? Go from the beginning to mid-week before one o’clock or after seven (but please don’t go at 8:45 and wonder why you hear people counting down registers!).  There are generally less people out shopping at these times, and you’ll have a more relaxed adventure finding the perfect pair.

For some reason, shoe sizes sent to many stores go like this:  maybe one 5 or 5.5, one 6, one 6.5, two 7, two 7.5, two 8, two 8.5, one 9, one 9.5, one 10, and maybe one 11.  If the shoe is popular and sells through quickly enough, we usually get more.  I just never know for sure until I open the box and say, “Hey!  We got more of that shoe we sold out of last week!”

But don’t lose hope.  Many stores offer special order options.  We can almost ALWAYS order a shoe in smaller or extended sizes.  And Dillard’s will ship shoes directly to your house FREE as long as the shoe is regular price and over $50 (sale shoes can be shipped from as low as $8.95, depending on the sale price).  If for whatever reason you don’t like it or it doesn’t fit as you’d expected, you can return it at the store nearest you, no problem.

Kelli delivers both service and a smile!

Don’t be afraid to connect with your associate, and let him/her know what you’re looking for and what you need.  If you’re waiting on new shipments, ask an associate to call you when stock comes in (this varies depending on the season, but there are normally new shipments once or twice a week).  If you’re looking for a special deal, request a call when markdowns hit.

Shopping for shoes should be fun, not exasperating.  Take your time to enjoy the experience. Know your options, and ask questions.  Trust me, we’d rather help you than stand around bored!

Thanks for reading, and happy shopping!

A note from the Editor:

I met Kelli Leach last year, not long after I’d started …a little blog.  I was out visiting a few favorite places (in this case, Dillard’s department store), doing the shopper’s version of “free association.”  Of course I found myself in the jewelry department (don’t I always) and in the capable hands of young Kelli.

I wasn’t expecting to find inspiration for the blog; I was simply looking for a bit of bling to make me smile.  But there, in the case, was a bracelet to die for.  After trying it on (and wetting my pants just a little) I thought, “this is so fabulous, I have to feature it on the blog!”  Unfamiliar with the line and unable to find sourcing, Kelli came to the rescue and somehow culled all the contact information I needed.

Yep, Kelli is totally on it.  Her work ethic truly impressed me.  And her hard work soon precipitated a promotion into Dillard’s shoe department.  After asking her to write a guest post for little blog (and enjoying her rapid-fire turn-around), I find myself wondering just how long it will be until Miss Kelli is awarded the key to Dillard’s executive washroom?  You go, girl!

~Jennifer Allen


  1. Well done, Kell-El !

a peep out of you