By now, you guys are probably getting mighty tired of hearing about my magical $8 thrifted Jimmy Choo pumps. Seriously, though, does it get better than Jimmy Choos that are 99% free? The answer, surprisingly, is … yes.

I was back at the scene of my earlier crime, so to speak, a couple of weeks ago. I’d been struck by a sudden desire to read Game of Thrones, and I figured buying a second-hand paperback was the way to go, in case the book proved disappointing. (I should not have feared; even without Kit Harington visuals, GoT is addictively good. The computer is telling me that “addictively” is not a real word, but the computer has never read GoT, so it can just shut it.) After I found the book, I – naturally – had to take a quick look-see at the racks. Lately, Value Village has been disappointing me. I did find a nice Boss silk skirt last month (and another Royal Albert tea cup for my collection), but otherwise nada. And the prices are getting ridiculous. Everything that is remotely decent seems to be at least $15 or more. Pffft!

But then! (dun, dun, dun …)

(Don’t worry, no one is about to randomly get his or her head cut off.)

After my Choo adventure, I always check the shoe section. Always. Yeah, they say lightning never strikes twice, but you never know, right? I was kind of half-assing it (because I haven’t found anything of note in a year and a half now) when I spied a pair of pointy-toed pumps. Pulled them off the shelf. Did a triple take.

Manolo Blahnik.

I stared at my mom, who stared back placidly. She asked me if I was alright. I told her that I had found one of my shopping holy grails. I think she said something along the lines of “That’s nice, dear” but by then I was furiously Googling on my phone, trying to find out how one can spot fake Manolos.

(Let me pause here for a second. Running into counterfeit designer goods is a pitfall of shopping second-hand. Everything, and I do mean everything, can be and has been faked. Always do your homework, especially if the deal is too good to be true.)

Happily, incredibly, these looked legit. And pretty near pristine, save for a few black scuffs. My mom was skeptical that the scuffs would come out, but I was not deterred. Did I mention that these were white pumps? White patent leather pumps?

Manolo Blahnik white patent leather pumps black trim
Oooh, pointy!
Manolo Blahnik white patent pumps black trim
Those are some good lookin’ heels …
Manolo Blahnik white patennt pumps black trim
… and soles

I took them home, and got down to business. I tried toothpaste, Windex, rubbing alcohol, and acetone-free nail polish remover. I scrubbed tentatively, then firmly, then even more firmly. The leather, thankfully, was not the worse for wear. The scuffs … they were a little worse for wear. Or, rather, better. Less noticeable, but not entirely gone.

Manolo Blahnik white patent leather pumps black trim
Better …

I can live with this. I’m still planning to take them to a cobbler to see if anything else can be done, but I’m not holding my breath. I think they look fine, and the remaining scuffs should be pretty unnoticeable. Unless I shove my foot right under someone’s nose, which … is not happening. I think.

Manolo Blahnik white patent leather pumps black trimAll in all, not bad for a $14 pair of shoes. Yep, fourteen whole dollars.

(A few words on cleaning scuffs. Always test your cleaning solution of choice on a small patch of leather that’s not super noticeable; the back of the shoe, near the heel, is a good bet. If the leather is fine, you can then go to town on the rest of the shoe. Personally, I found the best results happened with the acetone-free polish remover, but people also swear by rubbing alcohol and hand sanitizer. Basically, anything with alcohol in it. For sanitizing second-hand leather shoes, here is my routine: pour a bit of Lysol all purpose cleaner on a cotton ball, and wipe the entire inside of the shoe, tip to heel. Do the same on the other shoe, and leave to dry. Repeat. Then do the same with rubbing alcohol, and repeat. In my experience, neither the Lysol nor the alcohol should damage the inside of the shoes if they are leather or even man-made materials. Haven’t tried it on fabric, though, other than labels found on the soles of shoes like the Manolos.).

8 Comments on Lightning Strikes Again

  1. You sure showed those shoes who was boss. “Scrub firmly but gently.” 🙂

    My best find so far for Blahniks has been $60 in a consignment shop. My problem is more that size 7 is a very common shoe size so I can never really find deals unless I pay the price. 🙁

    Also, I’m picky. I can’t wear heels above 2″ – 2.5″ and be comfortable. I’ve made peace with that, so I refuse to buy shoes I can’t walk in, no matter how good of a deal they are!

  2. Awesome, congratulations! I once thrifted a pair of black leather Manolo Blahnik pointy-toe flats. For $4. I almost peed my pants with excitement! Mine were a little beat up but nothing a good polish didn’t fix. I only wear them for special occasions though!

    May I suggest trying a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser on the scuffs? I’ve used them to successfully clean everything from scuffs on my car to ink on painted walls to tarnish on fake jewelry. I’ve used it on patent leather too, with no damage to the material…it might be worth a try!

    • Say whaaaa? $4, you totally win the thrifting trophy 😉 I don’t think I’ve ever found anything decent for $4, much less Manolos.
      And thank you for the recc, I am definitely going to try it. I think it might be a lost cause, because whatever’s left of the scuffs is now under the patent leather coating, but it’s worth a shot.

  3. Just discovered your blog & I love your sense of humor! Also, please tell me where this magical thrift shop is, I would die to get my hands on some of those shoes haha 🙂

    • Thank you! And welcome!
      The magical thrift shop is in Edmonton, and let me tell you – it’s not nearly magical enough to justify a move to the middle of Antarctica over here. Did I mention it snows, like, 7 months out of the year? I love me some Manolos but … yeah, nope.

      p.s. I looooooove your hair. Tell me all your secrets.