Salvatore Ferragamo Varina Ballet Flat Review
Fit: I struggled with finding the correct size for me; I'd recommend going a half size up and then adjusting for width. Ferragamo offers everything from AA-D, and I tried sizes in the B (medium) C (wide) & D (widest); B and C were the widths I was deciding between, as D just felt a little bit too wide and compromised the line of the shoe a little bit too much for me. If possible, I'd suggest going on and trying a few different widths and sizes. Many reviewers (and Nordstrom fit specialists) indicated that because these are patent leather, they will not stretch very much with wear. I normally take a size 8, but I have a wider foot, so I went up a half size to 8.5C, and that's been comfy for me. I definitely think they'll need some breaking in, but should ultimately be a comfy shoe. At this price point, I'd definitely prefer if they felt like walking on air right off the bat, but hey. I also tried the 9B size which was also comfortable, and worked well enough, especially when I tried it with an after-market insole. Personally, I'd err on the side of too large instead of too small since you can fix that with inserts, heel liners, etc.; while, a size that's too small will probably not stretch very much. I'd have to have a pair of shoes at this price (or any price point, really) and never want to wear them because they don't fit well.
Style: Personally, I love the classic gross-grain bow detailing and the shiny patent leather. I feel like it's a classic, understated shoe that's appropriate for a lot of different occasions. Ferragamo also offers the same style with a blocky 1.5" heel. I prefer the Varina because I think it looks significantly more modern, but I've heard that the Vara is more comfy for some and a few retailers price the Vara at $425 instead of the $450.
Quality: These feel pretty luxe, and the quality is noticeably nicer than a cheaper pair of shoes (i.e. Steve Madden, etc.). The Varinas were made in Italy with a patent leather upper, leather lining, and leather sole. The leather sole is pretty slippery so before I take 'em out for their first official spin, I'll definitely stop at the cobbler to get a rubberized sole added to 'em.
Price: These shoes typically retail for $450 (though depending on the website, I occasionally see them at $425), and I was lucky enough to score them on markdown at Zappos for $213, which is over 50% off. Elle of Fast Food Fast Fashion mentions that she picked hers up for around $280. I understand that classic colors tend to get marked down 30%-40%, so you may want to look out for those sales. I have been monitoring the price of these shoes for quite some time, so when I saw this $213 price point, I couldn't resist finally pulling the trigger.
Bottom Line: I'm keeping 'em! Just one pair, though. The bright red (russo) shade is so striking that I was very tempted to keep those, but the nude shade fills a gaping hole in my shoe collection, so I think I'll stick with that color. I'm not going to lie... I agonized over which color to keep -- lots of text messages saying ridiculous things like "Do you think this is the right shade of nude for me?" and "Is there too much white in these compared to the original bisque" were sent to Aili. lol.
What do you think of these? Is there too much white in the new bisque? Would you keep the red instead?