This is going to be a long one so grab a cuppa and let me indulge you in the story of my first ever Designer purchase in Paris.
I first seen the Louis Vuitton Trail Boots last Autumn and loved them from first sight. I really liked the way Lydia and Lucy styled them and constantly considered how I would wear them should I ever take the plunge. When I was in Paris for my birthday in November 2017 I looked at them in Galleries Lafayette and then continued to look at them, in Milan in February and continuously online as my browser history would evidence with multiple views in the weeks leading up to my latest Paris trip.
Before travelling to Paris I toyed with the idea of making my first designer purchase this time around. I wanted the experience of going into the store, trying the item on and walking away bag in hand and giddy from excitement. I’m sure most girls have the same goal or feeling at some point in their lives with something they’ve wanted for a long period of time or saved up for.
On Saturday I decided I would treat myself to a Gucci belt then proceeded to walk past the store on Avenue Montaigne too intimidated to go inside. On Sunday I visited Printemps for the first time although I felt a bit foolish after realising its adjacent to Galleries Lafayette where I had been the day previous. I went in to the Gucci store and although it was busy, the lady was very helpful. She let me try on a size 85 of the belt I liked (the smallest GG available) however it was miles too big and she advised I’d need a 70 which wasn’t available anywhere in France. I felt slightly defeated. I had psyched myself up to it only to be disappointed. Sure I could order it online back home but I wanted the ‘experience’ and to have that moment I’d always dreamed of.
I don’t where this has stemmed from but I’ve always feared the service would be bad in some of the high end designer stores and especially in Paris where some people feel attitudes can be abrupt although this has never been my opinion or experience. I feared they might be slightly pretentious or look down on you which is really silly in this day and age where judgements and first impressions continue to surprise us on a daily basis. I know I’ve been proven wrong on making an assumption on something or someone on the first take and I have felt guilty afterwards which has made me more cautious about going down the same path again. I always try and give the benefit of doubt nowadays before making my mind up and avoid making judgement based on stereotype or hearsay.
I knew my first designer purchase needed to be something classic and long lasting and certainly not a trend piece. A belt seemed like a smart option as it would be very versatile, could be worn with a dress, jeans or denim shorts which gives a variety of options and it would work regardless of the season although I knew deep down a belt would not give the same level of satisfaction or affection as a bag or pair of shoes and I kept this in mind.
As they say when one door closes another one opens and the disappointment that came with not being able to have the moment that I’d been waiting for made me think seriously about what I might purchase instead. Paris is a very special place to me and making my first designer purchase there would be something I’d never ever forget. We wandered round Printemps from Gucci to Louis Vuitton and I decided to have another look at the boots. I was secretly hoping I’d find something I didn’t like about them but when the lady asked if I would like to try them on I honestly couldn’t say no.
It’s really hard to describe how I felt when I put the boots on. It was a really special feeling and I walked around, took plenty of photos and text my friend asking for advice (& reassurance) that I was making a sound decision. My mum didn’t discourage me from the purchase knowing I had already been thinking about the boots for almost a year. She knows I’m sensible (sometimes too sensible believe it or not) with my money and wouldn’t be considering it if I wasn’t serious.
I knew when I put them on that I wasn’t leaving the shop without them. It was a very easy decision. Aside from the fact they are a classic boot with the signature LV design, they are extremely practical with the chunky heel and thick sole and I can assure from having them on the store for at least 30 minutes, they’re very comfortable. I don’t do uncomfortable shoes, I just can’t bear it and I certainly wouldn’t be paying a significant amount of money to be feeling uncomfortable.
I tried the shoes in a 37 as the lady said they run normal in terms of sizing. They fit fine but I wanted to try the 37.5 just to be sure. She knew she had a 37.5 and found the box but couldn’t locate the boots anywhere which was leaving her in a bit of a panic. All the while I was admiring them in the mirror, walking around and making doubly sure that they were wearable. I suggested trying the 37.5 in the patent black just to confirm I didn’t need the bigger size and managed to do just that. FYI – The black patent are less comfortable although may ease with time. Now that I had ruled out any need for a bigger size, I confirmed I was going ahead with the purchase.
Being the only person in the store at the time meant I had the full attention of the staff and I think that really added to the overall experience. The lady that served me was extremely nice, very helpful and put to rest any expectation of a pretentious experience. She was not at all pushy, she let me be and think it over for a good amount of time without standing right there putting me under pressure. She offered drinks but we were fine having just had breakfast before arriving to the store. She did inform us about the LV perfume and explained about the refill process but again there was no pressure or in your face sales pitch. I’m not the kind of person to be encouraged especially when it comes to things like that although I know some people might be but just know that you are the one in control and saying no isn’t going to make any difference whatsoever to how you are treated or the service you receive.
I paid for the shoes and waited while they were ‘prepared’. I felt so so excited to leave the store with the bag and when she came out with my boots I was nothing short of elated. The experience had been more than I ever dreamed of which I know probably sounds ridiculous but as with anything you have wanted or worked towards, the sense of achievement is priceless. Yes it’s a pair of shoes and I’m sure for a lot of people it’s not a big deal at all but for me it was a goal and regardless of how small or how big that may be, we should celebrate those achievements.
I’m so happy I went ahead with the purchase. I knew if I left the store or left Paris empty handed I would have instantly regretted it and resort to ordering something online and it wouldn’t have been anywhere near as poignant as the moment I had in the store.
I’m happy to have gone with the boots as much as the belt would have been a safe starting point, shoes hold a separate place in my heart.
Buying a French brand is also significant as I very much adore Paris and I’m happy to now have something I can wear which will instantly take me back to that moment each time.
I can relate to people who say that buying your first designer item can become a bit of an addiction and I think it will be difficult to go back to Paris and not buy myself something else or add to the collection. Whether I’m fortunate enough to do so is another thing but I do truly believe if you work hard enough you can achieve whatever you put your mind to and this is certainly enough motivation to continue working hard towards the next goal.
p.s be prepared to see these styled in almost every outfit post going forward.