The Perfect Black Pump…The Secret Weapon, Revealed

After my field trip shopping the halls of South Coast Plaza I knew precisely what I wanted.

The Winner. Gucci, exclusively for Saks. And btw, I paid full price, no endorsement of any kind.

The Irena Jimmy Choo pump,  a classic design with a medium heel.

Obviously I could order them online, but I wanted to actually try them on. The failure rate for shoes is too high. Plus I need them for a meeting.

I called the Jimmy Choo boutique in Beverly Hills.


Rang up Neiman-Marcus in Beverly Hills.


Called Saks Fifth Avenue on Wilshire Boulevard.

“Sure, I’ve got those.”

I was so surprised, I went over precisely again what I wanted.

“Yep. Holding ‘em right here. Ask for Lynn, or look around. I’m the tall blond.”

Two hours later there I was, and there they were. Simple, elegant, and nice. In that one shoe they have nude kid leather, nude patent leather, and suede, plus black in patent and kit leather. I really liked the nude also in patent. Would it be too much to get the black AND nude? I began my mental mambo about amortizing all of this research. I walked around happily for five minutes in the elusive beautiful shoes.

“Can I also show you my secret weapon?” asked Lynn Modrak, who at 6 foot one inch, had been easy to spot.

“Secret weapon?”

“The heels to die for. Beautiful and comfortable.”

“Sure.” I’d tried on so many shoes, why stop now?

A minute later Lynn returned with a bouquet of boxes. As she pulled out a black Gucci heel made exclusively for Saks, Lynn said, “Don’t be alarmed.”

Of course I was alarmed. These were HIGH. With a platform, but also beautiful. I slipped them on.

“WOW. How can these be both high and comfortable?!?”

She took the shoe in another color—she’d brought out six colors!—and sat it next the Choo shoe. “Take off platform and the effective height of this heel is precisely the same as the Irena you like. And this is a very stable platform.”

She was right.

“Most heels are weighted to the forefoot, which is what makes them so uncomfortable. This Jimmy Choo weighted at the mid-foot, which is better.

“And THIS,” she held up the secret weapon, “is weighted to the heel. Best of all.

“PLUS,” she said, “You are wearing suede, which is much more forgiving and comfortable.” She handed me the same heel in kid leather. Big difference. Leather was better than the others I’d been trying, but the suede is much more comfortable.

Hoping to finally and make my purchase I texted a picture to

The Irena Jimmy Choo, front and right. Another beautiful great heel. The Gilbert, behind, is exactly the same shoe with a slightly higher heel.

Jessamyn and Jessica, my on-call fashionistas.

Thumbs up.

“Winner. Winner. Chicken Dinner.” Said Jessica.

Mission complete. The Perfect Black Pump, now in my closet.

About Karen Ray

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