Iâ€™m afraid if I post another less than glowing review, Iâ€™m going to get a reputation as the mean blogger around here…
Nevertheless, Iâ€™ve had a pair of shoes from Zuzatz for several weeks nowâ€¦and I canâ€™t beat around the bush any longer.
For those of you who donâ€™t have a super-nice PR guy sending you shoes in the mail, allow me to explain: Zuzatz makes sandals that come with a brown or black base and a seemingly endless supply of interchangeable straps that youâ€™re supposed to be able to click in and out with Zuzatzâ€™s (try saying that three times fast?) patented â€œQuickClickâ€ technology.
I admit these shoes are a (relatively) good idea in theory. Space is notoriously limited in New York, for example, so I can see how they might be appealing to Manhattanite sandal-lovers who donâ€™t have enough room for all the pairs they want. Orâ€¦if you were going on vacation and didnâ€™t want to haul around more than one pair of shoes in your suitcase, they could also be a good option. (And as the greenest guy I know prepares to move to Colorado next week and New York begins to mourn him, I canâ€™t help but feel there has to be some sort of environmental angle here, too. Like, surely itâ€™s better to have one pair that you can wear over and over again instead of buying new pairs and extending their, ahem, carbon footprint. Or something.)
Butâ€¦in reality, Iâ€™m not sure these shoes are such a good bet. (And Iâ€™m not just saying that because I have huge, giant monster feet and the super-nice PR guy found me on Twitter and announced my shoe size to the world when he told me he had mailed me a pairâ€¦)
When I unpacked my new Zuzatz sandals, I was eager to try them out. However, when I slipped them on, QuickClick technology or no, the Style Straps clicked right out in all three spots on *both* shoes. I attempted to force them back in. After all, each fastener is supposed to withstand up to 70 pounds of pull force. Butâ€¦I wasnâ€™t having a ton of luck with the black straps, so I decided to see how the silver ones would doâ€¦and then somehow in the flurry of clicking Style Straps in and out, I ended up with one black shoe and one silver shoe and I could not get either Style Strap out. Oh, how I longed for the time just moments earlier when my black Style Straps popped right out. I pulled and I prodded, andâ€¦nothing. They were stuck. Eventually I had to have the manfriend pry out the silver strap so I at least had a matching pair of shoes. (Butâ€¦now I cannot get the black straps out. And it is perhaps less than ideal to have to rely on a big, strong man to replace my Style Straps each and every time.)
Andâ€¦I guess maybe my huge, giant monster feet are a little delicateâ€¦because these sandals really hurt the space between my toes. I wanted to give them the benefit of the doubt, so I wore them a couple of timesâ€¦but I never really got to a point where I didnâ€™t notice they were uncomfortableâ€¦and, in the end, one of my black straps broke.
A base and two Style Straps from Zuzatz retails for $49.95. Additional three-packs of Style Straps range from $28 to $50. Soâ€¦given my experience, I would probably pass on Zuzatzâ€¦but I guess it could be an okay gift for someone with limited closet space and/or who travels a lot?
Andâ€¦speaking of things I probably wouldnâ€™t ever wear, we also have the Bra Barrette.
I have to be honest: I didnâ€™t even take this out of the package. I couldnâ€™t bear to wear itâ€¦nor would I ever wear anything like it in 1,000 years. (See for yourself: What is a Bra Barrette?)
Donâ€™t get me wrong â€“ I can see how maybe it might be fun and/or functional for the right person and/or in the right scenarioâ€¦in fact, when I was coming home from the Yankees/Mets game this weekend, I saw a woman on the train who had her bra straps fastened together with a safety pin and I thought, â€œThat woman needs a Bra Barrette!â€
Butâ€¦as far as Iâ€™m concerned, if falling bra straps were a big problem, I would probably just drop cash on a new brassiere. I could not wear something like the Bra Barrette with a straight face.
And admittedly, I donâ€™t want to draw a lot of attention to my back. I had scoliosis and had to wear a stupid back brace when I was kid (like the one in Romy and Michelleâ€™s High School Reunion, actually)â€¦and even though you probably couldn’t tell my spine’s all twisty unless you were really looking for it, Iâ€™m going to go out on a limb and say that even if I had a perfectly straight back, I still wouldnâ€™t want a margarita charm (or maybe itâ€™s a martini?) dangling between my shoulder blades.
So, Iâ€™m sorry, Bra Barrette, I guess Iâ€™m the wrong person to review something like this. You bill yourself as â€œJewelry for your backâ€ and I wear very little jewelry as a general rule (at most, I wear a couple of gold hoops, an L necklace and my grandmothersâ€™ rings). Butâ€¦then again, I did an informal poll of my girlfriendsâ€¦and most of them laughed when they saw this product.
And — apologies for the tired old segue, but — speaking of bra straps, we also have isABelt, the virtually invisible belt that looks kind of like a bra strap, but warns you in big capital letters not to adjust it like one.
Of the three products, this has to be my favorite because thereâ€™s at least a viable purpose â€“- say goodbye to belt bulk, unwanted slippage and back gap! — although a friend saw it and asked, â€œWhy canâ€™t you just wear a normal belt?â€ and I didnâ€™t really have a good answer for him. I guess if you donâ€™t want to look like youâ€™re wearing a belt, isABeltâ€™s a product for you.
And for all the times Iâ€™ve sat down and worried about whether my shirt is covering my pants so Iâ€™m not inadvertently exposing myself, this is not a bad idea. (Although the black isAbelt looks kind of pleather and S&M-yâ€¦)