26 September 2009

cute-in-Russia

When I visited my (famous) friend Dawn in Ukraine (wow--TEN) years ago, she warned me to be careful what I bought. Not everything that looked apealing in Kiev would be as appealing when I got it back to the US. (The one thing I wish I could have bought--though I'm sure it was too expensive--was a sort of fur poncho. It did look a little "B@rbie", but was amazing--shades of grey ranging from charcoal by the face to silver at the hem. I would SO wear it in Russia. Oh, well.)

I was shopping for shoes (note: I don't get that shoe-thrill so many of you do. I view shoes as utilitarian--and like them to be as unobtrusive as possible.) for Lexi. She was wearing a 26. I bought her a 27. But, her cut-out foot tracing (which I'm still carrying in my wallet) j-u-s-t fit those. So, I was looking for a 28 to take along, too.

I found a pair. They were charcoal with a little sparkle. The strap was cute without being cute. But they had big butterflies on them. Butterflies *might* be okay. But the butterflies looked a little mean. And the front, instead of being sensibly rounded, was sort of flame-shaped. It was the flames that caused me to doubt. Still, they were a good color. Without the flames they'd be great. Even with the flames they were certainly the best I'd seen in the size I needed in any store.

I asked a friend who was shopping with me if they were cute or cute-in-Russia. She assured me they were cute, and, though doubtful, I bought them.

After I'd got them home, I showed another friend who said, "Don't you dare let her set foot in those in America." As I feared. Cute-in-Russia shoes.

These are the shoes, size 27, Lexi wore home from the orphanage and has barely removed. Inoffensive on a six-year-old, though a little too much bling for my taste. I like stars. They're pink, but whatever. (OT note to Barb: The snow boots we bought should fit great!) I would love a pair of black Mary Janes. And red t-straps. But, those are not available in Russia. Maybe when we're in the US...


I sent the following text to friend #2 today, Lexi won't wear the might-be-cute-in-Russia shoes claiming again and again they're too big. As her others just barely fit, I consider this a sign of good taste. Think I'll leave them here.

See? It's the flames that doom these shoes.

30 comments:

Katie and Pete said...

I actually think they are pretty cute, but you are right, the flames are kind of strange!

When you get to the states, Lands End has some great Mary Jane's in all shapes and colors. Merril also came out with adorable line of litle girl shoes including Mary Jane's. Can you tell I love Mary Jane's?

Nancy said...

Sorry, but I think they are cute and my daughter would love them!

Nancy said...

I find new shoes really cheap on ebay. Don't know if they ship to Russia though.

kerry said...

Good call on the flames. At least they aren't pink-- they sort of blend with the gray... but, still maybe Russia shoes.

Carrie said...

Without the flames, they'd be okay. The color is a bit odd, too.

I just bought new Mary Janes yesterday. Nothing fancy, got them at Target.

beckyww said...

Julia is a shoe nut. She has at least 5 pairs of tennies right now, plus slippers, Crocs and flip-flops. She will not wear dress shoes, not even to church. She would wear both of those pairs of tennies, I am sure.

She's also a pajama nut.

She'd have 100 pairs of each if I'd let her.

Barb said...

For a second, I thought I was the one who gave you the bad shoe advice . . . Other than the flames, though, I thought they weren't so bad, but Lexi's made up her mind;->

Hope you're enjoying your day in Moscow!

Dawn said...

I think they're both cute!

Rachael said...

"Cute-in-Russia": that cracks me up. I so know what you mean from my brief stints there!

But, actually, I kind of like the grey shoes!

votemom said...

those are very cute! send them to us - we'll wear them!

Mrs. Butler said...

My 3-year old is wearing a 28. I almost never buy her shoes in US sizes, so that's how I know. I do get the shoe thrill, though, and don't blame you for the flamey shoes. I mean being doubtful. They are tried and couldn't for sure. Let me know if I can send you some black mary janes and red t-straps (what about red mary janes and black t-straps?) stateside. Priority Mail is a beautiful thing...

Annie said...

They probably are cute-in-Russia, but I have doomed myself by falling in love with the country. So, I like the shoes, too... Sort of agree about the flames, but the color is so cool. I bought a jacked that might have a "cute-in-Russia" problem. At least, I wore it most of the winter with such glee that is was unique and RUSSIAN....then one day my daughter Lydia said, "Mom I wish you wouldn't wear that coat." It is not 'you' and the material is creepy." Oh, dear....

Anonymous said...

I like the grey shoes and don't think they are bad at all! I also think they aren't flames- the style is based on the old brogues which you will remember now only as a business man's shoe that we older women saw our dad's wear- the leather cap over the front was designed to be stronger and withstand scuffing better, thereby lasting longer!

Golf shoes, men' and ladies', were classically made like this- with the extra leather cap over the toe also to last longer. And I wore brogues - in St Louis all the Catholic school girls wore them! I have looked for them recently again as they were great, sturdy leather shoes. I, of course, took off the fringe flap they put on the girls shoes- It folded over the laces.

I think someone just modeled this on a classic old shoe design. They aren't meant to be flames at all!! That's my story and I'm sticking with it!!

Shauna

The Holmes Crew said...

I think they're adorable - just my 2 cents..er..rubles worth...Recondsider! I too think of shoes as necessities, and not much more, so you're not alone. For the record, I've purchased several pair of shoes in Russia in the last five years, for the boys, and EVERY one got many compliments in the US!

The Holmes Crew said...

P.S. I'm thinkin Lexi likes the color of the first pair - which is why they don't fit :) It's a kid thing!

Fioleta said...

The grey shoes would be great if they didn't have the butterflies, but I'm a person, who constantly gets annoyed at all girls shoes being mostly sold in pink and white colours. Who buys their kids white shoes? With my daughter they would stay white for less than 10 minutes.

Lindsay said...

I've maybe been in Slovakia too long... I like them! :)

Kay B said...

OK, so my 11 year-old children's shoe fashion expert thinks they are really cute! Not sure if you can count that as Cute-in-Russia or Cute-in America, being that she has been both - but still they meet her approval. :) And let me tell you, that is not an easy thing, she is VERY picky about her own shoes. Our dilemma now is that she loves cutsie little girl shoes, but tragically wears a women's size 8 already!

As far as the shoes fitting, it could be that Lexi is used to shoes fitting snugly. It took a little while before Dasha would wear anything that was even a little too big, (clothes or shoes) she was used to things fitting tightly, still prefers it that way too, but gotta use mom-sense in making things last which she understands. However, there are also times in which she is just trying not to say that she doesn't like something.

I say hang on to the shoes for a little while, she may wear them in a few months when the newness of everything has worn off a bit.
BTW, I think they are cute shoes - flames and all. Darya says they look like waves

Maggie said...

The whole cute-in-Russia thing is pretty funny. I like the grey shoes, though.

Jenni said...

Ok, so I actually LOVE the cute-in-Russia shoes! Of course, I'm no fashionista, but I dig the flames. They are completely unique with a lot of personality. I say keep 'em!

Although I love Mary Janes too. I'd buy Vika a pair every year if I could find them in her size!

Debbie said...

I like the "cute in Russia" description (actually saved me some bad purchases a few months ago but didn't know the term!) but I too think they're not that bad!

Anonymous said...

I think they are adorable :).

Susan said...

The cute-in-Russia thing is funny, and I have to say the same applies for almost any country/culture one visits. ("Hey, this sombrero's awesome!")

Call me crazy, but I'm a NYC gal, and I think the grey shoes are cute! I wore Mary Janes to parties as a kid, but honestly, I almost never see 'em these days. The Monkey doesn't own any.

Anonymous said...

Huh? Those are adorable shoes and would be fine in the US! My daughter would be all over them.
:-)
Serena

Katie said...

No, seriously, everyone is right on this. "Cute in Russia" is very much the same as "Cute in the Deep South" vs "Cute in the Midwest"...you just never know....

Did I mention that I am loving these posts that are just all about you....having a daughter!

jen.weber said...

I think both the pairs of shoes are cute. I just don't like characters on shoes. What size is 28 in US terms?

Susan said...

I think the take-away here is, like 'em or don't like 'em, there's certainly nothing un-American about them! (Jen, if I'm not mistaken, a 28 Euro is about a kid's 11 US)

MMrussianadoption said...

they are fine. i think you are getting worked up over nothing. noone really cares what she wears on her feet, and btw, they really are fine.

Gigi said...

The flame shoes are kind of creepy! Aster and Primigi have the cutest Mary Janes-some hot pink ones that are to die for. Can you order from Zappos? Buy all you can now-once they get larger than size 34 the shoes are awful! I wish I had bound K's feet so she could still wear cute shoes. Only kidding-hope nobody from DFAC's reads your blog.

Allison in NJ said...

Hi Kate..... I asked Anya what she thought of the grey ones.... "If I was younger, I would really like them.... BUT, since I'm almost a teenager, they are to young for me"! Yes..... in alittle less then 3 weeks, my little Russian Princess turns 13!!! YIKES!!! She is home almost 5 years.... Watch out Kate..... TIME does FLY!

Blessings..... Allison