I am a self-confessed shoe addict.
I own so many pairs of shoes that I have honestly lost count. My excuse is that I don’t buy expensive shoes, I usually purchase them online or when they’re on sale. As with clothes, I believe in the style more than the brand (or whether they’re ‘in season’). If you dress it up the right way, anything can look fashionable.
My friends and I are always on the lookout for bargain shopping, so today (at the suggestion of my friend Vivian) we took a trip to the Tony Bianco Factory Outlet in Croydon (2/131 Main Street, Croydon, VIC 3136). For those who are unfamiliar with the brand, Tony Bianco is Australia’s leading fashion footwear brand. Their shoes are contemporary, stylish and of great quality, with prices ranging from $150 to $250AUD (approximately).
The shop itself is nestled in a small shopping strip with a big sign at the front saying ‘50% off Everything’. Initially, we were a little disappointed at the small size of the store and the moderate selection (mostly Winter stock). Most of the shoes inside the shop had yellow stickers on them with reduced prices, but we were told that we could take a further 50% off the marked down price – awesomeness!!
After browsing around and trying on many pairs of shoes (including a pair of thigh-high boots which threatened to swallow my little legs), I decided on 3 pairs – 2 pairs of platform stilettos and 1 pair of wedge boots. And how much did this all cost me? *drum roll*
That can’t even buy you 1 pair of Tony Biancos at retail price!! O___o
Style – Barkly (Black Suede/Leopard)
Retail price – $239.95AUD
This was marked down to $30, and further reduced down to $15! Outrageous right?!?
One word I would use to describe these boots is ‘funky’! The material is black suede with a leopard print platform wedge (furry texture) and a full-length zip on the inside. It sits mid-way up the leg and the platform wedges makes it quite comfortable to walk in despite the ginormous height (14cm!).
My friends said it’s very ‘Lipstick Jungle’ and very ‘me’, and I agree. I do own alot of leopard print things; from shoes, to dresses, to scarves, to even my snuggie It’s still quite cold in Melbourne at the moment, so I think I’ll be able to wear this out a few times before Winter is over! These boots are not for everyone, but they definitely make a statement! I would pair them with jeans (or jeggings) and a neutral coloured top or coat, or even with a dress or skirt and stockings.
I’m usually a size 5.5 to a 6, and I got this in a 6. It’s usually good to go up half a size for boots because you need room for your socks!
Style – Gazelle (Flesh Silk Satin)
Retail price – $159.95AUD
This was marked down to $60, and further reduced down to $30!
The gorgeous jeweled bow is definitely what caught my eye about this shoe (who doesn’t like sparkly things?). The material is a beautiful nude pink satin, but the downside is that it will get stained easily (do not wear it out in wet weather!). The shoe is platformed, which is what I prefer for stilettos because it provides cushioning for the sole of the foot and also helps to really lengthen the legs (which is important for a shortie like me!).
Because the design is quite formal, I think it would be perfect to wear for special occasions (such as weddings, formals, balls etc) and will look great with black, grey, silver, white and cream dresses.
Surprisingly, size 5 was a perfect fit for me, and I never wear a size 5! The sales assistant told me this is because some of the shoes are a wide-fit, and I guess shoe sizes are never really all that consistent (especially across different brands).
Style – Cabaret (Bone Pearl)
Retail price – $159.95AUD
This was marked down to $80, and further reduced down to $40!
I chose this pair of peep-toe platform stilettos because I realised that my shoe collection is missing a pair of white heels (technically it’s not white but a bone colour). The material is soft leather and the knot detail at the front makes the shoe more interesting than a plain pair of pumps.
This will go perfectly with my newly purchased dusty pink cocktail dress, which I’m going to wear to the Melbourne Spring Fashion Festival next month. In fact, the versatility of the colour means that it will suit any coloured dress and will look great with jeans too.
Like the previous pair, I also got this in a size 5, so I guess it’s also a wide-fit.
Overall, I think it was a very worth-while trip and I’d recommend any Melbournian girls to check it out cos you’re bound to find something you like for a fraction of the original price! And they have sizes 5 all the way to 10, although the selection of styles will vary between the sizes.
Afterwards, we went to have dinner at Pho Dakao Hoang in Springvale, which I believe is one of the best local pho restaurants. Pho is one of my favourite foods because it’s so deliciously flavourful and the rice noodles, rare sliced beef, onions and bean sprouts add so many interesting textures (not to mention it’s the best thing to eat on a cold day!). We also ordered prawn spring rolls to share, accompanied with crunchy iceberg lettuce and nuoc mam (spicy fish sauce dip). Oh and I always order a coconut smoothie when eating there – better than the standard coconut juice IMO
And this is what my pho looks like after I’ve added all my toppings and condiments. I know everyone has their own ways of eating their pho. What I do is add squeezed lemon juice, red and green chilli slices, hoisin sauce, chilli sauce, chilli oil, a few sprigs of basil leaves and a handful of bean sprouts. I then mix everything together and wait for the meat to cook and the bean sprouts to soften before digging into the pipping hot bowl of yummy goodness.
Are you a pho fanatic like me? How do you like to eat your pho?
- Miss Pixie Lulu