FRUGAL FEET

FRUGAL FEET

May 8th, 2009 by Karen Nazor Hill in Entertainment

The latest in summer shoes - strappy sandals, flip-flops and thongs with kitten heels - are available locally at affordable prices.

Rochelle Bolton, owner of Glam Slam, an upscale consignment boutique on Hixson Pike, said prices on new or gently used designer shoes at her store can be a fraction of retail. She offers many styles of summer sandals, casual to dressy, for $30 and less.

"I've never had so many shoes as I have this season," she said, noting that the economy may have pressed more people to sell clothing, shoes and accessories in her 4,000-square-foot store.

Stores such as Marshalls, T.J. Maxx and The Shoe Dept. routinely stock name-brand shoes at discounted prices. Department stores including Dillard's, Belk, Sears and J.C. Penney, as well as shoe stores and boutiques, have special sales year-round.

What are women looking for in spring and summer sandal trends?

Robin Derryberry, president of Derryberry Public Relations in Chattanooga, said she and her female staff look for styles that are appropriate for professional settings.

"We love espadrilles for the summer," Ms. Derryberry said. "They are casual but when paired with a dress or skirt, (they) fit right into the office environment. The type of sandals we stay away from would be the ones that are too flashy - high-heeled strappy stilettos or anything that could turn attention away from our clients and onto us. In other words, if you look at our sandals and think that looks good then that's great. If you look at our sandals and think, "What was she thinking?" - not so good.

"Of course, my biggest consideration is whether or not I can walk across the room and not fall off of my wedge," she said.

Debbie Brown, Morgan Keegan & Co. vice president, said she, too, wears dressy sandals to work, as long as she has had a recent pedicure. "I don't wear sandals to important meetings or if I am making a presentation," she said.

Ms. Brown said most sandals, with the exception of flip-flops, are acceptable at work on casual Fridays.

"Even though I don't wear flipflops to work, I do enjoy wearing the Yellow Box brand on the weekend because they are so comfortable," Ms. Brown said.

Gladiator sandals, a holdover from last spring and summer, continue to be a summer favorite, according to womensfashion. suite101.com. Also hot are strappy sandals.