I first knew of Monique Buensalido from The Philippine Star's Young Star section where she writes a column. But it was only over Twitter that we "met", when her friends AC and Joni told me that Monique was super into shoes, and that I should feature her here in the blog.
Monique describes herself in Twitter as someone who "Loves coffee, writing, sunblock and fat animals." But it looks like she forgot to mention another love, shoes. What's special about Monique is that she's proof that one doesn't have to spend a fortune in order to indulge a shoe habit. Here's her account:
I LOVE shoes. I love unique-looking shoes and I love heels—the higher, the better, just as long as they’re comfortable. While I love crazy high shoes, I have to be able to actually walk in them. That’s why I love shoes with chunky heels or high platforms on the soles.
These bootie wedges from Monica Fig are like five inches high but super comfortable!
I classify my shoes according to how long I can wear them. I have only-for-affairs-that-I’m-mostly-seated shoes, two-hour shoes, four-hour shoes, and dugs-dugs shoes (which I can wear until the wee hours of the morning without having my shoes scream at me).
When I have a lot of errands or running around to do, I switch from my heels to my trusty flats. (Clockwise from top left): Animal print flats from Hong Kong, snakeskin sandals from SM, strappy flats from The Ramp at Crossings, black and white flats from Schu, gray ballet flats from SM, espadrilles from Casa Hernanz in Madrid.
I’m also very cheap so I don’t have a lot of expensive pairs. I scour through department stores, bazaars and local retailers for great-looking shoes. I’m slowly learning to grit my teeth and pay more money for better quality (I’ve had horror stories of cheap but painful shoes, or pairs that fall apart) but as much as possible I like the challenge of looking for gorgeous pairs that don’t cost a lot. More than just the aesthetic of the shoes, I love announcing the good prices I get for my shoes!
I love how lovely this pair from Charles and Keith looks and how sexy my legs look in them too. I wore them to a work event and the hours of standing were totally worth all the compliments I got (my favorite: “Honey, those shoes just paid for themselves!”).
A lot of my shoes have stories behind them too—how I waited months for them to go on sale, how I tracked down a specific store abroad to buy them, how I bought a pair online only to have SM Parisian release the same pair a year later. The funniest was when I went on a self-imposed shoe embargo from January 2009 to my birthday in May, and it drove me insane. On my birthday, I bought eight pairs on the get go. I’m never going on a shoe embargo again!
How many pairs of shoes do you own?
Let’s just say around 50-70. I’m afraid to actually count, haha.
What's your shoe size?
8.5 to 9
Which pairs are your favorites?
1) My animal print wedges from Forever 21. I love how animal print shoes never go out of style and provide a perfect BAM! to your outfits. This particular pair is so comfortable too, I’ve worn them to concerts where there were no seats and my feet never complained.
2) Printed pumps from Aldo. Funny story: I really wanted this pair for my birthday, but it was over my budget, so one of my friends offered to buy it for me and gave me three months to pay him back, without interest, as his “birthday gift” to me.
3) Black wedges from SM Parisian (bottom left). This pair is CRAZY comfortable. CRAZY, CRAZY, CRAZY comfortable. I could literally run in these shoes.
4) Oxfords from Renegade Folk. It’s a beautiful pair that goes from classic to quirky, depending on the outfit!
5) Printed pumps from Schu. Came across these in a sale and scored them for P799! When I saw them I knew I couldn’t leave the store without them.
If you could only wear one pair of shoes, which one would it be?
What a difficult question! It would either be my glitter heels from Schu because they’re so comfortable and pack a glittery punch...
...or my glitter oxfords from Schu (bottom right) for the same reason. I’m not really into glitter, but if I’m going to be wearing the same pair of shoes for the rest of my life, they’d better be comfortable and eye-popping!
What are your favorite shoe brands?
Cream studded booties (3rd from L) and brown boots (2nd form L) from SM Parisian
What's in your shoe lust list?
Heel-less shoes from Das shoes.
Rajo! For Parisian. I’ve only seen the sketches, but I really like the one on top!
Kermit Tesoro’s Skull Heels!
Where do you buy shoes?
Department stores (especially SM!), shoe stores like Janylin and Charles and Keith, small local retailers that I can find in The Ramp by Crossings or bazaars, and local online sellers like Monica Fig and Gold Dot.
What's that one shoe you can't bear to give away or throw out?
My blue shoes from SM Parisian. They’re so worn out already but I love the shape and the shade of blue. I also love my strappy blue pair from CMG, which I’ve worn out so much but I love to death. Got them on sale for P999!
Actually, I’m notorious for wearing out shoes and not wanting to throw them away. I always try to get them fixed, re-glued, re-sewn or re-painted in Mr. Quickie. (Again, I’m cheap like that.) Recently, my Mom and I had a Save-or-Throw session with my shoe collection. She kept pulling pairs out, begging me to throw them away because they were peeling or broken or what not, and I kept reasoning out “But they’re pretty! But they can be fixed! But I’ve had them since forever!” In the end, I was able to clean out a third of my collection. It hurt, but it also meant I had space to get more shoes!