Yes, another shoe review! I may love shoes, but almost all of my shoe purchases are done in-store. Sizing is a big issue for me when looking at shoes online, because if it doesn't fit, it'll be a huge hassle to have it replaced. Unless I love it enough... like the love I felt for the Laura ballerina flats in aqua, from Ylla Shoes.
Ylla Shoes is manned by a few of my batchmates from college, but I was never able to try their styles until now. I really fell for the color, but was of course hesitant at ordering something I wasn't sure would even fit. After much dithering and consulting of both online and offline reviews, I took the plunge and ordered online. The process itself is fast and easy through their official website, yllashoes.com. Their shopping cart is useable even if you don't have an account, though having one helps you keep better track of your orders.
|The sight that stopped me in my tracks. Such beauty.|
After payment via bank deposit the next day, I got a text message from one of the proprietors, Kat, regarding availability of my chosen size (4, of course). It was displayed as available in the website but it apparently was not. However, I really really wanted the color, so I informed her that I was willing to wait. It took about two weeks before the shoes arrived at my doorstep, with a follow up from my end in between. That's a bit long for me for a local business given that the time estimated for production was half that, but thank goodness it was well worth the wait.
That said, I love my Lauras. The upper/outside part is made of jute and is quite fun to look at and touch because of how unusual the texture is compared to most shoes. The color is a gorgeous shade that's perfect for summer. The base is cushy but firm, unlike my Anthos which are all about softness, but still a welcome change and a sign that the shoes are well-made. As a final touch, the shoes have a dainty grosgrain ribbon in the same color with a gold studded pyramid, which are glued on fairly well. At least, they haven't fallen off yet!
The sizes of Ylla Shoes are fitted for narrow Pinay feet. Their size 4's measure 8.9 inches compared to 9.0 or 9.2 in US, UK, or even Korean sizing, and fit perfectly on me. Emphasis is relevant! I don't recall notable break-in pains either. I always reach for this pair when I want a pop of color to my outfit. When mine arrived, I had to go back to the computer to order a black pair in size 6 for my mom and a red pair in size 5 for my sister. For Php 950 a pair, it's not bad at all!
I did notice some points worth sharing, however:
- Depending on the color you get, the intensity of the color might be inconsistent. Compare magnified views of the aqua versus the purple Lauras (hover your mouse over the picture). The red and black Lauras owned by my sister and mom respectively are rich in color compared to my aqua ones.
- The fit of this particular style shows unapologetic toe cleavage, all the way to the gap between the big toe and second toe. Toe cleavage is usually a sign of bad fit or design, but when I Googled it's apparently a trend and is supposed to be sexy (?). I guess it's a matter of preference for some, and on my part, I don't really mind, but it's something to note.
- I've been wearing the shoes since February and I noticed some fading in color, though thankfully it's not uneven. This might also be because jute fibers apparently turn yellow in sunlight.
- Wide-footed and/or half-sized ladies may want to try the shoes on in person in order to properly gauge the fit. I say this because my mom is both, and while Ylla recommends going a size up if you're in between whole number sizes, she has given feedback that the size 6's are still a little loose, while the 5's are too small (she's a 5.5).
Despite everything, do I still recommend Ylla shoes? Yes. Their shoes are fairly priced, well-made, and versatile enough to be paired with a lot of outfits. I love how subtly different they are from most shoe brands on the market. I'm crossing my fingers that they make wedges in future ;)
You can find Ylla shoes on their website, Facebook, and Twitter.