I’ve wanted a pair of B.A.I.T shoes for about a year now. A lot of their designs aren’t much my style, as I typically find my love for the vintage aesthetic doesn’t tend towards the shoes as much as it does the clothes, but I do like their Ida’s and have especially been eyeing up their new mustard yellow colourway recently.
I’ve heard lots of confused talk about which styles run small, which don’t, et cetera, and that’s always worried me in and of itself, let alone factoring in the fact that I’ve never been able to figure out for certain what my US shoe size is. I’m a UK 7, but I’ve found every conversion size chart I check has me flip-flopping (ba dum cha!) as to whether I’m a US 9 or 10. I’ve tried to figure it out by also cross-referencing the European sizing but half of my UK 7s say 41 and the rest 40, so that only made things more confusing. All of this just came together to convince me that until I could find a UK stockist I would have to give up on B.A.I.T or else risk a costly returns process to the US.
However, then B.A.I.T released their Loraine heels this spring. Available in mustard yellow, classic red, and rich grass green, they chose 3 of my very favourite colours widely represented in my wardrobe. I found myself scouring the internet to find the best place to order them, intensifying my research to figure out if I would definitely need a 10. I dug out the two pairs of heels I’ve ordered from America before, one which fit perfectly and the other felt a little big, and decided the 10 was the best bet. A peep-toe sandal with an ankle strap that’s a little big is better too me than a shoe that’s too small for comfort, so I was willing to risk it in this style more so than a closed-toe pump like the Ida.
The verdict? They’re a perfect fit. They’re 40s inspired, so the very small peeptoe and the butterfly front of the sandal offer almost closed-toe coverage, which I like in my summer sandals being that I live in often-chilly England. They’re not too narrow and feel comfortable on, especially since the heel isn’t too high at only 4 inches with a 1/2 inch front platform. I love the exact shade of green, kind of like cut grass, kind of like green olives but punched up about 5 times in brightness. It’s a shade that feels very ‘true vintage’ to me and can be hard to find from modern brands, which is why I opted for the green colourway rather than the mustard (I already have 2 pairs of mustard shoes) or red (I already have approximately a bagillion red shoes.)
In terms of stockists, I found several websites that were offering these heels but none in the UK. The best option for me was to get them from Trashy Diva. They offer free shipping on International orders over $200, with their standard international shipping costing a flat rate $39 otherwise. I was already ordering a dress for $163, so it was one of those situations where it made more sense to spend the money on a product to get the free shipping than to spend a lot on the shipping cost alone. Trashy Diva ship by UPS, who require customs payment upon delivery, compared to Royal Mail’s procedure of requiring payment before delivery and Fedex’s procedure of asking for payment after delivery. So if you’re an international customer like me, make sure to have money on you on the day of your scheduled delivery. To give you an idea of customs, my order of both the dress and the shoes, totaling $228, required a customs payment of just under $33. I don’t think UPS add a handling fee like Royal Mail (£8 on every parcel) or Fedex (£12 per parcel) do to the parcels that require a customs payment, but if they do it’s a lot less than the former companies do.
The Loraine heels cost $75 and B.A.I.T do ship internationally themselves if you want to buy directly from them. They also have a store in LA, for those local or visiting the area. Judging by the adorable packaging of their shoe boxes and even how lovely the design details on the inner sole of their shoes are, I bet their store is a thing to behold.
Do you own any B.A.I.T shoes? Do you have a similar experience of choosing the right size for you?