Yesterday, I needed a new pair of shoes. 'New' is the wrong word here, of course. I can't really afford new shoes, but I did need something dressier. All I had were old running shoes, and with two conferences coming up, I decided I needed to look a little more professional than neon-green and orange.
I've never been stylish or trendy. I don't want to be. For years I refused to wear jeans because they were too cool, and I didn't want to be that. Take that as you will. But here in the land of conspicuous consumption, I stick out.
Which brings me to my main point: If you want a pair of really nice leather dress shoes for a great price, Value Village in Coquitlam is the place to go. There is an entire rack of men's dress shoes in all sizes. The least expensive I saw were $9.99, the most expensive, $24.99.
Now you should probably take this with a grain of salt. I wouldn't know a nice dress shoe from a cheap one if it kicked me in the face. All I know is that the men I see wearing these ridiculous pointed toe shoes—elf shoes, almost—seem to be the sort of well-dressed people you're supposed to want to be, and that they had scads of these shoes at Value Village.
Of course, no one would want to say that they bought them at Value Village. That kind of ruins the effect. The point of these shoes seems to be that they are expensive. But as I've said, that isn't me.
I thought about it for a minute, but decided that if I got a pair of these shoes I'd have to get a decent suit and all to go with them. I'm not going to do that, not even at a thrift store (though the last suit I did buy I bought at Goodwill—for a LARP costume).
So I went over to the opposite side of the rack and looked through their sport and work shoes. After some thought, I picked out a pair of slightly scuffed Adidas Sambas for $6.99. Very professional.