The allure of inexpensive cute shoes is everywhere. If you’ve been to the mall lately and seen the dozens of stores with shoes displayed under spotlights, you know what I mean. Payless is no different. Payless Shoe Source is one of the stores whose inexpensive shoes have been classified as cheap or knock offs for years.  I remember the shame of Pro-wings (a Nike knock-off) back in the late 80s.  In an effort to combat this, Payless experimented towards  the end of 2018 when it established as luxury shoe pop-up shop named Palessi.  In this experiment, Payless (unbeknownst to the influencers) invited social media influencers to the store’s exclusive opening.   Many of them were duped – paying in excess of $600 for Payless shoes. (Read more about the experiment in the link below.)

https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/2018/11/30/they-had-us-fooled-inside-paylesss-elaborate-prank-dupe-people-into-paying-shoes/?noredirect=on&utm_term=.b117da269778

There are a few things consumer can learn from the Palessi shop/Payless Experiment:

1) Do not blindly follow anyone.  Who are you following? Many fashion influencers are just people with an opinion who have the social media know-how to amass a great following.  They may not be/and often are not well versed about the quality of clothing or shoes.

2) Know what works for you. What do you look for in a shoe?  For leather shoes – higher quality shoes have leather lining, leather interior, and leather soles.  They just do.  Your feet will also feel extremely supported in them.  Note, it is not always about the brand name of the shoe; it is about how well the shoe fits the contours of your feet.

3) Lastly remember style it what you make it.  I don’t think there would have been anything wrong with those influencers in the Payless experiment buying or wearing Payless shoes if it were an authentic expression of their desire to do so.  Just ask Patricia Fields the wardrobe stylist for Sex and the City. She is clear that she doesn’t care about cost.  She  puts together outfits that look good. She will pair $5 belt with and expensive dress, and the outfit works.

Bottom line think for yourself. Don’t be fooled by prices. And remember you bring value to the clothes, they don’t bring value to you.

What you can learn about the Payless Experiment

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