Because I want to wait for the perfect shoe that meets my goals for an elevated flat and not just buy something that's sort of OK, I thought I'd try to make my patent flats work a little harder for me in the meantime.
If you recall, the back of the heels on this pair got smooshed down from wear and scraped on the ground repeatedly, causing a tear in each one. The patent was covered in scuffs that didn't buff out. Just generally worse for wear.
I figured it wouldn't hurt to try and see if leather deglazer could take down the shine of the patent. From what I understand, deglazer is basically acetone. In a small spot test, I found it was pretty useless as far as cutting through whatever polyurethane or plastic these babies are coated in. That shit's tough.
What I also found though, is that the spot I went at with deglazer was sparkling clean. There was a big difference between where I'd treated the shoe vs. the surrounding area. Feeling brave, I gave both shoes a once over with a tiny bit of deglazer on a rag and watched as all the scuff marks disappeared before my eyes.
Small scrapes at the toe points and tears at the heel remain but seem minimized now that the scuffs and dirt are gone. These flats have been reborn, magically presentable once more. I feel infinitely better wearing these now that they don't look like garbage! I'm also trying to reframe how I think about the color. What I wanted was a light beige/nude shoe, but this pair is solidly camel colored. Reframing that color means I'm not disappointed every time I put them on because I can accept I'm putting on a camel colored shoe.
My hope is they'll carry me through another season as my hunt for the perfect replacement continues.
So the lesson is... Take care of your things? Haha. I'm usually really good at this! I was blinded by the patent and didn't think they'd clean up but I was wrong! Sometimes it's worth the effort to make something work better for you instead of tossing it aside because it isn't perfect.