I’ve been raving about these J. Crew’s Elsie Suede Pumps in nearly every post for the past few months. Its about time for an actual review post! I’ll go over the typical topics, but feel free to ask if you have any additional questions! Note that this review is only for the suede version of the Elsie’s. They also come in a leather camo version, a leopard calf hair version, and a printed fabric version (and likely a solid leather version in the near future!).
Sizing: The sizing on these is, well, interesting. The first pair I got was the kraft brown. I got them in a 6.5, my usual J. Crew size (I’m a tts 6). They were a little bit big, so I put a cushion in the toe box. I still have a little extra room in the heel, but not so much that my heel slips out when I walk. When the next batch of shoes came out I decided to compare the 6 and 6.5 (I bought the black and the blush stone). I’m not sure if this second batch ran a slight bit bigger or if its just my feet, but it seemed like the 6.5 was just too big, even with a foot cushion. The 6 fit absolutely perfectly. Snug, but not too snug (and I’m sure they’ll stretch out a bit). So, while most J. Crew heels are 1/2 size too small, I’d say these are running pretty true to size.
Comfort: There are very few pairs of pumps that are comfortable enough for all day wear, but these are one of them! They have a few things going for them. First, the toe box is on the wider side, which eliminates the typical pinching of the toes (and allows room for my foot as it swells slightly throughout the day). Next, they’re a super soft suede and are lined in leather. The suede eliminates any potential painful rubbing at the edges (note this is not true with the fabric versions) and stretches just enough to conform perfectly to the foot. The leather foot bed is slightly padded, which is comfortable enough for casual wear (but I add some extra cushion in the ball of foot area for even more support). Last, the heel is advertised as 3 7/8″ high (with no platform). I was a bit nervous about the height (I typically don’t go above 3 1/2″), but they don’t feel so high… not sure why. Maybe its the placement of the heel?
Quality: To be honest, J. Crew’s quality is totally hit or miss. Sometimes the suede doesn’t totally match, or there are marks on the suede, or the leather lining is bumpy… you get the idea. I’ve already returned a few pairs of these due to defects. But the pairs that I’ve kept are perfect. So, good pairs do exist, but just be aware that you may potentially have to exchange a defective pair. I’d advise avoiding final sale, if these ever make it there.
Overall: Its already quite clear that I love these shoes. I have them in three colors already and will likely buy more (I’ve seen a leather version in the J. Crew catalog that I’m super excited for)! The price on these is middle-of-the-road ($245). Its definitely not designer price, but definitely not cheap, either. I’m a little bummed that J. Crew keeps increasing the price of their pumps, and I’m especially bummed that these have been excluded from every single sale. Oh well, I can’t blame them, I guess. If the shoes are selling out at full price, why put them on sale?