By  on March 26, 2012

By now, putting a Sex and the City reference in the lead of a shoe story is akin to opening a comedy monologue with a knock-knock joke. But for the purposes of this article, Carrie Bradshaw has quantitative value as the source of a price standard ingrained in the collective consciousness of the conspicuously consuming: a pair of fancy shoes costs $400.

Oh, for the days. A lap around any designer shoe department with $400 in your pocket will lead directly to the elevator to the contemporary floor. Ballet flats, largely considered as everyday basic as it gets, hover around the $500 point, which is the price of a plain black Lanvin flat with an elastic back at Barneys New York. Colored leather, add an extra $50. On average, anything with a heel commands at least an additional $300. Or an extra $1,295, if you’re eyeing Tabitha Simmons’ woven peep-toe shoe ($1,695 at Barneys). Since when? And why?

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