Stylish shoes for under $100: My favorite new brand, Marais USA

Photo by:
Mercer patent leather flats, $52-
There's a fantastic cut-out on the side of these little ballerina flats--they also come in black, pale yellow, nude, and navy.
1 / 6
Thu, Oct 6, 2011 2:55 PM EDT
Here is a fashion conundrum I have: I hate spending a lot of money on (mostly) anything, but often when I buy super-bargain items, there's something about them that's a little bit wrong. For example, the toe will look too dorkily square or the heel will be appear cheap or someone has done something horrible with the buttons. It's tricky. This is why I get over-the-moon excited when I see a small, independent, stylish brand putting out a cool, chic product at a reasonable price. Marais USA, which is named after the awesome area of Paris, is a newish shoe label that focuses on just a few sleek, super-versatile styles each season, available in a rainbow of colors, all of which won't bust your wallet (I said reasonable prices, not dirt cheap, its most expensive pair is $72). Right now, I am especially in love with its soft suede sandals and go-with-everything peep-toe wedges.