Designers talk new rules and cheap shoes

Besides style cred in spades, what do Lela Rose, Patricia Field and Christian Siriano have in common? They've all worked with Payless to make the ultimate fashion obsession -- the to-die-for shoe -- available to women with just about any shopping budget. The masters of high-low talk fashion realism, below.

WALLETPOP: What's one old fashion rule that's expired?
ROSE: No tights with open-toed shoes.
SIRIANO: There's always been this somewhat dated rule that you can't wear brown and black together. But I think they compliment each other so well, so toss that one.
FIELD: Having to wear high-priced designer clothes and accessories from head to toe.

WALLETPOP: Give us one new fashion rule to take us into the future.
FIELD: Expand your menu. Vary your shopping resources by mixing up a combination of designer, budget, vintage and consignment. Organize clothes swaps.
ROSE: Color, color, color. Color is the future.
SIRIANO: Sculpture and strong silhouettes are so in right now, and, I think, here to stay – power dressing is the future.

WALLETPOP: What's crucial to pay attention to when investing in shoes? What should shoppers look for in shoes of any price to make sure they're getting good value?
FIELD: Quality construction. Good fit. The big losses in shoe shopping are they ones we buy and wear once and never wear again due to discomfort or poor choice of short-lived trendy shoes. Eliminate this problem and quadruple your money.
SIRIANO: The details in the outsole and insole are what really make a shoe. Meaning: if the bottom and inside of the shoe have extra added special details -- labeling, cut-outs, color -- that really means that the brand has spent extra care with the consumer in mind when designing the shoe.
ROSE: Good value can be determined by how often you wear something you bought. When shopping value shoes, like Payless, experiment with color, style and texture. When buying higher-end shoes, I am always focused on heel height. If I am looking to wear something a lot, I know I need something lower and more comfortable. That makes the occasional splurge on a going-out shoe all the more palatable.

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