M. GEMI BOLLA FLATS REVIEW – GUNMETAL – $150 USD
($50 USD sale during Black Friday)
Made in Italy, they’re pretty. Very enticing, I love the gunmetal, shiny shimmery neutral shade and it is just an ideal ballet flat in its shape and size.
I took a size 37.5 because they said to size up half a size on the site, as the elastic runs tight and is a bit small.
It fits, but I think a 37 would have been fine for me. Frankly, if it needs to be sized up half a size, then their shoes should all have been made half a size smaller. No? Or fix the elastic.
Anyway, I thought the whole point of M. Gemi was to not have to deal with sizing. You find your size and it will fit in al the other shoes going forward without having to think: Size up? Size down?
I found the sizing to fit well with their recommendation but did not try on the 37 for comparison.
I would say when in doubt, take your size.
True to colour on the site. I asked for Gunmetal, and I got Gunmetal.
It fit well, just slightly big (about half a size) which is understandable seeing as I SIZED UP HALF A SIZE.
Generally pretty roomy, no tightness in the toe or the sides of my foot in the front, and I did not feel squeezed anywhere. In fact, since they were a bit too big, I put those Dr. scholl’s heel liners in them, but that didn’t do jack.
I also love that it doesn’t cut too low on the vamp to show half my toes (I sort of hate toe cleavage), and I find that when shoes cut down THAT LOW, they do not stay on my feet.
They also have a slight elastic in the back but it doesn’t grip my foot (again, half a size too big) so it’s useless.
This is where I struggle. OK, so they’re comfortable for thin-soled leather ballerina flats.
Are they AS comfortable as my cheapie $43 Banana Republic Ashley flats I wear to death?
The BR flats had cushioning in them at the top and on the sole which made them INSTANTLY comfy, and the leather was really soft on the inside and supple.
I think these would be more comparable to these foldable Yosi Samra flats which I hear really good things about for commuting.
The M. Gemi flats have a very nice leather, but it is very thin, smooth and a little stiff. It is not necessarily supple and super kidskin soft at first touch, but I think with some wearing down and breaking in, they will be more comfortable over time.
The soles are a flat, thin leather. I put a grippy rubber pad on the bottom because I’m clumsy and I always do this on all leather soled shoes.
The quality is high. They’re well-made, they look nice, there are no pieces of glue or seams coming out, and for $150, yeah they’re well-made.
The thing about ballet flats is you don’t want the leather to necessarily be too soft. Too soft, and they create these unsightly foot moulds in the front of the leather, and too hard, and they keep their shape but are a little painful. It’s a balance you have to strike between the two.
Compared to Pretty Ballerina shoes which I tried on in person, these would compare to them, and even to Repettos although I think Repettos are of a much softer leather, like this pair of grey suede Repettos which I have my eye on.
Are these worth $150 is the real question here, and I would say for the quality & comparison to Pretty Ballerinas, Frye Carson Flats and Repetto flats, I would say yes. They are comparable, well-made, and of a good price for what I am getting.
Would I rush out and buy all the pairs possible? No.
I’d say I’d go back to Banana Republic and wait for their Ashley flats to go back on sale or Michael Kors ballet flats so I can pick up another pair for $43. I cannot justify paying $150 USD when I can pay a third of the price for something that I am VERY hard on. I wear out my flats like nobody’s business. I wear them everywhere, out with Baby Bun, to pick up Baby Bun, run errands, you name it. They’re on my feet pretty much all day, every day when I am not in heels.
Since I burn through ballet flats so often, I am not keen on spending $150 each time. We’ll see if I change my mind after a summer of wearing these Bolla’s full-time or a year in a row to see if they last longer than my cheapie flats.
M. GEMI TUTA SUEDE LOAFER REVIEW – NUDE – $150 USD
($50 USD sale during Black Friday)
I took my true size 37 in these Tutas and they fit PERFECTLY. Could not be happier with the fit.
The colour on the site is more of a pinkish beige but in person it was definitely a latte, less pink, neutral beige. The colour is a little off on the site. In person, I kind of prefer the more netural brown-toned latte shade.
Perfect fit. The front part (around the sides of the foot and where it starts to taper) is where I normally have the most issues with shoes.
I ALWAYS get screwed with the sides rubbing on those shoes and it always feels narrow, uncomfortable, painful and tight.
In these shoes, I did not get that because I suspect it is the suede doing the trick. The suede is super soft and comfortable, and it immediately took to my foot at the front, and the pointy toe or the tapering part of the toe did not bother me in the slightest in being too tight or too squished in. NO issues there at all.
Extremely comfortable. I will say that I took them out to work for a full 8-hour day in them, and near to the end of the day, the back of the heel (even though I put a Dr. Scholl’s liner), started to chafe and blister.
I tend to have this problem in shoes as well, and it could be that Dr. Scholl’s heel liner chafing my foot, but I think without the liner, it would have been much worse.
Hard to say. I’d say 100% 10/10 comfort for everywhere but the back of the shoe, where I tend to have issues with blistering..
Excellent. As with the Bollas, the leather sole is beautifully made, stamped with the size and “Made in Italy”, there is no glue seeping out, the seams are impeccable and I find them to be a very well made pair of shoes.
I would buy these again 100%. The Bollas I am not sold on yet because I have a cheaper, better, comfier alternative in Banana Republic’s offerings like their Ashley Flat, but the Tutas are excellent.
If they had other neutral shades like this Grey I had been lusting after in their old collection, I’d buy them in a heartbeat.
Unfortunately I do not need another pair of black suede shoes, and red and purple do not appeal to me at the moment for $150 a pop (actually $200 at full price).
VERDICT ON M. GEMI
Take your true size: I would say ignore their suggestions. Take your true size. I’m a 37 US normally, and I took a 37 US.
Do not trust the colours 100%: They’re close but not exactly what they should be.
The site for instance shows a pinkish shade of beige for the Tutas and I got them in a true beige-latte shade.
Quality is extremely high for the price point: I have similar shoes from L.K. Bennett Harley heels that are of the same quality that I paid about the same price for them on sale (with the USD to CAD conversion it is screwing things up).
I cannot speak for the M. Gemi heels because I am a die-hard Manolo Blahnik-wearer in a size 37, and will not try other heels unless I am forced… so I’d say buy the heels at your own risk (and let me know if they’re comfortable!)
I would buy them again 100% but only the pointy-toed flat styles but this is just a preference thing. I don’t buy heels (generally) and the ballet flats were well-made but not my style of flat.