January 16, 2020

Shoes: Chanel & Manolo Blahnik Sizing & Buying Guide


chanel manolo blahnik shoes and boxEven though I touched on Chanel sizing in this previous post, I get asked this question so often, I figured it was easier to have a clear and concise go-to reference for Manolo Blahnik and Chanel shoes.

For starters, if you’re able to try on your style of choice in a store, I highly recommend it. I realize that not everyone has access to boutiques or department stores, but if you do or are traveling to a bigger city, make a fun little afternoon out of it. This way you have knowledge of what size you wear without running into the risk of the shoe not fitting. This also gives you the ability to find incredible deals online, especially if you’re not able to return. I’ve purchased several shoes for 30-50% off of retail because I was familiar with my size.

Okay, now on to sizing. I typically wear a US 8.5 which in my experience, translates to a European 39. I’ve never been a size 38.5 in any brand, so personally speaking, 8.5 has always translated to a 39 for me.

chanel manolo blahnik shoes and box

Shoes: Chanel & Manolo Blahnik Sizing & Buying Guide


Chanel Ballet Flats: As classic as it gets and a style that will always be “in.” I used to have Chanel ballet flats years ago and went through a period where I stopped wearing them. Lately, I’m so into them again and recently got another pair from the RealReal. I find them immediately comfortable with little break-in required. The more you wear, the more comfortable they get.

Sizing: These run small; I’d recommend sizing up 1/2 a size from your typical European size. I get them in a 39.5 and as a reminder, I typically wear a US 8.5 and a European 39.  Also, in my experience, the patent and quilted styles run a bit more narrow than regular leather styles.

Chanel Slingbacks: Maybe not as comfortable as the ballet flats, but still very comfortable and a classic in their own right. I own two pairs (the grey worn here) and while I really love them, I don’t wear them as often as the flats, which is probably not too surprising. The one slightly annoying thing to note is that the strap does slide off the heel every once in awhile. I don’t have any special tricks for this, but it’s just something I deal. Despite that, I love them.

Sizing: These run small; I’d recommend sizing up 1/2 a size from your typical European size. I wear them in a 39.5.

chanel manolo blahnik boots and box

Chanel Combat Boots: These have been all the rage this past fall and winter. I’ve been wanting them for years and finally bit the bullet and I’m so glad that I did. I tried on the combat boot pair from this year and they murdered my feet. Thankfully, this style was comfortable off the bat. No break-in period required, yet more comfortable with each wear. They’re pricey as hell, but the good news is that they’ve been around for years and remain a brand staple.

Sizing: These run small; I’d recommend sizing up 1/2 a size from your typical European size. I wear them in a 39.5.

two pairs of manolo blahnik shoes


Manolo Blahnik Hangisi: One of my favorite pairs of heels out there. The other day, I had someone ask me if they’re too trendy or going out of style soon. My answer was a quick “absolutely not!” I mean, Carrie Bradshaw wore them 20 years ago and they’re still equally as relevant. These beauties are here to stay and a worthy investment if you’re eyeing them. As far as comfort, the Manolo Blahnik Hangisi style comes in a close second after the BB style, which I talk about below. These also come in two different heel heights and if you opt for the shorter ones, then you’ll find them to be very comfortable (again, as far as heels go). Personally, I’m partial to the higher heel height. They also come in a flat version.

One thing to note: because most colors are satin, they’re a slightly more delicate shoe. I have blush and yellow and they do have some marks on them, but nothing too bad. I’m the type of person that does not get bothered by this and realize that no one sees these marks unless they’re studying my shoes up close. Obviously, don’t wear them in bad weather and in the event that they’re in terrible shape, consider taking them to a professional shoe repair place to see if there’s anything they can do. Another option: if you own a light color and they’re in bad shape, consider getting them dyed darker? My friend wore white on her wedding day and after a few years, decided to dye them black. They look beautiful!  Otherwise, enjoy your shoes! Life is short to save them for special occasions!

Sizing: These run small; I’d recommend sizing up 1/2 a size from your typical European size. I got them in a 39.5.

Manolo Blahnik BB: Whenever I get the following question: “I want to invest in a pair of classic pumps, which do you recommend?” My answer is always the Manolo Blahnik BB style. They’re incredibly classic, come in many colors and when it comes to heels, I find them comfortable. Now keep in mind, when I say “when it comes to heels…” please realize that if you’re not someone who can walk in heels, they’re not necessarily “comfortable.” Otherwise, they’re way more comfortable than so many other styles and brands out there. I get the higher of the two heels, but there’s also a lower heeled option.

Sizing: These are the only shoe from Manolo Blahnik that I find run true to my typical European size. I wear a US 8.5 and in the BB style, I take a 39.

Manolo Blahnik Lurum: Possibly my favorite shoes that I currently own. They’re wildly expensive, but I just love them so much. I own the black and they look incredible with dresses, leather pants and denim. Really, they look good with everything. I also find them pretty comfortable for heels. I’d say they’re a bit less comfortable than the Hangisi style, but I’m still able to wear them for the night without being in any pain (as long as I’m taking a car or an Uber).

Sizing: These run very small. I sized up one full size to a 40.

Manolo Blahnik Maysale Mules: Another brand favorite. They kind of remind me of something that Carolyn Bessett Kennedy would wear. I especially love them with a simple tee, jacket and a pair of jeans. To be completely honest, they’re not the most comfortable. They don’t hurt my feet, but they’re not particularly comfortable to walk NYC streets in, despite the short heel height. Even still, I love them and am happy I own them.

Sizing: These run very small. I sized up one full size to a 40.

manolo blahnik shoes


As far as care goes, I’m guilty (which is really not a big deal) of not always getting a bottom protective sole prior to wearing. These days, more often than not, I’ll wear them for a while and when I see the bottom start to get “thinner,” I’ll bring them to my shoe repair guy and have him put a rubber sole. This vastly improves the integrity of the shoe and quite frankly, makes them more comfortable since there’s more of a grip. Again, I don’t think it’s crucial you bring them in prior to wearing, but try to get them in before they’re in terrible shape. I’ve done that before and while they’re usually fixable, my  guy is never too thrilled when I wait that long. If you are able to get them in prior to wearing, even better.

Here’s a full list of recommended shoe repair places in Manhattan and Brooklyn and a detailed post on how to care for your designer shoes.

Another post you may find helpful: How to shop for designer shoes on The RealReal. 



  • Ellie

    Ohhhh these shoes are so gorgeous!!


    Ellie xx

  • Lesley Tushim

    Try Foot Petals Strappy Strips Cushions for slingbacks.
    They work great and help hold the slingback in place.

  • Georgia

    The Chanel ballet flats are just gorgeous! They’ll never go out of style!

    Georgia Rose | http://www.justgeorgiarose.com

  • Allison stomel

    Absolutely love this post! Thank you! I was just gifted a beautiful pair of Gucci Brixton loafers. Do you recommend protecting the soles prior to wearing them? Would love your thoughts! Xx

  • Tiffany Henderson

    Love this! We are the same size. I take a 39 in Hangisi though. I find it can change from season to season with MB. But nothing as drastic as CL’s. I absolutely have to try them on each time I buy because the sizing varies drastically. P.S. Waiting patiently for you to list those Chanel boots with the gold heel.

  • Mireia

    All of these are too pretty!

    Mireia from TGL

  • Janine

    Looove this thorough review! Thanks for Sharing!
    Xx Janine

  • lamia zina

    great collection of shoes, i like them all

  • jae

    Loved this informative post! I am the exact same way as you with Chanel and Manolo Blahnik. I’m also US 8.5 and take 39.5 in Manolos and sometimes 40! For Chanel, I also take 39.5 in quilted flats and 39 in non-quilted versions.

  • vijayan

    nice posting

  • bluehost india review

    This is supperb! My friend and I really enjoyed it

  • Annie

    Wow! I love this collection! I would like to buy..

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  • Alex

    Beautiful Chanel ballet flats❤️

  • Adriana M

    Thank you for this post! I have been closely monitoring the Manolo Blahnik Hangisi online and I just found them at the BEST price! Finally pulled the trigger and all your tips regarding sizing were so helpful. Must read for every shopper!

  • Mandy

    These shoes r so nice

  • IRis

    Great blog! I’m so nervous about buying my 1st pair because I wear an 8.5W. The Manolos I’m considering are similar to your tan ones but they are a silver sling back design in 39. Judging from your post it’s a lost cause…oh how I wish it wasn’t! Lol

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  • Guiditta

    These iconic heels are always on trend and hold up incredibly well. I recommend splurging on them if it’s something you’ve wanted to do for a while and can comfortably afford to, because I promise you’ll get your wear out of them a lot quicker than you think. But I am sharing some designer inspired pairs at the end of this post, just in case you’re not quite ready to invest in the Chanel slingbacks.

  • JB

    Im always searching for fit information on luxury brands. In my experience, Most Manolos fit true size, but there are exceptions. Some Jimmy Choos run narrow and have to size up. Loubs run 1-2 sizes small.

  • Jb

    My last comment got cut off. Guccis run small and so do YSL.

  • Gloria

    Thank you for this! Super helpful with all the sizing info comparisons

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