Choo touches down at H&M

After months of anticipation, Jimmy Choo will touch down at H&M on Saturday, and the store's expecting that the masses will start amassing while it's still dark.

According to the shopping guide on the company's Web site, lines of people are expected at all participating stores, and shoppers will be let in 160 at a time for limited shopping periods.

Sounds complicated, right? Well, you only have to worry about it if you live near H&M's outposts in Manhattan, Los Angeles, San Francisco, West Hollywood or Costa Mesa, CA. Those are the only stores carrying the line of tailored frocks, hardware-bedecked bags and, of course, reptilian stilettos.

The Jimmy Choo for H&M designs cost up to $300 at H&M, compared with $400 to more than $1,000 for regular Choos at other retailers.

So what to do if you live in one of the other 48 states and you're dying to get your hands on the goods? Here are a few out-of-the-shoebox options.

H&M doesn't have an online shop, so if nothing but the real stuff will do, your best bet is eBay. Within 24 hours of the launch, there will surely be a healthy assortment of the pieces for sale -- albeit at a markup.

But hey, I'd rather pay another $50 for those red stilettos than stand in line for three hours to possibly get my hands on a pair in my size. (Note to New Jersey shoppers: it's going to be 54 degrees and raining Saturday morning in New York.)

Option number two: If you've been mentally preparing yourself for months to spend up to $300 on a pair of H&M Choos, here's a radical suggestion -- save for another six months and get the real thing. I know -- this defeats the purpose of a cheap collaboration. But you can get Choos cheap other ways.

regularly marks them down, along with Manolos and Louboutins. And don't lose sight of what you're paying for. H&M's versions will give you the killer style and the pride-inspiring name -- but only the original collection will guarantee you that sophisticated hand-crafted construction.

Option number three: Yes, there's a certain automatic reverence inspired by the mere mention of any one of shoe couture's holy trinity (Choo, Manolo, Louboutin). But they're not the only footwear gods in the cosmos.

Get to know slightly less hyped designers like Pour La Victoire, Roger Vivier and Brian Atwood. The designs are cutting-edge, the quality is top-notch -- and the prices are slightly better all over the Web.
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