Three summers ago, I bought a pair of soft, white-calfskin Chanel loafers. I spent months trying to keep them pristine, but it wasn’t long before a July thunderstorm left them and me soaked. I began steeling myself for what I thought was inevitable: a solemn drop in the trash. But once the loafers dried, I found the shoes’ stained stitching—now storm-cloud gray—was lovely and a few new wrinkles in the leather were charming, like smile lines for shoes. I started to wear them freely—taking on puddles and tossing them onto the sand at the beach—and before long, they transformed. The roughened toe-tops reminded me of a welcoming, worn armchair, and a wet-and-hot summer had molded the material perfectly to my feet.