May 27, 2011 Leave a comment
My love affair with shoes was not a story for the ages, I never had this epiphany at a young age that I needed pretty shoes to survive, or make myself feel better. It would be years by the time my shoe epiphany came, but for the majority of my life till now, I’ve been a bag and wallet person, with multiple sets matching and non-matching, but to me shoes were for the feet, to be used until they’re dead, so what was the need for nice shoes. I never even felt the Match-the-shoes-with-your-bag thing applied to me anyway. I was in my own drum and I was not going to move!
My shoe history was a simple one, I picked shoes that fit, that were comfortable, and were most of all CHEAP! I had to have cheap shoes, because I was that type of person who would abuse their shoes until the cows came home, and there was no point in buying nice expensive high tops to wear everyday. It just didn’t make sense to me, nor the people who purchased those shoes. I would see shoe closets in many closet redo’s on HGTV, and I would see those shoes as excess, even though my hat/bag/wallet collection started to grow larger by the day. I saw these shoes as expensive candy, too pretty to touch, and way too expensive to eat, or as beautiful decorations, too pretty to take down and wear…I was just not that type of person who liked shoes. In college I only owned 5 pairs: flip-flops, flats, tennis shoes, a staple black pair of heels and lastly, boots. I really never purchased in excess until Payless started selling cute flats in their American Eagle collection with skull and cross-bones on them (calling all Goths!), and then I started having over 10 pairs of flats with different skull and crossbones on them, along with some boots from Hot Topic, and flip-flops from Walgreens. The thing was, I may have purchased these multiple shoes, they never peaked past the $10 mark, if at that. I was cheap when it came to shoes because they went only on my feet. But I did start collecting them…that is until they started to stink!!!! Then off to the junk yard (or dog chew toy) with you! I was also an avid shopper at Marshall’s, TJ MAXX, and Ross for cheap awesome shoes, but they never really ranged out of the flat/flip-flop territory, but I did used to wear heels and was quite good at running around in them. That is until my framing accident in which a giant ass frame fell on my leg, skinning my shin and the bone, and now the doctor tells me I have to keep heels low, wide, and no more stillettos…suckage! But since I was more of a flip-flop girl anyway, there was no need to worry.
When I started subbing, and therefore teaching in general, I realized the importance of shoes; I started realizing that having a nice pair meant a world of difference than actually not having a really good pair. So, I spent a great deal of time looking at shoes that were comfortable, yet affordable, and were good for one school year, due to constant wear and the required standing at all times in the classroom. I even had a shoe fall apart in class one day and I just wandered in flip-flops for comfort. I started to realize that I was spending more on shoes that were liquid than shoes that were stable and would not fall apart easily. The problem to me was that I was making an investment on a pair of shoes that were A) Out of my price range for affordability, and B) once they were done, that was it, they were done!
What really changed my mind about the shoe problem was an article posted on Nubby Twiglet’s site called “Shoe Care Made Simple.” After reading the article, I learned a few things about shoe care, and how I can make that expensive investment work! One, not to leave them in a box lying on their sides! I did that with some cheap flats and they bent themselves out of shape, also on a neat pair of faux-suede shoes, I smooshed them into my luggage bag and now the tips have a permanent crease in them!!! Another was to treat the shoes with a spray so that stains won’t hurt the shoes and to wash them down after wear to get any contaminants off of the shoes-Makes sense since I dropped enchilada goo all over a cute set of flats I purchased from Payless and now there’s a grease stain all over the tip of the shoe making them an embarrassment to wear.
With these tips in hand (and printed out and hung on my wall in my closet for future shoe reference), I started out on a search for a pair of shoes that I could “Invest” in. While on my search, which took me through Nine West, Marc Jacobs, Betsey Johnson, and other notables, I was under sticker shock! I’m the ever good deal searcher, and even at the best of sales I was going to shell out around $70+!!!! Not for cheapo me!
I felt a bit disheartened, I like shoes, they’re very pretty, but that sticker price kept making me feel like my wallet was flying out of my purse and onto the shoe store’s floor, ummm no! So I decided to put my shoe escapade off for a while, and let the shoes come to me by chance. Then one day, it was as if angels were making music, I was going to drop off an application at a store (bad news btw) for a summer job when my mother and I walked by Bakers Shoes! My mother happened across a teacher, well beyond her years, wearing shoes meant for women my age, and she wanted to show me what they looked like. We walked into the store and lo and behold next to the for sale sign was a pair of vintage-inspired shoes that most likely came down from Mount Olympus! I was smitten.
They’re called Juliet 2, and come in three colors: Bone, Green and Black. I tried the green shoes on for a size 7 (I range from 6.5 – 7.5 in some shoes), and they fit like a glove, which never happens because I seem to have a larger left foot than most other women, but nonetheless the shoes fit! AND they had the mother seal of approval!!! But the tag read $49.99 marked down from $62.99, even $50 was too steep for cheapo me, and my mother could see my disapproval. She then told me that sometimes we just have to splurge on ourselves and I purchased the shoes anyway. Sadly, I forgot to purchase the sole guard from Bakers, so now my pretty shoes are stuck in shoe box purgatory until I can get some sole guards for them. If I’m going to take the time and purchase these pretty shoes, then I’m going to take care of them. For now they sit on the top shelf of my closet, waiting to be put on. With the closing of school happening, I may not have a chance to wear them till fall, that is unless I’m invited to a wedding this summer (A garden wedding nonetheless) because now I have shoes to match a really awesome lipstick!!!
Dreamers, are you like me and an avid cheap shoe shopper? Are you the opposite; have you always loved shoes? Tell me your stories!
The Newly Shoe Obsessed, Oracle of Dreams
Great sites to check out:
- Orchids in Buttonholes Shoe Care Part 1 – Fit
- Orchids in Buttonholes Shoe Care Part 2 – Maintenance
- Orchids in Buttonholes Shoe Care Part 3 – Storage