Let me start by saying I have loved fashion, style, color, etc for longer than I can remember. And I have always had a particular obsession with footwear. Even as a preschooler, I would designate my favorite pair, and refuse the pairs that I found to be unsavory. Luckily for me, I have a tiny grandmother with a love for stack heels, and as a child I grew like a weed. By age seven, I was able to fit into anything and everything in her closet, and I couldn’t have been happier. I spent my summer days in her bedroom, dressed to the nines, fully made up, and strutting about in five-inch heels. My family looked at it as playing dress up, not foreseeing the lifelong obsession being forged in my imaginative, impressionable mind.
Fast forward twenty-one years to today and you will find my relationship with shoes has developed into one of the more important facets of my life. Admittedly, I spend a great deal of time salivating over fashion spreads. I have certainly sought out that one, impossible-to-find pair featured in Vogue, and paid the unbelievable asking price to make them my own, even at a half-size too small. This being said, lately I have become somewhat disillusioned with shoe lovers, or the portrayal of shoe lovers as of late.
This disillusionment springs from the hoards of women labeling themselves, or being labeled, shoe addicts since, what we’ll call the “Sex and the City” phenomenon. There is one part of this love affair in particular that simply rubs me the wrong way. A pair of shoes does not have to cost $500 to be incredible, period. Of course, when purchasing a pair of Louboutins, one can feel well-assured that they will be absolutely fabulous. But that’s just it.... It’s almost too easy. The thrill of the chase is gone. For me, the best part is coming across that one truly amazing pair, perfect in every way, after looking everywhere. The next best thing is when the total comes out to less than $100.
There are spectacular finds at every price when dealing with shoes. On occasion, that includes biting the bullet and shelling out close to a grand for the perfect pair of knee-high leather boots, but it should also include the amazing pair of Nine West slingbacks on sale for $55 at Macy’s. To always buy the hottest shoe, by the hottest designer, is just too easy. You need to get out there and find what works for you. Hone your eye, if you will. To truly be a shoe lover, you have to create a shoe identity all your own. You do not follow trends; you start them. You never look to someone else to tell you what’s hot and what’s not. You tailor a shoe wardrobe suited to you and your personality.
When it comes to fashion, I let my shoes make a statement. I prefer to dress in simple, classic silhouettes. My wardrobe consists of mostly neutrals. However, there is nothing neutral about my shoe wardrobe. I love color and texture, particularly reds and fuschias. I am a high heels devotee through and through. Sure, when kitten heels are in, I’ll sport a pair or two on occasion, but nothing could ever get me out of my five-inch heels for long. I also have a certain affinity for straps, any kind, anywhere. My patent leather Prada mary janes will always hold a special place in my heart. Today I am sporting a gorgeous pair of metallic indigo, snakeskin-embossed, platform, double strap, peep toe mary janes with a glossy five-inch heel from the Carlos Santana line, and I couldn’t be more excited to report I bought them on sale for $65, and nobody needed to tell me they were amazing! They are simply perfect ... for me.
So to all you fashionistas, recessionistas, shoe lovers, and all around style-loving women out there, please don’t let someone else dictate your personal taste. Take the time to develop a look that works for you, throw caution to the wind and the trend report in the garbage, and find the perfect pair of shoes. Enjoy the process, the thrill of the hunt. Price tags only impress people who are equally as caught up in price tags. True style can be found at any price, and everyone’s different when considering what works for them.