Saturday, January 24, 2009

Your Closet Profile: Shoes

Nope, I am not letting the closet-cleaning thing go. So, I am starting my new mini-seminars (bloginars?) on YOUR closet. First up, shoes!

Rules for Shoe Buying

1. Go late in the day. Feet swell, get over it.

2. If the thought of shoe shopping stresses you out, bring an unstressed friend and go places where customer service is a given. Nordstrom is my favorite for service, but I also like Bloomies. Whatever you do, don't go somewhere without sales assistance.

3. Bring a list. Remember how you are supposed to make a list while you are cleaning out your closet? That's the list.

4. Don't go hungry/tired/thirsty/hungover. You'd think all this would be a given, but I am constantly surprised by how many women shop with low blood sugar. Don't do it, people, it does not end well.

5. Be realistic. If you are looking for open-toed slingbacks in the dead of winter, you may be disappointed. Fur-lined boots in the summer are equally unlikely. Many shoes transcend seasons, but be aware that what you want or need right now might not be available right now.

Rules for Shoe Ownership

Once you've plunked down the cash for shoes, show them- and yourself- a little respect.

1. Store them properly. You know what I mean- everyone has read an article about storing your shoes in their boxes with tissue in the toes, or using clear plastic boxes with snapshots of the shoes within on the outside of the box. A jumbled mess is just sad. It means you don't care to maintain the condition of your shoes, which brings me to my next point...

2. Care for them. Wipe them off if they are sandy or wet. Polish them if they are scuffed or looking ashy. Repair worn heel and toe taps. You would do well to befriend/date/know a cobbler.

3. Tall boots need inserts. I am guilty of not doing this, and believe me I have regretted it on more than one occasion.

Here's a link for cedar shoe shapers and inserts; plastic is fine, too:

Shoes EVERY Woman Should Own No Matter What
This is the bare-bones list.

1. Casual flats for running errands. This does not include running shoes, flip flops, crocs of ANY kind (they are still foam shoes you can hose off, people) or sandals with socks. Think sleek Pumas, not bulky Reeboks. Any color or non-tacky pattern your little heart desires is fine, since you're likely wearing jeans with them anyway.

2. Dressy flats for work or going out. A pointy toe is ideal, but not required.

3. Pumps in black, gray, chocolate or caramel. Goes with everything, a no-brainer in the morning. And if you are in school, you are going to have an interview SOME day and on that day, you will wear these shoes.

4. Pumps in a striking color, like red, blue, or green. Goes with your work basics. Head to toe black and gray? With black shoes it's dull; add a green shoe and you are rocking it.

5. Open-toed wedges or flats. For showing off your pedicure, brunch, shopping with the girls, laid-back movie night with your significant other.

6. Knee-high, heeled boots. For skirts and dresses in the winter with tights and for looking H-O-T with skinny jeans on the weekend.

7. Really fancy shoes. These are reserved for weddings, the opera, or a cocktail event. They may only get worn a few times a year, but they are beautiful and elevate your LBD. Think satin, velvet, metallics, and rhinestones. These are the super hot shoes with the 4 inch stiletto heel you only break out when it's truly worth it.

If you only have these 7 pairs, buy the highest quality you can afford. If you have more, you can experiment with pattern, color, texture, and shine. Not to mention heel heights. Happy shoe shopping!

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