Thursday, July 29, 2010

July 28 - functional but pink

What: size 7.5 pink trekkers
From: Lands End
Purchased: last week!
Cost: $14.99

Daggone, that is a crappy picture. My 10th pair of shoes purchased this year, extensively documented here. Cute. Mostly comfy, though they started to wear a sore on my right heel. (even comfy shoes have to be broken in).

Bottom line: keeper!

July 27 - blue

What: size 8.5AA, 3.25 inch navy blue strappy sandals
From: Talbots (outlet)
Purchased: late summer '08
Cost: $30

OK, the final pair of the same sandal (I have bronze and silver). Obviously, I love them. Bought these at the same time as the bronze ones. (and one pair was $25 and the other $35, who knows why, so split the difference and called them both $30).

Note these are NARROW width. If I can wear narrow shoes, this company is not truly offering a narrow width. If I had narrow feet I'd be annoyed by this sizing! Seriously, I had to examine all these shoes to figure out which were the narrow ones.

Bottom line: total keeper

July 26 - discard

What: Size 8W stretch tall black boots
From: ??
Purchased: '97, 98 or thereabouts
Cost: ? ~$50?

So I wasn't going to get rid of off season stuff in my shoe declutter challenge, but was rooting around in the bottom of my closet (otherwise known as complete chaos) and these are big and bulky and got to go. Ah, tall black boots. Loved them. Even if they were pleather and stretch. I was kinda broke in the mid-late 90s so I did not splurge on fabulous black leather boots. I got away with black stretch (even then they're still pricey, for my budget). I have no memory of buying them, but I have plenty of memories of wearing them.

I wore these OUT. Should have thrown them out 5 years ago, but they've been stashed in the bottom of the closet. The pleather has gotten even worse:

Bottom line: trash!

July 25 - silver!

What: Size 8.5, 3.25 inch heeled strappy dark silver sandals
From: Talbots (outlet)
Purchased: summer '08
Cost: $35

Another pair of metallics! Love these. I have them in bronze, and in my write up, I said I bought another pair at the same time. Um, not these, actually. I bought these another trip (I think first). I bought blue ones when I bought the bronze ones.

So two things - I had to go back and revise the bronze write up, because I checked the size and they are 8.5s. No wonder they are so comfy. And, I actually measured the heel height - 3.25, not 2.5. And that heel height is totally fine. (daggone it, those gold wedges I keep eyeing are 3.25, which I was thinking was too high, but now I am back to thinking about them. Wish I could try them on.)

Bottom line: total keeper

July 24 - the final green

What: Size 7 light green 2 inch heel strappy sandals
From: Talbots (outlet)
Purchased: early '00s
Cost: less than $20

The final of my three pairs of virtually identical light green sandals. Note these are a size 7. My friend K. and I have been e-mailing about shoes and Talbots, and she so perfectly described why I have three pairs:
"I think I scoured the Talbots outlet for those green ones with you- wanted a pair to match a now-defunct dress I had bought. I think I had multiple green pairs as I kept buying as I went along, not sure they would ever get the specific pair I really wanted! I guess that is how I wound up with yellow, turq, and blue in the same style, too! I think I just donated my turq ones as I cleaned closets before the move, but now I want them back!"
Yep. You buy what you see at the outlet because it's close enough, and you don't know if they'll get the ones you really wanted, and they are really cheap. I think I probably bought these first, since they are 7s. They're fine shoes. Might as well keep them.

Bottom line: keeper, for now. They are comfy.

July 23 - blue sandals

What: Size 7.5 blue strap sandals with silver buckle
From: Ann Taylor LOFT
Purchased: early '00s
Cost: $30

I had totally forgotten I had these - they were in the closet in Elizabeth's room. I started in on a blue phase and snagged these on sale. I like them, but there's something not quite right about them. I can't tell if it's my feet or the shoes. The strap is too far forward - it needs to back on the shoe by at least an inch to securely hold my foot. I want that strap to be around the widest part of my foot. But I don't think it's because my feet are too wide - there's no room for my foot to go more forward. I think it's just a weird design. They're fine to wear as long as there is not much walking anticipated!

Bottom line: keeper, though these are not the best shoes in the world

July 22 - black sandals

What: Size 8 black sandals, 2.5 inch chunky heel
From: Nine West - not sure where purchased
Purchased: early-mid-90s
Cost: ?? $35?

Wow, I am behind on posting, and these shoes inspired a lot of "thoughts" for me, but since I am so far behind I might turn those thoughts into an essay. Let's just say I dug these out of the closet in Elizabeth's room, and hadn't worn them in years. Possibly a decade. They are definitely chunky and clearly mid-90s dated, but they are still fine and actually not all that beat up. These were my go-to black sandals in my first years of DC.

I've been looking around at other blogs and see how you can't quite see all my toes? My toes never reach all the way to the front of the sandal. Though I dislike seeing people with their toes hanging off the front of the shoe. I think my toes never reach because if my feet weren't so wide, I'd actually be a size 7 or so. I have to go up in size to fit my width.

Bottom line: Keeper, but stay tuned for an essay. These might not stick around.

EDITED 10/3: DISCARDED after buying a new pair of black sandals. I never did the full essay, but I was alluding to my alarming tendency to shove older pairs to the back of my closet and hang onto them even though they hadn't been worn in years. New black sandals in, old black sandals out.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Perfectly defining the problem

So, I have a shoe buying situation that so perfectly captures exactly why I have so many shoes and why I rarely wear many of them. I'm over the gold wedges. Totally over - they are too high, and really cry out for a half inch platform (gee, now I'm designing shoes). But, I am still thinking about the purple ones. Here's a pic:
I even said I felt like I was in a purple phase. Still really interested in these.

And then, lo and behold, I was on the Lands End site and saw these. Shoot, can only put in teeny tiny picture that is blurry.
But essentially, they are flat purple/brown shoes. Not nearly as "cute" as the Talbots, but still interesting, charming in a utilitarian way. They even have a buckle. Chunkier. But! They are 9.99, plus another 10% off (through today), PLUS free shipping. They might be irresistable. But then I'm still thinking about the Talbots flats. The Lands End ones are more casual, and look like they could be worn with socks and in cooler weather (suede/quilted material), whereas these talbots ones are no socks flats. Despite their similarities, they'd be worn entirely differently.

You know what I'm going to do, don't you? I'm going to buy the Lands End (seriously, $9? How can I pass that up?). But I'm going to keep thinking about the Talbots ones, and I'll cave and buy them (most likely because I will see them for even cheaper at the outlet center), and then suddenly I've got TWO purple shoes with buckles and brown trim. This is precisely how I got into the situation of owning three pairs of virtually identical green shoes. No one needs purple shoes with brass buckles and brown trim, much less two oddly similar, yet stylistically different, pairs.

So that, in a nutshell, is me shopping. I'm going to lose all my friends because seriously, me shopping is more than a little quirky. One by one, you all are going to back away from me, eyes averted, trying not to make any sudden movements.

In other news, I've broken my 6 week fast - I bought a pair from Lands End earlier this week. These were $15, plus free shipping. One of my good friends, K., used to be my Talbots buddy (we still exchange e-mails discussing Talbots merchandise, policies, and general info, including one this week bitching about the new final sale policy). But once she became a stay at home mom, she cut back on Talbots. One day I asked her where she got her super cute green loafers and she clued me in to Lands End. Lands End has incredible sales, their clothes and shoes are practical, sturdy, and yet still retain a basic level of style, and their kids clothes really hold up well. End of season sales at Lands End, as is going on right now, are really, really good. Check out the overstocks section. And if you sign up for their e-mails, you get a free shipping code (sadly, but it's easy enough to delete the e-mail). So anyway, saw these in a catalog at my sister in law's house, and J told me she had just bought them, and let me try on her size 7s, which actually almost fit, so I went with the 7.5s. They are winging their way to me now, along with a different pair of pink shoes for Elizabeth!
Yay! New shoes for me! Now, where am I going to put them?

*eta: OMG! The shoe gods are with me this week. Talbots just issued a Facebook offer for free shipping with no minimum purchase. And, they're down to $24. So, umm, that makes pairs 10, 11, and 12 this year on their way to me right now. (those wedges - now $23, are now tempting me again). Way to go Talbots! Have to give you props even though I am pissed about the final sale on internet/catalog purchases. Seriously, who buys final sale sight unseen? I'd buy if you offered a return for store credit.

July 21 - green from Ebay

What: size 8, 3.5 inch green/gold patent wedges with woven heel
From: AK Anne Klein (EBAY!)
Purchased: I thought '03 or '04, but it turns out to be '07-'08
Cost: $45

So, these have now shaken my confidence in my memory. I was sure I had seen these shoes in '03 or '04, when I bought the pink and black matching pairs at Lord & Taylor. I was sure of it. In my memory, I had bought those two shoes a couple of weeks apart, had tried on these in white both trips, but when I went back for the white shoes, they were gone. So I typed the shoe name into google and lo and behold, found someone selling a never before worn pair on EBay in my size. But I just decided to confirm by checking my paypal account, which I almost never use, and I saw they were purchased in spring 2008. So, my memory of when I got them is faulty, but where I got them is still accurate. How weird.

Anyway, I definitely saw these first at Lord and Taylor, and tried them on in white, liked them but bought something else I can't remember (this is going to bug me til I figure it out). Kept thinking about them, though, and went back, but they were gone. I did have an AK Anne Klein phase in '07-'08. Hmm. Anyway, I did google them and did find them in green, which as we know I have have a weird compulsion to buy. But- this part I do remember clearly. At L&T, I could have grabbed them for about $35. On ebay, they were being sold for something like $50, plus $10 shipping. Which was too high, especially considering I had missed my chance at dirt cheap. So I watched them. For 6 months or so - from the August spotting til March. And by the stat counter, I was the only person watching them. First he dropped shipping to $8, then the cost to $45, then shipping to $5, then the shoes themselves to $40, so I finally grabbed them at $45 total. My one and only purchase from ebay.

I do love these shoes. But they really are too high. I saw my friend Amy G yesterday and we were talking shoes and she complained about the trend to 4 inch heels. I thought I was the only one! I cannot wear 4 inch heels. No one really can wear - and move around effectively - in 4 inch heels. 3.5 is my max, and even then I am toddling a bit. I had a fair amount of walking to do, and manged it fine, but walked to lunch with a male colleague and he had to slow his pace for me to keep up. 2.5 is the ideal heel height for me. It's a great height. Still stylish, but perfectly maangeable. I can run in 2.5 inch heels (not fast, but still a run without fear of breaking my ankle). I've been looking around at other shoe blogs and most specialize in the extreme heel designer arena. (heck, Oprah famously wears Louboutins on camera, but she walks to the studio in slippers and only puts on the heels once she is seated!) I definitely am perfectly happy in my niche of wearable shoes.

Bottom line: keeper. Love these.

July 20 - another discard

What: light blue size 7.5, 2.5 inch heeled pumps
From: Naturalizer (outlet)
Purchased: late 90s
Cost: $18

I was sick on Tuesday, so never put on shoes, so needed a pair for the discard pile. And, boy, these will fit the bill. They've never been worn, they're now too small, and they are not my style. I bought a light blue suit once at the Talbots outlet (one of the few times Rich has been there with me during a big sale and witnessed the frenzy (of other shoppers! the crazy checkout lines! not me!) for himself). And so of course I guess I thought I needed the shoes to match? I don't know why I wasn't persuaded to part with them earlier. Perhaps because they represent a total waste of my time and money. Bleah.

Bottom line: discard

see, decluttering is supposed to make you feel better, right? More freeing? Liberating yourself from bad decisions? Well, since I never thought about them, they weren't bothering me, but now they are bothering me. Oh well, they'll be gone and then I really won't ever think about them again. I should declutter that blue suit, which is stashed in an armoire in the hallway. Sigh.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

July 19 - gold sandals

What: size 8, 2 inch heeled gold sandals
From: Sam&Libby's (I think Hecht's)
Purchased: spring '00
Cost: $25 (guessing)

I wore these shoes to my friend B's wedding in Tally. Garden wedding, fair amount of standing on grass for the wedding part. They were uncomfortable then, and are still uncomfortable, so to the discard pile they go.

It's killing me though. I love metallic shoes. And I don't have many gold pairs. OK, well, I have two gold pairs but they are super dressy (and neither have been worn - and ok, so it's three gold pairs with the gold braided thongs - I'm digging a hole here). I have great bronze sandals (including one pair as yet unworn) and a couple of pairs of silver (as yet unworn). So this is a little bit hard. But really, I haven't worn them in forever, and just trying them on for a picture was painful, so they have got to go. Plus they are really not so stylish anymore. If I want gold sandals, Talbots has a pair of wedges:
Only $32! I'm not really cyber-stalking these. If they had a slight platform, I'm snap them up in a second, but I'm hesitant. First, stupid Talbots has now instituted a final sale policy. Can you imagine? And I haven't seen these in store to try on, and I just can't buy final sale without a try on. AND, their shipping costs are ridiculous.

However, they do have a couple of other pairs that are sorely tempting me - these (in pink! a-dor-ab! but $50 for ballet flats is insane) and these (love the purple - I think I'm in a purple phase right now (1 pair bought this year already, but they are suede heels....), so have to be careful. But they are only $30! But still, shipping. Sigh). If I got all three pairs, that would be over $100, and shipping would be free. Hmmm. Well, that leaves the problem of $50 ballet flats, and that's insurmountable. For now.

OK, wow, that got off track.

Bottom line: discard! I now have a bag in my bedroom quickly filling up with the discards. So remember if anything appeals, let me know. I have one pair put aside for TSM and/or my mother, though she hates thong sandals and would never wear them.

Monday, July 19, 2010

you asked

I've got to admit I'm growing weary of the shoe blogging. It's a lot of time. But, it'll continue. I want to start up real decluttering, but it's hard to find the time and space to both declutter and then write about. Two weeks ago we sorted through all the toys in main living level - yes, we did. I hate the toy sort. Hate it. Horrible, but a full plastic grocery bag of crap gone. If I was blogging about it, or had photographed, it would be probably 30 pieces of crap thrown out. My brother once said to me, a McDonald's toy is gone within 24 hours in my house. Good rule (though we kept the Penguins of Madagascar McD's toys). Have to tackle E's room, the basement, and the bookshelves, but that'll be another day.

Anyway, the volume of posts means it's hard to reply to comments. So a quick post to answer your burning questions.

My mom and Elaine have both asked what about purses? Are there matching purses for all these shoes? Well, I have a multipronged answer (of course). The basic answer is no. But then I went and started counting and got to over 30 and stopped. 30 bags doesn't seem like a lot compared to over 150 shoes, but it is quite a lot. I rarely change bags, though.

First, the advent of the laptop really changed things. Before laptops, I did carry a purse every day. But once you have to start lugging the computer back and forth from work via public transportation, the purse equation changes. I have 4 bags big enough to fit my laptop - black, brown, red-ish, and a laptop sleeve. And actually my current orange bag could fit a laptop, and I have a black bag that I can also shove the laptop in when needed. But then suddenly you're carrying two bags at a time, which is a hassle. For a while, I used the laptop sleeve (which does not hold any computer accessories like power cord) and carried a purse. But then I started just carrying the laptop/big bag, and used an oversize wallet, so when I ran out to get lunch or whatever I'd grab my wallet. Not a perfect solution as now you have to use a hand to carry the wallet, plus now where do the keys go etc. Plus I use a hard-bound notebook for all my work stuff, so if I needed to go to a meeting, I needed a bag for wallet, keys, and notebook. Would love any thoughts on what others do, as I could never resolve this satisfactorily. I guess the sleeve/purse solution is the best for daily commuting. Which I haven't done in 2.5 years.

Second, though, and perhaps more liberating, is watching What Not to Wear. I've learned the difference between something matching and something going. Despite my 80s upbringing, everything does not have to MATCH. It just has to GO. In fact, matchy-matchy is quite dated and tends toward the frumpy end of the scale. If something GOES, it's a complementary color or theme or pattern or weight (size, material, etc). So, now I carry my super cool orange leather bag (from Talbots, natch) nearly all the time. I used to think if I wore a orange t-shirt, I'd need orange shoes and orange bag. Now, the bag is just my "pop of color" and my shoes can be anything that stylistically goes with the outfit. Freeing and creative.

Third, changing bags is kind of a pain. My mantra is wallet, keys, phone and sunglasses. If I have those 4 things I am good, so the switching shouldn't be that hard but with the hundreds of other pieces of crap in my bag suddenly it is a pain to switch bags.

Fourth, the kids. When first on a maternity leave I carried a huge stupid diaper bag, then once again could not figure out what to do about the purse. Then I started watching the nannies. All you really need, on most outings, is a couple of diapers and some wipes. So throw them in your bag and off you go. Maybe a snack bag and a sippy cup, too, that ends up leaking in your leather bag, but leather wipes up so just go with it. But this also means your bag has to fit a couple of diapers, a small pack of wipes, a bag of cheerios, and the hated (by me) sippy cup. Plus a handful of plastic toys. Maybe some crayons, and a little bit of paper. Essentially, my purse has become a diaper bag. But that's ok. At least it's not the other way around. But it also means changing bags is more of a pain because it becomes more to transfer, and I don't want extra diapers lost in my stack of bags.

So, whew, more than you wanted to know about bags. All this means is right now, I carry my orange bag nearly everyplace. If I have a work meeting that involves the computer, one of my computer bags carries the computer and becomes a purse. My friend KG coined the term "pit bag" - short strap that when worn over the shoulder means the small bag tucks nicely into your armpit. If I go out sans kids at night and am wearing black (as in, not brown or blue - I think black, brown and blue are tricky to mix and it has to be done carefully, so I stick with the theme then - no brown shoes and black bag!), I have a small patent back pit bag I carry. For fun outings, I have a Vera Bradley pit bag in java blue. I have an orange/pink Vera Bradley I carry sometimes, but it doesn't have a shoulder strap so less useful these days. I have a larger black bag (Talbots) that I used to use all the time with the computer sleeve, but I just have less use for it. It's the perfect size for my work notebook, but it's too "heavy" for regular summer use.

So that's 8 bags that get semi- regular use - 4 computer, 1 orange, 1 black, 1 VB pit, 1 black patent pit. I could probably use a couple of brown bags, or things that go well with brown - cream, gold, etc for my rare going out. Heck, for all I know I own them and they are buried someplace. Anyway, typing this has made me realize I should go through bags for a culling, too. Another time.

July 17 - another discard, orange this time

What: size 8 orange sandals, 2 inch heel
From: Unlisted by Kenneth Cole, bought at Nordstrom Rack
Purchased: '03
Cost: $15

My sister tried to get me to get rid of these in the great closet clean out of 2008, but I resisted. Not sure why other than I had already parted with so much and there seems to be nothing wrong with these shoes. But they are freaking uncomfortable, too tight and a little ugly to boot. And since I wanted to go away for the weekend without bringing a lot of shoes, these are on the chopping block. They were part of my orange quest period. Quests are weird - I end up buying shoes of the specific color or style just because they are cheap. Now that I am looking back on purchases, I am seeing that they have rarely worked out. Serendipity - with a nice mix of for cheap and comfortable works. I can't buy shoes just because they are cheap. They have to work and be wearable. But it's a dilemma. If I buy an outfit, or piece of clothing, on a whim, and there are no shoes to go with it, of course I'll start looking for the right match.

I think, more than anything, this blog interlude is a way to unearth the stacks of shoes and figure out what really works. Cause I have a lot of rarely worn shoes that can really work in multiple ways, I just need the push to actually wear them.

Bottom line: donate pile!

July 17 - never worn, but out the door

What: size 7.5, 2.5 inch red heels
From: Talbots (outlet)
Purchase: late 90s
Cost: ~$24

I've never worn these shoes. They still have the tag on, with a clearance price written in red ink of $24. But they were probably at least 25% off, possibly 50%, or even 75%. But we'll call it $24, since I can't remember. I was on a real red shoe kick for a while, but these never quite fit right, and I never quite had the right outfit for them, and now they are really too pinchy on the sides. It's too bad, they are cute.

Bottom line: these are up for grabs - let me know if you are interested, otherwise they will journey to goodwill in the next couple of weeks

July 16 - wide brown

What: Size 8 Wide brown 2.5 inch heel peep toe sling backs with gold buckle
From: Naturalizer (outlet)
Purchased: end summer '08, maybe '09
Cost: <$25

Yet another from the brown show files. These are wide, so fairly comfortable. Perfectly fine shoes, too stylish for sitting in my home office, walking to Target, or playing. And another part of the perpetual brown problem - a slightly lighter shade of brown, so I worry they look weird with dark brown pants or skirts. Oh well. Wore them out and about for errands before we left for the weekend, then threw on the orange flip flops.

Bottom line: keeper

Friday, July 16, 2010

July 15 - seafoam

What: size 8 seafoam 2.5 inch heeled sandals
From: Nine West – I think maybe an outlet purchase?
Purchased: mid ‘90s
Cost: ~$30

I have had these shoes FOREVER. And I have them in black, too. The black ones are, what else, quite beat up, but these have never gotten as much wearing as the black ones. I’ve had them so long I don’t remember getting them – but they were among the first good shoe purchases I made after moving to DC. They must have been cheap to buy two pairs at once, probably less than $30. I might have gotten them in FL. Just don’t remember. I used to wear these with a seafoam linen jacket, t-shirt, and white pants. There was also a skirt – maybe my lily Pulitzer one – that also was paired with these. I think they look great on, but both the black ones and these rub the outside of your foot, at the top strap, oddly. Never a blister, but after a fair amount of walking I end up with what I can only describe as a “hot spot” on my foot. Oh well, it’s worth it for as infrequently as I wear them!

Bottom line: keeper

Ps. The seafoam is an inside joke from college – my first car was a 1984 Chevy Cavalier of almost exactly this color, dubbed the ‘seafoam-mobile’ by my friends – you know, the whole marine biology/oceanography thing. I’ve had a soft spot for that seafoam-y color since then.

July 14 - another offer

What: red linen half inch heeled mules, size 7.5
From: Talbots (Outlet)
Purchased: ? early ‘00s
Cost: ~$20

Another pair up for grabs. All these 7.5s were just a hair tight back in the day, but now just do not fit. I wore these a small handful of times. I went through a real mule phase for a while there, but I think I’m over it now, or maybe mules just aren’t as in style. In any case, leave a comment if you’d like to try them on, otherwise they are going bye bye.

Bottom line: give away!

July 13 - black match

What: 2.5 inch heel black sandals, size 8
From: Bandolino, Lord & Taylor
Purchased: summer ’03 or ‘04
Cost: ~$25

Remember these pink sandals? Here’s the same pair in black, the first bought, earlier that summer. These are great shoes, it’s no wonder I went back for another pair in another color. They are big, though, and I know why I bought the pinks in 7.5s, but I wish I had stuck with 8. And I wish I had enough money and had bought a replacement pair in black, because I have worn these shoes out!

Seriously, I think I should get rid of almost every pair of black sandals I have because they are all beat up. Black sandals are harder to find on the discount racks, and in a professional setting they go with almost everything, so when I do buy a pair they get a ton of wear. I can limp these along for a while, they’re fine if you don’t look too closely. And as long as I am working from home I don’t need any more.

Bottom line: Keeper for now until I win the lottery and throw out all my old black sandals

Monday, July 12, 2010

July 12 - give away

What: Leather/linen thongs, .5 inch heel
From: Talbots (outlet)
Purchased: ?
Cost: ?

So I have established some artificial rules for my shoe challenge. I must wear a different pair of shoes every day. The wearing must be out and about - can't just put on a pair, take a photo, and switch back to flip flops. If I do wear a pair of shoes out, though, I can wear a repeat pair the rest of the day (so, yesterday, after brunch, I switched to the ever present yellow flip flops; I wore the same yellow flips flops all day two Fridays ago before putting on the heels for dinner). The only exception is if I pull out of a pair of shoes and decide to get rid of them, I'm free the rest of the day.

Sorting through my shoes two weeks ago, I pulled today's pair out of the shoe organizer in Elizabeth's room. And for the first time this challenge, drew a blank. I have no idea when I got these, how much they cost, or where I've worn them. They look like they were worn just once, and they're from Talbots, so I'm confident in guessing a spontaneous purchase at the outlet. They're cute, but they are 7.5, and the strap is just too tight. Believe me I have tried to cram them on my foot.

They are up for grabs - I'm putting them in the donate bag, but if you want them just leave a comment. I've made nearly everyone in my mom's group try them on, but no takers thus far. They are cute shoes.

Instead of the yellow flip flops, I wore the orange ones today!

Bottom line: give away or donate

July 11 - pink/orange

What: size 8 pink/orange 2 inch strappy sandals
From: Talbots (outlet)
Purchased: '03/'04
Cost: ~$30

Love these sandals. I keep thinking I should take pics with a better camera than the iphone, but it's sooo easy to get the photos off the iphone I persist with slightly crappy shots. It's hard to see but the straps are 2 small strips of pink and orange leather, sewn together to make one strap. Love them. Love that color combination. Always received compliments on these when I wore them to my last office. I've worn them a lot - the front are a little beat up. For office wear, I have an organe twinset with pink trim that I used to wear a lot. Silly to wear a twinset at home in the summer, you know? We went out for brunch Sunday so pulled out these sandals along with a pink shirt I have. These shoes are so comfortable.

Bottom line: keeper

July 10 - rainy days

What: Size 7 black polka dot rainboots
From: Target
Purchased: February 12, 2010
Cost: $25

The first pair of shoes I bought in 2010 - a necessary purchase. My hiking boots shredded - just fell apart - two years ago after many years of great wear. I really need another pair, but the need was never really pressing - until the DC area received an unholy amount of snow, first in December 09, then in February 10. With Andrew so small, I haven't needed to spend much time outside in snow, but February of this year meant I desperately needed something.

Why? Because in the city, people shovel walks. And the city plows. But that means there is a barrier of snow when you need to cross a street - shovelers generally do not shovel out to the plowed area, and plows don't come all the way to the sidewalks. So, to cross the street, you must clamber over a snow bank, piled high with both shoveled and plowed snow. All this foot traffic eventually wears walkways through the snow, but those paths are first slushy and then watery areas to navigate. It's horrible. The day we were finally able to leave the house, there was a 6 foot wide puddle to navigate by the Target. So then you have to go back to clambering over the snow banks, or clinging to the edge of the snow to avoid the water.

I took myself off to Target and up to the shoe department, where I found precisely two piars of boots left, and another woman in the aisle reaching for one of them. So I grabbed the last pair, saw they were 7s, and thought it was worth a shot. They kinda sorta fit, and given the need, I left Target wearing them, and then wore them for short periods of time over the rest of Snowmageddon.

Wore them on Saturday given the morning of rain. I hate these boots. They are not comfortable at all - too tight. Size 7s just aren't wide enough, though they fit in length. It's not like you wear rainboots for hours at a time, though, so until I can get a good pair of hiking/all weather boots, I'm stuck with them.

$25 is not much money. But if I get rid of these boots, I am essentially admitting I wasted $25, which I hate to do. I guess I did not waste the money as I did wear the boots to get out and around in the snow. But still, I can't get rid of them even though I hate them because my right foot fell asleep due to constriction! Must shop for new pair of sturdy, comfortable boots, until then, these will stick around.

Botom line: keeper, for now

July 9 - lemon

What: yellow patent leather and cream silk shantung peep toes 2 inch pumps
From: Jones NY (outlet)
Purchased: '07/'08
Cost: $15

Love these shoes. LOVE them. I love the color, they fit great, they are unusual and striking, but not too out there or trendy. LOVE. I wear them with brown outfits that might have a peek of yellow. Sadly, I stumbled on a curb when wearing them Friday and the front got a little more beat up, so these will not last forever. Another shoe suffering from the work from home/mommy syndrome, as I have few opportunities to wear them. LOVE.

Bottom line: Keeper!

ps. How much I love these shoes kinda cracks me up because I am what, almost 40 days into this and still wearing shoes I absolutely love, interspersed with some shoes I am really over. I really do have a freaking lot of shoes.

July 8 - lilac

What: size 7.5 2 inch heeled lilac mules
From: Aerosoles (outlet)
Purchased: late '90s, early '00s
Cost: Definitely <$20

I've had these forever. I used to wear them with a lilac linen a-line skirt and white blouse. Loved that outfit. Mules can be tricky - they don't just go with anything. And these are a tricky color too, so light. You have to wear something equally light colored, I think. I also have a pair of slightly too small lilac seersucker pants I've wanted to wear these with, but the whole size thing has been working against me. Anyway, have not worn these in forever, mostly because of not having anything to wear with them. I wore them with a light denim skirt and purple top and I don't think it worked, but the shoes were comfortable. Holding onto them until I can either fit into my linen skirt or I give up that dream!

Bottom line: keeper

July 7 - green redux

What: size 7.5 light green slip on sandals
From: Talbots (outlet)
Purchased: early 00s
Cost: not sure - <$20 I have no idea why I went on a light green sandal buying binge. I had (still have, though too small now) a pair of light green denim, so maybe I wanted to be matchy matchy. And I remember when I was pregnant with Elizabeth that I groused about no light green options in maternity clothes. Seriously could not even buy a light green maternity t-shirt in 2005, and light green was big in the early-mid 00s.

Anyway, so I think of all my light green sandals, I used to wear these the most. But I haven't worn them in a while and I discovered, guess what, they are a little tight. I think they look a little frumpy, too. Just not stylish. A sane person would put them in the discard pile, but I've never claimed sanity.

So 3 pairs of light green sandals. Stay tuned, I have two pairs of a slightly darker green sandals upcoming later this month I really like, though one has to be repaired before I can wear them. I am not allowed to buy anything else green!

Bottom line: keeper, but just barely. Am seriously rethinking.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

July 6 - bronze

What: Size 8.5, 3.25 inch bronze leather t-strap sandals
From: Talbots (outlet)
Purchased: late summer '08
Cost: $30

To keep up this shoe challenge, I've got to get through more of the heels, even if it is 100 degrees out and I need to walk to Target. These are actually super comfortable, and when I had a job in an office I used to do a lot of walking in heels. I'm a little out of practice.

We had drinks with KG the other night and we talked shoes and blogging. She told us she had just done a shoe sort and she has 78 pairs of summer shoes, but she's not sure how many other pairs she has. My guess going into this was I had more winter shoes than summer shoes, but I have bought a fair number of low heels or flats these past few years of motherhood plus working from home, so I might have more sandals now. We shall see, right, until I get bored with this challenge.

Anyway, I love metallic shoes, especially bronze. My first pair of bronze shoes were woven leather mules. I think I still have them in the attic, though my sister may have made me get rid of them in the great closet cleaning of '08.

Funny story about these shoes: So I bought them at the Talbots outlet, along with another pair of the same shoe but in silver (yes, true). I walked out with a big bag of stuff (yes, I was pregnant, and no, they don't sell maternity clothes - this is about shoes, not clothes, and this was the time period they were closing their kids and mens stores so I was also buying for E and R). Given it was the outlet and stuff was off season, the bag sat in a corner of our room for about a month before I unpacked it. shoes. What? I could not figure out where the two pairs of cheap but still a fair amount of money for both shoes had gotten to. So I went back to the outlet, and at the check out said, um, is it possible I left a bag of shoes here? And sure enough, they had my bag of two shoes stashed under the counter. Apparently not an unusual occurence. They told me after a month they usually just put the items back on the floor to be resold, so I made it just in time to reclaim my shoes. I think I could write a book just about things that have happened to me at the Talbots outlet store.

The other thing I remember about these shoes is my sister, whose feet are at least a size bigger than mine, wore these out one night. So they are definitely loose and comfortable. Love them.

Bottom line: keeper

July 5 - lost but found

What: size 8 brown leather sandals
From: Etienne Aigner - maybe Hecht's?
Purchased: mid 90s, maybe? A long time ago
Cost: I think these were relatively expensive for me for sandals. This is a guess, but they are Aigner, so I think they were $39.99, extra 20% off coupon so $32. But I'm guessing.

Rich walked out of our closet on the 5th, wearing his rarely worn woven leather loafers, and tossed the right shoe at me - looking for these? Aha - yes, for about two years actually. I was pretty sure they were in the closet, but I had been unable to unearth them, and not motivated enough to do a completely thorough search of his side (though it was coming, given the challenge). The left shoe has been under our bed in the under bed storage thing for over a year, lonely. I've done half-hearted searches, but the right shoe remained lost. Great timing. I've had these forever. They are just your basic sandal. Now that I think about it, these might not be quite as old as I think they are. I had another pair of brown woven sandals that I loved from Nine West that Aggie chewed beyond repair (they were also too tight). These might be replacements, bought later 90s.

I had forgotten that these shoes cause a blister on the bottom of my right foot. No idea why, it's a weird place for a blister, but it happens every time. One of those things you deal with when the seasons change - you have to break back in your summer shoes in the spring and your winter shoes in the fall. But these are fine all purpose sandals.

Bottom line: keeper

July 4 - red

What: size 7.5 AA-width red tumbled leather mules
From: Talbots (outlet)
Purchased: could not even guess beyond late 90s
Cost: not sure, but outlet purchase means they were around $20

As discussed, my feet have grown. Sigh. Kind of depressing, except I think this might actually help me cull some shoes. When I did a quick look through my shoes, I ran across several that were size 7.5 and just did not fit. Stay tuned, as they are going to be offered online before being donated. Anyway, I've long had a thing for red shoes, but my look through showed me several of the now too small shoes were red ones. And most of my red ones are heels or pumps or heeled loafers. I could actually use a couple of pairs of red sandals now that I'm thinking about it - filed away for future reference when I am checking out the clearance racks.

Anyway, on the 4th I picked these up and checked the size, 7.5. And sighed, thinking they would be too small. And the width - I have discovered at the Talbots Outlet that their shoe sizes are all over the place. I have at least two pairs of narrow shoes from the outlet, and my feet are wide. WIDE. Seriously wide. And yet, these still fit fine. Go figure.

Bottom line: keeper

July 3 - blah

What: size 38 (euro sizes) brown thick soled, heavy heeled sandals
From: Aldo (bought in Canada)
Purchased: '03/'04
Cost: ~$25

I had a job where I used to travel a lot, and there would be some dead time. Not enough time to get anything really done, or go sightsee, but a good amount of time to duck into stores and look around. I bought these on a trip to Vancouver - I think fall '03, but I could be off by a season or two. Yes, Vancouver is beautiful. I did this shopping in the dead time after dinner, before heading back to the hotel room. When my brother travels, he hangs out at brew pubs and closes down bars and hangs out. I think it's harder for a female traveling alone - I'm not going to go hang out at a bar by myself, as a general rule. I always liked traveling places that had vibrant downtowns with restaurants and shopping. Easier to kill evenings walking in well-lit, populated areas. And if you duck into a store or two or three, well, why not? My colleagues at this particular job also taught me another road warrior tip - pedicures. Another great time killer. Seriously, there are only so many sights you can see.

Anyway, I bought these cause I had nothing like them, and the soft leather and soft footbed (plus slight heel) would, I thought, make them good walking sandals. Eh. They are ok. Too chunky, I think. I think they might be good for fall/spring when you want a more substantial shoe with jeans. It just turns out I rarely wear them. Maybe they are too boring for me. But still fine shoes.

Bottom line: keeper

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

July 2 - metallics

What: size 8 graphite ankle strap platform sandals
From: Ann Taylor LOFT
Purchased: fall '06
Cost: ~$40

I love metallic shoes. Love them. Not surprisingly, I get daily e-mails from a variety of stores I frequent, and these shoes were prominently featured in that year's LOFT ad campaign, paired with a steel-blue almost turquoise wrap dress. I loved the pictures - both items are a little retro-looking, which I love, but as an extreme bargain shopper, I rarely buy featured items - those are usually snapped up by more fashionable people early on in the season. But for whatever reason, both shoes and dress were still available when things went on sale and I could not resist buying both for a work meeting. I've only worn these shoes like 4 times. When I went through my shoes last week, I did a little bit of sorting and looking into boxes and had completely forgotten about them, sad to say. So I was planning to wear something else to dinner out on Friday (I've decided my rules allow me to wear an already worn pair if I wear a different pair for an outing or a significant part of the day), but went with these instead. They're fine - a little high for regular wear, but they were great.

If there's one good thing about my fake challenge to myself, it's forcing me to actually dress up to match rarely worn shoes. I've always liked the idea of a per wear cost - so now with a 5th wearing I've gotten these to below $10/wear, which is respectable.

Bottom line: keeper

July 1 - a basic

What: size 8 white athletic shoes
From: Nike (Outlet)
Purchased: December '04
Cost: ~$50

So I made it 30 days without once wearing actual athletic shoes. Sad. Clear evidence of part of the problem. Anyway, headed out for a walk and my hiking boots finally fell apart two years ago (aha - of course, hiking boots are the 4th of the basics - athletic shoe, athletic sandal, basic work shoe, and hiking boot. The 5th basic is heels) so Nike's it was. As I've mentioned, I wear orthotics, but I've slowly over the years weaned myself off them, as they force you to wear ugly shoes. I just wear them in Nikes and, when I finally get a new pair, hiking boots. I probably should not say I wear orthotics since I don't actually wear them!

Anyway, I thought RIch had only bought me one pair of shoes (as yet unworn), but he also bought these for Christmas. I needed a new pair, he was shopping at the outlets, so a pretty easy gift. They're very worn, I need a new pair.