Thursday, March 31, 2011

March tally

Oh, I am weary of shoes!  Weary, weary, weary.  But the end is nigh!  

In the month of March, I wore/examined 31 pairs of shoes from my collection, at an estimated total cost of $894.75, or average cost of $28.86.  Of those, I am keeping 27, though I am seriously on the fence with 2 of them. 4 were discarded, plus I discarded another 2 from previous months.  I did buy three pairs this month. 

So, I've been blogging shoes for 304 days.

I have shown you 188 pairs of my shoes. I am keeping 158 (!) (on the fence about 11 of those, though I think I gave my mom one of those 11, I need to go back and check), trashing 4, donating 26.

So keeping 158 and getting rid of 30 is a cull rate of 16% (My goal remains 20%, which means I have stacks to get rid of, and my fence sitting isn't helping me any).

And, I estimate that over the past 17 years or so I've spent $5,369.50 on shoes, or an average cost of $28.56 per shoe, or roughly $316/year on my little hobby.

So when I first started this and counted my shoes, I got up to 167. It's actually looking much, much closer to 200!  Which means even if I cull 20%, or 40 pairs, I'd still have 160 in this house!

So, looking back at the initial shoe count, let's see what I've covered and what still remains. 

Shoe wardrobe - done
Stack of boxes next to shoe wardrobe, plus scattered on floor:  ~4 more to go
Stack of boxes next to my dresser, plus jumbled under dresser - done
Stack of boxes between radiator and window - done, but I have to check, there might be one
Closet hanging shoe bag - done
Top shelf of closet - done
Shoe underbed thing - done
Shoe overdoor thing in Elizabeth's room - DONE and EMPTIED!  Yay!
Closet hanging shoe bag in E's room - ~2, maybe 3 more
Other shoes on the floor of my closet - unknown, maybe ~3-5 pairs

So I'm estimating about 10-14 shoes left!  If there are 12, that's 200.  Gulp!  (dammit, I am barely holding on resisting buying that pair of $30 boots.....)

But, in 8 days, TSM is coming over and we are lining up ALL the pairs of shoes and looking at the entire collection.  I'm a little nervous! 

In any case, the end is in sight!!

March 31 - brown t-straps

What:  light brown t-straps with punch out detailing
From:  Ann Taylor LOFT
Purchased:  2006
Cost:  $20

So these are the twin of my very worn brown kitten heels, but sadly these have never been worn.  I don't know why - it's an odd color, I think, so light, and I just am never sure what to wear with them.  I also think t-straps have an old fashioned appeal, so I guess I need some sort of vintage-y looking outfit in light brown.  Hmmm.  Maybe light trousers with a cream shirt and lacey cream trouser socks....hmm, wait a sec, now that I think about it I have the perfect outfit for these!  It's a skirt/cream blouse combo, but the skirt is perhaps a darker shade of brown - more of a golden sand color.  I tell you, shades of brown really are tough for me.  But the perhaps bigger issue is it's a size or two too small.....oh well.  And today is a jeans and sweatshirt day, anyway. 

I once wrote I need a more glamorous life to match my shoes, and TSM constantly says I'm far too stylish for some of my more frumpy shoes, but the reality is the majority of my life is spent looking pretty blah.  But maybe I should take a page from What Not to Wear and up my game a little bit.

Bottom line:  Keeper, but I am challenging myself to wear these in the next two months

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

March 30 - t-strap replacement

What:  size 8W black patent t-straps
From:  Naturalizer (outlet)
Purchased:  January 4, 2011
Cost:  $24

My first shoe purchase of 2011 was almost my last shoe purchase of 2010!  On our holiday drive down to Florida, we did our first stop at the outlets in North Carolina, which is a prefect place to stop timing wise.  It would be more perfect if there was a playground and better eating options (a food court would be ideal, but no such luck), but there's enough room for the kids to run around, parents to stretch their legs, and there is a Dairy Queen with relatively diverse, semi-healthy (when compared to other fast food) options plus ice cream for a treat.  So of course I just popped into the Naturalizer outlet, and saw these shoes in my size on super sale.  I had just written about my loved, but incredibly worn t-straps - shoes that needed a lot of repair to even be wearable.  And so I came awfully close to buying these then, but the car was full, and I knew I'd have to write it down, and did I really even need them, anyway?  Plus, there are outlets by my parents - which we did visit once, but they did not have my size!  It happened that on our drive home in 2011 was timed such that the outlets were again a convenient place to stop, and so on my third outlet trip, safely into 2011, I couldn't resist them.

You know, one thing this shoe exercise has demonstrated is that while I have a LOT of shoes, I don't really have a lot of super duper fabulous shoes (like yesterday's diversion, yum).  Most of my shoes show a fair amount of wear, and there are many that are quite old.  I think of my orange/pink sandals - I LOVE them, but the fronts are really quite beat up.  Or my brown kitten heels - so worn they need another heel tap replacement, but meanwhile the pointy fronts are beat all to hell.  In a lot of ways, I should be getting rid of anything that isn't really in great shape, and focusing on only buying shoes that will be classics.  But there's no prying the pink/orange ones or the brown kitten heels away from me.

And even though these are patent and my well-loved and overly worn t-straps are plain leather, I bought these knowing I was going to give up the older pair. 

Bottom line:  Keeper, but discarding another!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

can't resist posting this

Look what a friend just posted to her blog.

All I can say is wow.  Love.  From a UK shop Miss Selfridge.
Let's see, 55 pounds, plus 7.50 pounds shipping....I have no idea.  But I covet.   

March 29 - tweedy

What:  size 7.5 brown tweed pumps
From:  Ann Taylor LOFT
Purchased:  late fall '04
Cost:  $20

And the last of the shoes from the top shelf of my closet!  Wohoo!  Closing in on the end.  Anyway, in my fall '04 shopping trip with KG, I bought a super cool brown/multi-colored corduroy skirt.  Later that fall, I found these on the sale rack at LOFT and snatched them up, intending to be worn with the skirt.  And then I was pregnant, and well, let's jsut say neither the skirt nor the shoes have ever been worn.  I tried these shoes on yesterday - they are tight.  But I'm not ready to give up on them yet!

Bottom line:  keeper

Monday, March 28, 2011

March 28 - frustrating black pumps

What:  Size 7.5 black platform pumps, 3.25 inch heel, .25 inch platform
From:  Enzo Angiolini (Nine West Outlet)
Purchased:  '01-'03
Cost:  $35

Oh, these shoes drive me crazy.  First, I bought them with another pair of shoes in a buy one get one half off deal.  I think the deal was with these from yesterday.  (though it might have been the shoes from the day before).  Or maybe my memory is entirely faulty and I got them at another time entirely.  But what I do remember is they did not have the correct size in store (8s were way too big, 7s too tight), and so I ordered them and had them shipped to me.  I LOVED these shoes in the store.  LOVED them.  But I don't know what the hell is wrong with them, but there is something seriously wrong with the heel.  I know I have complained bitterly about my lack of black pumps, but these are essentially unwearable.  The heel somehow does not fit right, and so when I wear them, my heel slips out.  step step slip, step step step slip, step step step step slip.  Not good, not good at all.  Somehow they just don't quite cup my heel correctly.  So in desperation, I bought heel slips, grey plastic-y things you can sort of see in the side picture (they blend in too well in the head on pic).  But it's no use.  It's the weirdest thing but they just do not fit. 

I pulled these out to wear a couple of months ago and just looked at them and wondered why I had loved them so much.  They're actually not all that great.  Maybe 7 or 8 years ago they were at the high end of style, but anymore I'm not certain there's anything that special about them.  And though I wish it were not so, I'm not sure they'll ever fit.  This pains me, but I think I have to get rid of them.  

Bottom line:  discard 

March 27 - cross straps

What:  size 7.5 black cross strap heels with 3.25 inch heels
From:  Nine West (outlet buy)
Purchased:  '01-'03
Cost:  $35

Along with yesterday's shoes, these are usually stored on the top shelf of my closet, and I think I bought these as part of a buy one get one half off deal at Nine West outlet.  I think these were purchased with the pair I will show tomorrow.  These shoes look super hot on, but are not the most comfortable shoes.  My favorite outfit with them is a red shirtdress, though I'm not exactly sure where that shirtdress is right now.  The heel is high, but they are wearable.  I just don't think I'll ever wear them much, but they're still keepers. 

Bottom line:  keeper

March 26 - high slingbacks

What:  size 7.5 black slingbacks with 4 inch heel
From:  Nine West (bought at outlet)
Purchased:  '01-'03
Cost:  $35

Ok, now I'm finishing off the shoes on the top shelf of my closet.  I have three pairs of shoes to show, and I know I bought two of them at the same time (buy one get one half off deal), but I can't remember which two.  I think, though, I bought these with my sister, we both got the same shoe and split the cost.  Maybe?  These are cool shoes, but 4 inch heels are high for me.  They looks great, but after a long day in 4 inch heels my feet are killing me.  I thought I might be able to be persuaded to part with these, but then I put them on and walked around the house and they were fine, so maybe these stay on the top shelf and only get worn when high heels are needed?

Bottom line:  keeper.

Friday, March 25, 2011

some recommendations

Remember a while ago I wrote that by bargain hunting at the end of the season, you can sometimes score a really cheap shoe at the very start of the trend?  Bargain hunting can be a tough game.  Often you think of end of season sales as containing tired or overlooked merchandise, past its prime.  But if a look is kind of new, but hasn't quite peaked, there will be plenty left over at the end of a season for you to snatch up, and then next season, when everyone else is coveting the new hot trend, you've got yours at waaay less of a price point than everyone else is buying. 

I've stumbled on exactly such a trend, so even though I doubt any of you would be into this, I have to share.  My sister asked me to look around for a cheaper pair of Steven by Steve Madden boots she was coveting.  They were tall boots that looked as though the entire shaft was folded back upon itself - a full foldover.  She wanted the Maryn style, in stone, at left. 

I couldn't find it online many places.  Seemed like a popular shoe that had sold out and prices were high.  But in looking around, I noticed this foldover style a lot of places.  And I noticed it was cheap.  And I remembered I had seen a fair number of foldover styles over the winter, noting a new trend.  Skinny pants tucked into boots were a hot trend this year. 

And then I noticed some really cool boots for super cheap.  Believe me, if I was working, at least two of these boots would be in my possession right now. 

Another tall option: the Detective Boot by Naughty Monkey.  Don't know anything about this brand, but last week the boot was $60, this week it's $50.  A huge buy.  Black is almost sold out, but there are plenty in other sizes. 

WOW!  These Turnout by Naughty Monkey are now $30!  Look at the cool studs.  Again, black is almost sold out, but there are lots in other colors.  I like this color which is called taupe, though appears brown.  $30.  Free shipping.  Free returns if it doesn't work out.  Seriously, that is an unbeatable price. Cool wedge heel, which is also on trend. 

Steve Madden P-Zesst - $38.50 in taupe and brown, $43 in black.  No large sizes left (nothing over 8.5).  I like these a lot in taupe, which almost looks grey in the picture. 

Those studded Naughty Monkeys for $30 may prove to be irresistible to me. has some goooooood prices right now. 

March 25 - red mary janes

What:  size 8.5 dark red suede mary janes with brown strap
From:  Franco Sarto (
Purchased:  May 20, 2010
Cost:  $40

I think with these I've finally covered all 22 of the shoes I bought in 2010.  Whew.  I cyber-stalked these all last winter/spring and finally got them.  I thought I had paid slightly less than $35, but my bank records say $40, so that included shipping.  I really liked them, but just never had occasion to wear.  I like the red-brown combination, though typically I wear red/black. 

There was a sweater I liked a lot at Lands End and with a gift card from Christmas I was even able to buy that sweater this winter to match - cardigan over white dress shirt, jeans and these shoes. Perfect.  Thanks goodness for this current cold spell, huh?  (well, not really, but it does give me the opportunity to actually get this outfit/shoes worn this year (see many previous discussions of work from home pajamas), otherwise these shoes would just sit in their stack for yet another spring/summer!).   

I was at a DSW last summer and saw these in brown suede on the clearance racks, and I tell you if I had not just learned my contract position was not going to be renewed I would own those, too.  Both the purple Franco Sarto and these came a wide range of colors, and I had a hard time deciding which colors to get in which style.  I would have loved these in brown, and for the purple ones, I loved all the options - red, brown, and, grey but went with the cute purple.  Tough decisions! 

Bottom line:  Keeper!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

March 24 - blue peeps need fashion advice

What:  size 8.5 nude peep toes with blue suede band and gold buckle
From:  Talbots (outlet)
Purchased:  fall '08
Cost:  Hmm.  $35

Last week I was writing about what I thought was the last of the shoes in the shoe wardrobe, but then these caught my eye.  So now finally here are the last of the shoes from my shoe wardrobe piece of furniture.  I liked these a lot from the spring '08 line at Talbots, and watched for them at the outlet.  The 8s were waaay too tight, and even these 8.5s pinch a wee bit on the sides, but they're definitely wearable.  I bought another pair of shoes from this line at super discount the next spring. 

Last week I wrote they matched a pair of pants that needed to be hemmed, and I was going to wear them, but big surprise did not get around to hemming the pants.  But I really thought I had the makings of a good outfit, so gathered it all up together.  Taupe pants, navy tshirt, and taupe jacket with gold thread (a 100% Talbots outfit, which I actually try not to do, but you go with what you have - oh I'd also wear gold jewelry and that's not Talbots, so whew.).  But now I'm not sure, so I need fashion advice.  The taupe of the shoe, the jacket, and the pant are slightly different.  (Taupe is a color that bedevils me and my trying-to-surpress-matchy-matchy mindset.)  I think the shoes might go with the pant (though it's a little questionable), and the shoe does go with the jacket.  But not sure the jacket and pant go?  

Maybe I need to hem the pants and put it all on and see?  Because they're all just neutrals that cancel each other out, letting the navy and gold pop?  Because if it does work it is a great outfit for Spring (hmm, Easter?).  I think it might work better (though certainly more casual) with jeans.  So if these pants aren't the right pants for the outfit, what would work?  Slightly more khaki-colored pants?  Not navy pants, then I'd need a different top?  What friggin' color would the top be, then, with navy pants?  (White dress shirt?)

What do you think of the outfit?  And if not that outfit, how would you wear these shoes? 

Bottom line:  shoes are keepers, though not sure how to wear

And a big PS.  I am starting to get nervous.  So by the end of February, I had shown 157 pairs of shoes + 24 days so far in March = 181.  The big shoe sort is scheduled for April 8, so 15 more days.  Will I finish going through the shoes in 15 more days?  I am not sure I will.  Off the top of my head I can count at least 12 more pairs, easy, and that's not all of them!  Do I have 200 PAIRS OF SHOES IN MY HOUSE??!!  Gulp.  Even with the 25+ already discarded, that is a freaking large amount of shoes.  I half-watched an author on the Today Show this morning talk about her new book, Lost and Found: Unexpected Revelations about Food and Money.  I may have to get this book (from the library!). 

Ok, but when I think of this more calmly, I think of spending $600 a year on shoes, and in the grand scheme of things, that's not really all that terribly much.  Not chump change, but as TSM tells me, if this is my hobby, I'm not spending more than many other people on their hobbies.  And, given that I never get rid of anything, the accumulated piles should not be that surprising.  But it does make me pause in that we live in a 1600 square foot house (not counting attic or basement, which pushes it up to probably close to 2800 square feet).  I will get through these shoes, eventually.  And then I will commit to decluttering again.

March 23 - black patent peep toes

What:  size 7.5 black patent peep toe slingbacks with platform and bow detail
From:  Anny Taylor
Purchased:  late winter '08
Cost:  $30 - the box says $60, and I distinctly recall them being 50% off (unlike yesterday's which I don't think were that cheap)

You know what I really need?  The iphone4, with the flash on the camera.  Deep black colors are just too saturated to photo well without a flash.  And yet it is so much easier to photo with the phone and email the pic and get it posted that way, so hence, crappy pics.  Anyway.
Another pair from next to my dresser, and another pair never worn.  The good part about pulling these shoes out and at least trying them on, if not full on wearing them, is that I usually remember what I first liked about them.  I haven't had much occasion for dress shoes lately, and as I pulled out the box I thought these were very dressy shoes.  But they really aren't super dressy, by which I mean too elaborate to wear for every day use.  Essentially, these are functionally the same as these - nicer in many ways than the Naturalizer, but the platform means the heel isn't really high.  The sides are slightly pinchy, but not terribly so - I was surprised the 7.5s fit, but I recall the 8s were just too loose. 

The Naturalizer ones are really shot (they are flimsy with no support), and actually not all that comfortable (around the peep toe).  These Ann Taylors should be the replacements for the Naturalizers.  They really should.  I've been walking around this morning wearing both and seriously I need to just discard the Naturalizers.  Hmmm.  OK, the Naturalizers are out.  I can make that decision even without TSM's push on the 8th of April, the day of the big sort.   Now I need to figure out how I want to go back and account for delayed discards..... edit the old post, link to this one, and account in this month's tally. 

Bottom line:  keeper! And discarding another

March 22 - black lace

What:  size 7.5 black lace peep toes with bow
From:  Ann Taylor
Purchased:  late winter '08
Cost:  $30 - the box says $40, but I definitely recall they were a percentage off, I think 25%

OK, so the shoes I own but have never, ever worn make me feel slightly ill and extraordinarily wasteful.  Perhaps I should put them for sale on ebay, though I doubt I'd get much interest.    But, really, I need to think of these purchases as sunk costs, as in the purchase happened, and now I own the shoes.  Deal with the present, not the past. 

For whatever reasons, in the early part of '08 I ended up buying a fair number of dressy clothes (major scores at post-Christmas sales).  I had a new job, maybe, and a new outlook on life in general, and so I was drawn to dressier, more adult items, including these shoes.  And then I was pregnant with Andrew, and the new job ended, and the Wearing Of The Pajamas period of my life began.  (I have GOT to get dressed for real today! Though I should say I put these on and walked around for a good period of time, ok 15 minutes, and they are perfectly comfortable - as I recall, the 8s were just too big, my foot slipped out of them.)  I do like these shoes, though, and I do have numerous things to wear with them, if I ever went out.  Lace was huge this past year, and will probably be big again next, so maybe by next fall I'll have an occasion to wear these.  Whatever, they are super cute.  

Working through the stack next to my dresser.  I think I am going to officially designate the top shelf of my closet for nicer, dressier shoes, so these will go live there.  I got rid of a BUNCH of shoes (4 pairs!) from that shelf so there is plenty of space. 

Bottom line:  keeper

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

March 21 - metallic loafers!

What:  size 8W silver loafers
From:  Talbots (outlet)
Purchased:  March 19, 2011
Cost:  $21.25

OK, yes, I bought three pairs of shoes over the weekend.  There is no justification.  But you know what?  If I wasn't doing this shoe blog, I would have bought another pair - a very cool - and comfortable - pair of low heel peeptoes covered in gold sequins and glitter for $25.  Now, those were completely unjustifiable, and I knew it.  I liked them because they had a lower heel and were comfortable, and that's hard to find in a dress shoe.  But some on, where in the world would I wear them?  (dammit, I still want them, though - if they make it to the 80% off clearance you know they're mine!) 

But these!  I saw a bunch of mocs, ballet flats, and loafers on the clearance racks and then I noticed the tag on these were 8W = SCORE.  Wides are hard to find at the clearance center, so I grabbed them first thing and tried them - totally, perfectly comfortable.  Let's see, very comfy wide shoes (typically hard to find), metallic (my love of metallic is well documented), and silver/pewter/grey (my current favorite) for just over $20?  Um, yeah.

Ok, well, yes, technically I have these, which are functionally quite similar.  But! Silver/pewter ballet flats are great without socks, but you look like a dork wearing socks.  Silver/pewter loafers?  Socks, baby, plus a sturdier structure and heel put them in an ever-so-slightly different niche. 

Bottom line:  keeper! 

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

March 20 - but they are soooo cool!

What:  size 8 reddish platform croc embossed pumps
From:  Talbots (outlet)
Purchased:  March 19, 2011
Cost:  $26.50

Ok, see, these are actually why I traveled to the Clearance Center.  I first tried these shoes on last September,  as they were putting new fall merchandise out.  I loved them - love the color, just in between red and plum, love the exaggerated platform, LOVE.  My dad hmmphed at them, but I loved them.  I tracked them throughout the sale periods, and tried them on again when they made it to the clearance center at $85.  I watched the 25% off, and knew they had plenty and I could wait til the really good markdown - 60% off, plus that extra 10% off.  I had to have them.  Completely impractical.  But I like that they're red, but not really red - I wear a lot of plum, so I think I can make these work.  I was going to wear them out on the 20th, but Rich was sick and so I was on kid duty all day and they didn't get worn.  But I have plans for them. 

They had them in grey, too, and I almost decided on the grey as more practical, but come on these aren't remotely practical no matter the color, and I just really wanted the red. 

Pair #5 for the year.  Uh, and since I am doing one shoe in one shoe out, I'm counting these red ones against them.  Yes, I know it doesn't really count if I'm discarding a pair I had already decided to discard, but that's just the way it is.  Write you own shoe blog. 

Bottom line:  keeper! 

March 19 - there is really no hope for me at all

What:  size 8 black pointy toe pumps with low heel
From:  Talbots (outlet)
Purchased:  March 19, 2011
Cost:  $23

Uh.  Yeah.  So.  Listen, I've been really, really good lately.  I've stayed out of stores even during the end of winter clearance sales.  I've studiously avoided trying on shoes.  I've stalked but not purchased.  I have been frugal.  And, well, we all have our breaking points, and mine came with the "extra 10% off clearance prices at the outlet" e-mail.  Saturday morning Rich took the kids to E's dance class and I escaped to the Talbots Clearance store.  The day before, I had written about discarding a perfectly good pair of black suede pumps because they were too tight, and so I had in my head how difficult it was for me to find plain, simple black shoes at a cheap price and how I never quite have the right plain, simple black pump.  And so when I saw these on the clearance rack, I grabbed them.  And they also had them in grey suede, which I was of course more drawn to, but I thought, no, if I get these I am getting them in black because that is practical and I could actually use them and although no one with over 180 pairs of shoes needs any more shoes, you could almost make the argument that I needed these.  Ok, that's stretch, but still - $23!  (stay tuned tomorrow and the next day as I justify TWO MORE NEW PAIRS OF SHOES!)

I wore these out ot a party that same Saturday night and they are awesome!  Very comfy.

Um, yes, you might remember that plain-ish black pumps started this whole shoe blogging thing.  But these are different - they have a lower heel, and a pointy toe (instead of almond toe).  Totally different!

Pair #4 for 2011.  There is no hope for me.

Uh, I said I was going to do one shoe in one shoe out in 2011, so um, I'm counting the black suede ones I discarded last week against these! (shut up: my blog, my rules!)

Bottom line:  keeper!

March 18 - dusty black blah shoes

What:  size 8 black loafers
From:  Easy Spirit (from who knows where)
Purchased:  Yowza- late 90s?  maybe early 00s?
Cost:  No idea - let's guess $32

Wow - so tucked in the very bottom pocket of the closet shoe organizer in my closet I found these, totally covered with dust.  I had completely forgotten I had them.  Uh, though now cataloging all my shoes, it seems I have a fair number of fairly boring black loafer-type shoes.  These, these, and these.  Know how I found those links?  Searched on "boring." Whoa - and there's also this pair of black loafer style.  These kind of remind me of these red ones, which I think I got at about the same time, maybe.  I think I got these after the first pair I linked.  Hmm.  Does anyone need this many pair of vaguely unsatisfying black shoes?  No, of course not.  I should get rid of these, especially because the AK Anne Klein ones from '09 are nicer, though they have stitching and a buckle so not quite a simple as these.  But come on, functionally they are the same shoe.  Ok, I am going to discard these, but I do want to see them all lined up together on April 8th, jsut to see it all in totality! 

Bottom line:  discard! 

March 17 - more slides

What:  size 8 slides
From: adidas
Purchased:  late 90s
Cost:  free to me!

Finishing off the hanging shoe organizer in my closet, so found the one shoe, who knows where the other shoe is.  Lost in the bottom of the closet, probably.  OK, so here are the shoes Rich bought for me, to replace a pair of slides I had that totally broke (and were a hand me down from my sister).   These have never been really comfy, but they are fine shoes for going to the pool.  Eh. 

Bottom line:  keeper

March 16 - black peep toes

What:  size 8 black peep toes
From:  Talbots (outlet)
Purchased:  '07-'08
Cost:  Hmmm.  $24  guessing

So I had a pair of black patent peep toes that I liked a lot, though they were a bit uncomfortable, and were getting a lot of wear.  So then when I saw these on the clearance rack at Talbots, I snapped them up as an alternate pair of black peep toes.  These are pretty cool - the pic doesn't show it too well but they also have cutouts on the sides which makes them interesting.  They are getting a bit worn and the fronts rub a little on my toes, but they are fine shoes.  Better for an office job, but still perfectly fine. 

Bottom line:  keeper

Monday, March 21, 2011

March 15 - can these shoes be saved?

What:  size 7.5 dark brown peeptoes with gold buckle
From:  Etienne Aigner (bought online)
Purchased:  '06
Cost:  $40

Oh, these shoes annoy me.  Once again I tried a 7.5, and they were tight, but worked fine.  I really really coveted these and bought a far higher price point because I thought they'd get so much wear.  So I had brown slingbacks, but for some reason I did not love the brown slingbacks.  And then I fell in love with these and knew they were the answer to my problem and I constructed whole outfits around them.

But can you tell what the problem is?  Is it subtle enough that it's not noticeable? 
See the gold buckle?  Apparently my stupid feet are so wide they busted open the gold buckle across the front!!!  ARGH.  I've had them in storage under my bed for a while now, and I bring them out every once in a while and wonder if they can be saved.  I don't see how, but then again I am not a clever cobbler, so I need to get these to a GOOD shoe repair place and learn for sure one way or another so I can move on.  And then I also wonder if it's really just subtle and no one would notice but come on, it's pretty obvious once you spot it.  But maybe that means a fix could happen that would just trick the eye enough that it would work.  Grrr.  These really are good shoes. 

Bottom line:  Cobbler? 

March 14 - nude slingbacks redux

What:  size 8 nude/taupe slingbacks
From:  Talbots (outlet)
Purchased:  mid-late 00s
Cost:  guessing about $24 but really not sure

So, going through the shoes in my underbed thing which holds brown shoes.  Nude shoes are HOT right now - I've gotten a bunch of spring e-mails/catalogs that have entire pages devoted to nude shoes, so I'm glad I'm sorting them all out.  Prior to this current nude trend, I would have called these taupe-colored, and quite honestly I've never known what to really wear with them.  I have a skirt that sort of matches this color, but now that nudes are everywhere, I have a lot more options.  Except for the fact that I am a color person, not a nude person.  (I was looking at a catalog yesterday from Restoration Hardware and I had to put it down because it was giving me a headache because every page was so bland and neutral - photo after photo of gorgeous furniture just crying out for a throw pillow or something in a color other than some shade of sand/taupe/khaki/brown). 

Anyway, last week I put a different pair of older nude slingbacks into this underbed shoe thing, and looking at them today I just thought - what is the difference in these two shoes?  The older ones a little bit cheesy and frumpy with the bow, so I think they are going to go.  Funny how sorting shoes out by color/style/season illustrates my overlaps!  Cannot wait til April 8th and the big shoe sort!

Bottom line:  Keeper

March 13 - brown mules

What:  size 8 brown snakeskin print mules
From:  Talbots (outlet)
Purchased:  late 90s?
Cost:  guessing $20

A total guess on price - I've had these forever.  They've been living under my bed in my shoe underbed storage thing, which I've decided to get through for my next few posts.  I've never worn these much - the part that goes right over the foot for some reason hurts like hell.  No blister or anything, jsut hurt like hell after walking just a little in them.  Not a feature you want in a shoe.  These are good looking shoes, so I've held onto them, but definitely not great shoes.  Oh well.  Maybe I can be persuaded to part with them, but they do have a clearly defined place to live so who knows. 

Bottom line:  keeper, for now

March 12 - replacement #2

What:  size 7.5 W black espadrilles
From:  Naturalizer (outlet in Florida)
Purchased:  Thanksgiving '09
Cost:  $15

Wrote about these on the March 11 post.  So this post covers the lower box in the photo - the black replacement espadrilles!

Bottom line:  keeper

March 11 - replacements

What:  size 7.5 W brown espadrilles with cream trim
From:  Naturalizer (outlet in Florida)
Purchased:  Thanksgiving '09
Cost:  $15

Trying to clean out shoes at this point - I've been upfront about these.  In the summer of 09, I bought two pairs of espadrilles and loved them both, though the elastic back on both stretched out unreasonably, making them slightly uncomfortable to wear.  But I really liked them a lot, and when I found them on the clearance rack of the Naturalizer outlet by my parents, I snapped both of them up for $15!  I showed you both during this challenge and wrote I had hoped to get another summer out of them - and since I spent the summer going through all my sandals, I did indeed get another summer from the original pair.  So now I'm going to have to decide if I keep the original ones for yet another summer, or if I ditch the original ones and bust out the new ones. 

So this post covers the brown ones

Bottom line:  keeper! 

Friday, March 18, 2011

March 10 - another symptom of the overall problem: orange sneaks

What:  size 8 white slip on sneakers with orange trim
From:  LOFT
Purchased:  '05-'06 or thereabouts
Cost:  $20

Never been worn.  I know I was just complaining about my need for basic slip on sneakers, but these just aren't it.  First off, white sneakers - one wear and they are trashed.  Second, these aren't a great fit.  Third, I really need shoes with some support, not just a flat tread.

I really coveted these when I saw them at LOFT and desperately wanted them.  I thought they'd go with so much of my casual spring/summer wardrobe.  And now I have no idea why, other than I do like orange things for going to UVA games, though they really would not be that comfy to walk around, given their lack of support.   I guess they are cute in a preppy sort of way, so perhaps I can find a way to wear them this coming summer, and then I'll have to get rid of them.  Actually, you know what, I think that is what happened - I liked them a lot, they matched a lot of my summer wear that year, but I knew they would get trashed easily, so I never wore them so they'd never get dirty so I'd never have to get rid of them.  Huh.  I think everyone does that to some extent - save things for special use, but then the special use never comes along.

Bottom line:  keeper

Whew - so now I've covered all of the 31 shoes that were stored in my shoe wardrobe-y thing!   Crap!  It doesn't!  I was scanning the first photo in that link and I spied a pair I have not covered in the blog yet.  Guess what, they're BLUE and have never been worn.  I have a real problem with blue.  Hmm, they are spring-y shoes, maybe I will actually wear them one day next week, so it'll be a while before I catch up my posts to real time.  Actually I have the perfect pair of pants to wear with those blue shoes but they need to be hemmed.  Hmmm.

And you know what else?  These are the 167th pair of shoes I've shown you (157 at end of Feb + 10) - my original guessimate of how many shoes I own.   I think I have at least 15 more - hmm, more like at least 20 more (got to clean out the bottom of my closet, which is a jumble), which puts my end date as March 30, with my date with TSM set for April 8, will I make it?  Will I still have shoes left to cover?  Will I have to double up?  Crap, will I hit 200 pairs?!  Wow.  OK, this has been a very long, protracted 10 month blog series, but it has been useful.  For me at least! 

March 9 - uh oh!

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

So these are a match to my seafoam sandals, and I just never got around to wearing the black ones this past summer.  They've been crammed in my shoe wardrobe-y thing for years.   And so can you see what's happened?  The toes have totally curled up.

I hate to get rid of them, but I just don't think a) they can recover from the curl and b) they are really, truly worth saving.  I still have (and still love) the seafoam ones, but they've never been perfectly comfortable shoes.  And they are really old, and these black ones are really beat up.  I think I should ditch them.

I am really excited to lay out my entire shoe collection, though, because I think the state of my black shoes is really going to stun me - I think most of my black shoes are in really bad shape and need to go, but I've held onto them.  Black shoes, as I've written before, aren't as easy to find as a super bargain.  Super bargains are reserved for odder shoes that are left over.  I really do feel like I need to do a major upgrade of my black sandals.

Bottom line:  I want to see all my black sandals together, so I will hold onto these until April 8th, but I think they are going to go.

March 8 - too tight!

What:  size 7.5 black suede pumps with stitching bow detail
From:  Van Eli (purchased online from
Purchased:  '04-'06
Cost:  $25

Oh man.  Still working on the shoe wardrobe piece of furniture.  I hate admitting these failures.  These are among the first shoes I cyber stalked - saw these and another couple of pairs on an online site and they were a great bargain.  And so I bought them, because I am on a lifelong quest for basic black pumps.  I just cannot get it right, though.  Soon after Elizabeth was born, my interest in shoes began to grow exponentially - I think it definitely has something to do with not gaining weight in the feet, so shoes nearly always fit. Plus I had that co-worker who became a friend who teased me about my shoe collection, while I feigned horror at her shoe collection (well, I wasn't feigning all that much as she seriously owned the worse shoes ever). 

Anyway, so there I was paying a lot of attention to shoes, found these online, and went back and forth on ordering the 7.5s or 8s.  Today I'd definitely order 8s, but I really am slightly in between those sizes.  So I went with 7.5s.  And they really are too tight.  I wore them once to work thinking, oh suede, they'll stretch just fine.  But yowza, they were painful.  They've been sitting in the shoe wardrobe thing-y for years and I just need to admit they are not magically going to stretch out.

Bottom line:  Sigh.  This pains me.  Discard........

March 7 - more mules

What:  size 8 black mules with bow
From:  Bandolino (Hecht's)
Purchased:  '01-'02
Cost:  more than I wanted them to - $36 or so

I got these shoes because I really needed a pair of black shoes to wear to some meeting.  They were a classic I need X so will search them out and buy something that fits X's requirements but isn't quite perfect and costs too much money.  But I actually liked these just fine - I used to wear them all the time with a black shirt and grey pencil skirt.  Classic.  I haven't worn them in years, and they really aren't that stylish anymore. 

When did mules go so out of style?  Oh well.  They are still really fine.

Bottom line:  keeper

March 6 - the last of the green sandals

What:  size 8 green sandals with bead detail
From:  Talbots (outlet)
Purchased:  '03-'04
Cost:  $20 - dont' remember exactly but they were cheap

The last pair of green sandals!  Well, I have (had!) three pairs of virtually identical light green sandals.  And another pair of green wedges.  And then these.  I snapped them up for cheap at the Talbots outlet, and they are perfectly comfy and fit well.  But, the heel on the left shoe needs to be repaired, so I haven't worn them in this challenge.

These also are not the most practical shoe - I wore these at my last office job, and they are stylish and look good.  But those beads?  Turns out if you walk down a quiet, carpeted hallway, all you hear with each step is chk chk chk chk chk chk.  Annoying!  More than once I had people leave their office to see what was making that noise.  Not the right shoe for the office, then.  But a great dressier sandal. 

Bottom line:  keeper, though they need to be repaired!

March 5 - blue strappy

What:  size 8 blue strappy sandals with rosette strap
From:  Unisa (bought unknown)
Purchased:  2001-02
Cost:  don't remember.  A bargain, though - you can still see a tiny bit of red sticker on the right shoe.  I kinda have this feeling I got these at a place like Nordstrom Rack, but really don't know.  Let's guess $20

Love these shoes!  Wore them for my friend Kdot's wedding.  (Love that Kdot let us chose our own shoes, so I could wear something snazzy!)They are great.  Well, they are mostly great.

Can you see, in the picture above that my pinky toe does not quite fit in the strap across my toes?  It sort of almost sneaks in there, but really, it's not contained by the toe strap.  Sigh.  The only thing worse than wide feet is narrow feet, as my friend Elaine can confirm.  I still like them, and they still work fine enough.

Bottom line:  keeper

Thursday, March 17, 2011

March 4 - maybe these are the best

What:  size 8 leopard print and suede pumps with velvet trim/bow
From:  Coach (bloomingdales)
Purchased:  Fall '05
Cost:  $115

So, I wrote my polka dot/spotted shoes were the best, but I think these might be the best.  It's a toss up.  The polka dot ones are more whimsical, with the hot pink/red suede accent.  These are more classic, if you will, with the leopard print and red suede, and slgihtly higher heel, though not too high.  These are also more comfortable, which means they might get the nod.  But for some reason, when I started this shoe challenge, I thought I only had two pairs of Coach shoes - I totally forgot about these.  So, hmm, not sure what that means about my love of them. 

These were in all the Coach ads in the early fall of 2005.  I ripped that ad out of several magazines - I could probably find it (I have files of interesting things I rip out of magazines - clothes, jewelry, recipes, book reviews, gardening tips, craft projects, places to go, see, do, thoughtful articles, etc - really, bizarrely, it's the one of the few things I actually keep semi-organized).  I coveted those shoes.  So when I had my little shoe frenzy at Bloomingdales, and found these on the sale rack (despite the pre-season hype!) I had to have them.  I wore them to two subsequent office parties, with fishnets, black pencil skirt, and red sweater with faux fur trim.  I've only worn them maybe 2-3 times besides that (per wear cost - oh the horror!).  Maybe it's the red - I used to wear a ton of red but don't really anymore.  So I knew I had to wear them for my monthly mom's night out dinner with friends (though i was not satisfied with my outfit).  They really are good shoes, I need to wear them more often.  I do love them, but I need more ideas of how to wear them. 

But it does make me think about some of my more blah shoes.  It is true I have some really stylin' shoes.  But really, not that many truly standout trendy shoes, and the ones I do have tend to be sandals.  But like everyone else, I need shoes for walking the dog or going for a walk or hitting the playground.  Hmm.  I am really curious to see the whole collections laid out - I think that will be very eye opening.  April 8 is the date!  Take off work and come by! 

Bottom line:  oh is there any doubt these are keepers? 

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

March 3 - pink slingbacks

What:  size 8 pink slingbacks with bow
From:  Talbots (outlet)
Purchased:  mid 00s, I think?
Cost:  hmm, guessing around $24

I'm working my way through my shoe wardrobe (the actual physical wardrobe piece of furniture, that is) jsut trying to wrap this up before April 8 - can I do it?  Will I make it before final decision day? 

Anyway, these.  They are fine.  But I do not have many occasions to wear them.  I actually have a sweater and a skirt the exact shade of pink.

Why yes, I did graduate from high school in the 80s, how did you know?  There is something I do not love about the outfit though.  Partly it's the matchy matchy. You could not be more matchy match if you tried.  Well, only if I had the shell for the sweater set (which I do not own) - I usually wear a white shirt under the sweater.  Things are supposed to go, not completely match anymore.  I get that.  But there is no other color in this outfit besides black - so what color goes?  Green, maybe?  Just stick with black since there's a lot of bright stuff already happening?  In any case, these shoes are perfectly fine and heck, I just have to find a different out for which they go, not match! 

Bottom line:  keeper

March 2 - grey strappy sandals

What:  size 8 grey satin strappy sandals
From:  Talbots (outlet)
Purchased:  mid 00s
Cost:  $20

Grey is my go-to neutral.  Love it - grey and purple, grey and blue, grey and pink, grey and not love grey and brown, though.  Anyway, when I saw these on the clearance rack at Talbots I snapped them up years ago, and sadly they have never been worn.  I'm just not in a fancy party world any longer, I guess.  Someday! 
Bottom line:  keeper - they still fit

March 1 - pink sneaks

What:  size 8 pink slip on sneakers
From:  AK Anne Klein (Lord & Taylor)
Purchased:  2004
Cost:  $40

So I have these in red, and when I wrote about the red ones I said I couldn't find the pink ones.  They turned up shoved under my dresser.  Oh, how I freaking wish AK Anne Klein still made them.  So I had the red ones, they got totally overworn, and I bought the pinks ones, relegating red to gardening or painting.  These pink ones have since become utterly and totally completely worn.  But I love them and they are totally comfortable, and I've never successfully found a replacement shoe.  I should ditch both the red ones and the pink ones, but the lack of replacement is holding me back.  Now having a dog again I am dying for a pair of slip on sneakers for quick trips outside.  Bah. 

Bottom line:  still on the fence, for both.  I need to just trash both of them. 

Monday, March 7, 2011

January/February tally

Holey moley. I am officially SICK TO DEATH of my ridiculous shoe collection. SICK. TO. DEATH.

AND, I went around to all my various stash places and I think it's possible there's another full month to go! I definitely counted at least 25 more. TSM says she's coming over April 8th for the grand shoe set up (wanna come? we'll need the help!). Is it possible for me to get through them all before the 8th? I think so. I shall soldier on.

In the month of January/February, I wore/examined 30 pairs of shoes from my collection, at an estimated total cost of $1077, or average cost of $35.90. The boots killed my average this month. Of those, I am keeping 25, though I am seriously on the fence with 3 of them. 5 pairs are being discarded, with one of those pairs already in the trash.

So, I've been blogging shoes for 273 days.

I have shown you 157 pairs of my shoes. I am keeping 133 (!) (on the fence about 9 of those, though I think I gave my mom one of those 9, I need to go back and check), trashing 4, donating 20.

So keeping 133 and getting rid of 24 is a cull rate of 13%. (Damn, my cull rate dropped - my goal remains 20%, which means I have stacks to get rid of, and my fence sitting isn't helping me any).

And, I estimate that over the past 17 years or so I've spent $4,474.75 on shoes, or an average cost of $28.50 per shoe, or roughly $265/year on my little hobby.

So when I first started this and counted my shoes, I got up to 167. Turns out I was off by at least 10%! It's looking more like 180, total (do you know what 180 means? It means if I were a school teacher, I could wear a different pair of shoes for every single day school was in session for an entire academic year! Good gravy!). That is a freakishly large number of shoes. And even if I cull 20%, I'd still have at least 144 shoes! Crazy. Cray-zee. At this point, quite honestly, I'm forgetting what I've already written about and what still needs to be documented. You know what I want to do? I want to stop photographing these and just pretend I do not have all these excess shoes. But that doesn't help with the clutter. I'm going to get through this, and I'm going to have a clearer, more focused idea of what shoes I own.

Sigh. Onward!

Friday, March 4, 2011

February 28 - another black slingback

What: size 8 black slingbacks with 2.5 inch heel
From: Liz Claiborne (bought at some outlet, somewhere)
Purchased: early 00s
Cost: not entirely sure. I have them in lilac, too, so couldn't have paid much for them. My memory is still fuzzy, but I kind of vaguely think they were super cheap, like $15, but let's say $20 to be more reasonable

So, just trying to wrap up February and grabbed these out of the closet. I showed the lilac ones in November. These have gotten more wear than the lilac ones, which I've never actually worn.

The heel is a little bit tight, I'm remembering is the problem with them. I have to put bandaids on my heels so the elastic doesn't cut into them. But other than that problem, which is not insignificant over a long day, but not insurmountable, either, there's nothing terribly wrong with them. Nothing great about them, either, though.

So this raises a question for me - do you think shoes need to be 100% comfortable from the get go? How much pain are you willing to endure for shoes? See, I've been e-mailing Elaine who returns shoes that might cause blisters. I used to work with a friend who insisted shoes had to be 100% comfortable from day 1. What do you think? I feel like there's a certain level of discomfort that comes with many shoes, and you mitigate as much as possible, treat injuries, (band-aids are your friend) and after a couple of wearings your foot gets used to the way that particular shoe rubs and off you go. So every fall, when I switch back to closed back shoes, I know my heels will hurt a bit for a week or so, and every spring, when I start wearing shoes that are strappier, I expect minor sore spots or blisters til I adjust again. I'm no sadist - shoes should not injure you (like the scar I still bear from June 1, the first day of this shoe experiment!), but I've always kept a box of band aids in my work desk. And I have plenty of shoes that never cause any sort of hurt (beloved grey booties, for example). But do I accept a higher level of pain than you do?

Back to these - bottom line: keeper, for now