The Secret is in the Shoes

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I was talking with my sister on the phone today and we got on the topic of fashion, what our personal styles are, and when it’s a good idea to branch out.  I told her about how I didn’t want to get into “fashion rut” and how pregnancy had been an eye-opening experience for me.  Even though I was pretty small my entire pregnancy, and never wore maternity clothes, I adjusted my style to suit my new body.  To my surprise, the change of pace was welcome to my wardrobe.  I told her that I had learned to step-out a little bit and try new things, so that I could always have a fresh “edge” to my style.  And then she said the truest thing: that the secret is really in the shoes.

Don’t get me wrong–adding a new piece of jewelry to your collection, or mastering a new hairstyle can work wonders to change up your look.  And we all know how refreshing it is to add a few new shirts into our fashion rotation.  But, a tell-tale sign of a fashion-rut is the shoes.

An old pair of shoes completely detracts from your entire look.  So does an unseasonable pair of slip-ons. Just think about the power of shoes for a moment.   A set of heels can take a pair of jeans from day to night.  A pair of flats can put a short skirt in check and make it modest.  Flip flops look completely different with shorts than heels do.  Even if you don’t consider yourself a “shoe person” (which I’m NOT) deep down inside, you know it actually counts for a lot.

SO, don’t let yourself get caught wearing 2 or 3 year old shoes with an outfit the same age.

If you are wearing that gorgeous lace skirt you bought a while ago, that’s perfectly fine and beautiful.  But pair it with a set of shoes you got more recently.  It’s not that you can’t wear older shoes–but your shoes and clothes should never be the same age.  A broken-in pair of shoes makes a broken-in outfit look worn-out as a whole.  Either the clothes or the shoes have to be new in order for your look to remain fresh.

And seasons matter too.  I learned this when working in a fashion boutique.  My boss mandated (like, basically half-way thru September) that we were no longer allowed to wear strappy sandals.  I thought it was a petty demand.  Boots were no fun to wear at work, and strappy sandals looked better with the skirts I was wearing.  But, in hindsight, she had a point.  If we were supposed to be cutting-edge fashion associates, we couldn’t be sporting sandals in late September, no matter how hot it was.  There were flats, boots, and heels that had a much more fall-look to them.   And the vibe of sandals honestly threw-off our fall styles.

I promise I’m not a shoe snob.  I’m not one of those people who drops hundreds of dollars on name-brand shoes.  In fact, I don’t even like shoes!  I wear flip-flops as often as possible, because they give my feet the least amount of “shoe” that I can find in my closet.  And in college, I was famous for wearing slippers, despite our professional dress code.  (And yes, I got dress-coded for it, haha).  At one point, I believe I owned 36 pairs of slippers.  Obsession is a real thing.  I even wore tiny bridal slippers as my wedding shoes on our special day.  So yes, no shoe snobbery here.

But I wanted to share my sister’s words of wisdom today…because sitting back, I realized just how right she was.  Shoes really can make or break a look.  They can completely stamp a date on your outfit.  And they can destroy the season of your style if you’re not careful.

Moral of the story: if the shoe fits, buy it in every color it comes in. 🙂  That’s not a summary of this post, it’s just my parting words of wisdom.  Now the real question is: (comment below) when is it time to officially retire a pair of shoes?

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