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?