I’ve got another seven days of this challenge under my belt (that might be a fashion pun) and I’m starting to feel the pressure of a lack of options. With such a large footwear wardrobe, how can I have a lack of options you might ask? Well, there are a few pairs of shoes and boots that I normally would wear nearly once a week but with this challenge, I’m limited to wearing them just once this month. On the plus side, I find that I’m wearing a greater variety of my clothes because excessive repeats would be noticeable in the pics. This past week I made a concerted effort to make my footwear choices from those that I’ve either had for a long time (over 5 years) and/or haven’t worn in a long time (more than 2 years). Before I show you the daily pics, I’d like to share a little bit of background on my footwear wardrobe.
I know for a certainty than none of my footwear is more than 18 years old. I know this because my youngest is 18 years old. Before children, I wore a size 8 1/2 narrow and after children I settled in as a 9 or 9 1/2 medium. In the third trimester of my first pregnancy, I wound up needing to buy a couple pairs of work appropriate size 10 shoes at Payless because sandals or flip flops were not an option and at the time I was hopeful that the size increase was a temporary issue. So after youngest was born and baby weight was lost, I was left with a footwear wardrobe that I could no longer wear. What you see in this challenge is footwear collection that is 18 years in the making.
A fortunate outcome of the post pregnancy size increase is that I now wear a medium width shoe and my choices for footwear include brands and styles that don’t fit a narrow foot. I still have flat feet (a podiatrist once described them as pancake flat) so there are fit challenges because of that but width is no longer an obstacle. Before children, I was always on the shopping prowl for shoes because finding stylish ones that fit was difficult. My MO was if I found a pair of shoes that fit and were less than $30 (20 to 25 years ago) I would buy them; today I still take this approach, with consideration of the footwear I have already, but my price threshold is a little higher. Remember when the materials and quality of inexpensive shoes were better than the mid-priced shoes of today? Those were the days.
At one time, a majority of my footwear purchases were made in department stores or brand retail stores but now they are mostly made at self-serve shoe warehouses or outlet stores. I don’t have any high end designer label footwear and I don’t think I have any that cost me much more than $100. Except for athletic shoes and very casual sandals, I keep my footwear in their original boxes. (I’ve considered switching them out for clear storage boxes but that’s a topic for another post) In some cases, I’m able to report on when I bought a specific pair of shoes and how much I paid because the receipt is in the box as well.
In the first part of this series, I professed to having over 80 pairs of assorted pumps, sandals, boots, slip-ons, etc, which equates to my yearly purchase rate of less than five a year. Now this may or may not sound like a lot except that there is an unknown quantity of footwear that were bought during the past 18 years and are no longer in my closet so I don’t know my true yearly purchase rate. Bad choices in style, fit, and/or comfort have led me to donate, give away, or be rid of said footwear. Fortunately, over time I have gotten much better at making good and selective choices in footwear and I think my footwear wardrobe is at about maximum capacity.
These boots are old favorites and they harken from the days when the squared toe was popular. Fortunately, the toe on these boots is not so squared as to make them look dated but even so, I don’t wear them very often because I don’t have a lot of brown in my wardrobe currently.
Long time residents in my closet, I find that the color of these Maryjanes makes them very versatile in my wardrobe as they work well with grays and browns.
The receipt for these T-straps says that I bought them at the end of December in 2006 (post Christmas sale, I guess) and that I paid $29.22 for them. I love the mix of feminine and masculine in the details.
These shoes are in my top five favorites and have been since I bought them nearly 10 years ago (I checked the receipt). I love, love, love the cut-out flowers around the toe and I wear them year round with everything from pants to skirts to jeans as shown in the pic above. I hope they last another 10 years.
Another pair of boots bought eons ago, I so love the look of them and I was very eager to wear them with my new sequin skirt for the two parties (one in late afternoon and one in the evening) we were invited to on Saturday. However, Mother Nature was a bit testy that day and decided we were in need of a bit of rain. So, I cheated a little bit with this challenge because suede is a no-no in the rain. The Husband took pics before the first party and before the rain started, then I changed into another pair of boots. The rain started just as we got to the first party and by its end the rain had stopped, the weather had cleared, and I was able to change back into lace-up boots for evening party. I will have another post out shortly about the skirt and different ways I can style it with my existing wardrobe.
I got the inspiration for wearing my white Keds sneakers during this challenge from another blogger’s, Jo-Lynne Shane, recent post. It would have never occurred to me to put together this look but I loved the outfit that Jo-Lynne had on and I realized that I had a similar pair of shoes, a similar shirt, and of course black pants. Instead of oxblood and fringe, I borrowed my daughter’s mustard colored cable knit infinity scarf and I felt stylish and comfortable as the Husband and I were out and about running a few errands.
The atmosphere at work this week and next will be quieter than usual as many of my colleagues will be taking time off. My workload is quite heavy this time of the year so I will be working as usual but my style can be casual hence this outfit. I bought these shoes last month at an outlet mall and first spied them in black and in gray, both of which I have in somewhat similar shoes (see Day 6 and Day 11). Logically I knew that I didn’t need another pair of black or gray shoes but then I saw them in this reddish color and I was sold. Better yet, the reddish ones were $10 cheaper than the black or gray ones. I do love a bargain.
I hope that you are enjoying this series. There will be two more posts; one for Days 22 thru 28 and one for Days 29 thru 31 which will include some final thoughts on this challenge.