Saturday, September 14, 2013

Public Service Memo on Ugly Shoes

I love shoes.  Not in the sense that I will spend lots of money per pair, but in the sense that I have lots of pairs.  I'd way rather have ten pairs of $20 shoes than one pair of $200 shoes, because that just seems boring.  But, they do have to be cute...And I'm not saying I have lots of shoes, as in, I have 5,000 pairs and I had to build a whole room to hold them.  It's more like 100 pairs, give or take, so don't be all thinking I'm a shoe freak.  I also am not against expensive lovely shoes, but I don't have the budget (or the conscience) for that.  Even if I was rich, I'd still probably collect cheap shoes.  I do have a few pairs that were (gasp) over $100 each, but I qualify that by saying that they were way on sale.  I think one pair was so discounted that they were free, or I actually got money back or something.  So, it hasn't broken the bank to collect a nice assortment of fun colorful shoes.  Here's some of the "summer shoes"...

 On a side note, unfortunately, since I quit being *out there* in the wedding industry, I noticed many of my cute shoes this summer sat sadly unworn, because I only went to the beach and the grocery store.  Oh sure, there are the stand-by favorites I always wear (and yes, they're still cute), but they were, brown, or silver.  All the fun colored shoes just sort of hung out, unworn, and now it's September, which means it's time to revert to boots, booties (I have tons of those), and my standby Clark's again.  I have to reverse the shoe hangers in the closet so the Fall things are up front and Summer things are in the back, or stored away til next year.  That's always sort of a sad ritual...

 fall-ish shoes, waiting for rotation to the front
When I was younger, I used to only have like 4 pairs of shoes.  One black.  One brown.  Some cowboy boots.  Some sneakers.  That was pretty much it.  Then I bought some flats for summer.  Then I started wearing heels again, just because I LIKE HEELS and I wasn't packing a baby on one hip any longer...Then I bought some cute sandals, in a couple of colors, to match different dresses.  Pretty soon, I was buying new shoe cubbies for my closet, and that's how it happened.  It sort of...grew.  But if you go in Payless anytime, you're absolutely bound to see something super cute, and they're like 12 bucks, so you think--Sure, why not?
Yay, fall booties!!
 A few years ago, however, I noticed that... not everyone must feel this way, judging from the huge assortment of flat-out ugly shoes I started noticing around me.  So I started sort of paying attention, and I realized...WHY do these shoes even exist?  I get it, that some shoes are just really really really comfortable, or you have to wear a certain shoe for work (like nurses), or they're for safety (construction workers), or you have athelete's foot and don't want your toes showing in summer, or WHATEVER.  But, why wear ugly shoes?  Who's making these shoes? If you must wear a sneaker with mom jeans and a T-shirt (and, for the record...heels will TOTALLY change the outfit.  Just sayin'), then why does it have to be some jacked up, roughed up, scuffed up, clod-hopper of an old no-name "sport" shoe??  Or Crocs (which go especially nice with socks--not). Did you just get off a treadmill somewhere, and forget to bring real-person shoes with you to put on before you dashed in the grocery store on the way home?  Do you seriously not have $12 to go get a cute flat or sandal?  Do you actually just not care?  I always want to ask people.
Rocky beach--yes.  Grocery store--NO!!
I see people in totally normal clothes all the time, and then you're standing there, sort of vacantly looking at them because that's where your head is pointing at the moment, and then your eyes drift down towards the floor (for no apparent reason), and you are startled to aqua-sock-looking orthopedic sandals the size of waffle irons strapped on this otherwise normal-looking woman's feet.  Did she just get back from a not-quite-barefoot hike on the beach and put her nice cardigan and pants on OVER these shoes?  Did she just have open-toe surgery??  I can't help but stare.  Or at least my eyes sort of pop out a little, before I quickly look away, in case she sees me, ogling her shoes.  What are you looking at?  uhhhh, you have...waffle irons on your feet.
They sort of jar me.  They hurt my eyes a little.  Do not mistake me:  I'm not a total fashion freak.  I don't read Vogue.  I don't follow trendy designers, or what the Kardashians have on their feet.  I don't even have TV.  But I know, I just...KNOW...that these shoes do not belong at the grocery store.
(do I even need to say how bad these look?  But I do wear these, every day, in the garden)
Here's an exercise to make my point.  Put on whatever you're wearing today, even if it's old jeans and a t-shirt.  Put on casual shoes.  NO, not those frumpy old sneakers that were great for P.E. in 1987.  Keds, maybe.  Or even a cute pair of flats.  Stand in front of a full-length mirror and view the whole outfit (you should do this every time you get dressed, too, but that's a topic for another time).  Now put on a pair of heels or cute sandals and check the mirror again.  Voila--whole different look! 

See? These are cute AND comfortable...
Now, take it to the next level:  Go put on your highest heels, the ones you wear when you want to rock a dress or an event, no matter how much they hurt, and check again.  See what I mean?  It's shallow, but cuter shoes will make you feel more confident, even in jeans and a t-shirt, I promise.  Try it.
...NOT this:  
I'm not saying you should hit Costco in 5" heels (though I've done it, and yes, it hurt).  But at least try a cute 2" wedge or a jeweled flip-flop.  My old wedding vendor/dressy occasions went without saying, and I definitely pulled out the 5" heels for those.  But I also drove home barefoot afterwards, and usually had flats in the car so I could, if need be, stop and grab milk on the way home without the suffering of high heels, but also without being that lady walking around the store in aqua-socks and a cocktail dress.  Because you know that's when you're going to run into the ex-boyfriend you haven't seen since highschool.  Awkward.  Then you have to talk fast and use lots of hand gestures, while standing behind an end-cap of on-sale BBQ sauce and hoping he doesn't look down.  OMG, do NOT look at my feet!

I. don't. even.--what? Is that horse-halter material??
I know that heels can be very painful to wear (yet, we wear them anyway).  I know that some people can NOT wear any kind of heel or non-supportive shoe, but I also know there are cute options out there.  Just please, leave the gym shoes at the gym (or in the car).  And, if it looks like it has tire-rubber anywhere on it...don't buy it to start with. 
Or, maybe I should just never look downEver--

On a P.S. note:  If you reading this and thinking Geez, lady, there are people in the world who can't afford a SINGLE PAIR of shoes, no matter what they look like; yes, I know that.  You're probably reading the wrong blog, if you came here thinking I'm trying to solve world issues.  The things I muse about here are, by nature, more or less shallow and fun, on purpose.

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