This is part two of an already obsessive shoe talk. I dont know when my shoe buying habits got out of control. I had two pairs until 7 years ago. A pair of Nike rubber flip flops and a pair of Steve Madden mid-calf boots. And then, I read a Vogue article on how women put a lot of effort into their clothing and ruin their outfit with the wrong shoes. I looked down at my feet at that instant to see a pair of sloppy looking flip flops. And it all changed for me. I don’t have the courage to calculate cost per wear to an actual number but have categorized my collection into 4 : most worn, least worn, good cost-per-wear, bad cost-per-wear. Most worn and best cost per wear is not the same because its contingent upon the price of the item. This post forced me to contemplate on my buying habits over the years – just a little. Its not the overall count that bothers me. Its more the law of diminishing returns – pleasure wise. Owning 6 is a good and functional. 8 fulfills my need for variety. The 2 hiking boots are not negotiable. But the last 4, mostly sit in a box waiting to be worn and wasting my money. The ones currently on my wish list cross over into the greed territory.
The no brainers. Black ballet flats and sturdy granny loafers. They go with everything and are extremely functional. These two are the only essentials that I need for my real day to day life.
Pointed toes, delicate lace on loafers, wooden sandals == special occasion wear. The cobwebs in my closet. The queen doesn’t visit me often enough to justify these purchases.
Not so expensive shoes + durable shoes + lots of years + lots of wear = best cost per wear. Both of them are scuffed and wrinkled but I don’t need my shoes to look perfect. I need them to be functional and sturdy – which they are. The secret to their longevity – rotation, socks, clean and condition.
Notice how shiny these are ? Very expensive shoes that got worn very little so far. But I have big plans for them. The black boots will be worn for the next 10 years to justify their cost. I get to test out the legendary Church’s handmade craftsmanship. For anyone wondering, the leather on the Church’s boots is all that the hype promised it would be. My black oxfords has at most another two years left in them. The burgundy oxfords will eventually be dyed black to take their place. See, I have a plan.
Some Free Advice aka Conclusions
Half of my shoes are from NDC Made by Hand. They are very hard to find but are brilliantly made. Too bad that I cant find them anywhere currently, to recommend them.
My hall of fame brands : Saint Laurent ( made for narrow feet ), Frye Company, Church’s, Danner.
3 years ago, I purchased a pair of backpacking boots from Danner. Everyone around me protested that I was wasting my money. I used them a lot. This valentines day, I went on a hike and came back with ruined shoes. I wrote to them. They found a fault with the shoe and replaced it free of charge. Life time guaranty is a BIG DEAL. Very few craftsman have that sort of confidence in their work to even utter those words.
@Anyone actively building a collection : please do check out The RealReal. There are so many well constructed shoes that are hardly worn, that end up on there. Most of my shoes were purchased secondhand, found at great prices all over the internet. If I had 20$ to spend, I rather find the discarded works of good craftsmen on the second hand market instead of going to an H&M.
To confess, I don’t need all these shoes. Its monetary loss for me to sell them away now. I rather keep them for how many ever years and wear them instead. At this point, some of them get worn less than 10 times a year. And its fine by me. The cost per wear calculation exercise is for the brave hearted ones who are really interested in true self reflection. I highly recommend it to anyone who is actively working on editing their wardrobe. The numbers dont lie. I am writing these posts to have a chat with my fellow shoe lovers. Because there are not many shoe collections out there on the internet which dont involve an endless display of fancy looking heels. Where are my kind of shoe lovers ? The ones who adore flats and old school masculine shoes ? If we the women of the current century have to collect shoes, let them be practical wearable everyday ones. Ones that we can walk in and not the ones we have to hoard for a special day that may or may not come. Cheers !