Carrie Bradshaw famously had a collection of
shoes so large that, by the second
Sex and the City
film, they required a colossal dream closet. My sister Jamie, who
works at DSW (and therefore has the coveted first pick of lovely
discounted designs) has so many shoes that they cannot fit onto two
mammoth sized shoe racks. This does not include her boots. For many
girls, turning down shoe shopping is as hard as turning down
chocolate. I, however, was late in discovering the delights of this
past time. I was always one for garments and my favorite accessory
was and still is hats. Ballet flats or loafers were added as a
necessary afterthought so I didnít walk barefoot. And although my
love for clothing and hats has not diminished, I have a newfound
appreciation of shoes.
week, I decided to write up on shoes for girls who were in my
position a year ago: interested in shoes, but uncertain where to
start. This article will discuss shoe types, shoe doníts, shoe
fabric, and where to purchase. Soon youíll be able to tell which
shoes rule and which shoes, well, suck.
Essential Shoe Collection
These are a
list of classic shoe types that can be worn with a variety of
are slip-on shoes originating in Norway that sometimes reminded me
of a leisurely English gentleman who smokes cigars and drinks
brandy. In a good way. Loafers are most effective in neutral colors:
mahogany, navy, black, pewter, browns, and creams. Penny loafers
fold over at the top (and sometimes include a tassel) with just
enough space between to fit a penny.
are lace up formal shoes with eyelet tabs (the holes for the
shoelaces) sewn inside the vamp. The toecap is usually lined in
decorative miniature holes. Oxfords can be a solid color, or,
equally popular, two-toned. Like loafers, oxfords look best in
neutral colors. An oxford with just a bit of a wedge paired with
scrunchy socks gives off a charming, preppy feel.
shoes- also called
topsiders are shoes in which the laces (often leather) weave
throughout the center of the shoe and cross only twice at the front
before tying. They are made of a canvas or leather top with a rubber
sole. Boat shoes are worn by sailors and add a nautical edge to any
outfit. These come in a variety of colors, the most classic of which
are white, navy, and navy and white.
flats- are often found
in solids or two tones and have a curved toe. They can be accented
with bows or a string tie and are flattering in both bold and neutral
colors, so long as it suits the outfit. Iconic images of Audrey
Hepburn show her wearing a classic all black ensemble including
ballet flats, skinny jeans, and a turtleneck.
are nice to wear in the summer when other shoes would be suffocating
and hot. Woven sandals with white leather straps are a classic. Cork
wedge sandals with ankle ties or straps are currently all the rage.
heels- have a small,
curved heel that acts as a nice compromise between a ballet flat and
a higher stiletto. The were invented in the 1950s as choice shoe for
teenage girls, and again, popularized by Audrey Hepburn.
backs- have an open
back with a strap that crosses over the ankle. They are perfect for
spring weather, especially opened-toed sling backs. They look best
in neutral colors and can be found with various sized heels, from
stiletto to kitten heel to flat.
boots- reach just at
the upper calf to just beneath the knee, have a curved toe, a slight
wedge, and bring to mind equestrian past times. They have a single
buckle on the top outer edge and can be closed with either a zipper
or snaps. Riding boots are both appropriate worn with casual
clothing or with a flirty dress.
boots- are often made
of suede or leather and again reach just at the upper calf to just
beneath the knee, though the toe is pointed, and the wedge tends to
be taller than that of riding boots. Cowgirl boots do not have
closures and instead have a wide fit to pull on over the leg. They
have a country-western feel, but are worn by city girls with equal
Wellingtons- are the
classic rain boot. They are slip on and made of leather or synthetic
upper material with a rubber sole. They have been a choice of the
British aristocracy since the 19th century and were originally
popularized by the Duke of Wellington, Napoleonic war hero. Kate
Moss is accredited to giving them a sexy look in the 1990s. Pairs
well with a matching raincoat and a cute umbrella for a full British
Donít wear sneakers outside of the gym
unless you are running a marathon. Instead, blend comfort and style
and opt for trainers or loafers.
Donít wear heels over two and half
inches, especially if you are petite. Too high heels keeps your body
out of line, and stilettos are notorious for causing foot damage as
you grow older--resulting in problems such as fractures and bunions
which can lead to surgery.
Donít wear shoes that donít fit. Too
small shoes can damage your toenails and make for an incredibly
uncomfortable time. If you purchase shoes in a size too large, stick
heel liners inside to make for a better fit.
Donít wear clear shoes. Especially
clear sparkly shoes. Especially clear sparkly heels. Jellies during
summertime are the one exception.
shoe fabrics include leather, patent leather (which has a shiny
edge), and lambskin. For vegetarians, there are leather imitation
fabrics which hold up just as well, in addition to cloth shoes (like
Converse All Stars).
warehouses, like DSW and Famous Footwear offer a great variety of
shoes at discounted prices. Department stores (such as Macyís,
Sears, and Bloomingdales) often have designer shoes of good quality
and tend to have nice sales. Also try TJ Max and Marshallís, which
also carry discounted clothing and handbags.
have a favorite brand, check to see if it has its own store.
Otherwise shops like Journeys cater to fans of Chuck Taylors and
alternative styles; Footlocker is specifically for sneakers.
To get the look for less try stores like Payless
and Bakers, or retailers better known for their clothing like H&M,
Charlotte Russe, and Forever 21. But donít expect these shoes to
last more than a season.