A treatise on shoes
This is the post in which I admit an unhealthy love for shoes. I own more shoes than I do nail polishes, and if you knew me, the enormity of that statement would be immediately apparent.
Jade loves shoes.
Jade does not love frumpy, out of date shoes. She does not love bone-coloured anything, princess heels, mules for work, garden clogs, dirty sneakers, or scratched leather.
On the first point. There are many, many lovely and comfortable shoes in the world today. I do not see the point of clinging to shoes that are ten to twenty years out of date. They are not classic-- they're dated. Everyone can tell you bought those shoes at 9 West for your first real job out of graduate school. I understand the idea of lucky shoes, I understand sentimental attachment to articles of clothing (Jade still has her senior prom dress, which has not fit in 30 pounds), and I understand the concept of "good" shoes. But at some point, it really is healthy to clean out your collection. Go through your closet and throw away or donate every pair of shoes that is worn, outmoded, or that you wore prior to 1999. It's good for the soul.
Now, about clogs and mules. There are some absolutely lovely backless shoes out there. Target carries the Cherokee line of shoes; soft leather, good construction, comfortable, and in sizes up to an 11. They always seem to have a couple pairs of clogs for the fall, generally some sort of nice leather with stylish detailing. Those sorts of clogs are fine. They look sophisticated with trousers or a tailored skirt, and they're comfortable enough to wear for a whole day on your feet.
These, however, are an abomination and should never, ever make up part of a professional wardrobe unless you own a garden center or are a nurse (several of my RN friends have told me they're quite comfy and look fabulous with scrubs. So they do have a purpose.)
Mules may not be the shoe of choice for persons on their feet all day either, but I know from preferring fashionable shoes. My only plea is that you not buy mules that look like bedroom slippers. These. Not these. If you're a young hip librarian, you might be able to get away with these. Jade would like a pair of those, in fact.
My lovelies, when your shoes are noticeably old-- and not in that funky vintage-cool sort of way-- ragged, scuffed, and the inner lining is peeling out from age? For the love of Goethe, please buy a new pair of shoes! If you are at a loss for where to find new shoes, may I recommend Zappos shoes online? This website carries a huge variety of name brand shoes, decent prices, no shipping.
And finally, make sure that you shoes are in good repair and polish. Some shoes take abuse beautifully-- certain styles of combat boots look better with the shininess worn off, and a good pair of driving mocs will only become more beautiful as they age. But in general, scratches and dullness make your shoes look shabby, not mellow. Invest in some shoe polish and some old rags, and use them. For flat leathers, I suggest Dr. Marten's Wonder Balsam or a tin of saddle soap and regular care; not only will it keep the leather beautifully conditioned, but the lanolin will help waterproof your shoes as well.
So what are on my feet today? You have me, gentle readers, by the shoestrings. Or rather, the bootstrings. Jade needed a bit of attitude this morning, just a bit of powerfulness to face a day of meetings and writing scariness. So she is wearing black Dr. Martens 14-eyelet combat boots with gum soles. Over tall stripey socks.