In my interviews, one of my favorite questions to ask those I’m featuring is “what they’d go back and tell themselves when they were building a wardrobe and buying this..or that….a decade ago.” I always learn so much from these answers and thought that I might start sharing some of my learnings, too. I tried to put them all down in one post, but…well I must have made a lot of mistakes and learnings over the years, because it soon grew too long.
Thus today I would like to introduce – what I’d tell myself when building my wardrobe..if I could go back in time. Shoe edition! The rest will be yet to come.
1. If the shoe doesn’t fit, you must…not get. OK, Johnny Cochran catchy rhyme creator I am not, but I think the message is clear. If there’s even the tiniest smidgen of discomfort when you wear the shoe around in the store, put it down. A little bit of pinching in the first few minutes of wear, for me at least, usually translates into excruciating agony just hours later. I learned this the hard way with some Manolo slingbacks that I was never able to wear. I finally gave up the ghost years later and gave them away to a friend.
2. Very high heels = dangerous conditions. I really am starting to believe that all shoe sections should start putting miniature staircase structures in so you can see what 5+ inch heels will actually feel like, as your descending down a flight of stairs. There’s been quite a few times when I’ve been very enamored with a pair of heels, and felt very secure in the store, walking around on the beautiful flat floors. But walking down a flight of stairs? I can’t think of many more dangerous situations I put myself in. I no longer buy heels that approach 5 inches…even if they have a platform. The total height is just too much for clumsy ol’ me.
3. If in doubt (at all!) put it back. Unlike with bags, clothes, and jewelry, for some reason I’ve never regretted not buying a pair of shoes. I think there are just so many great new pairs that come out each season…that it doesn’t matter if you miss one. Plus I’ve found the price hikes on shoes over the years to be much less than those of say, certain designer fine jewelry or handbags.
4. Know your shape. Yes, your whole body shape. I learned a long time ago that no matter how alluring basically all Alaia shoes are, they are simply not meant for those of my “shape,” which is commonly referred to as “the stump”. The high ankle straps and lace up details usually cut me off at the worst (thickest) part of my calves, rendering me even shorter looking. So as much as I love those types of shoes, I now stay away…and veer towards the classic pump and slingback shapes. If I could go back in time, I’d tell myself to put down almost all of the high ankle strap shoes that I ended up acquiring.
Anything that you’d tell yourself if you could go back in time..about what shoes to pick up, and which to put down?