Relative to fellow fashion devotees, I don’t hold shoes in high esteem. Don’t get me wrong, I covet many an elusive pair, but were I to have a shoe diary, it would be brief.
There were a handful of black patent-leather Mary Janes, some pink Roos, Docksiders (a staple in late-80s Boston), a strappy black pair that I wore to every Bar Mitzvah because they went with every crushed velvet/shiny satin early 90’s frock.
There were the suitable school uniform-compatible loafers (what a waste), the Docs I coveted instead (on a brief sojourn in London) and the slip-on Vans that gave me a spring in my step freshman year of high school. The moment I realized I liked fashion was marked, ironically, with the purchase of my first pair of Steve Maddens: They were chunky and clunky and buckled and brown. I made what I thought was a strong statement by pairing them with short shorts, and I loved them.
I upgraded in college, but my footwear was still painfully uninspired. There was a free pair of sneakers I won from Jane magazine, RIP (and felt compelled to wear, even though I hadn’t purchased them) and, on the flip side, the too-tall, wobbly stilettos, my first true stilettos, which elevated me to at least 6’2 (with Bambi-like gracefulness).
I always wanted—and am still searching for—the perfect pair of ballet flats.
Later years brought better shoes, and while my appreciation deepened, I still haven’t come close to my ideal collection (and by ideal, I mean accessibly ideal—no Brian Atwood beauties in my immediate future). I remember passing by the Repetto store in Paris, pain au chocolat in hand, dreaming wistfully of owning the luscious flats in every color.
Perhaps I have already proven my opening statement wrong.
And yet, even sans Atwood, Louboutin or humble Repetto, I had my trusty Chuck Taylors, which helped me blend in while traversing Europe; the brown boots I bought with Ashley (warm and kind of dowdy—but cheap, warm and delicious like greasy Thai take-out); some seriously shiny silver dancing shoes from the 60s; and my great-grandmother’s Ferragamo flats, in black and white, which are worn but surprisingly intact…not to mention the promise of so many more memorable shoes in my future.
…such as these satin, celadon sling-backs I wore on my wedding day ($19!)