Why don't modest dressers have the most fabulous shoes? Compared to much of the rest of the world, our outfits from neck to knee are relatively tame. So why aren't our shoes making bigger statements? Why, my sisters, do I see so many boring, bland, gag-me-with-a-shoehorn, frump-a-dump shoes on you!?! Let's discuss the possible explanations.
Is it a money issue? I've certainly been one of those who's said that, if I only had a little more disposable cash in my wallet, I'd have more fabulous clothes. But I try to remind myself that true style doesn't have a price tag. A great wardrobe is a combination of both higher quality investment pieces, and lower priced trendy/often replaced pieces. While you can save money buying cheaper white t-shirts that you're just going to replace every year or so anyway, shoes are ABSOLUTELY an investment item. Cheaply made shoes (notice I didn't say "cheap", but "cheaply made") will look old and break down much faster than well-made shoes. What price you pay for those well-made shoes is up to your budget and bargain hunting abilities. I am all about scoring a great deal on good shoes. If you cast a wide search net (stay tuned for the upcoming post about widening your search) and bide your time, you'll usually find what you want at a pain free price. Usually. Some things never go on sale. Hello Blahnik? You and that Carolyne high-heel halter-back. I'm talkin' to you! Don't pretend you can't hear me!
Is it a fear issue? Are you too shy to let your feet make a bolder statement? I've heard lots of excuses for wearing snooze inducing footwear. Everything from, "Bright shoes are for little girls." and, "It's not sophisticated." to, "I don't want to appear too racy or radical and draw attention to myself." As I've said before, whether you want to or not, everyone makes a fashion statement. Every day. Shoes speak volumes so think of them as your PR agents. There's a moment in the movie Sneakers, when River Phoenix comes to Robert Redford all excited that there are two potential clients waiting to see him. "Shoes?" asks Redford. "Nice!" says River. And only then is the team excited to let the men in. Truly, what could happen by literally stepping out of your comfort zone in some non-traditional (for you) shoes? It'll be an adventure! Your step will certainly be a little perkier... you'll probably give yourself a quick pedicure since your feet will be showcased... you'll feel better from the pedi and do a quick mani... might as well swipe on a touch of mascara... before you know it that baby step of a new choice in shoes has turned your whole day into something more fun than it might have been.
Is it a comfort issue? Is it easy to spend a few hours in 4" stilettos? Nope. And it's no crime to lower your heel height as the amount of time you'll spend in them increases. Statement shoes don't have to be sky high heels. Everything from heel height to color to embellishments comprise the shoe's statement. I usually start high and knock an inch off for every two hours I expect to be standing in them. And the color or my shoes turns on the more my outfit tones down. Try thinking of comfort in the context of your whole look. If the outfit will be ruined, or at least not enhanced, by dull and boring shoes, you're really not going to be that comfortable. Knowing you look great from head to toe is infinitely more "comfortable."
Do you not know how to do the look "right?" Oh boy, do I sure understand this one. I've had some colossal outfit disasters because I was trying too hard to recreate a certain look. Shoes and accessories are actually the easiest ways to branch out. Start with your favorite basics that always make you feel great. That perfect skirt? The trousers that give you a perky rear view? The top that brings out your eyes? Now pick a shoe in a coordinating (not matching) color that you wouldn't normally wear. Or maybe a basic color but a more daring style, such as a high-heel when you would always wear a flat. The comfort and confidence of your go-to article of clothing will balance the out-on-a-limb shoe choice. And practice makes perfect is true even where style is concerned. The more things you try, the more pairings you'll find that you like (and don't like) and the easier it'll become.
To give you a little inspiration, here are some beauties from my own collection.
Keep the eye moving between statement shoes and fabulous earrings and they'll also view everything in the middle as wonderful.