It took me 26 years to figure out shoes.
I mean, I know how to walk in them and all. Actually, I do it better than most people do, but only if the shoes have big heels (flats make me clumsy, it’s weird).
But I’ve finally realized that when it comes to shoes, quality should always trump quantity. I spent most of my high school and college years snatching up every crazy pair of brightly colored cheapie heels I could find. Where did that leave me? Hopping down a street on one foot because the bright green heels of my colorblock sandals just plain fell off. Cheap fashion is great but sometimes you just need to splurge on something that’ll last in order to avoid a fiasco like that.
I believe in investing in some good quality shoes. You shouldn’t own a closet full of Manolos and nothing else – although if you do, congrats! You’re fabulous, dahling. You should, however, identify which shoes are splurge-worthy and invest in these. You’ll actually save in the long run because you won’t need to run out for a new pair every time your cheapies break or give you blisters.
So without further ado, here are my picks for the five high-quality shoes you should get yourself.
Black pumps: This is an obvious one. You will wear these now – to parties and formals and such – and you’ll use them even more in the future, every time you go to dinner at a trendy restaurant or on a date or to a work event or a job interview…you get the picture. Avoid man-made materials as they’ll stretch over time. Find a heel height that makes you feel both comfortable and sexy. And although pointy toes are super trendy right now, my humble opinion is that you’ll get more use out of a round toe.
Nude pumps: Everything I said about black pumps applies, except nude pumps will make your legs look unbelievable. Find a shade that matches your skin tone and you pretty much create the illusion that your legs are as long as a runway model’s.
Riding Boots: It’s not easy to look cute and stylish when it’s cold (welcome to my Chicago existence) but is a lot easier when you have a good pair of boots. I love a nice, rich chocolate brown pair. If you wear a ton of black like I do, these are great. Sounds counter-intuitive, I’m sure, but the brown really pops against the black. A pair that hits just below the knee is ideal and you can wear them with everything from dresses to leggings and over-sized sweaters. These will really need to stand the test of time, so I suggest investing in something like a Frye boot.
Comfortable flats: These will be so valuable when you start working. Whether you prefer a classic ballet slipper or a funkier pair of smoking slippers, find a pair of flats you can really see yourself using and get them. I am not a flat person but I recently invested in a pair of glittery oxfords. You just have to do whatever works for you.
Statement shoes: This can be whatever the hell you want it to be – crazy Gaga-esque platforms, bedazzled sandals, studded booties, colorful pumps – just be sure to have one slightly crazy pair of shoes on hand. They’ll dress up your more basic outfits and they make awesome display pieces for your apartment.