Here is something that you may not know about me, unless you’ve met me in person, in which case it is very possibly the first think that you think of when you see me: I have a shoe obsession. A serious one. The kind that involves many, many shoeboxes. So many, that I still have some in storage in Canada. That’s right: I have so many shoes that they cannot be contained in one country.
I’m not going to deconstruct my love of shoes here – there’s a whole semiotics of shoes that I could, and someday probably will, explore – mostly because such deconstruction is secondary to more important questions. I could tell you why I love my shoes, but isn’t better that I tell you where I get my shoes?
That’s what I thought. So, herewith, my philosophy of shoe acquisition:
Care ye not whence thy shoes came. Be ye catholic in thy tastes. Fuss not o’er labels or designer names. Embrace ye the vintage shoe, the Topshop shoe, the Barney’s Warehouse sale shoe, and the shoe that the Internet doth proffer.
Being indiscriminate in sourcing shoes is really the only way to amass a awesome, conversation-starting collection, unless you have a gajillion dollars and a warehouse-sized shoe closet, which I – and probably you – do not. You do not need – nor, I would argue, do you want – a collection that is entirely comprised of super-expensive, high-maintenance shoes that you will rarely wear because you are worried that you will get a scratch on the heel. I mean, do acquire those shoes if you want (I have some such shoes myself, just because), but also acquire the kinds of low-maintenance, got-it-on-sale-so-whatever shoes that you can wear on the subway, kick off in the sand, and leave in a jumble on your closet floor.
Also, order them from the Internet. The Internet has AWESOME shoes, and it totally wants you to have them.
This was a revelation to me. I knew about ordering shoes online, but it had never occurred to me to try it myself, mostly because I just couldn’t wrap my head around picking the right shoe just from picture. Shoes are three-dimensional, and require three-dimensional analysis. You need to see what they look like on your feet, in movement. That’s why they have those crazy tilted foot mirrors in shoe stores. So you can see what shoes look like ON FEET.
But if you go to a site like ShoeMint (an online membership-based shoe subscription service, and – disclosure! – sponsor of this post), there is video! Of shoes! On feet, being worn in a variety of ways, so that you can visualize what your feet would actually look like in said shoes, and also how you would wear them! Which goes a long, long way toward helping you figure out whether the shoe in question is the shoe for you. (And way more efficient, I might add, than doing that thing where you try on heels in a shoe store and pull your jeans up to your knees and squint at your lower legs in a desperate effort to visualize what those heels might look like with a dress.) And the shoe selection is curated for you based on a style questionnaire that you fill out, which is a fun exercise in itself (I am WAY more Kate Bosworth in my tastes than I am Olsen twins, if you must know.) And then you get shoes delivered TO YOUR DOOR, which, if you ask me, is just a bonus, because, packages! Of shoes! In the mail!
I ordered these:
…. and I did so almost entirely on the power of the video, which made them look so fun and tall. (I will totally skip through SoHo weraing these, and I will totally fall on my face, but I will, for one shining moment, believe that I am just like that girl in the video, and it will be AWESOME.)
ANYWAY. A Shoe-A-Month program may prove to be my undoing. Or it may take my shoe collecting to ever-greater heights of awesome. STAY TUNED.