One of my Twitter friends, BootsMC, has a post today about one of her favorite things: pricey heels. Boots is a fellow Arkansan, so she will probably know what I mean when I say I do appreciate going to browse at the Park Plaza Mall Dillards in what my sister and I refer to as the Shoe Museum. I appreciate the look of a ‘spensive heel. I browse for them online and I drool over them in stores. I just don’t happen to own any.
Part of this is the fact that I grew to my current height of a hair shy of 5’8″ in about the sixth grade, years before my peers hit their growth spurts. I spent many gawky years towering over my friends, and as a result, never wanted to wear anything that might make my freakish height all the more freakish. I know people not gifted with height say they hate hearing tall skinny girls talk about how painful their adolescences were, but that was my experience. I was the “walking toothpick” and “Olive Oyl.” So instead of spending my teen years learning to wear heels with grace, I shunned them. And now, as an adult, my gait in a pair of stilettos is best described as “drunken baby giraffe.” It’s not pretty, y’all.
Add to this the fact that I was raised by one of THE cheapest women in the world. No one pinches a penny and waits for a sale quite like my mama. In fact, her cheapness is something of a joke in our family, with my dad often asking us, “Girls, how do little birdies go?” and we girls respond “cheap, cheap, cheap!” Thanks to this upbringing I feel guilty paying full price for anything, and need someone, anyone, to give me permission to spend more than $50 on just about anything. I think I would be physically unable to spend $300 on a pair of shoes.
How do these two factors inform my footwear? I live in flats. Cheap flats. Just before the new explosion of ballet flats arrived on the scene, my in-laws had already noted my trademark skimmers and had taken to calling all ballet flats “Sarah Shoes.” At last count, I have some 15 pairs of ballet flats, all priced at less than $30 a pair, most from Old Navy, Target, Simple, and The Gap. In the extreme summer heat, I wear flip flops, mostly of the grosgrain variety from J.Crew, and I recently scored a pair of silver patent leather Birkenstocks for less than $50 thanks to RueLaLa (click that link for an invite). In the winter, my staples are Puma sneakers (also from RueLaLa) and flat boots. In fact, the only “expensive” shoes I own are my boots, and I have two pairs. Black equestrian ones from Steve Madden that were probably about $100 at the King Street Store during a 30% off sale, and a pair of Frye Campus boots I scored for $70 at a shoe outlet in my hometown. I have maybe 5 pairs of heels, each pair purchased to go with a specific outfit for a specific occasion (most dressy occasions, I wear “nice” flats, so these are occasions when heels were almost required), almost never worn otherwise, and usually removed sometime during the event in question. The only pair of shoes with any height that I wear voluntarily is a pair of Steve Madden wedges scored in Dallas.
Here’s a peek into my shoedrobe:
Are you a heel person? A flats person? A sneaker person? Some sort of combination of the three? Someone who has exactly two pairs of shoes, one brown and one black?
Updated to add: I do have two pairs of performance shoes which were more than $100 each– a pair of Adidas running shoes and a pair of Chaco sandals. I forgot I had them when I was writing this post!