When I first moved to the Keys, I was concerned I might be the only person living here who dreamt of stilettos, strappy sandals and sexy sling-backs . After a few months as a local, I attended an event where a woman approached me to tell me what fabulous shoes I had on. I was wearing a pair of red and ivory Mary Jane style heels that were, in fact, fabulous. When I looked down, she had on some equally amazing shoes and I knew from then on we would be sole sisters.
We don’t all own a collection like Imelda Marcus, who amassed over 3,000 shoes from world-famous designers including Ferragamo, Givenchy, Chanel and Christian Dior. However, according to a ShopSmart Magazine poll, American woman do have some interesting behaviors when it comes to purchasing and wearing shoes. On average, woman have 19 pairs of shoes in their closets but only four pairs are worn on a regular basis. In fact, 24% of shoes in our closets have been worn only once and 13% admit to hiding shoe purchases from a significant other. Another quite comical fact: 43% admit that they’ve been injured by their shoes. My guess is this statistic would be higher if they interviewed women in the Florida Keys. Uneven terrain and dock-like platforms can make for some interesting, if not, dangerous situations. It’s been my experience that when your heel catches in between two slats, your body continues to propel forward at the speed of which you are moving. A body in motion, stays in motion, so they say.
The amazing closet of Imelda Marcus.
Now that you understand that more women are like you than not like you, it’s time to figure out whether your shoe collection is meeting your needs.
Woman own 19 pairs of shoes
This article prompted me to count my own collection, which was well over 100 pairs (gasp!). To be fair, I’m in the process of selling five pairs. Okay, it’s still a bit over the top, I know, but I really do wear well over half of them regularly. The other half are evening wear, winter shoes and shoes reserved for specific occasions that get worn when those occasions present themselves. For instance, my tap dance shoes will get worn when I decide to take another tap dance class.
If your own shoe collection is a bit overwhelming it’s time to clean out your closet. If you haven’t worn them in a year or two, it’s time to get rid of them. Sell them at a consignment store or ebay, or donate them to a worthy cause such as the Domestic Abuse Shelter and Florida Keys Children’s Shelter. By cleaning out the clutter, you’ll be able to find your shoes more quickly and may actually wear them more.
Only Four Pairs are Worn Regularly
Four! This is quite pathetic ladies. Shoes can completely change the look of an outfit. I recommend moving the shoes you wear most often to a less easily accessible place so that other beauties can make their debut. Put a few colorful pairs in front and don’t be afraid to mix it up. When you normally would reach for your black patent leather heels, instead opt for a bright fuschia heel or go for black and white wedges. A little color or a different silhouette will create a whole new look.
13% admit to hiding shoe purchases from significant others
Not that I’ve ever done this before but here are a few good hiding places I discovered in my “research”. The trunk of your car is a great place to “store” shoes until the opportunity presents itself to be moved into the house and immediately into your closet. If arriving by mail, explain that they’re a gift. He doesn’t need to know that the gift is for you. Kitchen cupboards are also a useful place to put shoes if you are surprised in the kitchen after a recent shopping trip. Quickly put the boxes into your cupboard and he’ll just think you’re prepping for dinner. Just be sure to remove them promptly if your significant other happens to do a lot of cooking.
Beyond tennis shoes and flip flops, below is a list of footwear essential for every wardrobe:
– Black Heels – these are a necessary staple that can be worn with a plethora of looks. From work outfits to casual nights out, a simple pair of comfortable black heels is a must. Go for black leather or black patent leather for a little more oomph.
– Colorful Heels – you must own one brightly colored heel that can transform your outfit. It will make a plain black dress more interesting and elevate a classic look to instant chic. My favorite statement heels are in yellow, fuschia, red and royal blue.
– Metallic Strappy Sandals – gold or silver strappy sandals are the perfect shoe to be paired with evening wear for weddings, galas and formal affairs. Metallic sandals also look fabulous when paired with jeans and will make a casual look more sophisticated.
– Ballerina Flat – comfortable and stylish, these darling must-haves work for day or evening and always look fashionable.
– The Wedge – For Florida Keys girls, we need a high heeled shoe that can handle the terrain, and the wedge is it. Much more comfortable than their stiletto counterparts, the wedge can work around the clock and looks great with casual and formal apparel. Try a pair in a neutral hue such as black or tan and you’ll find they go with everything.
Marilyn Monroe said it best, “Give a girl the right shoes and she can conquer the world.” Put another way, fill your world with fabulous shoes and walk towards your dreams.