Friday, January 09, 2009

A New Series: The Shoe Project

People, I have a lot of shoes, and for some inexplicable reason I cannot stop myself from acquiring more. Despite having enough shoes to open a small boutique I still manage to wear the same ones over and over. Well, I decided that this was foolish and that it was high time I got to know all the shoes in my closet.

Apparently there is a new trend out there called "shopping in your closet" that "recessionistas" undertake. I'm not sure if it is for real or not but I sure keep reading about it in the media and on blogs. It is supposed to be a reflection of the sorry state of our economy---the idea is that we have consumed so much stuff that we could literally have whole new wardrobes if we just looked in the closet. In some respects I agree with this; this Shoe Project is a testament to this. On the other hand I regularly purge my closet and try to only add pieces that I love and will wear often. Does this mean I don't buy things that I regret? No, but I am getting better.

But back to the Shoe Project. It's Friday night and I am somewhat bored so I decided to undertake a fun blog project. My husband Jake photographed my shoes and I will regularly post a picture of a pair and write about it: what drew me to it, where I got it, when I got it. I have a pretty good memory and as we photographed each pair of shoes I was able to recall the circumstances around me bringing them into the fold. My thought is that as I highlight each pair of shoes that I will feel compelled to work those that I do not wear often back into the rotation. Perhaps this does make me a "recessionista" who "shops in her closet". But I have to say, trendy or not, what can be more fashionable yet frugal then rediscovering the great things I already have?!? 

There are some shoes I miss and regret getting rid of. One pair in particular is a pair of shoes that I got when we went to San Francisco right after we married in June 2002. We were in Haight-Ashbury and I saw this cool shoe shop, so while Jake looked for a place to park I ran in. I found these shoes that were so perfect. They were by NYLA and they had a small wooden heel, like 1/2", were green leather, Mary Janes that had a small cutout over the toe---a perfect little circle that tied into a sweet little bow. I wore those shoes to death. The heel began to split off, the sole literally cracked in half (they were rather soft soled), and I finally could wear them no more. Now I wish I had kept them and had them fixed, even though it probably would have cost more than I paid for the shoes. I miss those shoes!

Anyway, here is what this project begins with, a shot of my closet and all my shoes. My exercise shoes are on the floor; this shot shows all my shoes in shoe boxes from the Container Store (which I highly recommend, by the way, especially the boot box).

See? It really does not look as though I have that many shoes.


  1. I am a shoe girl too. I buy shoes and then find clothes to go with them. I have to admit, I haven't bought a lot lately, my little local shoe shop went out of business this past summer. The girl who owned it wanted to actually make a living. She always had a shoe I wanted. Sometimes, I just went to visit, her and the shoes. It was in walking distance of my house. I too wear the same shoes. Since I don't work, right now I wear Uggs (I live west of Chicago, it is snowing right now). Black Uggs, Brown Uggs, tan Uggs. I thought this year would be the year to get rid of stuff. Shoes I haven't worn in years. Some I kept because they were expensive, some because I still liked them but never wore. Three bags of shoes, one bag of boots. Going through my shoes I realized the reason I wear the same pairs is 75% of my shoes aren't practical. I love high heels. If they're sandals, even better. So my ratio of summer to winter shoes is 3 to 1. OK, Havaianas are cheap, they shouldn't count, but it would still be 2 to 1. I am wondering what my point it, well it is I need a rotation too. I have my shoes on low shelves and in a hanging holder on the closet door. Boot are on the floor with holders that make them stand. I like your organization, but I would have a hard time motivating myself to get a pair at the bottom of the stack. THen I would have to put them away. So, when spring comes, I will wear a different pair of shoes (or flipflops) everyday. Currently, I do not wear the same pair of Uggs every day, so that it good. And I should probably get some more winter shoes. THere is a pair from ANthropologie I want the Single Spoke bootie. They are on sale $209.95, but I still feel like I shouldn't spend that much. We are heading to Disney in MArch, and my daughter will need some new stuff for the trip. Maybe, next month if they are still around.

  2. Georgine, I live in a very warm climate so I would say my ration of summer to winter shoes is 3:1 as well.

  3. I've never really been into shoes although I have certainly bought shoes knowing I would have to purchase an outfit just to have something to wear them with.

    If you have shoes or clothes you don't want you can have a swap party. You and a bunch of similarly sized friends all bring clothes, shoes etc in good condition and pick through each other things. You get something new at no cost.

  4. In the past I have given quite a few pairs of shoes to my SIL Kris who wears the same size I do (10). If I am getting rid of shoes or clothes or any household goods I always donate to charity, either Goodwill or Casa de los Ninos.

    I'm working on curbing my shoes fanaticism. I was lucky in that after I had Siena my feet went back down to the old shoe size, but when I was pregnant they were up to size 11. By the end of the 9 months I was only in some old stretched out gym shoes or a pair of ballet flats. I count myself lucky that my feet went back to a 10!

  5. Count yourself lucky you fit into a closed toe shoe. I wore Croc flip flips for my last two months. Including a baby shower. Oh so nice!

  6. Your shoes look awesomely organized -- I look forward to reading! :)

  7. Good job! Everyone should go through their closet at least once every so often to figure out what they're not wearing and either get rid of the stuff they're not wearing or try to get it back into rotation. It will make you think twice about buying more!


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