Friday, March 10, 2006

The Foot Pyramid

I know it's hard to limit the number of shoes one must own (I for one wince at the idea), but as I'm starting to step back and look at my shopping habits, I'm trying to see what the pattern is, how I'm buying shoes: Do I need them? Do I invent a need? Do I buy on an impulse? Do I buy because they're too beautiful and the price is right and I don't want to miss the opportunity? What drives me?

The answer is, of course, all of the above. Just yesterday, as I returned, sobbing and sniffling, the beautiful Hollywould Bateau flats which had the unfortunate quality of both fattening and lengthening my foot to unbelievable proportions, I found a pair green Delman ballet flats that I knew I must absolutely have, because, c'mon, who doesn't need green shoes? And when they're Delman and at an absolutely bargain price, how I can resist?

An article in the Chicago Tribune two days ago posed the question of what basic pieces should be absolutely present in a woman's shoe wardrobe. The answer was the "magic 5," suggested by Meghan Cleary, author of "The Perfect Fit: What Your Shoes Say About You." These five would be:

- black stiletto or kitten-heel pump
- cute flat (ballet or loafer)
- brown or black knee-high leather boot with a heel or flat
- glamorous metallic heels (bejeweled and strappy, if possible)
- stylish sneaker

Um..hmm... okay... Me, I would forget about the metallic strappy stilettoes and cling on to nothing higher than a kitten heel. But really, the number and styles of shoes you own should be driven by your needs and preferences. I for one know that I must have both a cute ballet flat AND at least a couple of pairs of comfortable loafers (in a black and in a brown palette).

I also need to color-coordinate, which requires that the purchase be made with an outfit or a purse in mind. There is always the need for the pair of, say, orange or green shoes that go so well with your wardrobe or because you look soooo yummy in orange or green.

I would also put on top of the list at least three or four pairs of sandals, some more "sporty" or less fussy, and some dressier (kitten heel acceptable).

As for boots, I would require no less than one pair of knee-highs and one pair of ankle-high boots, perhaps two of each, again, one "dressier" and one capable of taking you through slush without getting your feet wet or getting damaged by the snow or mud.

I would also need some sort of slip-on shoes, like some comfortable and pretty mules, that I can just jump into and go at a moment's notice.

And yes, one needs the career shoes, preferrably devoid of stiletto heels: we must keep them stylish (though understated) and very comfortable, since you're supposed to have them on your feet all day.

And whatever you do, I think that you MUST have at least one pair of red shoes. Ok, I have just about 5, but I adore all of them.

Instead of suggesting a strict number of shoes (you must admit that 5 is pretty constricting!), I propose therefore a Shoe or Foot Pyramid (TM) as a guide to how much and what type of shoes we should consume:

And now it's your turn: what are your shoe basics? Do share!


At 5:04 PM, Blogger Henri-V said...

You would be proud of me, Scarpediem. No stilettos here, but lots of high-heeled boots. Rounding out the "whole grains" portion, or bottom row of the shoe pyramid are the requisite comfy trainers, hipster Pumas, vintage Clarks desert boots, flat- heeled and cowboy boots, and, finally, yes, the vegan Birks. I have so few shoes that everything else falls into the pointy top of the food pyramid: cheap but comfortable high, black t-straps, some pointy-toed stretch boots, some wedge espadrilles. So I have 2 of the 5 Tribune recommended pieces ...

I want some stylish flats, sniff!

At 7:06 PM, Blogger Scarpediem said...

Browse Zappos for dress flats in your size, you might come up with something nice!

As for me, although I got rid of no less than 4 pairs of high heels, I still have a few left in my closet... More about that ambiguity later!

At 12:33 PM, Blogger Lizy said...

Very nice post and a good pic of shoe pyramid.Does Nike shoes are also in that pic?I always like to wear heels.

At 9:40 AM, Anonymous Abel said...

Thanks for this article, very effective information.


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