When this goes up, I’ll likely be in the midst of trying to get an hour or two of sleep in between my red eye flight back from Portland and dragging my sorry, jetlagged self to work (boooooo). Actually, I’m hoping I’m asleep at the moment and not dealing with a delayed flight/still trying to get home from Dulles, which might as well be in Canada for how far away from DC it is.
(I’ve learned a lot from this trip: mainly, Frontier sucks and will change your flights 12+ hours on you just a few days after you book them; it’s a good thing I have family in Denver since I didn’t originally have an overnight layover there; and also, the limit of how long it takes to get out to the suburb wasteland that is the Dulles airport does not exist. I already knew this but it was reinforced in the process of trying to figure out just how many hours I needed to leave before my flight on Thursday evening. The answer was four, for anyone wondering.)
So light, frivolous post it is!
I present to you a picture of my closet:
That’s not a totally out of the ordinary picture, right? Well, what’s odd about this is that I do not give a single fuck about shoes, and that’s quite a few pairs of them. I am, however, secretly a six-year-old who really likes fun colors. That’s reflected in my wardrobe, my shoes included even if I couldn’t care less what goes on my feet. I figure if I’m going to have to spend a good chunk of my life sitting at a boring job, I might as well have fun with what I wear to that job. Colorful flats count as fun!
What’s also odd about this is that I’ve bought only a few of these shoes since I left college/became a working gal (and those were the sensible, neutral color flats since sadly a working gal needs some of those as well as the fun colors). Yep, that’s right, most of what are now my work flats date back from my college years (or the summer right after when I had to amass a professional wardrobe). And while I sometimes think I felt like I had more disposable income back then than I do now because I wasn’t paying for things like rent and internet, I was still a very broke college student. Which means that all of these shoes are cheap ones from Old Navy and Payless. Quantity over quality!
So, I’ve got a bunch of flats of questionable quality that are a few years old, and I wear my favorites/the most versatile ones on a pretty regular basis for 8 hours a day. Plus I walk to and from work. How is it these haven’t long since disintegrated into little shreds of cheap, colored faux suede?
My secret: these babies hardly ever see the light of day. I’ve got dedicated walking shoes (that I put through hell considering I average 5+ miles each day) that I wear to and from work, and whenever I go out for a walk during my morning/afternoon/lunch breaks. These flats never get dirty, muddy, wet, or salty (as we’ve got a very generous hand here when it comes to salting sidewalks in the winter). Hand to god, I had bird shit land on my shoes once while I was eating lunch on a bench under a tree. Those were not my work shoes! I put my flats on when I get to my desk, take them off if I’m going for a walk (most of the time, anyway), and pop them in my bag when I leave work for the day.
I didn’t actually think this was an earth-shattering or unusual revelation, but I see very few women (or men. This doesn’t just have to be for the ladies!) walking around in shoes that are obviously not the ones they’ll be wearing at work. So maybe this is not as obvious as I thought it was. Or maybe no one else prefers walking in shoes with actual arch support (or maybe they’ve all found non-frumpy work shoes with arch support. Everyone please tell me your secret in that case!). This just makes sense to me: if I only wear my work shoes for sitting at my desk and not for walking, they’ll last longer that way.
I can see people not wanting to ruin their carefully put-together work outfit by wearing some unsightly sneakers. After all, if I’m wearing my green flats on a particular day, there are probably little bits of green in my outfit that’ll pop when I add green shoes (I told you, I’m a six-year-old who really likes colors. See also this picture for an example of me rocking the red flats). That same outfit is not at its best when accompanied by a battered, boring, brown pair of shoes. We’re talking knock-offs of knock-offs of an expensive brand of boat shoes here, so they’re certainly not sexy.
But. I give zero fucks how my outfit looks on the way to work (and even if I did care, I’m usually in too much of a rush to get there on time to care anyway). What I do give a few fucks about (although just a few because we’re still talking shoes here) is extending the life of my work shoes and thus saving money by not having to buy new pairs. I think my flats are best served on my commute staying the bag I also use for carrying my lunch, water bottle, and cardigan, rather than on my feet, complimenting my outfit.
You’ll notice I kept referring to flats here, despite the fact that there are some heels living in my closet. Two things about those: a) I’m convinced a huge rite of passage for becoming a responsible adult woman is realizing that heels are just not worth it since it’s nigh on impossible to find ones that don’t hurt like hell halfway through the day (if you’re lucky and it’s not approximately as soon as you stand up). And b) about a year ago I…ahem, forgot how to walk down stairs one day at work, and happened to be wearing heels that day. Thanks to workers’ comp for covering that urgent care visit/X-rays! Sadly worker’s comp doesn’t fix “eh it’s only a minor sprain. But considering your ankles are already shit from the years you spent dancing, good luck with having now fucked up the ankle that didn’t routinely twinge from tendonitis!”
So now I only wear them for very special occasions, which is hardly ever, or on days I just feel like it, which is also hardly ever. However, I’m not getting rid of them. As a tall woman, I absolutely do love the power trip I get from wearing heels and towering over people, and I’m certainly not going to deprive myself of that experience!
Okay, so that was an entire post on my least-favorite sartorial topic. Tune in next time for how I feel about colored jeans!*
*No, just kidding. I love the one pair of colored jeans I have, but I’m not writing an entire goddamn post about them, especially since there’s no larger frugality-related theme I can work in there.