Thursday, September 17, 2015

My Entire Shoe Collection

Kind of a boot fan.
Hey y'all! You can't grow unless you evaluate where you are, right? I had this crazy notion to pull all my shoes out and take pictures so y'all can see what's in my closet and so that I can see if I can simplify further.

To give you an idea of my mindset as a young teen, I used to have a goal to have a different pair of heels for each Sunday of the year. And I reached it. 

Now, I'm nearly as ambitious; I'd like to have as few shoes as possible, while not limiting myself creatively. To me, shoes completely make or break an outfit-- yet my personal style is such that I do not wish them to be the focal point of the ensemble. This post is very humbling for me. I did not curate or clean the shoes, so these 30 pair are literally just... my very real collection.

I have three pair of dress boots. Brown and black I wear all year round, while the gray are my favorite, most versatile for winter. 

I have 4 pair of flat boots. I don't wear the brown leather ones too often, but when I need them, I need them. :P Cowboy boots are actually a requirement for our area of the country, so although I'm not quite sure they are my personal style, I do enjoy having them. The black boots are my most-worn winter boots and the brown BearPaw brand boots are my winter slippers.

I have three pair of "athletic" shoes. The tan pair I've had for over 7 years and they are now just yardwork shoes. The backless black and pink Sketchers are my favorite work-out shoes because they aren't too hot and match my workout clothes. ;) The gray Calvin Klein sneakers are my sports-with-friends pair. 

I have 4 pair of flip flops and I hate all of them. :P I looked and looked this summer for a pair of comfortable, classic, quality flip-flops to replace these four, but alas have not found them yet. Why two pair of thick brown flipflops? One is comfortable, the other stylish. #options

Here are my "flats". I have two pair of Sperry's because at the time I bought them I had a "more is better" mentality and they were having a sale. I still haven't decided if I like the gray or navy better, and since there's no real reason to get rid of one, I think I'll hang onto them both. 

These are my dressy/church shoe options. I rarely wear the green and silver flats anymore, though, and have kind of passed them on to my sisters already. 

Of all my shoes, these are the 5 pair I prefer to wear with long skirts. 

These are my "to wear with long flared jeans" shoes. Because I'm short, I usually have to wear a slight heel with off-the-rack jeans to keep from stepping on the hem.

These 8 pair are my preferred shoes for wearing with knee-length spring/summer skirts. 

Oh, these lovely beauties. I'm so conflicted about these shoes because they are gorgeous, yet I hardly ever wear them. Thankfully, my sisters do quite often, so even if I were to "get rid of" them, they'd still be available should I be inclined to wear them once or twice a year. :P 

Yes, 3 pair of rainboots. :D They each serve a purpose, so although it feels like overkill, I actually use them all. The purple pair is my "dress" pair, lol, for running errands on rainy days. The cowboy style is for wearing with flared jeans over them or with denim skirts if I'm feeling country. The olive pair slips on quick for farm work. 

And, my last set to share with you is two pair I definitely would not have if my lifestyle were different; ridiculously worn in-case-of-snakes Justin work boots and creek swimming shoes. 

So, that is my current shoe wardrobe that is working pretty well for me. I've been searching all summer for a very specific style of sandal on ThredUP and finally this week I ordered what may be exactly what I'm needing. We'll see. I'm also on the lookout for a pair of comfortable simple black pumps, although I've been getting along fine without them for half a dozen years and am committed to only buying them second hand because... well, I have no confidence that Target or Payless will have ethically-sourced shoes. There are a bunch of shoemakers in Nashville who craft amazing things, but I don't see $400 shoes being in my budget anytime soon. :)

I hope you enjoyed this peek into my very-real closet! I could probably pare down my collection a little, but I think I will do it through wearing them out and replacing intentionally. What's your shoe collection like?


35 comments :

  1. Love the gray dress boots! I don't know if you have a goodwill in your area, but around my area they usually get the "leftover" Target stuff. I'm struggling in the shoe department with the second hand stuff too. Clothes are no problem and I already bought most of my attire from second hand shops but shoes I'm picky about. I've found some good stuff in the goodwill shoe dept. though :-) Hope you can find your black pumps! Thanks for sharing!

    Taylor
    www.modestblondie.com

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  2. Have you considered Birkenstocks for flip flops? I have a pair from them and I literally live in those sandals all summer!

    Are you green rain boots Hunter brand?

    Christina
    www.ourwoodhome.com

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  3. I love those boots! My shoe collection is basically all flip-flops... with only two pairs of winter boots, two pairs of closed-toed shoes... oh, and flats. Other than that, I LOVE flip-flops. :D

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    1. Yeah, lol, me too. It's because I live in southern Nevada, though. i.e. the Mojave Desert. Replace each of Olivia's boots with a pair of flip flops, add ONE pair of cheap boots (that I got last year! never had any before!), a few flats and sandals and dressy heels, and that's my shoe collection!

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  4. I second the Birkenstocks suggestion. They are super comfy and nice enough to wear to work and with most church outfits. They are a little pricey, but I have worn mine for the last 3 summers and expect I will get at least one more summer of wear out of them.
    ~Jenny

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  5. This is very helpful, Olivia! I also appreciate your willingness to be authentic + open by not culling through the shoes before posting the pictures. :) Those dress boots are especially adorable! And I'd like to add a pair of rain boots to my wardrobe sometime. Thanks again for sharing!

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  6. I'm with you on the "shoes completely make or break" an outfit. For years I only ever kept a few pairs at a time, but I was given dozens of shoes by my great Aunt this summer, and though many didn't fit and some weren't my style, there were so many that are now prominent in my closet, because once I had variety to play with, I realized that the shoes can either finish the outfit, or make it look like you were in a rush and just threw on the closest ones to the door ;).

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  7. why do you need cowboy boots for your area, dress ones i mean?

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    1. You can't live near Nashville and not own a pair of cowboy boots. ;P

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  8. Great post! FWIW, my favorite flip flops are called Spenco Yumi Sandal. They are amazingly comfortable and well made.

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  9. A good friend has bought these for years. I just bought a pair this summer and I wear them all the time! I love the fact that they are nice enough that I can wear them with jeans or a skirt. They also have decent arch support, something that's hard to find in a flip-flop.

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    1. http://www.teva.com/women-flip-flops/olowahu/6840.html

      Sorry, I forgot the link. . . :)

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    2. I have those too. I love them so much! Mine are well worn now since I have been wearing them for over a year, but still very comfortable.

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  10. Wow you do have a huge variety of foot wear! I am glad. I have a closet full myself. from dress shoes with high heels and chunky heels, only one pair of cowgirl boots one pair of brown flat boots. then I got into comfort and tried sketchers they had new style . Now I wear Keds since Taylor Swift has created a new look with a lot of designs and colors I can wear a different pair with all my different color clothes it is so much fun! the last count was 22 Keds with Taylor Swift imprinted inside and her guitar chain bling. Yeah I like shoes.
    Stephanie Means:)

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  11. While you are on this journey of figuring out your wardrobe you might enjoy watching the video 'The ten-item wardrobe, Jennifer L. Scott' It's a TED event. Sorry, but I don't know how to add a link:)

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  12. While you are on this journey of figuring out your wardrobe you might enjoy watching the video "The ten-item wardrobe, Jennifer L. Scott. It is a TED event and less than 15 minutes. Sorry, but I don't know how to link a video:)

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  13. I have way too many shoes that I rarely wear, but I just can't bring myself to get rid of them since I love them. :(

    Also, I think I have your "yardwork" shoes as well. :)

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  14. I loved seeing all your shoes! I found this post really fun to read :)
    -Margaret
    http://happyinheels.blogspot.com/

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  15. My goodness! So many choices, Olivia! Although my selections are far from your number, I do love shoes and think they are so, so essential for outfits! I especially love your gray boots, but everything was darling! Thanks for sharing,
    Jazzy

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  16. Awesome!! I have a boot "problem", we recently moved into a bigger house but with only one closet so my spouse and I are sharing, which is difficult. I refuse to let go of any boots, I have grey rainboots, black dress boots, brown dress boots and since live in the country, a pair of dress cowboys and a pair of justins for work. Doesnt sound like much but in one tiny closet and coupled with two pairs of running shoes, two hiking boots, six sandals and six heels its all the room we have!! On a separate note, I hope,m you dont run in backless sneakers, super bad for your legs and back.

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  17. My shoe collection is much smaller! About half my shoes are boots, so I can understand the love of boots. Unfortunately, I cannot wear my boots in the summer here due to the heat. I have just started wearing a few of them again in the last week, and only at night! One exception though, is rain boots. It rains almost every day at some point in the summer, so they are pretty useful. I have a really hard time finding shoes that are comfortable enough because I have feet and ankle issues. I have two pairs of sandals and recently both of them have been bugging me and are starting to look worn out. I usually keep my shoes a long time until they are worn out and then I replace them.

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    1. I completely understand it being too hot to wear boots. :-) My mom doesn't get it, because she's always cold, but I can't wear boots during the summer, except when it's necessary. It is necessary to wear mud boots for chores every day, because of the mud. Also, then I can tell other people that I do always wear boots. :-) I don't think they protect my feet as much as leather ones, but they are way easier to get on. :-) Then during fair last week, I had to wear leather boots for showing and around the animals. But even the mud boots get really hot, and then they rub. :-) I don't like wearing boots in summer much.
      I also have foot problems, so that also prevents me from wearing most boots. I can put my special insoles in tennis shoes, clogs, and some boots, but I can't wear sandals, dress shoes, or most boots for very long, because then my feet start acting up.

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  18. Thank you! I've been so flustered with wearing shoes with skirts lately and this is so timely because I'm going shoe shopping today!

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  19. I only brought five pair of shoes to college with me (my roommates think I'm crazy) but they work really well and go with everything I own. I have my sneakers, a pair of simple black flats, black leather flip-flops, black heeled boots, and white dress shoes (plus my slippers which aren't really shoes so I didn't count them). I left a pair of brown boots and brown flats at home, and black sneakers I'm required to have for dance, but that's pretty much it for my shoe collection. I think it helps not just to be intentional with what shoes you buy but what clothes you buy, too. I was able to only bring five pair of shoes because I knew that those five could cover every article of clothing I was bringing with me. I don't buy clothes unless it will "fit in" in my closet--and that includes matching the shoes I have.
    This is a great way to watch your budget, especially since you're trying to focus on not buying clothes and shoes from cheap manufacturers. To compensate for buying more expensive clothes, buy fewer clothes by making sure you can buy a skirt without having to buy an entire outfit. And cleaning out your closet is a whole lot easier when you only own half a dozen pair of shoes. :)
    ~Sheridan
    www.beautyeternal.blogspot.com

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  20. This was a very informative and useful post. Thanks! I'm definitely a boot fan also. My current shoe wardrobe is basically three pair of boots (mostly cowboy or country style) and four very versatile flip flops. Because I'm really tall I don't really wear heels, but do have one nice pair of flats that I like. Great post!

    -Alice Wright
    www.whatsoever-lovely.blogspot.com
    www.thewrightfamilyfarm.blogspot.com

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  21. I am a self proclaimed shoe hater. I only wear shoes when forced, and then kick them off at the slightest opportunity. For example, I get to church and park my shoes, only putting them back on when it's time to go home. I'm thankful that I live in a community where barefeet are welcome!

    That being said, I hate shoe shopping, and so I wear the same shoes forever. I go through flip flops faster than anything else, I'll buy a pair, wear them until they fall apart, then buy another. A pair can usually last a season and a half. I have one pair of tennis shoes, one pair of brown sandals (They're actually mens's shoes, but they're so durable and comfortable! $20 Payless) one pair of tan cowboy boots, a Sunday shoe collection of black flats (5 years old- from Ross $15), brown flats (50 cents, garage sale), white sandals ($10 Walmart), lace flats ($10 Walmart) brown fuzzy boots (hand me downs) and my pride and joy- real all leather, hand made moccasins. They're super comfy and have molded to my feet- they feel like wearing no shoes at all! Hot dog! My husband took one look at my shoe pile when we moved and was shocked at how many pairs I own. I told him 10 was nothing compared to most girls! He has black church shoes and black tennis shoes. At least he's easy!

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  22. It's funny how you have four pairs of flip flops and hate all of them. I don't like mine either. For some reason, it's really hard to find good ones, even though they're available everywhere!

    Also, please sell me both pairs of sperrys. :P

    Andria
    www.everyday-writing.com

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  23. Wow. You do look so nicely 'put together' in all your pictures, but wow wee... I have one pair of black dress shoes(don't know the technical term for them: wedge heel, rounded toe, strap over ankle - goes with everything nylons do), one pair of dressy sandals (flat shoe, black leather two crossing bands over foot - goes with everything else), one pair of sneakers (paid $200 for them but my last pair lasted 11 years so it was worth it to track down the same shoe a second time), and one pair of cheep flip-flops that I wear when I just need to run out of the house quick and no one will see me ie: mailbox etc. I also own a sturdy pair of winter boots, kinda a necessity in upper Canada, but they get swapped for one of the others when we get to our destination. I would like to add a pair of dressy boots in black or brown. I cant imagine having time to choose from so many each morning.

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  24. You have a wonderful shoe collection♥♥.

    http://www.chocolateandsunset.com/

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  25. Ugh, I have too many shoes too. But over the years, my feet have started hurting me more when I wear cheap, uncomfortable shoes. Unfortunately, just because they're expensive, doesn't mean they're comfortable. :(
    I really like my chacos (I bought them on sale on Amazon for $35, they're normally $50+ shoes.)
    Natasha
    A modest fashion blog: www.natashaatkerson.blogspot.com

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  26. Wow! Love how you achieved your goal of Sunday heels! Inspired!

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  27. You could try shopping on eBay for shoes. I love it when I can find a duplicate pair of shoes to replace my favorites that wear out.

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  28. I like this post I have cowgirl boots by "Ariat"..They are really good boots Ive had mine for about 2 years now and they are in the condition of like getting them 2 weeks ago or something..I also have these grey flat lace-ups I got last year they are comfortable and cute with a pair of jeans:-D I also have nike slip-ons for chilling at home or cleaning ect.A pair of really cute Maui Island sandals a pair of grey"Montego bay club" sandal/pump I love those as well and a couple of other pairs of shoes.When it comes to shoes I dont have a closet full of them...Lol thats too many shoes in my book Lol.But if You take me to a Consignment or Goodwill store or certain mall stores I will be getting clothes 85 percent of the time! However I am wanting to get a pair of Dressier boots for my jean and maxi skirts.Thanks for the post Olivia!

    In Christ Jesus

    Shelby .K. age 15 (just about to turn 16:-) )

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  29. Thanks for inspiring me on your shoe collection. I want to have it also in my room because they are really nice to see. I always buy a secondhand shoes on this website http://www.boex.tv and I want to collect them just like yours.

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  30. What's the brand for the grey vintage-looking heels? They are adorable!

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