I must confess, I have a thing for shoes. On a bleak day last February, I did something I've long wanted to do. Inspired by the classic book on organizing by Marie Kondo, "The Life-Changing Magic of tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing", I had a burning desire to start decluttering with my shoe collection. As I hauled out, let's round it to 45 pairs of shoes (please don't judge- shoes are my thing!), I realized the right pair of shoes can have a transformative nature. I spotted the Grecian gold stilettos that transport me to the island of Capri simply by slipping them on, the leopard print flats that make me feel instantly sporty, the nude booties that are comfy AND go with everything in the fall and winter, and the flat black riding boots that make me want to crack a whip into the air in the English countryside. Care for a spot of tea? I spotted the black shoe/boot that may not be an "all day" shoe but make me feel instantly a bit edgy and sexy. Yep, the right shoe can do that, have you noticed?
As I stared at this collection, curated over time, I realized these shoe, sandal, and boot 'soldiers' have carried me through many chapters of life. Some of them are looking a bit worn, but so am I. From dress up date nights, to running in heels during my career as a school psychologist, to walking the halls of a hospital when dad was ill; these shoes have walked with me. I had to take a few moments to reflect, to ponder what I needed to keep and what I was ready to let go of. In the end, about 8 pairs made their way to donation or consignment. I recommitted to a few pairs I had forgotten about. I decided I am not ready to let go of the memory, or the transportive power, not just yet.
And yes, when Scott came home to this scene, he thought I'd lost my marbles. ;)
I don't have many super fancy pairs of shoes though some of my friends would disagree with that. I do have a couple of gifted pairs from St. John, where my sister, Dorie Swanson, was a designer for many years. St. John Knits is an American brand, located in Orange County, yet their shoes are made in Italy. These beauties with the sparkling "anklelace" (it's not a necklace) have made their way from my closet to a party and have been tried on by more than a couple of friends. My beautiful friend, Lena, slipped them on during my retirement party. Don't they look fab on her?
Shoes made in Italy are part art, part architecture.
In the memorable words of Carrie Bradshaw, from Sex and the City, when she saw a fabulous pair of stilettos, "Hello Lover!".
In my book, quality shoes are the first item to consider when building a signature style. On a practical note, our weight may fluctuate, but shoe size tends to stay the same over time. I conclude that shoes are an excellent investment. They are also perfect mementos to bring home from travels--especially from one of my favorite places: Italy.
My number started at 48 pairs. What's your number?
Are you a shoe aficionado like I am??