After my fortnightly torture session otherwise known as physiotherapy at the shops yesterday, I made use of the child-free time to look for sandals. I had been meaning to get sandals for all of 2010 but somehow I ran out of time. Probably because I was too busy climbing my Mount Everest.
I found three pairs at Wittner that I liked – one in black, one in camel and one in khaki. Two of them were on sale, one pair had these amazingly convenient zippers at the back, another made me feel like I was walking on soft, fluffy cushions and I could see all three pairs lasting me for the next five years (at least). So I bought all three.
A triumphant trifecta, if you ask me.
But of course, when you buy three new pairs of shoes, you need extra storage space.
Or do you? (Cue dramatic murder mystery type music please.)
If you don’t actually have the extra storage space like me, then there’s only one solution.
Throw out something old to make way for the newbies.
That shouldn’t be too hard. If you’re in the market for buying new shoes, chances are there are ones you stopped wearing years ago, hiding somewhere and just waiting to be given away.
When we moved at the beginning of last year, I had been quite brutal in my shoe culling. My goal was to have all my shoes fit in the shoe cupboard by the front door. I was not going to store any in our wardrobe or ‘archived’ away in storage boxes anymore. Basically, I forced myself to admit that if I had shoes ‘archived’ away like that, I had too many pairs of shoes.
Determined to stick to my ‘shoe cupboard must accommodate all’ policy, I managed to choose four pairs of shoes to ditch yesterday (from left to right above):
1) The first pair cost me AUD$16 from Hong Kong. Fake leather, of course. While it used to be one of my favourite pairs, I had stopped wearing them about two years ago when the inner sole kept coming off, even after endless repairs. I still loved the aqua and orange colour palette, but it wasn’t an ‘essential’ part of my footwear repertoire. So bye bye first pair.
2) My mum bought me the second pair from Singapore (she’s got good taste, that woman). Real leather and very good quality. Wore them heaps while I was working in the fancy schmancy corporate world of accounting and auditing. Haven’t worn them once in the last five years. Bye bye second pair.
3) I bought the second pair from my uncle’s shoe store in Hong Kong back in 2001. Made from very soft (and real) suede. Very comfortable, especially with those small kitten heels. Again, I gave them a good run for the money during my stint with the big accounting firms. Lovely dusty pink colour that went with a lovely dusty pink shirt that I had back then. Shirt stopped fitting me about five years ago. Haven’t worn the shoes since either. Bye bye third pair.
4) The fourth pair were the strappy high heels I wore to my Year 12 formal some thirteen years ago. They had been very cheap to buy and were of very average quality. I couldn’t believe they were still in my shoe collection (those sneaky things), taking up valuable cupboard space. Bye bye fourth pair.
I guess the point I’m trying to make here (and there is one, I think) is that – in deciding what to purge – it’s not about how much I paid for the shoes originally, how much they’re worth or even whether they’re of good or bad quality. The crucial deciding factor is whether I’ve worn the shoes in the last year or two, and whether I’m likely to (ever) wear them again.
(Though having said that, there was one pair of boots I added to the mix after taking the photo, which, though I’ve worn it in the last year, actually doesn’t fit well and my feet end up slipping everywhere whenever I try to walk. I’ve decided to give them up as well, because with little kids to run after, it’s really not worth wearing improper footwear even if I like the style. So I guess you could say that ‘being sensible’ – or at the very least, a feeble attempt to be – is another factor.)
What are your thoughts on this? Do you find it hard to part with old, beloved shoes? Does your shoe collection just seem to keep growing and growing?