Thank you for enrolling in Fashion 4300. This upper division course will require the use of your skills in critical thinking, analysis, and creativity to propose an answer to the following question:
WHAT IS THE MOST IMPORTANT ITEM OF CLOTHING YOU WEAR?
Some may say it's all important, we wear clothing for a reason right. Yes, yes we do. We wear clothing to protect us from the elements, to cover things NOBODY wants to see, to make a status statement, to have fun. So what piece is most important? This is not a game of, "If you could only wear one piece of clothing what would it be?" What piece, in your outfit collection, is most important?
For women, is it your bra? (this could be a whole other post)
For men, is it your socks? (no one likes sweaty man feet)
Maybe it is your coat to keep you warm and help preserve your health?
Maybe it is an accessory pop of color to get you noticed and remembered?
SHOES. The answer, my fashion fanatic friends, is shoes. Now before you call me tricky, I argue shoes are clothing for the feet. :)
As I have learned this week, walking the two miles to work and then spending 8 1/2 hours on my feet only to walk home again, I firmly believe the most important part of any outfit is the shoes. Why else could Nordstrom charge $130 for flip flops? (I wish I was kidding-and they didn't even have sparkles.)
I spent my first 30 hours working with my one pair of shoes I brought to Hawaii. A pair of leopard print flats that give as must support as cardboard strapped to my feet. I like them because they are cute and flat. They are comfortable and don't pinch like most heels. But after 7 hours on the floor of Chico's, I am counting the seconds of the next hour until I can get off my feet. Ever step feels like a slam of fire as I pound the balls of my feet into cement. Funny thing... I'm pretty much doing just that.
My boss recommended I get a brand of shoes called Soft. They are designer shoes (which, let's get real here, if you work retail, you are a walking mannequin so designer or designer knock off clothing is required) designed for people who have to be on their feet all day. They have extra padding and a design to center your weight between the ball of your foot and your heel. My boss says she has three pair and rotates between them. With sometimes 50 hours a week on her feet, the shoes last her a bit more than a year. And she wears them until they wear out.
Let's recap. Soft shoes are HOTT, comfortable, easily accessible (I can get them at Nordstrom two stores down) and come with multiple friendly recommendations (the other came from our assistant manager who has worked retail for 10 years. She said she finally converted after wearing terrible heels for 3 years and now she has permanent numbness in her left big toe). Is there a drawback?
They cost $99. OUCH! I swallowed hard when I saw the price tag. I looked them up online to see if I could get a better deal and it actually seems Nordstrom is not making much by carrying these shoes. I can't find them online for cheaper than $99 (but that price does include shipping so... ) Moving on.
Brett saw them and said. "Wait, those shoes are $100?"
This purchase is not a great one to talk about with him. While he is supportive of me being happy and fashionable and not having my feet fall off at the end of the day, he would NEVER is his lifetime or the next, or any other lifetime handed to him, spend anything close to $100 for shoes.
Unless they were diving flippers or running shoes. Ahhh, but maybe my handsome, wonderful, smart husband is on to something, and perhaps I am not such a shoe snob as a $99 pair of heels may suggest.
The experts recommend running shoes be replaced every 300-500 miles. That is 83 hours of running if you run a 10 minute mile. My brothers got one pair of shoes for each season of basketball. After most seasons the shoes were shot and eventually retired-- a tribute to glory days of grueling practice and victories on the court. Now I am no expert as to the amount of hours that go into a basketball season, but I think is is safe to assume it is somewhere near to, but less than my anticipated 2086. (40 hours a week X 52 weeks in a year) Granted, not all basketball shoes are nearly $100. BUT! Many of them are. Why are we willing to spend so much on basketball shoes or baseball cleats? Short answer... they just cost that much. You want a good shoe that will support and protect your foot and ankle, knees and back under hours and hours of use.
Hmmmmmmm. Sounds exactly like the kind of shoe I am looking for.
But it just feels wrong to spend that much money on a pair of heels! If I could wear my jogging shoes to work, BELIEVE ME I would. Those things are designed for comfort and lots and lots of use. But again, let's get real here, how professional does it look to be in a dress and sneakers? That is a fun picture. Yum... the beauty of nylons and sneakers. Love it! (there is a reason nurses no longer wear dresses) :)
You may be asking... what is wrong with just wearing regular heels? Most girls wear heels and don't need to spend $100 to do so. To those of you who don't wear heels, let me let you in on a little secret. There is a reason girls take their shoes off at high school dances and RIGHT AFTER the 3 hour block of church. HEELS HURT! "Beauty is pain" and "long legs are hot" can only get a girl through so many hours in feet pinching, uneven weight distribution, ball of your feet jamming goodness.
So... I am left with a question. Have I finally, after 25 years, turned into a shoe snob? Or am I investing in a piece of equipment that will help me do my job?