The average woman owns $660 worth of shoes that she never wears, reports Jezebel. That’s 11 pairs out of an average of 20 total.
I’ve talked before about my own shoe issues, plus it’s spring closet-cleaning time, so I went and did the math on my collection.
- 40 pairs of shoes. (Not counting 1 pair of snowboots, 1 pair of hiking boots, 1 pair of trail runners, 1 pair of hiking sandals, and 1 pair of weird wool clogs that I swear I’m giving away as soon as I finish writing this post. These are all pure function and don’t photograph pretty, so I’m ignoring them for the purposes of this post.) So, double the average number. Well, I always have been an overachiever. And to be honest, this number is lower than I would have guessed. I’m feeling almost minimalist! Except…
- Here are the 19 pairs that I have worn once or never in the past year. My sister just stopped reading this to text me a list of the ones she now wants to claim.
In my defense: I do not get invited to nearly enough places where suede stilettos —or apparently, loafers — are appropriate. I can’t remember the price tag on each of these (and several pairs were gifts, which makes them even more beloved), but let’s say it would not be over-estimating to double that average wasted shoe price and assume I’ve got $1,320 worth of shoes sitting around unworn.
- Not that I don’t make an effort. Here are the 17 pairs that I’ve worn twice or more (some of them a lot more!) in the past year.
What we can learn from this is that I do not need any more pairs of boots or wedge sandals, despite my continually falling in love with boots and wedge sandals. Hey, at least I wear them. Sometimes.
- Because here are the four pairs that, if you wouldn’t let me wear them, I’d never leave the house again. Most days, these are what go on my feet.
- My feet are shockingly color-less on a daily basis. I am pretty sure I need to address that. There are too many cute red shoes out there that I’m not wearing.
- Remember when I thought I hated Birkenstocks? No? Me either.
- I bought those dark brown Frye boots for $300 in a year when I really had no business spending $300 on boots and wow, was that the best $300 I ever spent. On shoes, anyway. I’m going to be wearing those babies until I die.
- The only shoes I have any business buying this year are flat gold sandals because, um, those are busted. At first I thought I could also buy a new pair of Converse because these are also pretty beat up, but then I looked at the other two pictures and remembered how I have a pair of awesome (and custom-designed!) neon Converse that don’t get nearly enough use and a delightful pair of cream and cherry-print Converse that keep taking a backseat to these gray ones because I’m too lazy to tie laces.
- Bottom line: Wear my other pairs of Converse. Be less lazy. And get new gold sandals. (Also, more red shoes.)
But what to do with the 34 pairs of shoes not getting their fair share of wearage? The thing about me is that I have absolutely no problem de-cluttering and throwing out stuff I don’t use. We have a constant Goodwill pile in our basement that grows at such a rate, I could make weekly trips there and never be done. I hate clutter. I love getting rid of stuff.
Except when it comes to shoes.
So. No way am I tossing the pink flats I wore for dancing at my wedding (the fuchsia satin heels were my ceremony shoes, in case you were dying to know). Or the fuchsia flip-flops I got for my honeymoon. Or the silver heels I wore to bridesmaid in my oldest friend’s wedding, the red suede heels I wore to my sister-in-law’s wedding, the brown heels I wore to bridesmaid in another dear friend’s wedding, or the pink suede heels that another good friend gave me as a wedding present because she knows me that well.
Basically, if a pair of shoes has anything to do with a wedding, I keep them. Or if I bought them on vacation in Italy (tan wedge sandals with flowers) or wore them to my first day of a new job (black patent heels with white circle).
I think what I really need to do is recognize that these shoes are no longer just fashion to me — they’re more like art. If by “art” you mean a (rather unwieldy) scrapbook with a few scuff marks. Which maybe needs to be displayed in some tasteful fashion, instead of moldering in the basement. Current idea (that my husband may or may not hate) is finding an old ladder to lean in a corner of the bedroom for sentimental shoe display purposes, like this:
Only one that doesn’t cost $129 at Pottery Barn. Because I think this post makes it clear that when it comes to shoes, I’ve already paid my share.
Your turn! Do you hoard shoes, or some other fashion/beauty item in mass quantities for sentimental reasons? Any ideas for what I should do with this collection?