Welcome to the second installment of my 'How to Build a Wardrobe' series. (Click here for the first installment). This segment is all about SHOES. Why have I dedicated a segment to just shoes? Well, it's because shoes have a transformative ability that other wardrobe pieces don't. If you have a fashionable pair of shoes on, it can improve the overall look of your entire outfit. Similarly, it can change the tone of you outfit. Do you want to dress down a showy dress? Or dress up a shorts + blouse combo? Shoes are the answer! The other thing about shoes is that you can get away with a lot. Shoes are not in the immediate line of sight so you can often wear really bold colors or unique styles down there that serve as refreshing surprise instead of a distraction.
When I was younger I used to hate shopping for shoes. I would buy one pair, wear it to death and then groan about having to replace them. Of course, we all do this to some extent. You find that perfect pair and you just can't stop wearing it! Then when they die, it's almost like mourning the death of a beloved pet. It's very traumatic but there is one thing you can do to try to prevent it. Buy more than one pair of shoes that you love! This way you can alternate and the will both last longer. You can also get more wear out of your shoes by taking care of them. For some reason I did not think of this until very late in the game but I think it's super important. Now I take my shoes to a cobbler and he keeps them looking nice and keeps them alive so that I can love them long time. (Just make sure you don't wait until they fall into disrepair. Taking your shoes to the cobbler is kind of like an oil change- it depends on how much you drive but you should do it pretty regularly)!
When starting out on your shoe wardrobe try to buy at least two pairs of practical shoes; the kind that you will want to wear every day- this will keep you from getting in a rut and also from killing your shoes. It's also to invest in a pair of neutral heels that will hopefully go with a lot of the outfits you'd want to wear heels with. Neutral heels are really key because you can wear them with shorts, skirts and hopefully all your dresses. Of course, it can be hard to find a pair that go with everything, in general you will want a dark pair and a lighter pair. Try imagine the pieces you have in your wardrobe when picking out neutral shoes and see if you can envision them going with anything.
In closing, the key to fashionable wardrobe (in my opinion) is shoes! They are like the pillars of your style so don't abuse, forget, or underestimate their power. I will say here that I (again) did not account for weather, exercise or very girl's need for a good pair of boots in this post but if you have questions about that kind of footwear or any kind of fashion question leave a comment! I will just say really quickly that when it comes to work out shoes you can't really escape their ugliness but you can embrace it with some retro day glow colors ala Nike!