I was That Little Girl. The knock-kneed one with …omg…orthopedic shoes. Braces (teeth, not legs). Hair always wild. It’s a wonder I survived middle school, y’all. I mean, really. I was a Brain, and it was obvious that I was top-to-toe Nerd, so …well I guess we BrainNerds got a pass, even with the orthopedic shoes. Still amazing, though. Middle and High school was brutal!
In high school, after years of orthos and ballet (omg. SO painful) I was finally allowed to occasionally wear certain non-ortho shoes. Usually, though, they had to have some arch support. Except. Except these absolutely adorbs Gillie-tie shoes.
Mine were tan and white and I loved them with abandon! Once I got grown (and my feet strengthened) I fell in Stiletto Hole and never looked back. Oh, SO many stilettos! It was the 80s: Andrew Geller, Maud Frizon, into the 90s and beyond, with Manolo. Beverly Feldman and Louboutin. I am the despair of Cynthia Heimel , decrier of ‘cunning little bows’ on stilettos.
Since I wear very severe clothing my only nod to ‘feminine’ is usually a shoe (even my bags are severe). If you tie, have a cute little bow (or my vintage Norma Kamali winged stilettoes which I now cannot find – how do you lose SHOES?) you probably own my heart. Double points if you have both a heel AND feathers.
Where I now live, my Construction Site Life, coupled with my post-fall injuries? Yah. Stiletto this, Musette. I remember my shock at seeing Cybill Shepherd in her sneakers on the Emmy Red Carpet – now I’m right there with her. For a few years I teetered and tottered as I tried to fake it but the killing blow came 4 months ago, when that blood vessel burst in my left big toe – and I was in SNOW BOOTS, y’all. With a one-inch gripstrut heel. Lemmetellya – that one-inch heel felt like I was in Louboutins – and not in a good way. 4 months later, the pain is mostly gone but you could point an ICBM at me I don’t think I would take the chance on a heel. My Heel Days are gawn!
And not just heels. I’m kinda skeered of pointy-toes, and slip-on shoes make my guts (and toes) clench. I guess it’s All About the Tie, now. When I was first able to walk, following my toe neuropathy, the only shoes I felt safe in were these Keds lace-up sneakerish things – they have a bit of support in the arch (don’t get too excited – they’re still Keds so I could do with an insert) and the sole is sturdy enough that I don’t feel like I’m walking on glass. I tried other options but nothing works as well – so I lost my mind and bought Keds in a whole lot of colors and fabrics – but not the little thin Keds – the ones I’ve gotten all have some structure. And I suspect it is now Official: I am dressing from the feet up. Fight me.
I’m putting all my Manolos and their ilk on the eeeB and..well..that’s that. I tried to get all weepy (The Passage of an Era and all that) : L.O.L. I’m FOINE with it. I won’t have to change much more than the skirts I wear in Summer – and heck, I think I might even be able to pull off a swing skirt with a couple of the cuter Keds styles. I thought I would really miss the stilettos – but what I think is I am sort of missing the option, rather than the shoes themselves. But…hey…options change all the time, don’t they? 2 months ago I couldn’t walk more than 40feet (and 3 mos ago I was using a walker). And now look – I’m talking SHOES! TO WALK IN! And those gold lurex Keds are slammo! And, to be honest, it’s not like I am not almost ALWAYS in either black, white or tan slacks (my travel closets always looks like a nun is staying there). If Cybill can Reebok the red carpet I can Ked Boul Mich! and…really? If there is a sudden Zombie Outbreak I’d rather shuffle off in my sneakers than break an ankle in my Manolos.
What about you guys? Is there any ‘option’ you’ve ever had to give up? Fashion? Food? An Action? How did you manage? With what did you replace it?