It’s a known fact that women love shoes. For some, it’s a toss up between bags and shoes, but generally, women are obsessed with shoes. Owning pairs of shoes you can count with your fingers are unheard of; unless you’re flat broke, you’re bound to have one pair at least for each day of the month.
Is that such a big shock? A boss once told me (and this a boss I know to be very frugal; though he is also generous at times), a man can live on three to four pairs. All he needs are two pairs of black shoes, one pair each for brown shoes and rubbers and that’s it. Honestly, who notices a guy’s shoes? I do, but not to the point that I notice when he last wore it and with what. I only care about the scuff marks and if looks like good quality leather.
Now, a woman cannot live on four pairs. Perhaps, this is because women have more choices on clothes – the more clothes, the more shoes you need since the shoes have to match the clothes. Always. Otherwise, you’ll end up a walking talking fashion victim. Although of course, if your clothes are only on rotation basis or on the same make and color palette, then you probably don’t have to worry about shoes.
Personally, I am more a shoe person than bag person. I can survive on a rotation of five bags for the year (of course, they are of different styles and colors so I can mix and match them with piece of clothing I have). In fact, I buy a shoe before thinking of an outfit. My shoe dictates what I will eventually wear for the day.
Why do put such an importance on shoes?
a) Shoes (Help) tell the world what kind of woman you are. Take a look around your office on any given day: the one who wears the sensible loafer-style pair is either a tomboy or has no fashion sense, the one wearing thong sandals or flats are generally fuss-free individuals, and those wearing the cutest and tallest stilettos are deemed the fashionistas of the group. Sometimes, the whole aura of a person can be judged just by looking at the shoes – look past the stilleto-d feet and these women are usually made-up and dressed to kill, looking like they stepped off a fashion editorial. It sends of a signal on whether you’re a power player or someone who can be bossed around.
I often think, shoes also show a woman’s pain threshold. God knows how hard it is to wear 4-5 inch heels five days a week and any woman who can do that deserves a medal.
b) Purpose. There’s a different type of shoe for different activities. If you expect to go malling later in the the day, you either pack a pair of flats or flipflops, or you start out of the house wearing the cutest sandals. Walking for five hours in a mall on four-inch heels is suicide, believe me. And on another note, ballet flats or round toe pumps are perfect for when you missed your pedicure and are hiding those chipped toenails.
c) Social and Economic Status. Shoes come in different size, shape, color and price tags. Unfortunately for most, the best looking pairs usually come attached with mind-blowing tags. So, you can judge a woman’s bank account (or her man) by gauging if her shoes came from a well-known designer or from the department store.
d) Shoes make you feel better, without the calories and the high price. When a woman is depressed, she would go through any or all of the following: binge-eating, hairstyle changes, shopping. Binge-eating results in many unwanted pounds (and pimples), drastic haircuts can mean weeks and months of agonizing ridicule and waiting for it to grow out if the cut does not suit you, and shopping can jack up your credit card bill. I personally prefer shopping though. And compared to splurging on a new designer bag which can seriously suck dry your already anemic wallet, a new pair of shoes will only dent your pocket.
Shoes won after a long battle are the fashion equivalent of acing a major exams, or passing the board. Or getting a nice job. For someone like me who has size 9 feet living in a majorly size 6-7 country, it becomes a daunting task to find that elusive pair. Most shops carry only one or two pairs in my size and I have to compete with the other big-feet ladies. (Which also explains why I only got three pairs in SG while my officemates bought more than a dozen). So when you do lay your hands on that pair, you know you gotta keep it.
e) The shoes carry you. This is perhaps the most important reason why we should love our shoes and spend many hours finding the perfect pair and even more hours obsessing how to make them last. The shoes carry us through the day. Heck, they carry us through the night even. The shoes can and will make or break an outfit. A perfect dress paired with so-so shoes is nothing. But a plain dress worn with killer shoes – now, that’s for the books. The right pair can lift up your mood and when you’re in a good mood, you can conquer the world.
I own around forty pairs of shoes (this after I got rid of about five pairs last month and not counting the Havaianas I have lying around). Some bought after a hard day of stressing over work (hmmm… no wonder I accumulated more than half of that number when I became a tax accountant), some given by my significant other, some bought by necessity (like that time when I was walking along Makati Avenue and my stilleto broke – I headed straight to Glorietta to buy a new one). There’s nothing that makes me happier than a new pair. Imeldific? Nah, just normal.
Oh well. There’s a saying that whoever dies with the most stilletos is the winner. I couldn’t agree more.