I bought a new dress last weekend and as usual I loved it but didn’t have the courage to wear it. I bought it home, put it in the wardrobe and there is sat for a whole week. Today I pulled it out, looked at it and put it on. New clothes to me mean something along the same colour lines that I usually go for so I know there are a few things that will set it off well already in my wardrobe and this was so with the dress. It’s a burgundy knitted cotton dress just above the knee with a ribbed bust line to give definition to the waist. I delved into my socks/tights/underwear draw (it’s not big, I don’t have much) and found a grey patterned pair of tights and put them on. A spotty grey neck scarf was found and I was happily twiddling about in front of the mirror actually pleased with the new dress. I needed shoes and went to the wardrobe and felt around in the shelf under the hanging space. I pulled out a grey pair bought in emergency for my sister and brother-in-laws wedding and put them on. Hmm, not great. They were only £16 and to my bargain hunting eyes they were perfect but not with this dress. I pulled out a beautiful pair of Hobbs shoes with an amazing pointed toe. I last wore these gorgeous shoes when I was teaching over 5 years ago and although the deep brown leather went well with the wine coloured dress, the grey tights didn’t. They were taken off and put back in the wardrobe.

My last pair to try was a favourite of mine. Reminiscent of 1940’s tea dance shoes they are a burgundy wine colour and have a little heel with a single strap over the top of the foot. The brown detailing was just enough and when I slipped them on I felt amazing. They went well with the dress and tights and they lifted my legs and made them look longer and shapely, something my usual brown boots and skinny jeans failed to do. The shoes weren’t new; in fact as I stood in our room with my head to one side I realised they had been worn to 3 weddings, 2 christenings and an engagement party amongst many other times the 10 years that I have had them. 10 years! Wow…

But then I don’t buy ‘fashionable’ shoes. I buy shoes that I like regardless of what’s going on in the magazines and on the catwalk. Those that know me well know I am no fashionista and almost pride myself of my ability to ‘not-look-like-anyone-else’ in the fashion steaks. I buy second hand, from charity shops and ebay. I buy beautiful clothes also but I keep them for many years and wear them for many years. I actually wear my clothes out. I can’t pass them onto charity shops as they all have holes in by the time I’ve finished with them and if they haven’t I make something new from the fabric.

I felt good in my shoes and I walked downstairs to show hubbie. His face lit up as I know he likes my legs but, poor man, never really sees them in all their glory. He said I looked great and I felt amazing but the thing that really stopped me and made me think was walking upstairs I had to ask Henry to move his box out of the way. He did I said ‘thank you!’ he said ‘That’s okay’ and without even looking up he said ‘Mummy…?’ I turned and said ‘yes’ and he said’ …nice shoes’

If my thug of a son can notice his mother in different shoes then I really should stop and think about this. I have a couple of pairs of amazing shoes; my other favourite is a pair of brown brogues. Every time I put them on the boys ask me why I am wearing daddy’s shoes and I always insist that they are mine but they don’t believe me. I take care of the brogues; they are on top of the shoes box so they won’t get squashed. I feel amazing as I slip them on because they are a good quality pair of shoes that are well made and they fit beautifully. They are the antidote to a pair of Ugg boots for sure.

Shoes make me feel different in the different pairs I have. My lovely heels gave me a spring in my step today as although I cover the tummy of a mummy of 3 boys well my legs are actually quite good (I thank the postman who said ‘I hope you won’t be offended but I just have to tell you your legs are amazing..’ No, I wasn’t offended as I did drive the car into a bollard once when admiring a beautiful man so I think that evens itself out) I need to wear my different shoes more. I need to get out of the ‘brown boots and skinny’s’ uniform that I seem to find easy in the mornings of have learnt to wear after the babies grew a little. I’m not talking about new shoes, we all know we love a new pair of shoes, no; I’m talking about actually wearing the shoes I have. We’re not talking of more than 6 pairs but still, I do have 6 pairs that do 6 different things and make me feel completely different each time.

I think I’m going to set myself another challenge this week. I’m going to ban myself from wearing skinny jeans and brown boots and each day I have to rummage through my wardrobe and fall in love with the clothes I have and the shoes that hide beneath them. I have beautiful skirts that can be worn all year round as I am very good with making the small amount of clothes I have (I really don’t have much, you could fit it all in a large suitcase shoes too) mix and match together so I haven’t ever needed a summer/winter wardrobe. But I have got lazy choosing to wear the 2 pairs of skinny jeans and various white t-shirts with a wraparound cardi. I need to be more adventurous with the clothes I have and this week, I think, is the week to start.

So. I’ve gone from a new dress being tentatively tried on to thinking about what I wear each day. Shoes are amazing and can make you feels misery –if they don’t fit- elation –if your legs look amazing – and almost every emotion in between. I’m going to love my shoes more and get them out and wear them. Maybe if I do love my shoes more I might make more of an effort to love my clothes more and who knows what interesting paths that might lead me down. I’m starting on Monday with my denim miniskirt that I also tentatively wear. I’m digging it out and will be putting it on but hmmm, what shoes should I wear..?



About littlewhitecottage

Emma is a qualified teacher with 14 years of teaching in many different settings. From teaching adults and children at a music school to choosing to work in a demanding primary school that was failing (which meant moving from an outstanding school – her colleagues were aghast!) to running her own sewing business for the last 5 ½ years teaching all ages how to sew: Emma loves to teach.
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3 Responses to Shoes…

  1. Makes me want to go in and explore my old shoes now too – I only throw out shoes if I have worn them out and have shoes for longer than 10 years. My problem is that although I still have the dresses or skirts to go with them – I need to lose weight to fit into the clothes. My resolution for this year has now been affirmed and motivated by your blog. I will lose the weight and get to wear those lovely shoes again which make me feel special! Thank YOU 🙂

  2. Angie West says:

    Absolutely love this!! I’m ashamed to say that I have over 100 pairs shoes/boots but I’m going through a phase in my life wondering if they really are necessary (I have also done the same with clothes and toiletries as over the years, I’ve become somewhat of a hoarder!!) This has spurred me on into actually sorting them out, get rid of the ones that really have seen better days but re-establish those that have just been forgotten about in the “wear the same because it’s comfortable” approach I’ve taken lately!! Thanks again for sharing 😉 xxxx

  3. Jo Winstanley says:

    My new years resolution was not to buy any new clothes this year purely because 1) I simply have waaaayy too many and I dont seem to wear even a quarter of those that I already own! And 2) to save me some seems to be working so far! I bought a couple of pairs of jeans from a charity shop, totalling £8.50 for both which appeals to my bargain hunter self and they dont count as they’re not ‘new’. Its my birthday today and have received a Next gift card…decided that this doesnt count as I’m not actually spending my own money…is this cheating do you think??! Normally on my birthday I would go out and spend money (that I havent actually got) on new clothes and I havent even been tempted. This could be to do with the fact that Ive also stopped buying fashion magazines…if I saw what was in them I’d want to go out and buy the featured dress/coat/bag or whatever, thinking I needed it but I dont really. Not only are fashion mags a waste of money per se (what do you do with them when you’ve read them? throw them in the recycling bin! at about £4 a throw!), they make you buy things that you don’t need…my boyfriend says I’m a salesmans/marketing mans ideal person! Not anymore I’m not, thank you very much! I’m going to dig out all those clothes that have only been worn once/never worn/not worn for ages and get out of the rut because I too wear the same clothes pretty much all the time!

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