Fashion and shopping, Melbourne style


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Shoe Tales Time Tells

Quite a while ago I took these photos of new shoes (new to me that is, they were both bought secondhand), and for some reason I did not get round to writing a story about them while they were still actually new, and now they are old.

This shoe story became so old it transmogrified into a different story: that of shopping habits, knowing one’s own style, and listening to gut instincts.

Time tells its own tale, for in fact, only one pair had time to get old. I can’t recall where I found the shiny black high-heeled oxfords, but it was instant love. They were a perfect fit, looked hardly worn, and were quite inexpensive. I bought them and never regretted it, wearing them countless times since as a good, sturdy winter shoe that fit in perfectly with my favourite 1930s aesthetic.

The other pair tell a different tale, however. I spotted them inside a cabinet in an op shop, and was attracted by the soft blue colour. Upon request to look at them, I discovered first off that they were expensive (for thrift store shoes) at $20, and there was no indication of what material they were made of (they didn’t smell of leather). I don’t like to wear synthetic shoes: they don’t breathe and do not soften with time, so if they don’t fit perfectly, they can rub painfully. An uncomfortable shoe is a pain in the … foot. The soles of these were also quite thin. But, I reasoned, I run through walking shoes quickly because I wear them so much, so it’s always good to have plenty on hand, so against my better judgment, I bought them. That transpired to be a mistake; I had too many misgivings about them, and I ended up wearing them only (ahem) a handful of times before I returned them whence they came.

The lesson: don’t buy shoes that don’t perfectly fit either your notions of quality or personal style, or your physical proportions: unlike garments, shoes cannot be much altered to fit you better. A bargain is not a bargain if you don’t wear it, after all.

Photos: July 2016

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