A friend sent me a link to these shoes this week with the caption, “These were made for you!” Sigh. She got the tense right, “were” made for me. I have a thing for pretty and vintage pretty? Forget about it. Love it. 1958-1963 pretty? Adore it. But when I opened the link to these shoes my first thought was, “Oh, never. I would never wear those now.” I have evolved from peep toe kitten heels to black flats. Plain and simple, tried and true. I am now a black flat kind of gal.
What’s changed?, I asked myself. When exactly did this evolution take place? Before my first kid? After my second kid? When I hit forty? Honestly, I don’t think I could pinpoint it. Mothering certainly has something to do with it. A long, satisfying marriage may have contributed. Don’t get me wrong – – I have not given up on myself, haven’t thrown in the proverbial towel on caring about how I look and have no intention of “letting myself go.” I am as vain as ever, as self-conscious as ever. My feminist ideology doesn’t mean I don’t want to look good for my man and my kids. I do. And for me, too.
Has practicality seeped into my being, influencing my shoe buying tendencies? I was the gal who would mock the unfortunate gals on “What Not To Wear.” You know the ones – – they whined about the need for comfort, clutching their respective Sketchers, Birkenstocks, chunky heel monstrosities tight to their bosom. Oh, yee of little style, I would shake my head at them. Comfort is never an excuse for ugly.
I still don’t do ugly. I simply don’t put a priority on Pretty quite as much. Capital “P” Pretty. Fussy pretty is no longer in my repetoire. Now I am straight up, no fuss pretty. Lowercase “p” pretty. Super-cute Audrey Hepburn black flat pretty.
A year or so ago I let my 18 year old niece raid my closet. Most of the Capital “P” Pretty shoes were half a size down from my current size – – purchased before kids. Her current size. She went to town and drove home with half a trunk full of some of my favorite shoes I no longer wore or that no longer fit. And she wears the hell out of them. The burnished golden well heeled sandals with the vintage broach are a standard for her now. The multi-colored hand sequined pumps? She rocks those with jeans and dresses. An 18 year old cheerleader requires Capital “P” Pretty. Me? Not so much. I’m pretty happy over here in my lowercase “p” pretty kind of way. Right now if I look down I see black leather flats. No fuss. No muss, just pretty.
What are you wearing?