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?
7 Replies to “Shoes as a metaphor for pretty.”
At the moment, I’m a big fan of two inch shoes. Why? Because I have plantar fasciitis (from too much flat shoe and flip flop wearing) and it’s the only way to control the pain!
See, now, what I see as the difference is this: are your black flats by Jessica Simpson or Hush Puppies. 😉
Black Danskos – same shoes for the past sixe years. My husband buys me heels for my birthday. I wear them a couple times, then back to the Danskos – Capital P Pretty isn’t practical when you walk 1.5 miles to and from work every day. Yeah, I could put the Pretty shoes in my bag…but that’s just another thing I have to haul into work. Not worth it.
There is no shame in Danskos, though there may be shame if they are six year old Danskos. May I suggest the patent leather Danskos? They will put a shine on your feet and brightness in your eyes!
You completely defined me about 6 years ago with “fussy pretty”. Two pregnancies and 2 kids later, I don’t have time to be fussy anymore. I’m too busy! Great post! And welcome to CN!
Thank you, Elizabeth. And you are indeed pretty! You, too, look like a black flat wearing gal. Black Flat Gals of the World Unite! We will build an empire, of which there will be a vacuum after Oprah retires next month.
Thank you! I have embraced artsy and eccentric as my new style. I used to be a very high heeled conservative, but having children has made me bare it all (literally,sometimes) and give up on being a socially glamorous person. I am over having everyone like me. So what that I cruise around town with one inch outgrowth and purple Pumas! I have to move fast when my toddler is running into the street!
PS-I have several black flats…BFG’s forever!