Eight pairs of shoes…?

In Actors, Celebrities, Shoes on June 28, 2013 at 7:13 pm


I was gripped by an item I saw this week on the Daily Mail’s website in which Emma Watson says she has only eight pairs of shoes. Eight!

The comment was inspired by her glimpse into Paris Hilton’s actual wardrobe, which the heiress allowed Sofia Coppola to use in her film The Bling Ring, starring Watson and based on the real-life spate of robberies of Hilton and other young LA celebrities, by a group of spoilt teenagers.

Despite being in command of her own £26 million fortune, Watson was astonished by the sheer volume of designer gear Hilton had – much of it unworn, tags intact.

It’s ‘consumerism as a form of kleptomania,’ said Ms Watson, who is clearly as smart as someone accepted by both Brown and Oxford universities should be. Almost as smart as Hermione Granger.

But back to the eight pairs of shoes… EIGHT?!?! I’ve taken that many on holiday with me – and then I bought two more while I was there.

I’ve got so many pairs of shoes I honestly don’t have a clue how many there are in total. I think I will count them, out of interest, but not right now – I’ll get back to you with that number. Meanwhile I’m doing a mental tally, to see how I square up with Hermion-emma.


Quite a lot of my shoes are in permanent storage on top of a cupboard. There are at least six pairs of really old vintage treasures up there – the oldest from the 1920s – which I bought at jumble sales in the 1970s. Haven’t worn them for thirty years, but can’t part with them. Too special.

There’s also quite a collection of really fabulous (and generally rather camp…) serious designer shoes that I don’t wear any more, but which – along with the vintage ones – I’m saving for my daughter (probably condemning her to size 12 feet in the process).

And out of for nostalgia. I don’t want to forget the season of the Prada d’Orsay pump…oh, happy days in Milano. I bought two pairs. Impossible to walk in, but such things of loveliness.


The next level in my shoe hierarchy are the ones I wear occasionally and like to keep around, just in case and because they’re also beautiful objects to look at. But when I do a rigorous inventory of the shoes I really wear, it comes down to just over twenty pairs, which quite surprises me.

So then I start to wonder, when Emma W. said ‘shoes’, did she mean absolutely every pair of foot covering items she owns, or just ‘proper’ shoes?

Was she discounting her practical utility footwear which, in my case, includes Havaianas, Converse, Nike neoprene mesh trainers, Ugg boots, Hunter wellies, snow boots and espadrilles? Some of them in more than one colourway. Well, all of them actually, except the snow boots.


Then there are my two most-worn  pairs – the annual Birkenstoks (this year’s are apple green patent) and my 20-year old conker brown RM Williams riding boots – which both sit somewhere between utility and proper shoes. Do they count by the Hermion-emma standard?


And how about my Sperry deck shoes and purple suede Fairmount driving shoes? Cowboy boots?

I don’t think any of them can be classed as ‘shoes’, as in feature accessories. They are necessary life aids and iconic items which everyone should have acquired by my age. So if we agree on that, this leaves two more categories of real shoes: day wear and evening. Both of which are subject to seasonal adjustment.

For winter day I’ve got my 15-year old Paraboot brogues, navy brothel creepers, patent loafers, black RM cuban heels, black brogue ballerinas and pointy black Prada pumps.


For summer day it’s Sambag snakeskin ballerinas, smart espadrille wedges and red patent glamour slides.


For evening and best I have vintage croc pointy pumps, very special woven leather Prada pointy pumps, gold Prada sandals and glittery Repetto tango shoes. I’m not showing off, I’ve had all of them for yonks. I look after my footwear diligently, with shoe trees, re-heeling, toe taps etc and they pay me back in years of wear.


So now I’m thinking, did Emma Watson really mean she only has eight pairs of shoes for this season? As in the fashion season.

Working on the latter calculation, I’ve only got one pair of shoes I bought for this summer: divine lilac Sperry nubuck oxfords with fluoro pink and rope sandwich soles.


I feel better about that now.

How many pairs of shoes do you have?

  1. I have a few more than 8 pairs but still tend to wear the same pair most of the time. It’s winter in Melbourne and I never take off me Acne pistol black boots. They’re great with leggings, jeans or skirts/dresses, and at 5ft tall they have just enough heel to stop me looking like a short-arse but not too much that they’d stop me breaking out into a run if I had to. And they’re warm. Perfect! I’m a bit more adventurous in summer but still only rotate 2 or 3 pairs.

    • Acne really got it right with the PISTOL boot didn’t they? Instant classic I think and the perfect weight – heavy enough for a proper solid boot feel and walk with perfect balance so no tendancy to drag. It has been widely ripped off but of course the originals truly rule. B

      • I hear you! best ankle boot I’ve ever owned

      • I bought the rip offs and they were SO uncomfortable, I gave them to a charity shop. But the difference between sizes is too great. I know many people like me who can’t find a pair to fit, but my RMs do pretty much the same job.

  2. I can never let go of a good pair of shoes. Right now obsesses with a pair of cerulean blue sandasl and a pair of glittery blue pumps. I might have at least 18 pairs

  3. Unembarrassed to admit I have in excess of 60 pairs! But that includes ‘non-shoes’ (Havianas, trainers etc) and I agree they don’t count!!
    Their joy is that they allow me to interperate that nuanced question, “Who am I today?” with satisfying precision. The right shoe says with certainty that today I’m Sexy Corporate Girl, Bohemian Babe, Stompy Chick With Attitude, Life Of The Party!
    Clothes start that statement but shoes provide the exclamation mark 😉

  4. Ow, my feet hurt!
    I have eight pairs of shoes, too. Hello Emma……….
    These are the shoes that I wear day-in, day-out because good-looking comfy shoes are hard to find and I look after them once I’ve found them. 1 x Birkenstocks, 1 x Italian sandals for ‘best’, 1 x French sandals for everyday, 1 x Mary Janes for work – I wear these four pairs through-out the summer – then 1 x brogues for work, 1 x loafers for the weekend which I add when the weather starts to get colder/warmer. Then once it’s really cold – 1 x black lace-up boots which I basically wear every day in the winter and 1 x Ugg boots for everything else. And I have 1 x runners for riding my bike and when I go for a serious walk. Then at the top of my wardrobe I have a few pais of special shoes – accumulated over the last 30 years – which I wear every now and then, but wouldn’t part with.
    That’s it.
    Boring but true!
    Want to know about my socks? X-socks in a variety of weights for every occasion – don’t get me started as it’ll be another boring conversation.
    Love this post, Maggie, I can still live vicariously through your feet……

    • Well, that does make it sound do-able. But it’s the special ones on top of the wardrobe I like the sound of!

      • Hmmm, well, I have my favourite pair of high heel Mary Janes that make me feel like Cyd Charise, but hurt after about an hour. They are just right for job interviews and presentations – where I can whip them off as soon as I’m done. A pair of ‘Bandelinos’ I USED to be able to wear BEFORE I was pregnant 27 years ago (and cost $200 at the time which was probably my weeks wages), but I just can’t let them go (my kids have worn them as early-teenagers before their feet grew bigger than mine); a gorgeous pair of strappy tan sandals with a kitten heel (my favourite heel) that I can wear for about an hour – so great for making an entrance somewhere where I’m going to sit for most of the evening, but I can hardly walk the next day; numerous pairs of ballet flats and loafers that LOOKED comfortable, but aren’t (that damned bunion!) but I keep thinking one day I’ll ‘wear them in’. Several pairs of boots that looked comfortable, but aren’t, that have been to the shoe mender for stretching, softening, different soles – all to no avail. Ballet slippers I wore when I used to go to Weight Watchers – they weigh almost nothing – but it’s still cheating, really…….
        I do miss being able to just wear anything I want on my feet. I wonder if it’s because I DID wear the most amazing shoes when I was young – towering platforms, stilletos where my foot was almost vertical, wedges, shoes with only one tiny strap across the front. I think it ruined my feet, but it was probably worth it. I have such fond memories of all of those shoes…….

      • Last night saw me looking through the catalogue at Mortel’s (the original Ugg boots, or so they say) and I’m seriously thinking about buying a pair of lace-up ‘street Uggs’. What do you think? Too uncool?

      • Haven’t seen them, send me the linkx

      • PS Totally changed my mind about the street Uggs – they look pretty UGGly.

    • I only have eight pairs too – and that’s including jandals and Uggs 🙂
      I, too, tend to have firm favourites and wear them over and over and when they get too shabby or fall apart I throw them out and replace them. And just like Lizzymint I also indulge in socks – lots and lots of socks 🙂

      (I may have a handbag or two more than I strictly need though…)

      • HI Lynne, you and Deborah below are shoe opposites! I’m firmly in her camp – more expensive shoes last so much longer they’re better value over time and better for your feet, but I do admire your discipline. I’ve got shoes I’ve had for over 30 years, but I’ve been looking after them all that time, which takes energy…

  5. Oh Maggie, I do love you and your writing and fretting about our daughters together, but I fear that in real life (as opposed to Twitter) we would never, ever be friends. 8 pairs of shoes sounds perfectly adequate to me. In fact, (deep breath)….

    • No, we’re good – I have a friend who only wears flip flops in summer and boots in winter. She has about six pairs of shoes. I like food and books and stationery too…. In fact I don’t shop for clothes much any more, as I’ve pretty much got what I need.

  6. Very interesting post. I’ve 18 pairs. I’ve never considered myself a shoe person but its all relative isn’t it?
    So I have 1 pair of runners, 3 sandels, 1 thongs, 1 brown boot, 2 black boots, 1 ankle boot, 1 superga, 2 slippers, 2 ballet flats, 1 horse riding boots and 3 pairs of elegant vintage kitten heels for evening.
    I read once that women who are dissatisfied with their figures are more likely to focus on accessories such as shoes and handbags. Those with higher body satisfaction buy more clothing. I’ve always been quite happy with my figure and consequently have a largeish collection of coats and jackets. Although I only own 3 pairs of jeans which I rotate all winter so perhaps the theory isn’t completely accurate.

    • You’re right – as someone who has always battled with my weight, you can always rely on shoes to fit. I’ve got clothes from size 8 to size 14, but all my shoes are 37…

  7. I have quite a lot of, let’s say, ‘footwear’ actually. But I am not at all a fashion person really. I like to not wear the same pair in a row. So at the moment four or five for winter are rotating for everyday wear. I have lots of different ‘special wear’ pairs in various colours and styles. I lived in Canberra for years so I have seven pairs of boots – well looked after and I have had them a while. Clearly I am a bit excessive in having two pairs of Birkenstocks for summer, but in my defence, I now live in Brisbane. There are various ‘thong’ styles from casual for the beach to those blinged up ones. I have to do a winter/summer swap of shoes to fit in the wardrobe!

    I did try to do a cull of shoes this year in interests of reducing ‘stuff’ (the hard copy books are being looked at this weekend) but it seemed too likely I might want some of them again. And I had to buy some new shoes this season when I saw that you could get navy at last …

    But good on Emma if she has only eight. Admirable.

    I haven’t commented before, but I really enjoy your blog Maggie. Have followed your writing since the Good Weekend days. I often recommend you to friends!

    • Thanks for kind words. I’m so with you on not wearing the same pair every day. I’ve been told that if you rotate two pairs of shoes which are the same, wearing them every other day, each pair will last twice as long. The leather needs to cool down and rest.

      I used to have a male friend who only ever had ONE pair of shoes. He bought the same Doc Martens shoes every year or so and wore them every day, for everything. I tried to tell him if he bought two pairs, they would each last him two years, but he wasn’t having a bar of it. I did really admire his Zen approach.

      • Darn it! I have THE most comfortable pair of Italian boots – flat, softest leather ever, fur-lined, warm and comfortable, and they look pretty good. I wear them EVERY day in the winter. I knew I should have bought two pairs but they only had one left in my size (and they were pretty pricey). Having said that, I’ve worn them almost every day through 4 winters now – I can’t bear the thought of them wearing out. I take them to the menders at the end of winter and get them resoled and reheeled – surely they will last forever………

      • It’s not just good for the shoes, it’s better for your feet to rotate. The shoe does affect the foot, and you need variety. And alternate by wearing flats or you will foreshorten your calves and be unable to wear flats. Really. (Gosh I sound old!)The drying out is also better for hygiene of course.

        On volume, I have easily 50 pairs +. But then I’ve got a narrow foot, so I’m often half looking for shoes…It’s sad there is so much rubbish footwear out there. A well constructed shoe is not only better for your feet, it is more economical over time. I find italian and french shoes suit my feet better..but the expense! I take good care of my shoes and have them resoled and re heeled as necessary. A lot of people never clean their shoes or replenish the leather. They just throw them out. No wonder people like cheapies. But they do look terrible IMO. You can tell a cheap shoe at 50 paces.

        Recently I bought some very cheap flats (shiny fabric leopard skin print) and they have no structure, no strength in the arch, no give in the sole. I knew they’d stretch…they did! I wear them around the house instead of slippers but there are no redeeming features to cheap shoes IMO.

        Because I am already tall I steer away from heels. I have them but they just look back at me most of the time, taunting and daring me. When I see high heels I see pain. Ruining your feet to look good is not a great transaction. I spoke with this assistant on a day when I bought about 6 pairs in one go (sale time) and she said that she’d broken her foot, twice! This was from wearing platform sky highs (maybe alcohol was involved?)

        I do understand the attraction, but if you must wear high heels IMO make them fit well, and make them good quality, and have some flats in your bag to downsize to if you get a bit tipsy or have to walk on uneven ground etc. After all, women in the pics don’t wear them clumping around town, they have limos. off granny duty now…

      • Those clumpy shoes should be banned, or come with health warnings. I agree with every point you make 100%. Recently bought some v similar ballet flats. Only £12 but only any use for tiny distances, as no foot support. Good point also about not wearing same shoes every day for foot health – in summer I wear Bikenstocks too much and they make my heels dry and cracked and your feet spread – but oh! the comfort! x

      • Went to Zomp in Oxford St Paddington – highly recommend them – and bought THE most gorgeous and comfortable pair of italian leather tan ankle boots – very pixie-like. So now I can alternate my boots in the winter. Again, they only had one pair in tan in my size – but maybe I should have bought them in black, too. Too samey, samey??? I like what Debra says about always being on the lookout for suitable shoes – and I remember Maggie saying about always buying a great dress if you find one, even if you don’t have anywhere to wear it to right now as an occasion will always present itself and there you’ll have it. o, from now on, I will always be on the lookout for suitable shoes as well – whether I need them or not….

      • I feel I have corrupted you into my shopping ways… I bought a dress I didn’t ‘need’ on Saturday, but my particular requirements make ones that suit so rare, I knew I’d be happy I’d done it one day…

  8. 10 ballet flats, 6 sandals, 3 summer wedges, 3 loafers, 6 heels, 4 evening, 2 ankle boots, 1 high heel knee high boot, 2 flat knee high boots, 1 running, 1 pair campers, plus uggs for strictly house wear. Writing that out seems like a lot, but I think it’s not particularly excessive… some of my shoes have been recently inherited from my mother, who died last year and wore the same size as me – couldn’t throw everything to the charity shops as she had lovely shoes.
    Many of my shoes I’ve had for years and years and years – I prefer quality over quantity, and tend to only buy one or two pairs a season. When I look at them though, there are certain shoes that I wear over and over, and others that don’t get much of a look in. But it’s very hard to know that in advance… If I had to whittle it down to 8 pairs, I’d keep my black patent peep toe heels, black flat knee high boots, black ankle boots, 2 pairs sandals (I’m Australian – for 3 months of the year you have to live in them exclusively), the campers (essential when walking any great distance, they look a bit like leather converse), runners to exercise in, and a pair of ballet flats. But how boring! I definitely like to rotate my ballet flats, they’re the colourful and fun shoes. Plus I’d be stuck if I had to go to an evening do (which I do reasonably often).
    So my conclusion, 8 is nearly impossible, but Paris Hilton style excess is truly horrible too. All those pinterest pins of overstuffed closets with captions like “Want!!!” or “I Die!!!” have never appealed to me…

  9. 8!! I think I have 8 pairs of wedged heels alon, but yes thongs (3) Birkenstocks (3) then we have the boots section… But really in summer it is birks or saltwaters and in winter camper spiral boots in brown. There is not a more comfortable boot in the world.

  10. 5 pairs of espadrilles (different colours – live in them in the Australian summer), 6 pairs of black shoes (ranging from evening wear to loafers to walking shoes), 2 pairs of blue shoes (loafers), 3 pairs brown (loafers and walking shoes), 4 pairs boots (different colours), 1 pair Brookes running shoes, 1 pair RM boots; I wear my son’s outgrown school shoes in the garden so I’m not sure if they are technically mine. PS Good on Emma Watson for not letting her £26 million go to her head but come on Emma, I hope you get some enjoyment out of it!

  11. Haven’t seen ‘brothel creepers’ in print for a while – my husband has several pairs being ex-military, and loves them! Love the notes, Maggie!

    Sent from my iPad

  12. Can’t help noticing that Imelda Marcos’s shoes all look to be pretty much the same style. Rather boring in fact.


  13. Oh Maggie, this post is music to my soul…as an eighty+ pair shoeaholic my friends (well some) and one who has size 43 feet who has never understood the shoe thing through lack of choice… Her size is rarely available!

    At last count I had 80 + not including Havianas or boots which I was afraid would take me into the 100 plus category making me feel very aware of this excess… Having said that I agree with you Maggie that I regularly wear about 15-20 pairs. I am a professional working for a big corporate so my workwear footwear (Courts winter and sandals summer) account for about 15 in various heel heights and co ours. Then there are my beloved Blue Velvit ballerina flats in various colours and fabrics which are the comfiest shoes ever and always worthy of a trip down the Kings road on trips to the UK to check out new season colours etc…unfortunately they don’t mail order to Australia 😦

    Weekend shoes depend on our Sydney weather but usually flat leather sandals, Ballerina’s, moccasins, Haviana’s and boots (including my well worn trusted RM’s) are worn.

    Then there are shoes for “special occasions” many adorned with satin, beads and sparkly bits… These are not worn often so stay in good shape…and like you Maggie these are much loved, cleaned and boxed up after each wear….

    One of these special occasion shoes nearly came to a sad end last NYE in Sydney after the Opera house shindig. however State rail to the rescue. As we we pulled into Lindfield station at 3am one of my Oyster satin peep-toe heels fell down the gap!!! Distraught I thought that would be the end of the shoe but for the station master who rang me the next day to say he had got it off the track and it was ready for collection! After a good old rub with saddle soap it is as good as new…

    • LOVE that station master – what service! I did a rough count last night and came out about where you are… I have so many ‘novelty’ designer shoes, but I just can’t bear to get rid of them. They are all reminders of special times in my life. Plus I hope they will fit my daughter one day (when they will be quickly trashed…) They do take up a lot of space though, don’t they? I’ve got special shoe shelves, but not room for all of them. But I have really slowed down in my shoe shopping. Only two pairs this year so far and both in constant use.

  14. I have taken 4 pairs of shoes away for a long weekend…but I have got much better in the last few years. If only you could really tell how comfortable a pair was going to be in the shop. I’ve had ballet flats that ripped my feet apart. The one thing I enjoy about winter in Sydney is wearing boots most days, because you can wear them with socks or tights and buy them a size up!

  15. Dear M, Firstly and most importantly, Emma Watson hasn’t had as much adult time as you or I to accumulate shoes or otherwise.
    Shoes I own versus shoes I actually wear. Including ski boots, cowboy boots, vintage Timberlands, birkenstocks, rubber thongs, trainers and going out shoes/boots, vintage evening – approx 20 tops (actually quite proud of that #). I have a rule – if they aren’t comfortable enough for me to last the night/day in I pass them on – friends/Vinnes/etc. Being a beach resident – sandals and flip flops in summer and winter pull on flat boots/Timberlands and high solid heel boots for outings, etc. Love your new green Bs for summer – my current pair (at least 5 yrs old now/mat silver tops) are so worn to death I couldn’t bear for you to see a pic of them but they do accompany me regularly to the back garden to hang out the washing – literally being worn/loved to death. There is a billboard in Bondi Junction “I love shoes, I’m superficial – whatever” … I hate it – so cheapens attachment to shoes (just so happens that particular company sells cheap shoes … back to your story about excessive production/ownership of crap, etc) I am proud to say that all my shoes are decent quality and I wear and love them all. BX
    PS Just had a favourite pair of dark green patent Marc Jacobs pointed toe flats resoled/heeled for winter, so worth the money – better than ever/heaven again!

    • PS Good on Emma by the way and of course she is on the right path; a smart and gorgeous girl. Lets book in a catch up after her 45th birthday for a shoe population head count. BX

    • So you have 20 pairs INCLUDING the snow boots etc? That’s zen…

      • Yes, 20 pairs including the ski boots (currently out of snow boots)…living at the beach and working from home tends to dampen the need for a lot of “going out” shoes. Mind you if I suddenly found myself without the Marc Jacobs patent flats in the winter you might hear my screams in your neck of the woods! I just LOVE them. BX

  16. Oh shoes! I love this insight into your shoe wardrobe Maggie. I have 1 x silver flat strappy sandals, 1 x grey and aqua chuck Taylor converse, 1 x tan loafer/ballet flat, 1 x grey suede wedges, 1 x block heel pump with silver pirate buckle, 1 x black loafers, 1 x long flat brown boots and a just acquired today 1 x long black flat boots that are in every day rotation. I have loads of pretty heels in various colours from my full-time corporate days and they sometimes get a gig but not too often. I used to do lots of colour in my shoes too but not so much anymore as I need them to go with more outfits than was the case in my DINK days.

  17. Being of wide and flat-footed nature, I buy shoes usually twice a year, from a specialist supplier in Sydney, and then I hang onto them until they fall apart. I have developed an excellent relationship with the shoe repair man, and I keep all my ‘best’ shoes in drawstring bags and then in individual boxes – even the boots have bags! So… The count… long boots – two black pairs, one camel suede (all from Duo boots), one pair of Brookes runners, two pairs of Ecco leather lace-ups, two pairs of suede loafers (one red, one grey), one pair of Bison leather LLBean loafers, a pair of LLBean slides which double as my slippers, one pair of Kumfs slip on sandals (I can’t wear thongs) for summer, one pair of Colorado furry lined boots, three pairs of waldlaufer summer sandals (all red), two pairs of black waldlaufer sandals (all of which take an orthotic), a pair of nasty low heeled ankle boots I’ve worn only once, a pair of black Baxter elastic sided boots I’ve worn to death, two pairs of black pumps from Munro for work, two pairs of suede pumps (one pink, one green) from Duo, a pair of black sparkly heels for wide feet I’ve never worn, navy slingbacks I bought for a summer wedding, a pair of italian lace-ups, and my prize possession, two pairs of Roberto Figini pumps with patent heels and toes, one black, one red, designed for wide and flat feet. Hmmm… Do I have a problem? Maybe!

    • Sounds like you look after them – this made me LOL “a pair of nasty low heeled ankle boots I’ve worn only once”. Why do we all do that to ourselves?

  18. Maggie, you are so funny. Couldn’t be bothered counting, but do wear same old most days. Have some that I could never part with.

  19. I’m liking the newish flat that’s like a slipper. They suit my size 41 foot I think, more than the ballet flat style. Have 3 pairs now and counting ….
    I generally keep my 15 pairs or so of boots and shoes in their boxes with a photo taped to the front. My clothes are relatively plain fare, so shoes, earrings and lipsticks are the condiments!

    • That’s how I work it too – thank you for reminding me of that justification… I love the slippers too. Had bought them from a specialist site before they became a ‘thing’.

  20. OMG what is wrong with young Emma? Only 8 pairs of shoes – such self-deprivation. This young lady obviously does not know how to shop. I am available to guide her as a personal shoe shopper…

  21. I’ve just peered into the black hole that is my wardrobe and feel particularly uninspired. Can I please swap with your shoe cupboard, Maggie? Love the gold Prada sandals. They sound like Stella’s gorgeous ones out of Cents and Sensibility.

    Now that we live in the back of beyond most of “this season’s” shoes are boots: Blundstones, gumboots (black Dunlop ones: the tres chic shiny red ones lasted 5 minutes…), and a small assortment of going to work boots. All have utilitarian heels: the must have fashion statement when you are running after a classroom full of little people.

    I really wish I had kept my black suede kitten heeled shoes with the dinky creamy pink leather trim and front bows: I only threw them out last year. They were my “me” shoes for a time, though. When I worked in the finance industry, travelling around teaching pension fund directors, I felt happy knowing they were my naughty little touch to my industry correct attire. I knew I’d nailed it one day, when after a particuarly intense 3 hour workshop, an elderly captain of industry came up to me, to compliment me on my presentation. Or so I thought. Instead, eyes twinkling, he said, “What lovely shoes.”.

  22. I work in fashion retail mainly shoes so I have slightly more than 8 pairs. My company doesn’t produce every style so I have the practical, thongs, blundstones, sandshoes, runners and my beloved indoor only uggs. I also have a couple of high heels blacks that are pretty timeless from the usual French suspects. I am not a crazy shoe fan but I think you need different styles and colours to match outfits.

  23. I am not even going to attempt to count………

  24. I’m with you Maggie. Eight pairs is minimum for holiday. I have about 40 pairs after an international move (and paring back), so am currently refilling the shoe coffers.

      • That doesn’t mean I don’t constantly lust after shoes – AND SPEAKING OF SHOE LUST – check the Sartorialist right NOW – top photo – the girl in the blue stripes with the MOST gorgeous pair of white flat sling backs …. SOOOOOO adorable!
        I had a similar pair in pale olive green with white piping in the 80s – so handy and versatile (and incredibly comfortable) but after too many happy outings and despite plenty of leather cream and several trips to the bootmaker literally worn to death.
        I really hate that moment when you realise “No, I just can’t wear them in public any more and expect to be taken seriously (stylishly)”. Then the really sad bit, what to do with them?
        Too worn out for charity shop? So they have to go into the (too too terrible) b i n.
        I really hate that bit! Shouldn’t get so attached, but I do. BX

  25. Maggie Im really depleted in the shoe department , I’m embaressed to tell you. Though yesterday I did go to a local shoe shop where Ive had a sucessful buy a while ago and it was closed.

    Il pleut ici

  26. I have a rule..nothing I can’t walk in comfortably.
    Hideous ingrown toenails necessitate this.
    This does not mean I don’t own a giant pair of red and gold circus/burlesque lady fetish heels, it just means they’re open toed and comfortable (thankyou huge platform).

    So I have about *counts in head* 12 pairs. This is not counting things like gumboots and thongs (functional footwear).

    Of all my shoes only 3 pairs were purchased new. All the rest were slowly amassed over years of op-shopping. This means I lugged home a good deal of hideous man-made cack and then kept only the true gems (hello Italian leather). So it was a long, ongoing cycle of op-shopping and re-donating of the substandard candidates.

  27. I bought three pairs of “gaucho” boots this year, a red suede cuban heeled Hush Puppy for which I garner compliments galore, and a pair of denim coloured punched side zip ones for jeans etc. Can actually walk in them for more than 20 minutes. I have “problem” feet, so to find some fashionable looking shoes is a gift. The 3rd pair are Magnini in black side zipped ankle boot, also very walkable in. I am a shoe fetishist, unfortunately I would love to wear really high heeled red patent beauties, but as I couldnt walk in them they are just a dream.

    • This boot is filling the fashionable/walkable slot for so many of us. I think I ‘need’ one more pair as I like to wear them with dresses and the labels on my RMs look odd sticking out.

      • A cuban heel can make for a very fetching walk indeed and mid heel so a flattering calf encouraged – maybe Pistols with a thick sheep skin/wool inner soul to take up some space re your sizing dilema? Flamenco!! BX
        PS One could use an appropriate shade texta to tone down the label/branding on pulls/labels or simply cut them off if they offend thee?

  28. Ah shoes. I will not count them, and if I did I wouldn’t divulge the tally! But I have many pairs of black heels (certainly more than 8!) that I rotate around for work. Many pairs of boots, both heels and flats (including a 25 year old pair of faithful RM Williams riding boots still going strong) that I rotate around for winter. Many pairs of summer sandals in a variety of colours, that I rotate around in summer. Ballet flats & loafers for the train commute/driving, once again enough to rotate around (and generally my commuting/driving shoes don’t get worn for anything else). And then there are the “special” shoes. It is a fair bet that I have a shoe for every occasion, Frock Event outfit planning starts with the shoe. They are all kept in their boxes, cleaned before being put away. And that is how I have managed to keep and wear shoes for decades 😉

    • You are my total twin… You could be describing my collection, right down to the RMs. I think it’s fine to have loads of shoes if one of the reasons for the large collection is that you’ve always looked after them. THAT’S MY EXCUSE AND I’M STICKING TO IT!

  29. I’m with Emma. But I never got the hang of shoes and always preferred boots, the below go with what I wear on a daily basis. My list:

    1. Pair of thongs.
    2. Pair of sneakers.
    3. Black leather Diana Ferrari 2cm heel almond toe ankle boots. These go under pants in winter and with dresses/skirts in warmer months.
    4. Charcoal grey leather Cuban heel mid calf pull on harness boots. Over pants or with certain dresses.
    5. Black leather Nine West knee high 2cm heel riding boots. As above for cooler months.
    6. Indoor only Grizzly ugg type slippers.
    7. Black Spanish leather almond toe 7cm heeled knee high dress boots.
    8. Chocolate leather summer sandals.

  30. Maggie
    – not on topic but I want to say how much I miss your column in the Age. On previous occasions when I heard there were cut backs, I’d hastily flick to look for your section, only to find it again. Phew!
    – the paper is of course now ‘a shadow of its former self,’ and they are obsessed with the youth market. Why? It’s ok but often their efforts are marginal and try-hard and very thin on substance. In any case, only a small part of your life is spent actually BEING young the rest is getting used to life and what you can do to make the most of it, including what to do with your body and clothes. Wisdom is useful. I don’t want to read a column from somebody clueless. Even with the Age column someone else would do the styling to supposedly translate the story into a workable set of items AND get it so terribly wrong. eg. wrong colour, or different concept, with only one remote conceptual linkage to the article. Phooey!
    – it is great that you have a blog. A friend alerted me on FB.

    Best wishes.

    PS once you wrote a whimsical article about linen, how your mother used to iron sheets, and folded with ties, and how to fold towels (3 folds) and other things and I took note. Since then my linen cupboard has been very organised (ok no ironing). A simple thing, but it’s wonderful because we are losing our accumulated knowledge.
    A lot of people don’t know about fabrics. My grandmother was french and she was always commenting on quality, mercerised cotton, long fibre wool which doesn’t pill etc etc. Why do they assume nobody wants to know? We do!

    • Hi Deborah, thanks so much for your lovely comment. I am still sad about the Good Weekend column as I felt it was like a community – I became friends with quite a few people who used to write to me regularly. Now it’s similar on here! I do like writing the Rules column for the Sunday Age, though, as it’s something a bit different and it’s a good discipline to sit and analyse what makes one outfit work – I also get to look at loads of pictures where something really really DOESN’T work, but tempting though it is I really try not to go that route. That kind of negativity makes me uncomfortable.

      Please thank your friend for telling you about this blog – and please spread the word to anyone you think would be interested. At the moment I’m doing it just for fun and to be able to express all the things I would have said before in Good Weekend (the most recent reading glasses post would have made a good column for that!), but if I get enough followers I might be able to make it a source of income and then I could devote much more time to it, which I would love to do.


      and PS I so so agree about wisdom. Sass has its place, but I learned a lot from my dressmaker grandmother, similar to your French one, which is so relevant.

    • I am also a linen lover. I iron my sheets, pillowslips and doona covers much to the hilarity of friends, however, for me, slipping into crisply ironed sheets is bliss. A friend once commented on how tidy my linen cupboard was, towels folded properly and everything in order. Have order over one’s possessions, hopefully this leads to order in one’s life. Respect for possessions, mine and other people’s is an acknowledgement of that person’s taste and pleasures.

      • ‘Have order over one’s possessions’ is perfect, one of the maxims that I live by. Tidy house, tidy mind… I’m just trying to get rid of a lot of stuff as it’s much easier to keep less tidy. My linen cupboard is one of my comforts! Everything ironed, folded and filed in its area.

  31. But did you get the Manolo Mary-Janes? I’m dying to know…

    • No. I didn’t have time to go to the proper Manolo boutique in Chelsea and it’s not the same if you don’t buy from there. Also Liberty (the only other stockist in London) only had the very high heel version and I knew I’d never wear them. But, most of all, it was the price. I just couldn’t pay over £300. It felt morally wrong…

  32. I know I am dredging up an old topic here, but do you have any advice on where to buy shoe trees?

    • Oh it’s a subject I never tire of… I buy the plastic ones in shoe repair shops, or in sensible department stores. I’ve collected quite a few vintage ones over the years and always wish I could find more. They look nicer and work better. The heavy wooden ones are too much for women’s shoes IMO x

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