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?