Shoe thrift

In Save cash on September 21, 2011 at 8:47 am

The advantage of this particular shoe-thrift trick is that it combines two of my  favourite vices – hoarding and stinginess – while offering a built in advantage to those of us a bit long-in-the-tooth.

How it works is this:

1) buy cheap shoes, wear for a bit, get bored.

2) stuff shoes that have fallen out of favour into bottom of wardrobe.

3) leave for 3-10 years to allow to multiply  and gather dust.

4) occasionally consider having a clear out and taking to car boot sale or charity shop.

5) fail to get round to having clear out or taking to car boot sale or charity shop.

6) come across years later when looking for something completely different (your notes form when you did Spanish evening classes, the children’s health records, the cat)

7) dust off and wear. Hey presto! ‘new’ shoes at no expense.

This is what I found at the bottom of my wardrobe. I’m hoping some of these are old enough to have come back into fashion. Probably twice.

16 pairs! And I remember buying each one:

shoes in pairs

L-R: Pied a Terre sequinned shoes, bought for a wedding in 1999, about 10 months after the birth of my daughter when the only clothes I’d been able to wear for a year were black sacks so sequins were a statement that I was back;

gold plastic from Office, circa 2006, bought because they were dead cheap but could be passed off as party shoes, and the very rich girl who sat next to me at work and who used to wear Gucci and outrageously tight jeans had some so I figured they must be acceptable. Someone once said it looked like I had tiny baskets on my feet – in a good way;

Office again, c 2004, cheery shoes bought in a rage when one of the bosses at work was being a total arse;

Rocket Dog pumps, which I thought at the time looked a bit Marc Jacobs.

L-R: One of many pairs of Converse in varying degrees of dilapidation, these being possibly the most wearable;

Boden thongs, which look great on but are impossible to walk in as they keep falling off, even though every time I put them one I think this time they’ll stay one. One for the car boot pile;

two pairs of plimpsoles (I couldn’t decide which colour to get, so I got both – get me!) bought for under a tenner each at Labour and Wait, when it was still in Cheshire St and everyone thought that shops selling string and garden forks displayed in pretty surroundings were the height of retail innovation and nostalgia chic.

L-R: Adidas Italia, probably bought in Size, and obviously bought when I was young enough to enjoy wearing bold colours rather than pernmanently wanting to fade into the shadows as I do now;

white tennis shoes from Next, not that I have any intentions of playing tennis, but they were all over fashion shoots at the time and only cost a tenner;

red Rocket Dog ballerinas, which emulate my staple footwear of Ben Simon ballerinas but were never quite as comfy;

more Converse again, from when I was going through a short-lived green phase.

L-R: The ‘only-in-emergencies’ lot. Camper Pelottas, c 2000, warm, good grip, but clompy and squeak when I walk, hence only tend to come out on dark, icy winter days;

Puma trainers, soft and warm, but part of an unsuccessful experimentation with other trainer brands before I realised I don’t have the street style sense to pull anything more sporty than Converse;

Birkenstocks, from when people were queueing down Neal Street for a pair. German friends consider Birkenstocks to be houseshoes and couldn’t grasp why otherwise fashionable people were going to the shops in their slippers, but it was just about the only shoe I could comfortably wear when I was pregnant;

and finally, Clarke’s mules, with a pretty rose detail on the toe that you can’t quite see in the picture, again from my green period, and when Madonna has been photographed in some magazines wearing Clarkes (yet, I am that suggestible).

What’s in the back of your shoe dump? Feel free to post your own inventory. I really am that nosy.

  1. You’ve got some cute shoes! And several/most/all are pairs I see people wear today!
    Would you care to share this post at my brand new blog hop?
    It’s for your latest thrifty find–and I’d say “free” shoes is definitely a find!
    My own latest find is also a pair of shoes-not sure if they’re in style, but they’re BCBG, and I really thought they were cute!
    Have a great day!

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