I was recently asked by one of my regular readers what twenty shoes were my must haves. I replied by asking how she could expect me to stop at twenty? That's the sort of figure one works with when packing for a weekend getaway. But if one wants to come up with a quantity of essential footwear that allows one to lead a rich and fulfilling life with a constantly invigorating and inspiring wardrobe, I'd be inclined to set the number higher. Probably by making use of scientific notation. For the sake of this post, however, I will go with an artificial limit. Something easier to digest in the morning while browsing your favorite shoe blog in bed with your iPad. And because I'm still catching up from the Thanksgiving holiday festivities (Lord, that chocolate Kahlua torte cake was an amazing experience!), I'm going to lower the cutoff point even further. Let's just say, for the sake of argument, that it would be actually possible to face the world each day with only ten pairs of shoes in one's closet. (A prospect that is by turns both chilling and humorous.) That would provide only a comfortable range of eight shoes to try on each morning in addition to the pair worn the day before (and therefore currently removed from consideration) and the pair one finally settled upon. That sounds like a healthy bit of variety to pick and choose from, don't you think. So for the sake of today's post, I'm willing to engage in a little "what if" exercise. What if I myself only had ten pairs of shoes to work with? What ten styles would I pick from the wooden goodness I currently have in my footwear arsenal? Surprisingly I've found it quite easy to make my choices. As an experienced shoe fan yourself, you're probably quite aware that you gravitate toward certain shoes in your closet. Beyond those is a set of shoes that still look promising that do get their time in the sun. And then there are the also rans that spoke so appealingly to you in the store, but once they crossed the threshhold, they soon lost their lustre. So what ten pairs would I select? If you followed this blog any length of time, you can probably fill in the blanks yourself. But let's see if I can't deliver a few surprises.
First, a couple of ground rules. I'm choosing the ten shoes that I'd love to live my life in if I could. Which means I'm not taking into account those shoes I would normally slip on for those occasional practical demands that surface during the year. Like biking the local hiking trails on a summer afternoon. Or braving the aftermath of a once in a decade blizzard in the dead of winter. The footwear appropriate to such occasions is not included in this list. Seriously, why waste the slots on footwear that circumstances force me to wear from time to time. What fun is that? I should also make clear that this list is not definitive and is totally subject to change. Without a doubt if you were to ask me again in another month, I would most likely rave about ten completely different shoes. And that's the fun of loving shoes the way you and I do. It's not always the same pair of penny loafers or Topsiders for us. We like life to be adventure! And that's precisely what we make it!
10. Mary Jane clog from MIA
I have worn this style to death over the years. I'm on my second pair, in fact. Which is not surprising considering both how comfortable and how versatile this clog has been. I admit I don't pull it off the shelf as often as I used to, but I'm including it 'cause I feel I'm entitled to one sentimental selection.
9. Ronson lace up boot from Jeffrey Campbell
Scandal of scandals! There's a shoe on this list that isn't a clog! I have no defense to offer other than the fact that this style has proven itself also to be comfortable and versatile. And if I've got to choose just ten shoes, those are two factors that will loom large in the decision making process.
8. Mara clog from Frye
I like my clogs tall and chunky. One of the shoes that should rightfully have made this list is the Charli-C from Jeffrey Campbell. But in all honesty, I don't find myself reaching for that popular style very often at all. Instead, when the urge to slip into a tall platform clog comes calling, it's this style from Frye that ends up making it out the door on my feet.
7. Anat clog from All Saints
Okay, I'm bending the rules with this one. This is not a shoe I actually own. But I certainly wish I did. Since it's not a clog that comes in my size, it will never be mine to cherish and enjoy. However, I can appreciate it and swoon over its fabulousness on the feet of a friend. So I've put it on my list of must haves since I'm fortunate enough to be able to enjoy it vicariously.
6. Thigh high clog boot from No. 6
I've been told this one will be under my Christmas tree this holiday season. That being the case, how could I not consider it a must have in my world?
5. Storytime clog bootie from BC Footwear
A truly versatile clog bootie. So comfortable, too. And priced to keep you looking stylish without busting your budget. Win-win-win! (Special mention should go to the Outerspace clog bootie from BC Footwear which surely would have taken this slot if their newer Storytime style hadn't come along.)
4. Savanna clog boot from UGG Australia
Still, hands down the most awesome knee high clog boot I've ever come across. Well, there were a couple of styles from other makers that came out in the past couple of years that might have qualified, but their price tags totalled to two to three times as much as this already expensive pair, and that put them totally out of consideration let alone reach.
3. Conviction clog boot from John Fluevog
Design is one of my hot buttons. I love me some clogs. But show me a wood soled shoe that doesn't look like a typical wood soled shoe, and I'll be walking out the door with it tucked under my arm. John, you never cease to amaze us.
2. XRAY clog from Bernardo Footwear
A wardrobe staple. Which is why I have it in three different colors. What's that? I can only chose one of them for my top ten? I think I'll go with the one they describe as Beet Root.
1. Nadine clog bootie from Koolaburra
OMG! OMG! OMG!
Clog wearing just doesn't get any better than this!
[On my feet as I blog: a pair of ratty old, grey heather, fluffy winter socks. With holes in them. Which is why you are most certainly not going to see a picture of my feet in them!]