This post is the first in a series, a little challenge I have set myself. I want to be more eco-conscious and buying less is a good place to start - consuming less and wasting less. I am going to start by cataloguing all my clothes, shoes and accessories to consolidate what I have, give unworn items to charity and make better use of the pieces I keep. Drawing inspiration from Marie Kondo and keeping only that which brings me joy, and being more creative with my remaining things, styling them in new ways instead of spending on new stuff.
Does anyone else remember the episode of Sex And The City where Carrie realises that the value of her shoe addiction equals the deposit on an apartment and that she spent $40,000 on Manolo Blahniks, yet might not have anywhere to live?
I have serious vision of how I want everything in my life to look and I absolutely love putting together events, outfits, interiors…you name it I’ll style it. But this kind of appetite means I always want more more more. So this challenge is not only a quest to make less of a nasty footprint on the earth, it is also a form of financial self-care. Bit of a buzz word, self-care. Usually used in the context of cutting out toxic people, looking at less photo-shopped people on Instagram or having a night in once in a while, but looking out for ourselves financially is a huge part of it too.
Quick fun fact on giving clothes to charity - never be worried about the state of the garment. Often, even if an item is very old, tatty and worn a charity can still sell to fabric merchants to make money from it, so never just throw it away. Cancer Research UK is a good option, I know they do this.
On Saturday morning I set myself the mammoth task of cataloguing my entire wardrobe. Before realising that was stupidly over ambitious (lol who was I kidding) and instead I just did shoes. And thus, this single blog post became a series.
This photo shows all that I am keeping, bar the several pairs of trainers that are lying akimbo under my desk at the office, having been kicked off in favour of more fancy attire for meetings or nights out. Also, I like to go for walks at lunchtime so am always in need of sensible shoes for those times.
From left, top to bottom
1. Jimmy Choo nude leather stilettos - these were a birthday present from an ex boyfriend and whilst it was rather exciting to get them delivered in a beautiful Net-a-porter bag, I don't actually wear them that often. But, they are handy and fancy, so they stay.
2. L.K Bennett leopard print stilettos - I ADORE these shoes and they are so comfy, I will never get rid of them ever and wish I'd bought them in every colour available
3. L.K Bennett nude patent leather stilettos - these are also super comfy although they do squeak when I walk in them (#patentproblems) so not great in quiet places or if trying to sneak around
4. Topshop gold trainers. Comfy and look cool on a night out or you don't want to wear heels.
5. Kurt Geiger studded suede ankle boots - I mean how fierce are these? I got them in the sale after thinking about them constantly for about 3 months. Double up as a weapon
6. Zara sling backs with over-size bow - these are a recent purchase and lower heel so good for events where I'm on my feet a lot
7. Zara sling backs with gold buckle - these always get me loads of compliments, Sofia Wellesley (James Blunt's wife) was amazed they were high street when I met her wearing them a few months ago
8. Mango black chunky heel ankle boots - wardrobe staple, look great with opaque tights as very leg lengthening and I've had them for years.
9. Zara peach sling backs - I got these the sale for £9.99? Bargain! Haven't worn them yet but am thinking denim and a loose white shirt, dreamy.
10. Office soft grey suede loafers with gold buckle. I'll admit I don't wear these much but I think they're so chic and I really need to make more of an effort to use them so they are top of the list for styling, and if I still don't wear them then they'll go.
11. Office leopard print boots - these have been a sensation. Every single time I wear them I get at least 3 comments on them, Eddie Redmayne being the most notable. I wish I'd bought two pairs so they last forever.
12. Buffalo nude suede stilettos. I got these to wear to a destination wedding in South Africa, but also they will go with so many things.
13. Accessorize jewelled flat sandals. There's nothing I love more on holiday than having a sparkly sandal against a tanned foot and a bright nail colour. There are always loads of them around, and Accessorize always do some good ones.
14. ASOS tan leather ankle boot. These go with everything. Everything. I'm on my second liner/insole, I've worn them that much.
15. ASOS faux snakeskin strappy stilettos. These might also still get nixed. They are super super high, but I got them for my 30th birthday party so they have sentimental value attached to them.
16. Russell and Bromley jewelled stiletto . These are so beautiful, they have pearls, beads and jewels set into a panel that sits on the front of the foot and looks so jangly and fabulous. They don't go out much as so smart but I got them to wear to my 21st birthday party so again, great sentimental value attached.
17. Zara suede tan boots with tasselled tie. These have a mid-height wooden chunky heel and you wrap the tie around the top so the tassels swoosh as you walk, they're very cool.
18. Office peachy nude wedges. These will stay on your foot no matter how hard you dance, so basic summer wedding essentials.
19. Gina gold sparkly stilettos with the delicate toe strap and chunky ankle cuff. I hardly wear these as they are SO high and SO bling but they were a Christmas present from my mum back in 2002 and look so fantastic on, I'll keep them forever.
20. ASOS berry red knee high boots. So glad I got these, they sold out so fast but I am fast and was therefore triumphant. Stylish wooden block heel, and a lovely wintry colour.
21. Zara chunky cross strap wedges. These rub and make my feet hurt if I have to walk too far in them. Why am I keeping them? As I write this I am questioning myself.
22. Dune gold strappy wedges. These too are quite uncomfortable as they're so high and as they're a wedge you feel really unstable on them. But they are quite cool. I might need help convincing me to jettison these last two pairs.
And there we have it!
The things I realised when I laid them all out:
I certainly like a very particular tonal range. Why don't I buy bright colours?? Am I boring?
I sure do love an ankle boot
There is a pretty high occurrence of leopard
I'm a bit of a magpie when it comes to beads, bows or buckles
I look at this tidy little arrangement and just want to go and buy something bright green and fabulously eye catching. But no. This is not the point of this exercise.
The brands that appear most often are L.K. Bennett (which I find SO comfortable) and more recently Zara, as I think their shoes have become even more lust-worthy lately and they do a good lower heel height which makes them wearable for longer periods of time.
I have chosen to part with a pair of thigh high black boots that I wore twice in 2.5 years, a pair of impossibly high black stilettos that were so uncomfortable...even trying them on was painful let alone actually leaving the house so I'd never worn them at all, and one pair of black slingback wedges. That just didn't go with anything, I wear a lot of bright colours in the summer and just don't really like black and colour together. There was also a pair of flip flops that were actually broken and I hadn't thrown them away. I think because I didn't want to just chuck a load of plastic in the bin...what else can you do with old Havaianas? Does anyone know?
Those two final pairs of wedges might go too. The jury's out.
So I didn't actually get rid of that much. Maybe I'm bad at this? Or need to warm up a bit more. When it comes to clothes I know there will be a ton of stuff to go and then I get to start styling things in new ways, which I am hoping will make me feel like I went shopping. Maybe I need hypnotherapy to get over a shopping problem. It certainly helps writing it all out and having to give reasons why I am keeping things. I would recommend it if anyone else is having an early Spring clean!