Any fashion magazine will tell you there are some basic items a gal needs. A good pair of jeans, a black dress, and black shoes are some of the staples. (By the way, what makes black the go-to color?) As someone who lives with a small wardrobe, I totally understand the desire to keep the separate pieces classic and versatile. Accessories, including shoes, can be easily swapped out to create a more up-to-date look, if that is what you desire.

There are fewer than 40 items of clothing hanging in my closet for spring and summer. Everything except PJs, workout clothes, and unmentionables are hung up. The rest of that stuff takes up two drawers in my dresser. So what the heck was I doing with 17 pairs of shoes? Statistically speaking, as someone who only has 40 pieces of clothing, it would be impossible to say they were all necessary.

OK, boots are actually needed for camping and trekking through snowstorms. Something more lightweight is preferred for the office, and running shoes are perfect for, well, running. I suppose a pair of sandals is great for summer. That would be four pairs.

But then you realize it is not just practicality that rules your shoe collection. Nude pumps are so feminine and pretty with a floral print dress. Navy heels look sharp with that grey skirt…and so on.

On a more evolved level, I suppose I could wear the same comfortable brown Clarks flats with every outfit. They are closed-toe, great for walking, and dressy enough for the office. They may not lessen the severity of a snake bite the way my boots would, but otherwise they would get the job done.

By now you have surely guessed I am not that evolved.

However, I am now down to…drum role please…twelve pairs of shoes. Total. For all seasons. They fit beautifully in the allotted space, and I have enough variety to accommodate all the different hats I wear. Literally and figuratively.


Part of this change has been prompted by becoming a mom. For one, I have much less patience with uncomfortable shoes (or anything uncomfortable, for that matter) now than before having Rie. For two, Rie likes to pull my shoes out of the closet and rehome them throughout the house. With fewer pairs of shoes, this is less clutter to herd.

Another part of this change is owed to having fewer pieces of clothing. As pieces wear out, I look for replacements that would go with shoes I already own. Also, when downsizing my wardrobe, I found a pair of shoes that only paired well with one skirt, for example. They both found their way to the door. Things are much more interchangeable now.

So, a small step for the shoes…a big leap for my evolution? Well, that’s a stretch, but I’m working on it.

Thanks for reading!


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