Give A Girl The Right Pair Of Shoes...

and she can conquer the world.I have those shoes. I decided to start the budget section of BODS with the things that I will, on occasion, pay full price for. It's ironic that a Palsy who has trouble walking should be so obsessed, so consumed by shoes. But I am, and always have been. Even as a child with short, wide feet that were very difficult to fit I had double-buckle-t-strap Buster Browns just like the red ones in the picture.

    

In high school I was a mere 4'8" and a size 5 shoe. Platforms were all the rage so I wore them enthusiastically. Back then, when dinosaurs roamed the earth, the elevation was less pronounced than it is in the newer styles so I could easily manage a 4" heel with a 1.5" platform. I even wore black patent leather platforms with my Catholic school uniform!

    

As I've gotten older the heels have begrudgingly gotten lower. My feet, which used to cooperate willingly with being shoved into constricting or delicately constructed footwear, are starting to betray me. They are prone to curling up if the shoe reveals too much toe cleavage and they occasionally swell past the point of comfort in anything but a sensible shoe.

But I'm not ready to be a sensible girl. Not yet; not entirely. Good thing I don't have to.

         

These shots are of my closet - at least, part of my closet. As you can see Mr Spashionista was good enough to add two additional shelves during the post-flood house rebuild (a topic for another day). As you can see over the years I have amassed a small hoard modest collection of shoes, even some that aren't pictured, and I wear all of them. My winter boots and high heels are at present on the top shelves. My flats and summer shoes occupy the bottom shelf and floor.

There are some great bargains here. The Lucky brand clogs, Vera Wang grey pointy flats, Anne Klein black rosebuds, Hot Topic black and pink Mary Janes and purple Converse hightops all had for a grand total of $85. All of my high heels were likewise purchased on sale or from thrift stores.

But this post isn't about the bargains. It's about the shoes I will pay full price for, and why.

It always boils down to a boy, doesn't it?

I look ultra-Spazzy in this picture - but don't look at me - look at my wonderful friend. His name is Matthew Bretherick and he is the only reason I would ever pay full price for a pair of shoes. I own 16 pairs of shoes and boots that are in some manner connected to him, and I paid retail for some of them.

Intrigued? You'll have to wait for the next installment. Matty is too important to be relegated to a footnote (pun intended) on a single post.

The Blank Page

Think you're invisible in your grey sweatpants and black T-shirt? Think again; you couldn't be invisible if you tried. The right color is a Spashionista's best friend. It can make you look vibrant, confident, and prettier - and who doesn't want that?

There are several ways to find your true skin tone and the corresponding colors that work well with it.

We'll start with the easiest way. Even if you are Caucasian your skin is not pure "white". It has an undertone that determines which colors look best on you. Take several sheets of white printer paper to the closest source of indirect natural light. Hold your arm up to the light, turn it so that the underside of your wrist faces upward, and hold the paper next to it. If your skin appears to have a golden or yellow color you will likely look good in Warm colors. If your skin has either a bluish or an olive cast to it you will look better when wearing Cool colors. If you have peachy pink skin tending towards blue undertones you will look your best in Mid-Tones.

If you are not Caucasian but your skin tone is neutral you should wear Mid-Tones. Caramel colored undertones shine in Warm colors. Ebony skin tones look radiant in Cool colors.

Still confused?

Not My Closet

Go to your closet and divide your clothes into color groups, blues together, yellows, greens, and so on. Then take them to the nearest mirror - full length is best, but a bathroom mirror will do in a pinch - and either try them on or drape them near your face. Start with your favorite color and take a good, long look at what you see. Does that color make your skin glow or does it make you look sallow and tired? Do your eyes look bright or like you haven't slept in a week? Be objective; get help from a friend if you need it. Put the colors that truly work for you together. Likewise those that don't. Unless you have ample means to go out and buy a new wardrobe don't throw out or give away anything that doesn't fall into your optimal color palette just yet.

In the next several posts I'll explain each group in better detail to give you as much help as I can.