Help me put together a basic shoes wardrobe!

  1. Don't laugh at me - I am shoe poor! Basically, I just graduated and I'm now a (somewhat) grown up. All I have is some flip flops, running shoes and a pair of Mary Janes :wtf:

    What do I need to get started? What are the basics that every girl must own? I was thinking of:

    - 2 pairs of shoes suitable for work (office)
    - A pair of boots (I live in Arizona, so I don't need winter boots)
    - 2 pairs of cute evening heels/sandals
    - 2 pairs of casual shoes to run around town

    Where would you start and does anyone have suggestions for great, reasonably priced shoes?
  2. I'd start by building your collection with quality shoes you could wear to work that may be able to double as evening shoes. If you don't need boots in AZ, maybe those can wait?

    I like buying shoes that fit me well, or I won't wear them, no matter how beautiful.

    Recommendations? What styles do you like?
  3. I guess my style is rather classic/preppy. My favorite shoes are Mary Janes, and I have a great version of them by Kenzie, but I'm looking for a more grown up version.

    Nine West comes to mind for wear to work shoes but I am not sure of their quality and I want something that lasts me a long time, not fall apart after a month (like Aldo shoes... blah).

    I just ordered a pair of Frye Villager boots for more casual days.
  4. If you are preppy, maybe some J.Crew shoes? Is there a store around you? All the J.Crew shoes I bought are well-made, and they aren't that expensive. Rule of thumb is the stores always have better sales than the website, so stalk the store once in awhile, and you can get shoes 50% off.
  5. I like Charles David's basic pumps (round toed for me, since I have wide feet), and I'm a pretty preppy person. I think a black pair and a tan pair of pumps are key. I'd stay away from Mary Janes for now, unless they're the Manolo pointy-toed ones- otherwise, I think they'd make you look too young.

    I'd hold off on the boots. I live in LA, and I rarely wear mine. Instead, I'd get a pair of black, brown, or tan *flats* for work (depending on what would be most compatible with your wardrobe).

    In terms of casual shoes, I wear my Reef flip-flops all the time. Work shoes hurt my feet enough; I'm not going to feel a lot of pain on the weekends. Those run only about $20-$30, so that will save you a ton of money for more work shoes.

    As for evening shoes: personally, I tend not to invest a lot in these, because I don't trust my drunken self to not ruin a pair of nice shoes. Maybe go to DSW or some other shoe outlet and get a pair of Beverly Feldmans or Ninas.

    Beyond those pairs of shoes, I'd suggest you browse the local sales and shoe outlets, and grab good deals on basic pumps and flats. I'd also consider getting a pair of Aerosoles, Born, or Easy Spirit shoes (do NOT laugh at the last one: Easy Spirits are NOT only for old women- I'm in my 20s and will happily wear their more stylish shoes- your feet will thank you). For me, adjusting to wearing "work" shoes (pumps) all the time was difficult, and my feet would get so blistered (and, at times, bloody). I think you should invest in a comfortable pair of work shoes, because you may have that problem too.

    Good luck!

    - DON'T buy Nine West shoes. They wear VERY easily. I have a couple of pairs and really have to baby them. Better to spend a little more on, say, Charles by Charles Davids or Stuart Weitzmans, as they will last much longer. All about cost per wear.
    - DO look at on a semi-regular basis. They have the best. sales. ever. - especially if you know your size in a particular brand. I purchased 15 pairs of Charles Davids there last spring for $30-$35 each.
  6. 1 black
    1 brown
    1 beige, cream, eggshell, bone, etc
    1 gold
    1 red
    1 pair of running shoes
    1 pair of sandals (Choose these according to your own taste and lifestyle, if you like to walk, the Columbia company makes very comfortable and squishy ones. If you live near the beach, get flip-flops, etc etc)

    Make the 1st 5 as flexible as possible, simple, classic style that can go to work or be worn with jeans.

    Because I am opposed to foot pain and injury, back trouble, and spending the Golden Years limping, I recommend shoes with low heels, moccassins or ballet flats.

    To start your wardrobe, get plain unadorned ones. Then you can build on it, when you see a pretty pair of embroidered or beaded black ones, grab them, etc etc.

    If you have to have a heel, have "kitten heels" on the gold ones, and those can be your dress up shoes.
  7. I think you'll need two sets of black shoes -- one with heels and one pair of flats (which you can also use on weekends). One really good pair of black heels for work (and for going out) should be your main goal. I'd look at Via Spiga, Cole Haan and Tory Burch because they make nice, comfortable shoes that last a long time but are still very fashionable. They're going to cost more than Nine West, but it will be worth it.

    IMHO, I think you're better off buying three-four pairs of more expensive shoes as opposed to seven pairs of so-so shoes.
  8. I've sometimes found that when department stores hold their seasonal sales, they price particular shoes WAY less than the brand stores of the same shoes. And for the lowest prices of all on high-$ brands, try Off 5th Saks or Neiman Marcus Last Call.
  9. i agree about nine west! i have been very disappointed in how the shoes hold up. it is definitely more cost effective to invest in a high-end brand that will last you ages when it comes to classic styles.
  10. I agree. My Stuart Weitzmans are only about $70 more than the average Nine West, but they hold up way better. As for style -- classic, unadorned ballet flats and loafers in a variety of dark shades (navy, brown, grey), with a metallic gold/silver, or a patent for dressier occasions.

    I love heels, but at 5'10" I'm too shy (and stumble-prone) to pull off anything over one inch. :sweatdrop:
  11. I have also had a really bad time with Via Spiga. I have had two pairs of their shoes where the heels just come completely off. One was a pair of boots and the other was a pair of nice sandals. I had the sandals fixed but I could never wear them again because they weren't that sturdy.

    I think you should definitely invest in a pair of nice brown and black pumps. They can be worn everywhere and with everything. I would spend money on them so they last and then after that buy other less expensive fun pairs. I have a pair from Coach that I have had for I think about 4 years and while I have to replace the sole a lot since I wear them so much they have held up incredibly well.

    I would also recommend getting a couple of pair of flats that you can wear to work for those days that you can't bring yourself to wear heels.