Lots of people have been interested in where I purchased my various Project 333 items, and what designers or brands were represented. So I’m going to break down the whole show, by category, and review what I have. Better yet, since so much of my stuff is no longer available, I’m going to source out reasonable facsimiles or replacements.Starting with shoes: I have 2 pair of loafers included in this assortment, and 2 pair of oxfords. If I were starting from scratch, I’d probably only get one pair of each. But here are the autumn shoes, shown in order of absolute criticalness in my life.
My loafers are from Stuart Weitzman, the tall boots are from Eddie Bauer, the athletic style shoes are from Cole Haan, my low boots might have been Clarks, but they’ve been worked on so many times that there’s not one remaining mark on them to tell, the pumps are Stuart Weitzman and were purchased on EBAY!!!, wingtips – Clif, and silver captoes – Stuart Weitzman. Probably the only ones you could still find would be from Clif…
And almost certainly, the 2nd thing I would add would be tall boots, to wear with my longer skirt and longer dress. You have to be careful about where buckles are placed on boots, and how well they lay flat and smooth – there’s nothing more irritating that having your dress hem ripped loose because it caught on the buckle of your boot!
Thanks for this, I'm in the market for a new pair of everyday work shoes, and I was spoiled this summer with my uber comfy Hush Puppy saddle shoes which I could walk halfway home in if transit was playing up. They are not at all appropriate for winter, but I don't want to go back to my heeled boots for everyday wear. Those Munro short boots are very appealing, and might get me to skip the 'airport friendly' criteria I was thinking of also including.
Does this work with a non-black neutral?
Janice Riggs says
Absolutely! If I were suddenly to change my entire wardrobe to be based on brown, for example, I think my thought process for which shoes I would most want would be exactly the same. Only if I change both favorite color AND surrendered any desire to be comfortable would I then start looking for something radically different.
If you changed your neutral to brown, you would stay with black shoes, or do you mean that you would stay with the same styles? Correct shoe color continues to baffle me…..
Janice Riggs says
I'd shift to brown shoes, if I was using brown as my neutral. That would be more difficult, because of the range of shades of brown, but brown leather goods can be so beautiful.
Correct shoe color is annoying, and it seems that what's acceptable changes every week…
Thanks! I just got the most comfortable pair of patent patterned loafers from Clarks based on looking at your pictures. I can wear them with so many things. I'm trying hard to pull together a wardrobe — I'm a fashion neophyte and really want to improve my look. Your blog inspired me to try harder.
Question about the wingtips — would you wear them with a skirt or are they for pants only?
Janice Riggs says
For true, heavy wingtips, I'd only wear them with pants, because of the visual weight they carry. But if I had those Munros in the last frame, on the top left, I'd wear them with tights and skirts in a sort of "la garconne" kind of thing, because they have a less clunky look to them.
I've had that Munro oxford for 2 years now. Love, love love! I wear it with both skirts and pants. Excellent travel shoe, too. Terrific breakdown of a basic shoe wardrobe, Janice. Thanks!
cheryl :) says
Great breakdown and lovely choices!
Thanks for this, as I am trying to pare down my shoe collection. A wingtip is my all time favourite with men's style trousers.
I just DID rebuild my shoe wardrobe (foot problems, discovered I was wearing wrong size, etc.) and figured out what I have to have:
1. Dansko Professionals for the 8- to 10-mile all-day walkability. Most comfy shoes EVAH.
2. Tall boots (SoftSpots), for the same reasons you have.
3. Mary Janes (Dansko) for where you would wear a pump. No more strapless pumps for me.
4. Oxfords with a slight heel (also Dansko) for where you would wear loafers.
5. Athletic shoes for actual athletic and athletic-type activities (New Balance, FWIW).
6. Warm winter boots (Timberland).
I had to give up my beloved Luccheses and I feel the loss. I'm eyeing Fryes for a replacement, but I think the podiatrist will nix those, too. Or my feet will.
I had to do this a few years ago, too, although it was a switch from Birkenstocks and Mephistos to more bone spur friendly options. Fortunately, here in the desert southwest, we can wear sandals almost year round. There are several brands that have the heel support I need. However, when I go up to the frozen north or to Europe, I do have to have some of the dreaded enclosed shoes. I have the same brands you mention, except I can't do most tall boots because my 18" calves are too big. It's always been a problem, even when I was at my thinnest. I like Saucony athletic shoes because of the wide toe box. I doubt I could wear any of the beautiful shoes shown here because of the narrow toe boxes. I tried loafers when I was in college back in the 60s and couldn't put up with the pain even back then. And my days of wearing anything with a heel have been gone for many years. Another brand you might consider is Hotter. They are British, but have an American online presence. I have 2 pairs of short boots from them that I love.
If you are travelling to the UK check out duo who do boots in a large range of calf sizes. They have an Internet presence, not sure if they ship to the USA.
I have a slightly different problem. According to Orthaheel, I have what is known as a "thick" foot — not fat, thick. I think it comes from having large bones around which all those muscles and tendons have to go. Perhaps the high arch also contributes. My feet often don't fit into enclosed shoes because the depth of the shoe inside is too shallow, even without socks or insoles of any kind.
Marta, if you have to wear ortthotics, consider Wolky. I like La Canadienne too, but Wolkys have removable footbeds.
Thank you! I'll have to check them out.
Going to a more chunky shoe is changing my whole look (not surprising, but still interesting to experience first-hand). A fitted sheath looks all wrong now, for instance. But bolder jewelry and scarves are turning out to be fun.
Some nice shoes there. I treated myself to a comfy pair of knee length boots from Clarks – I'm just waiting for it to get cold enough to wear them! I swear by Clarks as many comfy shoes are super-expensive.
I am always challenged in the shoe department, so it is helpful to see a whole shoe wardrobe. I do have heeled pumps by Stewart Weitzman and they are the best. My comfy shoes are Naot, Clarks, and Mephisto.
Ellen L. Stanclift says
Are the silver toed loafers Stuart Weitzman from a past season? I have similar ones whose soles are utterly worn out. I'd love to hear your thoughts on resoling good shoes vs buying new ones.
Janice Riggs says
Yep – I found them on sale, and I wore them all over the place yesterday. I will DEFINITELY have them resoled when they're worn. I ALWAYS get my shoes resoled – even if it the price is the same as that of new shoes, I know that I'm saving the environment a teeny speck of new product, and I'm sure of the shoes that will be comfortable favorites…
Up here in coastal Maine, the price of a cobbler is very high. However, I love my shoes! Like you, I found mine on sale. They're so comfortable that I've worn them to death. Literally. But when I was quoted the resoling price (and given that the top has a little wear and tear too) I've been stumped about what to do. I think you're right. I'll just bite the bullet and have them resoled. I love them too much to give them away. Maybe that's the key? To do this for shoes we can't live without. Period.
Russian Chic says
Janice, I admire you shoe wardrobe building discipline. I tend to wander from blacks to espresso browns croc, taupe, dove grey suede, and secretly even to patent burgundy. What does it tell about my style? How to stay focused? Thank you.
A couple of suggestions: last winter in an attempt at cost savings, instead of buying from the women’s department, I bought a pair of boys black lace ups – the kind used for school uniforms. I looked for a pair that had a Doc Martin style chunky sole and, as it turns out, I’ve been really happy with them. They are wider than most women’s shoes so there was plenty of room for chunky socks. My feet haven’t been that happy waking in snow for years and years plus I’ll get a second year of wear out of them because I think they are virtually indestructible.
For ankle boots, I’ve been very happy with a pair of equestrian boots I found at my local feed store. They’re both stylish and very durable, and whenever I wear them, I get compliments.
Pat's Addition says
I second the kid shoes. My 11 year olds are my size and got on sale boat shoes that will be coming my way soon, all broken in. They take my Birkenstocks.
I have SO been waiting for this breakdown and recommendations for those of us buying our 33 currently. Thank you!
This was probably asked numerous times (and hopefully answered) but I can't help but wondering which app do you use to put your outfits together?
Thank you very much in advance!