I Just Banned 19 Dated Pairs of Shoes From My Closet and Added 9 New Styles


Welcome to “I Tried It” Week. From our editor in chief purging over 19 shoes from her closet (that’s this story!) to our assistant editor dressing exclusively in vintage, follow along this week as the Who What Wear editors take on personal wardrobe challenges and document the process along the way.

I get a ton of pleasure from getting rid of things. If you ask my very L.A. friends, they might say that my Sagittarius self likes to feel free and unburdened by having fewer attachments. Sometimes this means I fantasize about walking away from all my responsibilities, and sometimes this means I am ruthless in a closet clean-out. The latter seemed like fitting territory for a Who What Wear story, so I decided my contribution to “I Tried It” Week was going to be about giving the boot to any outdated shoe styles lingering in my closet. And by boot, I mean trying to resell them—number one, it is a more sustainable way to clean your closet, and number two, that one-way ticket to Bora Bora isn’t going to pay for itself. Ahead, check out the 19 pairs that I’m parting ways with, the lessons I learned along the way, and the new pairs I added in their place.

Within the flat-sandal category, there’s an obvious theme of sample-sale buys that didn’t stand the test of time. Cue the monkey emoji covering its face. To make matters worse, they’re still in perfectly wearable condition. Lesson learned: Sample-sale prices can mess with my judgment. The vintage pairs have served their purpose and become a bit too battered to wear. The photo doesn’t quite show the detail!) To my credit, I did have the center bottom pair taken to the cobbler for a little TLC several years back. 

I’m kind of over mule loafers. There, I said it. I’m sure this style will come back around, but my closet isn’t getting any larger in the meantime. I’m not sure if I should have held onto those Oscar de la Renta beaded mules, but as you can see from the staining on the bed of the shoe, they had a good run.

Both the Chloé and Emerson Fry shoes have been in rotation for years. They don’t quite feel like my style anymore, so it was time to let them get a second lease on life. The Loeffler Randall shoes got a ton of wear, but the ruffle style feels a tad too frilly for how my personal style has changed.

Both the Lanvin and the Miu Miu pairs were pre-owned eBay scores that I’ve had for over eight years. Scooping up used designer shoes was how I could look like I could afford expensive things on a very tight budget. I’ve held onto these for so long because 1) they’re high quality, and 2) I’m sentimental about the scrappy girl who was dying to fit in in the fashion world and had such awe for designer pieces. Lesson learned: While some items have nostalgic value, if the shoe style is outdated and you haven’t worn it for years, it’s time to let it go.

So, I might regret this one, but it rains so rarely in L.A. that I can’t fathom keeping these large rain boots in my closet. I’ll get by with patent boots and thank the weather gods that L.A. is a car-to-doorstep-type city. As for those Zara boots, please tell me someone else remembers how popular these specific boots were. I bought them on eBay for more than retail because they were just that good. The Marni boots are a sale buy that I got in an “I need to look cool and also tall at fashion week” panic. Lesson learned: Buying things in a panic usually means the purpose they serve is short-lived.

I have one word to describe these: comfortable. Oh, also stylish and on trend. You might think a super-strappy heel would dig into your skin, but these are the exception. I could walk in them all day. If red isn’t your thing, they also come in a few other colors.

By Far is dominating the shoe-and-bag game right now, so I’d be remiss to update my shoe closet without a pair. These kitten heels are simply designed but delightfully fun in a punchy blue patent. 

I hope you’re on board with low heels as much as I am because this isn’t the last pair in this story. When I posted these pretty velvet stunners to my Instagram, they got way more likes than my average post. I attribute that to their elegant yet approachable style. Also, I must mention they are wonderfully comfortable to boot.

For the manageable price tag of $35, these pretty mules overdeliver. The snakeskin print is subtle and versatile, and it brings so much more visual interest to your outfit than a solid neutral shoe.

Comfortable shoes are my happy place, and these Reformation shoes fit the bill. It’s a rather classic style that feels perfect for summer in cherry red. 

Now this is a good-looking shoe. On-trend cream color, sculptural wooden heel… What more could you ask for? Oh yeah, a super-pointy toe that stands out from the pack.

My final addition in the comfy-shoe category are these Miista mules. Can you tell I like mules? These are super versatile, and I love how the bent heel adds a trend-forward element. If you’re feeling more adventurous than I was, they offer the same shoe in buttery leather. 

Next up, check out 11 things to ditch when cleaning out your closet.



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