five pairs of shoes I couldn't live without

Wardrobe Essentials: The Five Pairs of Shoes I Couldn’t Live Without

Sometimes people ask me which of my many, many, too many pairs of shoes I couldn’t possibly live without. No, seriously, they do: they ask me that. Once you commit yourself to documenting everything you do, wear and buy on the internet, you get ALL kinds of questions, trust me.

Anyway, people ask me about my shoes. And normally when they do, I’m all, “Pshaw! AS IF I could possibly choose a favourite! Why, it would be like Sophie’s Choice! Only, you know, not even remotely like Sophie’s Choice. I feel like I’ve probably just offended someone now by comparing my shoes to THAT book, so I’m going to quickly move on and hope you didn’t notice…)

Like I say, NORMALLY when people ask about the shoes, I flip my hair and say I can’t possibly answer. Lately, though, I realised that I most definitely CAN, actually: If I had to choose just one pair of shoes to keep, it would totally be these nude pumps:

five pairs of shoes I couldn't live without

If you’ve looked at my outfit photos, like, ever, this will come as no surprise to you. I wear these shoes all the damn time. Honestly, most of the time, I don’t really want to wear anything else (Which actually bothers me a little, because I have all these shoes, and I feel like I should be doing them justice. Also, shoes are my THING. I have an entire blog dedicated to them, for God’s sake. But lately, all I want to wear as these ones.

I’m not going to pick just one pair of shoes, though. Because that’s just unrealistic, isn’t it? It would never happen. No one is ever going to tell me I can only have one pair of shoes, and that I’ll have to wear them now for the rest of my life. No, they’d be much more likely to tell me I could pick five pairs. Five is a much more reasonable number, don’t you think?  So if that imaginary person asked me to choose just five pairs of shoes to wear forever more, a) I’d hate that person, seriously. Because who DOES that? And b) here are the five pairs of shoes I’d (grudgingly) choose, working from left-right…

five pairs of shoes I couldn't live without

01. Black shoe boots

These were rarely off my feet last winter: in fact, I wore them so often that although they’re still going strong, I actually bought a back-up pair, just in case. They’re not the most exciting shoes to look at, unfortunately, but then again, boots rarely are, as far as I’m concerned. They ARE practical, though, and when it comes to winter footwear, I tend to favour shoe boots (which I WILL NOT call “shoots”, and you can’t make me), purely because I find them so much easier to wear. Because they hug the foot so closely, they don’t have all of the calf-width issues that come with knee-high boots, and you don’t have to deal with the gaping ankle you get with ankle boots (which never fail to make my feet look at least five times bigger than they really are…) either. These work with skirts/dresses and with trousers, so that’s a good enough reason for me to wear them until they fall apart, basically. (Mine were c/o Spartoo, and you can find them here.)

02. Nude pumps

As I said above, these “nude” high heels would probably be my number one choice: I know a lot of people would describe them as boring, but I find I’m OK with that. Mine are by Christian Louboutin, and they really do work with just about anything, which is why I wear them so often – and would probably wear them even MORE often if I didn’t feel an obligation to the rest of the shoes…

03. Gold italics

Gold is one of my favourite shoe colours, because, like “nude” (I feel I have to put that in inverted commas, by the way, because I know they wouldn’t be “nude” on everyone. Christian Louboutin actually makes a whole range of nude shades, though, so there should be something to suit everyone…) it goes with most other colours, so it’s pretty versatile – which will be handy, given that I’ll have to wear them forever in this totally bizarre, fictional scenario, huh?
I also love wedges, and swear by them in the summer: they’re usually my go-to holiday shoes because I find them really easy to walk in (and often more comfortable than flats, thanks to the arch support), but they still have a bit of height – which you need when you have legs as short as mine are. [Mine are by Michael Kors, and seem to be sold out, but there are usually tons of gold wedges around every summer. I wore these constantly during our recent holiday, and they were super-comfortable, even on days when I walked miles – or felt like it, anyway.]

04. Fun peep toes

I couldn’t not include these Vivienne Westwood/Melissa peep toes, could I? They’re a few years old now, and probably one of the most frequently-worn shoes in my collection, as anyone who’s looked through my outfits archive will be able to testify! These are another pair of shoes that are much more versatile than the words “cherry-front jelly shoes” would suggest, and they give a bit of a pin-up inspired twist to whatever you wear them with. I have already started to worry about how I’ll cope when they finally give up the ghost…

05. Red flats

Totally flat shoes aren’t very flattering on me because of the whole “long torso, short legs” situation, but they do come in handy, and I’ve been wearing them a lot more often recently: I find them an easy way to dress-down some of my less practical outfits, and, of course, they’re easy to walk in. Red is almost a neutral in my wardrobe, because I wear a lot of navy, white and black, and red works really well with all of them. These flats were from Zara about a year or more ago: they’ve lasted pretty well, but I did recently buy some replacements from Dorothy Perkins, because I know they’re not going to last forever.

  *    *   *

Obviously these five pairs of shoes wouldn’t work for every possible situation – you’ll notice I haven’t included any exercise shoes, for instance, or boots that would work for snow/very cold weather. If you’re going to force me to wear just five pairs of shoes for the rest of my life, though, I think the least you can do is allow me to move somewhere hot, and never do another minute of exercise again, don’t you?

(I’m joking: I was thinking about style rather than practicality here, as always, so now you can tell me which five pairs of shoes YOU’D pick, without having to worry about what happens if it snows…)

[Related: How to walk in high heels]

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  • I figured you were updating when I saw all the bloglovin post. I do rather like the new theme with the big image in the header. Eventually I’ll get round to redoing mine

    October 7, 2015
  • Woop, blog update! I was all like, “something is going on here” when I got to the homepage. It looks gorgeous!
    And wow, I want all these shoes. I was about to say “especially these ones…” but then realised I didn’t have an “especially” as I want them all :/ I’m thinking my next purchase may have to be a pair of the Vivienne Westwood Melissa peep toes – I’m in love with the flats and had a knock off pair of the peep toes with the hearts a few years ago, but I think I should really just get a proper pair now.

    October 7, 2015
  • Kate


    Yay! Nice theme. My favourite yellow gold colour and larger font size. Personally, I prefer the text in arial than times new Roman though. I’ve always love your beautiful and clean layout, I can also zoom in the photos to see better details. And when my data usage is alarming, I open your blog pages then switch off the data to read on the go, I wish all other blogs can do so too. Ha! They probably need to engage Hot Igloo.Yay! Nice theme. My favourite yellow gold colour and larger font size. Personally, I prefer the text in arial than times new Roman though. I’ve always love your beautiful and clean layout, I can also zoom in the photos to see better details. And when my data usage is alarming, I open your blog pages then switch off the data to read on the go, I wish all other blogs can do so too.

    October 7, 2015
  • Chiarina


    I love the new layout, especially the calendar box-like bit at the top with the most recent posts that, well, was there this morning when I looked… not there now, but I imagine you know about it and are still working on it.
    Did you have to “nofollow” this post because of all the times you typed “nude”? 😛

    October 7, 2015
  • It all looks very smart! I love the nav bar… Had real issues finding the comments box on my phone reading your Glamour Bunny post this morning though, so just be aware you have to scroll for a loooong time and it might put people off? Sorry, you’re probably frowning at me right now 😉 I love this post – I always like little round-ups like this! I wish I had a pair of shoes like those Melissa ones… unfortunately those exactly I’m quite sure wouldn’t stay on my feet, as I tried a similar pair in a TK Maxx recently 🙁 so very sad. I may write a response post to this at some point, I like it so much! Is that a polite way of saying I’ll copy you completely…? I would at least link to you 😉

    October 7, 2015
  • I think my Firefox window is too small to fully appreciate the redesign (covert work browsing!)

    I’ve never thought about my must have shoes but tan ankle boots and a comfortable pair of sandals would be shoe-ins (pardon the pun). I live in sandals from about May – September when I’m not at the office.

    I have about a hundred (well ok not that many) posts of yours to catch up on – not read any of your holiday ones past the airport one yet as I then went away!

    October 7, 2015
  • Theresa


    Shoes I couldn’t live without? Well, unlike you, I am not a heels wearer. I love them, but I don’t find them very comfortable AND I am super clumsy and tend to injure myself when I wear them. So my list includes pointy black flats (simple but with some sort of bow or unique structural detail), flat tan boots, at least 2 pairs of bright flats (red, yellow or fuchsia, it’s a tough choice) and metallic pewter or silver sandals. I should probably say a great pair of black pumps, but they are only worn on dressy occasions so in a way I lump them in with tennis shoes and rain boots.

    As to your new theme, I really like the look of the nav bar! However, it is also kind of tall, and on smaller laptop screens (like mine) I couldn’t see very much of the text at once, and I couldn’t see the entirety of a photo at once. I wonder if either shortening the nav or having it scroll up with the rest of the page would help this. Just a thought on usability, although it wouldn’t deter me from reading the blog 🙂

    October 7, 2015
  • In no particular order, the shoes I always reach for wether I’m dressing casualy or for work:

    – Tan Loafers
    – Patent Black Brogues
    – Tan Chunky Heeled Shoe Boots
    – Navy Suede Brogues
    – A Pair of Plimsole or Lace Up Trainers

    My styles slightly more androgynous, I have however realised that ive left myself with nothing “nice” for a wedding or similar. Five pairs of shoes is far too few to select from!

    Im slightly in Love with your nude pumps <3

    October 12, 2015
  • I am actually excited to try to figure out my five pairs when I get home from work today. Not even sure where to begin! LOL!

    October 21, 2015
  • Linda


    Most of the time it would be :

    Black pumps 4 inch heel
    Nude pumps 4 inch heel
    cream color flats

    Never liked and heel with a platform.

    March 6, 2016