So I’m no Carrie Bradshaw…

Living between a number of different homes in recent years, and having my belongings half split between the houses and half locked away in storage, I decided to indulge in a little shoe shopping to boost my seriously lagging collection. Given that my shoes were never all together in one place at any one time, I never seemed to be able to keep track of how many pairs I actually owned, or for that matter, where they all were. 

Late last year I was finally able to reunite all my material possessions into the one house, a move which brought with it some good and some bad. Good on the one hand to finally have everything in the one place, but bad on the other because now I could actually see how many things I owned. And this included shoes… I very quickly discovered that there were (and are) a scary amount of shoes in my possession.

I did my best to do the whole ‘Carrie Bradshaw’ thing for a while and leave all my beautiful shoes carefully stored in their original boxes. And sure, this worked well for a while, mainly because it’s so easy and so convenient to stack shoeboxes away in your wardrobe. However when it came to the actual practicality of wearing the shoes, this storage system failed on a number of levels – It was too hard to get to the shoes, I still found it hard to work out exactly what pairs I owned, and the boxes just took up way too much space. And let’s face it, unlike Carrie I’m hardly working with seriously expensive Manolo Blahniks or anything even remotely close. It was finally time to relax the strict storage code and release the beauties from their boxes!!

Shoe boxes

Yes, this is an embarrassing number of shoe boxes (and this isn’t even all of them), and yes there are three stacked layers of shoe boxes shown in this picture. But let’s not focus on that… The emancipated shoes are now enjoying their freedom and relishing their new lives outside the stifling confines of their boxes.

Every wonderful pair can now be found lovingly displayed on my seriously cheap Ikea shoe racks (but that’s a whole different story). Thankfully all my shoes are finally accessible, properly stored and more importantly, now that I can see them, they actually have a pretty good chance of being worn.


  1. Paul

    I have two pairs of shoes. One for work and one pair of Dunlop Volleys with holes in the toes. Even when just a simple piece like this, your writing has such style and grace, beautifully balanced prose and a joy to read.

    1. tracey (Post author)

      Hi Paul: I would expect nothing less (or in this case, no more pairs of shoes) from you. I imagine that so much of your creativity goes into your work, you have no need to expend energy on fripperies such as additional pairs of shoes… Dunlop Volleys are ever the faithful companion!!

      Thanks so much for your kind words… as ever it’s so very nice of you to say (and for me to hear).

  2. Linda Lilly Cottage

    A girl has to have her shoes and I still have several pairs that I know I am never going to be able to wear again but I can not bear to part with ( is that the right bear? bare?), so I just admire them on their racks and dust them off every so often ( that is the downside of having them out of boxes by the way).
    I have a more serious fashion accessory obsession and that is jewellery! I have so much jewellery, necklaces, bracelets, brooches, cuffs, earrings, flowers etc that it may overtake my room soon.
    I love it, I can dress up anything and the best part…it always fits!! No shrinking in the closet for those little numbers and if I keep the pieces long enough they are back in fashion!
    Kiss Noises Linda

    1. tracey (Post author)

      Hi Linda: Sometimes I think we must own shoes simply for ‘the love of the shoes’ – almost like appreciating a work of art, and not necessarily for the practical purpose of wearing them. I know what you mean about not wanting to part with your shoes… they become so well loved it’s impossible to give them up!

      With my shoes out of the boxes, I have noticed that I’ll have to keep an eye on the dust issue – but I think it is far preferable to manage that problem rather than never be able to look at the shoes themselves…

      Mmm… speaking of jewellery obsessions, I must admit that I have a rather large need to keep collecting all manner of goodies – after all accessories often make an outfit!! You’re so right about the lifetime of happiness that comes with jewellery – no matter what happens they will always fit and always add something of interest to an outfit. And as you say, fashion is circular… it always comes back again.

      (…oh and I think you’re right the first time – it’s bear – that one always gets me too!)…

      Thanks so much for your visit!!

  3. Francesca

    Oh, I’m jealous! Most of my pretty shoes are stacked in their boxes in my wardrobe in my tiny room and never get worn – today I’m wearing my fourteen year old docs! Someday I will have my own place with space for shoe racks – a simple but important thing!

    1. tracey (Post author)

      Hi Francesca: Oh but sometimes old shoes are the ones that we love the best! They have often seen us through the good times and the bad. There will be plenty of time to pull out all of your other pretty shoes… believe me it has taken me a LONG time to finally get organised. I have found that shoe racks are indeed a simple, yet liberating purchase.

      I’m currently in the process of wearing in all my shoes so that I can actually wear them in public – I’m in the ‘strictly worn only inside the house’ phase for a few of them… high heels have not always been a constant friend to me.

  4. jason

    nick tosches once said that every man should own one pair of shoes that he loves, and i hold to that. it’s my black ones with the oxblood stripes down the sides. oxblood, for chrissakes!

    1. tracey (Post author)

      Hi Jason: What a wonderful quote! I’ve not heard that one before, but it most certainly seems to apply to most men that I know. It seems to be a very sensible rule to live by.

      Your favourite shoes sound very special indeed … fancy!!!

  5. Mental Mist

    I throw the gauntlet down 🙁 … i also dont throw away broken shoes so i have currently about 50 pairs most looking extremely alike… but mine are roadside and holiday shopping indulgences so many didnt even have a box to begin with 🙂

    1. tracey (Post author)

      Hi Mental Mist – As you mention that you own 50 pairs of shoes I find myself feeling so envious…what a wonderful number to choose from!! I often find that my shoes have a similar look and feel, but I’m really working hard to try and branch out into other styles (and heel heights).

      Oh your shoes sound like extra special finds – I love the idea of building a collection from ‘roadside and holiday shopping indulgences’ – I guess the only trouble would be whether you’d have enough of the ‘everyday’ varieties to see you through.

      For you the problem of storage in shoe boxes is a complete non-issue, which is brilliant!!

  6. Ricardo

    It must have seemed like shoes descended from the heavens. Right?

    1. tracey (Post author)

      Hi Ricardo – Oh you have no idea…being surrounded by shoes is a very happy problem to have! 8)

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