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The summer before I went to college, I worked as a lifeguard and saved all my money, which was intended to be my spending money for the year. Within the first month of school, I had spent almost every penny of it on shoes. Every penny. By October I had to get a job or there was no way I could afford late night pizza or Saturday morning biscuits and gravy or late afternoon ice cream sundaes (I may have been eating and shopping my emotions a bit).
Did I regret it? Some mornings, I’m sure, as I dragged myself out of bed to work the breakfast shift at the local Ramada Inn (a place that definitively did not appreciate my sartorial choices), but those shoes also brought me a frighteningly amount of joy and made me feel myself in a time and place where feeling like Kara was in short supply.
Am I advocating spending your savings on a new shoe wardrobe? Um, NO. Personally, I want to send my kids to college and don’t want to have to work the breakfast shift again to do it. But, do I think that a new pair of shoes can put a bounce back in your step and make you feel like yourself again? I do.
So, I’ve put together five of my favorite current styles that are great transition shoes for Spring, but can also be worn for a long time to come. Like you can probably pack these in your daughter’s bag for college and save her the trouble of shopping her feelings out…
Until kids, I was not much of a flats gal (short legs will do that to you). Post-kids, I am so that lady who marvels at ladies in heels and thinks about how bad my back hurts and how much I like solid ground. OMG, I am such a mom.
Which brings me to the ballet flat. These suckers are cute. Maybe not as cute as those heels you’ve been eyeing, but infinitely more wearable and they match everything and look absolutely adorable with jeans and skirts and my favorite, the ever-flattering straight legged pant. I have a version with the flat toe, which is timeless (I hope), but I’m also obsessed with these pointy versions have been cropping up everywhere.
I’ve never thought of myself as much of a sneaker gal, but there are so many cute versions out there! Um, gold anyone? And let’s get real. You’re probably wearing sneakers everyday anyway so why not make it a cute pair?
HIGH-HEELED MULE FOR FANCY!
Almost every blogger and Instagrammer has a pair of these heeled mules and I kept hemming and hawing on whether I should invest in a pair. On one hand, I don’t wear heels very often any more (see: children), but, on the other hand, they are really, really cool.
Obviously, I went for it and am so glad I did because they truly up the game of any outfit. I wear them with my jumpsuits, jeans, bright pink pants, culottes, pretty much any time I get a little bit dressed up, I throw them on and am instantly chic. There’s no wondering which shoes I should wear – it’s these and I’m always glad I did.
(I got these last season at Topshop and I have looked and looked for the same white heeled pair for you, but can’t find one! The ones below are pretty cool though and will get the job done…)
LOW-HEELED MULE FOR EVERYDAY!
You know how sometimes the Shopping Gods align and you see something that feels too edgy for your current style, but you have a feeling if you embrace it you will wear it every day? These shoes were that for me. Several years ago I texted my younger (cooler) sister to see if she thought I was crazy and she said I was, but the shoes were not (ba-dum-bum) and so I made a very wise shopping decision. These mules go with everything in my Spring, Summer and Fall wardrobes and because they have that low heel I can wear them running around with the kids.
(I’m dying for the pink pair below because they would also go with everything, don’t you think?!)
BRIGHTLY COLORED SHOES
I tend to stick to fairly neutral shoes (yes, gold is a neutral) because I wear a lot of color, but I love a pair of brightly colored kicks. It’s such an easy way to jazz up your outfit without a big commitment (Studio DIY has a whole adorable post on her favorite bright shoes). I haven’t worn these as much as I had planned (I thought they’d be an every day thing) but I think that’s because I bought them before Winter and it’s been a little chilly; now that it’s Spring I’m planning on throwing them on with dresses and jumpsuits.
Download 5 easy ways to amp up your style and wardrobe with barely any effort.
Download 5 easy ways to amp up your style and wardrobe
with barely any effort.