There are just some days when you don’t want to wear heels. There, I said it.
I used to be of the Carrie Bradshaw philosophy that I could basically run a marathon in heels. Plus I am short, so I felt like I needed to level the playing field with at least three inches. I not only felt taller, but more powerful too. It was like I stepped into an improved version of myself.
And then I became a mom. You can’t lug a diaper bag and carrier in heels. You can’t chase your toddler around in heels. You can’t kick a ball, do a cartwheel or pull a red wagon in heels. And I like to do those things with my daughter. I realized that my priorities had shifted and so too should my fashion. And so I put a lot of thought into stiletto alternatives that are still trendy and chic.
Flats are an obvious choice for safe footwear. I prefer them mostly for an office environment and have a few pair I consider staples for my professional wardrobe; Coach calf-hair leopard print, hot pink patent-leather Tory Burch, Michael Kors loafers, for example. I also love versions that buckle around the ankle for a more feminine touch.
That being said, I am comfortable with my vanity to say that I always prefer to infuse my looks with a little bit more attitude than standard flats can provide. If I am going to be short, I need to be fierce. I gravitate towards sneakers and slip-ons a lot for youthful rebellion.
Since sneakers were reintroduced by designers as high fashion alternatives I was excited to buy a pair of Nike Dunks last year. They are a staple in my wardrobe and I literally feel like I can conquer the world when I am wearing them. No wonder guys have so much swagger- they’re in comfortable shoes all day! Check out my post My New Dunks to see which ones I bought.
Converse is a classic brand that seems to unify the young at heart. My daughter wears them, I wear them, hipsters wear them. They really go with everything from summer dresses to boyfriend jeans to cropped chinos. Mine are off-white and go with everything, but I’ve got to say that anyone who wears a bright yellow pair gets a smile from me. My fellow blogger Allyson in Wonderland recently posted about the latest Missoni Converse collaboration which you’ve got to check out! [Post update- just ordered the multi-colored low-top ones!] I’m also a huge fan of Vans, another brand with old school flavor that can provide a fun, flirty and comfortable slip-on option. They seem to be a big hit with moms like Gwen Stefani and Olivia Wilde.
I’m not sure how I used to navigate the bar scene in black 4″ ankle booties during the winter, but nowadays that would only land me on my butt. In the winter months Beatle booties, moto boots, riding boots and winter boots are the perfect solution to slippery heels. And you can still look good wearing them. Brands like Sorel are reinvigorating their cache in the marketplace with trendy winter boot options. You also can’t go wrong with LL Bean duck boots (even Olivia Palermo has a pair)- see my previous post “Be Comfy, Warm and Happy in LL Bean“. I think Uggs are an obvious winter boot choice too, but I prefer the look to be more of an “I just threw these on” kind of day rather than a “I meant to wear these as an outfit”. If you are a southern girl, you’re probably pretty happy in your cowgirl boots. I don’t know much about them, but they seem like a good stiletto alternative as well.
I’d like to think that my closet is now more well-rounded. I still have my heels when I’m ready to shift into high gear. But I’m thankful for all the other options out there that can still provide the same attitude, confidence and feminine appeal for those of us that live, work and play in the real world. And by that I mean those days when you want to chase your kids all over the park, have to walk from one airline terminal to the next, plan to tailgate at a Patriots game or…you just want to be comfy.
What’s your favorite thing to throw on for Saturday marathon errands or Sunday brunch?