Imagine my anguish at only being able to bring one suitcase of shoes when I moved to Hong Kong last year. Criticise me all you like for my shallow priorities, but shoes mean so much more than things that protect me from getting dog poo on my feet or stepping on a sharp rock.
Don’t ask me to choose my favourite pair: the taller, wackier and more colourful the better. I hit “peak shoe” when I got a pair of bejewelled turquoise heels shaped like fish!
Whether it’s the shiny black T-bars I wore to a job interview, the furry red platforms that helped me win best-dressed at a Rockabilly night, the gold cowboy boots I boogie in at karaoke, or the bright green Converse that got jumped around in when I saw Muse live for the first time, my memories are shaped by the shoes I was wearing. Even the flip-flops I’m wearing in this Rumble Box photo remind me of the British seaside town where I bought them before spending the day crunching through the pebbles and eating chips.
I like bags, but they’re nothing more than a functional vessel to carry possessions in. I don’t understand how people can have so many – it’s annoying to keep having to transfer your possessions between them for different events. You’re more likely to lose your keys if you’re forever moving them around different bags, Have a sturdy rucksack, a big, roomy handbag, and an evening clutch, I say. Use them until they wear out before buying any more.
I tend to carry around a lot of clutter – like receipts, pens, and empty lunchboxes – so bags have never been a symbol of pride for me. You say that shoes wear out faster than bags, but every clutch I’ve ever owned has disintegrated after a few weekends out on the town.
It’s true that you can tell a lot about someone from the shoes they wear. You might be wearing pristine white hi-tops, mint green brogues, or even knee-high, lace-up, studded, snakeskin, blood red, stiletto boots. Shoes complete an outfit, give the wearer confidence, and can be conversation starters.
All I remember from my first day of school was my tiny, shiny red shoes and how proud I was. I wear the same style 20 years later working at Young Post. With a good pair of shoes, you simply can’t lose.*
*Crocs are absolutely, totally, 100 per cent exempt.
If I’m going to spend money on something to keep in my wardrobe, why on earth would I choose something that can cause me pain? Sure, that pair of statement stilettos may look good in the shop window, but they’re going to turn into merciless torture devices on your feet. And of course there are many shoes that aren’t painful, but are you really going to wear all of them? I’m willing to bet people with large shoe collections only really rotate between three to five pairs.
Bags on the other hand, are a good investment. Whether it’s a designer purse or a funky clutch you find in a flea market, it’s something that can really show off your personality. And something that represents who you are will never go out of style. It’s also nice to spend your hard-earned money on something that won’t get scuffed and look worn out after a few uses, as is often the case with shoes.
While we’re on the topic of money, here’s the difference between cheap bags and shoes: cheap bags can still look quite nice if you choose wisely and take good care of them. But cheap shoes are more likely to be made out of materials that don’t look well-made, are uncomfortable, and will wear out more easily, all of which makes them incredibly tacky. Do you want to be tacky?
One of my favourite things about bags is that a bag is something that can be shared or passed on. If your best friend needed to borrow your fancy handbag for an evening, you won’t have to refuse because, “I’m sorry, it’s not your size.”
Besides, no one’s looking at my feet, but, what’s that you said? Why, yes, this is a new handbag, thanks for noticing! Shoes can keep walkin’, bags are where it’s at.