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The Little Black Shoe

November 5, 2009

L-A: Everyone always talks about The Little Black Dress. That perfect black dress that you can wear for just about every occasion – cocktails, gallery opening, your great-aunt’s funeral, whatever.  We’ve even gone there. But do you know what we don’t talk about? What hardly anyone talks about? The perfect black shoe and just how dang hard it is to find. The one you can wear to an interview, to work, for cocktails or maybe even your great-aunt’s funeral. You can wear it with pants or a skirt. You can use them to dress up an outfit (like jeans) or they can just work with the dressy outfit.

Let’s describe this shoe: black with a heel. It’s not too shiny and there aren’t too many embellishments. The shoe isn’t the statement. The heel isn’t too chunky or too low, but it isn’t super sexy high heel either (because you want to be able to wear it around the office somewhat comfortably). It’s fashionable, yet not trendy. It’ll look good this season or a couple of seasons from now.  It’s not open toe because you want to wear tights or pantyhose or trouser socks with it if you have to.  This is a pretty broad description, so you’d think it wouldn’t be too hard to find. But really, it totally is!!

Let’s take a look at some of the shoes available on the market.

black shoe blahs
black shoe blahs by FPQT on

ugh. Snoring. Or just plain ugly and orthopedic looking.

Now for some of my favourites.

black shoes for work
black shoes for work by FPQT featuring Christian Louboutin shoes

Sigh. Why are some of my favourites by Louboutin? Because there is no way I’m laying down $600 on a pair of shoes anytime soon.  Can’t some cobbler out there make a shoe that is similar to the shoes I covet (without being blatant knockoffs) with a slightly more affordable price tag than 600 clams? Is it really so much to ask?

I bought a pair the other day and when I got to work they were all wrong.  I ended up putting my ballet flats back on and spent part of the day thinking I might return them.  They were just blah.  I’m not looking for “Holy Crap! Those are the Bestest Shoes Evar!”  I just want shoes I can love and wear with pants or with skirt.

The shoes I wish I had bought? The shoes I may need to go back and buy before someone else scoops them up?  These bad boys:



They don’t really fit with the kind of perfect black shoe I’m talking about, but they were a little bit perfect in their own right. I talked myself into the more practical, more affordable shoe. And, of course, completely regretted my decision.

AllyG: Nice post, L-A! If everyone hasn’t already noticed, my blogging is going to be irregular for the next while. Not only is it tough to find computer time, but I scramble for ideas since these days the only fashion related theme I encounter is the daily decision to wear sweatpants or leggings. In exciting news, I have made an appointment to get my hair did. Shall I post a before and after? Don’t look at the before pic prior to sleeping, you’ll be up all night with nightmares. I look like your mama after she’s tossed back a box of wine and spent the night rearranging her underwear drawer. What? Your mom never did that? KIDDING, MOM!

10 Comments leave one →
  1. November 5, 2009 12:52 am

    I concur. Finding the perfect black shoe is impossible. I’ve been looking for a nice pair of black heels for 2 years with no luck. Everything is either super old lady frumpy or has 6 inch heels. *sigh sigh sigh* What is the world coming to, eh? :P

    • L-A permalink*
      November 6, 2009 1:10 am

      It’s been killing me lately that I am lacking such a pair of shoes. While I have a bit of an income (I’m on a contract, so it’s not permanent), I’m on the hunt to find a good shoe. I fear I will strike out and find only ugly orthopedics or “super sexy can’t actually walk in them” shoes. Both have their place in this world, but it’s not on my feet.

  2. Eden permalink
    November 5, 2009 7:47 pm

    I suddenly want to take a complete photographic inventory of my shoes. What?

    • L-A permalink*
      November 6, 2009 1:08 am

      You need to do this for me. Please. And let us put it on the blog.

      • Eden permalink
        November 6, 2009 10:27 am

        I did it! Do you actually want to blog it? People can tell me which shoes to get rid of!

        • allygarbs permalink*
          November 6, 2009 11:25 am

          YES! Please blog it!!

          • edenkaill permalink
            November 6, 2009 1:46 pm

            Ok! I will do up a draft while Iz is napping. Because I love you.

  3. November 5, 2009 10:27 pm

    I found my favourite black shoes randomly at Winners for $25, and the poor things need to go to Quinpool for some TLC very soon. They are high heels but not breakneckingly so, they’re shiny, perfectly pointy, and go with everything. They were cheap so I could just throw them out but I can’t bear to start afresh because the hunt for the right pair of black shoes SUCKS, as you’ve pointed out!

    • L-A permalink*
      November 6, 2009 1:08 am

      I would totally repair shoes – no matter how cheap (let’s call it affordable instead of cheap) they were – if they fit my perfect black shoe criteria. At least until the day came when I happened to find a replacement pair. Which may never happen since the dang shoes are so hard to find in the first place.


  1. 46 pairs, an inventory « Fashionable People, Questionable Things

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