Mythical Shoes

(Note to my regular readers: Due to circumstances beyond my control, my Oscars fashion post won’t be up until Thursday at the earliest.)

I’ve been searching for a particular pair of shoes for about a decade now. I don’t know why I can’t find them.

They need to be the kinds of shoes you could wear to work, under trousers, or with jeans if the occasion was casual enough for jeans but too formal for sneakers.

They need to not be brown or black but another color that can function as a neutral and be worn with either brown or black. I seem to remember a season in which you could find shoes in aubergine, dark teal, burnt orange, and maroon. I don’t know what’s happened to that.

(And as a note, if there are any younger girls reading this: My advice to you is to pick out a neutral right now. Decide if you are an earth-tones, brown-and-khaki kind of girl, or a city-slick, black-and-white-and-charcoal kind of girl. Do it now; stick with it for life. It’ll make shoe and purse shopping so much easier.)

They need to be flat. I’m not accustomed to heels and I need to be able to wear them any time, in any weather, for any distance, and while carrying any combination of Zoe, Zoe-related paraphernalia, Hebrew School-related paraphernalia, suitcases, backpacks, shopping bags.

They need to be mature. I’m thirty years old; I don’t want to look like I still think I’m a kid.

But not, you know, frumpy. I’m thirty years old; I can still walk across a room unassisted. And I’ve still got a youthful and zesty and fun spirit. The shoes should reflect that.

But they need to reflect that without having heels. Or wedges. Or platforms. Flat.

I don’t want boots. I have two pairs of boots; awesome rain boots with owls on them from my mother-in-law and Frye riding boots courtesy of my mom, my sister, and my sister’s coupon savvy. I love them both but that’s not what I want. I want to be able to slip the shoe on and off, hands-free, and also not worry about the width of my pant and whether or not said width will be appropriate with the shoe.

Not ballet flats, either. I love ballet flats; I have ballet flats; I am always in the mood for more ballet flats. But I live in Chicago and I need something that I can wear with a sock that doesn’t make me feel goofy. I don’t need it to necessarily be able to handle the worst of winter weather, but a puddle or a well-salted sidewalk should not be impractical in these shoes.

I know the solution is loafers but I honest-to-God cannot find loafers that don’t look frumpy to me. Especially for the longboats I have dangling from the ends of my legs.

So why do you think I can’t find these shoes?


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