i perhaps purchase one pair a year. at first it was because they were pretty and were kitten heels, which made them feminine and mostly comfy. then there were the pairs that looked really good (or, rather, made my legs look really good), which were not as comfy but still tolerable for an hour or four. there is even one pair that is more like 3 dimensional art that belongs on a column rather than on my feet (my ode-to-david-bowie ysl shoes). but now, i've come to a point in my life where i expect more out of shoes; i want them to be very comfortable and pretty. i want them to make my feet feel like i'm wearing birkenstocks, but look like i've grown up and am not afraid to be a woman.
when i went on my trip, i was on a mission. i would not buy anything unless it jumped out and screamed my name. also, there was a list drawn up, narrowed, and ultimately limited to four things that i had to find:
1. elbow length knitted gloves
2. various shades of purple knee or thigh highs
3. a larger tote-like bag
i found many a fingerless knitted gauntlet, but somehow none satisfied. i came across a skein of softest baby alpaca hand painted chunky yarn and knew that this would become my gauntlets. they are currently undergoing that process and are quite soft and warm. after trying on so many gloves and mittens and gauntlets, i figured that it was indeed a soft, cozy, warm thing to cover my wrist and forearm that i was really after (i don't think i own more than one or two long-sleeved anythings; 3/4 sleeve, yes, long-sleeve, no). so, scratch off no. 1.
there were plenty of purple stockings to be had, but alas only one pair of purple thigh highs; and they were too precious and delicate to put up with the amount of abuse hosiery usually gets. the hunt for no. 2 goes on.
the larger tote was found at a booth, revolution of the heart, under the burnside bridge in portland at a local crafts fair they have there every saturday. it is tres cute. the buttons i added when i got home. finally a use for at least some of my collecting. no. 3, found.
now, about the shoes. my travelling companion says i visited around 16 shoe stores between portland and seattle, but i rather think it was closer to eight (and that's counting the ones that had other stuff, like clothes). the pair i eventually found, were at a mano, in seattle. i thought that perhaps i wanted boots, as i had oxford heels in mind when i was looking and trying on. i was also willing to try on shoes that at first appearance were not something i would usually go for. i knew that the ones i would love would have to be a pair that were unexpected and outside of my comfort zone.
well, on the second day in seattle i popped into a mano, as it was on my list, and tried on three pairs before i came to the pair that were instantly comfortable on my travel sore feet. there was plenty of toe room, no rubbing, no tight "ouchie, that'll be a blister in 2o mins." feelings. i was in love. they're a dark olive green (something new for me, i usually never go for the darker shades of shoes), and had a 2 inch heel which definitely does not feel like it, and are made by tn_29. as my mother said when i showed them to her, "they look like the shoes of the 1940's-comfy." they are also impeccably put together; with a little metal toe tap on the sole, nails to attach the upper to the sole and actual room in the upturned toe-box.
well, three out of four is not bad at all.