Monday, June 23, 2008

Memory Monday: The Lady With The Shoes

DATE: 1990
I was a young, newlywed corporate auditor, more interested in where the next beer was coming from and would we win the softball game than corporate fashion or accessories. My shoes consisted of this

or on a really hip, important day, this :

O yeah, I was powersuiting it all the way.

Enter Co-worker Lily, a 50-something, brightly garmented, beautiful and happy executive assistant. I swear in the year I worked there, I never saw her in the same outfit twice. But perhaps more amazing, never in the same shoes. I kid you not, the woman had a unique pair of shoes for every outfit. Every. Single. One. She was awe-inspiring. This was in the days before Internet shopping, living in podunk MI, closest real mall was well over an hour away. We did have great mail order catalogs, but shoes by mail order? I think not. But Lily, oh man, gorgeous multi-colored shoes that perfectly off-set the jewel toned outfits, the gem style earrings to match. Shoes that on the rack I would have looked at and said, "What was that person thinking?!" but on Lily's feet? "Oh yeah, that goes so perfectly." I lived for the morning when Lily would show up and brightly bop her way through our set of cubicles. It got to be "our thing" - "OK Lily, show me the shoes." and she would model for me. Rain? yep, cool shoes. Snow? Cool shoes. She was truly ALL THAT and a bag of spicey jalapeno chips, ladies and gentlemen. And somehow, before I came along, she said no one ever noticed! Huh? No one ever complimented her on her shoes or her amazing fashion sense. Of course we had lots of band wagon fans after I got her started on her daily modeling shows. Truly, Lily was an inspiration.

It took me almost 20 years, but I finally caught the Lily-bug. After years and years and decades of "black funeral shoes" at work (as Daughter calls them), I started slowly with these:

and then these, which BossMan actually complimented as beautiful shoes and Daughter has asked to borrow:
I then graduated to these
which goes with this...

Why Yes I do have a pale pink suit to match...

and then the shoes went a little crazy:

and lest you think I only do pink, these

And a few more tame but fun to wear with a suit (because who would expect it?!)

and Friday? my newest happy shoes,
Choosen by Daughter and they fit her, too, meaning they qualify for "shoe math." You've heard of New Math? Well, shoe math = price of shoes/2 = new price of shoes b/c we can both wear them. Expensive shoes become so affordable, you can't NOT buy them!! (Oh these were on a ridiculous sale AND I had a coupon, making them even more adorable.) I happen to have the perfect black and white almost zebra top that set these babies off perfectly. Yep, it was fashion show day at work.... Thanks Lily. Here's lookin' at you, Kid.

oh no, we won't even talk about my sandals...

That's a whole other genre (and a whole other closet) for a whole other day...

See Suburban Correspondent, it really can be fun!


LaskiGal said...

You know, I've never been a huge heel wearer, but I'm dying of shoe envy right now. That might just need to change. But first, must find job to go with it :)

katydidnot said...

i think i love you.

Kellan said...

How fun!! I loved all those shoes, but that last pair with the bow - precious - gorgeous!!!

Have fun wearing all those pretty shoes - Kellan

suz said...

I am green with shoe envy.
Nice. Love the polka dots, so cute.

HappyWifeHappyLife said...

WOW! That was QUITE a metamorphosis there! Those are some gorgeous shoes!

Unfortunately I wear a size 5 (smurfette feet) so it's very tough to find shooes my size (unless they have the Little Mermaid on them, or Nemo the Fish....).

So, I too have Shoe Envy. :-)

Lisa Milton said...

If I wasn't Ms. My Feet Always Hurt, I'd be raiding your closet.

Love those funky shoes.

just jamie said...

Holy crap, I covet your collection!

stephanie (bad mom) said...

You totally rule in Shoe World.

It took me awhile to get confident (and wealthy) enough to indulge in shoe love, but now it's game on. Except I don't do heels (chunky, okay, but otherwise I can't balance and a tipping-over teacher is not awe-inspiring).

Bravo, you.

Paranoid said...


That was me, whimpering with desire when I saw your yummy pink purse.

I'm an "all black, all the time" shoe gal (seriously, I need to see the outfits that go with all of these shoes, because I just can't picture it), but I'm a sucker for a cute purse.

myra said...

first, i am so impressed that you still have those "vintage" shoes to share with us. second, loving those amazing shoes. seriously making me drool. i am a size 5 and would never be able to find such gloriousness without paying major snoo-tay prices.

kate said...

I can now convince friends family and random maintenance man who saw my closet that I am not the only one...

Karen said...

Okay, you might have house envy, but I've totally got shoe envy. And the pink with the pink polka dot Dooney? Oh a woman after my heart I tell you!