Thursday, May 10, 2012

Commuter Dilemma: Keeping Shoes in the Office

Commuting to work over the last five years has led to an evolution in my daily footwear regimen.  Originally, when I had just started working after law school, I put on whatever cute heels I wanted to wear that day and out the door I went.  Then I realized how my walking was a lot slower (I couldn't really power walk the way I wanted to) and the sidewalks, metro escalators and unfilled brick sidewalks would do a number on the back of my heels!  I couldn't believe how easily patent leather would get scuffed, scratched and torn.

I then changed to wearing cute Puma slip-on sneakers on my walks to and from work and carried my fancier pumps in my gym bag.  That way I could still wear the shoes I had planned to go with my outfit that day.  But I just did not like the look of sneakers, even some cute slip-ons, and thought I could do better with my commuter shoes.  I kept seeing well-dressed girls on the Metro with cute flats or small wedges that went well with their clothes and thought "I want to look that put together!"  

So I began rotating out my cute flats -- all three of them -- on my walks to and from work.  I still had to deal with carrying an extra pair of heels daily in my purse or gym bag, which began to be a hassle.  It took up too much space when I wanted to pack my lunch and some shoes just wouldn't fit in either bag.  Not to mention the fact that I would just plain 'ole forget to pack my heels some days, especially when I was running late.  Then I noticed a few friends had kept some shoes in the office which they rotated around every now and then, so they wouldn't have to worry about packing or forgetting them.  

Some of the usual shoes I keep in the office on any given day.

So I have started to do that in the past year and it has worked out wonderfully!  Particularly with the few blocks I walk to and from the Metro station, walking up and down the gigantic escalator and  running to catch trains.  Using flats for power walking has been key to my commuter survival while looking polished and I still get to wear a nice pair of heels in the office.  

Left: Isaac Mizrahi for Target Pumps
Right: Mossimo Flats from Target

Nude Patent Leather Pumps from Nine West
Insoles from Dr. Schulz

Black Patent Leather Mary Jane Pumps by Danita K, from

Left: Missoni for Target Pumps
Right: Ann Klein Wedges from DSW warehouse 
Pink, Faux Croc Toe Pumps by Steve Madden circa 2005, from Marshall's

Just doing some sorting and filing!

The great part about this system is that I get to give some of my older and already damaged shoes a second life.  I can also delegate some shoes that I know I have gotten plenty of use out of at home and those which I know I wouldn't get much use out of at home, to my office.  Right now I'm loving how this system works!  It makes room in my closet for some new shoes, I get to recycle some shoes that I have loved for years and I get to get some use out of other shoes which I wouldn't otherwise have worn much at home.  

And this is the lovely lady who inspired me.  We'll call her Shabs.  And I think her style is anything but shabby chic!  In fact, it's Shab-y chic! 

Worn by Shabs: Camel Suede with Stacked Wooden Pumps from Aldo
Top: Black Patent Leather Mary Jane Pumps by Guess from DSW shoe warehouse
Middle and Bottom:  Nude Patent Leather Pumps and Grey Pumps from Nine West

Well, there you go!  A practical solution for a commuter's dilemma that really works for me.  With all the power walking to and from home, the Metro and the office, it's great to have one less thing to worry about.  I also find it is a great to "amp up" my look at work by adding a nice heel to my outfit because that just polishes the work look even more.  What a great solution to a very common problem!

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