I used to love my high heels. They made me feel glamorous and sophisticated. But once I stopped working professionally outside of the home, I rarely had an opportunity to wear them. And on the occasion when I did put them on for a night out, I felt unsteady and uncomfortable. That is why it was so easy for me to cull my high heels out of my closet when I decided to create a capsule wardrobe.
But I wasn’t happy that I had to give up style for comfort. What the heck would I wear when I had to go to a wedding or a dinner party? I still wanted to look and feel put together. So I went on a quest to find shoes that didn’t hurt my feet and co-ordinated nicely with what I was wearing.
First of all, flats are classified as shoes that have little to no heel with a flat sole. They can range from casual to elegant. That makes flats an essential part of style if you are creating a capsule or minimalist wardrobe.
If you choose your flats correctly, you have just as much chance of flattering your outfit and appearance as you would with choosing high heels.
How To Choose The Right Flats For Your Minimalist Wardrobe
1. Select The Right Shoe Size
Age, weight and health can change your shoe size and your shoe width. Believe it or not, but as we age and our frames shrink, our feet actually do the opposite and get bigger. It is not because our feet grow but because our ligaments get more loose and our arches drop. Arthritis and diabetes can also contribute to spread. Do not hang on to the idea that you must wear the same size shoe as you did even 5 years ago. Cramming your feet into a smaller size will only lead to more problems with your feet and possibly, your back.
It is a good idea to go through all the shoes in your closet and check that they still fit and feel comfortable. Toss anything that is questionable.
And the next time you are in a shoe store, go old school and have them measure your feet properly. You may be surprised. Plus, your feet will thank you!
2. Make Sure Shoes Are Comfortable
Have you ever gone shopping and purchased a beautiful pair of shoes that were just slightly too tight in the hopes that you could break them in? How did that work out for you? Though some materials used in shoes may slightly expand, most do not. And remember, your feet do that on a daily basis too.
When shopping for new shoes, make sure to try on both shoes and walk around the store. Do they pinch anywhere? If you wore them all day and into the night would your feet feel tired? If your feet expand throughout the day, would you have trouble removing your shoes when you get home? If the answer is yes to any of those questions, try a larger or wider size until you feel comfortable and confident you have the right fit. Keep in mind that too big or wide is not good either.
As I mentioned above, there is a variety of shoes that fall into the category of flats. And many women, especially as they age, find completely flat shoes hurt their feet and/or backs when worn over an extended period of time. If that is the case for you, opt for a small heel or lift when choosing your flats as opposed to completely flat.
And be sure to pay attention to the sole of your shoes too. Some can be especially slippery on certain types of flooring or if the surface is damp. You want to feel steady on your feet and prevent slips and falls. Stay away from shiny soles.
3. Buy Quality Flats For Endurance And Support
Quality includes both materials used and craftsmanship. A good shoe is not only built to last but can also regulate foot moisture, prevent foot odour and give your feet, back and posture proper support. In the long run, quality means durability and proper construction.
When creating your capsule wardrobe, you want to choose pieces that will not wear out too quickly. The whole point of a minimalist closet is to save money and time shopping repeatedly. And when you choose quality craftsmanship and materials, you are rewarded in the long run. Of course quality is more costly but when you consider the use in terms of years, quality turns out to be the bargain.
4. Go For Classic Style Shoes
Trendy colours and passing fads won’t see you through the seasons, year after year. In fact, I bet you have a few pairs of shoes in the back of your closet right now that you bought because they looked hip and you only wore them once. What a waste of money!
Sticking to classic and sophisticated styles allows you to create your own fashion identity and choose styles that you know look great on you. Plus, trendy shoes tend to be mass produced and therefore lower quality as they are not meant to last the season. They probably won’t fit as well either.
Classic is called classic for a reason. It goes with everything and easily fits into your fashion choices. You will never regret these types of purchases.
5. Must be Versatile
As with all of the pieces in your capsule wardrobe, your flats should be compatible with at least 3 outfits. The best choices will take you from day casual to night dressy effortlessly. You can never go wrong with black, white, navy or beige either.
When purchasing new shoes, always mentally asses how many outfits you have at home that you could wear these shoes with. The more the better. If you count at least three, go for it!
Creating a capsule or minimalist wardrobe is not about what you choose to give up. It is about what you choose to keep and buy to complete it. Those pieces should be ones that you love, make you feel great and are super comfortable.