What defines a personal style? I think a lot of it has to do with consistency - knowing and wearing what looks good on you - and buying what you love. Because while what you like may change, what you love never does.
For example (what I love - and have continued to love- over the years):
- seventies styles (flared pants, wedge or platform shoes, suede, braiding, whipstitiching)
- rich, saturated colors (reds, purples, emerald greens, teals, pinks)
- a bit of glam (embroidery, laser cutouts, bead detail, lace - the last two in moderation)
When I look back at my own style over time, it hasn't changed much. Oh sure, I wore short(er) skirts in my twenties, and I played around with trends when I was younger (there are very few photos, but I wore ALL the eighties trends, and dabbled in grunge in the nineties). But my overall style has always edged toward that snooze-fest of a description known as "classic".
My first "real" shoe purchase was a pair of black leather, pointy-toed pumps from Nine West. The heel seemed like four inches but probably was 2.5 - 3 inches (1980s heels weren't all that high). They were just a "classic" black pump that I wore to death at my job. Which is kind of funny as I look back at it - I worked retail for Sears. In the children's department. When I think about how much walking I did in those shoes...thank goodness for being nineteen! My aching feet would never be able to walk that much in heels now. :)
As to why I was so dressed up for a retail job at Sears....well, it was the '80s. Everyone dressed. Casual Friday was at least a decade away, and dressing down was unheard of. You were expected to dress for work, no matter what. Dress codes were different then...hell, Dillard's didn't even let its female employees wear PANTS until 1996. I put myself through college working at Dillard's and left in late 1994. I wore a skirt or dress - with hose! - EVERY work day. So "dressing up" is what I grew up with.
I bought those first pumps simply because they were "what was in style" at the time. At nineteen, I wasn't thinking about personal style. I just went to the store and bought some inexpensive shoes. But I guess they made an impression on me, because I've never loved any other type of shoe more. I enjoy boots in the fall and winter, and a jeweled, strappy party shoe makes my heart sing, but nothing gives me that deep thrill as much as a "classic", pointy-toed pump. :)
Enzo Angiolini. So much more fun than the standard black pump.
Also, this Vince Camuto pump in several versions:
All different, all gorgeous. My favorites are probably the lace ones, but since I already have these, I don't really need another lace overlay shoe. So it's hard call between the two metallics.
And for the hell of it, I am considering these:
Truth or Dare, by Madonna. I came across these by accident, poking around on the Macy's web site. They're a little out there, but for me they're very 80s Madonna. A bit brash, a bit bright, and a reminder of being young and having your whole life in front of you. I could see them in the Borderline video instead of those yellow pumps. :)
The red and the black (the black version is the first shoe at the top of this post) are on their way here! I can't believe I found these and my size was still available. My only concern is that Aldo shoes tend to run a bit small, so I'm hoping these will be the exception to the rule. Rich, saturated colors and a bit of glam...so very me. :)
Update 3/26/13: The Aldo pumps were terrible. They looked very cheaply made and they didn't fit well at all. And one of my shoe mantras is that no matter how beautiful it is, if it hurts, it doesn't go in the closet. So I returned them both today. :(