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Why I Chose Shoes That Didn't Fit (on purpose)
Sample Sale Misadventures
This weekend I went to the Miista sample sale in San Francisco and left with a pair of shoes that were two sizes too big.
For context: I did not pay for the shoes myself because I was able to keep a pair for promoting the sample sale on social media. This whole story would be moot if I was spending my own money. Hence the title: chose, not bought.
But still. There were plenty of size 37 shoes and I left the store with a pair of size 39 rope sandal heels swinging around in my mini Baggu. Because I really loved them.
I arrived at the sample sale before opening to create some content. Initially, I zeroed in on a pair of butter yellow patent boots. They were cute, and I really did like them. But I didn’t love them. I also tried on chocolate brown boots that were a strong contender but the stiletto heel was a deal-breaker because I am not a stiletto person. I scanned the rest of the size 37 selection and again, lots of cute shoes - but none that I felt particularly inspired by.
It wasn’t until later that I wandered to the other size sections and spotted these rope sandals. There were two left. The architecture of the shoe was like nothing I’d seen: angular square toe heels with woven straps made of what resembled climbing rope. A pure cobalt blue, flecked with kelly green and black. Vaguely reptilian.
To me these were a pair of shoes with a point of view that pushes the boundary of what a strappy sandal can look like. The ropes also brought to mind the Araki reference design notes from Allina Liu’s Panda Dress (one of my favorite current designers) -
They don’t fit in the technical sense that a shoe is supposed to fit a foot. They’re not comfortable. But I’m not here for a podiatrist approved shoe, I’m here to be emotionally captivated. And I couldn’t imagine leaving without those specific shoes.
From a practical perspective, I’m an idiot for buying shoes I “can’t wear.” I insist (am I trying to convince you or me?) that I can wear them, they just have an inch long gap in the back so I feel like I’m 7 years old trotting around in my mom’s heels and pretending to be a “lady.” The memory of how endlessly fascinating high heels and lipstick are at that age.
Shoes (and clothes for that matter) don’t always need to be worn to be valuable or worthwhile in your closet.
Shoes can be displayed as art. Styled as photo props. A souvenir from a day in the life: July 23, 2022. A memento of what it means to intentionally choose discomfort.
The exhilaration of making bad decisions, wrong decisions.