Caring for Your Investment Footwear

This past winter I decided to treat myself to a long-standing item on my Wardrobe Bucket List, a classic pair of Gucci horse-bit loafers.  When our Northeast Ohio snow finally melted I was eager…perhaps too eager…to start wearing them.  Worn twice, this is what they now look like:

Top View – Fine
Soles – Yikes!

My thoughts turned to proper protection for investment footwear.  Clearly I needed a refresher course.  Luckily it is not to late to get these beauties protected!

  • Waterproofing.  Living in NE Ohio where we get an abundant supply of wet weather, this is the first step I take with any new pair of shoes.  Cover the entire shoe (soles included and with special attention on the seams) twice prior to first wear.  Refresh at the start of each wearing season for as long as you keep the shoe and apply a mid-season coat if it has been particularly wet or slushy.  Periodic application of a leather conditioner is also a good idea.
  • Protection.  A good shoe repair company will be able to add color-matched rubber soles and heel/toe caps that will extend the life of your investment.  Do your homework and find someone reputable.  Yelp often has useful reviews.
  • Wear.  With closed-toe shoes it’s a good idea to wear some sort of ped or footie.  In wet climates, get a nice pair of Hunter wellies and wear them while in transit, slipping on your good shoes once at your event.  When traveling, pack and store them in their dust bag.
  • Storage.  Make sure shoes are completely dry before you store them. Rolled up brown paper inside the shoe while they dry will help retain the shape.  Before storing wipe the exterior with a soft cloth to remove dust.  Keep on top of any scuffs or damaged heels by taking them to your local shoe repair before they get too bad.  Use shoe trees or keep them lightly stuffed while not being worn so they will hold their shape.  Much like furniture or artwork, UV light is not a friend to fine footwear so keep them in your closet where they won’t be exposed to light.  If your shoes came with a dust bag, use it! 

Wardrobe Building: Suiting

One of the most important building blocks in any woman’s wardrobe is a suit.  While it’s easy to think of this as a piece only relevant to bankers, lawyers or hospital administrators, a suit is an indispensable item for all women and can be broken apart into many flexible looks
 
The J. Crew Super 120s Collection is my go-to low/moderate brand and can be a steal when they are running a sale, while BOSS and Theory are two top picks for moderate/high investment suiting.

My recommendation is to invest in the best jacket-pant-skirt combo that your budget can handle in black, navy or a dark grey.  Look for quality stretch wool fabric.  One-button or two-button jackets will work better than 3+ or double-breasted as will a classic shaped trouser (not too skinny, too flared).  A pencil is the most versatile skirt shape.  Tailor for an impeccable fit!

Now have fun styling your new versatile look!  For work try the trouser with a print blouse and accent-color cardigan; for day try jeans with a simple tee, blazer, bold statement necklace and platform slides or the pencil skirt paired with a chambray button-down tied at the waist, sunnies and a pair of lace-up ballet flats; for date night pair the trouser with an embellished silk tank and metallic sandals.  And rest easy you’ll never have to worry again about what to wear to that unexpected interview, that funeral, that after-hours work function of your husband’s, etc. 

J. Crew Super 120s

J. Crew Super 120’s Collection – Skirts from $128, Trousers from $138, Jackets from $248; a variety of fits are available in each category so you can find something that fits your style and best suits your body type. 

Theory Gabe Blazer
Theory Testra Trouser
Theory Lanai Blazer

 Theory Suiting Separates – Prices range from about $215-515 depending on item. 

BOSS Jabina Blazer
BOSS Tulea Trousers

 Boss Suiting Separates – Range from $180-625.

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