Why do I want to buy expensive sneakers?

Here’s the tea: I never wear sneakers. I have a few really cute pairs that run the gamut from Converse, to athletic Reeboks, to slide-on TOMS, to throwback ’80s high-tops (Call Me By Your Name-style), but I never, ever put them on my feet for any reason. Well, there are a couple of reasons. One is that I work in a business-casual office, so sneakers aren’t really appropriate for daily dress. Second, I hate socks. They are an ugly item of clothing and don’t try to convince me otherwise! The third reason is that I’m a damn coward who refuses to incorporate sneakers into her more polished looks.

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*”love my way” by the psychedelic furs plays*

I feel like dresses with sneakers has been canon for a while, but I always feel terribly frumpy when I try it. Also, I have monster feet (size 10, baby), so where a normal human woman would look adorable with her lil’ Barbie feet in a pair of Stan Smiths, I look like either a clown or a pro basketball player.

So why, since I do not even wear the sneakers I already have, do I want to buy an expensive-ass pair of sneakers right now?

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“comfort that comes naturally”

I’m a goddamn sucker for marketing, that’s why. Allbirds has been trying to weasel its way into my life for years—the occasional postcard in the mail, sponsored posts on favorite blogs. My favorite journalist/Twitter person Amanda Mull just put out a piece about them for The Atlantic. But now Everlane has introduced a sneaker. Everlane, the brand I love so dearly, whose judgment I trust in all things.

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I mean, at least the Allbirds shoes are cute. The Everlane kicks look like nurse shoes, like orthopedics. And yet, I look at them convincing myself—These could be cute on. They come in pink, Chelsea. Ugly things are cute in fashion—don’t you remember the entire ’90s? (For reference, see the Wild Fable section of Target or Urban Outfitters in general)

At $95 and $98, respectively, the price point is, in my opinion, reasonable. Having worked in off-price retail, I know that sneakers are expensive af, and you pay for quality. Both of these shoes are sustainably made, which is something every one of us should consider as we purchase clothing. The fashion industry is one of the most environmentally destructive forces on earth, and we should celebrate transparent companies whose mission is to reduce waste.

So I’m not deterred by the price or the product—I’m deterred by me, the person who, for so long, has wanted to get into sneakers but keeps failing. The person who wears sandals in 55 degree weather because it’s so much easier than sitting down and lacing up shoes. But in the back of my mind, I hear the warnings: Wear sensible shoes, girl. You’re young now, but if you don’t take care of your feet while you’re young, you’ll have a whole host of back problems later on. You may need to see a chiropractor or—gasp!—a podiatrist. Can I become the type of person who prioritizes function over fashion, sensibility over style?

I’ll inevitably end up with both of these shoes. I know myself. I’ve been so good about not spending money this year that I can justify the price points. I guess I’ll let you know how my sneaker odyssey goes. Maybe 28 will be the year I finally start taking care of my barking dogs.

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Dressin’

Is there an AA, but for online shopping? Sign me up. I have decided to do a no-spend month in January, but perhaps declaring that has been a bit too stressful, since I’m going completely ham on December purchases. It doesn’t help that I’m starting a new job where I can actually dress nicely every day.

A huge part of my self-care routine has to do with clothing and accessories. For the past 11-and-a-half years, I have worked in the service industry (with the exception of a few months during my grad school internship). Service industry means dress codes, some of which have been more permissive than others. Even when I was a store manager, the one who set the dress code (or, y’know, abolished it entirely), it was a coffee shop, which meant coffee spills, smells, sweat, and mop water. You’d be out of your mind to wear anything nice.

On the rare occasions I’ve gone into my various workplaces on days off, people usually ask, “Where are you going today?” because I’m (apparently) all dressed up. I get it—these people are used to seeing me in t-shirts and leggings, with little to no makeup on. But, in the immortal words of Steve Harvey, “They call me ranch, ’cause I be dressin’.” Clothing, at least in my adult years, has always been the way I express myself. I have to admit, my outfits can be a little eccentric (last night, for instance, I strolled into a family dinner wearing big hoop earrings, a pink utility jumpsuit from Madewell, a faux fur leopard coat, and leopard-print flats). PSA—the $16 ballet flats from Target are the most comfortable flats I’ve ever worn, and the cheapest. 

I know the stupid aphorism—don’t judge a book by its cover. But in my actual life, I found this to not be true at all. The way a person presents themselves says quite a lot about who they are! Just not in the way you might think. For instance, I step out into the world in lipstick (which I’ve worn every day for 12 years), a cool outfit, and styled hair because I want to project confidence, which internally, I struggle with. My house is very clean and organized because my mind isn’t. I work hard to be my aspirational self. Sometimes it fails (my professors, in particular, have seen right through the veneer) and sometimes it succeeds (my friends are often shocked when I open up about my mental health struggles). A variation of the outside-in philosophy, which was played on Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt for a laugh, has worked for me. Organizing my home has helped me stay on top of more quotidian tasks (like, paying my car insurance and stuff). Getting validation and support from my friends has helped me seek it within (and get into therapy!)

Okay, this is getting a bit dark and long-winded, but what I’m trying to say is that fashion is important to me. I love to buy things, wear them, donate them, and give them as gifts to friends. This holiday season has taught me how much I love giving—curating special and useful gifts for the people in my life that I love.

No-spend January is going to be tough for me. But hey, I’m up for a challenge. I’m trying to view it as an opportunity to get really creative with things I already own. So instead of my usual Sunday Kind of Love post, where I chronicle all of the things I’m lusting after on the internet, I’m turning inward. Thanks for reading!

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Okay, okay, okay. I will post one recommendation. The Schitt’s Creek Christmas Special, y’all. That show is the best thing I discovered in 2018.

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Oh, okay, one more. The Weezer sketch from last week’s SNL. I died.