All About The Shoes

I wore three or four-inch heels often and without giving it much thought for most of my adult life. On a busy day last summer, my favorite heels suddenly became very uncomfortable. I ended my grocery shopping halfway through my list because I had to get out of those heels. On that day, I knew that it was time to change my shoe choices.

I’ve donated or sold most of my high heels collection, so I needed to invest in some replacements. I plan to wear all of the shoes I show you today for the next few years.

My jewelry in these photos includes a ring I purchased a couple of years ago in a boutique in Highlands, NC. The earrings were a gift from Mr. Mickey. (Earrings here) The fabulous bracelet is here.

My top is by Clara Sunwoo via My Fair Lady (click here). The white jeans are by Everlane from last year. (Similar here) The handbag is a few years old. (Similar here) Affiliate and referral links in my post may generate a small commission for me at no charge to you.

I thought it might help to share some of my recent shoe purchases and explain why I chose them. The shoes I am wearing are by Marc Fisher from last year. (Similar here) While the heels are high, the pitch is low because of the platform in front. They are very comfortable. I wear them with long, loose-fitting tops and slim-fitting jeans, or I can wear them with wide-leg crops and slim-fitting shorter tops.

From left to right as shown above: The black flats with the gold buckle are here. The black suede pumps are here. The beige slingback pumps are here. The Cognac Suede pumps are here. The Maple Sugar flats are here. The pecan suede Espadrilles are here. The casual British Tan thong sandals are here.

I discuss why I bought each shoe and mention my foot shape in the video below. (Learn about the shapes of feet here.) The flat shoes are suitable to wear with straight or slightly flare leg pants that end at the top of the foot. Pair the heels with full leg crops, dressy pants, skirts or dresses, and of course straight or skinny leg jeans of any length.

  1. I love this article on shoes. I am 70 years old and about to finally retire from full time work. So looking forward to revamping my shoe wardrobe. Great advice. June

  2. I’m also retired. Love the shoe video! I too am short. 5’ 1/2”. I have all similar shoes except the sling back and liked your advice about which type of pants to wear.

  3. You introduced me (in your blog) to this great look of wearing nude or neutral colored shoes. I have totally embraced it; I recently added to my wardrobe a beautiful leather handbag (on sale!) and 2 pairs of shoes in beige tones–flats & just last week a pair of 2 1/2″ heeled very strappy nubuck sandals. As you point out they are really very elongating, particularly on a 5’1″ petite frame. Thanks for the great advice and the wonderful video.

  4. I purchased the beige slingback pumps after seeing them in a previous column because they are leather lined and have arch support, both of which are ESSENTIAL for my comfort. I am glad you featured them.

  5. Thank you for these great tips. A light went off for me when I heard you say something about will the shoe last 10 years? Really made me think about how I will approach all my purchases. Will it last 10years? Will it serve me well for the next 10 years? Have a wonderful weekend Susan

  6. Great tutorial! I am always in trouble when selecting the “right” shoe due to rheumatoid arthritis!!! I will shop with your suggestions in mind.

  7. Fabulous tutorial on shoes. I really needed that one. Thank you for the clear and concise tips.

  8. What a terrific video on a topic that needed my attention!! Your guidelines are always so helpful to allow us to remain stylish…..and still comfortable!! Thank you, Susan, so very much!!

  9. Just came upon your Instagram and watched this blog. How informative! Thanks for sharing your tips.

  10. First of all, thank you for your blog! I found your blog when I was approaching 70. I wanted one last chance to get it right! As I am about your height and weight I find your information most helpful. I have changed my eating habits after reading Eat to Live and thoroughly enjoy the food….a journey that started from reading your blog and trying some of the recipes you have shared with us. My husband and I have visited your general area and hope to again as we love the Asheville area. As you can see, I feel connected to you in a lot of ways…..I even make jewelry!
    One thing I would like you to discuss on your blog is your beauty regiment….what you use, in what order, daily and weekly used products. I know you are a beauty consultant for Beautycounter and obviously what you use is from their line of products. But when I go to the website it can be daunting to wind my way through all the verbage.
    Thank you for considering this idea.

  11. Do you wear socks, knee-highs or barefoot ? Also do you ever wear pantyhose? I know the younger ladies go bare leg. But I’m from the old school and when I dress up and wear a dress or skirt I have to wear pantyhose. Thank you.

  12. I have been following your blog many years and am older than you are so I quit wearing heels and wondered how you could do, ha. Thanks for good post.

  13. Just wanted to Thank You for all the Terrific items I have purchased from you the last couple of years! They are treasures that receive lovely compliments on a regular basis … Shoes! My Achilles Heal – My husband calls me Imelda Marcos LOL! I also found comfort in high heels as a high ballet arch made flats a bit uncomfortable. Now I am becoming a fan when I find the right pair (attractive and supportive) and heels are 2 /2.5 inches only. Nordstrom is a Wonderful resource no matter what your pocketbook can afford. Well Done as Always!!!

  14. Helpful tutorial on how to revamp a shoe collection. Thanks so for such good information! Look forward to your blog posts!

  15. I think lower heels are classy. I like the change.

    I’d love to get your take on styling ankle booties. I have a couple of nice pairs (about 1.5-2” heels) and don’t really wear them because I feel like I don’t know what to wear them with. Skinny jeans seem obvious but it doesn’t look right somehow. A midi skirt maybe for summer?

    1. I wear ankle boots almost all fall and winter. If you look back at older posts, you will see that I try to pair them with pants that either land at the top of the foot or with pants that are ankle length so that they are in full view. As a general rule -the more slim fitting the pants, the shorter on the ankle they need to be.

  16. Both my children played high-level sports, and I found myself wearing mostly athletic shoes for years. When both girls left home, I bought myself a cute pair of Cole Haan espadrille sandals. After wearing them – once – I landed in the podiatrist’s office. Apparently I am not able to wear any heel greater than 1-1/2″-2″.

    I have been admiring your cute espadrille sandals for several years now, but every pair I have come across has a heel, not counting the platform, of more than 2″. Are you aware of any cute espadrilles that have a lower heel?

  17. Susan – Such helpful tips. Thank you!! I’m a 57 year old working woman, with a husband and high school rising senior (son) at home. You are such a beautiful lady! I always look forward to your videos – I have learned so much through them. You are a role model for how I dress and think about style. You are always appropriate, fresh, classic. Just truly a beautiful woman. Such great tips on shoes. Thank you!! And, thank you to Mr. Mickey, too!

  18. Hi Susan,
    I’ve just recently found your videos & subscribed. I really like the way you put outfits together. Watched the shoe video this morning which was very helpful. Would it be possible to do a video on handbags or handbags & shoes? What colors work with others, seasonal ideas, do you match shoes & bags, etc.? Thanks for your good fashion advice.
    Colleen C.

    1. I sometimes match my shoes and bag but certainly not always. In some cases, I add a pop of color to my look with a handbag. Thanks for the suggestions. I’ll work on a post about bags.

  19. Excellent video on shoes. Loved the tip of wearing grey or nude shoes with white jeans. Next time I buy shoes, I have a better guide.

  20. I was wondering what u thought about wearing a light mauve bag instead of a light grey hand bag? Margargaret

    1. That would be lovely if that color complements what you are wearing. The beauty of neutrals is that the colors go with each other and all other colors as well.

  21. Constructive information, thank you. Susan, I love your hair style in the photos above!

  22. Thank you so much for all the great tips on buying shoes. It’s perfect timing for me, as I’m looking for a pair of shoes for my son’s wedding in four weeks. My dress is cobalt blue and I’m hoping to find shoes I can wear again after that one day. Now that I watched your video, I will stay away from white shoes—for sure! I really enjoy your videos as your southern charm is so endearing. Carolynn from Canada

  23. Hello Susan,
    I have been reading your blog for a while and really enjoy it , just love your scarves. Is there any chance you will be selling them again ?
    Judy Webb

    Chesterfield ,Derbyshire, England

  24. Hi Susan. I have learned so much from your blog. There have been many times after I have read something you posted that I realize why certain things look good on me and why certain things do not. For example, I’ve never stopped to think why certain lengths of coats, blouses look better than others. I enjoyed your shoe video and I always look forward to reading your posts.

  25. Hi Susan, I had the same experience. I wore high heels most of my life, and loved them. I could run in heels if needed. I am 5’ 3.5” and always wanted to be taller, so heels made me happy. I love a pretty high heel! They are so flattering! I am 58 and two years ago I started having to leave in the middle of functions, or end my shopping, because of the pain in the balls of my feet, just behind my two toes next to my little toe. I went to a podiatrist, and was told that the fat pads in that area of the bottoms of our feet diminish with age, what a shame! The fat doesn’t seem to diminish other areas where I wish it would! I am embracing low heels and flats. I also prefer to have at least a small heel for support. Thanks for this post. I am glad I am not alone. I honestly had no idea that this was going to be part of aging. Nobody ever told me, nor do I recall any of my female family members talking about it. It is one of those surprises! Your shoe styles are lovely. Thanks for the post and video!

  26. You look fabulous. You are an inspiration to me. It is never too late to shine!
    I never really knew how to put clothes together your blog is extremely helpful

  27. Susan, I ‘balked’ at first when I saw your article about Capri pant length being a bit longer, to give a longer & lean look. I live in Texas where the heat is Hellish, but have to admit that when I have on the longer length Capri: it IS a leaner look. BUT: Now I can’t find your piece from a previous posting, that discusses how you determine the length. Can you point me back to exact article, by sending the ‘Title’ of that piece.? I am learning alot from your Blog, and am 70 yrs. old…Hard to type out that number! It happened very rapidly, I can assure you…Best from Suzanne

  28. I am 56 and stopped wearing high heels and pointed toe shoes years ago. My feet are much happier. Shoe brands that I love and are very comfortable are Josef Siebel, Franco Sarto (you need to be picky because some are very high heeled), Birkenstocks (I live in Oregon so everyone here wears them). I also love Born, Clark’s, Earth, Me Too, Miz Mooz, Naot, Rieker, Pikolonis, Cobb Hill by Rockport, Sofft, and Taos, to name a few. I find European made shoes are much more comfortable and provide a lot more room in the toe bed.

  29. I struggle with shoes. I have a skinny foot, ankle and calf; size 8 Narrow. That means having to spend a lot of time looking for a shoe that is comfortable and still stylish . I can wear a 7 1/2 medium if it has straps to hold my foot; like an espadrille or a thong sandal with straps. I really enjoyed this blog. Thank you for all the trouble you go to in order to detail the information.

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I share tips and inspiration for using what you already have in contemporary ways. Defining words include effortless, classic, refined, discreet, and elegant. My style is chic, minimal, and timeless with a bit of edge.