Shoes can dress up your outfits as well as reveal a lot about you. In the professional settings, you can actually base your negotiation strategies on what shoes the person is wearing, because shoes can tell so much about a person. However, it’s important to understand your goals and to take a realistic assessment of your lifestyle when picking investment shoes. So, keep on reading for our guidelines.
Figure out what shoe will give you the most value.
Most of women wear 20% of their wardrobe 80% of the time, so an investment piece should last at least two years with a good cost-to-wear value. This might be something you can wear to work as well as for running errands and then possibly into the evening. According to image consultant Audrey Beaulac, figure out what shoe will give you the most value and then spend the money there. They should be in a neutral color, sturdy, and made of leather. “I’m not a fan of buying an uncomfortable fancy pair of shoes and calling it an investment shoe,” said Beaulac. Though neutral colors like black and white can go well with anything, a nude pair of classic pumps will be the most feminine and versatile.
Go for stylish yet comfortable footwear.
A pair of really great ankle boots or classic pumps is good investment shoes for women. The difference in investing in clothes versus shoes is that you could conceivably wear a cheap, comfortable piece of clothing for years. On the contrary, with shoes, you generally get what you pay for. Some luxury brands made in Italy are artisan-level shoes, and the decision to spend a mortgage payment on a pair of boots is intensely personal. “This is a shoe you go back to time and again. A heel or not depends on your comfort level. For the fall, it’s a knee-high boot. Whether it’s a flat or a stiletto, it’s a classic silhouette that can take you over decades,” said Cleary.
Go for a pair of shoes that will dress up your overall look.
Think of leaving a little room for fun in your shoe budget, so you can veer off into something for the occasional mad party. When you change your shoes, you change your mood. “That’s the investment, the investment is in yourself. Wear great shoes so that you’re maximizing your potential in the workplace,” said Beaulac. Like fashion blogger Nicole Warne, a pair of black pumps can dress up your casual outfit of Breton striped top and shorts, while a red pair of suede pumps can add some pop of color to your graphic print shirtdress.
Be sure you can keep up on the shoe maintenance.
Just like any other investment, you’ll want to keep up on the maintenance. “Don’t undermine your talent with poorly groomed shoes,” Beaulac said. “Treat them like they are a very valuable calling card.” Water can curl and ruin leather soles, so make sure you use shoe trees to keep them stretched out, Beaulac said. Also, keep the heels capped, clean off scuff marks, and keep shoes shined. Remember, your shoes take care of your reputation so it’s important to care for them so they can last longer.