I’ve been journeying through my search referrers again, and today’s question is this:
How many pairs of shoes do you take on holiday?
And the answer is:
Personally? As many pairs as I can fit in my suitcase. No, really. And I know that’s not the right answer to this: the right answer according to the so-called “experts” is that you should pack yourself a careful, capsule wardrobe, and make sure every item in it goes with every other item, so you only need a couple of pairs of shoes for the whole trip. Now, I can do the whole “capsule wardrobe” thing if I have to. The problem is, though, that I just don’t want to. I mean, what can say, I’m a shoe addict (and a dress addict, and a skirt addict and… oh, I have a lot of sartorially-based addictions): it just goes totally against the grain for me to want to pack a handful of clothes and then keep wearing them over and over again for a couple of weeks or more. I’m also one of those people who likes to be prepared at all times. What if I pack my capsule wardrobe and then find myself in a situation which is just crying out for that fabulous pair of shoes I left at home? Or that dress I didn’t think I’d have an opportunity to wear? It just doesn’t bear thinking about.
This is why, when it comes to packing, I can generally be found forcing one more pair of shoes into my suitcase as I head out the door on the way to the airport. But that’s just me. And I’m guessing “Just take as many as you can” isn’t the advice you were looking for, mystery reader, so here are the shoes I’d take on holiday, if I was trying to take the absolute minimum – and bear in mind here that this will, to a huge extent, depend very much on where you’re going, what you’ll be doing, and what kind of climate you’ll be doing it in, to say nothing of factors like what kind of clothes you like to wear, and what your footwear style is. For the purpose of this post, though, I’m assuming it’s a standard summer holiday: reasonably warm weather, bit of sightseeing, bit of relaxing – you know the kind of thing. I’d take:
1. A pair of cute flats
For walking, sightseeing, and any other casual kind of activities. My preference is for canvas flats because they’re lightweight, so don’t take up much of your luggage allowance, and the canvas is breathable, so they don’t make your feet sweat – if you’re worried about being too warm, though, you can always substitute open toes or flat sandals. They also tend to be inexpensive, so if you ruin them at the beach or whatever, you don’t have to worry too much.
2. A pair of dress heels in a neutral colour
For evenings out, or anything that you want to wear heels for. (For me this is pretty much everything.) Try to pick a colour that goes with most of your clothes: personally, I always go for The Colour Generally Referred to as “Nude” But Which We All Know Isn’t Actually The Colour of Nude Skin, At Least Not For Everyone. Failing that, I’d go for either tan or a metallic, both of which work with just about everything. Your “neutral” may well be different depending on your dress style: I don’t consider black to be a neutral for me, for instance, because I wear a lot of navy and don’t like the look of the two together, but I DO consider red to be an almost-neutral because it works with so much of my wardrobe. You get the picture.
3. Sneakers, or some variation thereon.
I don’t have a photo of me on holiday in sneakers to show you because… I don’t have a photo of me in sneakers. This is because I hate them. That said, there’s no getting away from the fact that if you’re planning to be even reasonably active on vacation (and hey, you never know!), some kind of sneaker can be a really handy thing to have. I generally just take my running shoes, because I optimistically (and usually completely incorrectly) tell myself I’ll try to fit in a run or two while I’m away: if you wear sneakers regularly, though, this will be a really easy one for you.
Flat, heeled, whatever you like: they’re good for hot days and, depending on the style, can be dressed up or down as required. Me, I normally throw a pair of flip-flops into my case. No, they’re not particularly pretty, but they’re good for pool/beach days, and they also come in really handy if you’re at all squeamish about walking around barefoot on hotel floors etc.
That would be the absolute minimum I could take on a warm-weather holiday. (And yes, I’d be in a bit of trouble if it rained the whole time, but that’s what shoe shops are for.) I say I “could” take only these four pairs of shoes, though. I absolutely wouldn’t. Because just one pair of heels to last an entire vacation? No. So if I may be permitted a couple of extras:
5. High wedges
By now you all know that I love me some wedges. They satisfy my need for height, but are almost as comfortable to walk in as flats, sometimes more so. I take either a red pair or a gold pair. Sometimes I take both. (And I’ll let you in on a secret: sometimes I don’t bother with the sneakers I mentioned above and take another pair of heels/wedges instead.)
6. A pair of statement heels
Well, I wouldn’t be the heel-lover I am if I didn’t include at least one more pair, would I? As you can see, mine are red. As are almost all of the other shoes I’ve shown you in this article. What was I saying about it being a neutral?
Of course, packing for a trip is such a personal thing that everyone’s answer to this question will probably be different.
How many pairs of shoes do you usually pack?