13 May 2013

Don't look down, girl

I hate shopping, but I particularly dislike buying bras, jeans and shoes.

With shoes, my anatomy is partly to blame. Being 5'9" (and a bit), I hardly ever wear heels, as they leave me towering over most people. I also have unstable ankles, which makes it physically impossibile for me to wear anything higher than a 2" heel - and a chunky one at that - without repeated sprains. With heels out of the question, choice is always limited, and the current trend for wedges and 5" spikes doesn't help.

Like a lot of people, I also have one foot significantly bigger than the other, which means one shoe always slips off, unless secured by straps.

It's not only the way I'm built that presents problems, though. When shopping, I have to ensure I choose the perfect item: not just one that looks good on, but one that isn't flawed. Once I've found something I like, I spend ages in the changing room, checking for holes or wonky seams or someone else's make-up smears. With shoes, I'll scan the leather for scratches or scuffs or discolouration. 

It's just one of the ways my perfectionism manifests itself. 

Taking all of the above into account, have a look at some shoes I bought recently (thank you, Clarks, where shoe sense still prevails). 

Photo: Peter Gettins Photography
Flat, velcro straps and not completely frumpy. Perfect.

Photo: Peter Gettins Photography
Or are they? Look closer.

Can you see it? - the vertical line of stitching doesn't follow quite the same path on each shoe, as it connects with the horizontal. Once that had caught my eye, I couldn't help noticing the tiny, out-of-place stitch in the vertical stitching on the right shoe.

Finally, when I put them side by side for them to be photographed for this post, I realised the straps weren't in exactly the same position: you can see the gap between the strap and the front of the shoe is bigger on the right one. Well, you can if you have eyes like a hawk and nothing better to do than pick metaphorical holes in a pair of £39.99, Made-in-China shoes. Mind you, I reckon I could find equal fault with a £300 pair of Jimmy Choos, which is a very good reason not to waste that amount of money covering my feet.

The bad news is, once I've found miniscule - and unimportant - faults like these, they'll niggle for ages.

The good news is, the same faults make it more likely that I'll actually wear the shoes. I'm always reluctant to use new items, because I know that as soon as I put them on, I'll spoil them; based on past experience and my inherent clumsiness. So, I leave them in my wardrobe - sometimes for months - where they won't get stained, or ripped, or scuffed. I bought these shoes more than seven weeks ago and I still haven't worn them, 'imperfect' as they are.

At least it's a long way from my eyes to my feet. I can't forget the flaws are there, but maybe if I just don't look down, I can pretend they're not.

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