I have a very practical approach to shoes. I buy a few pairs and wear them to death, repeat.
I also cannot stand to pay more than ten dollars for a pair of shoes I plan to wear to death. Don't ask me why. I also have an eight-dollar sweater rule. It makes it very painful to shop outside of the off-season, but nevermind.
Yesterday I kicked off my shoes at the end of the day, and later heard them whimpering and licking their wounds in the corner of the closet. When I went to see what was wrong, they flinched and tried to scoot away from me. So since I had just been given a $25 gift certificate to a certain major department store, I went to check out their shoe selection. I was excited to see a rack of shoes 50% off! Less excited to find that the discounted price of every pair exceeded my gift card allowance.
The best option was a very uninspiring pair of black flats for $24. Sure, I could pay $24 for a pair of shoes I don't love, but I'd rather pay $8 for a pair I do.
So on the advice of a fellow cheapskate, I went to check out the store's outlet. I was immediately encouraged by racks of $6.99 sweaters. And they had shoes. Cute, sassy, fun, inspiring shoes! I cautiously approached a pair of black flats and struck up a conversation.
"Hi there," I said. The shoes smiled and looked interested, so I continued.
"I couldn't help but notice you're sitting under a red clearance sign. I'm sure this is a terribly personal question, but I was just wondering how much you are."
"$9.99," said the pair.
"You're kidding! Hey, I hope this isn't some scene where all the cute, affordable shoes are tiny. Do you mind if I ask what size you are?"
"Hmm! Would you be willing to pretend you're a 9?"
The shoes agreed, and three more pairs joined the party. And we all lived happily ever after. And I have a new favorite store. But I'm not giving you any more details because those are MY $6.99 sweaters.