Vanity + Wearables

White shoes!

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As you may know from my Instagram, we’ve been doing a pretty massive spring cleaning at Door Sixteen—every room (yes, even the basement), every closet, every box—and I’ve been paring down my shoe collection to only the few pairs that I wear with any regularity. I even set up a second Instagram account for a D16 yard sale, where I’ve been selling the many pairs of shoes that didn’t make the cut. (There’s more to come, by the way—shoes and otherwise!)

And what did I do to celebrate my shoe adieu? I BOUGHT ANOTHER PAIR OF SHOES. I know, I know. But my goal is to own two pairs of boots, two pairs of flats, two pairs of sandals, and two pairs of “fancy” heels. I’m all set on the boots and the sandals, but I need flats. I’ve also been wanting to add a pair of white shoes to the rotation, but I wanted them to be not quite so white that they looked like golf shoes. Not that there’s anything wrong with golf shoes, but I can’t pull that look off.

So, I’m walking to work, and I pass the Clarks store on Madison Avenue. It’s early, they’re open, and it’s dead inside…so I go inside and take a look. Clarks is one of those brands where you kind of have to see past all of the stuff that’s probably very practical but also very hideous, and just look for the few pieces that really hit the mark. As soon as I walked in, my eye went right to these babies.

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Oooooh, I love them. They’re the Hotel Image style in Cotton, which is very subtly off-white without looking dingy. It’s sort of a super-pale, creamy beige-white. Much less stark than you might imagine white shoes being. The cutouts on the sides feel summery without making the shoes unwearable in at least three seasons (they’d be so cute with black socks/tights), they’re super-comfy right out of the box, and the construction quality is excellent. When I buy shoes, I want to know they’ll be able to hold up over time, and I don’t mean time spent sitting in my closet until I decide to sell them on Instagram (heh), I mean frequent wearing and walking long distances on concrete sidewalks.

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Why yes, I did lie on my back in my office with my iPhone in order to take these photos! All of my coworkers were out to lunch at the time, fortunately. Or unfortunately, since I know they’d have enjoyed the whole thing.

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Here are my new shoes out in the wild! They’re so photogenic. It’s going to take a while for me to get used to looking down and not seeing black shoes, but I’m feeling this look. I’ve only worn them with jeans so far, but I think they’ll work with dresses, too.

For reference, this style runs a little large. I usually wear a solid size 10 shoe, but I had to go down to a 9½ with these. They also come in Light Tan and Honey, which is sort of a mustardy-yellow. (Navy and Mushroom are discontinued, but you can get them on major clearance!)

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(I had to take a blog break for a while. I’m back. Hi there!)

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21 Comments

  • Reply Simone May 29, 2015 at 3:44 pm

    Glad you’re back. (Sometimes you gotta do what you gotta fo). Lovely shoes.

  • Reply Anna May 29, 2015 at 3:50 pm

    I’m so glad you are back. Have a good weekend!

  • Reply Fe May 29, 2015 at 4:55 pm

    I love that you’re wearing a pair of Clarks shoes – a great British company ! My mum dragged me into Clarks at the start of every new school term, believe me Clarks these days are a billion times better !!!

  • Reply Danielle May 29, 2015 at 5:15 pm

    Great shoes! And welcome back! 🙂

  • Reply Katrina May 29, 2015 at 10:43 pm

    They look great! I think Clarks has really hit the mark a couple times this season. I bought the sandals that look very similar to those shoes in “nude” and I too am in love. Please post more!

  • Reply Heather May 29, 2015 at 11:48 pm

    Those are great! I wish I could justify some new shoes. Maybe if I get rid of some….

  • Reply Junedotbe May 30, 2015 at 2:09 am

    Yay ! You’re back !
    Love the shoes and I’m curious to read more about the big spring cleaning you’re doing… I’m halfway through one of these myself (probably something to do with hitting the 10-year mark in my place and needing a serious change). So I would love to read about other’s endeavors.

  • Reply Kate May 30, 2015 at 5:19 am

    From another Brit I love the fact you’re wearing Clarks shoes! Clarks used to be a by-word for seriously uncool school shoes over here but they have some great styles these days and are still sooo comfy. I just wish I was closer to take part in your yard sale. Also, welcome back!

  • Reply PhillyLass May 30, 2015 at 8:08 am

    I actually love Clarks! I bought a pair of boots from them over a year ago and they make me so happy every time I see them in my closet. Classic style. Well constructed. I know I’ll be wearing them for years and years. I give them a ton of use and, so far, they’re really holding up.

  • Reply Amelie May 30, 2015 at 11:10 am

    Hi there and welcome back! Or is it us who are welcome back? Anyway, good looking shoes!

  • Reply Fiona May 31, 2015 at 3:16 am

    Clarks! For once, a shoe that fits my giant feet. They’re lovely.

  • Reply caroline June 1, 2015 at 8:12 am

    Super comfortable shoes, as the other UK commenters say, we were forced to wear Clarks shoes to school over here. They’ve really caught up now though and for the last ten years or so I’ve always had at least one pair of Clarks on rotation – stylish and always comfy!

  • Reply Phoebe June 1, 2015 at 1:15 pm

    I have finally come around to Clarks, too. In the past 2 months, I’ve bought the Romantic Moon sandals, and the Feature Film flats – both in black. Comfort is key, and these both have it! Love your oxfords.

  • Reply RebeccaNYC June 1, 2015 at 2:56 pm

    BWAhahahahaaaa!!!! I just cleaned out my shoes, too…and I just threw those exact shoes away!!!! What’re the chances?

  • Reply Janet June 2, 2015 at 11:57 pm

    Leather shoes? But you’re vegan? Or is it because Morrissey also wears leather shoes? I’m confused.

    • Reply Anna @ D16 June 3, 2015 at 10:50 am

      Hi Janet, no, I’m not a vegan. I have had a completely vegan diet for about 5 years now, but I don’t use the word “vegan” to describe myself unless it’s in a situation where I need to easily explain (like to a server in a restaurant) what I do/don’t eat. I’ve written a lot in the past about my choice to continue wearing leather shoes, and if you’ll forgive the laziness on my part, I’ll copy/paste something I wrote recently (check the comments on that post for context) that explains where I stand at the moment:

      + + + + + + + +

      Hi Alicia! My thoughts on this are…all over the damn place, frankly. I bought a cowhide rug during my pre-vegan*, post-vegetarian “meat rumspringa,” and I have since given it away as its presence in my home made me too uncomfortable. I do still own a large, beautiful sheepskin, though, which I have decided to hold on to since my dogs (the two most important animals in my life) absolutely love snuggling up on it. As long as they’re getting something out of it, it stays.

      And, of course, I have wool rugs and wool sweaters and leather shoes, so where do you draw the line? Am I OK having a well-rounded selection of quality leather shoes that I can repair and continue wearing indefinitely? Or is it better to buy faux-leather shoes that are (often) less repairable and (often) made in factories that are environmentally and ethically questionable? I think I lean toward the former option, especially now that a lot of my shoes are going on more than a decade of wear. It’s a tough topic, and not one that I claim to have all of the answers on. Hell, I don’t even know if I have a clear opinion that I’m comfortable with myself—every purchase is its own decision.

      That’s not really what you asked, though. 😉 I don’t personally think that faux fur/hide or fake meat products are exploiting an ethical loophole, no. It’s really a personal choice. If you’re going to look at that rug and see it as an animal skin, let it go. There’s no shortage of beautiful rugs out there that don’t look like dead animals, after all. Also, think about the quality and longevity of the thing. If it’s just going to wind up in a landfill in 5 years, let it go. As long as you’re making these decisions based on your own views, beliefs, and level of comfort and not how you think your purchases might interpreted by others, then you can’t really go wrong. Follow your heart. 🙂

      *FWIW, I don’t actually like to self-identify as “vegan.” I have a totally vegan diet, yes, but I think that saying you’re vegan carries with it a commitment to an entire lifestyle that I haven’t fully made. Out of respect for people who have, I avoid wearing that badge other than in certain situations (ordering food in a restaurant, for example).

      + + + + + + + +

      p.s. I’m 99% sure Morrissey gave up leather a few years ago (he also recently quit dairy and eggs—good for him!), but his personal choices have no bearing on mine. They did when I was 14 (and I am incredibly grateful to him for that), but not at 39.

  • Reply Jemma June 3, 2015 at 7:18 am

    Fab! Yes Clarks get it right sometimes, luckily, as they seem to be the only shop I find anything remotely comfortable in. 3rd winter now for my Clarks boots and they still look good. I have 2 pairs of flat buckle up granny sandals and I tell myself I look like Alexa Chung in them. Not sure it’s actually true! Only thing is the pale crepe sole looks so dirty and GROSS. Eyeballing those Romantic Moon sandals mentioned above now.

    • Reply Anna @ D16 June 3, 2015 at 10:57 am

      Laughing at “I tell myself I look like Alexa Chung in them,” because I do this on a daily basis when it comes to…um, just about everything…but I’m 100% sure I’m deluding myself. Hah!

      Have you tried a Magic Eraser on the sole? I bet that would clean ’em up nicely!

    • Reply Jemma June 4, 2015 at 4:54 am

      Just keep believing!

  • Reply Stephanie Berry June 10, 2015 at 11:05 am

    These are very cute. I have several pairs of Clark sandals but no shoes. Shoes you can walk in without pain are nice. My whitish shoes are Born Motts.

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