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the shoes make the outfit

   Even before I managed a shoe store, I knew what a key role they played in each and every outfit. Putting on a great pair of shoes is the quickest way to elevate whatever you’re wearing, and on the flip side, nothing will undermine your style more than  a scuffed up pair of kicks. You can dress something slouchy + casual up with heels like I’ve done here, or add some cool to your professional garb with a pair of sneakers.

Whatever type you choose, my number one piece of advice is to invest in and take care of your shoes. I have some cheap pairs from places like Forever 21, but for the lack of quality and comfort the price isn’t usually worth it in the long run. If you’re getting fast fashion shoes for $30-$50/pair, it can add up quick if you just end up replacing them more often. Don’t have hundreds to spend on shoes? Me neither – but you can usually score good deals on quality footwear if you don’t mind shopping slightly out of season. I actually got the open toe shoes above last winter for 50% off. I’m the worst person to give this advice since I own so many, but you don’t need a million pairs of shoes just a few that cover the basic (bootie, heel, sneaker, flat) styles.

All you need to do to protect your investment is some minor weekly maintenance and maybe a seasonal repair (heel cap or resole at the cobbler) as needed. Not only will they last longer, but you’ll look a million times better if your shoes are polished, protected from the elements and kept in like-new condition. It doesn’t take long or cost much to care for your shoes, and it’s worth the extra work to make sure you always have the perfect pair!

Shoes: Steve Madden 

Waterproofing Spray: $14, White Polish (I just bought this am in love for my sneakers!): $7, Complete Shoe Care Kits for $19, $26 or $35

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