Sunday, February 13, 2011

Prerequisites: Flats

In any job, and for any person, there are a few clothing staples that are nearly impossible to live without. Prerequisites for working, if you will (you wouldn't believe how long it took me to come up with an academic title for this series). For the next few weeks, I'd like to take some time on the weekends to explore what those prerequisites are in academia. Of course, these are specific to me, so if you're also an academic and think I'm missing something, shout it on out!

The number one article of clothing I need to make my job easier is flat shoes. Don't get me wrong, I love heels, but I spend three hours a day standing in front of a class, plus time walking across the campus of a giant state university to get to those classes, plus all the running around I do at my office (to the copier, to the students' files in the main office, etc.). I've tried to do this in heels and my feet always hate me by lunchtime. Flats have become an absolute must for me. Only in extreme circumstances (as in, I'm feeling extremely stupid) will I wear heels to work anymore.

I have several pairs of flats, but there a few that I keep falling back on. Since Cary and I are both teachers, we're not rolling in cash, so I try to keep all my shoes under $40 a pair, with very few exceptions:

Red flats, like these from Target. Mine look a lot like this, and I have almost worn them out. Red shoes go with almost everything, and they make me happy when I wear them. They're also season-appropriate in the summer or the winter. These are probably the most-worn shoes in my closet.

Interesting black flats, like these from Forever 21. Black flats with no embellishment are pretty boring, but just add a bow or some sparkle and they start to say something. I have a patent leather peep-toe pair with buckles over the toes, and a faux suede pair with a gauze rosette on each toe.

Metallics, like these from Payless. These are neutrals with a bit of pizzazz. Depending on how they're made, you can wear them in any season. I have a pair of lattice-work gold flats that are really only warm enough for summer (which lasts from April to Christmas here), but a pair like these would work anytime.

TOMS are awesome because they combine charity and comfort. For every pair  you buy, they give a pair to a kid who doesn't have shoes. And I promise TOMS isn't paying me to say that. I have these, but I really like these burlap classics. They're a little more expensive than the other shoes I've mentioned here, but when you consider the fact that you're paying for two pairs of shoes, plus the labor to transport one of those pairs to another country, the price is pretty reasonable.

So, readers, what are the prerequisites for your jobs? What can you not work without? Chime in anytime!

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