It’s fairly common practice, I assume, that once a pair of shoes has met an untimely demise (gotten really scuffed, had a seam rip, etc.) that most want to replace them instead of spending the time and energy of fixing them. I know I’ve used this as a reason more than once to get something new. Most things seem to be disposable these days, and I’ll even throw out the cliche of “they don’t make ’em like they used to.”
In an attempt to support my new (non) spending habits, I took a different approach.
I have two pairs of shoes that were starting to look a little rough. One pair (Naturalizer) are silver metallic ballet flats and scuffed like crazy. The other pair (Kate Spade) are black patent leather loafers and the seam between the right shoe and the sole was ripped. I wear both pairs. A lot.
The silver ones I was really looking for an excuse to “upgrade.” I even picked out which shoes I’d replace them with. I have them saved in my Nordstrom’s wish list and everything. But instead of clicking buy this time, I went to Amazon to see if metallic shoe polish was available. To my surprise, it is. A whopping $7.91, instead of the $108.95 + tax I would have spent on new shoes. The polish arrived at my doorstep with minimal effort.
I like polishing shoes. Maybe I’m odd, but I have a kit with several polish colors already, good brushes and soft clothes, and the stand where I can put the shoe I’m working on. I like my shoes to look their best and polishing is just routine maintenance. So I got to work on my silver flats last night. About 20 minutes of my time and the shoes look great again. A slightly different color, yes, but still a great color and no sign of scuffs.
The other pair needed expert help. Luckily, I already have a shoe repair “guy” who does amazing work at reasonable prices. He asked for a week to repair my loafer–as mentioned earlier, the seam where the shoe met the sole had a 3 inch gap. I picked them up yesterday at lunch and you would never know they’d been repaired. $18.40 later, I have my loafers back and I have no excuse to buy the $278 Marc Jacob’s pointy toe flats I’ve been eyeballing.
Right now, it’s a conscious effort. But I’m making that effort to look for better options before replacing something that doesn’t necessarily need replacing. Replacing bad habits with good ones–that’s what this is all about anyway, right?
All it takes is a little effort, and plenty of reminders of why I’m changing my focus in the first place. Keep those budgets attached to real goals, and it really does help.