From Generations Magazine Seventh Issue
By Annie Reifsteck
How many pairs of shoes should a woman own? When surveyed, most women say they own an average of 20 pairs, but as the saying goes, “A woman can never have too many shoes”. Just ask Connie Miller, who owns 250 pairs. “I’ve always loved buying and wearing good shoes,” says Connie. “I get this from my mother. A great pair of shoes instantly changes our mood and sets the tone for the image we portray.”
“Shoes pick the outfits,” she says. “Depending on the day and what I’ll be doing, I pick my shoes then select my outfit including the pocketbook and accessories. If the sun is shining, it’s going to be patent leather with peep toes and flowing skirt. Wearing a sassy outfit means sassy shoes. For work, it’s comfortable dress shoes or boots to match the suit.”
Connie Miller is Director of Business Development Critical Illness Recovery Hospital Division of Select Specialty Hospital in Johnstown, PA. In this demanding and important position, she is always on the go taking care of other people’s needs. Traveling to several hospitals and healthcare facilities in the region, walking the halls to patient rooms, and running to make all the required meetings, she understands that taking care of yourself, including your feet, is critical. “Give a girl the right shoes and she can conquer the world,” Marilyn Monroe.
Connie is always prepared with eight pairs of shoes under her desk at work and a few more in her car. “I wear comfortable shoes to work, then switch as needed throughout the day for different activities. There’s a no-open-toe policy at work and I’m on my feet a lot, but once I’m at my desk I can switch to more comfortable shoes before slipping on my power shoes for an important meeting, just like a suit makes you feel confident so do the shoes. Successful women still have their feet on the ground. They just wear better shoes.”
When buying a new outfit, that means new footwear that fit and wear well. Connie shared that her mother didn’t grow up with a lot of money, but always bought good shoes that lasted a long time. She actually wore some of her mother’s shoes in high school. “It’s hard to find good shoes that last and are tailored to your work and for multiple occasions.” When she finds footwear she likes, Connie buys them in as many colors as possible, but black, brown, blue, and beige are musts.
Traveling means luggage large enough for all the shoes even if you do need to pay extra, but Connie says it is worth it. “I recently traveled to Florida and took eight pairs of shoes: running/exercise shoes for lots of walking, deck shoes for water excursion, flip flops for by the pool, slides for in the shower and around the hotel, sandals in blue, black and beige, and black peeps for dress. I only wore five of them but felt secure that I was prepared.”
Where do you put 250 shoes and still be able to find the pair you want to wear? You need a large closet with an organized system. Connie’s closet fits this description with shelves floor to ceiling. “When my husband and I built our home, my father helped build the closet which is about 10’ x 12’. I thought it was pretty big at the time, but I’m running out of space and looking at closets.com for ideas to expand and how to be more organized which means more shoes! I truly wear all of my shoes.”
The footwear is stored on shelves three layers back, sorted by color and style. All of the shoes are still in their original boxes marked with the brand, style and color, some with their receipt. Boots and work shoes worn more often are at the bottom where she can grab them quickly.
Don’t forget about the pocketbooks. Connie says she has only about 60, but you don’t need as many colors. Some are seasonal and of course size matters based on the occasion.
For Connie, shoes are more than something you wear, they bring back memories. “I look at my shoes and can remember a day and place I wore them.” But she suggest you should be practical. “You need shoes that fit, wear well, and stay within your means or at least your closet!” Remember, it’s all about the shoes!