Walking in My Grandma’s Shoes – Literally

It’s known that past trends are echoed within fashion today. Iconic trends are constantly coming back into fashion. Thus, the popularity of vintage clothing. 

Vintage clothes are constantly sought out for their uniqueness - the fact that no one else has that particular piece. It provides a break from mass-produced pieces in department stores and many times you can find cheaper options. With the appeal of vintage clothing came the appeal of going thrift shopping. Extracting that piece from a stuffed clothes rack is the fashion equivalent of Ross Geller finding a dinosaur bone. 

Let me ask you this: Have you ever tried thrift shopping in your mom’s closet? Or even your grandma’s, aunt’s or basically any woman in your life who has lived through different eras of fashion? 

It can be just as rewarding.

Both my mom and grandma are hoarders by nature. Their wardrobes are stuffed to the brim and more boxes and bags are thrown around with clothes inside them. 

When my wardrobe felt old while growing up and I was tired of circulating the same clothes over and over again, deprived of money and/or time to go out and buy something, shopping through their closets was the next best thing. 

I began yearning for some new shoes at the end of high school. There was event after event that required dressing up and I was tired of wearing the same shoes. I asked my grandma if she could help me out. Next thing I know she’s showing up with a giant trash bag. Inside were all the shoes that she could no longer wear. 

“Sometimes when you get older your balancing is not that good,” she told me. 

“I’m afraid I’ll fall down,” she laughs. “That would be disastrous.” 

It’s no wonder why. On top of her clumsiness (she might just be who I get it from), she once fell on her face after rushing inside to grab something while wearing two-inch wedged flip-flops. While she was okay, she ended up with a bruise across her face. She’s refrained from wearing heels since. She figured if she couldn’t wear them, I should instead. 

My favorite pair are chunky three-inch wedged heels, tinted a faded gold. 

I wore them to several events and even brought them to college. There’s an added bonus of hand-me-down clothing versus a random vintage piece you find in a store (besides receiving it for free): you get to know the story behind it. The sentiment is ingrained in every step. 

My grandma upgraded from ballerina flats to heeled-shoes when she was 13. She adored the inches they added to her meager height of 5 feet 2 inches. It was always the final touch to an outfit, the beauty of the shoes accentuating the beauty of her dress. They made her feel elegant. 

She loved to wear heels when going out to dance. Every weekend she and her girls would go to a party, and you wouldn’t find her anywhere else but the dancefloor. 

“I’d never get to sit down,” she told me. By the time one song ended, another guy would come and ask her for a dance (could you imagine having that much clout?). She’d be drenched in sweat by the time she got home. My grandmother was exuberant. 

Now when I wear her shoes, I feel like my grandma’s effervescent energy is with me. (Although I don’t think I could ever pull as much as she did.) 

They may not be brand new but sentiment intertwined within hand-me-down clothing makes wearing them all the better. Learning the story behind them makes you appreciate the piece even more. And even better, they’re free. 

Who would have thought a pair of heels from the 70s could bring my grandma and I even closer.