Are Your Shoes “Romantic?”

Nordstron Caslon sandals

Recently I was at Nordstrom and was delighted to see how they had interpreted sandals in their own brand, Caslon. (BTW, the Nordstrom annual sale is on right now.*) There are a lot of different shoe styles here that work for a variety of archetypes. But I was interested to see how much the Romantic archetype was represented. Let’s break down the elements.

Romantic shapes

When you see a textile knotted gently (as opposed to thick rope-like knots) you know you are looking at a Romantic shape, particularly if it’s in a soft and drape-y suede like these sandals. To my eye this looks like a more yin version of what Eileen Fisher has been offering for a few years.

Eileen Fisher sport sandals

Natural shapes

This is how Eileen Fisher does it. The color and texture of the lighter one reads as Angelic. The black one, because of its shine and size of the straps, read just slightly Dramatic. But, as with much of her clothing and shoes, due to the softer leather and sportier look there is a lot of Natural there. This (on the right) is the same shoe. But with the perforation on the leather these could work for someone who was both Natural and Youthful with a bit of the High Spirited archetype. (Little repetitive patterns are mostly Youthful.)

Caslon flats

Dramatic Shapes

Let’s contrast all that with these Caslon flats on the left. That’s a lot of yang represented there in the dramatically pointed toe. Straight exaggerated lines are consistent with Dramatic style. But the simplicity also says Classic. So these could work for someone with a lot of Drama tempered by some Classic style. The color harmonies they most likely would work for are (white) Lively Bright, Striking Contrast, and possibly Subtle Blended, (bronze) Earthy Rich, and (black) primarily Striking Contrast.

Lewit Elena slides

Youthful and Romantic Shapes

Finally, slides have been big this past year. (Personally I find them challenging because you have to clench your toes a bit to get them to stay on: not great for the feet.) These Lewit Elena slides would work for both Romantic and Youthful style types. The ruffled ones, because they are only small ruffles, read as Youthful. The ruching on the bottom ones is a little Romantic but is also mixed with Classic because of the simplicity of the design. (That high heel on the top, btw, is Dramatic with some Romantic.)

We don’t think much about archetypal essences when we buy shoes. We often buy for comfort, utility, or just because we see something that looks fantastic. But it’s a fun exercise to consider how our shoes match or complement our wardrobe. If there is a bit of a disconnect between your clothes and your new shoes it might due to the fact that they are too yin or yang for the rest of what you wear. If you are in doubt about a shoe, just imagine the same texture and silhouette as an article of clothing. Whenever you feel that a jacket or top or just anything  – including your shoes – is more yin or yang than you would normally wear, that’s the clue that it probably doesn’t work for you.Pink dot shopping bag illustration

If you want to know more about your own style archetypes, there is a great questionnaire in my book, Shopping for the Real You, that can help you determine which style essences you most embody.

[*When I post affiliate links I may receive a small commission on any sales generated. Just wanted to make sure you know that. And I only post links to things I actually like… :-)]

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Shopping for the Real You front cover image





About the Author:

Author of Shopping for the Real You, Andrea Pflaumer, is a non-fiction writer in the San Francisco Bay Area and host of the video series, Vital, Vivacious, and Visible after 50. She has written extensively about fashion for local and national publications and is a regular contributor to the Huffington Post, Better After 50, Sixty and Me, She Savvy, and Prime Women. Her free ten-lesson course, A Lazy Person's Guide to the Perfect Wardrobe, is available on