Shoes: The Best First Impression
I have a theory that proves you can decide whether or not you like a person in a single glance. I know it sounds harsh, but I use this technique almost every time I try to figure someone out. The first thing I look for, and really the only evidence for or against the person I need, is his or her shoes. And nine times out of ten, my first impression is correct based on this strategy.
I have logical proof for my theory. If, for example, you’re a person who respects yourself, you’ll wear a certain kind of shoe that reflects your feelings about your body. You won’t wear a shoe that can permanently damage your physique, but you will wear one that flatters your personality. Witness the picture directly below. A woman willing to wear stilettos like these has enough self-confidence to forgive herself even if she falls off the two-inch by two-centimeter heel that holds up her entire body weight in front of everyone she encounters.
Without seeing any other aspect of a person’s appearance, aside from the shoes, you can make a very educated guess about how that person spends her day. Looking at the lavish heels below, you can assume with some confidence that the owner spends much of her day in front of a mirror. A woman who wears fancy jewels and pearls on her feet expresses a wealth that certainly surpasses my own, which tells everyone who sees the shoes that this person cares very much about her appearance. In fact, she cares so much about the impression she makes, she expects people to pay attention to every detail she so carefully made a point of perfecting.
Pretend for a moment that you like to take long walks outside with your Golden Retriever. You just happen to stumble across a few construction workers putting up a new building at the end of the street. Instead of glancing at the construction workers’ faces, you could use my tried and true methods and simply stare at their feet first. You might see the pair of shoes below and possibly assume that you have plenty in common with this man. Most construction workers are required to wear a certain kind of shoe. This man wears boots built for hard work and comfort, which means he probably does work hard. He likes to be outside and stay active, and he’s not afraid to get dirty, but he also has a great sense of style that most likely reflects the way he feels about himself. Who knows? He may even like dogs.
A long time ago, I met a person I won’t name in order to protect his identity and reputation. My first impression of this man proved correct because I did what our society tells me not to do — I judged him by his footwear. He was wearing spotless Hollywood fashionista shoes that still managed to hint at some degree of masculinity. The shoes made me think of someone who strives for perfection, works hard, and conveys an attitude of astute artistic ability, a person with whom I definitely don’t get along. He happens to be one of the most self-absorbed people I know, but he works harder than most and demonstrates impressive creative flair. Too bad he can’t reach perfection.
Now, take the shoes pictured below. A person who wears these gives away more of his personality than he knows. These shoes obviously stem from the designer’s desire to create a highly comfortable and versatile shoe. The wearer of the shoe provides us with the knowledge that he cares more about his own comfort than he does about what others think of this nontraditional shoe. He has to be bold enough to be different from most other people, which means he also has the confidence to stand out in other ways. I like this person already.
Finally, please observe the woman below and imagine we’re at that party. If we encounter this woman decorating a nearby sofa, I might be inclined to strike up a conversation with her if I can somehow manage to just focus on her face. But honestly, I would have a hard time thinking up interesting conversational topics because I would be terribly distracted by her extraterrestrial heels. This kind of shoe forces the viewer to wonder about the wearer’s personality. If she dares to wear such an outrageous article of clothing, what other monstrosities might she commit?
Despite the fact that I use this nearly foolproof method to assess people, I’ve been wrong before. Though I loath to admit that my method isn’t perfect, I can say that it works most of the time. Shoes provide people with comfort, a way to express their unique styles, and a way to get from point A to point B without accumulating unwanted remnants of the chosen path. It’s entirely up to you if you choose to adopt my method or not. Just remember that according to fashion industry expert Rachel Zoe, “[s]tyle is a way to say who you are without having to speak,” and I agree with her.