We all have a thing. For some of us, one can never have too many bags, while others collect jewellery and other sparkly things like magpies.
For social content creator Nellie Lim, it’s shoes.
Shoes speak louder than words
“I try not to count how many pairs of shoes I have because it makes my partner very upset, haha!”
But Nellie finally gives us a number, saying ‘over 70 pairs’ would be a very conservative and skewed estimate.
Amongst her many pairs, some of her favourites include a pair of lace-up leather sandals from Gucci, sandals from the Sophia Webster and Chiara Ferragni collaboration, and a pair of Bionda Castana Alexandra snakeskin pumps.
And here’s the shocker — it only took her four years to collect so many pairs.
“I started investing in shoes once I started working and earning my own keep. It didn’t feel right using the allowance from my parents to buy material things so my shoe collection only started four years back.”
While most of us like to keep our vices on the down-low, Nellie has done the complete opposite by celebrating and sharing her love for shoes in the most apt way for a blogger and social influencer this digital age — with a dedicated hashtag for it on Instagram.
“I enjoy sharing things that I love, so naturally my love for shoes needed its very own hashtag so my followers will find it easier to view my entire shoe collection!”
A search for #NelliesShoefie brings up 178 tagged shoe pictures, with almost 1000 likes for each photo. It’s obvious her 41,300 followers on Instagram love her shoefies as much as she does.
So, how does one take a great shoefie? It seems tricky, seeing how feet aren’t the most glamorous thing to take pictures of. But somehow Nellie makes it work — it’s all about keeping things interesting.
“Most of my followers prefer extreme close ups of my heels so they can really see the details of the shoes. It’s also important to keep changing how you take photos of your shoefie with different angles, lighting and background. Getting a good pedicure is also equally important because no one wants to see unkempt toe nails and cracked heels.”
The Shoe Wall
#NelliesShoefie is just one way she showcases her love for sweet kicks: The fashion influencer also has a shoe display wall.
Designed and built by her father, an interior designer, the shoe wall holds pairs that are too precious to be kept in their boxes, including those that’ve been personally signed by the designers themselves.
She’s also done some pretty crazy stuff for her shoes, like walking barefoot in public to prevent her shoes from getting soaked in puddles and going the extra mile for a pair she covets.
“I was hunting for a particular pair of Jimmy Choos which were launched a few seasons before and completely sold out online. I scoured every Jimmy Choo store in London, Europe and then in New York, before locating it in the store room of an outlet store after three months!”
A little TLC
It may seem over-the-top to some to go such great lengths for shoes, but Nellie’s passion for them is palpable. To her, it’s not just about its aesthetics and how well it completes an outfit; the craftsmanship behind the shoes and the confidence each pair lends its wearer is equally important.
That’s why she’s a fan of designers and brands like Sophia Webster, Stuart Weitzman, Bionda Castana, Aquazzura and Paul Andrew, who are all known for creating distinct pairs that look amazing on any women’s feet.
Her love for shoes is also reflected in the great care she takes to maintain them.
“I always clean the pair I’m wearing once I get home, especially the soles and the insides to ensure dirt doesn't stick on them. Sometimes I also use suede sprays on some of my more delicate shoes to ensure they stay clean. It also helps to bring your shoes to your favourite cobbler to get your soles changed from time to time.”
Shoes maketh the outfit
Nellie takes plenty of #OOTD shots for both her blog and Instagram, but with so many pairs, where does she even start to choose which one to wear? “It all depends on my mood that day,” she says, “my decision process usually starts with whether I want to dress for the shoe or to dress for the outfit, and my choice can vary from simple to very dressy.”
And when it comes between heels and flats, the decision is simple.
“Heels! Every. Single. Time.”
Nellie’s Top 5 Tips For Walking In Heels:
1. Posture is key, so try to lean back slightly when you’re wearing heels to maintain balance.
2. When wearing heels, put your heel down first, followed by your toes to make your strides more natural.
3. Don’t be impatient — there’s a learning curve when it comes to wearing heels. Start with something shorter, like a two-inch heel to get used to the height and posture, then work your way up to killer heels.
4. There’s no shame in taking a seat occasionally to give your feet a chance to rest so that you’ll be able to walk more comfortably.
5. Make sure your heels fit! If your shoes are ill-fitting, it’s almost impossible to walk naturally.
Photos: @nellielim via Instagram
For more fashion stories, head here. Or check out The Guy Who Rents A Storage Unit For His Clothes or What Fashion Editors REALLY Think Of Regular People’s Style.