The Only Two Pairs of Heels You Need

I recently decided that these two pairs of heels could get me through just about anything requiring a little height.



This wonderful packing and travel website has really influenced my two recent trips to Ireland and Alaska, and there’s been spillover to my wardrobe in general.

This video and packing list for a ten day cruise in a foreign country really blew my mind. Everything you need fits into a duffel bag? Wow.

I tried to put these rules to the test during my recent Alaskan cruise. While I wasn’t perfect, I managed to bring just two pairs of heels.


The left pair is from Sam Edelman. The one on the right is Michael Kors, which I got for a screaming deal on the sale rack at Macy’s. Originally $135, these were marked down to $55.

[Shopping tip on how I scored this sweet deal: they were in the size 9.5 section, which is a half size larger than what I normally buy, but it’s a rack that has a lot more leftover shoes on it than the more popular (smaller) sizes. Think big! With the ankle strap and the pointy toe, going up a half size makes these supportive and supremely comfortable. There is nothing worse than having pinched toes all day. Ouch. Note that I am actually about an 8.75, which is a shoe size that does not exist, but I will get to that later].

Our Alaskan cruise was my sixth Disney cruise, and normally I would bring about five dressy outfits for a seven night trip. Those five outfits often came with five pairs of shoes and at least two evening bags.

This time I brought just two dresses (the cornflower blue Hanna from M.M. LaFleur I mentioned earlier this week) and a plain LBD. I planned to wear each of them twice and then for the rest of the nights, I would wear a pair of black J. Crew pants with a leather tuxedo stripe detail on the side.

I snapped up these J. Crew pants about a year ago on clearance for $29. This is a similar style:

tuxedo stripe

The pants, in particular, are real chameleons. I paired them with a black and white striped peplum top, a sweater and a dressy poncho. I wore them about four times on the trip and could have even reduced my packing to just one dress. I’ll remember this for my next trip.

[And the evening bag: this on trend one from Banana Republic, but in black].


And now back to the shoes.

My one-two combo of nude and black heels covered all the bases.

I saw other people with entire suitcases of shoes (really!) and felt like for once, I’d gotten it right.

One tiny miscalculation: the cool Alaskan temps made my feet a little smaller than usual. The Sam Edelman d’Orsay pair shown above were in a size 9, and my technically-size-8.75-feet kept slipping at the heels. I ended up wearing the nude pair twice, but I didn’t get the mileage out of them that I’d hoped.

When I got home, I managed to take the things that I loved about the black pair and mostly translate it into another nude pair: pointy toes, supportive straps, etc. The Sole Society pair at the very top were $69 at Nordstrom. For these I had to size down to an 8.5 (the only size they had left), but they fit perfectly and are comfortable enough for all day wear (work tested, work approved).

I’m going to try to keep these two pairs in reserve, saving them mostly for travel. I have this weird thing where I don’t like to take really worn-out things on a trip (especially shoes), but I think these will be more than enough for almost any dressy destination.

Now I just need to plan my next adventure…

P.S. The type of pair I would add if I had to bring dressy sandals:


Yes, I am still obsessing over these.












One thought on “The Only Two Pairs of Heels You Need

  1. So I am not sure what this says about me or how I travel, but when we go to Florida I bring the worn out stuff and stuff the kiddo is about to outgrow. That way I have less to bring back. We stop at goodwill donation on the way out. I think I am embarrassed now that I write this . . . .

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