How Many Shoes Should You Have in Your Closet

TBF’s Repost Series, republishes top content from our archives. This post first appeared in Feb 2007.

Dear Budget Fashionista:

How many pairs of shoes are considered too many? I have about 50 pairs in my closet right now and I would say thats quite a bit. I would like to hear everyone’s thoughts on how many pairs of shoes they have in their closet as well as how many pairs are considered too many or “a lot” ?


At any given moment, I have 15 pairs of shoes in my closet. Not a lot for someone who’s into fashion, but that’s because I recycle my clothes quite often and because of my strange big feet, I have to spend more money on shoes than any other clothing item.  Plus I actually WEAR, all the shoes in my closet.

Remember the key to a good shoe wardrobe and a good wardrobe period is QUALITY, not QUANTITY. As women, we wear the number of shoes in our closet as a badge of honor, yet, we don’t WEAR most of them. I betcha you only wear like 10, maybe 15, of your 50 pairs of shoes and the others are long forgotten. I say sell them off, so you can fully enjoy the ones you actually wear.

To be honest, you really only NEED five pairs of shoes:

  • Pair of Tennis Shoes/sneakers
  • Pair of Black pumps
  • Pair of Sandals  (with a strap that strategically covers your “problem” toe)
  • Pair of Black or Brown boots (midcalf to knee high that you could wear in the snow or rain and still look fabulous)
  • Pair of Flats(or shoe with a slight heel if flats are uncomfortable)

Obviously most of us aren’t going to have just 5 pairs of shoes in our closet.. so here’s some other shoes you should have as “shoe wardrobe stretchers”:

  • Pair of Sexy Shoes (i.e stilletos, peep toe, red patent leather, whatever)
  • Pair of Wellies or Snow Boots (cause let’s face, sometimes it’s just too cold (or rainy) to be cute
  • Pair of cheap Trendy Shoes (bright neon, extra pointed, jelly, you get the picture)
  • Second Pair of Boots (especially if you live in the midwest, northeast or northwest)
  • Pair of Brown Heels
  • Pair of Trendy Sneakers (so you can look cute while you shop)
  • Pair (or two) of Flip-flops ( they’re just so practical)

How Many Pairs of Shoes Do You Have in Your Closet?

Catherine Brock

Owner and Editor at The Budget Fashionista
As a Southern California transplant now living in the Midwest, Catherine has turned layering into an art form and accepted that UGGs actually do have a place in the stylish lady's wardrobe. She's been featured in Woman's World Magazine,, Refinery29, and has made appearances on ABC7 Chicago, FOX2News St. Louis, KCAL9 Los Angeles, Fox19 Cincinnati, WGN TV Chicago and WCPO TV Cincinnati.
Catherine Brock