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The French and their shoes

In quite possibly the least credible survey so far this month, French researchers have revealed that the average Frenchwoman has just nine pairs of shoes (1). Scarcely less believable is the claim of six pairs for French men. I have been testing a shoe theory for 12 years or more, which is that the average woman has a double figure tally of footwear, whereas chaps (bar trainer nutters) will struggle to reach double figures even if they include wellies, last summer's espadrilles and that pair of decaying football boots in the attic. In all the years of asking the question, only one woman has failed to reach double figures, and she was a white woman with dreadlocks and therefore not exactly Ms Average.

Judging from other results, the mean, mode and median of shoe ownership must be quite different:

"4 out of 10 women stop to look in window displays / can't resist going into a show shop". The 2/10 men who feel the same way have Dorothy on speed dial.....

And a third of women with 20+ pairs of shoes think that to have such a number of pairs is "reasonable". The wealthy and Parisiennes were statistically the most likely to think this.

Anyway, I'm eager for Trixy's take on this.

(1) Note that the results were not audited, and anyone who knows a woman with a fondness with footwear knows full well that boots, espadrilles, sandals etc do not count as shoes.

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Blogger Croydonian said... 12:10 pm

Great. Just great - first comment of the day and it is spam.

Was it worth getting up?  

Blogger Caroline Hunt said... 12:29 pm

And you're next comment of the day is going to be an angry Caroline telling you it's a ridiculously flippant stereotype and that I only have 5 pairs of shoes that are in use and as you well know I do not have dreadlocks either.

The reason women's number of shoes is so disproportionately high in most cases is because we always end up having to buy "an outfit" for a wedding or a Tory party dinner or some other such nonsense. This requires the purchase of a pair of shoes that are uncomfortable, impractical and that will never be worn again as they only go with that particular dress you bought for the day that will languish in your wardrobe for years to come. The question is not how many pairs of shoes a woman owns, it's how many she's worn in the last six months.  

Blogger Croydonian said... 12:35 pm

Piling up shoes is a good deal less inately ridiculous than piling up neckties - I have dozens, not that I ever get the chance to wear them - and probably on a par with some of the forms of male collectormania.

However, from my fairly extensive dealings with women, pretty well all of them revel in shoe acquisition.

Anyway, audit that shoe cupboard - how many pairs?  

Blogger Old BE said... 1:14 pm

I get very nervous because I always seem to have more pairs than I expect to, even though I do use them all regularly. I have four pairs in current use and a pair of sandals (no socks required).  

Anonymous Anonymous said... 4:10 am

Excellent post!! I am a shoe lover and have 7 pairs of designer shoes.  

Blogger Trixy said... 9:52 am


I have three shoe racks with 15 pairs on and that doesn't include my designer ones which obviously are kept in the bags and boxes they came in to stop any environmental damage.  

Blogger Croydonian said... 10:18 am

I thought you could be counted upon to do something to the curve.

OK - full disclosure time. Shoes I have worn in the last 6 months - brown half brogues, black oxfords, black full brogues. Other shoes - spare pair of black brogues, pair of rubber soled brown derbies. So, five.

However, add to that one pair of trainers - only ever worn at the gym, a pair of deck shoes, three pairs of brown boots, two pairs of black boots. So twelve in total, although the newest pair is at least 18 months old, and the oldest at least 12 years old.  

Blogger Surreptitious Evil said... 8:56 pm

Oh God ...

Worn in the last six months ...

Black half brogues, black Loakes bulled toe-caps, and the same in brown, my old pair of Church's No1 shoes, gortex Lowas, desert Lowas, desert Magnums (garden, for the use of), gillie brogues, slip-on Church's for airports, trainers (currently normal, old & squash), Brasher stomping around shoes, Brasher dessie sandals.

Then you can add:

Mess wellies, George boots, patent No1 shoes, issue No1 shoes, some deerskin suede brogues, more boots (at least issue, BCH & the new cold weather jobs, set of Timberlands from that Canadian trip & my old Lundhags), waders, pair of Hunters etc, etc. I'll admit to a pair of flip-flops for the pool-side as well.

A small French village on my own :)

Now don't get me started on ties.  

Blogger Croydonian said... 9:06 pm

They mount up don't they?

Back on sartorial weaknesses, I have five leather or suede jackets.  

Anonymous Anonymous said... 11:35 am

Good JoB! :)  

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