I Have Bad Luck With Orange Shoes

a pair of orange leather ESH by Estée Isman slip-on shoes

I bought a pair of soft orange leather shoes about three years ago, and after I coated them in protectant spray, I left them to dry on the dining room table. A lovely, warm spring sun shone on half the table over two days before I noticed that the one shoe caught in the beam of sun had lightened to a slightly different colour than the other shoe.

To this day, they are two slightly different oranges, and I’ve only worn them once because of it. I doubt anyone could tell the difference between them, but I spend the whole time they’re within range staring at my feet and willing them to match.

Ever since that first orange pair ended up mismatched, I’ve lusted after orange shoes. I’ve also wanted a pair of Campers for ages, and I finally found the perfect orange suede pair on the Nordstrom Rack app (which is great, by the way, especially if you live hundreds of kilometres from the nearest Nordstrom Rack outlet like I do). I tried not to give in and buy them, because my shoe rack is stupid full, but you know I had to. I convinced myself that shoe kismet was a thing.

When the already beloved Campers arrived in the mail, I tore open the package and pulled out…


a pair of orange suede campers with red laces

You probably can’t see what I’m talking about. Let me help you. Look at the left one. That’s how it’s supposed to look: a little richer, a little redder. The one on the right had the hallmarks of a display shoe in a sunny store: its toe was slightly smudged — it was no big deal, because I just rubbed it clean with a felt furniture leg pad — and it was sunbleached just a quarter shade lighter than the shoe kept in the box.

They’re gorgeous, and at a 50% discount, I didn’t want to go to the trouble of sending them back, so now our sunny kitchen windowsill is decorated with a left orange Camper, because I’m going to have an orange pair of shoes that are both the same orange, dammit. I will.

one orange leather ESH by Estée Isman slip-on shoe as seen under a table

one orange leather ESH by Estée Isman slip-on shoe as seen under a table

I really did try to get over it. I even told myself that if I wore them in the evening, no one, not even a fellow designer, would probably be able to tell the difference, but I just can’t handle it. I obsess about balance, and I knew It would end up like the last time I wore a pair of mismatched shoes out in public. I spent the whole time checking out my own feet under the table while Aidan gave a speech. I kept pretending I just had an itchy ankle to try to cover for the obsessive foot-checking, but I’m pretty sure that the other couple at our table thought I had a pitiable skin condition by the time the night was over. It’s like my brain can’t believe they’re not exactly the same, because otherwise what is reality but a mad, unbalanced, chaotic pile of crap, right? HOW CAN SUCH BEAUTIFUL ORANGE SHOES, A PAIR MADE TO MATCH IN EVERY OTHER WAY, BE JUST A SLIVER AWAY FROM THE SAME ORANGE HUE?! MY GOD, PEOPLE. IT JUST CANNOT STAND.

So here’s to hoping the sun will lighten the left shoe just enough so I can wear them like regular person with a regular level of colour deviation acceptance would.

It’s fine. It’s all totally fine.

I’m taking part in National Blog Posting Month, which means I’m posting on this blog every day throughout November. You can follow along and see who else is posting this month by following these hashtags on Twitter: #NetPositiveBlog and #NaBloPoMo.