Sea of Shoes

Welcome to the whimsical world of the vibrantly talented fashionista and style blogger, Jane Aldridge, and her epic blog, “Sea of Shoes.” Jane embodies a unique, edgy, and timeless class, seamlessly combining nearly all fashion styles with personality and spunk. She is a storm of intrigue, forging her own trends, with a firm pulse on what’s en vogue, and making monumental waves. Deemed one of the earliest pioneers in the blogging world, Jane launched her inclusive style blog in 2007, at the tender age of fifteen. Residing in Dallas, TX, and now twenty-five years old, “Sea of Shoes” is sailing at racing speeds. Jane has already partnered with notable top brands such as Barneys, Gucci, Marc Jacobs, Veuve Clicquot, Tory Burch, and Stuart Weitzman, to name a few. Her blog encompasses style, beauty, travel, interior design, food and drink, and so much more. She also collaborates with the stunning interior design blog, “Atlantis Home,” run by her mom, Judy. “Thyme & Temp,” a food blog, is another joint effort with her husband, Jeff. There is no shortage of demands to keep Jane busy, and still so many uncharted waters to explore.

How and why did you first embark upon blogging? What inspired you?

Blogging wasn’t really a thing when I started out. There were a few, like Bryanboy and Susie Bubble, and I loved following them. I had taken a few outfit photos, so I thought I could start on my own, but I didn’t really think I would have lasting interest in it. I was fifteen and busy with school. I developed friendships with the very few readers I had, and I kept at it. I was always immersed in fashion growing up. My mom was a model and had a fashion line in the mid-to-late eighties, and was a life-long vintage collector. I started collecting vintage clothing when I was about ten or eleven; the love was always there for me.

Where did the name “Sea of Shoes” derive from?

My mom’s old clothing label was called “Atlantis Home” and I wanted to continue the nautical legacy somehow. I wanted to use an octopus as my logo because that was her old tag design, too. So, I drew an octopus holding a shoe with each tentacle, and there it was – Sea of Shoes! The drawing of the octopus came before the name. Then, I scanned that drawing and had it as my logo for about five years.

Describe your blogging style.
It’s very natural and never forced. I try to photograph what I’m really wearing in real life and write about what I’m inspired by in the moment.

What do you provide to your readers that makes you unique?
I think a lot of people who love fashion are very disenchanted by the state of the industry right now. With fast fashion, retail fatigue, warp-speed trend-cycling, it can seem lacking in substance and meaning. A lot of my readers say they appreciate seeing me wear the same clothes over and over for the last ten years. I’m a big advocate of shopping second-hand and recycling your clothes. I think that is something unique to how I approach “Sea of Shoes.”

How would you describe your personal style?
Eclectic. I do not subscribe to any style ethos. I tend to just buy what appeals to my magpie eye, at random. I love every era of fashion and I will mix clothes anywhere from the 20s to the 90s. I do love drama. Big sleeves, lots of volume, lots of color.

Favorite color to wear and why?
I love red. It packs a punch of drama like nothing else.

If you could go back in time and live in the 60s, 70s, or 80s, which one would you choose and why?
I like late 70s, early 80s fashion. So many styles and inspirations were clashing, and it was a time that many of my favorite designers were working. I’d love to go shop at Nieman’s in 1978.

How many shoes do you have?
Two hundred to two hundred and fifty – I am afraid to count.

Current fashion obsession?

I have these western ankle boots by Frye. I got them about two years ago, but I wear them so much that they are in tatters. I finally bought the same style in black with cowboy-boot style embroidery. They are the Shane Western Boots in black. I have had them for one week and I have not worn any other shoes yet. I’m a lifelong fan of Frye boots.

What do you do in your spare time?

My husband and I have a food blog, “Thyme & Temp.” We are constantly cooking and baking together or entertaining friends. I read cookbooks constantly, front to cover. I am food obsessed! I find the kitchen the happiest and most relaxing place to be.

Any music you have been listening to lately that you love?

I’ve been listening to Manu Dibango, and the way he blended jazz and funk with traditional Congo music is so electric.

Is there an inspirational person you have met on this exciting journey?
Wendy from “Wendy’s Lookbook” is one of the most genuine, hard-working and intelligent people I’ve had the pleasure of meeting. Her fight to provide opportunities to young people in the foster care system is truly inspiring.

Where do you see your career in the next five years?
I don’t like to try to predict the future. I’ve seen my career change so much in the last five years. If I tried to predict, I’m sure I’d be off by miles.

What motivates you, and what do you want people to take away from your blog?

Every day is a new, creative challenge for me, and having done this for so many years, I must work hard to stay inspired all the time. It’s most important to me that I maintain the integrity I’ve built over the years. My readers are the type of people who march to the beat of their own drum, so I want “Sea of Shoes” to always be a place to celebrate originality for them.

Any last minute thoughts you want to say to your current and future readers?
Just that I’m very lucky to have such inspiring readers, and that their kind words and encouragement over the years have meant so much to me. I’m really indebted to anyone who has followed the “Sea of Shoes” journey.

Text Kate Genevieve
images Courtesy of Jane Aldridge

THE OBSESSION ISSUE

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