1. looped rope flat from Charlotte Russe | 2. red cork wedges from Sole Society | 3. studded flats from Miss Selfridge | 4. pink & white cuties from H&M | 5. neon gladiator from boohoo | 6. navy striped wedge from Piperlime | 7. mint & silver flats from LuLus | 8. T-strap cork wedge from O’Shoes | 9. coral gladiators from Avenue | 10. coral mini wedge from Sole Society | 11. brown sugar wedges from Zappos | 12. leopard print sandals from Zara | 13. weave wedge from ModCloth | 14. seafoam strappies from ModCloth | 15. jelly T-strap from boohoo | 16. patent leather wedge from DSW | 17. glitzy sandals from ModCloth
When I was 17, I was neither hot nor under $50, but I want to share a story with you anyway. At age 17, I worked part-time at Marshalls.
My weeknight shifts started at 5pm, which gave me just enough time to get home from school, grab a snack and tune into TRL to watch 90s teen icons and Celine Dion battle it out for the number one video.
It was a bygone era where teens didn’t have cellphones so if a boy wanted to ask you out, he had to call your land line. If you were fabulously uncool, like me, you didn’t have your own phone line or a phone in your room. Instead, you got stuck using the kitchen phone, which was bound to the wall by a curly cord that only stretched to the hallway stairs where traffic was heavy and siblings were curious.
But then AOL instant messenger was invented and the world was good again.
At the start of every shift, the supervisor assigned us to certain departments to manage and keep tidy until closing. My favorite department to oversee was shoes because on shipment days, the shoe person got to hang out in the back stock room to unload and unwrap brand new pairs of leather sandals, patent leather pumps, bleached white sneakers and frilly velcro types for toddlers.
I used to create a mental log of the pairs I wanted to put on hold, and later, purchase. I got first dibs on size 8.5 anythings. Life was awesome.
Then there was the evening I cut my hand on the shoe shelf and the manager found out because I bled through two Band-Aids. Getting hurt on the job was a big deal at Marshalls, not because of insurance fears or the fact that I was under 18, but because it marked the end of Safety Bingo.
Safety Bingo was a game that brought much joy to the full-timers.
Essentially every employee had a Bingo card hanging in the break room and each morning, the manager would pull a new letter/number combo. The game continued as long as no employees were hurt on the job. Get it? It’s Safety Bingo. You can’t see me, but I’m trying really hard not to roll my eyes.
Anyway, I ruined it for everyone that night. And nobody cared about my laceration.
I think I recall a certain stock boy dragging his broom around the store yelling, Erin ruined Safety Bingo! but that might be me remembering things worse than they really were. As humans, we have a tendency to do that.
There’s no moral to this story or a silver lining except to say that Marshalls was both a fun and scary first job AND they have an impeccable selection of shoes.
And while we’re on the subject of shoes (—> lazy transition sentence right here <—), our top 17 picks for the cutest summer sandals all have two things in common: they’re on trend and the prices on point. It’s the perfect marriage of beauty and a bargain. So while you peruse the sea of shoes above, you may also decide to reminisce about your first job and share it with us in the comments. Was it as glamorous as mine? Were you or a loved one ever injured on the job? Are you seeking compensation? Is this starting to sound like a Jim Sokolove commercial?