Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Shoemergency Avoided

When doing some research on a previous post, I came across a rather nifty little item called the ‘Stiletto-2-Go’ kit by our friends at Foot Petals.  Invariably, we have all had that moment of desperation to try to salvage that pair of fabulous heels that feel make our feet feel like we have nails in our soles.  Worse still is that ever so seemingly insignificant rub that turns into that blister from hell.  We like that as much as we like Danielle living in “love and light” on the Real Housewives of New Jersey, right?  Boo on all counts.

Foot Petals ingenuity has been turning those torture devices they started out being into our most cherished lovely heels that we would have otherwise chucked, regardless of how much we spent on them.  The great adhesive pads have put an end to that horrid burning sensation on the balls of our feet from uncushioned but beautiful shoes.  And now, they have made us a little ‘to go’ pack because we multi-tasking ladies hate not being prepared!

This adorable little tin packs (http://www.footpetals.com/Stiletto-2-Go.html) 1 pair of Heavenly Heelz, Sole Stopperz, Tip Toes and 8 Strappy Strips to cover you in any shoemergency situation.  I think that the only thing I would add are band-aids but that’s really an easy fix. ;)  The tin is small enough to toss in your tote, store in your desk drawer at work, or even keep in your car’s glove compartment or seat pocket.  They come in 3 perfect colors: Black Iris, Buttercup, and Silver Rose.

I’ve been able to find these for as low as $15 on Amazon.com making it affordable to keep one at work and in your tote and in your car!  Shoemergencies are now a thing of the past. ;)

Monday, August 30, 2010

Eco-Chic White House Flair Couture-sy of Payless

I hope that you had a great time with the weekend drama on the Emmys and the season finale of Drop Dead Divas on Lifetime TV.  I hope my post will give you some Monday Motivation. ;) 

If you’ve been even near a magazine this September-eve, you have definitely heard of Isabel Toledo’s new shoe line for Payless Shoes.  Ms. Isabel designed that to die for sage dress and coat combo that First Lady Michelle Obama wore to the presidential inauguration back in January 2009, putting her on the fashion map.  The New Jersey native of Cuban decent went all out with extremely graphic designs for her first shoe collection looking to make high fashion accessible to all.  (http://www.payless.com/store/catalog/subsubcategory.jsp?trail=1016%3Acat10283&subCatId=cat10113&catId=cat10088&changedFacetValue=&brandId=&categoryType=&addFacet=1016%3Acat10113)  And let’s be clear, this collection is not for the wall flower. :)

I spent my Friday afternoon trying out her new haute designs at my local Payless Shoe Source and was pleasantly surprised with the quality of materials used in her collection.  Because they are the featured shoe in every magazine, I could not resist trying on the ‘High Ghillie.’  While being incredibly comfortable and easy to wear, the rubber sole of the shoe is very yellow, almost like a taxicab.  

I then moved on to try something a little more my style, the beautiful ‘Toreador Pump’ that is like a present wrapped in a red satiny bow.  The d’orsey style fit my foot like a glove and was very comfortable due to the extra padding in the ball of the footpad.  The big feature of this heel is that it has a texturized rubber sole for tons of traction making it perfect for all urban terrains including cobblestone crosswalks, marble office foyers, and carpeted cubicles.  The additonal rubber sole also helps with shock-absorption when hitting your daily 10,000 steps. ;)

Curious about her flats, I then tried on the ‘Pom Pom Flat’ because it was too cute not to!  It has a faux fur pom pom sitting in the middle of a pilgrim style buckle detail that adds a real punch of sass to your basic black flat.  It also comes with a rugged, texturized rubber sole for serious pavement pounding.

These are all incredibly well priced ranging from $34.99 to $54.99 and a real bargain with their BOGO (Buy One Get One 1/2 off) promotion.  And, the really great under-advertised bonus of Isabel’s entire collection is that they are all man-made materials for the eco-chic veganistas out there.  This gal is bringing us affordable eco-chic White House flair couture-sy of Payless and we love it!

Friday, August 27, 2010

What Would Project Runway Shoe? Episode 5: Military + Lace

Apologies for being light with the blog this week.  I’ve got a few things in the works for Fashion Night Out (#FNO) so keep on the look out. 

If you haven’t seen my recent posts, I came up with a weekly Friday post that I've titled 'What Would Project Runway Shoe?" (#WWPRS) where I suggest a shoe to go with the winning look of the week.  We’re in Week 5 now and the drama, divas, and hate is being taken to the next level.  Spoiler Alert!!  Stop reading if you want to wait to watch last night's episode first. ;)

A very fabulous congratulations to last night’s winner for his military and lace design, Puerto Rico’s own, Casanova.  Tim Gunn rightfully warned him that the look could easily go into Grandma’s closet rather than the chic girl’s closet if he didn’t steer the design in a more fashion-forward way.  See the design here: (http://www.mylifetime.com/shows/project-runway/season-8/designer-portfolios). I have to say that I really loved that lace open backed blouse. Let’s be clear, you won’t be wearing this outfit to any of grandma’s bingo nights! :)  Kudos to Ms. Peach too! She turned out a great blouse that I really want for myself!

Mr. Casanova paired the winning look with sweet little classic black patent pumps.  This is one way you could go with the look but to kind of really funk up the military aspect and the edgy belt with the hardware, I think a shoe with more attitude is a stronger choice.  I have picked the Boutique 9 ‘Denya’ bootie in black to live up to the funkier edge that this look can pull off. 

What made me say, “Ooo, that one’s good”, for this outfit was the combination of the front ruffle that mimics the front ruffle on the blouse.  What made me say, “That’s the one!” was the meshing material that the bootie was made with to compliment the lace effect.  What made me say, “That’s DEFINITELY the one”, was the open back of the bootie that mimics the open back of the blouse.  And, the more I look at this bootie, the more I’m loving it.  It really turns up the funk edge by giving the look that extra notch of “Yes, boys, this is the hauteness” attitude that is the other essential accessory with sporting this kind of fierce outfit.  This is no “Golden Girl vest.”  Funny enough, this shoe was featured in Marie Claire magazine for its fabulousness.  And Marie Claire rarely steers us wrong. ;)

Although I don’t personally have the ‘Denya’ in my shoe closet (yet), reviews have raved that it is really comfortable.  The meshing is usually a good sign because its softer than leather and would likely not squeeze your foot too tightly as some booties tend to make your feet feel after a couple of hours.  The Nine West Boutique 9 collection also tends to be more comfy than their regular line and has a higher attention to details and quality craftsmanship.  These booties were definitely made for a girl’s night out and are reasonably priced at $130.  You can buy them online at: http://www.ninewest.com/on/demandware.store/Sites-ninewest-Site/default/Search-Show?q=denya.

Now that Tim Gunn did the smackdown on Gretchen’s manipulation and bullying of Team Luxe, I’m pumped to see if next week’s episode brings more of Michael C’s tears or Ivy’s inflated self-affirmations, or BOTH!  Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

High on Style, Low on Pain

There’s something about mixing a good sneaker with a fashionable heel that makes my heart skip a beat.  I think it’s the fact that you really get the best of both worlds: blister and pain free feet in a fashionable ensemble.  Now while I have been in love with the concept, I’ve felt that some of the genius technology has been used towards more “mature” footwear styles.  Don’t get me wrong, they have been very sophisticated and classic but more in that law firm attire kind of way.  And let’s face it, no one dresses up as “sexy lawyer” for Halloween, right? ;) 

These ‘Air Renfrow OT Sling’ by Cole Haan seriously rise to the occasion of bringing you the all of the style and none of the pain.  These are definitely on the higher side with their 4 ¼” heel but they have a 1 ¼” platform that goes along with it.  Seeing a pattern with platforms yet?  Basically, that’s where all the magic happens.  The platform is where shoe designers get to stuff their gorgeous design with cushion and shock absorbing materials to enable you to wear these babies on your marathon long days without skipping a beat.  The tapered stacked heel is not a stiletto heel with gives you a better footing, literally, especially when navigating sidewalk cracks and subway grills.  These open toe slingbacks are sophisticated and sassy all at the same time.  They also come in a fabulous embossed python print that serves as a great neutral for those days where you’re going with a lower key outfit with just a pop of feminine sass.  They are on sale right now at Cole Haan (http://www.colehaan.com/colehaan/catalog/product.jsp?catId=100&productId=314599&productGroup=314499&cp=froogle&CS_003=4386239) for $129.95 which is quite a bargain for being high on style and low on pain.

Friday, August 20, 2010

What Would Project Runway Shoe? Episode 4: Empire of the Sun

As a huge Project Runway fan, I couldn't resist but come up with a weekly Friday post that I've titled 'What Would Project Runway Shoe?" (#WWPRS) where I suggest a shoe to go with the winning look of the week.  We’re in Week 4 now and the claws are definitely out.  Spoiler Alert!!  Stop reading if you want to wait to watch last night's episode first. :)

What a crazy hard challenge they had last night!  Philip Treacy has an unparallel vision with his hats and he is clearly a force to be reckoned with in his craft.  Major kudos to Michael Costello for his winning look last night that played off the gold tones of the red sun-like hat. (http://www.mylifetime.com/shows/project-runway/season-8/designer-portfolios?designer=michael%20c)   He paired his drapey dress with Steve Madden’s Caryssa in a nude tan color.  This was a good choice because it did not fight to be seen as a whole outfit.  You want the hat to be focal accessory to the dress.  Picking a neutral shoe will not fight with the drama that the hat brings to the outfit. 

Having said that, I would have gone with a little more shimmer to bring the gold story throughout the whole outfit.  I mean, let’s be real here, the woman wearing a Philip Treacy hat is fierce and embraces drama.  So my pick is the Nine West ‘Accolia’ available at Piperline.com (http://piperlime.gap.com/browse/product.do?cid=59435&vid=1&pid=518829&scid=518829032).  The simple straps in the gold tone go very well with the design of Michael C.’s dress because of their asymmetric design.  The tan Steve Madden is a good choice for the purposes of the runway but the Nine West ‘Accolia’ harmonizes, as Michael Kors would say, with the dress’s aesthetic.

Strangely enough, I have these in silver that I wore for a wedding I was a bridesmaid for a couple of years ago.  I’ve worn them two or three times since then.  They don’t have a terribly well padded sole but they don’t feel like you’re barefoot either.  They have a very decent 3” heel which is not too high “to show the good china” in a short dress. ;)  This shoe hasn’t gotten great reviews in terms of wearability.  This is partly due do the fact that the straps are made with synthetic materials which tend to stretch in a way that leather normally does not.  This is a shoe you want to be a little snugger for this reason.  I have worn them out dancing, wore them for 10 hours for a wedding including pictures and dancing.  They aren’t the epitome of comfort but for $49 they really complete Michael C.’s empire of the sun ensemble quite nicely.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

The Pleasure Principle

This new line of kicks caught my attention because they have this amazing super padded cushion in the ball of the shoe, not to mention they go through the roof on the va-voom scale.  The Velvet Angels line is from Irvine, California and they design “luxury-attainable footwear for the sexy woman that has a strong sense of self and is continuously seeking to update her fashion-forward style.”  Hello?  Have we met??   Its like they’ve known me all my professional life! J

I found the ‘La Loco’ style on Bluefly.com (http://www.bluefly.com/Velvet-Angels-tan-leather-'La-Loco'-platform-pumps/cat20458/305615302/detail.fly?referer=ca_froogle&cm_mmc=ca_froogle-_-na-_-womens_shoes-_-305615302&mr:trackingCode=B1B1BCDF-6B4D-DF11-BAA3-0019B9C043EB&mr:referralID=NA) and ordered them with the excitement like it was Christmas.  When they arrived, I was jumping with joy.  I couldn’t wait to feel this extra padding hug my feet.  The first day I wore them to work, I was seriously amazed.  

The 5” heel truly did not matter in terms of my comfort level.  They have about a ¾” visible platform but they also have another ½”– ¾” platform inside that comprises that additional padding in the ball of the shoe.  To add to the yumminess, the padding has a suede-like covering for extra softness.  And where do I start on how tall they make me feel??  I can see all the dust on the tops of the cubicles around the office!  The fact that they match my skin color almost perfectly makes me legs look like they go on forever - ever - ever - ever... *swoon* ;)

I have to say that after testing these babies out, they really are fantastic shoes.  I had some hiccups with my order but the fab team at Bluefly.com and Leslie Nelson, Director of Customer Sales, came through to make me a happy camper.  Very special thanks to Leslie and her team at Bluefly.

'La Loco' comes in tan, black and yellow.  I’m looking forward to seeing more of the Velvet Angels fashion-forward styles that are all about the pleasure principle.

Monday, August 16, 2010

All the Colors of the Rainbow (for Under $25)

In scouting out inexpensive fun flats, I stumbled upon what I felt like was the ‘Rainbow Wall of Flats’ in Charlotte Russe.  The range and arrangement of colors displayed made me perk up and want some sherbet ice cream instantly! J  With all the fun jewel tone suedes as part of the new incoming Fall Fashions, I thought I had to write a post and share the find.  I really like these because they are really a great transition wardrobe piece that takes you from Summer to Fall.  The bright and sunny colors are great for the warm summer outfits and they are the new haute-ness for Fall.  ;)

I tried on about 5 different styles.  I was really impressed with how soft and cushy they were.  The materials on a few styles are a combination of leather and man-made materials.  But, most styles are all man-made/synthetic materials for our Vegan Fashionistas out there.  They have rubber soles and little rubber heels which are the comfort factor you can actually feel when walking around in them.  The detailing is also well done.  Attention was paid to making the added embellishments look clean, which makes the shoe look much more expensive than it really is.  For example, the rosettes on the red ones in the picture are done with grosgrain ribbon and are not sloppily sewn to the shoe.

They have a large range of styles that are really cute and fun without being too youthful.  They are a great accent color to pop your outfit without looking like a teeny-bopper (even though we all still have that sass, of course ;)).  The prices ranged from $19.50 to $22.50 but I just discovered online (http://www.charlotterusse.com/ ) that they are knocking off $10 bringing the prices to as low as $9.50!!! (Insane, right?)  I can't attest to their durability since I haven't tested them long enough.  I imagine these will not withstand the test of time.  However. these are a great way to trend up your wardrobe without making the investment that you would with more classic pieces that will carry you through years of fashions.  

The colors available online are a little more limited than the range in the actual stores but I haven’t confirmed if they have the $10 discount in the stores.  Either way, you can have all the colors of the rainbow in your shoe closet for under $25. J

Friday, August 13, 2010

What Would Project Runway Shoe? Episode 3 – Naughty Or Nice

As a huge Project Runway fan, I couldn't resist but come up with a weekly Friday post that I've titled 'What Would Project Runway Shoe?" (#WWPRS) where I suggest a shoe to go with the winning look of the week.  We’re in Week 3 now and they are mixing it up with a new winner this week.  Spoiler Alert!!  Stop reading if you want to wait to watch last night's episode first.

Well, now you’ve been fairly warned so I am sending out a great big well-deserved CONGRATULATIONS to Mr. Andy South for his incredible design last night.  Here’s a link to his fab design: http://www.mylifetime.com/shows/project-runway/season-8/designer-portfolios.  Ms. Betsey Johnson was the guest judge and could not have been a better match for the party supply store theme.  So in that vein, it inspired me to do a Naughty or Nice set of options for the shoe pairings this week.  The fantastic party silhouette of the dress really lends itself to go in several directions.  Neither of these options are for the wall flower gal!

The first Naughty pick goes for a more edgy rocker feel with this Velvet Angels ‘Olympia’ black leather sandal.  I love the unique platform and the silver studded straps that really compliment the silver in the design.  I’ve become quite a fan of the Velvet Angel shoes because of their touted “new technology” which was what first grabbed my attention.  They have this double padded suede-like covered cushion under the ball of the foot.  I think the newer Brian Atwood shoes have this in them too.  They are a bit heavier but the cushioned comfort that you get with these shoes makes you oblivious to the weight of the shoe.  I can’t tell you enough how comfy they are despite their seemingly scary height.  And that’s the other genius here.   The platform is bigger that what meets the eye.  There’s the visible platform and then another ½” – ¾” of platform concealed as part of the cushioning technology.  I feel like I can reach the stars from how tall I am when I wear mine! :)  You can find these on Bluefly.com here: http://www.bluefly.com/Velvet-Angels-black-leather-Olympia-platform-sandals/cat400122/307527101/detail.fly.

The obvious choice for the Nice option is the ‘Newton II’ by the one and only Betsey Johnson.  True to form, this shoe screams fun just like Betsey herself. The silver leather trim compliments the winning look perfectly.  The shiny pink satin is the fab pop of color some of the judges commented they were looking for in the overall outfit.  It has a 1” platform to make the heel a total of 4 ½” high to give that great party night height.   The peeptoe and lines of the shoe design give it that 1940’s feel.  The adorable buckle in the middle of the ankle strap make me just love this shoe for its sweetness all that much more.  Betsey always reminds us that sweet can also be sexy!  You can find these at Nordstroms here: http://shop.nordstrom.com/S/3099332?cm_cat=datafeed&cm_pla=shoes:women:sandals%2Fslides&cm_ite=betsey_johnson_'newton_2'_sandal:301441&cm_ven=Froogle&mr:trackingCode=0E56B44C-F57A-DF11-9DA0-002219319097&mr:referralID=NA.

Priced around $200 each, you can afford to get both for those nights that you feel naughty and those nights you feel nice! ;)

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Work That Bootie!

So it seems the new trend to stay is the ankle bootie. Madonna planted the bootie shoeaholic seed in us when she traded her pyramid jacket for the rhinestone studded black ankle booties in Desperately Seeking Susan. However, if you don’t have legs like Madonna and can’t really rock the rhinestone studded look at work, this can be a bit tricky to pull off for a more professional outfit. Thankfully, because of the rage that the ankle bootie has spurred in the shoe world, there are TONS of options for legs and office settings of all types.

The thing you want to get right is where the top of the ankle bootie hits your leg or ankle. If you have perfect legs, you can wear pretty much any style, especially the ones that are cut straight across and can even have a higher rise on the leg. Shoot, you could even sport those mid-calf boots fabulously! However, if you’re like me, with more curve to your bone ;), you have to be a little more discriminatory about choosing which pair becomes the newest member to your shoe closet.

For curvier legs, its best to look for ankle booties with a lower rise, meaning closer and lower to the ankle, AND have some sort of dip or none straight cut across the top. The reason this is the *most* important thing to look at when choosing ankle booties is because it’s likely to “cut” the length of your leg making you look shorter, depending on the color. I say it depends on the color because if you’re picking an ankle bootie the same color of your skin tone, then you’re free and clear. The reason, or at least one of the bigger reasons us girlies love our heels is because it makes us feel *so* freakin tall! You’re doing yourself no favors cutting your leg short with a horizontal line where it’s easy to get “visual inches” of height if you get a different cut on your ankle bootie.

The ones in the picture above are the ‘Guardian’ by Diane Von Furstenberg and available on Zappos.com (http://www.zappos.com/product/7669152/color/1072?zlfid=111). These made me scream “ELEGANT” in my head the moment I saw them. These work for any shaped leg because of the flattering angle of the front top of the ankle boot. The suede makes it suitable for the office but the shiny patent like finish on the small platform edge and heel make it perfect for the day-to-night look. These are great to take you through the seasons because of their classic lines. The cut outs along the front laces keep the boot from being too heavy for the late summer months and really get your creative juices going for pairing them with great colored and graphic tights for the Fall and Winter seasons. By the way, I’m *SO* loving the DKNY tights that are part of the Fall ’10 collection!! More on this later. ;)

Anywho, if this is still scary territory and want to ease your way into ankle bootie land, try skin tone colored booties first. Make sure to have Band-Aids handy should there be a little rub around the ankle. It takes a couple of wears before they loosen up a little and mold to your ankle’s shape. In no time will you then be workin’ that bootie! ;)

Monday, August 9, 2010

Paging Dr. Shoe to the ICU

We all sympathized with the Sex And The City “Hot Child in the City” episode when Carrie goes to take her shoes to her ‘shoe guy’ only to find that it had been repurposed as a comic book store. And, while she got a kicky new pair of boots and scooted in heels through Times Square, her shoes still needed repair.  Sadly, we have all been there.  We have that lovely pair of shoes in our shoe closet that we have adored so much that they need serious repair.  Now some of us have hit the jackpot and have an amazing go-to shoe guy. However, should you find yourself moving or that your shoe guy did the moving, finding a new shoe guy is rather difficult and distressing.  It comes down to trust.  You now have to find a new person to trust that they will repair your babies with the care and attention they deserve (and you paid for).

Here are some tips on finding a new shoe guy.    The most reliable way to find a good shoe repair is by asking a friend!  We may forget your birthday but girlfriends never forget a great shoe fix!  Getting those beloved shoes repaired is like the Holy Grail.  You are basically being given back a whole section of your wardrobe, allowing you to fall in love with your shoes all over again.  It’s rather orgasmic. ;) 

If you don’t have girlfriends in the area with a good referral, it gets a little trickier.  You can try Citysearch or Yelp and look through the reviews.  I don’t feel entirely at ease with these recommendations.  Citysearch and Yelp are great for food reviews but shoes, not always on the mark.  I’d look for a review that has history, like a year or two so that you get a real sense of the craftsmanship involved.  You could do a “test run” with a pair that need something simple like a heel replacement to get a feel for the joint ;)  When you’re in the shop look around and try to examine their handy work on any shoes they have on display.  Look at stuff like if there’s glue glopped around the seaming or if the heel is crooked, stuff like that.  Then you can get a sense of how detail oriented they are and build a level of trust - if it’s so deserving. J

One thing I have currently resorted to is taking them back to the store I bought them and have them ship it to their magic elf workshop to repair in house.  I moved back to my “old” neighborhood almost two years ago and never had a shoe guy in the area.  I would go to the place by my old job.  Well, it’s been almost ten years, new job, and the place I used to go to is now an outlet mall.  I have some black satin Burberry’s that need some serious TLC.  I won’t dare trust them to be an experiment so a friend suggested I take them to Burberry to see if they do repairs.  I called ahead to make sure they could do this and, while it will take about 4-6 weeks, I know the job will be done impeccably. 

Another trick is to look to your coworkers.  They may have a good suggestion that’s either near the office or not too far away that you could feasible get to.  Shoe guys are like mechanics, you really need to get a good reference so that you’re not left barefoot. ;)

I hope this helps motivate you to get that gorgeous pair of shoes to your nearest and best ICU.

Please note: The shoes in the picture are costume shoes part of the “Sexy Nurse Costume” and can be found online:

Friday, August 6, 2010

What Would Project Runway Shoe? #WWPRS Episode 2

Being the huge Project Runway fan that I am, I couldn't resist but come up with a weekly Friday post that I've titled 'What Would Project Runway Shoe?" (#WWPRS) where I suggest a shoe to go with the winning look of the week.  Spoiler Alert!!  Stop reading if you want to wait to watch last night's episode first.

Ok, so you’ve been warned now and I’m going to congratulate.................................................................................... Ms. Gretchen Jones again for her second win in a row that landed her a billboard in Times Square.  Her winning look that barely, in my opinion, edged out a truly great red dress by Ms. Valerie Mayen, was very smartly tailored romper jumpsuit (http://www.mylifetime.com/shows/project-runway/season-8/designers/gretchen-jones).  The navy romper was done in a very airy and seemingly light fabric that had great hanging and swaying characteristics.  It was very flattering in all the right places.  There were two options for wearing the romper, one with the higher neckline with a clip feature midway down the chest, or with it unclipped with a daring plunging neckline.  In either case, the garment is sexy and definitely fashion forward.  

On the show, the outfit was style with two different ankle booties.  One was a slightly muted olive green heavier shoe that is a nice day option that we saw on the runway.  The other was the sexy gladiator bootie in black on the billboard.  This was a great compliment to the jumpsuit because it has the modern contemporary style that has lots of cutouts to balance out the “covered-ness” of the romper's long sleeves and ankle skimming pant leg. 

Showing skin on your feet is a good counterpoint to the romper because it makes the look fresh, young and stylish.  A more covered shoe makes the outfit more conservative and could potentially give the look an uninvited heaviness.  This is why my pick for this winning outfit is this shiny Boutique 9 ‘Grayson’ in gold.  The silhouette of the shoe is very ‘now’ like the outfit itself.  The neutral gold tone of the shoe makes it blend into your foot to elongate your body so as to make you look 10 feet tall.  And who doesn't want an extra couple of inches in height?  Some of us more curvy girls need to get our height wherever and whenever we can so that our curves read as sexy not chunky. ;) This ‘Grayson’ also comes in a tan that is also a good pick for the same reasons. The gold has more pizzazz, obviously, and matches the daring level of the neckline.  Given that the romper is navy, a neutral by most fashion standards, there's a multitude of shoe color options for this kind of outfit.  Your creativity, mood and pocketbook are really the only limiting factors. :)

You can find these Boutque 9 ‘Grayson’ booties at Bluefly.com (http://www.bluefly.com/Boutique-9-gold-caged-leather-Grayson-platform-sandals/cat400122/306101701/detail.fly) for a great deal at $112.  They're also available on Amazon.com. 

This season’s Project Runway definitely has some unexpected twists that keep me excited about watching.  I hope that ‘What Would Project Runway Shoe?’ is doing the same for you.  See you next Friday with Episode 3!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Wedging My Way to Vegan Shoes

A couple of weeks ago I did a post for my vegan followers in need of cute comfy shoes, particularly for new moms on the go (Payless, Seriously? Seriously!)  What left to be desired were heels, the next level.  I began doing research on vegan shoes gaining more and more curiosity as I came across Beyond Skin, the brainchild of Natalie Portman and a greatly progressive UK shoe designer.  The brand expressly touts they are “genuinely not leather” and goes so far as saying that “no humans, animals or small children were harmed in the making of our shoes.”  This made my heart skip a beat… true eco-chicness that was also truly fashionable. 

I fell head over wedges for the ‘Jenna’ peep toe wedge because of its honeycomb like pattern on the wedge with matching button.  Ordering them instantly, I was ecstatic to see that my order arrived from London to Los Angeles in less than a week, even through US Customs!  At first look, I was a bit worried that their stiffness would be an expressway to Band-Aidland.  Also, there didn’t appear to be a lot of cushion on the inner sole which was a flag in terms of being able to stand or walk in them for extended amounts of time.  Having the texturized fabric overlap into the sole under the ball of the foot is a flag because if its not cushiony or too textured, it can feel like you’re walking on burlap with each step – not fun, not even a little bit.  They were however, not very heavy, which is a plus to avoid that shin soreness the day after you wear heavy shoes. 

I planned my next day’s outfit entirely around these very sweet cream and milk chocolate colored shoes and made sure to have a generous supply of Band-Aids in my purse.  To my utter joy, I only needed one Band-Aid and that was from a blister from my shoe from the day before.  The inner sole was deceivingly comfortable despite the lack of visual cushion.  The stiffness never even played as a factor other than to hold the shoe’s shape.  The textured fabric under the ball of my feet never hurt.  It was actually softer than what I expected it to be.  I got lots of compliments on these for their great patterned wedge.  The bonus with these shoes is really the perfect marriage between eco-consciousness and fashion - if only all marriages could be so eco-chic!  Maybe that’s Natalie’s next project ;)  All and all, I’m very excited to be wedging my way to vegan shoes.

These do-gooder shoes come in three colors, the cream, a black and white combo and solid black.  Check them out or order them online from Amazon.com or directly from Beyond Skin: http://www.beyondskin.co.uk/index.php?searchStr=jenna&_a=viewCat&Submit=&Submit.x=0&Submit.y=0

Be sure to check out Friday's new weekly post: "What Would Project Runway Shoe?" #WWPRS where I do a pairing with this week's winning look! :)

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Sidewalk Style

 Instead of my normal ‘Subway Style”, this week I’m doing a Sidewalk Style because I really couldn’t resist sharing these delish T-Strap peep toe wedges I spied walking in LA’s Fashion District last week.  I was waiting at the corner for the light to change to cross the street when I happened to glance down at the woman’s shoes in front of me and gasped with delight!   It was literally one of those double takes like in a cartoon with my eyes bugging out.  These are soooo urban boho chic and feminine sweet at the same time!  I have been able successfully research them to find out that they are the ‘BV2611’ by Biviel.  Now, I was completely new to the Biviel brand.  The gal said she got them at Macy’s in New York City, to which I responded, “Of course you did!” (So many of my 'Subway' Styles seem to be purchased there :) )  I asked her what she liked about them and she said that they were incredibly comfortable and go with everything because of the color combination.  Its really such a bonus because I can see these working great well into the Fall season with great tights.

In looking more into the Biviel brand, I have discovered they are a Spanish shoe company.  This just majorly boosted my Spanish shoe obsession (hello?? Blay, Zara and Mango!)  What makes this brand more fab is that they use the supplest of Italian calfskins and rubber soles imported from Germany.  They self describe themselves as “relaxed feminine” and after looking at a generous sampling of their shoes, sandals and boots, I would also add ‘uber chic’!  Their styles are fashion forward yet conservative enough for the office environment in that Anthropologie kind of way.  *swoon* I’ve ordered up some snappy boots that I can’t wait to try out and report back on. :)  I think that I’m convinced that every Working Girl’s Shoe Closet should have the pleasure of having a pair these pretties in it’s collection.

You can get this pair at Zappos so your shoe closet doesn’t feel left out! http://www.zappos.com/biviel-bv2611-black?zlfid=111

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Flat But With A Serious Beat

One of the things that make it hard for me to find flats that I like is that they usually don’t fit me right.  My foot is not a wide foot but it is widest at the ball of my foot, well, the width of that area.  This makes it hard to wear flats that are “low cut” or have a lot of toe cleavage because when I take a step and bend my foot, I get large gaps on the sides of my foot as a result of this lower cut design.  The thing that really bothers me about this the most is that it makes my foot look even wider.  And let’s face it, nobody likes fat chubby tootsies unless you’re a baby.  So trying flats on is a must about 90% of the time.  In my usual perusal of what’s in my favorite shops, I stopped in at Steve Madden to see their stock.  And while I am usually taken aback in seeing their delicious little pretties, I was particularly wooed by these fantastic flats.  Steve Madden usually has great designs but not always the tops when it comes to comfort.  However, they have really been working on the comfort factor these last few seasons.  The pair with the bow and elastic edge here are the ‘Binngo’ and the pair with the jewels are the ‘Kobbe.’ 

I have shared my apprehension about elastic edgings in my previous post “The Ultimate City Flat for the Ultimate City Girl”.  And while I found a winner there, it doesn’t make me leg go of my hesitation when I find a new elastic edged shoe.  I tried them on and was wowed by the softness of the leather.  This was not the typical leather I’ve seen on flats at Steve Madden before, nor the ones I have at home.  These were really buttery soft.  They come up higher on my foot due to the elastic edging eliminating my side gaps.   And they are so, *SO* cute with the polka dot print and suede bow.  This shoe comes with its own “Hello! My Name is DIVINE!” name tag. You can buy them online (http://www.stevemadden.com/item.aspx?id=50379&CID=cj_3245527). 

The jeweled ‘Kobbe’ won me over too when I saw them.  They’re like edited disco balls on your feet that you can actually wear to work!  These come in gold, silver (shown), black and camouflage, which seems to be a major trend for Fall.  In trying them on, these, like the ‘Binngo’ fit perfectly.  They were not cut too low on the sides or in the front to create those side gaps when I walked.  They also came up high enough on the sides of my feet to make them look slimmer.  This is important to consider when buying round toe flats.  The roundness doesn’t elongate your foot so if your foot is like mine, stumpiness is very possible, very frequently.  That’s the benefit in pointed toe flats.  The point elongates your foot.  If you have “longer” or slimmer looking feet, you’ve pretty much hit the flats jackpot because you can probably pull off any flat.

Regardless of which you like more, both flats come with some serious beat!

Monday, August 2, 2010

Dream A Little Dream

A couple of weekends ago, I had the pleasure of making the virtual acquaintance of a new follower who's closet I truly admire, Rosalynn, who shared with me her three most favorite babies. And even though Susan Boyle wasn’t singing, I got the same kind of chills when I saw them. First is the famous Yves Saint Laurent Tribute Mary Jane that has been seen on all the glamorous celebrities having their red carpet moments. Priced in the $800 - $900, it’s definitely a splurge but an investment nonetheless.

Second is the Brian Atwood Maniac. I have yet to personally sample Brian Atwoods, so my curiosity is quite large. Ms. Rosalynn says they’re quite comfortable. Brian Atwood is slightly more affordable in the $500 range but still not quite ATM status.

And last, but not least, is the Christian Louboutin Hyper Prive Peep Toe. Priced at $865 at Saks Fifth Avenue, they truly are a shoe closet staple and long term investment piece. Ms. Rosalynn has had them for about two years and recently got them resoled. Now, when a woman goes to the trouble of resoling her shoes, you know they MUST be comfortable.

High end designer shoes can't be assumed to be more likely to be comfortable.  But, I have gotten confirmation that these really are and, as Ms. Rosalynn has smartly chosen, getting classic styles like these three helps to substantiate the small fortune each one is because you will have them in your shoe repertoire FOREVER.  It's kind of like investing in a few incredible shoes that will carry you through the years versus getting a bunch of poorer quality shoes that will end up falling apart every couple months.  They go with everything and everything you wear, even your Target Merona dress, will suddenly feel like you paid a gazillion dollars for it.  I think having a mix is optimal. ;) 

So, on this Monday – the beginning of another work week, let’s dream a little dream of having these three babies in each of our own shoe closets. :)

A big thanks to Ms. Rosalynn for being so sweet and letting me into her Working Girl's Shoe Closet. ;) You can follow Ms. Rosalynn at: http://twitter.com/rozfashionista.