Archive for December, 2009


Tess Tuesday: Combat Boots on Trend

I bought a pair of vintage combat boots around this time last year. Upon spotting them, I thought they were cool and edgy and they gave me a bit of nostalgia for the last time they were in style. (I rocked them in the fourth grade.) So, quite pleased with myself, I skipped home to show them to my roommates. I didn’t even much like having roommates, but I will always treasure this ritual of ours. Fine, it was just my ritual– no one else liked showing off her new purchases. One of the guys once showed us a new DVD though, and I made sure to give it a lot of praise.

Anyway, I was used to the unveiling of my new finds being met with oohs and ahs. The combat boots however, were met with an uncomfortable silence and a cough for comedic effect to cut the palpable awkwardness of the uncomfortable silence. I was shocked! These boots were so cool. I tried to explain to my roommate how I would wear them and what I loved about them, but it was in vain. They refused to agree with my taste. I forged on though, and wore them out of the apartment in front of my closest friends, only to be met with ridicule. To be fair, my closest friends are allowed to ridicule me and I them, which is why now I can say to them, “Ha ha, look who’s wearing them now!”

There you have it–they are in fact a trend. So as not to give myself too much credit, I will admit that although mine were vintage, I picked them up at Urban Outfitters. They’re great for balancing an ultra feminine look, they flatter the legs in skinny jeans, and they exude an air of bad ass no matter what you pair them with. They’re all around winners and I think, due to their versatility and undeniable chic factor, that they’re here to stay.

My latest pick, the J. Shoes Meadow Combat Boot, have the added detail of ribbon laces for a feminine contrast. Love ‘em.


Red in the Feet

I spent some of my time home for holidays reading one of my gifts, a vintage copy of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum. While I watched the movie obsessively as a kid, this was my first time reading the original.

A little shock: Dorothy’s shoes are silver. Of course, they remain gorgeous, sturdy and very powerful–the standards I hold all shoes to today.

Even though the story itself was much more exciting and elaborate than the screen version, ruby red slippers still seem like home to me… and the Emerald City of eBay is bursting with vintage finds.

Beautiful Bally Italian leather pumps ($45, size 8 ) with a rose accent.

Vintage Andrew Geller wellies ($12, size 10) with a cozy drawstring top from boot boutique, Marmfruts.

Red and white saddle shoes ($125, size 7.5) from Trunken Treasures.

Vintage suede wingtips ($10, size 7.5).

And gorgeous, rich eighties, over-the-knee boots ($10, size 6).


Clear & Present: See-Through for Spring

“I can see “clearly” now: Prada’s 2010 spring summer show features clear plastic heels, bags and shades,” writes social diarist The Daily Truffle. “This post is … about the re- occurring theme of plastic, vinyl, and crystal accessories. What caught my attention about the accessories of this collection, was the repetition and cohesiveness of the designs. The shoes, sunglasses, and purses all fit together beautifully.”

Prada, for Spring 2010

As The Daily Truffle points out, Prada is not to the only designer who brought clear plastic accessories to the Spring 2010 runway shows. Chanel and Michael Kors followed suit, though these are a far cry from the the inexpensive plastic “jelly” sandals that dominated beaches in the 80s (and experiences a resurgence a few years ago).

Michael Kors

“Michael Kors designed a sleek and architectural shoe collection for his Spring/Summer 2010 collection,” writes blogger Obsessed with Shoes. “They had a very polished and clean look in basic colors like black or white. Clear plastic was a key component in this collection, and while that can sometimes cheapen a look, that wasn’t the case for Michael Kors.”

Prada collection, images from

In the January issue of W Magazine, Prada’s clear (clearly expensive, that is) heels make a showing in the extensive Spring Fashion spread.

Christian Louboutin's Engin spikes

Even Christian Louboutin jumped on the bandwagon with a pair of peep-toe pumps. The soles are the ubiquitous Louboutin red; the toes are clear plastic with silver cone studs. “Don’t be jealous about the Christian Louboutin men’s spring/summer 2010 collection, the women’s collection is just as good if not better,” enthuses blogger Nitrolicious. (Though one commenter noted, “I just don’t dig the clear plastic on shoes; is it ever flattering? Sorry, not these Loubs for this kid.”)


Snowy Days? Wear Snow Boots. Obvious, much?

It seems sort of obvious, but yet, you’d be surprised.

Zappos - Ugg Snow BootsIt has been my experience, after several decades of existence, that New Yorkers have very bizarre reactions to snow. In short, we fear it. And while a few inches of snowfall is a mild nuisance in other parts of the world, here, it cripples everything.

Schools close and flights get canceled before the snowflakes even begin to fall, and people waver from social commitments on the warning of POSSIBLE snow showers. Seriously?!?

Snow will not kill us. Wear gloves and the right attire, and it’s actually pretty darn pretty.

This weekend, I had planned a birthday party – and 30 of my closest friends were supposed to attend. As the weather grew worse, few bothered to call to say they couldn’t make it, but most didn’t show up. I guess they felt the weather was THAT bad – that it was just simply implied. No, it wasn’t. Were they going to melt?

Perhaps people would fear the elements less if they just were wearing the right attire. I spent the duration of my party in my Ugg Classic Tall Wool boots – $200 at And, you know what? I was warm and cozy – and enjoying my wine and brie. Something they could all learn from.


Mary Janes for Brittany

Despite all the great, cute, and fierce roles she took post-Clueless, the lovely, late Brittany Murphy will always be remembered best as beloved Tai–a quirky little character who had all the qualities of those other roles, packaged into a slightly imperfect bundle.

So thanks Brittany, for giving us one of the most likeable characters we’ve come to love. For you, all the best patent Mary Janes; to be worn with over-the-knee socks only.

Red Jimmy Choo Kindlepa pump ($492).

Colin Stuart patent Mary Jane from Victoria’s Secret ($29).

Elie Tahari Sasha pump ($352).

Vaneli for Jildor Danby black patent pump ($75).

And what else to end with, but the legendary Manolo Blahnik black patent leather Mary Jane ($645)?


DIY Shoetube Style Part 2: Can I get a gallon to match my Gucci’s?

When I walked into Home Depot with a single Gucci stiletto in my handbag, I knew I was going to get some odd looks at the paint counter. What I didn’t anticipate, was causing a total scene involving gates, a Hazmat crew, and some rather angry checkout ladies.

As discussed in Part 1 of my DIY series, I decided to paint my front door the same color as one of my fave pairs of stilettos. Granted, it has taken me awhile to get around to actually starting le project, but it’s not like my front door is going anywhere, right? So last Saturday I decided to finally bite the bullet and get to work.

Walking into Home Depot, I figured that surely people have asked the paint guys to match paint colors to much odder objects than a shoe, right? Wrong. The guy at the paint counter looked at me like I was crazy when I nonchalantly sat my stiletto on the counter and asked him to do the “paint match thingy” and give me a gallon of semi-gloss that matched my Gucci. He looked at the shoe, looked at me, and then had the nerve to tell me he didn’t want to touch it! It’s not like I was asking him to handle smelly gym shoes: this was a pristine patent leather Gucci that spenda most of its time being toted between points A and B in a dust bag. I finally talked him into putting it in the “paint match thingy” only to have the machine produce an ugly shade of red. So my new buddy, the paint dude, and I went to plan B: perusing existing paint palettes. I actually managed to find a pretty close match with Jasmine’s Gems from Behr’s Disney collection.

All awkward business finished, I figured I would just do self-checkout and head on my merry way. I scanned my painting accessories and then went to scan the can of paint, only to have “Jasmine’s Gems” gush all over the self-checkout machine and pretty much everything else in sight. Apparently dear, sweet paint dude had not properly fastened the lid on the can of paint. Obviously this

The "Secured Area"

disaster was not my fault (for once), but the clean-up crew sure acted like it was! As if it’s not embarrassing enough to spill paint everywhere, the little old lady on self-checkout patrol got on her walkie-talkie and paged someone to “secure the area” and that they had “a potentially hazardous situation.” At this point, I wanted nothing more than to silently sneak out of the store, but I still needed to get more paint! I went back over to paint dude, who watched the whole scene go down, and had to ask for a new gallon because somehow my lid was not secure and it spilled EVERYWHERE. I swear he smirked as he handed me my new can of paint. All I have to say is he had just better be glad that none of the paint got on the infamous Gucci’s, because my wrath would have been far worse than those checkout ladies.

Needless to say, I’m not going back to that Home Depot for a while…


A Coye Nokes Lullaby

My 16.5-month-old son has been a notoriously bad sleeper from the day we brought him home.

If you have noticed fewer posts from me in the past year, it is largely because every moment not spent feeding or rocking the boy is spent half comatose, watching bad reality TV or sitting on the couch drooling.

Until three weeks ago, I was up each night, at least once with my youngest child.  I love him, but this was a daily living hell.  Until these arrived:

These babies from new shoe designer Coye Nokes arrived on my doorstep, smelling of new leather and sparkling like copper.  Immediately, Alan wanted to hold them.

“Shoes!  Shoes!  Shoes!” he screamed.  And at first, I was thrilled.  Not only had the shoes inspired yet another new word in my boy, they were also keeping him from throwing a fit, which is usually what he does when I deign not to hold him for 3.5 seconds.

He cradled the shoes and scooted about the floor whispering “shhhh” into its shoe-ear.  Odd, I thought, but figured he would eventually let me try them on.

What I did not count on was the way this pretty little flat would change our lives.  After cradling his new friend most of the day, Alan insisted the shoe sleep with him as well.  When we put him down for the night, he asked for his “ishy (blankie) and shooooe!”  And so we complied.  Guess who slept through the night?

In the morning we rushed into his room to make sure he was still breathing and there he was, curled around his copper friend as though it were a stuffed toy and not a cold leather piece of footwear.

Since that night, my boy has slept 8 p.m. to 7 a.m. every night.  Now, I am not completely crediting the shoes.  They happened to arrive the same day we were making some other changes–putting him in his own room, ceasing night nursing.  To me, though, it was all the shoes.

Okay, so yes, they are beautiful and comfortable and can transition from playdate to date night with the hubs with ease, but these shoes are so much more than that.

Anyone with kids, particularly ill-tempered sleepless ones, I urge you to try these before you hire the $200-an-hour sleep consultant.  It will be $400 well spent and you will have a little something to sport on your feet that can help show off your bagless eyes.

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December 2009