Archive for the 'Party-Ready' Category


Full Support from Chinese Laundry

Saturday was my lovely grandma’s 80th birthday. And that is not something you miss.  So I had a whirlwind day of present-buying in NYC, hopping in the Zipcar for a 2 hour drive to Philly, eating a dress-up dinner at a posh restaurant with my family, and getting back to Brooklyn in time for a good friend’s 30th birthday bash, whew.

Normally, I might have worn pumps for my grandma’s soirée. But this time I needed footwear that could go formal and support my on-the-go day.

The answer was my favorite pair of luscious flat, black boots. With work wear stability, but soft to the touch, they got me everywhere I needed to be on foot, and looked plenty pretty under my poufy party skirt. If you’re in need of some double duty boots, check out this fantastic suede pair from Chinese Laundry ($98). Or, if you’re on a budget, these vintage boots on eBay (size 7, $10).


Rock it Out with Rock & Republic Alyana Pumps

Ready to rock ’n’ roll after all those holiday revelries have subsided? Do it in style with a pair of pewter Rock & Republic Alyana Pumps and you’re bound to be the center of attention at the par-tay.

These edgy pumps are designed with a gleaming metal stiletto heel and a ½” platform for extra comfort. You can show off your rocker-chic side with the chain detail on the back heel (it’s removable) and enjoy life in the fashionable lane with the super pointed toe and high arch with the 4 ¼” heel. These heels can be worn season after season, so consider them a necessary investment for your party wardrobe in 2010.

These are the perfect shoes for post holiday parties that demand you show off those recently-learned dance moves on the dance floor, or when you’re playing hostess for your own event. They’re a good match for a little black dress, wide leg satin pants or even a simple black skirt that you’re donning for the evening ahead. Polish off your look with some rocker-inspired jewelry for the complete ensemble and get ready to party the night away like a true rockstar.


Get Your Punk On with Zanotti Knee High Boots

When you tire of sporting stiletto pumps and booties this season, consider showing off your punk-girl side with a pair of knee high boots. Knee highs are a great match for party nights this year, and this year’s top trends include a lineup of rocker-inspired boots complete with studs, buckles and metallic embellishments galore.

These Giuseppe Zanotti Knee High Boots fit the bill, a pair of suede uppers with an almond shaped toe and strap detailing. These super-soft leather boots are designed with a stiletto heel to give you that height you crave, and the ¾” platform provides you with some extra support.

The pull-on design of these boots complements your no-fuss attitude and you get the chance to show off your edgier, rocker side when you pair them with a short skirt or plain black dress for the night. Knee high boots are among the top trends for the winter and fall seasons in 2010, so you can plan to wear these several times throughout the year. Consider them a necessary investment for days when you need to break away from your conservative look. Sexy, edgy and oh-so-fashionable, these are the punk-inspired boots you need to attract some attention day or night…


Time to Get Starstruck in Glittering Zanotti Ankle Boots

zanotti star bootsSometimes the night calls for something so outlandish, so eye-catching, and so crave worthy, that you go out of your way to save up the moolah for the splurge.

Case in point: these star-studded boots from Giuseppe Zanotti, a Las Vegas-inspired pair of look-at-me boots that will get you in party mode the moment you slide into them. The 4 ½” skinny heel on these puppies is balanced out with a 1” platform, giving you plenty of support for those long nights on the town.

These cosmic boots are perfect for pairing with that little black dress or short, short skirt you’ve been dying to wear. And, you get plenty of shine factor with the dazzling assortment of rhinestone star embellishments scattered across the toe, heel and around the ankles. The side-zip closure makes it easy to slip in and out of these as needed, and there’s the almond-shaped toe means you don’t have to worry about any toe-pinching action as you party the night away. What’s not to love? Add these to your must-have boot list for 2010 and get ready to rock on like it’s nobody’s business.


New Year, New You

As we say goodbye to 2009, and welcome in 2010 – we can’t help but reflect.

Everyone around me is saying 2009 was a crappy year they are eager to see leave — I can’t say I disagree. I had some amazing experiences this year – but I also had some pretty demoralizing ones. I also learned a lot about myself — that I am sometimes way too trusting of the wrong people, and not loyal enough to the ones I should be. I try to win the love/attention of those who don’t seem to be giving it – and not appreciate the ones who readily offer it. I am bestowed with amazing opportunities in work and life — and yet I focus on the not’s – the should have beens.

Last year, I neglected many of my closest friends for someone who turned out to be the most selfish, mean-spirited individual I had ever had the misfortune of knowing. I almost realized it too late, but as soon as I did, I was so grateful to have them back where they belonged – with me to be goofy, to be silly, to drink too many martinis, drunk dial boys, and then giggle about it in the morning.

This year’s New Year’s Eve was the most special one I had had in a long time – I spent it right at home, with some of the most important people in my life. To celebrate our entrance into a new era, I cooked a grown-up dinner party with all the trimmings – and then we appreciated it old-school style by eating it with prosecco-filled plastic cups on my living room floor.

To mark the pivotal mix of whimsical tradition while still being older and wiser, I wore my Sudini Seattle waterproof faux fur booties, $98 at It was a messy mix of rain and snow that day – some may say to wash away the old and usher in the new, but we were warm, toasty, and oh-so-fabulous. Oh, and the dinner party went smashing – a total success, and not a single hangover or drunk dial to report in the morning.


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.”)


eBay Holiday Quick Fix

Need some sparkle for your wintry festivities? These pretty eBay bargains caught my fancy. Happy holiday bidding!

Get gorgeous in Suart Weiztman All a Glow black velvet pumps (sz 6, starting at $60)  decked with this shiny ring of jewels.

Stand tall in brown velvet hidden platform booties (sz 8, staring at $21, from boutique MakeMeChic) with golden studs.

Glisten in gold metallic Soutache J Renee pumps (sz 9, starting at $15, from boutique The Enchanted Closet).

Red velvet isn’t only for Santa with these sequined burgundy pumps (sz 8, starting at $10, from boutique The Shop of Shoes).


Be Tardy to the Party in Bold Red Boots from Marc Jacobs

marc jacob redPatent leather boots and booties are here to stay for another season, so make sure you pack  a punch with at least one pair in a bold cherry red.

These Marc Jacobs patent leather boots caught my eye recently, a post break-up mood booster that are sure to accompany me for a few low-key parties and events this season. It was pretty easy to say bye to the recent beau when I took these eye-catching boots for a test drive (walk?). The kitten heel makes them a super-comfortable pair for all-day wear, and the slightly upturned toe gives me a break from my lineup of pointed toe (and often painful) pumps and boots of the season.

These boots have a little Brit-rock chic in them, a simple but luxurious pair of gleaming boots that will brighten up any gray day this season and pep up a neutral-colored outfit in a flash. I’m pairing these with dark wide-leg denim jeans, black pants and black skirts this season for a fresh and flirty look that’s party worthy but also not over-the-top. Try these on for size if you’re nursing a broken heart or just need looking for a fresh new addition to the shoe closet. Trust me, you won’t be disappointed.


Never a Dull Moment in Edwardian-Style Zanotti Heels

zanotti heelsDesigned for the hopeless romantic, these Giuseppe Zanotti booties are the perfect addition to the vintage-lovin’ gal’s wardrobe.

What’s interesting about these boots is that they have an open-toe design and are a classic Edwardian-style lace-up shoe all in one. A classic, traditional style complete with a regal floral pattern embossed throughout, these no-nonsense shoes offer plenty of vintage appeal with a chic and sophisticated design.

The 3 ¾” heel is just high enough to  flatter your figure in a simple black dress or dress pants this season, and the glossy finish is sure to attract mucho attention. Parties, soirees, or any time you want to play dress up, these are a great pick for any vintage fashion enthusiast looking for a new look for the season.


Tess Tuesday: I Know What I Want to Wear

It happens over brunch on Sunday morning, in the locker room after yoga, by drunk-dial at 3am, and via text, causing me to ignore the red hand and walk blindly into traffic: I find out about an upcoming event. It could be a house party, or a dinner party, or a fondue night, or some fabulous gala that requires a gown. Whatever it is, once I get word of it, my mind jumps immediately to what I’m going to wear. Of course, there are endless contributing factors to consider. The most basic are the occasion, its venue and of course, the season. Some of the more minute considerations however, include, who else will attend, if there will be dancing, and whether or not I’ll be drinking red wine. (Its stains have notoriously ruined dresses forever.)

Occasionally, I hear of the event and an outfit that I own and have been meaning to wear pops into my head straightaway. It’s perfect and I’m golden, despite the fact that I’ve almost been hit by a taxi.  More often though, I have to spend a good half hour-who am I kidding? An hour and a half-trying on clothes and shoes and scarves and bracelets to construct the perfect look for the party. Once in a great while, I hear of the event and the perfect outfit simply appears. I know what it looks like and how to accessorize. It will be flattering and flawless. The only problem is that I’ve invented this outfit-it’s merely a product of my imagination. I might own a few pieces of the look, but I certainly don’t own the majority of it.

At this point I should say, “Well, that would be nice.  Too bad it doesn’t exist.” Instead, I start taking a mental inventory of all the stores in the area, who carries and what, and hours of operation. The quest begins: building the nonexistent look. If it’s made of separates, the task is easier, but the journey is long. If I’ve designed a dress in my head, the mission is in serious risk of ending in failure, through no fault of my own. I’ll take a second to brag here.  If it exists, I will find it. E-mail me!

I find that when I’m going crazy to build a look, the thing I am most thankful for is my shoe wardrobe. A shoe wardrobe full of staples will never let you down. Here are some I think every girl should own so when she’s built the perfect outfit, she can rush home from the stores, just in time to get ready in a hurry, and the shoes will be waiting in her closet to complete the ensemble.

The Black Patent Flat (All Black for Barefoot Tess Banded Flat)

The Corso Como Rachel II

The Accent Flat (Barefoot Tess Edie)

The Metallic Party Shoe (Gwyneth Princess Heel)

Speak up! What are your favorite staples?

And speaking of dreaming up styles, are there any that you’d like BFT to carry? Tell me what’s missing!

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July 2020