Posts Tagged ‘flats


An Oxford Education

“An Oxford shoe is a style of leather shoe with enclosed lacing,” reveals Wikipedia. “Oxford shoes are traditionally constructed of leather and were historically rather plain.” And that’s exactly why it’s a little disconcerting that Oxfords — those cap-toed, laced-up flagships of the sensible shoe fleet — are sharing space with the words “Trend Alert!”

Gravati Oxford

Gravati Oxford

But it’s happening. “Trend Alert: Oxford Shoes Are About To Be All The Rage,” announced Glamour magazine in a recent daily style blog. The post goes on to enthuse, “Here’s what you can wear yours with: EVERYTHING. They look great with or without socks, with skinny jeans or cropped pants, with skirts and dresses, shorts and capris.”

Joi Suede Lace-Ups

Joi Suede Lace-Ups

New York Magazine also tapped Oxfords for fall, writing, “The emerging shoe trend: colorful, comfortable oxfords, a welcome evolution from the ubiquitous ballet flat.” Comments to the post range from “Gross, these are shoes for men” to “I love these for a casual Katharine Hepburn-esque day outfit.”

Blogger shut up, i love that shirt on you gave the subject some thought, deciding, “There is one trend I cannot ignore. I also can’t decide if I’m on board with it. Allow me to introduce you to what very well may become the new ballet flat: the Oxford.” In a reader poll on the site, 45% voted “Fab” to 55% claiming “Woof.”

Kimchi Blue Metallic Oxford

Kimchi Blue Metallic Oxford

Lukewarm reception to the idea isn’t stopping designers or stores. Saks carries Joie suede lace-ups, Italian-made Gravati Oxfords can be found on on and Urban Outfitters is selling the adorable Kimchi Blue metallic Oxford.


WTS? (What’s This Shoe)

I see so many cute shoes walking around NYC and as a “shoexpert” I am able to identify most of them, while the rest just remain a painful mystery.  That’s why I’ve decided to post these mysterious cuties for YOU to identify.  C’mon girl, help out this shoe mama!

Mystery orange shoe

Mystery orange shoe

Mystery orange shoe - side view

Mystery orange shoe - side view


Holiday Shopping Survival Secrets

There’s nothing like a few good shoes to get you through the frantic shopping madness that ensues after Turkey Day, and when you’re committed to tackling for the latest Louboutin handbag or snagging your fair share of treats from the Neiman Marcus beauty counter, it’s the shoes that will make or break you on that trip.

Holiday season. The time to indulge in the festivities, roundup that wishlist and hit the aisles like it’s nobody’s business as soon as the Thanksgiving clock hits midnight. There’s nothing like a few good shoes to get you through the frantic shopping madness that ensues after Turkey Day, and when you’re committed to tackling for the latest Louboutin handbag or snagging your fair share of treats from the Neiman Marcus beauty counter, it’s the shoes that will make or break you on that trip.

Wherever your gift list may lead, you’ll need a reliable pair of shoes to travel through mall territory and win this year’s holiday roundup challenge.

Kick off those heels for the day and set your sights on this festive pair of ballet flats from Elie Tahari. The Janine Driver is your golden ticket to fast-tracking your way to the shopping mall at the wee hours of early-bird sale hour, your secret weapon for criss-crossing the gift section of the department store in true catwoman-like spirit.

Made with soft leather lining and a shiny patent finish, you’ll be in the holiday spirit the moment you step into these ultra-chic yet versatile shoes. Not only does this glistening pair give you a few shopping super-powers, but they’re also the perfect pair for juggling holiday errands and turning into a queen-of-baking for the season.

Map out your plan, head off on that shopping conquest –

– and come home with your haul without a single pinched toe or sore calves. Guaranteed.


Dress Up Deals

If you’re feeling uninspired this Halloween, just do what comes naturally: Work up from the shoes. Here are my picks for cheap, adorable, wear-them-in-real-life footwear (that you can still run out and get tonight).

Whether you’re a skirt and lipstick-wearing pit bull or part of the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pantsuits, make a political power play in patent gray pumps: Mossimo Viviana Pumps, Target $27.

Grab a boa, black dress and bright red lipstick. You’re a flapper. While it’s no fun to think about how the whole excessive booze, sex and costume jewelry trend ended with the Great Depression, it is a good reminder of how important a bargain can be: Mary Jane Pumps, Target, $23.

With a green dress and fairy wings, you’re Tink and these ballet flats will bring you back to life anytime: Lizard Flats, Wal-Mart, $7 (Bonus, use the site-to-store feature to see if they’re in your local Wal-Mart).

You’ll need a short skirt to show off these peep toe pumps. I’m thinking 80’s prom queen. Then wear them to every holiday party on your calendar. Just ditch the tiara first: d’Orsay Peep-Toe Pumps, Wal-Mart, $19.

An homage to Pocahontas is nothing short of historical with these fringe boots: Airwalk Ralston Fringe Boot, Payless, $35.

Get the best of both worlds, comfort and style, with a blonde wig and Hannah Montana Tee: Airwalk Toxin Argyle Skimmer, Payless, $20.


Knockoffs vs. The Real Thing: Does it Matter?

My friend Jill can’t understand my shoe budget. When I debuted my new Lanvin ballerina flats one weekend at the movies, she launched a full scale offensive about my frivolous spending habits, making sure to point out that the shoes she was wearing (which had heels, mind you) had come from The Gap and had been purchased for a mere $29.95.
It got me thinking. Was I a fool for spending $480 on a beautiful pair of flats when I could have bought a similar pair for hundreds less at The Gap? I sat there in the theater, Jill crunching popcorn in the seat next to me, enduring those ridiculous commercials they play now before the movie starts, and stared down at my beautiful satin shoes, almost willing them to reassure me: “Don’t worry Katie! We’re worth the money! She doesn’t know what she’s talking about–we’re Lanvin!”

A week later I was at the Beverly Center in L.A., shopping with my best friend, Teo, when we found ourselves within credit-card charging distance of the shoe department at Bloomingdales. A little shoe birdie had alerted me that the new gold gladiator sandal by Giuseppe Zanotti was blinking away, just feet from where we stood. Teo saw my eyes fixate on the shoe display and said, “Come on, let’s go to DSW, they have all of those shoes and they look just as cute, they’re just not as expensive.”

The needle on my little mental record player screeched to a stop. I looked at Teo. Was she serious? “Come on, give it a try, we can always come back,” she said. Oh boy, she was on a roll. Maybe she saw the doubt in my eyes, maybe it was Jill’s lecture the week before… “Ok,” I said, and allowed myself to be led away from the light, towards the mean, nasty shoe discount store, that I’m sure had to be somewhere in the bowels of the Beverly Center.
When we got there, I perused the aisles of discount shoes. I could have been suffering from Stockholm Syndrome, but I did see some cute possibilities. Teo convinced me to buy a pair of gladiator sandals by a designer I’d never heard of. This is what I’ll say about them: They had the look of the Giuseppe Zanotti sandals, I wouldn’t say they were as cute, but they were a very affordable $39.95.
Skip to two weeks later. I’m totally depressed, the DSW sandals I bought broke the third day I wore them. So much for $39.95. If I multiplied that price by the money I’d have to spend replacing those shoes after 3 wears, would I get the price equivalent of my original Giuseppe Zanotti sandals? Who knows?
After a bit of a think on the subject, I came up with this: Perhaps $480.00 is a lot of dough to spend on a pair of flats, but if you work hard for your money and spending it on shoes makes you happy, why not go for it?
It’s like that Sex and the City episode where Samantha and Carrie drive to “The Valley” to get their hands on a cheap knockoff designer bag. It’s a good idea in theory, and it may fool your friends, but in the end, won’t you still be one that knows you bought a fake? I’d rather invest in something that is the real deal, because let’s face it, people around you may not know your shoes or your bag is a knockoff….but you will, and where’s the thrill in that?


The Great High Heel Ban of 2007

Last spring, I was a gym-obsessed workaholic. Nothing could slow me down. If I wasn’t taking kickboxing or pulling 13 hour waitressing shifts, I was probably studying for the GREs. My inability to relax started to worry family and friends. My parents begged me to slow down. My boyfriend tried to convince me to take a vacation. And then fate stepped in.

I was on my way down my basement steps to do a load of laundry. One lone sock fell out of the basket I was carrying onto the step below me. I slipped on it and took a header down the rest of the stairs. The pain was instant and excruciating. I tried to stand up and fell right back down. I scooted back up the steps on my bottom and hopped on one foot to my mom’s room. I told her I was pretty sure I broke something.

A half hour later, the x-rays confirmed it. I had somehow managed to split the bone of my left big toe in half. My podiatrist, Dr. Fran, gave me a choice of colors for my cast. I chose neon pink. I would be on crutches for the next six weeks which meant absolutely no work or gym.

Up to this point, I hadn’t cried. Then, Dr. Fran delivered the news that would set me over the edge, “No high heels for the next six months.”

I hardly remember the drive home. My mom tells me I just stared off into the distance with a shell-shocked look on my face. She understood my love of heels better than anyone else (I’m pretty sure it’s an inherited trait).

I snapped out of it when instead of our driveway, she pulled into the mall parking lot. We were going shoe shopping! I hobbled along through the Macy’s shoe department, picking out the chicest flats I could find. I bought leopard flats, red patent leather flats, metallic silver flats, you name it. They turned out to be my saving grace.

Currently, I am fully healed – mind, body and soul. And once again…. fully heeled (okay, I know, these shoe puns have to stop.. but I can’t help myself). I have a newfound appreciation for my stilettos, which I wear every chance I get to make up for lost time. But every once in a while, I break out a pair of flats. And I have to laugh because the right shoe is always slightly more worn in than the left.

Shoetube on Twitter

July 2020