Last Sunday, I was watching my favorite show, CBS Sunday Morning, and they ran a segment on a new Broadway play called Love, Loss and What I Wore, directed the Delia and Nora Ephron. If you haven’t read the book, you should. It’s a delightful collection of memories about how fashion influences women’s lives on a truly emotional basis.
This got me thinking about shoes. Women, generally speaking, love shoes. I think they are right up there with a chilled glass of Sauvignon Blanc, sex and lunch out with the girls. Shoes are forgiving – they always fit, no matter what the scale says. They can be a relatively inexpensive way to amp up your wardrobe. And, despite their utility –we do, after all, need them to get where we’re going– shoes can be so much fun. Just think of how many options there are for black pumps alone. They run the gamut from functional to flirtatious to everything in between. And who can forget Carrie Bradshaw’s greeting to her newest shoe conquest, “Hello, Lover.” We all identified with that. (I see you shaking your head in agreement.) In essence, shoes are the perfect accessory.
I asked Heidi, Liza, Amy, the StyleBlueprint Divas, to join me, Elizabeth, in selecting their favorite shoes of the season, and here’s what they came up with. If you are interested in a shoe, simply click the picture for more information.
1) This shoe combines my two favorite elements: snakeskin and a flip flop. Add a cute cork wedge heel and call it a day. Dress it up or wear it to the pool.
2) First of all, I love all of Tory’s (we are on a first name basis) shoes so narrowing this down was torture. I love her espadrilles, her pumps, but her flats are her signature piece. Treat this orange flat as a neutral; it actually complements all of your summer outfits.
4) Two elements I love here? Green and Lilly Pulitzer. You could wear these with anything and just own it. “Are you looking at me? That’s right, I have BRIGHT GREEN SHOES on and they are fabulous.”
3) Right now, go out and buy a nude pump. I don’t care if it’s peep-toe, sling back, platform, what have you–just do it. I have three different pairs now and they make your legs look so long and are a perfect finish to any outfit. I went with the Stuart Weitzman because they are truly comfortable and will last you forever.
1) I continue to buy shoes that really aren’t colorful. I’m in a color rut, but I’m okay with it. I’ve taken Heidi’s advice on buying a nude shoe and just expanded to a new level that includes all shades of nude, and all styles of shoes. I’m obsessed and I know it. I saw these Sam Edelman shoes on two of my friends’ feet and had to buy some. I’ve worn them at least 10 times in the past month.
2) By Stuart Weitzman, this heel height is one that has me convinced go get these, today. I see myself wearing these all summer long and crying when the temperature dips.
3) Last but not least are a pair by Donald Pliner. This is my go-to brand for comfort and durability. Day in and day out, Pliners are what I grab. At a glance, the pair below look a little boring, but this type of sandal is inevitably the unsung hero in your shoe wardrobe.
1) On a recent visit to the Zappos’ outlet south of Louisville, I tried on a pair of Rockport flats. Undoubtedly, they are the most comfortable shoes I’ve worn in a long time. I started surfin’ the net to look for other Rockport styles, only to find this fabulous pair of neutral pumps. If you notice the insert of the shoe, you’ll see they allow for extra cushioning in the arch of your foot. In my past life, this conservative shoe would not have received a second glance, but these days, I need to be able to walk.
2) The subtle gradations of color and use of suede in the straps make this shoe a winner in my book. This sandal works with almost any color and is a perfect transition shoe for Fall. Right now with the cool temps, pairs these with white jeans and a brown leather jacket. If you buy these shoes immediately, you can do some real damage stomping cicadas.
3) On a recent trip to Atlanta, I discovered Faryl Robin shoes. The shoes are slightly quirky using color and stitching to add detail to their shoes. And because Faryl Robins’ shoes combine color so effortlessly, I find they go with everything in my wardrobe. This pair from Zappos also comes in white; both look great with jeans.
4) I rarely see a Kate Spade shoe I don’t like. The shoes have a classic quality to them, and in the case of the sandals below, they will compliment a cocktail dress or a casual pant or jean. The look of Kate Spade is always sophisticated, but I find there is always some special element in her shoes that makes you want to drool. The jeweled embellishment puts this sandal in a league of its own, don’t you think?
Amy’s Picks – dreams meet reality:
1) I completely agree with Elizabeth – shoes are the best accessory! For summer, I adore espadrilles. This same time last year, I was gearing up to travel with my best college friends to Paris. The colorful pair of Robert Clergerie espadrilles below reminded me of shopping in the Marais district on a warm July afternoon. If I could go back this summer, I would love to buy these and pair with my favorite jeans and a white billowy blouse or a Boho chic sundress.
But, since this summer’s budget only allows for a drive-by of Paris, Tennessee, I’ll content myself with a pair of Cordani’s instead. If you’re not familiar with this great line, I encourage you to try them. They’re affordable, super stylish and unbelievably comfortable. (In fact, I purchased a pair of brown suede Cordani cork wedges last summer for my trip and walked all over Paris, happily shod.)
2) My next pick is a dreamy pair of brown leather wedges from Marni. (Note: I say dreamy because I’ll only be wearing these lovelies in my dreams, unless, of course, my Fairy Godmother reappears from her sabbatical.)
If 5 (or more) Ben Franklin’s feels a little steep to you, too, I offer you a less expensive, though equally stylish alternative in the Cordani wedges below. Not quite as stylized or dramatic as the previous pair from Marni, but I can vouch for the comfort — both on foot and in pocketbook– from personal experience.