I can’t. I can’t purge or pack another thing today. In the past few days I’ve packed here, there, and everywhere; have had packers here; a photog here; potential buyers here; and I’ve had it up to HERE! It literally never ends…
In the meantime, I need to do something that gives me joy (yes, I’ve read the book) so I’m going to sit here and write and I’m going to write about shoes. It’s a win-win!
Anyone who knows me knows I’m a bit shoe-crazed. Actually I’m a lot shoe-crazed! Yesterday I cleaned and purged my closet and discovered shoes I won’t be wearing but will make someone very happy…and sassy. I analyzed nearly ever pair I own and asked myself something I recently read, “Would I buy these if I saw them in a store today?” No? Chunk ‘em. Yes? Keep ‘em.
I think shoes can either make or break an outfit and best of all, they always fit! I can go into any store or online shop and know I’m a size 9 shoe but that’s rarely the case with clothing, in which I range anywhere from Jumbo to 3 (thank you Chico’s!)
I was all set to write about summer’s hottest shoe trends, but so many of them made me say, “uh no to the n-o,” so instead am going to discuss shoes every woman’s closet should have. Enjoy!
First and foremost, but perhaps not always most practical, are pumps. Like cowboy boots though, if you invest in a good pair, you can wear them for days. Hi my name is Carla and I’m obsessed with pumps. There, I said it. I have a black pair, nude pair, red pair, brown pair, blue pair, sparkly pair, several colorful pairs, tuxedo pair, and a leopard pair. Now, I’m not saying every woman needs every one of those, but I do think a solid three-inch pump in both black and nude are wardrobe essentials. I know sky-high stilettos are all the rage, but if you can’t comfortably walk in them and look like a fool trying, save your money and invest in lower heeled ones first. And don’t be afraid to invest in an expensive brand. Pumps are timeless, will never go out of style, and you’ll wear them forever. As much as the above black Christian Louboutins are coveted by many, I’m obsessed with my nude Sam Edelman’s above. I love how the top of the foot area is cut with a simple “v” and the heel is the perfect height. I love them so much I have them in black too.
When a pump is not what your feet or outfit is calling for, you need look no further than a wedge. It will give you similar leg-lengthening qualities with a little more casualness or youthfulness. At least one pair in both black and nude is recommended. Younger girls can also pull-off flatforms but I prefer a classic wedge, which can be worn with anything from a pleated skirt to jeans to a simple dress and they easily go from day to night. The black ankle-strap ones above from Aldo are adorbs with their white accent and how cute are the middle ones from Andres Assous? The classic girl that I am means I also love Jack Rogers’ simple tan wedge.
If you’re a young girl or woman, flatforms like these silver ones from Aldo complement both jeans and summer dresses.
Lastly in the heeled area, every girl needs at least one pair of shoes that say “The party doesn’t start till I walk in.” These can be 9-inch Loubs, floral wedges, glittery flats, or anything that makes a statement. Think party not practical and smile when you wear them! Not comfy choosing a pair? Look no further than Manolo Blahnik’s stunning cobalt blue pumps made famous by Carrie Bradshaw, which in my mind are both the perfect party shoe and the perfect wedding shoe. Something blue anyone?
Manolo Blahnik Aldo Aquazzura
Ivanka Trump Jimmy Choo Jimmy Choo
FLAT OUT LOVE THEM
Slip on Sneakers
A somewhat more recent trend but one I hope never goes away is a slip-on sneaker. I’ll admit I had a hard time finding one at first that worked on my feet and returned many (thank you Nordstrom’s return fabulousness!) but once I did, I was sold. My white versions of the above black Vince slip-ons were literally comfy from the minute I put them on, and say what you will about Toms, but they make my feet happy. All slip-ons, including Celine’s above adorable plaid ones and Steve Madden’s above quilted ones are perfect for running errands, travelling, and anything else where you want to look stylish but stay comfy. In the winter they are a cold-weather version of flip-flops and yet look a little more polished than true sneakers.
Whether you’re a runner, a walker, a tennis player, or just want to look like one, everyone needs a good pair of sneakers. I love my Tiffany blue Nikes that were a gift and since I’m not training for any marathon or grand slam, I wear them for just about any activity. Reebok is also popular and I tried my hardest to get my hands (and feet) on a pair of the above Kate Spade “splash” version she did for New Balance, to no avail. It was recommended to me years ago to buy athletic shoes a half or even whole size bigger than your normal size and those were indeed very wise words. Run don’t walk to get a good pair of sneakers. Just do it.
Whether you give it up “thumbs up” or “thumbs down” the Athleisure trend is everywhere and it’s not going away and I say “yay!” Keep it classy though and keep it groomed from head to what you wear on your toes. I never thought I could pull-off Chucks by Converse but I love my gray ones and I also love my Sketchers walkers. I know, I know, not the coolest of footwear but oh-so-comfy. If it’s coolness you long for, check out Superga, an Italian sneaker that’s been around forever.
This is where I can go a little crazy. I love flats. My college girls are forever telling me to “add a little height” to my outfit, which I do when going out, but day-to-day you’ll find me in flats. Whether they are chic leather sandals, custom-made ones from Capri, or standard flip-flips, I’m all over them and think you should be too!
My “go to” flat is probably anything by Tory Burch. Yep, I’m THAT girl. I have several flip-flops and round-logoed Miller thongs, but my favorites are the tan square-logoed Millers I bought years ago but are no longer available. Sigh.
I also love my new pair of latex nude Vince sandals, my black two-strap and cork-soled slip-ons I found at Target, my beloved glitter Reef flip-flops and very basic but very comfy Havaianas, the now trendy cross-over Lucky Brand shoes I fell in love with last year (who knew!?), and of course my silver “handmade for me in Capri” little gems.
It doesn’t end there though. Here is my “dream team” of flats starring Valentino, Hermes, and Weitzman:
Ballets are one of my favorite styles of flats and I DIE for the above Chanel and Ferragamo Varinas. Overall, I think ballet flats are a timeless closet staple and are ideal for slipping into your bag or carry-on in case your pigs get tired of being squeezed into their heels. My favorite that come in their own little pouch are by Yosi Samra and Tieks are also popular. Genius!
I also jumped on the Tory Burch Reva bandwagon and have several like the ones below emblazoned with a giant gold or silver logo, but I really don’t find them comfortable. I lean more toward a basic ballet like the three below (Target has great ones!), but how fun are the ones with rose accents? Still not sold on a classic ballet? Then maybe consider any of the other embellished alternatives.
Classic Spanish footwear, “alpargatas” as they are known in Spain, are like butter for your feet. And, if you love espadrilles as much as I do, this is your dream season as the canvas classics could very well be called the shoe of the summer. You can find your basic flat ones but also wedge ones, lace-up ones, and even chunky-heeled ones. They are oh-so comfy and stylish.
These two-toned Torys are my faves. So in love with them am I that I’m on my second pair. I also like Sole Society’s suede ones and you can’t go wrong with Soludos or Toms…of which I have many.
Here are some other takes on the espadrille that I like. A fun and fringed CWonder sandal, Stuart Weitzman’s simple and elegant wedge, a slip on by Ugg that’s easy going, Tory’s block-heeled beauty, and Zara’s popular lace-up version.
If you’re looking for a bargain, look no further than Asos, which offers 2-for-1 combo packs in an assortment of colors and patterns.
Ever since the days of Penny Loafers, I’ve been a non-stop loyal fan of loafers. The slip-on slide style is summer’s update to the preppy classic, which I like, but I’ll forever be a classic menswear style girl.
I tend to lean toward driving mocs and my red Tod’s are my go tos. I also have several Cole Haan versions, including these brown patent leather ones. A more recent purchase that I’m liking are red canvas Cole Haans and I hope to be purchasing these CWonder’s playful “Bee Happy” smoking ones.
Bass Weejuns are classic and timeless as are Gucci’s traditional buckled ones. And how sick are Sole Society’s silver Huxleys and Gucci’s Spring 2016 embellished slip-on block-heeled gems?
Whether you go for a chunky wedge or a celeb fave Weitzman “Nudist,” think minimalist. The key here is seeing more foot than shoe, which elongates the legs. You can never go wrong with a classic nude pump, which is the ultimate leg lengthener. Hey, if Kate Middleton can wear her LK Bennett pump so often, so can we! Don’t limit your nude shoe wardrobe to pumps though, think wedges, flats, slides, and even rain boots.
Alexandre Birman Jimmy Choo LK Bennett Stuart Weitzman
Cosid Emilio Luca Jimmy Choo
Sam Edelman Steve Madden Steve Madden
GIVE ‘EM THE BOOT
Rain happens and you want your feet to be prepared. I’m not talking polka dots or puppy dogs (leave those for the kids); I’m talking a classic pair of black or other solid-colored rain boots. You can’t go wrong with Hunter and my quilted black Sperry’s are keepers. If you must have pattern, stick maybe to Burberry’s classic plaid. I’m aware that cowboy boots are liked by many, but with those too, keep them simple. You can go knee high or opt for a pair that looks like a regular pair of shoes. I love my ankle boots. Your goal is to keep your feet dry, not make a statement.
Hunter Sperry Burberry Capelli
Burberry Chooka Walmart JCPenney Tretorn
A good pair of flat and cold weather boots should also be in your closet. Ralph Lauren’s two-toned riding boots below are both stylish and safe, as are Uggs. As much as people loathe them, they work! A knee-high boot like Stuart Weitzman’s rich suede pair is super stylish but works best on long-legged and lean ladies.
Me? I also adore my red “game day” ropers and these black ones with bows on the back.
Finally, consider buying some ankle boots with a simple heel, which add edge and flair and go with just about everything from skinny jeans to swingy skirts.
You can go more casual like these from Rag and Bone, Sole Society, and Steve Madden…
Or glam them up like these by Valentino, River Island, and Steve Madden.
So there you have it: every shoe for every girl. Remember, shop smart and have fun!