Tag Archives: shoes

Retro Blue Shoes with My Merled Dress

My gray merled dress is ba-aaack! The cost-per-wear must be so low by now–I’ve worn this a lot! But I still like it. I can style it with bright tights, fun scarves, or, as I did on this occasion, fancy blue shoes.

blues shoes

Dress: TJ Maxx
Tights: Fred Meyer’s
Shoes: Crown Vintage via DSW
Earrings: Swapped

I couldn’t resist these shoes. They’re faux leather, affordable, a great color, and have a fun retro vibe. The shoes may be 40s-inspired, but the rest of my outfit is current. The yellow belt was a fun touch–and it’s a complementary color to the shoes.

merled dress

I think I’ll be able to wear these with lots of things–from pants to skirts, and on all sorts of occasions. Probably not for sweeping the lawn, but the broom did make a nice prop!

blue, yellow, gray

Are you drawn to colorful shoes or do you stick with neutrals?

I’m joining Visible Monday at Not Dead Yet. Check out what everyone else is wearing!


Filed under Fashion, Thrifty

Lucite Heels and a Wrap Dress

When I say lucite heels, you might picture plastic soles from the ’70s, like these:

goldfish shoes

Or maybe your mind went to a clear heel of the exotic dancer variety, like these:

stripper shoes

But I bet you didn’t think of a wearable shoe like the ones I recently bought:

qupid shoes

I wore my faux-leather, clear-heeled sandals with a purple Hawaiian floral patterned wrap dress I bought in NYC this past summer.

wrap dress

Tank top: Swapped
Pleather shoes: Qupid
Vegan leather purse: Shiraleah

Hawaiian pattern dress

I think the look is elegant and appropriate for the fashion show I attended with Mr. Jean of all trades at Neiman Marcus. (Click to enlarge.) The show was fun, but it was full of wool, leather and even fur. Boo for that. One ray of hope is that Stella McCartney’s fabric purses adorned many of the models. The world is slowly changing.

fashion show collage

Here are a few other transparent-heeled shoes I have my eye on (these are all by Cri de Coeur, one of my favorite ethical shoe brands):

Cri de Coeur collage

Have you considered clear heels? If so, I know a shop where you can get a matching, vintage purse!

Oh, I’m joining Style Elixir for a link-up. See what everyone else is wearing!


Filed under Events, Fashion

Splurge vs Steal: Boots Edition

A few years ago, I found a pair of black leather Louboutins at a consignment shop. They were still expensive, but much more within reach than a new pair. I bought them. I also liked that since they weren’t new, I could buy them (I’d been staying away from new leather since I went vegan in 2000).

Well, I’ve had a change of heart. I don’t even wear used leather now because there are so many alternatives and I prefer to support vegan companies like Cri de Coeur and Novacas.

So I sold my Louboutins, along with my pre-owned Manolos, a couple of pair of Jimmy Choos, and some Fluevogs. With my windfall, I started replacing my shoes. The first pair I found were dead-ringers for the booties I’d sold. Have a look:

Louboutins vs DSW brand

Audrey Brook might not be a coveted brand or household word, and they don’t have a trademark red sole, but they fit well, are made of synthetic material, and cost 5% of a pair of new Louboutins. Yes, they were $50 (the Louboutins were $995 new).

The new ones aren’t quite as high, but that’s fine with me. Weather you stay away from leather or are just looking for not spend all your rent money on a pair of shoes, these will do the trick!


Filed under Ethical, Fashion

Springtime Scarf

Considering the official start of summer is tomorrow, I’ll stop posting shots with tights and scarves. The rain did come back today, and tights are not out of the question, but these pictures are a few weeks old. I sold these shoes earlier this week. Proof that I’m sitting on my photos!

jumping for joy

Top: Swapped
Skirt: Swapped
Scarf: Swapped
Tights: Target
Shoes: John Fluevog

I’m happy to have sold them (even though I love that heel) because now I have money for new shoes. I’m replacing all my leather shoes with non-leather ones. Fluevogs do have vegan styles from time to time but nothing intriguing at the moment. Sigh.

thrifty outfit

Other than a shoe splurge that I’ve now partially regained, this is a thrifty outfit. I’m particularly smitten with the scarf. It’s light enough for warmer weather and has a neat combination of colors: olive, wine, yellow and gray.

wine and yellow

I like using a scarf to dress up a t-shirt or other simple look. What accessories are your favs?


Filed under Ethical, Fashion, Hot and Cold, Thrifty

Save Your Soles

I’ve bought several pair of high-end designer shoes for a fraction of their original prices by shopping consignment. Manolo Blahnik, Jimmy Choo, Christian Louboutin, Badgley Mischka, and Tory Burch and names synonymous with luxury and quality, but they’re not cheap! Luckily, some people tire of their shoes before they’ve worn them out.

When I buy a pair of leather-soled shoes, the first thing I do is take them to a cobbler and have them zip soled. Zip soles (mine are by the brand Vibram) are thin rubber outersoles that a shoe repair shop can add to the bottom of a shoe to make it last longer.


Before zip soles

Walking in wet conditions, and even rough cement, will scuff, pit, stain, harden, and crack leather soles. And on marble or other surfaces you might as well be walking on ice. Zip soles add stability and grip too.


After zip soles

Zip soles comes in beige, black–even red–so they’ll blend in with the existing soles. It costs me $25/pair at Bailey’s Shoe Repair in Kirkland. That seems to be about the going rate and it’s well worth it to extend the life of a pair of shoes. You can always replace the zip soles if you wear them out but you can’t swap out the original leather soles!

Do you have any tips for making shoes and boots last?


Filed under Fashion

The Dressing Room

I moved into my house this past summer, and even though none of my decorating is 100% done, I might as well start showing you what I’ve been up to. The biggest luxury is my dressing room (aka the shoe room). We have a modest, three-bedroom ranch with smallish closets so I took the smallest of the bedrooms and turned it into my walk-in closet. How decadent!

my closet

This is where I blog, and on days when I work at home, it’s where my writing gets done. The best part: The bookshelves full of shoes! See, I bought a Kindle a couple of years ago and I sold most of my books. The few I have for reference (cookbooks and such), I keep in a closet.

shoe shelves

Having my shoes on display does make me seem a little like Imelda, but I find I wear them all more because I know what I have. And no, I don’t need to buy shoes for a while!

Bracelets, rings, and studs

dangly earrings and necklaces

Putting my costume jewelry on display makes it easy to grab a bracelet, necklace or pair of earrings in a hurry. The necklaces are hanging on simple nails, but I plan to upgrade to small, funky knobs soon. The screened-in vintage picture frame is from the Fremont Sunday Market but it would be a fun and easy DIY project.

I even found a neat way to display my sunglasses. I saw this idea in the Ikea catalog. I tied a ribbon from perfume packaging to the top of the hanger to finish it off.

sunglasses on display

I removed the closet doors and replaced them with purple curtains so I can open it wide and see everything at once. The soft fabric absorbs sound better than wood doors so the room isn’t as echo-y. Also because the cat box is in there–gotta be practical!

drapey closet doors

To balance all the dark wood ladder shelves (even my desk is a ladder style), I bought a lucite chair from Ikea. It’s fresh and modern and doesn’t impede light or sight lines.

lucite chair

The ideas in this project translate to lots of spaces. The book-turned-shoe shelves would look nice in a bedroom and would fit in an actual walk-in closet. No matter what your space, I highly recommend displaying jewelry (in my last place, I hung necklaces on my bathroom wall). You’ll wear what you own more often if you can see it.

All I have to do now is paint the walls. What color would you choose?


Filed under Decor, DIY, Fashion

Marbled Satiny Top

Here’s a genius idea: This pattered, synthetic silk, woven shirt has a plain, knitted cotton back, which gives this garment stretch and shape. I love the dressy-on-the-front, comfy-on-the-back workings of this piece.

lime top and jeans

Top: Target
Jeans: Seven for all Mankind
Shoes: BCBGirls via consignment
Cuff: Claire’s

And what else goes with lime green and gray? Hot pink! It says “I didn’t try too hard (but maybe I want to be noticed).”

green and denim

I’d been looking for a pair of bright green pumps when I saw these and thought they were a close second. I probably paid too much for them ($40) but they fit well.

light and dark

These are fun shoes but so far, I’ve worn them only with dark, trouser-cut denim. What else would you wear them with?



Filed under Fashion, Thrifty

Pink Pointy Pumps

Wow! I found these amazing pumps at a consignment shop recently. I’d been looking for lime green or hot pink pointy shoes and I got what I wished for. I didn’t want to spend a lot on such a wild item. Who know’s when I’ll tire of them? So that’s why I wanted to go cheap. Someone had worn these once, tops. They’re practically new–and they fit like a glove. Oddly, despite not being the shape of my foot, they’re really comfortable.

pink pumps

I knew I wanted to wear them with long bootcut jeans, so I tried keeping the rest of the outfit neutral and focusing on the shoes.

neutral with hot pink shoes

Turtleneck: Kohl’s
Jeans: 7 for all Mankind
Necklace: Florida street market
Shoes: BCBGirls via consigned

top outfit


Filed under Fashion, Thrifty

Getting Dressed with a Little Help from my Friends

They don’t know it (yet) but this outfit came together with some help from The Boston Fashionista (AKA Kristen) and Bright Tights, Cloudy City (AKA Emily). You see, they’d both commented about these pieces in previous posts.

belted dress

Dress: Wish, Seattle
Belt: Part of another dress
Tank: Wet Seal
Bag: Shiraleah
Shoes: Flexx

Kristen saw this dress when I styled it for three seasons. She said it would also look good belted. How right she was! I grabbed this faux suede tie-belt from my chartreuse dress. When belts are included with an outfit I usually break them apart and wear them separately.

Emily saw my Flexx shoes in another post. She said she’d never heard of the company and was going to search for them online. Curiosity got the best of me and I searched online to see what Emily would find. Well, I found my Flexx shoes at Endless.com—on sale! Originally, I saw the shoes in three colors in a shoe store Santa Fe. I loved the periwinkle best but thought black was safe. Plus, they weren’t cheap so I could choose only one pair.

Flexx shoes and Shiraleah bag

The sale at Endless was too good to turn down so I picked up this neutral pair—and the periwinkle! I’m so glad I did. I’d been looking for a replacement pair of comfortable wedges (I’d walked so many miles in my old Aerosoles that they were literally falling apart). Now that I’ve had the summer to test drive this style, I could safely buy the others, knowing they’d get a lot of wear.

Thanks to both of you for the styling tips! I promise to show off the other shoes very soon.

1 Comment

Filed under Fashion

Street Style: Better Than Flip-Flops

I try not to be a style snob. With fashion, my attitude is usually “anything goes.” But I do have a couple of pet peeves. One of which the flip-flop. I don’t mean nice flat, thong-toes sandals; I mean the rubber cheapies that ruin otherwise nice outfits. If you put any thought at all into your attire, please don’t stop at your ankle. For true H2T (head to toe) fabulousness, check out these alternatives:

red cutout

strappy and thong


white and braided


All of these styles go well with skirts and dresses as well as jeans and shorts. Their flat soles and airy uppers make these cool and summery. They’re all comfortable-looking, and look pulled-together, especially with a nice pedicure (with or without polish). The toe rings are a great touch—try one if you dare!

There’s a wide range of choices in sandals this summer—from die-cut to braided. And the color choice is amazing. Red is one of my favorites, but metallics are neutral and fun too. So try a pair instead of the usual flip-flip and take your summer style up a notch.

1 Comment

Filed under Fashion, Street Style