This week’s crazy warm weather just begged for the first appearance of summer sandals. But somehow that seemed a little strange in April. Not exactly like breaking out the white linen pants, but still, strange. My new black suede platform sandals feel just right to bridge the seasons. My toes peeping out seems summery but the dark, rich material keeps these shoes firmly rooted in spring.
My Dana Davis loafers arrived today. I actually ordered two pairs, one in my usual size and one a half size larger since the sale site mentioned that they run small. It’s a good thing I did because my usual size indeed proved a bit snug. I’ve been wearing the larger pair around the house this morning and they’re quite comfy. They’ve also got some great arch support, so I’m thinking there might be something to the brand’s claim of special comfort technology (or maybe I’m just looking for an excuse to splurge on those Dana Davis blue pumps I’ve been eyeing). Although I’ll hold off on any real judgment until the shoes have been properly “road tested.” And, you know, they’re red suede. So that’s what really matters.
The loafers arrived just at the right moment too. They’ll distract me from mourning over the loss (again) of my much loved La Canadienne riding boots. After shelling out $80 to fix the zipper on the right boot just 3 months ago, the zipper busted again in the exact same spot. And it broke while I was out of town. In Boston. A week after a blizzard. And the only other shoes I had with me were suede booties.
I’m guessing another attempt to fix the riding boots is a lost cause. They’ve just always been a bit too snug over my apparently ginorous calves. Add in my insistence on wearing them with my skinny jeans tucked in and it’s obviously too much for any zipper currently known to human beings. Or at least the standard boot zipper. On the upside, at least they broke right in time for the end-of-winter boot sales!
After seeing an Ideeli sale for Dana Davis loafers (just when I was thinking I needed a new pair of flats), I did a little research to see if the sale was really a good deal, having never heard of Dana Davis before. It turns out that Davis, like Taryn Rose and Chie Mahara, is trying to design fashionable shoes that are orthotically beneficial (or at least less detrimental) to your feet. Taryn Rose has always been a little matronly for my taste, and while I love Chie Mahara, her shoes are often more fun than elegant. Dana Davis may strike the right balance between scientific design and fashion. I’m in love with these blue suede pumps (yes, shocking, they have a ’40s glamour feel!). I ended up buying the loafers. If they prove really comfortable, I may have to think about investing in a pair of heels, where all that orthotic technology will really come in handy.
Like many people here in DC, we wrangled tickets to the Inaugural Ball at the last minute. Which is all fine and well if you’re a guy and just need to pull your tux out of the closet or find a rental. But most of us women are left running around trying to find an evening gown and matching shoes and accessories in a week or less.
My own desperate search for shoes in a town where I can never find a pair under the best of circumstances led me to the drastic, and I must say indulgent, measure of ordering an array of shoes from Amazon in hopes of finding one pair that fits and looks good with my dress. It’s like the UPS man brought the shoe store to me. Right now, the blue pair on the right is the leading contender as the closest to fitting what could be called comfortably. Final decision to be made after I pick up my dress from Neiman’s alterations department tomorrow.
Finally! I’ve found the perfect pump to wear with my evening dress for the Inaugural Ball — and not with a moment to spare! These Robert Clergerie Evening Pumps are eye catching with a modern simplicity mixed with ’40s glamour. Now if only they didn’t cost more than the dress. But, there so shiny!! And really, how often does a girl go to an Inaugural Ball? Or really any ball for that matter?
This past Saturday night, Leigh and I did one of our favorite things — dressed to the nines for a night out at a black-tie event. The 5th Annual Repeal Day Ball, orchestrated each year by the DC Craft Bartenders Guild, celebrated the 79th anniversary of the end of Prohibition at the Hill Center at the Old Navy Hospital with craft cocktails from local mixologists and a number of local, small distilleries.
Our fellow partygoers partied like it was 1933 and savored the many tasty drinks like they’d really been illegal for the previous fourteen years. The soiree made for great, if slightly tipsy, people watching. Revelers had a lot of fun with the black tie dress code — some dressing in period appropriate, or their best approximation of period appropriate, finery.
Leigh looked dapper as ever in his tuxedo, and I favored a slightly retro 60s look in a black satin Shoshana cocktail dress and a pair of Kate Spade black velvet, gold sequined evening shoes, and elbow-length gloves. I added a chunky lucite and gold necklace to give the outfit a slightly more modern twist. I planned on cutting my hair short the very next day, so I opted for one final updo with a simple chignon and added a little oomph by pinning my bangs into an S-wave.
So, I’ve started my (almost) annual search for the pair of perfect boots. It’s autumn and finally chilly and sometimes rainy (notwithstanding that whole hurricane thingy). So, it’s clearly time to trade in my go-to summer sandals for my go-to boots as my daily stomping-around-town shoes. I’m not talking about the gray, suede platform bootie or the stacked heal, tall boots with the fancy tooling across the vamp. No, I’m talking about that comfortable boot with a low heel that’s good for walking city blocks, can hold up to a little rain, and still pulls together a jeans and sweater outfit but looks great with a skirt. You know, your basic fashion miracle maker.
My search is made all the more desperate by the sidelining of my current miracle boots — a pair of patent leather, waterproof La Canadienne riding boots. The waterproofing (and flat heel) made them ideal for all weather, while the patent leather gave them enough style to wear even to work. Like all boots I own, however, they’re a bit snug around the calf. Apparently, I have exceptionally large calves, at least as far as the boot industry is concerned. I blame it on my early years of ballet and Madame Chernonook’s relentless repetition of plies.
After a couple of seasons of me tugging the zippers relentlessly over skinny (but not skinny enough) jeans, the poor, over-stressed things finally gave way. I’ve spent the past couple of weeks trying to find a cobbler to repair them. Sadly, these days, cobbler is something only served with berries and cream. Which is tasty, mind you, but not so useful for fixing boots. Especially when you already have large calves.
So, I’ve resolved myself to having to find a new boot miracle. In addition to the usual difficulties associated with searching for miracles, including my wide foot and the aforementioned big calves, I’ve been seriously hampered by my perverse decision that I really want a boot in gray or blue when everyone knows boots are made in black or brown. Or at least according to the boot industry. I already question their judgment about the whole narrow calf thing, so I’m sticking to my guns on the color. And then there’s the demise of my favorite, go-to shoe shopping site, endless.com, which is now part of Amazon’s overall fashion site, and, sad to say, a shadow of its former self.
I thought I’d hit the miracle jackpot when I discovered (thanks to Zappos) that La Canadienne makes a boot very similar to my now zipper-challenged pair. And, miracle of miracles, they come in gray patent leather and (hold the phone) in a wide width. But alas, they are out of stock in my size. Just when I’d started to believe in miracles. So, now Google and I are on the hunt for another store carrying the same boots in the right size. It’ll take nothing sort of a miracle, I’m sure.
At 36 weeks pregnant, my feet resemble nothing so much as an exploded can of Pillsbury dough shoved into a pair of flip flops. Seriously, they’d make better crescent rolls than fashion statements. As a result, my shoes and I have developed a new, inimical relationship. However, whenever I want to relive my love affair with shoes before I was limited to walking around in a single pair of sandals with improvised velcro extension straps, I pull out my favorite pumps and pet them lovingly. Or, if I’m feeling a little less Golem-like, I check out T Magazine’s Daily Shoe videos with Jane Herman, featuring eleven pairs of shoes from the Bergdorf Goodman shoe salon in honor of the store’s 111th anniversary. It’s a great vicarious window shopping spree, without any danger of impulse purchasing an outrageously expensive pair of gorgeous shoes. Not that any of them come in Pillsbury dough size anyway.
I had a good chuckle over this blurb in British Vogue about a survey of the average heel height of women’s shoes in European countries. I don’t know what’s more shocking — that the British came in with the highest heel height at 3.3 inches or that the French came in last, behind the Dutch and Germans mind you, at 2.4 inches. Victoria Beckham aside, towering heels just seems so….so….well…un-British. And I just imagine all French women sauntering down the Rue Saint-Honore in towering heels, shopping bags slung over their arms. Then again, if anyone can make a modest heel look elegantly chic, it’s the French.
I also got a pretty good laugh out of the “psychological” justification for the preference for tottering pumps. See, tall women are considered smarter, more confident, and more successful (there’ve been studies, ladies!). British women being incredibly ambitious naturally don the highest stilettos they can find, all to further their careers. Yes, yes, now that finally explains Maggie Thatcher’s fetish shoes.
Apparently, if I ever want anyone to take me seriously, I’m going to need a pair of those Louboutin torture chambers (which appear to be a crystal encrusted ballet shoes on eight-inch spikes) in the photo accompanying the article.