Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Seeing Spots - The Leopard Trend

The other day as my Mom and I headed out for a day of mother-daughter bonding over lunch, I noticed the adorable leopard print sandals she was wearing.  Besides immediately stating that I would be borrowing them (we luckily share the same shoe size) I got to thinking about leopard print as a fall trend and how to wear it.  My mom got it right by pairing her shoes with cropped jeans and a black top, however animal print can be tricky. 

With this prominent trend, how can you keep it fun and sassy without looking like, well…  a cougar.  Leopard print in accessories works and adds a unique touch to any outfit.   Head to toe leopard or hot pink leopard print look less refined.  My favorite leopard accessories are below.  Wear them boldly! 

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Holy Shoe!

My mom recently sent me an email about designer Kobi Levi and his wild shoe creations.  As I viewed the images of his footwear artwork, I couldn’t help but think about how his innovative heels make my own shoes seem…  well, boring.  In a world where Lady Gaga is literally “making strides” in her shocking footwear, perhaps my modest peep-toes and simple flats are lackluster.  Regardless, Levi’s designs seem much too delicately crafted to put my feet in them.  A few of my favorites are below…

And finally, the most “wild” pair from my own closet.  Definitely more modest, but very me.  J

Monday, August 22, 2011

Orange ya glad?

The other day as I was randomly taking a silly “favorite color” personality quiz, I learned that my love for fall, being social and enjoying the smell of cinnamon all identify my favorite color to be orange.  This is not surprising since anyone could look around my house and realize that orange is my favorite hue based on all of my pretty orange decorations.  It is also not surprising that I recently purchased a vibrant orange skirt and am obsessed.  I realized after the fact that this skirt was featured in the August issue of InStyle, so of course I recreated their ensemble ideas and made them my own.

I couldn’t help but think about all of the other wonderfully bright and rich orange pieces I have in my wardrobe.  A few of my favorites are below…

My orange coat – An amazing find and gift from my Mom from the racks of TJ Maxx

My orange peep toes – Another TJ Maxx wonder.  Also my most comfortable pair of heels.

My orange sweater – Perfect for summer or fall

My favorite color quiz also pointed out that many people believe wearing something orange will cheer you up if you’re feeling grumpy.  So, if I am wearing one of my fabulous orange items, maybe I am not only putting myself in a good mood, but also brightening the day of people around me!  J

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Falling Flat

Today was a rare occasion – I wore flats to work.  Now I know this is shocking, but sometimes my tootsies need a break.  My favorite go-to pair are plain jane black flats from Ann Taylor that were given to me by my Mom.  They are extra comfy because she wore them for a few months before passing them on to me, so they are worn and soft.  I realize my description makes my precious flats sound ugly and old, but they are quite cute.  Now, since these shoes have been loved and worn for awhile now, they are starting to come apart on the bottom which is devastating.  I have been scouring Ann Taylor stores and online, but no luck.  I need a shoe cobbler to save my soles.

The reason I bring all of this up is because people always seem shocked as to how short I am when I wear flats.  Since my heels add about 3 to 4 inches, I always get comments like “Wow, you seem a lot shorter today” or “Geez, what is your actual height?”  Yes folks, I am only 5’4”.  Am I less commanding without my pumps?  Not sure, but maybe my typical high heeled footwear makes me feel more esteemed and confident, and that makes all the difference.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Made in the 216

A shout out to my best friend Gina for tipping me off to a great new store in Cleveland – The Dredgers Union.  The shop on East 4th features Cleveland based designers and has collections of clothing, jewelry, bedding and home goods.  I loved the “Anthropologie-esque” atmosphere and was immediately drawn to the unique and fun pieces.  I scooped up a cotton dress with a colorful print, a cool twist on the little black dress.  I knew I could accessorize and style it with a chunky belt and colorful bangles I have in my closet.  Great purchase – It can be dressed up with heels and jewelry or dressed down with flats or sandals.  The shop had so many other fun things to try on, but too many clothes, too little time (and moolah).  Had to go meet the girls for wine!  J  I’m sure I’ll be back there soon.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Lions, and tigers, and shoes! Oh my!

Today after work my Mom asked me to go shoe shopping with her to find a pair of heels to go with a dress she is wearing to a wedding.  Naturally, I said “of course!”   Now, like most women, I am a lady on a budget so I told myself I was going to help HER and not shop for myself.   So, I stuck with that and gave my opinion on about 7 pairs of heels before she decided on one.  Well, of course I did take a little look around just to see the selection for a future purchase.  After that, we went and looked at cosmetics where I indulged in an affordable splurge – a new nail polish!  And then, we came across the most adorable little sign that I immediately picked up – “Keep the courage, I want the shoes!” with Dorothy ruby slippers.  As I read the sign, I couldn’t help but think that shoes can actually be a source of courage…   It always seems that I walk a little taller, feel more confident and am ready to take on the world when I’m wearing a killer pair of shoes.  J

Monday, August 8, 2011

Making InStyle MY Style

As I was flipping through the August issue of InStyle, I was thinking about how often I rip out pages for future “outfit inspiration” and then never do anything with them.  So, I challenged myself to re-create some of my favorite looks from existing items in my wardrobe.  Here are the results…

1. Color Crash Course in Cherry
This section inspired me to pull out my cherry dress that I typically wear in the winter with textured tights and a sweater.  The “Pairs Well With” guide suggested navy, so I slipped on my blue heels and really liked the bright look for summer! 

2. Yellow Trench Coat
This page was a great reminder of the yellow trench coat I got at TJ Maxx two years ago.  I have never quite known what to wear it with since I always end up feeling like a five-year-old with a yellow rain coat on.  However, these looks were so cute and chic I had to try.  I actually loved the yellow trench on top of my orange sweater.  Great color combination! 

3. Purple dress
The brown bag on this page reminded me of a vintage bag I got from my Grandma about a year ago.  I love the bag, very “Mary Poppins-esque” but I have never actually used it.  It has been patiently sitting on the top shelf of my closet waiting for the perfect outfit to pick it up, and this purple dress was it!

Overall, I love the looks that InStyle pulls together and it was fun to mix and match pieces hiding in my closet.  I’ll have to do this more often!  J

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Why So Painful?

Doesn’t it seem the cutest shoes are always the ones that hurt your feet the most?  When I try on an uncomfortable yet completely adorable pair of heels, I always try to rationalize the pain by telling myself they will stretch out a bit or my feet are swollen that day, all while my poor tootsies being are squished and squeezed.  So why so painful?!  Where can I find a pair of comfy, cushy pair of killer heels that I want to wear for hours?  And I realize there are more comfortable heels out there…  The kitten heel, for example (the mullet of shoes if you ask me) would probably cause less pain to my arches, but I’m only 5’4” so I want to rock the 4” stilettos whenever I can!

Recently, I’ve been working on stretching out my shoes for a friend’s upcoming wedding.  All of the bridesmaids helped pick out the heel, and while they are cute and sassy, it feels like all of my toes are being murdered when I put them on.  So, in an attempt to stretch them, I occasionally put them on with thick socks and vacuum.  Cleaning in heels to practice my housewife duties?  Hardly.  Cleaning in heels so I can actually rock out in them at the wedding?  Yes!  I look completely ridiculous doing this, but I’m hoping my efforts will pay off.  If not, atleast I’ll have a clean house.  I think I’ll bring a back up pair of heels, just in case…

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Hey Sole Sister

In a retail world where a size 6 in one store is a size 2 in another, I can sometimes get discouraged in the dressing room.  And isn’t it always the case that when you’re out looking for the perfect outfit for an event, you’ll never find it?  That’s why I have substance abuse problems…  with fabulous footwear that is!  I can always find a pair of shoes when I’m out and about, whether I’m looking for them or not.  I walk by the shoe section in a department store and it seems as if the cutest, most unnecessary pair call my name.  But, I think I have these shoe-holic tendencies because shoes make me feel good.  When I lose all confidence trying on unflattering blouses or dresses that are too tight, I can be sure that shoes will always fit me perfectly.  So, how can I possibly stop my love affair with all of those sassy heels, cute flats and chic boots when I know they’ll always be there for me? 

Perhaps it was my fascination as a little girl with Dorothy’s ruby slippers in The Wizard of Oz and how one pair of shoes can take you anywhere you want to go.  This is probably the reason I recently purchased a new pair of running shoes.  In an attempt to overcome my lack of motivation to work out, I turned to a new (and cute) pair of shoes to will my body out of bed at the crack of dawn to go run.  Well, turns out that new shoes and the guilt of spending money on shoes and not using them did get my sleepy self out of bed.  And, I was very excited, even at 5:30am, to put on my new shoes and go for a run.  :)