issue no. 93
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She She Me Sponsor: Michael Kors
The Best of Fall Shoes
Carrie Bradshaw changed the world. Before we met her, we wore sedate heels to work, the occasional pair of boots during cold weather, and comfy flats on weekends. But that kooky chick rearranged the accessory’s focus in the pantheon of American fashion, and we haven’t been the same since! We started to look at shoes as a defining piece of clothing instead of just a supporting character, and we were more willing to take risks with wild colors, textures, details, and heights. And it’s safe to say that Manolo and Jimmy will never be the same.
It’s easy to understand why women love shoes. They bear no relation to our dress size. They cost (okay, sometimes) less than a correspondingly distinctive article of clothing, and they often translate well from one year to the next. There’s no disheartening disrobing-under-fluorescents-in-ugly-fitting-rooms and checking our figures in three-way mirrors, and once you know your size you can rest assured they’ll fit. They’re so versatile that they allow each woman to showcase her own style in one compact package. And with a smart white blouse and a great-fitting black pencil skirt or trouser, we can get away with wearing practically the same outfit every day for a week as long as the shoes are different. So satisfying!
Thus it’s easy to see why I get giddy every year when it comes to the Seasonal Shoe Round-Up. Casting my ice-cream-addiction guilt to the wind, I shop and dream and shop and plan and they all fit. Come see what I found for Fall 2009!
Boots: Thank heaven we’re back to suede boots. While I love leather boots, for the right occasion, nothing says snuggly fall to me more than a tall, black suede pair of high-heeled boots. They look elegant with dresses, lend a lengthening matte texture to legs (esp. with opaque tights), and work beautifully for day or night. (Just don’t ask me about mud or salty snowmelt; that’s why God invented valet parking.)
On the Other Hand: Leather boots have their own merits; they work in nearly any type of weather, for business or casual wear, and that buttery British-tan colored leather coordinates beautifully with nearly any outfit. Picture a pair of straight denims tucked into high equestrian-inspired brown boots with a heel, topped with a dynamite belted sweater coat and a patterned shirt. Or top them with a darling shirtdress and wear them to work. And a black pair of wedge boots lets you get a little bit rock ‘n’ roll without going overboard: try them with tucked-in skinny black pants and a tweedy wool jacket, or a retro miniskirt, turtleneck and black opaque tights.
And Then There’s the Shoe-Boot: While these might have seemed a flash in the pan in 2007 and 2008, they are showing more staying power than I ever expected. I’m now very hot on them, with a wedge or a heel, a platform or a peep-toe, a texture or a pattern. Love them with a slinky knit dress – subversive sexy. Stick to a solid black ensemble if you’re sporting a leopard print – I am positively weak in the knees over this pair.
Dynamite Colors: I’m thinking specifically of the strappy, peep-toe, or embellished heels that are everywhere this fall. Lots of texture (suede, skins, fabrics), rich, saturated colors (burgundy, forest green, purple) and the occasional embellishment (flowers, bows, and hot hot hot ruffles). Whether you’re feeling brave enough to wear jewel-toned opaques with them, or just a classic wool trouser, these are the kicks to buy to hit all the season’s trends. I’m trying to decide whether to get deep red suede platform peep-toes or purple t-straps, since either one can be used as a neutral with all the greys and blacks for fall, but the truth is I’ll probably get both. And wear them with my new leather jacket and a great neutral tote for just about everything.
Don’t Forget the Flats: I’m beginning to think that these won’t ever go “out” again. Ballet flats are embellished with stones, buckles, bows, ruffles, tweed, velvet. They come decked out for day or night. Wear them with trousers to work (I love the ankle pant with a classic skimmer), denim for weekends, satin for evening. While they are a bit problematic for fashionisti in colder climes (definitely not compatible with snow or freezing rain), they’re worth the chilly ankles since you’ll look so fabulous. Just get a new hat and gloves to counteract the frost.
Wow, now I’m actually getting excited for tweedy woolly snuggly fall gear. No matter, I’ll enjoy the next few weeks of summer and wring all the fun I can out of my huge platform sandals and maxi-dresses and those gorgeous sunsets. Have fun planning your footsteps for fall!
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