Sparkle and Suede

March 8, 2011 § Leave a comment

Grey day, grey shoe

As the rest of the country still fights the cold and snow, the temperatures warm quickly come March 1 here in Texas. As spring begins it’s descent a few days of cold let allowed me to break out a late-winter purchase. I’m a dichotomy of taste. My shoes choices are either overtly feminine or blatant boy-like. This pair is obviously the former. These perfectly pretty grey suede pumps by Beverly Feldman have a feminine silhouette with the pointed toe and curved heel. A shoe in one of my favorite colors, favorite textures, topped with fabulous beading is hard to resist. I may not be able to wear them again until next fall, but they will be worth the wait, and I’ll be wearing them with dresses, tights, shorts and denim. A pair of off-season gems.

prov⋅e⋅nance

[prov-uh-nuhns, -nahns] –noun; place or source of origin. Date of Purchase: Winter 2011 Circumstances: A little lunchtime romp to DSW in the midst of a crazy stressful work week. I haven’t been out shopping, other than from my computer, in months. Work’s been a bear and when opportunities came knocking so shopping took a back seat. On a short break from the office I went with good friend LM to DSW, not looking for anything in particular. I found these on the clearance rack and carried them around the store for the next 15 minutes contemplating the purchase. There’s nothing I don’t love about a grey suede pump and being the end of the season they were on sale for a steal. I purchased and took them home still not completely sure I would keep them. Once I tried them on with a few items in my closet, I knew the were staying.

Compliment Meter: 3. A couple of nice comments from girlfriends.

Shoe Confidence: Medium High.

Comfort: Not bad, but they could benefit from gel inserts for the ball of the foot. After about 5 hours, my feet did ache. They need some breaking in. Overall, 6.5 out of 10.

Worn with: Grey Banana crewneck merino sweater, Club Monaco high-waisted trouser, stockings from Target. I was having a monochromatic moment.

Thoughts: “The most valuable item a woman should have is an accessory. With a quick switch of handbag or shoes, you can change your mood.” ~Donatella Versace

A Deal to Boot

January 24, 2011 § 2 Comments

J Crew's Glenbrae Boots

Is it possible to possess too many pairs of boots? Nonsense, in my opinion. I am very attached to my different pairs and was yet thinking an addition was necessary…another pair in brown, but with a heel. A good friend has a similar pair from Madwell that I’ve admired and since these were readily available on eBay for a steal, I ponied up. They’re nothing dramatic or breathtaking, but the lighter more natural tan color, stitched-cuffed top and 3″ heel make them a great basic. Add to that they are just the right amount of loose around my calves (skinnies work, as do bare legs or tights) and you’ve got a solid staple pair for the closet that can be worn through 3 seasons.

prov⋅e⋅nance

[prov-uh-nuhns, -nahns] –noun; place or source of origin.

Date of Purchase: Winter 2011

Circumstances: Ebay really can be quite addicting with all the interesting, unusual and sometimes downright strange things you can find for sale. I tend to go through long periods without paying much attention to the site, then go on a binge and start ‘watching’ several different auctions at once…usually without buying a thing. It was during one of these times, while searching for a pair of brown mary janes (which has been quite the challenge) that I came across these boots form J Crew. Completely new condition, moderately marked down price from their original $265. I promptly ‘watched’ it for a few days. Then, it went on sale for another 30% off and well, you know what happened then…

Compliment Meter: 5 For being such a non-thrilling pair, I was surprised by how many compliments. Shoe Confidence: High.

Comfort: Not bad, but they could benefit from gel inserts for the ball of the foot. Overall, 8 out of 10.

Worn with: Mens Polo Ralph Lauren tartan OCBD, Club Monaco skinny jeans, gold Burberry watch.

Thoughts: “Don’t study so much that you get brilliant, go mad, grow a big bald egghead and try to take over the world, okay? ‘Cause I want to go shoe shopping this weekend.” ~Lorelai Gilmore (Gilmore Girls)


Guest Post: Boots for Well Endowed Calves

December 23, 2010 § Leave a comment

A guest post from Bethany, one half of the Lazy Bird Bakery duo. She found her perfect pair of riding boots, and did what she had to do to own them. Have a read…

Fossil Audrina Riding Boots

Some brands may consider me to be that of the huntress variety. By huntress I mean this girl has some calves on her. Not cankles, that maybe pushing it, but just some serious calves. Therefore, boots that fit my healthy huntress calves are a rare find. But alas, the day has come.

prov⋅e⋅nance

[prov-uh-nuhns, -nahns] –noun; place or source of origin.

Date of Purchase: Fall 2010

Circumstances: It’s 5 o’clock on a Friday. Not only the end of the workday, but also the end of the workweek and even better, the beginning of a nice and relaxing weekend. Or so I thought. All week long our company was setting up for its annual friends and family shopping day. While everyone was setting up the sale, they were apparently blasting ‘Now that’s what I call Music’ Volume 1 with ‘Everybody Dance Now’ by C & C Music Factory played several times a day, all week long. Ok, so that song was before any of those cd’s but you get my point. Needless to say, I was ready to get out of the building. Let’s face it, I’m working for my weekends and my weekends require me sleeping in on a cold windy November Saturday not heading back up to work in search of deals. Visitors get really excited; I went once and pretty much swore that I would never do it again because it’s always a mad house.

I had no intentions of sitting in the cold for three hours on a Saturday to go shopping, but I perused the sales items just to make sure I was certain of my decision. Then, amongst many boxes of shoes I see these beauties. Dare I get my hopes up and sit in the cold only to have these boots not fit this huntress? Of course, not. Don’t be silly. I busted out a pair in my size and tried those bad boys on right then and there; much to my dismay they fit like a glove. Fully zipped and over my jeans. HURRAY! It’s at this very moment I realize that I will no longer be sleeping in and that I will have to get to work in the morning around 5am with the other fanatics if I even want a shot at taking these boots home with me. So it’s settled. I’m going to join the rest of the crazy people in the morning. I mean for $50 boots that retail for $168, you’d be crazy not too! Right?

But it doesn’t end here. I quickly realize that I will need my work badge/nametag/key card thing to get into the sale tomorrow to prove that I am an employee. Bad news: I hadn’t seen that thing in a week or so and I immediately panic. As I quickly trying to figure out how to bribe someone else to buy these for me in my absence I realize that that’s just cruel. Not fair and not right. I frantically start walking around the building looking for the security guard, as he has the power to create a new nametag for me, only to not be able to find him anywhere. I call the operator tell her my situation and she let’s me know that she’s going to hunt down the security guard and call me back. As I walk downstairs to meet the security guy at his office, he cuts me off at the pass and seems none too pleased. Oh well. It was all for the love of the boots and once we started talking he didn’t seem so upset with me. (I think he enjoyed our little chat.

At 5:30pm, the end of a Friday, make-up worn off, keeping it casual in my legit Chicago, Super Concert of ’76, polyester concert t-shirt, probably made in the back of someone’s van, I had my badge and would soon have my boots.

I braved the cold and the early Saturday morning crowd and got my boots. Success and worth all the effort. Everybody dance now.

Compliment Meter: Not a whole lot only because once you buy something from our store at work you and about 50 other people end up wearing the same thing on the same day. But I know they’re cute and those other 50 people know they are cute too.

Comfort: Not bad for being completely flat bottomed. Quite cozy.

Worn with: Beige, over-sized, loose crocheted DKNY sweater from Nordies and Levis Skinny Jeans.

Thoughts: “Always buy a good pair of shoes and a good bed, as if you aren’t in one you are in the other.” ~Gloria Hunniford

If you’re so inclined, you can share a shoe story as well. Send to sara@pairdiem.com.

Strapping Young Things

November 30, 2010 § 4 Comments

Cable tights and heels

I have a sartorial soft spot for a few things: button downs, horse-bit detailing, navy anything, and grey (particularly in shoe form). This is evident here, here and here. It’s the perfect neutral when you don’t want to wear brown but black is too harsh. I really think I could have endless pairs of tan and grey shoes and be perfectly happy.

I’m liking the stockings and heels this fall, particularly the dark leg, lighter shoe look. Some find it gauche, particularly with an open toe shoe, but I see no reason to snub the look—I’m all for extending the season of a shoe. These cross-strap heels from Boutique 9 (part of Nine West) are a lovely soft dove grey. The color makes them season less, the side zip gives them a modern kick and the slim, high heel give them some sass. Almost a bootie but a bit more dainty and feminine. I’ll add those to my soft spots.

prov⋅e⋅nance

[prov-uh-nuhns, -nahns] –noun; place or source of origin.

Date of Purchase: Fall 2010

I found these online when perusing a Nordstrom sale. I was looking for a shoe with substantial leather on the vamp (more than a pump) but not as solid or clunky as an ankle boot. These are a nice hybrid so I decided to head to my local Nordies and try them on. Well, work and life happened and I took my sweet time doing so. By the time I made the trip the sale items were heavily picked over and this shoe only existed in a size 10, in black, in the store. Drat. Unsurprisingly, Nordstrom’s customer service came to the rescue. My salesperson scoured stores around the country and called me within a day to let me know they had been located and were on their way to my house. I’m a loyal shopper there because of this kind of service. Retailers, take note!

Compliments: 4. Several. Best of the day: a coworker emailed me a few pairs of shoes he was contemplating purchasing his wife for her birthday. These were the first pair listed. Shoe confidence: High.

Comfort: Not bad at all, but tough for an 8-hour active work day. The heel is quite thin which makes for tired legs by 3pm. Overall: 6 out of 10.

Worn With: Selvedge chambray button down, grey wool skirt, both from J. Crew, grey cable tights probably from target, grey ribbon and pearl necklace, watch from Michele.

Thoughts: “When I wear high heels I have a great vocabulary and I speak in paragraphs. I’m more eloquent. I plan to wear them more often.” ~Meg Ryan


Suede and Low

November 22, 2010 § Leave a comment

Suede fats for fall

Some girls are prejudiced against flats; some even feel downright unattractive in them. Personally, I couldn’t disagree more. There’s something delicate about ballet flats; they’re girlie down to their name. For me they impart a feeling of being able to run about conquering the world in a gracefully feminine, practical (gasp), in the manner of Hepburn or Guest. Is that my reality? Maybe not, but they make me feel that way. This pair from Halston Heritage are a basic, a staple done in black  suede. I’m not a proponent of blatant logo usage, but I appreciate design details and don’t mind the metal H logo on the heel as the shape is slightly abstract and the placement is secondary. The center seam and the gold quilted interior lining are nice little touches as well. Sometimes the basics are best left simple.

prov⋅e⋅nance

[prov-uh-nuhns, -nahns] –noun; place or source of origin.

Date of Purchase: Fall 2010

Circumstances: I received a tip from an acquaintance via a tweet (see, critics, Twitter is good for something!) that TJ Maxx was having a serious sale. We’re lucky to have a a TJ Maxx location with a ‘Runway’ section that sells designer wares on a regular basis; Prada, Gucci, Marc Jacobs, DVF, OdLR, See by Chloé and Escada have all been spotted there. Her recommendation of the new assortment was so  enthusiastic, I went straight away (on my lunch hour). There were still some good deals to be had and along with a few pieces, I picked these shoes up which happened to not just be the ony pair, but were on clearance. The early bird, as they say…

Compliment Meter: 3. A few nice compliments, mainly from the girls. Shoe confidence level: High.

Comfort: Nicely comfortable. The elastic band on the back was a bit tight by the end of the day, but nothing tragic. Overall: 8 out of 10.

Worn with: Navy/white striped boat neck T, black shawl collar cardigan from Rugby, Skinny BDG denim from Urban Outfitters.

Thoughts: You want to fall in love with a shoe, go ahead. A shoe can’t love you back, but, on the other hand, a shoe can’t hurt you too deeply either. And there are so many nice-looking shoes.” ~Allan Sherman


Scene Stealers

November 2, 2010 § 4 Comments

Every job has it’s perks. Working for an accessories company, that has meant just about as many timepieces, sunglasses and handbags as I (or my family) could ever need. Being that I love shoes I was more than pleased when Fossil decided to foray into footwear last year; yet I only own one singular pair. I decided this would change, however, after attending a recent photo shoot. This season Fossil decided to highlight their fall apparel and footwear by tapping into the social media community. Using fashion bloggers as stylists, they put together a digital lookbook of outfits available on their site. I got a behind-the-scenes look as Nadia of Frou Frouu, Taylor of Sterling Style, Aimee of Song of Style and Connie Wang of Refinery 29 went to work putting their personal spins on the Fossil wares…and helped change my tune.

Nadia, Taylor, Aimee, Connie

The recent workwear/menswear trend is a natural fit with Fossil’s modern vintage perspective, showcased particularly in the heeled oxfords, ankle desert boots and lace-up work boots that the ladies chose from. Amongst the guest stylists the Lucille tan desert bootie was the unanimous favorite (I agreed and will likely add them to the closet shortly) and I’m particularly fond of them styled with thick textured grey tights or socks and slouchy pants. I’m feeling dark legs with a lighter hued shoe these days. Showcased below are also lovely pairs from the crew; behind the scenes does not warrant unattractive footwear.

Special thanks to Nadia from Frou Frouu who supplied the footwear photographs of the cast and crew (they’re bloggers, of course they all brought their cameras, yet mine was out of batteries). Head over to the Fossil Lookbook for the full shoot and swing by their blogs as well. A talented lot of stylish ladies to be sure.

“You want to fall in love with a shoe, go ahead. A shoe can’t love you back, but, on the other hand, a shoe can’t hurt you too deeply either. And there are so many nice-looking shoes.” ~Allan Sherman

Boot Up

October 27, 2010 § Leave a comment

The Frye Company 'Shirley' Riding Boot

Fall rolls in and in terms of shoes, that means one thing: boot weather. Knowing I needed a new pair, I scouted these Shirley boots, by Frye, this summer. The Frye Company crafts some beautiful boots and though I had yet to own a pair, the brand comes highly recommended. Founded in 1863 by John A. Frye, a prominent English shoemaker, The Frye Company is the oldest continuously operated shoe company in the United States. The Frye customer is a loyal one; their boots are known to take a beating for years and many of their well-worn signature ‘Campus’ boots, introduced in 1960, have been passed from mother to daughter. I’ve begun my Frye collection with this perfectly simple black riding boot. (Yes, I will likely end up with a collection) Riding boots are fail-safe and my previous black pair were simply worn out after several years of wear. I’m currently preferring a taller just-below-the-knee, pull-on construction to a full side zip. These with their smooth leather small buckle details are on point. Classic, simple and well-made…easy to fall for.

prov⋅e⋅nance

[prov-uh-nuhns, -nahns] –noun; place or source of origin.

Date of Purchase: Summer 2010

Circumstances: The best shopping requires planning. This planning includes having a list of closet staples or embellishments one can be on the lookout for; it also includes knowing the schedule of quality sales. One such sale is the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale. As I explained when I first found these boots, the retailer puts incoming season wares on sale for a short time each summer. I braved the insane crowds to browse the shoe assortment, dodging chatty teens and their moms, tired fathers and downright frazzled (yet still very courteous) sales staff. It wouldn’t surprise me if they got half a year’s commission in this single week. I found these boots, having already seen them online, and unfortunately none were left in my size. Drat. Then, Nordstrom customer service came to the rescue; they located my size in another store and shipped them for free to my home. The only disappointment remaining: given that summer lingers into October here, that I wouldn’t be wearing them for another two and a half months.

Compliment Meter: 3. Solid compliments today, from gents and ladies Shoe confidence level: High.

Comfort: Ah, a flat boot…the fall equivalent of the ballet flat. Very comfortable. Overall: 9 out of 10.

Worn with: White/grey striped shirt dress from Elizabeth and James, bronze belt from J. Crew.

Thoughts: “I’m always astonished by how much men misunderstand women. For one, men don’t understand how a woman can own 300 pairs of shoes. For a woman, it’s the most natural thing in the world.” ~Christian Louboutin