AllyG: While at a neighbour’s BBQ the other night. We got talking about this blog. Melissa, my next door neighbour and innovative fashionista (she does her makeup in the car whilst driving to work), mentioned how we should look into “8 hour shoes”, aka shoes you can actually walk around the block in while still looking work appropriate.
I have yet to meet a woman who doesn’t love shoes. We all have our favorite shoe stores in Halifax (John David for me, although I am mourning the loss of the Shelley London shoe line. I bought at least five pairs of Shelly London flats and have no idea how I am going to make it through the summer without them. Are these not adorable?
And now no more! Sad.) Anyway, every woman adores shoes, but every woman (whether they admit it or not) has difficulty sustaining a full day of wearing fabulous heels. The challenge Melissa gave me was to come up with a few shoe lines that are true, tried and tested meeting the 8 hr wear test. Please, at least make it semi-difficult.
I have yet to meet a pair of Franco Sarto shoes that make my feet hurt. Seriously, I could walk out of the store with a pair of brand spanking new Franco Sarto’s and walk home to Bedford. I kid you not. I have two identical pairs of Franco Sarto boots (black and brown) and I don’t know how my wardrobe would exist without them. It would be like Ross without Rachel, Marissa without Ryan, Britney without Cheetos. They sort of look like this:
Next up are Michael Kors shoes. Now, you’re going to pay a wee bit more for Michael Kors, but trust me, it’s an investment. Don’t get L-A started on investment pieces. I bought a pair of snake skin sandals last year (at the now defunct Sassy Strides in Wolfville when we were on vacation in the valley. I will honestly find a shoe store anywhere) that I still take out of the box to hold and smooch when no one is looking. They suit every occasion and are THE.MOST.COMFORTABLE.SHOES.YOU.COULD.OWN. Seriously, nothing makes me happier than when someone points at my Michael Kors and screams, “WHAT THE EFF DO YOU HAVE ON YOUR FEET”. Bonus points if they scream.
BCBG…do you own a pair? You need a pair. Look, I get that you can overstate how a pair of shoes makes you feel, but there is no embellishing when it comes to my BCBG shoes. When I need that extra oomph, I put on a pair and it seriously, no word of a lie, gives me that extra edge to get through whatever crappy situation the day might hold. Don’t believe me?
Tell me the BCBG Nelly Cutout Bootie didn’t just change your life. I thought so. Don’t doubt, haters. I also have to be truthful and tell you that BCBG shoes may not fufill the 8hr commitment. It might be more like 7hrs. Mind you, last time I tested the theory I was five months pregnant and I swear tears were close to falling out of my eyes because my sausage feet were swelling so badly. I quite literally contemplated taking the shoes off and walking around in my tights. At a work function. Like, a classy dinner work function. It was that bad. Again, I could run a marathon with Lindsay Lohan on my back whilst wearing BCBG shoes before I was pregnant no problem, but I feel it’s only fair to warn you lassies that you may face tough times. It’s worth it though. Trust me. You’ll never look so good while feeling so, so very bad.
Now, I’ve gone back and forth as to whether I should share the following information with you…I have to though…I have to. Ok. Here goes….
I LIKE LOVE JESSICA SIMPSON’S SHOE LINE.
These Jessica Simpson Hamin Scarlet Crinkle Patent shoes put the sauce in saucy. Whatever. Seriously. I liked her country album too. Whatever.
Lastly, Nine West. Affordable, clean, everyday shoes. You can wear them for 18hrs on a balance bar made of metal rubbed with butter. Every woman needs to own a pair of Nine West shoes. I cannot emphasize this enough people. I cannot.
I’ll just leave you with that. L-A?
L-A: I’m glad you brought up the topic of comfortable shoes, because my feet are still crampy from standing on them for three days at work. I made matters worse by putting my new insoles into the WRONG SHOES (right into left, and so on). I was so not gellin’.
And I was nearly in tears after a day in my new Cole Haan’s (which I totally scored for $30 USD!). But it is not completely the fault of the darling shoe.
They are the Cole Haan/Nike Air combination, which should have been mega-comfortable, but I didn’t have Nordstrom’s advice that the fit is narrow and to buy a half size up. I hooked my girl J.Lau up with same pair, except hers are the full size up (mine are only a half size up) and she is in love (BTW: J.Lau agrees with Ally on the Franco Sartos and has only good things to say about them).
So where does that leave me? Dear readers, unlike Ally, it leaves me with a collection of shoes that I love, but am not completely comfortable in. (Word to the wise: tell your husband that it is a collection of shoes and he will leave you alone the next time buy a pair. Hand to God! It worked for me). I end up living in one or two pairs of non-sporty sneakers and comfy, sensible looking flats, making myself a feminist stereotype/cliché. My collection then lives in their boxes on shelves. If it weren’t for cute ballet flats, I’d be up the creek in ugly shoes. And I break all the style rules in summer and end up living in my flip flops. Sad, I know. It really takes away some of my credibility as a fashionista.
But here’s my trouble: it’s not that I can’t wear high heels and be comfortable in them. I can. The trouble is that so many shoes end up pinching and blistering and cutting at the sides of my feet and my pinkie toes. I finish an evening out with feet that look like I’ve just danced en pointe for a few hours. Not fun. Seriously, this is kind of what my feet looked like after seven hours in my Cole Haan’s:
(Sorry for the foot picture…that is actually the least gross picture of ballerina feet that I could find).
Seriously, I was almost in tears by the time I closed the store on Friday. I may even have to give up on these beautiful shoes, along with a pair of BCBG slides that do nothing but tear at my feet. Even the dang Havaianas cut my feet (aside from a good marketing campaign, what exactly makes these suckers the best flip flop on earth? So glad I only paid $7 for mine). And when you love shoes like I do, the thought of giving up a pair is devastating. It’s like giving up one of your kids because they’re going through a biting phase.
So, point is: Thank you Ally! I clearly needed advice on comfortable, yet stylish shoes. Stylish I can find without a htich, it’s the comfortable that stumps me. And I won’t start another of my rants on investment pieces, but I will say that I do hate cheap shoes. I love inexpensive shoes, but cheap, poorly made shoes are the worst.
AllyG: L-A, you have no idea how much your comments devastated me. I’m sitting here silently with tears streaming down my face. I had no idea you were in so much turmoil. We must take you shoe shopping immediately.
It also reminds me of a few tips for the ladies when bringing home a new pair of shoes that your partner feels you can ill afford:
- Scuff your shoes before bringing them home. This cannot be understated. They seriously have NO IDEA when you purchased them. For all they know they have been sitting under your desk for the last year. SCUFF ladies, SCUFF.
- Tell them a friend gave them to you. Seriously, it works. Try this, “So and so bought these pair of shoes and they didn’t fit her! Isn’t that great! She handed them off to me.”
- You bought them at a thrift store. Men have no idea about thrift stores, nor what vintage shoes look like. I told my husband that my brand new Chinese Laundry wedges were from Dressed in Time (more on this store later. I love, love, love) and he fully embraced that concept.
Sorry that this post is super long. It’s a topic near and dear to my heart.