Monday, February 28, 2011

February 19 - new boots

What: size 8W black suede wedge tall boots
From: Naturalizer (online)
Purchased: November 28, 2010
Cost: $80

My 22nd and final purchase of 2010! Love these. In the early fall, my friend Elaine sent me an e-mail asking about some boots on the Naturalizer site, and I spied these. I cyber-stalked them for a bit - all my tall black boots are in bad shape. Also, I doubt my friend Therese remembers this, but the first time I met her (we worked at sister organizations) she was wearing a pair of black wedge boots, and I've wanted a pair ever since. I was intrigued by these because they came in a wide shaft option. I have a confession to make. My right calf has always been larger than my left calf, but since having Elizabeth, the disparity has become even more pronounced. My right calf is now a full inch wider than my left. Which means, over the next few postings, I'm about to show you a whole series of fabulous boots that don't fit me. It is infuriating. I don't know if getting into shape will help or not, but I'm not willing to give up on my boot collection.

So, anyway, I needed new tall black boots. When at my inlaws for Thanksgiving, I was able to visit an actual Naturalizer store (not an outlet), and I found these in 7.5 W, in the regular width shaft. With a 20% off coupon, they were $80. And they mostly fit. Tight, but zippable. But tight enough that I felt I should check out the extended shaft opening. They were offering free shipping, and it hit me that since there are no stores in DC, there would be no tax. So I ordered 8W extended shaft from the website (they didn't have any 7.5s). And then I dithered for a couple of weeks, which is why they weren't worn in 2010. Ultimately, I kept the extended shaft - theoretically, I could possibly even wear them with jeans tucked in. In theory. These are great, though, it's nice to have them, and I've definitely enjoyed rocking the short skirt, tights, tall boots look.

Bottom line: keeper!

February 19 - blue pumps

What: size 8 navy blue pumps with lizard accent and bow
From: Ellen Tracy
Purchased: January 2009
Cost: $28

Since I wrote about my kinda crappy blue pumps, I thought I should pull out my nice new blue pumps that hav never been worn, bought in my shoe extravaganza of 2009. These are really nice, and were a great buy, even if I've never had the occasion to wear them. Maybe this spring I'll try and busy out more blue. These are too nice to remain in the box.

Bottom line: Keeper

February 18 - new boots

What: size 8 snow boots in light grey, dark grey, and magenta
From: Lands End (online)
Purchased: February 14, 2011
Cost: $26.50

Well, these were supposed to be the 4th pair of shoes I bought in 2011, but thanks to my shootie
(yes, I am bitter, why do you ask?), they are the third. Yep, even though I feel deprived and frugal, I am on par to match my purchases from last year. Anyway, I wrote about shoes I might have on my list for 2011, and hiking boots were high on the list. I wrote that I had missed out on Lands End shoes, but then in my daily LE e-mail, there was a special one day 30% off clearance sale. So I checked, and lo and behold the shoes I had wanted and had been sold out were suddenly available (I bet a bunch were bought in the previous 30% off sale, and then returned). So I snapped them up. These are technically, according to LE, snow boots, but they also make perfect hiking boots. They're waterproof, have good tread, and great support. And my orthotics fit perfectly. Honestly, though, I have got to remember that LE runs big, because I could have easily gotten a 7.5 and been fine. But for boots, I figured more room couldn't hurt. Love these. Hope to get lots of wear out of them this year!

Bottom line: Keeper!

February 17 - boots galore

What: size 8 fabric short black boots with leather cord at ankle
From: Etienne Aigner (purchased at outlet)
Purchased: late 90s, early 00s
Cost: $40

I decided to do some cleaning and organizing of my boots, in anticipation (sob!) of new shooties arriving. I've had these forever and used to wear them a lot. The heels are a teeny bit too high for a lot of wear, but overall they are still comfy. That little band above the ankle fastens with velcro, and since this was the late 90s, I used to have lots of super long skirts. These boots once ripped out the entire hem from a skirt - the velcro would just catch on the hem and cause it to pull. Annoying. But they are fine with pants, I actually wore them with jeans.

Bottom line: still a keeper

Friday, February 25, 2011

February 16 - shootie #1, or why do the shoe gods hate me??

What: size 8 grey shooties with buckle
From: Liz Claibourne (Marshalls)
Purchased: January 2011
Cost: $20 - on clearance

OK, folks, these were the second pair of shoes that I bought in 2011, and I wasn't sure about them. They are cute, but Liz Claiborne isn't a great brand, and besides, I was coveting the expensive Naya shooties. I bought these January 17th, with a 30 day return policy.

And then I found the Naya shooties on super sale. If the Naya shoes were perfect, I didn't need another pair. But if the Naya shoes were not perfect, these might be a good alternate. Sob! You see, the deadline for returning these was fast approaching, and my Naya shoes were not showing up. The last time I ordered online from Naturalizer, the shoes arrived in two days. I had taken to screaming at odd times: "where are my new shoes?!" (I've never claimed to be easy to live with). I consulted Rich, and he said, just keep these, they were cheap, they look good. So I decided to wear them on the 16th (also, still have not fixed heels of grey short boots). And they are pretty cool, and I do like them and am glad I kept them.

BECAUSE: Naturalizer broke my heart. Broke. My. Heart. On the 17th, I got an e-mail saying my order was canceled (sic) due to lack of inventory! Let's just say distraught doesn't begin to cover my disappointment. After a period of mourning what could have been, I am back to cyber stalking. I've found the Naya shoes on one site for $80, plus $10 shipping. And at this point in my non-working life I can't justify that purchase. And, I do have these. They are fine. I like them fine. And, if not for the heartbreak caused by Naturalizer, I might have been able to say I love them. But alas, they will forever be linked to second place, good enough status, which isn't really fair to them. But such is life.

Bottom line: keeper

February 15 - wow these are old

What: size 7.5 black suede mary jane pumps with decorative stitching
From: Unlisted (I think I bought these in FL at the department store Parisian)
Purchased: early 90s!
Cost: $25

I had to peel these off the shoe rack in Elizabeth's room. I should have gotten rid of them years ago - I think these might be the last pair of shoes I still own from when I lived in Florida for grad school. Or it's possible I bought them my first year in DC. I loved these shoes. LOVED them. They are destroyed. I've long thought of getting rid of them but have held on for sentimental reasons. Sigh. It will be hard to part with them.

Bottom line: still on the fence, but know they have to go

February 14 - blues

What: size 7.5 navy fabric pumps
From: Nina (likely Hechts or Lord and Taylor)
Purchased: hmmm. Late 90s
Cost: another guess, hope I didn't pay more than $30 for them!

Cleaning off the rack in E's room, and pulled these off. These are old - the shoes are stiff and dry and maybe don't have any life in them. But they also fit ok, and there's nothing objectively or specifically wrong with them, other than I never wear pumps anymore (and didn't even when I worked in an office, I'm just not really a pumps person anymore). I can't believe how many failed blue shoes I own (or once owned, as I've discarded many). Good lord! 4 pairs discarded! Clearly I have a problem with blue. I think I used to wear more blue, and now no longer do? Or given how many pairs I discarded that had barely been worn (if at all!), I think I think I should own blue shoes but I don't really need blue shoes. For example, I know I have a very nice pair of blue shoes still in the box purchased in my Jan '09 shoe frenzy (5 pairs in less than 30 days all from L&T - I write about this a lot because I think that was the first time I ever really thought I had a shoe problem). They are low heeled pointy toe, stylish navy blue, and I've never worn them, and quite possibly they might be the only navy shoes I would ever need, as they'll work across the seasons and with a variety of outfits, should I ever need to wear blue shoes (they are similar to these grey shoes, but not identical). I'm trying to type myself into discarding these, as my original intention was to keep them.

OK, I've come close to the discard line, but I think I'm going to put these on the fence. I think I need to look at the shoes altogether, at the end of this process, with observers, and then my bet is these will go.

Bottom line: on the fence

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

February 13 - another quest for casual comfort

What: size 8 light tan loafers with stitching and bow
From: Jennifer Moore (a Hecht's store brand, I think)
Purchased: '02 or '03
Cost: $25

A guess on cost. But yet, after the past few shoes I've put up, it's clear I've been on a long-term quest for casual yet comfortable. Here's attempt #184, it seems. I just cannot figure out the right casual, yet comfortable and walkable, dressier than sneakers shoe.

I remember I took these on trip to visit my friend K in Virginia Beach in early spring 2003, and she suggested we go for a walk on the boardwalk. And when my friend K walks, she walks. Several miles. I hadn't brought many shoes with me, so when I came downstairs with these she suggested I try something else. I think I might have borrowed sneakers from her for our long, cold walk.

Undecided on these. They aren't super comfortable, but do fit. There is something a little interesting about them. Any thoughts?

Bottom line: keeper, for now. Am actually really starting to look forward to lining up all my shoes for an audience (of one right now - TSM), because I think that might help cull.

February 12 - fancy flats

What: size 8 silver ballet flats with silvery flower
From: Talbots
Purchased: spring '09
Cost: $32.50 (edited for accuracy)

Hmmm. You know what? I might have my dates all screwed up. The very first pair of ballet flats I bought from Talbots were these, and I wrote I bought them in spring 09. But, I wore those orange-y ones enough that when I saw these in Talbots I knew I had to have them. I just loved the flower-y thing. I held out til late winter sales and finally snagged them at $35 (and I had to call around and have them held for me at a store across town to get them). So does that mean I bought them in '10? Did I miss a purchase? No, I must have the wrong year on the orange ones. Not that it matters all that much, really. Now I'm going to have to go back through some receipts to see if I've been living a lie and actually bought 22 pairs, not 21 pairs, in '10!

I wore these in January, but was so totally unmotivated in posting. But, it really was a fashion faux pas. It was a cold day, and I put on black socks! Bad, bad, bad. I don't think you can wear socks with ballet flats? So does that mean you either freeze for fashion, or hold ballet flats for spring/summer/fall only?

edited to add: OK, so I have been living a lie - I bought these on February 15, 2010, which makes them the second pair of shoes I bought in 2010, for a grand total of 22 pairs. Great, now I have to go back and edit the 2010 recap.

Bottom line: keeper

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

February 11 - blue loafers

What: Size 7.5 blue hush puppies
From: Hush Puppies (hechts)
Purchased: 1996 or 97
Cost: $32

In the fall, I showed the red version of these, so time for the other pair. They really are a hair too tight, but they are cool, so I can't ditch them.

Like the other pair, I'll move them into long-term storage (under the bed?) and only wear them rarely - they'll be my vintage shoes.

Bottom line: keeper

February 10 - gold brocade

What: size 8 gold brocade strappy sandals
From: Talbots (outlet)
Purchased: ~04
Cost: $15

Still just blowing through shoes, no real occasion to wear these. I had forgotten I had them when I bought these in 2010. They are fine, I wish I had a fancy occasion to wear them!

Bottom line: Keeper

February 9 - dressy sandals

What: size 7.5W silver sandals with beading
From: Fioni (otherwise known as Payless Shoes)
Purchased: hmm. mid 00s?
Cost: $15

I bought these for a wedding, I think, but I am drawing a blank. They're pretty simple silver dressy sandals, not super comfy (payless), but not unwearable. There's nothing wrong with them, might as well keep them in case I ever need silver sandals?

I am just trying to blow through the final (40!) pairs, and had no reason to wear these, but I did try them on.

Bottom line: keeper

February 8 - brown loafers

What: size 8 brown loafers
From: Karen Scott (Hecht's in-house brand)
Purchased: early 00's
Cost: $24

Guessing on cost. These are yet another pair to fill my "I need casual shoes" niche. I swear I have the hardest time with this niche, and never get it right. On What Not to Wear, they call it the mom on the go look. Well, I bought these before I was a mom, so it's been a long-term struggle. On WNTW, I think the mom on the go shoes they demonstrate are generally awesome shoes, but they would still make you look like an asshole on the playground (too fancy) and they aren't comfy enough for the urban mom on the go who walks and takes the bus. Maybe a suburban mom who drives a lot of places, but not one who might walk over a mile to the playground.

Anyway, these are kinda fine, though kinda ugh at the same time. The heel is too high for real casual wear, but they are too frumpy for dressy wear. I still don't see what's wrong with my easy spirit penny loafers (though they are frumpy too, at least they have a little bit of styling).

Bah, I guess they stay.

What do you wear for casual, comfortable shoes? Should I keep these?

Bottom line: a keeper, I guess

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

February 7 - old black lace-ups

What: size 8 black tie shoes with chunky 2 inch heel
From: Natural SPORT (fairly certain bought at Hecht's)
Purchased: late 90s, early 00s
Cost: $25

The hardest shoe niche for me is the casual shoe. You know, you're wearing jeans, a sweater, you have a bunch of running around to do, maybe it's cold or not great weather, heels are simply not a practical choice. So what do you wear? I really struggle. I don't have many shoes in this niche, particularly ones that you can wear with thick or warm socks. In the summer, you grab a pair of sandals, but what about the fall, winter, and (most of all) early spring? Right now my go tos are short flat boots, which are great for fall and winter but spring still has me stymied.

Anyway, I wore the heck out of these in the early 00s. They are waterproofed, too, so awesome for winter - I wore them all the time for casual Fridays at my non-profit job. But, they have always been too tight - my right foot would often go numb if I laced them too tightly. Not what you want in what is supposed to be casual, easy shoes. I actually put these on to wear one day in January, but they have become simply way too tight and uncomfortable. So I went back to my short black boots. And that's another pair off the rack in Elizabeth's room!

Bottom line: discard

February 6 - another flashback

What: size 8 platform slides
From: Nine West (probably Hecht's)
Purchased: mid 90s
Cost: $30

Holy smokes, these shoes are dated! Though, funny enough, everything comes around - I was reading some fashion story in some magazine that talked about how "flatforms" were coming back into style. The ridiculous words the industry pushes on us! But of course the article went on to say don't pull out your old ones, the new flatforms have a more defined heel and slimmer profile yada yada yada.

I think this is another pair my sister had first and I copied. It's funny that, at 14 years my junior, she's had far more influence on my personal style than I think I have had on hers. I still recall how, when she was 7 and I was 21, she's the one who told me I needed to start pegging my jeans (another trend that is coming back in style!) and showed me how to do it!

These shoes live in a slot in the hanging bag in my closet. If I lived in Florida I could see wearing them occasionally. They are comfortable. If they didn't have a defined place to live I'd feel more pressure ot get rid of them. For now they stay. Maybe they will be back in style and I can wear them in a retro way?

Bottom line: on the fence, probably keeping

February 5 - nude slingbacks

What: size 8 nude slingbacks with bow and 2 inch heel
From: Talbots (outlet)
Purchased: late 90s
Cost: $20

Another pair I have had forever, wore the heck out of, and yet haven't worn in years. I used to wear these with a long black skirt that has gold thread flowers, plus a camel/gold-ish twinset. I think the twinset bit the dust a while ago, and I can't imagine wearing that skirt. But, suddenly, nude shoes are very, very in. These shoes border on frumpy, though. But yet, my underbed shoe thing? I store brown shoes in it, and it had a few open slots. So under the bed these go, for now.

Bottom line: keeper

Sunday, February 13, 2011

February 4 - old yellow

What: size 8 yellow sneakers
From: Ralph Lauren (some outlet store)
Purchased: early 00s
Cost: $20

Another pair off the rack in Elizabeth's room - I like the look of these shoes a lot, but haven't worn them in forever and the rubber has become stiff and started to crack. They were never that comfortable, so it's time to let go.

Bottom line: discard

February 3 - linen pumps

What: size 8 black linen 2 inch heeled pumps
From: Van Eli (probably Hechts)
Purchased: mid-late 90s
Cost: $30

I'm trying to clean off the shoe rack in Elizabeth's room, so pulling out some old pairs.

A couple of months ago on AwwwTrouble I posted an old picture from a family wedding, and my friend Elaine commented that you couldn't see my shoes. However, I knew exactly what pair I was wearing - these. These were a go-to pair in the mid 90s. Loved them. Probably have not worn them in at least 10 years. But I tried them on, they were still comfortable, so I can't get rid of them. I'll try and get some wear out of them this summer.

Bottom line: keeper

February 2 - more mary janes

What: size 8 black mary janes with 2.5 inch heels
From: Talbots (outlet)
Purchased: early 00s
Cost: $25

I have another pair of similar Mary Janes, but when I saw these on the outlet racks I had to snatch them up. I went through a big tights and mary jane phase, and so wanted a second pair so I could rotate and not wear out the ones I had and liked so much. These are ok - not as comfy as my other pair. There's something slightly interesting about the angled strap. But overall, these are just a basic, standard, fine pair, nothing special. I haven't worn them in a while, but there's nothing wrong with them. Just not much opportunity to wear them right now.

Bottom line: Keeper

February 1 - unsatisfying flops

What: Size 8 purple flip flops
From: LOFT
Purchased: spring 08
Cost: $15

I've had a pair of orange LOFT flip flops forever, and they are about worn out. I like the platform - it makes them super comfy. So I decided in the spring of 08 that I needed another pair, and grabbed these when they went on sale. But, the heel is too high and the platform is too short. Ergo: not super comfy.

But purple has become one of my go-to colors lately, so I'll hang onto these and see if I can get some wear out of them this summer. Um, that means I have to find the other one, which i think is buried in the closet!

Bottom line: keeper for now - they might not survive the summer

Friday, February 11, 2011

still here, and a bit atwitter!

Oh, my dear shoe friends. How I have neglected you. I have my good intentions, but my motivation appears to be lacking. I even have photos loaded onto my computer, so I have no camera cord issues to blame. So I will pick this back up, skipping January, and starting February 1. 28 shoes in February! I can do it!

But first, I have to tell you of my great willpower that was completely rewarded by the shoe gods!

Yesterday, I met my friend Amy G for coffee, but first of course we met at the little thrift store by my house. They still have their shoe sale - all shoes $17. And what did I find on the racks? A pair of black suede Prada shooties in my size! Let me repeat: PRADA. Black suede. Shooties. IN MY SIZE. FOR $17!!!

Kittens, I cannot believe I am typing this, but: I passed them up.

You know, now that I see it in black and white, I think perhaps that was an extremely foolish decision. Amy G certainly thinks so. They weren't perfectly comfortable, and were a bit worn. I was feeling virtuous. Because I still covet gray shooties, not black ones. (still: PRADA!)

I've written about these more times than I can link, I think. I specifically covet these shoes from Naya, which is an eco-friendly offshoot of Naturalizer.
But they have been $165. There have been times I could have snagged them around $100. And there was one day they were on sale on some random website for $66, but I still couldn't do it. I've never tried them on, and the $66 were final sale, so what if they actually suck? But I still cyber stalk them. I google search them, check out ebay (there is a pair in my size for sale on ebay for $100, but in black leather), and look around for them at least every other day.

So last night, I did my google search and scanned the results and a sale notice caught my eye. I clicked on the link, and lo and behold, it took me to the Naturalizer website. These have been sold out on the Naturalizer website since before Thanksgiving! But there they were again, for $50, in two sizes, 7.5 and 9. AND, last week Naturalizer sent a coupon code for 20% off! DUDE! $40!! SCORE! Naturalizer shoes tend to run large, and so I snapped up the 7.5, though some of the reviews said these shoes ran small. It might be a bust, then, but this also might work out remarkably well. (And they only had one pair in 7.5 - after I bought my pair, that size disappeared off the website.)

My shoe denial earlier in the day rewarded me with my coveted gray shooties! Wohoo! Stay tuned and in just a few days I'll be able to tell you how it worked out.

(but still: was I totally foolish in passing up the prada shooties? Hmmm.)