A reader writes:
"I've just recently lost a buncha weight, and while you'd hardly think that buying something for your feet would be what you'd want to do with it, but dude, suddenly I *care* what I look like, and shoes seem to be part of that. I want a fabulous, affordable shoe. I want something risky, but not too risky - something in red, maybe, that I can wear with black. I don't want to spend more than, say $100."
All very do-able. Very, very do-able. And what, she asks, does one wear with such shoes?
New red shoes! I'm positively cackling with glee!!!!
First of all, let me interject that my reader is hesitant about patent leather and I am throwing caution to the wind and recommending nothing but patent here because, 1) if you're gonna go, go big and 2) patent is HUGE right now and much of the really cute stuff is patent.
Also, she mentions that her workplace environment is very casual and that she is (my words here) a slave to the tyranny of "comfortable."
This "comfortable" business just grates my cheese, let me tell you. You'd think I was trying to strap people into iron lungs or something. I have heard so many people shriek about so much clothing that they would neeeeeeever wear it because it wouldn't be "comfortable." As though wearing ANYTHING not made of fleece and having a drawstring waist is some sort of medieval torture. Just because something has buttons and/or a waistband and isn't four sizes too large doesn't mean it's going to be constrictive or painful. I'll grant you -- some fabrics are less wonderful than others -- some folks are sensitive to wool, and some kinds of polyester & other synthetics are just not to be borne. (I ran across a dress by Theory in Saks the other day that I really liked the looks of, but when I rubbed the fabric between my fingers I actually recoiled from the thing -- it was this weird, scratchy, fiberglass-y linen blend I couldn't imagine having next to my skin.) But most grown-up clothing, if it fits properly, is perfectly comfortable. So get over it!!!
I'm sorry. But this "comfortable" business is what has brought us down the ugly road of Crocs and Juicy-emblazoned velour pants (which usually are too tight, in my experience) and assaultive Hawaiian shirts. It's a very slippery slope from "comfortable" to "slovenly" and constant vigilance is demanded!
Here endeth the lecture. Let's look at the goods. Links to all items by clicking on photos.
Love these. I've actually tried these on and they are really sharp. A nice, sexy, strappy sandal that has a very manageable mid-heel. (And a wedge! Even better!) You could definitely wear this sandal with a pair of slacks, but I love the idea of it with a lovely summer dress, like this:
The fabric is floaty and light -- it begs to be twirled around in.
I love these:
A darker red patent, slightly more sedate, but with a cool buckle for some great detail. These would be adorable with jeans, but you could step it up ever so slightly with a sharp pair of white (or black) slacks and a soft sweater:
Although I think with those shoes I'd prefer a wider-legged pant.
These may be pushing it a bit for this reader, but ooooooh, they're so cute!
I like 'em with a skirt that has a little flare at the bottom, something like this:
Which is a great simple outfit, perfect with a little jacket over it:
You could wear this outfit to work, you could wear it to dinner with your handsome hubby, you could even interview for a job in it. Very all-purpose.
Speaking of all-purpose:
What a great shoe. Just enough heel to keep it interesting and versatile. I love it with a slick shirtwaist:
This next is fun & funky:
and I like it with a sassy little dress:
In general I find that with a round-toed shoe I prefer clothes that are a little more feminine and flirty, and with a pointed toe I like things more tailored & neat. But that's just me, I don't think it's a hard & fast rule.
This is a shoe you could wear with just about anything:
Especially sharp with a good suit:
So there's just a few options. Whaddya think?
Photos: Nordstrom.com, Overstock.com, Macys.com, Anthropologie.com, AnnTaylor.com