May 23, 2013

Shoe Summer!

Forget the weather, nothing is a better indication that summer is here than the summer shoe sale season!

If you haven't had a look yet, I highly recommend doing so very soon, while the selections are still good.

Coach just announced their 50% off sale today.

The Glinda Espadrille was on my Coach summer wish list; I had't decided yet between the navy or the ivory....but at only $99.00, I may be inclined to get both!

Glinda Espadrille by Coach. Currently on sale for $99 (normally $198).

Apr 24, 2013

Shoe Review: Dani Heel by Coach

This is my next absolute must have. This is the Dani Heel by Coach and is as comfortable as it is pretty.

The Shoe:
The naturally tanned, vachetta leather, the wide straps and the large gold buckle give this sandal the bold look that is a Coach classic.

The 4 3/4" heel is high but manageable with the height of the nicely curved platform. The leather sole is a bit slippery so you may consider adding a non-slip sole.

What I like:
The vachetta leather is soft and pliable, making it one of the most comfortable sandals I've tried all season. The straps are nice and wide to provide solid support, avoiding pressure points across the toes.

What I don't like:
I'll admit the heel is a bit high but it's not enough to keep me from getting it :)

Dani Heel, Coach: $198.

*Vachetta leather is left untreated and is therefore susceptible to a wide range of stains, from water to hand lotion. If it gets dirty or wet, it's hard to clean because applying anything to the leather can change the color. It's best to just leave it and over time, the pale leather will darken to a beautiful honey brown shade with stains and marks gradually blending into a rich new color, called the leather's patina.

Apr 18, 2013

Shoe Review: Cynthia Flat by Diesel

The flat is a shoe-closet necessity - a must have for jeans, that cute dress or a casual mini and sweater combo.

Finding a cute flat is not hard, but, finding a cute flat that is stylish as well as comfortable, versatile and affordable enough to buy in several colours...? That's a different story.

The Cynthia flat by Diesel was a great find; originally priced around $125 - $135, it's now on sale for well under $100.

Fabric covered upper with leather capped toe, leather sole. Fits true to size but is a bit narrow in the toes.

Apr 11, 2013

The Look of Spring

The bright, colourful look from last year continues but this year it's not just the fun, strappy sandals getting all the colour either.

There's a whole array of colourful pumps as well, perfect to add a splash of colour to any outfit!  Here's a quick look:

                                                          Medici by Aldo $100

Vivian by Calvin Klein $199              

                                                                                                              Kali by Marc Fisher $89
Rocha by Nine West $120

                                                 Wilton by Anne Klein $99

Nala by Coach $158

Apr 4, 2013

All dressed in White!

Leighann by Coach $198

White is back.... and it's everywhere! I'm personally not sure how I feel about all the white yet but that could just be because I'm too pale to pull it off very well.

Either way, this trend is making a big comeback from the 80s and 90s.

So whether you're looking for a store brand, a designer label, a high strappy heel, standard pump or cute flat, you'll find them all in white!

Be adventurous, buy some white shoes... there are plenty to choose from!

Musilova by Aldo, $155
Bly by Aldo $89
Omara by Anne Klein $89

Neodan by Guess $99

Mar 31, 2013

Shoe Review: Bonnie by Ron White

This is Bonnie Onyx Croco from the All Day Heels collection.

The Shoe:
The insole has a "NASA created PORON cushioning"... honestly, I don't know what that actually means except that it does make the insole  very comfortable.

The heel is manageable 3.5 inches, with a 1 inch platform.

What I like:
The embossed calf leather covered heel and hidden platform make the shoe stand out a little while still maintaining the polished look of a classic pump. 

What I don't like:
The toe box is a tight fit, so try a size up and definitely make sure you walk around in the store first, to get a good feel.

Normally between $385-$445, look around for the sales to find them for as low as $150.

Feb 2, 2013

Winter Chic!

How to look pretty and stylish while trudging through below zero weather? Difficult, but not impossible.

The Boot:
Anchorage boot by Pajar. This is a Canadian company so it's not surprising that the boot is guaranteed to keep your feet warm and dry down to -40 degrees.

What I like:
They have a solid, but not chunky, heel with good grip for walking on ice and snow covered sidewalks; the insole is removable for easy cleaning and the whole interior is lined making it warm enough to only need a thin pair of socks.

Fashion wise, I love that it has a nice slender look; I wear them over skinny jeans, with a skirt over tights and always get plenty of compliments - and that's always a nice bonus!

What I don't like: 
Honestly, nothing. I love these boots.

I personally think their regular prices are very reasonable for the product but with winter coming to an end, have a look around and you'll probably get lucky with a sale! They have an extensive selection of styles, both for women and men so happy shopping!

Anchorage by Pajar: $350

Jan 15, 2013

Repaired Shoe = New Shoe!

In this post, I wrote about a very beloved pair of shoes.  These were my first love in shoes so naturally over the years I’ve done all I could to take care of them.

But now it had finally come to the time where they needed something a bit more drastic. What I wanted was for the very pointed part of the toe to be trimmed down to a regular almond toe.  So, off I went to my trusted shoe guy.  

Before he could even give me an answer as to whether or not he would be able to do what I wanted, he had to painstakingly peel back the top layer of the leather from the underlying structural material. This had to be done in order for him to see what condition the bottom part of the shoe would be in and whether there would be enough leather left for him to work with. After several days of him working on it in his spare time - I soon learned that this was bit of a labour of love for him - heating the shoe to soften the leather and glue, peeling it back literally millimetre by millimetre, he finally told me that yes, he would try. But, he could not guarantee the end result. Did I still want to continue? I did... I had no doubt that he wouldn’t even start if he couldn’t do it.

At this point he had to create a new model for what the shoe would look like; after several foot measurements, he was ready to create a mold and... to start cutting! After one last “Are you sure?” the tip of the shoe came off. And the trimming, and the measuring began.

Finally, after over a month of working on them, he called me... for help.  At the bottom of the shoe, where the leather meets the sole, the original leather wasn’t strong enough so he had to augment it with new leather but, the new leather didn’t quite match the old.  And after trying out several combinations of their leather dye, he had been unable to match the finish on the shoe.

Considering the vast array of nail polish colours, they had the brilliant idea to use nail polish to touch up a few parts where the finish was uneven!  So, off I went to several stores until I finally found a colour that he liked. The polish got mixed in with his secret shoe making ingredients, they were put in an oven, they were buffed and sprayed and steamed and I don’t know what all but finally, a few days later, he called me again - this time to come have a look. And just look at the magic he performed!

Jan 10, 2013

Winter Care for Shoes and Boots

It is that time of year: cold, wet, snowy, icy... and salty.

This time of year it’s difficult to walk outside without ending up with salt on your shoes and boots. And when you have salt, you have salt stains and damage.

The best thing to do is to clean them right away.  

Daily Care:
1. Brush off any dirt and salt residue.
2. Wipe the entire shoe or boot with a soft, damp cloth.
3. Dry them off using a soft, dry cloth/towel.
4. Store in a dry place away from radiators or heaters.

This is of course assuming that they will only get dirty and wet and salted on your way home....

So what do you do when you had to trudge through salty slush on your way to work, run a few errands during the day, come home at the end of the day in more salty, dirty, messy slush which is now adding to the stuff that’s already dried on from the morning?

Salt Care:
If you notice any white or grey spots and lines that don’t come off by wiping with a wet cloth, you’ll need to take an extra step to get rid of those.  Mix about one part white vinegar with three to four parts water (diluted white vinegar is not harsh on leather; I prefer to use enough vinegar to only have to rub them down once instead of multiple times to remove the salt stains).

1. Follow steps 1-3 above: brush, wipe, dry.
2. Dip a cloth in the vinegar water and wipe the stains using soft circular motions.
3. Dry with a soft cloth or towel.
4. Check to make sure the white stains are gone once dry; repeat if necessary.
5. Condition with an oil such as Neatsfoot oil (from hardware or sporting goods stores) or spray with a leather protector.

If you’re wearing your boots and shoes outside in this weather, they are in need of extra TLC this time of year.

It doesn't matter whether you have 
a pair of boots that belong in a display to showcase their beauty or winter boots that are built for comfort, there is no excuse to not to give them the proper care they deserve. They will not only look nicer but also last much longer. 

Please note, these are instructions for regular top grain hide that has a smooth finish, not for suede and distressed leather.

Jan 3, 2013

How to Remove Salt Stains from Leather Shoes and Boots

Please note, these are instructions for regular top grain hide that has a smooth finish, not for suede and distressed leather.

1. Use a brush to remove all salt and dirt residue.

2. Create a mixture of one part vinegar and four parts water.

3. Dip a soft cloth into the water and vinegar mixture and rub a small area of the stain.

4. Dry with a soft cloth or towel then continue with another small area until complete.

5. Let the boots or shoes air dry for at least 30 minutes after you finish cleaning them then check to make sure the stains are gone. They may only show up after the leather has fully dried.

6. Condition the boots or shoes after they've completely dried, using either a natural oil or a specific oil for the type of leather your boots or shoes are made of. Regular conditioning throughout the winter will help strengthen the leather and keep them looking nicer and, most importantly, make them last longer.

Dec 29, 2012

Why you need a Cobbler

Yes, you need one.

Why? Um, well, because you love your shoes, obviously.

Okay, maybe that's not the obvious answer so allow me to explain. A good shoe guy (aka cobbler), is not as easy to find as you might think. Most of them, I've found, don't really even know how exactly a shoe is made and therefore are hard pressed to know how to fix them. And, at worse, will simply tell you to buy a new pair - as if replacing a beloved pair of shoes is simply about having another pair of shoes!

However, if you look hard enough, you can still find a genuine cobbler. One who not only takes your love of that favourite pair of shoes seriously, but who understands the art of a beautiful and well designed shoe. This my friend is a hard find, and when you find one, know that it is one of the last original, genuine few.

They will tell you honestly when it is time to replace your shoe, but only after looking at the shoe, touching it, inspecting it. But before that, they will be able to skillfully replace the sole, fix broken heels (not just replace the heel tip - please! I can do that myself!). Furthermore, they will also tell you ways you can make them last longer and give you advice on any modifications based on the way you walk and the list goes on.  In short, a real cobbler will help you extend the life and love of your shoes.

This is not a task to be trusted to the first place you come across with the words "shoe repair" thrown into some part of their service description.

In my personal experience, the older the person the better... and if you find someone who has an "apprentice", even better. You know he's taking this seriously.

If you're in the GTA and would like a reference to such a rare creature, just let me know :)

Nov 28, 2012

The Boot in the City

Okay, I didn't get this boot just because I didn't have a brown boot, though that's reason enough as this is a gorgeous brown! 

The Boot:
This is Vallera by Blondo.  Made with waterproof leather, after the initial leather protecting treatment, all you have to do is just wipe the winter salt off with a damp cloth and they're good to go. The full length inside zipper with the back elastic insert will make sure it's a comfortable fit as well.

What I like:
This is my favourite style for the city boot. With it's refined, classic equestrian look it'll be in style for years to come - decades even.

They have the clean, beautiful lines which made the equestrian boot the classic that it is and which makes this a must have for every closet.

It is very comfortable and fits true to size.

What I don't like:
It can be a little difficult to get on; the back of the heel is quite rigid with not a lot of give, so when you're slipping your foot in you have to give it a good tug. However, once you have it on, it forms perfectly around your foot for an absolutely comfortable fit.

As always, you get what you pay for, but in this case, you're getting quite a lot more. It averages around $235... which is a great price for a boot you'll wear for years.

Oct 31, 2012

The City Boot

The City Boot, also known as a Riding Boot... or equestrian boot.

The Boot:
Knee high, with a full length inside zipper; stacked, block 1.5 inch heel; textured tread ...and fantastically comfortable, this is the perfect city boot!

What I like:
The well placed - but minimal - straps and hardware add a sleek polish to the leather upper. Speaking of which, I adore the lion embossed buckle!  Rrrr! Eh hmm...

What I don't like:
The boot itself... nothing. I love it!  It's a little pricier than some other boots but if you like quality, then it's worth the possibility of living on tomato sandwiches for a while.


(I've found it online for anything ranging from $150-$250 but as always, I strongly recommend you try any shoe or boot on before committing to it. So if you must deprive yourself of the shoe shopping experience, make sure the site you order from has a decent return policy.)  

Sep 4, 2012

Shoe Review: Expo-BB by Diesel

This canvas slip-on flat is very comfortable, casual but the decorative stitching and lace-up bow give it enough detail to keep it pretty enough to go with a sun dress.  
Why orange shoes? Why not?   
It comes in a variety of colours including neutral grey or linen, but also in pink, blue and orange. I didn't have any orange shoes yet.

Aug 30, 2012

Red Shoe, Flat Shoe

By now both the ballet flat and the red shoe are well established must haves in every woman's closet. Naturally, a red flat is a must have.

The red shoe in general adds a pop of colour, an element of style, a bit of daring, a hint of sexy... it's red, it can do all that.

The ballet flat is comfort in a modern, trendy way. You're at ease with yourself, you're confident in your outfit. But today, you're not wearing just any pair of stand out in the sea of feet dressed in their neutral colours, chosen specifically to blend in. You are confident, stylish and daring... and that's sexy no matter who's looking.
BARRE, by Capezio