Jun 30, 2012

Shoe Review: Langham, Aldo

This is the Langham sandal by Aldo, currently on sale for $25, so it really would have been more irresponsible to not get them...

What can I say... the leather straps are amazingly soft and pliable which means they don't irritate and you can wear them all day, plus it comes in all the fun colours of the season, and the flowers across the foot are a perfect accent for your summer pedi!

Jun 28, 2012

5 Essential Shoes of a Man: The Dressy Brown

A while back, and again recently, I received an email from a gentleman reader stating - in good humour, I hope - that my site was sexist since there was no mention of men's shoes.  To correct that, I am fortunate enough to have a very stylish guy friend willing to help me out! Julian from Jack of All Travels, has graciously agreed to guest write a few posts about men's shoes.

So, without further ado, here is the first in his five part series. 

5 Essential Shoes of a Man: The Dressy Brown.

If you think you are all that is man and don’t own all of the shoes in this 5 part series “5 Essential Shoes of a Man,” you better check for your Y-chromosome and Adam’s apple just to be sure. In this series, I give you 5 shoes every man should have in his closet and why you should have them. In part 1, we investigate The Dressy Brown.

The Dressy Brown. Your dad had them. Your grandpa had them. Your grandpa’s grandpa had them.  Do you really think you’re any better, any more suave, or any smarter than all of your ancestors?  Sure you’ve got the iPhone, sure you’ve got Google, sure you’ve got a liberal arts degree, but do you have the timeless style of a pair of brown leather oxford’s?

Plainly, the answer is "No," you are not any more suave or any smarter than your male lineage by skipping out on a pair of brown dress shoes, like these Haan’s Madison Air Cap-toe Oxford ($250). A brown dress shoe comes in handy for almost all occasions that don’t involve catching a football. Are you going to a business meeting wearing a casual business suit? Put on your Dressy Browns. Are you headed to a friend’s summer wedding wearing dressy khaki’s and a button down shirt? Put on your Dressy Browns. Are you headed to a nice bar in a pair of slim-fit dark jeans and a classy-but-casual jacket? Put on your Dressy Browns. A good pair of brown leather dress shoes will last you forever and keep you looking good for both formal and casual events. Just think, do you really want to be the schmuck at the bar ordering Jaeger Bombs in a ratty pair of old sneakers, or do you want to be the gentleman buying a gin and tonic in a pair of old-fashioned, but classy and stylish brown leather wingtips?

Thanks for reading; look out for Part 2, The Laid Back Slip-on, and remember: Dress them up; dress them down; just make sure you’ve got your Dressy Browns.

Jun 25, 2012

Shoe Review: Hembre, Aldo

Recently, while getting ready to go for a casual stroll along the harbourfront, I noticed my lack of nice sandals for when you're in the mood for a casual harbourfront-stroll, but not flip flops casual, though nothing with heels either... you know what I mean? 

Well, lucky for me, Aldos was having a sale and this sandal fit that mood just perfectly! 

This is Hembre; it's a comfortable sandal with a small heel and adjustable ankle strap. The colour, Ice, is a summery off white but it comes in all the bright colours of the season.

Jun 22, 2012

Shoe Review: Pick Me Up, Nine West

This shoe is absolutely stunning. It has good padding in the sole, the heel is a nice width, making it easy enough to walk in despite the height, and the colour! The colour is phenomenal! Overall, it's good.  


First, it fits large. My normal size 8 was quite a bit too large and my heel was slipping out of the back of the shoe. To keep the shoe on I had to tighten the ankle strap as much as possible, which brings me to the second issue. 

The ankle strap is very thin; while this gives you a really nice profile (seriously, my ankles never looked slimmer!) considering how tightly I had to do it up to keep the shoe on, it became quite uncomfortable after only a few steps.

I tried going down a size and the shoe still fit... it was a little bit tighter in the toe box but if only for that I could still have worn it; unfortunately it did not solve the issue with my heel slipping out and I still had to do up the strap quite tightly.

The problem with having to rely on just the ankle strap to keep the shoe from slipping off is that the pressure of the strap digging into your ankle will become very painful after a while.

I'll be honest, I liked it enough that if I find it on sale I'll probably still get it even if it means only wearing it when I know I won't be doing a lot of walking :)

The heel is 4.5 inches with a 1 inch partially covered platform.

Jun 19, 2012

How Nude

Everyone woman needs to have at least one pair of nude shoes... ideally, you will have more than one (pumps, peep-toe, sandals...)

But before you go out and just buy the first pair of shoes with the colour description of "nude", take a moment to make sure that they are nude for you.  For example, I am very fair skinned (I say my skin is like fair alabaster, others might say I'm pasty white, but that's a matter of colour perception I think...)


Being fair skinned, a pair of shoes that are "nude" on my fabulously tanned friend will be more like a light brown for me; nude for me is the Biscotto below.  The nude shades have varying undertones such as yellow, beige/brown or pink.  So, using a current collection from Stuart Weitzman, here is a small sample of nude shoes but as always, the best way to get the ideal shoe for you is for you to go try on a bunch!
"Loire"  Color: Flesh Aniline
"Avignon"   Color: Adobe Aniline
"Caplitely"  Color: Biscotto Aniline
"Diplille"  Color: Moonglo Aniline

Jun 16, 2012

10 Shoes Every Woman Should Have

The right shoes can pull together an outfit and make everything you're wearing look stylish. On the other hand, the lack of this right shoe can make your otherwise well put together outfit look like it's missing something. So the question is which shoes do you absolutely need in order to take every outfit to the next level?

This is a list compiled from various very reliable fashion sources... but mostly my own opinion!  The exact shoes are my personal preferences but you should personalize to suite your own fashion style and personality.

1. Black Pump: This really should go without saying but I'll say it just in case someone doesn't know:  Every woman MUST have a pair of black pumps in her closet. Personally, I think she should have several...  The black pump is perfect for pretty much every outfit, everything from a wrap dress to meet his parents, with a suite at the office (skirt or pant suite), to jeans and dressy top for a night out with the girls.
Rocha, Nine West

2. Nude Pump/Peep-Toe: The nude shoe, whether a pump or peep-toe can add a nice touch of sophisticated class to any outfit and they are the ultimate leg lengthener. But, it is very important to have the right shade of nude to match your skin tone (typically they have yellow, pink or beige undertones so be sure to try on several to find your perfect shade). 
Tress3, Guess

3. Flat: Whether you get a ballet flat or a flat with a small built in heel or low support, it's the look of the flat that you're after here. Get at least one or two pairs of straight forward flats in a neutral colour with minimal embellishments to get the most versatility.  I like my Hush Puppies for every day; they're straight forward black, with a simple flower on top. My other favourites are my new Coach flats; in the warm pewter tone, they're neutral enough to go with anything but the embellishment on the top makes them more of an accessory to your outfit.  And who doesn't love accessories!
Lexi, Coach
Myleene, Hush Puppies

4. Evening Heels: This should be a classic, elegant shoe or sandal that will go with any outfit you have for an evening at the opera, date at a fancy restaurant or a formal wedding. 
Cody, Bagley Mischka
Dolce and Gabbana

5. Brown Leather Sandal: This is a necessity for summer. Perfect to wear with jeans, skirts and flowy summer dresses. There is no question about it, you simply need to have these. The only question is which exact style you like best. 
Shine on BL, Kenneth Cole
Aqqua, Steve Madden

6. Tall Black Boots: If you're only going to have one pair of black boots, than this is a great example of what that boot should be. Knee high, good heel height but not outrageously so, with a clean, sleek profile. You want to be able to wear it with a pencil skirt to the office and with a short skirt to the club.
Aggy, Nine West

7. Wedge: Another summer essential; adds height but allows for a day of strolling through Yorkville or the boardwalk along the beach. Go for the Espadrille style, like the Hugghins by Aldo, for a dressier look or a wider wedge like the Reiley for a more casual outfit.
Hugghins, Aldo

Reiley, Aldo

8. Tall City Boots (Riding Boots): There are so many ways to wear these boots, it's almost criminal not to have a pair in your wardrobe; wear them with a sweater/shirt dress with tights for a chic feminine look, over a pair of skinny jeans for a trendy fashionable style, or under boot-cut jeans for any look you feel like... seriously, these are essential, especially here with our long fall weather.
Catriona, Anne Klein
Chaminade, Miz Mooz

9. Canvas Sneakers: Comfy and chic. That's the short and sweet description and it's really quite accurate. They are comfortable and pair them with capris for a chic casual Friday, with shorts for a sporty day at the beach and a cute sundress for Sunday brunch.
Celeb Twill, Keds

10. The Statement Shoe: This is the shoe or sandal that makes you feel elegant, hot, sexy or super-what-ever-you-want-to-feel!  It should be a reflection of your personality, whether that be your inner vixen, sex goddess or quirky thespian. Whatever it is, it should be traffic-stopping!
Addyson, Coach
Boutique 9 shoes
Doetzen3 Heels, Nine West Boutique 9

Jun 13, 2012

Stiletto Defined

Definition: (Noun) 
 1. A short dagger with a tapering blade, intended primarily as a stabbing weapon.
 2. A woman’s shoe with a thin, high tapering heel. A heel on a stiletto shoe. 

Origin: early 17th century: from Italian, diminutive of stilo: 'dagger'

With origins like that, is it any wonder that a stiletto is a painful shoe?!  So, what exactly qualifies as a stiletto?

A stiletto heel is a long, thin, high heel on shoes and boots usually intended for women.  Stiletto heels can range in height from 1 inch to10 inches (or more if it has a platform sole). The key distinction is of course the very thin diameter of less than 1 cm at the ground.  

Just because a heel is high does not merit the description stiletto. The original super thin Italian stiletto heels in the late 1950s and very early 1960s were no more than 5mm in diameter for much of their length, although the heel sometimes flared out a little at the top. 

So what happened? Mass production: The original stiletto heel has a stem of solid steel or alloy; and sadly, the generic method of mass-producing high heels using moulded plastic with an internal metal tube for reinforcement does not make for the best method of achieving the true stiletto shape.

Jun 11, 2012

Summer Wedge

I absolutely love this wedge sandal.  This is Gemma by Michael Antonio. Aside from how fabulous they look, there are two things that make this wedge my new favourite.

First, the strap around the ankle is nice and wide, allowing me to secure it without digging into my skin. The strap across the back of the heel is also placed very well so that I just slip them on really quickly for a quick step outside without having to do up the buckle - this is very important as that indicates that the entire pressure of keeping the shoe on will not be placed just on the ankle strap.

And, the other very important feature is the continuous inner sole. Often sandals will have a break in the sole just at the base of the toes and the ball of the foot. While this seems fine at first, over time the edge starts to loosen a bit, lifting the edge and by the end of a day that little line can feel like the edge of a sharp razor, leaving you hobbled and limping... so, that single sole is a very important in a high heel.

Overall, tons of compliments for a comfortable gorgeous summer sandal: love it!

The heel is 4.5 inches, with a 1 inch platform 

Jun 8, 2012

Don't Glitter

Okay, I know it's summer, that we want fun and that glitter is fun but if it's going to be on a shoe, then it really needs to be more than just glitter glued to an otherwise perfectly good shoe.  Because glitter glued to a shoe is tacky.

And personally, I'm disappointed in the quality of this attempt by Nine West.  The Danee heel is Nine West's Rocha pump which I've previously mentioned here as a great black pump, so the shoe itself is good. But the glitter makes it look cheap and poorly made.

... perhaps if they had used a more fine grain glitter rather than the large dollar-store-look-alike... perhaps I'm just not a glitter girl, not sure which but either way, this is a solid no for me.

This is Islebthere also by Nine West; I thought perhaps I'd like the glitter on a flat a bit more but no, it was just as tacky.