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avatarWoodstock, The original Woodstock music festival, happened 40 years ago this weekend, from Aug. 15 to 17, 1969!  But that gathering was about a lot more than just some great bands, man – even the famous event poster (below) proclaimed the festival was to be three days of peace (first) and then music – there were political motivations, social and rock & roll history being made, inspiration for the reuse and recycling we see today, and there was definitely some great fashion: peasant blouses, tie-dye, bell bottom jeans, beads, patchwork, vests, maxi dresses, fringe, etc.

The original Woodstock event poster

The original Woodstock event poster

Interestingly, the town of Bethel (where the festival was actually held), has been so against another Woodstock happening that, according to the Times Herald-Record,  the owners of the land “many still consider hallowed ground were spreading chicken manure on that fertile soil to keep the pilgrims and plain curious from visiting.”  However, according  in 1989, 20,000 people gathered anyway for an impromptu 20th anniversary celebration and this weekend might be even bigger. Visit the Times Herald-Record live coverage!

Anyway, enjoy the fun shoes below and the spirit of the time.  And here’s something great to remember whenever you’re getting dressed in the morning that Jimi Hendrix is attributed to have said:

“You have to forget about what other people say, when you’re supposed to die, or when you’re supposed to be loving. You have to forget about all these things. You have to go on and be crazy. Craziness is like heaven.”

A little bit arts & craft, a lot bit cool

All Black – a little bit arts & craft, a lot bit cool

Ecote -  Flower Power!

Ecote – flower power!

Minnetonka - comes with detachable feathers and beaded tassle

Minnetonka – comes with detachable feathers and a beaded tassle

Rocket Dog Sheriff

Rocket Dog – perfectly slouchy and lived in from the first wear

Collection Fifty Nine - why yes, I (could have) whipstiched these together myself

Collection Fifty Nine – why yes, I (could have) whipstitched these together myself

Guess - Even some hippies wore heels

Guess – even some hippies wore heels

Come on – Rebel, man!  This is Woodstock for the new millennium. Here are some ideas to incorporate that peace and love style into your everyday for the end of the summer and into fall 2009.

Just a smidge of tassle on a luxe suede bootie

Madison Harding – Just a smidge of tassle on a luxe suede bootie

Cocobelle - grab those gladiators before summer's over

Cocobelle – grab those gladiators before summer’s over

Frye - classic style in an unexpected color

Frye – classic style in an unexpected color

TOMS- it doesn't have to be tie-dye to be groovy

TOMS- it doesn’t have to be tie-dye to be groovy

Georgina Goodman - the new flower power

Georgina Goodman – the new flower power

Simple - get in the spirit with recycled, eco-friendly materials!

Simple – get in the spirit with recycled, eco-friendly materials!

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avatarWinter is when most people get seasonal affective disorder (SAD) and it’s no wonder; except for the occasional snowy wonderland, winter is full of gloomy gray skies and hide-your-face cold. So why does everyone pull on black boots with their black coats when moods are already darkening? The only time I’ve really seen color in the winter has been the occasional handbag or scarf. It’s sad that people are afraid of color or don’t know what to do with it (other reasons?). I know that fear and thrift are the main reasons for the black coats (yes, I have one too), especially in this economy: what will show stains the least (i.e. last longest) and match everything and never go out of style?

Okay. But shoes? Sure some colors become more popular than others, but I’ve rarely, if ever, seen a fashion magazine tell people to NOT wear a specific color. Maybe not with a specific outfit, but that’s a different story. orange in nycSo were you worried about those bright shoes going out of style? As long as you pick a basic shape you’ll be fine (maybe leave the fringe and cut-outs out). And worried about longevity? I suggest you just don’t pick suede; leather boots will look better for way longer than suede one ever will. Plus bright colors are also a great way to transition your winter boots into fall/early spring when all fashion becomes saturated.

Shoes are one fantastic category to experiment with at all times and in all seasons. Try a bright green wellie this winter and I swear you’ll bounce a little when you’re walking. Or try orange with a neutral gray jean like the girl above! Just incorporate color into your outfits the same way you would with black but reversed: If you can wear black boots with almost any outfit then so to can you wear colorful boots with almost any neutral outfit. Hues of brown, gray, black and white on top = party colors on your feet!

Don’t worry, I have even more ideas for you below to liven up your black coat (I’ll leave that to other fashion blogs).

First, these Steven by Steve Madden boots are a fun shade of pink and the puffy fabric (and faux shearling lining!) will definitely keep you warm. Wear them with a black tights/skirt combo and add a top with some pink in it (maybe florals?) or tuck your jeans into them with a button down in khaki and a white sweater. Second, these ankle boots by Calvin Klein are suede, but how can you resist those straps and that rich royal blue color?! Some colors look richer in suede and since I’m sure not everyone shares my aversion to the material (and even I make exceptions), I thought I’d add one worth the risk.

Steven Puffe Calvin Klein Peg
Dr. Martens Nellie Pull on Boot Jeffery Campbell Flawless
Frye Jenny Shortie Jessica Simpson Halk

You might think the bright yellow rain boots in the second row are a little cliche but take a closer look… they’re actually Dr. Martins with the famous stitching and chunky anti-slip sole! If Doc’s standard lace up mid-calf boots make you feel a little too punk/goth high schooler but you miss the durability of the brand, these might be a great alternative. And I think rain boots are the one shoe category where crazy colors and patterns are mainstream; no one will bat an eye. Next to those is a scrunched leather boot by Jeffery Campbell. These are a great wine red that doesn’t stand out too much or too little. And, you could wear these boots with almost anything: greens, browns, black, white, orange hues, other reds (although don’t go overboard), etc.

In the last row I wanted to add these olive green ankle boots by Frye since, in addition to color, they have a very walkable heel height and the brand usually makes great quality footwear. I’m sure you can see by now that you can ease color into your shoe-drobe starting with darker shades and eventually adding those special bursts of bright. But I’m sure some of you are still unable to pry yourself away from the easy stability of an arsenal of black boots, right? Ok, then at the very least I may be able to tempt you into the blackest of all non-black colors (no, not dark brown or navy – they count the same in this discussion): how about pewter!? Even though it’s shimmery, since the color is not mirror-reflective, boots in this color can work as a staple in the same way black does. Black dress and black boots = professional, but a black dress and pewter boots = professional & hip.

I hope I see some bright toes on the sidewalks soon! I have my camera ready.

avatarJanuary 6 was my blog’s first birthday and I almost forgot it! Better late than never, right? (I admit I am terrible about remembering any birthday though, even my own). So here’s some confetti, woo! And isn’t that cake below amazing? okay okay, they make shoe cakes too.

 Wow, it’s been an amazing year. I remember when I first started this blog and …  just kidding, I won’t do that to you. 😉 Let’s just all eat cake today and pretend it’s the 6th!

confetti1first birthday cake by Pink Cake Box

With the holidays coming up, I’ve been thinking about how hard it is to buy shoes as gifts for other people especially with all the different fits between brands and styles as well as just personal preference. For example, I might rock a 4 inch heel and just think of them as requiring a mental note to bring slippers along for my commute home, but my mother-in-law would probably take a gorgeous pair of shoes like that to be a gag-gift. But it really is a shame that a true shoe-lover should be deprived of the one thing during the holidays that makes their heart pitter pat – it’s the equivalent of giving a fanatical soccer fan a cheese sandwich in their stocking.

So I set out (virtually, it’s cold outside), determined to find a solution. Of course, there are always gift certificates, and I think that’s what most shoe retailers are pushing for the holidays. But I hate giving gift certificates: 1. They require almost no thought. You can grab almost any card from the rotating rack at the drug store; you don’t even have to go to that specific store!  2. You already know what it’s going to be before you open the wrapping (how many things are small and flat like a gift card?) and virtual gift cards have no wrapping!  and 3. it’s like forgetting to take the price tag off your gift; they know exactly how much your love/friendship is worth.

But, I know some people that are just bad at giving gifts and other people really prefer to just buy things for themselves (a.k.a bad hint givers **wink**), so don’t ignore a blatant gift card request. But if you really have no other ideas, I suggest you at least include a note or card with the gift card to explain exactly why you picked that specific card for that specific person. Extra points if you don’t say “I got this for you ’cause I knew you’d like it.”

Then there’s the one-size-fits-all route. It’s hard to go wrong with socks or slippers. Even if the slippers have sizes on them, it’s usually just a choice between small, medium or large, so even if you get a size a little too big or small, they’re only for indoors and most are backless – at worst their foot will hang a little over the back or they could just toe holes in the front (mostly joking). But these are hardly a good enough gift for anyone except a second cousin or maybe a co-worker that you picked for “secret santa” and don’t even know that well.

So noting all that, I have been charmed by Mark Schwartz into featuring his site HighHeeledArt.com and, unbelievably, his work also turns out to be the best shoe-related gift you could ever give anyone! Mark, who also worked as a shoe designer for brands like Christian Lacroix, Hermes and Calvin Klein, paints imaginative images of shoes and is inspired by Andy Warhol (who he actually watched at work!). Mark’s paintings are also one of a kind originals that you can actually afford (some are half the price of a pair of Manolo’s!). How’s that for a wowing someone this holiday season?

Plus every painting is seriously so amazing, you don’t have to worry about picking the wrong one; it’s impossible. I had to post some examples for you below. He is even doing a limited number of commission pieces but you might want to put that on your list for next year; genius takes time, you know. 

Mark Schwartz In Hand

Mark Schwartz In Hand

Mark Schwartz Bend

Mark Schwartz Bend

Mark Schwartz Cherub with red pump

Mark Schwartz Cherub with red pump

Marc Schwartz, unknown title

Marc Schwartz, Platform Mix Pattern

Check out the High Heeled Art blog too for more pictures and info! And Happy Shopping!

Courtesy of About.com: Shoes – here are some shoe-only coupon codes and sales going on right now and cyber monday (of course) if all you want for Christmas is shoes and you believe that part of the holidays is always buying yourself a gift (or three).

But if you brave the stores instead, good luck out there! Remember stilettos can also be used for defensive action.

avatarI feel really lucky to have found out about this website and be one of a few chosen to tell you about their awesome contest. In celebration of their re-launch, jbandme.com is offering a $500 Shopping Spree!! You can be the one lucky winner if you just create an account on their website and sign up for their mailing list – but remember you only have until December 1 to do it (that’s the one week only part). But more than getting a chance to win, if you sign up for their mailing list, you’ll also be notified of special deals and get some great style tips.

Their improved website now features a shop-able Lookbook, sorting options for when you’re searching their cool fashion items, a wish-list option (with a comments section!! – I always find these helpful for writing down the outfits I think would be perfect with a new pair of shoes I see), super detailed pictures and an easy checkout process.

But listen, I wouldn’t just tell you about any old contest – Jb and Me has a great selection of shoes and boots, including some from brands I’ve never heard of like Miz Mooz (which are surprisingly cute) and DAV (check out the equestrian riding boots that are seriously almost dead ringer for the Tory Burch Winnie rubber riding boots minus the logo business at the top). Plus they carry Poetic Licence shoes which is the brand I am most obsessed with at this moment.

(p.s. a little bird told me jbandme.com is going to have something special going on this weekend…)

Good Luck!

avatarI have been adding some cool tidbits to a few of my older posts lately, but I just realized that if you’re a regular reader, you’re probably not going back to read my old blogs again, so you’re totally missing out! To remedy that, I thought I’d try posting my updates in a group like this every so often, so let me know what you think. And to clarify, I don’t change the existing blog content, I just sometimes find some interesting new relevant information so I add it to the very top of the post in bold along with the date it was added. Enjoy!

UPDATE 11/5Check out this post by InStyle Magazine’s National Correspondent – Style Spy on the same Marc Jacobs mouse shoe collection I wrote about below – plus get a peek at the designer’s latest amazing version as part of a limited edition collaboration with KAWS – very limited, only 200 pairs! (and no, Style Spy and I are not related )      …     on “Trick of the Eye” Shoes are Everywhere, Are You Missing Them?

UPDATE 10/28 – Check out the exclusive coupon code I got for you (below) to save 10% on your first order!     …     on Shoe Store Spotlight: Gotham City Online

THE UPDATES KEEP COMING! 10/8/08– Lucky Magazine’s November issue (page 88) featured a section about heel hardware; they wrote: ”metal detailing gives even the simplest heels an unexpectedly glamorous spin”… exactly what I was talking about down below above the first set of pictures! (and yeah, they pictured a Tory Burch pair too). Remember you heard it here first back in July!     …     on Fall-ing for New Shoe Trends

UPDATE 9/28 – check out this hilarious blog on equally loving and hating heel-less shoes (and/or Victoria Beckham).     …     on Don’t Be a Slave to Fashion When It Comes to High Heels

UPDATE 9/14– I just spotted these new boots by Theory at Neiman Marcus: PICTURE ON POST     …     on The Boot Trend You Heard Here First – With Proof!

UPDATE 9/3/08 – My pick below of the Jessica Simpson “Fox” ankle boots was also just ranked as The #1 Top Bootie for Fall by About.com: Shoes!! I guess great minds think alike.     …     on Fall-ing for New Shoe Trends


 

I leave the shoe topic for one important message: please vote today.

And don’t forget to bug your friends & family to make sure they do the same – I highly suggest BotherVoting.org‘s great e-cards like the one below (they can also help you find your local polling place).

And remember, if you have any questions or problems at the polls, contact 866-OUR-VOTE for free live help, or visit 866OurVote.org for more information. You have the right to vote! Go!!

avatarHow did you procrastinate this long, it’s already Halloween!?  Now don’t expect me to tell you how to become Marie Antoinette out of toilet paper; your costume will probably have to be fairly basic unless you’re super lucky – most costume stores will be picked bare by the time you get out of work), but never fear, you can work with what you already have and I’ll show you how to get inspiration from your shoes (of course!). You won’t have to dress up with a “My Name Is…” sticker on my watch! (side woot to The Office).

Do you own a pair of mary-janes? Or do you have time to run to Payless to scoop these up? If you do, you’ve got an instant school-girl costume. Add knee high socks or tights, a short skirt (pleated is better but not necessary), button a white button down shirt half way from the top and tie the ends in a knot (or tuck it in but I’m going to just assume that most people aren’t going for modest), then add a neck tie. Put your hair in pig-tails for a Britney Spears twist. Add fake blood if you want to be a zombie schoolgirl (ooh or vampire fangs; more people should be scary).

 

Any platform shoes hiding in your closet? Seriously, why are you worried about a costume when you have an instant hippie outfit waiting to go? Add some jean shorts or wide leg or bell-bottom jeans, a brightly colored t-shirt (or something covered in a floral print, or tie-die… seriously, if you have a tie-die t-shirt you better wear it!). If you have none of these shirt options but you do have a vest, go with a white tee and the vest instead (if you’re really ambitious, make fringe out of a piece of plain paper or brown construction paper and duct tape it onto the inside edges of the vest). Wear your hair down or recycle any long wig front last year, tie a piece of string around your forehead, draw a heart or peace sign on your cheek in lipstick, and hold your fingers up in a piece sign.

 

Last but not least, the I’ve-got-nothing-but-I-have-to-wear-something-better-than-just-a-fake-mustache-or-they-won’t-let-me-into-the-party costume. If you have a pair of shoes that are a solid color (easy enough) but I suggest not black or white, you can work this costume. The brighter the color the better and if they’re patent leather or glossy, that’s even even (yes, double the even) better. Now get a long shirt and some black tights or tights in that same color. Next, make yourself a cone out of matching colored paper and wear it like a party hat (or find an actual solid colored party hat). Then… ready? Draw or use tape to spell out the Crayola logo on the front of the shirt!! Yay you’re a crayon!! This is an excellent group idea too if you have friends also stranded in the costume quagmire.  If you want to see some girls pull it off in a super cute way, click here.

Happy Scare Day / Pumpkin Day / All Hallows Eve / Candy Day / Halloween!

Happy International Talk Like a Pirate Day, 2008!! I mean, Ahoy! … argg… sorry, I’m bad at this, (mateys?).  But I am good at shoes! So, in a this-will-be-completely-irrelevant-tomorrow sort of way, here are some pirate inspired boots! Yay! If you can’t talk the talk, well, at least you can walk the walk.

These thigh high Anne Klein boots are total swashbuckler pirate princess! (these too)

And, I’m sure there were pirate ships sailing in Arctic waters at some point, right? Or, at the very least, they were out in the winter time at some point. And any stylish pirate worth her saltwater would definitely be wearing these fur trimmed beauties by Nine West:

However, you’d probably want to make sure you footwear would help keep you a bit more steady on your feet, what with the boat rocking and all, so these Michael Kors mini wedge boots might be just the ticket. I love the whip-stitch detail down the back too, almost like they were handcrafted by a local tradesman at one of your ship’s docks… (am I taking this too far now?  )

Ok, just one more. Christian Louboutin Over-the-Knee Boots, yep, a little bit pirate.

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