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Let’s start off with Lucky Magazine’s Spring Shoe Guide (March 2011) as an intro. They list these shoes to add to your warmer weather wardrobe: wood platforms, jeweled slingbacks, bold loafers (as in bold colors), platform pumps, flat espadrilles, sliver-wedge sandals, pointy-toe slingbacks and cork wedges, followed by 2 strap sandals (on strap around the ankle and one over the toes) as their shoe-of-the-month in the April 2011 issue.

My thoughts: The wood platforms, cork wedges and flat espadrilles are pretty standard, every-spring-they’re-for-sale shoes (although I realize there’s a 70s vibe going around which is making shoe stores a little extra wood heavy). And I’m going to skeptically say I’ll stay on the lookout for someone wearing jeweled slingbacks as daywear in NYC. I also doubt you’ll see many people in bright loafers this spring/summer, especially with wide-leg trousers and maxi skirts trending now (can’t really wear loafers with those). But, I think the pointy-toe slingbacks, sliver-wedge sandals and 2 strap sandals are all spot-on. The sliver-wedge sandals are a nice progression of winter’s version popularized by Loeffler Randall’s sliver-boots. And I think pointy-toes will become more and more plentiful as the year progresses.

But I’ve also spotted a few other (more?) interesting spring shoe trends popping up and they actually all involve espadrilles!

First, I’ve noticed espadrilles with frayed straps. These are definitely more for your casual days but hey, if you already have a pair of strappy canvas wedges, don’t be afraid to dip into D.I.Y and rough them up a bit ;). And if you prefer the new versions, below Steve Madden, Coconuts and others have done the distressing for you.

Second, I’m seeing a lot of espadrille heels that continue up the ankle to form the heel cup; I’m calling them endless espadrilles. These shoes are AMAZING because when they’re on, at first glance you look like you might be wearing impossibly tall heels.  They’re also especially nice because the style could hide a much lower heel like the 2.5 inch (I know!) version by Sam Edelman. And as a side note – yep, that brand in row 5 is Hunter of rainboot fame, apparently making some leather heels now.

Honorable mention goes to espadrilles that do not have covered ankles but instead feature an extra tall side portion or “cut-out” ankle strap that creates a similar illusion. Surprisingly, I found a nice example of these shoes at Old Navy which are a great option if you’re on a budget.

I still have one more trend for you further below, but for now, some picture proof!

FRAYED EDGES

Coconuts Avery

Bettye Muller Saffron

Steve Madden Fraid

ENDLESS ESPADRILLE HEELS

Matisse Asher

BCBGMAXAZRIA Malaga

Sam Edelman Leroy

Enzo Angiolini Ramie

Enzo Angiolini Romario

Hunter Anegada

HONORABLE MENTION

Old Navy Espadrille Wedges

Corso Como Decoy

Boutique 9 Illy

Not Too Coy Lydia

And last I’ve collected some irregular espadrille combos. Brands like Tory Burch and 3.1 Phillip Lim are marrying espadrille soles with a chukka or desert boot upper. This is probably best with a canvas boot and an excellent option when we’ve got those New York days where it’s warm for just a few hours in the afternoon sunshine and then you’ve got to put your jacket back on (like today!).

A few other brands, like Jeffrey Campbell and Prada, decided to add in an espadrille layer to a shoe that normally wouldn’t have it. This might technically shorten the seasonally appropriate lifespan of the shoes, but fashion rules are made to be broken. However, I’m not sure we should even call them espadrilles, and at the same time, I don’t think we can leave that out – it’s pretty distinctive. How about Espamaybelles? (I’ll break that down: espa-maybe-lles…? ok, well, I love it, haha).

Anyway, that’s it for now. Happy shopping all! And if you spot any other crazy espadrille hybrids, let me know.

Tory Burch Desert Bootie Espadrille

3.1 Phillip Lim lace up espadrille

Prada Lace-Up Cutout Wedge

Jeffrey Campbell Mary ESP

Mark & James Magnolia

Chinese Laundry Dragonfly

For over a decade, Pantone (the self-professed world-renowned authority on color) chooses a single color that they predict will be influential in the coming year. In case you missed it last year, their pick was 15-5519 Turquoise, because, as the official press release declared, “Turquoise transports us to an exciting, tropical paradise while offering a sense of protection and healing in stressful times.” For 2011, Pantone selected 18-2120 Honeysuckle – a medium reddish pink, and  released this statement: “Energizing honeysuckle lifts spirits and imparts confidence to meet life’s ongoing challenges.” Pretty heavy stuff. But if that isn’t a great reason to go shopping for a new pair of shoes, I don’t know what is 😉

So, the official color is Honeysuckle, but I think any pink or coral colored shoe will be in the spirit of things. And designers are knocking out tons of pink shoes for resort and spring collections, so finding a pair right now is easy. If you’re looking for something to start you off early and keep you cozy as the winter slowly ends, I recommend the Koolaburra ugg boots in a soft pink below or an enclosed pink suede pump like the pair pictured by Kelsi Dagger (with the cutest removable elastic bow!).

Pantone says that you can easily pair Honeysuckle with basic colors like black, navy, charcoal or light to mid gray. But, for something more exciting, they suggest mixing in complementary bronze greens or a pinkish Apricot Brandy brown hues into your wardrobe with it. I vote pairing these with a maxi dress or with jeans and a drapey cream-colored blouse. Just remember these shoes are made to be the focal point of a basic outfit.

For the start of warm weather, Manolo Blahnik flip flop sandals are actually an almost-affordable way to enjoy the brand. You should also take a look at jumping on two trends at once by going for a platform style (or a “flatform” – an essentially flat shoe as far as feel goes, with equal or near equally tall platforms front and back) or an espadrille (always a summer favorite). And of course, since I have a special place in my heart for Melissa shoes, I was happy to see they’re also making a few pink shoes this season so that I could feature one here.

You know, maybe there is something to what Pantone said; I already feel my spirits lifting just by imagining walking out of the house with these shoes. I’m sure we can rationalize a pair of two now, especially if our mental health is at stake 😉

Jeffrey Campbell The Turino Shoe

Koolaburra Savanitty

Kelsi Dagger Tiffany

Manolo Blahnik Suede-Flower Thong Sandal

Dolce Vita Strappy Platform Wedge

Prada Cutout Espadrille Wedge

Stella McCartney Raffia Crossover Sandals

Lanvin Ankle-Wrap Platform Wedge

seychelles harlow

Vivienne Westwood for Melissa Anglomania

I’ve noticed these shoes popping up here and there and I believe they’ll become a full fledged trend pretty soon. Recessed platforms or island platforms look like a chunk of platform was glued onto the bottom of an otherwise complete shoe at the last minute. That’s not the case, of course, as anyone with a broken heel who thought, “hey, maybe these can be flats”, will attest; the pitch of the heel must incorporate the extra height of the platform front. But that trick of the eye, especially when paired with a platform that is made in a totally contrasting color or material from the rest of the shoe, makes this style really stand out (and makes it my new favorite). Note: a true recessed platform will not reach all the way to the toe of the shoe and will stop abruptly in the back without any continuation beyond the area at the ball of the foot.

As I mentioned above, recessed platforms elevate (ha) platform styles into the double-take realm (just wear and watch!). And what’s even better is that this style can be found in stores now by new “it” designers like Charlotte Olympia for $895 all the way down to department store brands for $39.99!

Whether they have a sliver or a serious chunk of platform, these shoes clearly look best with ridiculously high heels. But if your feet scream in anything over 3 inches, don’t count these out – with the platform height added in, often the height the shoes feel like stays in that manageable 3 inch range (although you’ll look like you’re wearing closer to 4).

A few of my favorites in every price range are below, and as always, happy shopping!

L.A.M.B Charon

Elizabeth and James Mason

Isabel Toledo for Payless

Pour La Victoire Atman

Charlotte Olympia Dolly

Camilla Skovgaard

Olsen Haus Freedom

Worthington Atessa

Opening Ceremony Chantal

Jessica Simpson Colie

Quick Trend Note – So I’ve noticed that rain boots are being updated in awesome ways lately. Do the rain boots currently in your closet have nothing but a quirky pattern? Ditch them! A solid and not too brightly colored boot is the easiest way to update your look this season. And with these new low-key colors, you won’t feel ridiculous wearing your rain boots all day when the weather forecasters turn out to be wrong (again). But to be really on trend, make sure that your rubber boots are spruced up with zippers, wedges, strap details, laces, trompe l’oeil designs or a sole that’s anything but flat! Rain boots can now come out and play even on the sunniest fall and winter days!

See By Chloe Classic

Hunter Boots Regent Savoy

The pocket design and faux quilting above are both fabulous examples of trompe l’oeil designs. Jimmy Choo came out with a great faux crocodile rubber boot that works too. The See by Chloe pair also has another of this season’s great rain boot accessories: laces! Whether they’re half laces up the front, full laces or back laces, everyone is using real strings to adorn their rubber wear right now (see below for more).

Loeffler Randall LR

Hunter Verbier

Kate Spade Randi

Melissa Ashanti

Long gone are the days when rain boots are simply flat and chunky. Today’s rain boots are trim, sleek and have heels in all shapes and heights. You can find rain boots with mini wedges or full 3 inch wedges, tall and low chunky heels, smooth riding boot heels and stilettos. Honestly I can find a reason to “need” one of every type.

Steve Madden Tsunamii

Cougar Regal

Tory Burch buckled rubber

Chooka London Town

I’ve also been seeing tons of motorcycle inspired rain boots with tons of straps and buckles topping rubber styles (KORS Michael Kors has another version). This style looks great with something a girly on top (a floaty, open cardigan sweater? a winter coat with a bit of ruffle?) to balance the toughness.

And below is one random standout – an OTK (over the knee) rainboot by Calvin Klein. If you’ve got long model legs, go for it! But if you’re a shortly like me, sadly it’s best to just pass on these. You’ll have a hard time walking up steps gracefully (and probably doing other common things like sitting) since rubber doesn’t bend as nicely as leather or fabric.

Now go shopping! 😉

Calvin Klein Ava

On a related topic, as I posted on my Facebook and Twitter, I’m wondering about wellie socks. Do they work in all types and brands of rainboots? Look out for a new blog with what I find coming up soon!

This appears to be a fairly small recall, the shoes in question were sample shoes and only sold in sizes 7 and 9 (so if you bought a different size, don’t worry). There are two item numbers involved, item#SAMPCHSHOE and item #SAMPCDSHOE (those item numbers can be found on your original receipt from Nordstroms), but those two items include various styles and color by the brands Charles David and Charles by Charles David. (The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission did not mention if the items pictured on their website represented some or all of the variations but I’ve copied those pictures for you below).

Apparently some handmade heels were attached to those recalled shoes instead of the actual production heels which is the reason for their instability. Luckily, Nordstrom is offering full refunds for the recalled shoes! If you have additional questions or need Nordstrom contact info, please click here. And  if your stiletto heels broke but were not a part of this recall, here’s a semi-helpful but funny article about how to not snap your high heels in half.

Charles david recall 1 Charles david recall 2
Charles david recall 3 Charles david recall 4

I think the title is enough for this blog ;), so let’s jump right in to the examples and the pictures! My first pick, and I had to give you two angles so you could really see what’s going on this the toes on these shoes, are the eco-friendly and ethical Dopie sandals by Terra Plana. The Dopie was designed with the idea of finding the most minimal footwear possible (the philosophy being that barefoot is best for the body but not always practical). You can actually even wear the shoes without the strap!! There are also TONS of colors, so don’t worry if green isn’t your thing.

In the second row is a pair of sporty flip-flops, the Waimea H2 by Keen. You might need to take a second look at these shoes, they have a sole that turns up and attaches to an extended strap of the upper! I’ve spotted similar soles on running shoes and other shoes but never on flip-flops. I’m sure this sole makes these shoes great for dusty trails and hiking on pebbly paths, heck, even dirty New York sidewalks – and of course, protection against the dreaded stubbed toe! They also have a cute, eco-friendly version with a colorful upper of woven rice paper!

Next, I found a pair of Swamisz, which also come in tons of color combinations. These shoes are finally now available in the US (previously just in Australia), and like so many AU brands that have come before them, Swamisz are sure to be a big hit! They claim that you do not even need to actively grip with your toes to keep these shoes on (often the main reason people don’t like thong sandals); the toe portion is made in such a way to naturally stay on your feet.  My pair is on its way, so I’ll give you way more info as soon as I try them out!

Terra Plana Dopie Green 2 Terra Plana Dopie Green
Keen Waimea H2 Swanusz blue black

I have problems with so many flip-flops because some designers just don’t think about comfort when they’re choosing the material that goes between your toes! I can’t even count how many times a leather seam was positioned wrong and caused me crazy pain. That’s part of the reason why I love the gold Steve Madden flip-flops below; just two pieces of soft, stretch material crossed over the big toe.

But I can tell you that I’ve never had a problem with Havaianas, which have been around forever. This new version with a strap around the ankle is just different enough to really wow people. And the adjustable buckle is rare (and genius!) on a rubber shoe. There’s a great review here about the Havaianas below from Tasha Nita Adams’ (L.A. style expert) experience. And last, I’ve found a wacky pair of daytime thong sandals with a fuzzy insole (oh Uggs, you’ll put shearling on anything). I’m not too sure about taking these to the beach or the pool, but for daily flip-flops, they should be pretty cozy. Next to the Uggs are a pair of foot-hugging monkey thongs that are just plain fun (and float as a bonus)! Sugar brand shoes are always creative.

Steve Madden Showoff Havaianas Fit 2
Ugg Fluffie flip flop Sugar Go Ape thongs

Last of all, even though they’re not flip-flops, I wanted to include the two shoes below because they are crazy – so we’re still half topical. 😉 The very noticeable Vibram FiveFingers shoes below are the only outdoor shoes I know of that don’t clump your toes together in one space with the rest of your foot. The sole of the shoe actually covers the bottom of where each toe sits individually. Vibram claims that separating your toes creates improves balance, overall foot health & posture. These toe-tastic shoes even come in 3 other varieties that work for you in different ways based on the activities you plan on doing in them – such as running, yoga, boating, martial arts, surfing, climbing, travel, etc. Don’t worry if you don’t do any of those activities though (it’s not stopping me anyway), do you only wear sneakers for sporty activities, even if that’s what they’re technically designed for? P.S. FiveFingers are vegan friendly too!

In the same train of thought, I found these split toe Air Rift shoes by totally mainstream brand Nike (shaped like traditional Japanese tabi socks). It’s a little hard to see below (since almost everyone is sold out – I suggest eBay if you want a pair), but if you click on the shoes below, you can get a nice multi-view from Zappos including the bottom of the sole. Nike says the design was “inspired by barefoot runners of Kenya.”

I guess the message is, whether in flip flops or whatever, Neglect your toes no longer!

Vibram FiveFingers Classic Nike Air Rift

avatarJune, and springtime in general (the first official day of Summer isn’t until June 21!), is such a crazy time for picking out what shoes to wear. No, not necessarily because designers are trying our new things or because stores are ready and waiting for high school-ers on vacation; it’s all because of the weather. In June, anything can happen, at least in New York: downpours of rain, sunshine, ridiculous heat, a slight on/off drizzle, etc. This morning the forecast was partially cloudy, 60% chance of rain, temps 55-75. I took the subway and half the people were wearing full boots (rubber, suede, leather – all kinds), some were in canvas sneakers, some in closed toe heels, and the others were in exposed-toe sandals or flip-flops (commuters love to be comfy). So do you keep every single pair in your shoe collection out all this month for an overcrowded closet or just risk cold, wet feet (at least for part of the day) when the sky goes gray?

I think there’s a better solution and one that allows you to start packing away your winter clothes now (my favorite time of the year!). All boots can go into storage with the exception of rubber rain boots, depending on where you live, although I hate wearing them: I’ve never found a comfy pair yet, and they’re always so heavy! This is probably why one of my favorite picks for June are waterproof shoes (not boots)! I love the faux lace-up detail on the Sigerson Morrison pair below and the simple bow on the pair by Kate Spade; they’re cute worry free ballet flats. The glossy black Sperry Top-Sider loafers in the center of the second row are actually rubber too!

Another shoe I love for spring are loafer styles. Loafers are so under appreciated but they can really be super cozy and yes, un-old lady like too ;). You can still go for suede even with temps slowly rising (now’s the time to test out the year-round claim Uggs make), but I’d choose more of a moccasin style if you do, otherwise you’ll look a little crazy wearing them whenever your city tops 80 degrees. Moccasins are “supposed” to be suede, at least in my mind, so they don’t looks specifically like a winter shoe (like the moccasin sneakers by See by Chloe below) – just don’t forget the water resistant protection spray. If suede isn’t doing it for you, pick up a patent leather loafer in an off-white or bright color like the Prada scrunch version below; water’ll just slide right off.

Sigerson Morrison purple rubber flats Prada scrunch loafer Kate Spade Kerry rubber flats
see-by-chloe-hi-top-sneaker-moccasins Sperry Top-Sider Pelican Loafer Ugg Dakota Loafers

Wow, I can’t believe I actually have a blog with no high heels in it! I have been doing a huge amount of walking lately, maybe its subconscious. Don’t worry, I’ll make up for it next time. Happy Leave Work Early Day!

avatarSorry about being M.I.A. everyone! I wish I could say I was yachting in Capri or sightseeing in Paris, but it was something far far less glamourous that kept me away… Actually, I was working on crafting a baby mobile for an expecting friend. It had 7 cute little characters (dragon, princess, frog prince, etc) which I crocheted during every waking hour (thank you crocheting class at the community center!). Luckily I finished it one week before the baby is due and it turned out great! And now I’m back to the real world. 😉

One trend I noticed recently is multi-strap black sandals (ah recession, everyone chooses black) with various types and sizes of studs, grommets or other metal hardware covering just the straps. Popping up in innumerable variations (toe rings, flat slides, wedges, stiletto heels and more), this strappy studded look is everywhere from high end to super store. I found my first version at Kmart (!). Next to it is a version by BCBGirls, available at Macy’s, and the last top row selection is a pair of very affordable heels by Rampage. The three examples in the bottom row are by Frye (check out the pretty citron color too!), classic Calvin Klein and master craftsman, Giuseppe Zanotti.

Bolaro Stud Sandal BCBGirls Banny Rampage Madalyn
Frye Margot Studded Sandals Calvin Klein Devora Giuseppe Zanotti Ornamented Sandal

Last for today (but more coming soon), I finally I’ve found someone making a cheaper version of the Chanel Resort gun heel shoes which debuted like a year ago (I can’t believe it look this long)! Compare a couple thousand dollars to $49.95 at Shiekh! I’m sure I’ll find a reason to wear these heels at some point (even if it’s just Halloween – maybe a Rose McGowan in Planet Terror look-alike?); I just wish they were a bright lime green or something less actually lethal, more super-soaker looking. As I’ve heard other blog writers say, don’t even try to go through airport security in these heels.

Shiekh Mellina chanel runway gun heel

 

And here’s some shameless bragging 😉 :

Baby Mobile small

my crochet project being unwrapped by the lucky new dad

avatarIf you’re waiting til the last minute to do your Spring shoe shopping since it’s probably the best way to get the lowest sale prices (I’m with you), you might also be looking for a refresher course in Spring trends to keep an eye out for. I sure was, (it’s easy to get ahead of yourself when you’re watching Fall 09 previews)… so I made a list to share! It’s also interesting to see what trends are in full swing and which (predicted by winter writers) are already in fizzle mode. Let’s begin, there’s lots to see!

First I’ll go to Lucky Magazine, who I find to be an excellent authority on all (wearable) trendy business. Their Spring Shoe Guide in the March 09 issue listed espadrille wedges, fringe sandals, wood platforms, round toe pumps, open-toe flats, sliver-wedge sandals, spring boots (these have a “lower, leg flashing shape”) and platform sandals as the trendiest of the trends.  The April and May issues also added canvas tennis shoes and rope sandals, respectively.

Topshop Lattice caged platforms

Love the Off-White Base of these Caged Platforms

Sam Edelman Bell Boot

These Lilac Perforated Suede Boots are Obviously Not for Winter

Keep Ray Potes Homer sneakers

Cute Acid Wash Canvas Tennies

The espadrille wedges were a safe bet for spring (I don’t know when they have not been an essential spring/summer shoe) as were the round toe pumps (pointy toes are generally a winter style since they look best with long pants). The wood platforms and platform sandals were also fairly basic picks considering the boho feeling wafting around, a feeling which was only enhanced by the recession (damn the man, man). But don’t let that underscore the fact that platforms were mentioned twice! Make yourself taller, get a pair! I’ve also noticed that many stores are only stocking one or two fringy styles in their whole inventory, so don’t settle unless you really love them, and the rope sandals were in last year’s lists too – dig through your closet for any lost pairs you forgot about.

As for the rest of Lucky’s picks, I’m especially taking notice of the spring boots (these are number one on my list!), the sliver wedge sandals (a predictable continuation from the same heel featured on many boots this winter – iconically the Loeffler Randall mini wedge knee boots) and the canvas lace-up shoes (noticeably around this past fall in leather versions).

Keds Champion 2k white

The Original Basic Canvas Sneakers

I love this great color in slouchy pull-on boots

A Great Color for Slouchy Pull-On Frye's

Brian Atwood Ontorio tie dye boots

Tie-dyed Soft Suede Boots

Next on the list of fashion experts is Style.com who I love for including actual runway shots for support. Style.com has listed their top Spring 2009 trends as catchy headlines (and they’re referring to clothing trends too), so I’ll interpret them as relating to shoes for you (click the previous link to look for yourself). The Depression Chic trend means looking to the past for inspiration- the eras designers picked from ranged broadly, so take your pick. Your Geometry Lesson is to look for big shapes and 3D effects like pleated ruffles (take a look at these heels too for less!). Goddess Worship, unsurprisingly, means you’ll see wrap sandals, open platforms and gladiators, perfect for the omnipotent. And Marrakech Express (think Moroccan influences) leans towards beading detail and strappy sandals that look great with silk jumpsuits and caftans. Style.com also added Sporting Goods to their list but they certainly did not mean basic trainers; designers were pairing sporty styles on top with fierce platforms and heels, at the very least a high heel sneaker pump. Last, the Trash and Vaudeville trend means you should be thinking a little bit 80s. Look for peeps of neon color, studs, deconstruction and those warm-weather boots.

These remind me of a neon fanny pack I once loved

These remind me of a neon fanny pack I once loved

Report Chanya wrap sandals

Moroccan beaded wrap sandals

Nanette Lepore Savage Lover sandal

See the pink snakeskin and teal on the heel!?

All the rest of the sources I consulted agree with the above trends with a few exceptions. Many, including Dannielle Kyrillos from Daily Candy, had COLOR in their lists of spring essentials (not restricted to colors just for the 80s effect) and Glamour Magazine also added zipper accents which I give them a virtual high-five for! (and my examples of which are all… black… listen people, I gave you enough color above ;)). Happy shopping!

Pour La Victoire Ella

Betseyville Peach Peep-Toe Flat L.A.M.B. Selene

avatarHere’s another trend that’s a bit under the radar right now. Whatever you want to call them: sandal booties, sock sandals (my preference), thong boots, etc., these shoes are so fun! Apparently, the style was spotted briefly in Buenos Aires last summer and the comments back then were fairly split, but I have a feeling they’ll be totally embraced this season.

You may notice as you scroll down, that designers were influenced by both past and recent trends. These sock shoes take the previously prolific full boots with peep toes and make the style way more wearable. The new sandals are also a spin on the gladiator trend that is still going strong for the spring/summer season and they are a slight variation on ankle cuff sandals.

I actually have really sensitive skin so I often make due with moleskin and band-aids (ah, suffering for fashion), but these new sock sandals look like heaven! I mean, I’ve certainly never had a sock attack my foot (although there has been some crazy static electricity a few times – that’s the real reason you shouldn’t wear socks with Uggs, btw). Ok, so check out the cream of the crop below and let me know what you think of them this year.

bahia jersey sandal bronze gathered ankle sandals
Cocobelle Bahia Sock Sandals Topsies olive green flip-flop sandals
Dolce Vita Aries Steve Madden Benza

 

But, if the sock sandal seem like too big a leap from your usual shoe style, you might want to try bib sandals first. Like that essential accessory for dribbly droolers and those who’d rather wear their meals on their faces, these sandals drape across the front of the ankle with some tapering foot coverage. Bib sandals are a baby step into the sock sandal trend and there are tons of variations.  A few great examples by Liz Claiborne (not just for moms all the time!), Calvin Klein, Nine West and Corso Como are below for you.

Liz Claiborne Micah Calvin Klein Macie
Nine West Badngood Corso Como Santorini sandal

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