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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

GothamCityOnline.com

avatarUPDATE 10/28 : Check out the exclusive coupon code I got for you (below) to save 10% on your first order!

My first online destination in the Shoe Store Spotlight is Gotham City Online (thanks to PollDaddy in my previous blog). Not only does Gotham City Online (GCO) have fantastic prices on designer styles (they actually claim the lowest guaranteed) and free shipping, they also raise money for charity (nice!). I dig this store too because you never know what you’re going to find. GCO says they list new items every day and I’ve seen shoes from luxury brands like Chanel, Viktor & Rolf, and Marc Jacobs almost equally as often as shoes from fashion brands like Steve Madden, Kenneth Cole (Reaction, Tribeca, Unlisted), Nine West and Via Spiga.

Here’s another cool thing about this online store (and a true story): One day a random girl (ahem) tried on a pair of shoes at a store but decided to be “good” and not get them. After she left the store, she (of course) immediately regretted it and every outfit she wanted to wear to work that week would have been perfect if only she had just gotten those amazing shoes. Finally (after deciding, for justification purposes, to swap Starbucks for cereal at home for a while), she decided to go back to the store that weekend (realizing death to be the most likely outcome if she didn’t get them into her closet soon) but they were SOLD OUT!! And they were sold out in every other store she frantically checked. Now, she might have been be able to stave off her panic attack if she had know about this website a little earlier because… (happy ending alert) she found the shoes about a month later at GothamCityOnline.com!

Gotham City Online gets those last pairs of shoes from stores in NYC when they are making room for new merchandise, so hard-to-find styles are always popping up there even after brick & mortar stores (yes, real term. yuck.) have stopped carrying them (and when summer sandals are being sold in stores in Decemeber, that’s kind of great). Plus GCO still gives you the sale price!!

This website doesn’t give out coupons super often, but I am trying to finagle a coupon code out of them for you & all my readers so I’ll post it here (SUCCESS! New Customers Can Use Coupon Code: SPYTEN for an Extra 10% Off Any Order!!) as soon as I’m successful.

There’s your online shoe store lesson for the week, class will be in session again soon!

avatarUp to 50% of women asked by America’s Research Group to rate Spring clothes this season responded that they had not even noticed what stores were selling! Of course, the experts are saying that’s more because of the economy than fashion itself; I don’t think anyone would contest that (The heel-less shoes this year?!!). Even though I don’t have a car nor do I own a home to pay a mortgage on, I know all about the rising gas prices and problems with national debt. On top of those consumer troubles, stores and clothing labels themselves are facing higher costs for raw materials and labor and due to the dollar being weak compared to international currencies. So, sadly, the price of fashion goes up when few could really afford to pay for it even at the original prices. As the story from MSNBC (that I found my interesting opening tidbit from) continues, “It’s just too many stores with too much square footage chasing too few shoppers,” and “…Beemer [head of America’s Research Group] isn’t expecting discretionary spending on things like clothes to really bounce back until May 2009, after next year’s tax refunds start to kick in.”

Yikes. But maybe it means we’ll see lots more creative dressing on the sidewalks as people try to re-invent their old clothes and accessories. That would be a plus. Unfortunately for me, as this blog indicates, I do have a teensy tiny in-the-way belief that I will not be able to live without another pair of shoes (repeat infinitely). So, even if I did have all the bills of an average middle American, I’m pretty sure I’d still find a way to get a new pair every so often. If you’re in the same “situation,” or if you just haven’t gotten yourself a treat in a while, try to make the best of the bad times. For me that means… shoes on SALE!

As much as I would like these Moschino heels for $320, or even the Jcrew version in the middle for $195, the Steve Maddens below right, fit my strappy blue shoe wishes just as well and when they’re on sale for $24.99, I can’t even make myself cry about it.

Moschino Cheap & Chic Cristobal patent Steve Madden Maud

I’ve also selected some other great sale items, priced right for the economy. These cute gold sandals by Baby Phat would look great with a long dress (I’m obviously still on a bit of a cork trip from learning about how great it is as a renewable resource during Earth Day), and a fun, casual pair of bright pink kitten heels by American Eagle are the kind of easy, go-with-anything-as-your-running-out-the-door kind of shoe I love. A runner-up for the blue strappy sandal title above was these MIA wedges (also cork, yay!). I really like the gold trim on the straps. And the green heels are by Enzo Angiolini. They have multi-colored crocheted (!) detail down the front that makes them looks like they came straight out of a couture house (but, of course, not couture price). But I can’t decide if the detail looks more like flowers, berries, leaves or pieces of coral – it reminds me of different things on different days, which is probably why I like them so much. What’s your vote? (there’s a red-brown-orange version too).

Baby Phat Cork Wedge American Eagle Kale
MIA Bianca Enzo Angiolini Chan

Happy May Day tomorrow!

And P.S. I am newly obsessed with the iGoogle Artist Themes. They’re featuring a crazy awesome range of people: from Jeff Koons to Tory Burch, Coldplay to Anne Geddes, Akira Isogawa (their featured piece would look gorgeous as a wedding invite print!) and Diane von Furstenberg, among others! Very cool! (listen, Tory Burch makes shoes… it’s still shoe related).

And double P.S. (P.P.S ?), I can’t end this blog without mentioning these crazy shoes I just found (warning- not to be confused with the inexpensive business above). They’re called Camileon Heels and they adjust between a 3.25 inch height and a 1.5 inch height. Yes, one shoe, two heel heights! There’s a little video that demonstrates how they work if you click on that link I made with the name of the shoe.  Awesome idea, but I can’t get over the feeling that they heel will snap off when you’re wearing them tall since they are made to collapse. I think I’ll wait for a few more reviews before trying them out. Maybe by then the company will have some brighter colors too (all their styles are fairly basic and browns and blacks for now), but definitely a brand to watch! Let me know if you try a pair before I do.

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avatarMagazines and runways alike have been displaying exotic skins pretty significantly for 2008’s shoes. The February issue of InStyle Magazine says you should jump on snakeskin and snake embossed shoes right now! Think pump or sandal styles with skinny jeans. And if you want to go an InStyle-ish step further, opt for studs or a fierce shiny color for a bit of rockstar vibe.

DKNY Candy Carlos Santana snake
Farylrobin Fasha Enzo Angiolini Maylie

Above (left to right) we have: DKNY, Carlos by Carlos Santana, Farylrobin, and Enzo Angiolini

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