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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

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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

solestruck-logo

Welcome back to the Shoe Store Spotlight. Today’s feature presentation is a fairly new addition to the online shoe world, SoleStruck.com. Launched in 2004, SoleStruck (per their bio) is a small and independent store and they always want to keep it that way. That exclusive attitude helps keep the store’s offerings centered (and that means that if you like their shoes, you’re going to keep liking them, even as they add new styles).

SoleStruck offers $5 pre-paid returns for any unworn items for up to a year! Have you ever had a pair of shoes you meant to return but due to a busy schedule, laziness, whatever, they just got pushed further and further into back of your closet until you completely forgot about them? Well, whereas that would mean posting them for sale on eBay or Craigslist if purchased from some stores, with SoleStruck, you could still return them! (that is, if you at least clean out your closet once a year… P.S. it’s time for spring cleaning). The other feature of their site that I find essential is Live Chat… it’s so much easier to ask questions immediately on the computer so I’m glad they have that option.

You’ll definitely want to check out SoleStruck’s blog too. Although it is generally promoting the shoes they have for sale (obviously), they do have some unexpected entries that you can search through via their list of categories on the right side of the blog. Seriously! Shoestruction, Gross Injuries, Eco-Impact, and Fab Friday Giveaways are among the topics.

One tiny bummer is the Trends Of The Season page. I love the idea of it; it’s hard to search for a find a bunch of shoes with lucite heels (one of my weaknesses) or just neon colors, so grouping hard-to-find characteristics together is awesome. But, sadly the page is not updated and a lot of the shoe pictures are missing (sold out?). Granted I did have to do a little digging to find it, but keep that page updated and I’d have to give this website a 10!

In honor of SoleStruck’s red shopping background, here are some great picks from their website:

Featured in April's Teen Vogue

Jeffery Campbell Mel - Featured in April's Teen Vogue

Sam Edelman Erica

Sam Edelman Erica - I have these in black, way comfy!

Rocket Dog Aladin

I wish you could see the cute rainbow elastic across the toes in this pic

Oh Deer! Strata

Oh Deer! Strata - Almost Identical to a pair by Alaia that costs over $1,000!

avatarEveryone and I mean everyone (fashion magazines, celebrities, department stores, blogs, etc) has been talking about shoes & boots with fringe* (P.S. handbags too) in kind of an obsessive way. 

As any hippie Halloween costume wearer knows, fringe had been around for a while. Even back in the 1920s, many flapper dresses were dripping in fringe. So there must be some appeal for this trend to keep recurring in apparel, but I don’t know, I’m just not crazy about it, at least on footwear anyway.

But if you’re all for it, let me know your thoughts. And for you, I’ve chosen two of the least offensive boot styles below that I’ve seen recently and I’ll tell you why…

First above me are these tan boots by Material Prima. I like that they are only subtly a moccasin style with the stitching around the toe box not super pronounced. If you wore them under long pants, they’d look like a basic loafer. And, I like that the tassels are a little stiff. Maybe I have a default dislike of fringe just because I can’t help thinking about it flying around as I walk, hitting against my legs, other people, small animals, etc…  these boots would solve that problem and still incorporate the trend. (I admit I’m a fast New York walker).

And second, I chose these Jimmy Choo Bill Boots from their new Catwalk Collection. Okay, yes this fringe is super swingy. But. But they also have a darn high heel so who’s going to be rushing around in them anyway? Wear these on your chauffeured limo days (a.k.a taxi days and/or mass transit 😉 ). A beaded fringe is also less common which makes it more worthy in my eyes, and when you add that it’s subtly colored, elegantly patterned, and paired against a plain black suede boot – even fringe haters might find themselves smiling at these.

Last I have one example below of the fringe that I feel ruins it for the other fringes in the world; unfortunately, although the brand has some other cute styles, (cliche or not) these over-the-knee Sam Edelman boots will never be on my feet unless I’m playing Pocahontas.

 

*FYI just in case you wanted to know – Fringe is basically a long strip of leather (but I suppose any other material would qualify) cut every 1/4 inch or so along one end to create separate, movable pieces hanging down in a row. 

P.S. Yes, I’ve been watching Fringe on FOX too. The story line really draws you in even though it’s a bit repetitive sometimes. I can’t wait to see how “The Pattern” connects everything.

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