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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 ūüėČ

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 ūüėČ

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

Traditionally, the vast majority of couples in the US have their weddings in June, the first month of summer. But this June was super rainy (I think record-breaking) and I’ve noticed more late summer weddings planned for this year and next. But regardless of when exactly it happens, you can bet that at some point in your life you¬†will be invited to a summer wedding, maybe even your own! (I’m realizing now that I actually crashed my own wedding, since I technically never got an invite ;)) Anyway, I think that’s a good reason to have a blog strictly about Summer wedding shoes! (P.S. if you’re still undecided, see my Winter wedding shoe blog too).

So, you may think anything goes when pairing shoes with summer toes, but you’d be wrong! Well, ok,¬†maybe not wrong, but some shoe styles¬†are far superior to others depending on the location of your ceremony:

1. All Outdoor Weddings – If you’re having a summer wedding, its safe to say you’ll probably be having your ceremony outdoors to enjoy the nice, warm weather. First of all, do yourself a favor and avoid cooping your feet up inside hot closed toe pumps (ew, foot sweat!). If temps top 90 where you are, even gladiator style sandals may start to rub and feel not-so-good, so just cross all those shoes off your list now.

Next, even if you opt for a location that can reserve an indoor area in case of rain, remember that you’ll have to have your shoes picked out long before you’ll know Mother Nature’s decision. Any shoe will work indoors, but not every shoe will work outside. So, the main thing to consider when choosing your summer wedding shoes is the ground you’ll be walking on: sand, grassy lawn, packed dirt path (garden), flagstones, loose gravel, etc.

2. Beach Weddings –¬†Trust me when I tell you that you will get sand in your shoes. And I’ve had even those most comfy shoes turn evil at the beach. So now the question is, do you want to have to take your shoes off every 5 seconds to dump them out? Or will you stay strapped into your shoes all day to suffer while a few misplaced grains rub your foot raw? If your answer is “yikes!”, then when trying out shoes, think first about how easy they are to get on and off. Unfastening ankle straps, for example, can require some pretty awkward movements if you’re¬†in, say,¬†a long, straight, low-cut dress. But if your shoes are open to let the sand in and out freely, you shouldn’t have to worry too much about removing them. Here’s a good beach shoe philosophy: don’t fight the sand, go with it.

Also, thin heels are not going to work so well if you plan on walking in sand, so I’d take those out of consideration now too. Even if you could manage the walk, I’m sure you don’t want to have to focus all your attention all day on not falling. If you really have to have a heel, you could try a shoe with a wide sole like a wedge. But honestly, I suggest you embrace the beachy vibe and go for flat sandals! There are lots of dressy options now:

Flats are the best way to go

Guiseppe Zanotti – just beautiful, and in buttery soft leather

Rampage

Rampage – the jeweled flower on the toe is so cute!

Stuart Weitzman - gorgeous jewel detail, click to see larger

Stuart Weitzman – minimalistic glamour with just 2 tiny jewels and a snake chain

Office (UK)

Office (UK) – your shoe could be your something blue!

Colin Stuart

Colin Stuart – perfect for bridesmaids too

Nine West

Nine West – wear with your wedding gown now and all summer!

3. Lawn or Garden Wedding – Let’s say the weather has been super rainy (not a far stretch of the imagination if you’ve been on the east coast the last few weeks), but just as you’re beginning to panic, the forecaster says it will all end right before your wedding is scheduled, phew! – the clouds part and the sun shines beautifully down just in time. But when you get to the botanical garden you reserved years in advance, you find that all that rain left a lot of mud that couldn’t possibly dry out fast enough! No problem, right? Right! Because you read this blog and you were prepared ;).

Ok, if mud is a possibility (and it probably will be in any garden or lawn location), thin stiletto heels could sink or get stuck and cause you to fall. But, you can avoid all that trouble by choosing a wide heel like a wedge (I’ve got some great picks for you below). Also, if you hate having your wet toes slide around after coming in contact with dewy grass (it’s one of my silly pet peeves) or if there’s a possibility for loose rocks to get into your shoes, you may also want a platform front style to keep those tootsies out of the danger zone. Last, don’t forget about the possibility of grass or mud stains (especially if you’re trying out your footwear during the rehearsal) – it’s a great impetus to try a metallic or colored shoe!

Jill Stuart

Jill Stuart – sweet wedges for a fairy tale wedding

matiko - nude shoes look great with white dresses

Matiko – nude shoes look great with white dresses

Alexandra Anouket - yes, you can do suede in the summer, when it's like this!

Alexandra Anouket – a delicate shade of summer suede

Nine West - classic, elegant and on sale for $30 as of 8/1!!

Nine West – classic and elegant

Oh! Deer - the delicate scalloping offset the chunky wedge heel

Oh Deer! – light scalloping offsets the chunky wedge heel

Mark Fisher - amazing with a yellow sunflower or tulip bouquet

Mark Fisher – these platforms would look amazing with a yellow bouquet

Unfortunately, I’ve found that most wedges are designed as casual shoes (who knows why!), so if you can’t find a pair that work for you, try searching for a chunky heel instead – the wider the base of the heel (where it touches the ground), the less likely it’ll sink in wet soil. But, if you’ve already found your dream shoe and they happen to be a stiletto, don’t worry! SoleMates could be your solution. I got a pair at a wedding expo in NYC last year and they’re pretty fantastic. Basically, the SoleMates High Heeler (in black and clear) slides onto most thin heels to make the base of the heel wider (and as above, that’s key for not sinking). They also don’t damage your heels at all and are totally reusable so, besides maneuvering muddy obstacles, you may find yourself using them all the time to walk fearlessly over sidewalk grates and cracks too.

expert sand walkers only

Christian Louboutin – totally risk worthy

L.A.M.B - muted enough to not steal the spotlight... unless you want them too

L.A.M.B – muted enough to not steal the spotlight… unless you want them too

Pollini - I did python with my creamy vintage dress last summer

Pollini – I did python with my creamy vintage dress last summer

Cole Haan Air -

Cole Haan Air – a romantic style for the traditionalists

A Few Words on Color – If you’ve read my other wedding blogs and as you can see from above, I am not a traditionalist that believes you can only wear white shoes with your wedding dress. But, I admit there is something about the crispness of the color white and the heat of summer that just seem to match. Maybe it’s also because summer shoes are less solid, and their openness is both warranted for the heat and breaks up the color.

But, I will say quickly that there are some nice benefits to not going with white shoes. Since many of today’s wedding dresses have colored accents or, at the very least, silver or gold detailing, you can bring some of those colors to your shoes to compliment to your whole outfit. Also, cute metallic shoes (and colorful shoes in general) are much easier to find in a wide variety of styles than plain white shoes are (In my experience, pretty much all “bridal shoes” look the same). And, since most of my picks are not technically “wedding shoes,” the prices are often much lower!

The End! – For one last side note, remember that it’s all the better for you if you’re a last minute shopper (or a super early one), because starting in July and through August, all the summer shoes go on sale! Happy shopping!

swamisz logo

You may have already met in my previous blog on crazy new flip-flop styles, but now I’d like to formally introduce you to Swamisz! Founded in 2006 in Australia, Swamisz were previously sold only in the land down under, but they are now shipping all over the world from their fun website to the delight of toes everywhere! Swamisz sandals are unique because of their disconnected toe plug (imagine a mushroom shape) that keeps the shoe on your foot without your having to grip them actively with your toes; your feet can actually¬†relax while walking… and running at traffic lights, going down stairs, etc., things other flip-flops have problems with (yeah, personal experience talking here).

Swamisz are made with natural rubber (a renewable eco-friendly resource, of course) and their sandals are a lot sturdier than your basic rubber¬†flip-flops. Not only are the straps and toe plug made a little thicker, the Swamisz strap is extra reinforced at the bottom, so you don’t have to worry about these plugs pulling out while you’re walking (the fate of so many old flip-flops). All that and they’re seriously comfortable!

IMG_0884

The shoe bag! (reverse has brand name & logo)

IMG_0886

Note the extra reinforced bottom - love that unique slightly pointed shape too.

My Swamisz (above) arrived in¬†a standard brown shipping box, but inside the box, they were wrapped in a super cute (and hand-stenciled!) cotton shoe bag. A shoe bag coming with shoes that cost less than $300!!? I’m in heaven! (and, yes, a little ridiculously obsessed with shoe bags ). The tag booklet (printed on 100% recycled eco paper) was equally as cute, if not more so, so I have to share part of it below:

“Swamisz (swaa-meez) n. – 1. Designer footwear made with natural rubber and held securely on foot by distinctive toe plug and support strap. 2. Contemporary footwear; an evolution of design modeled on ancient Indian wooden shoes names ‘Paduka.’ Dating back over 5000 years.. ‘Padukas’ are said to be worn by the Gods. 3. Chosen footwear of India’s Swamis; respected, enlightened masters of self-realization* 4. Chosen footwear of those who know that mere ordinary flip-flops are “so passe.”

*wearing Swamisz may not lead to enlightenment…buy hey… at least you’re looking good.”

Swamisz colors 2

Now let’s¬†get to the important part, Swamisz retail for $35 plus shipping!!! And you were¬†getting worried, weren’t you ? They currently offers¬†soles in 11 different color for you to choose from, all with a black strap and black toe plug, except for their signature orange version which is solid orange. I chose the not too girly-girly purple color which is dark enough to go with any outfit but still bright enough to be fun; but honestly, it took me hours to decide. You should also note that sizes are in AU (Australian) from 4-12 but their website does give you a nice size conversion chart complete with US, Canada, Euro, UK, Japanese¬†sizes and centimeters to compare your foot to. I’ve found that women wearing US sizes should generally order¬†one size down. If you wear a size 8, you’ll probably want to order a Swamisz size 7.¬†¬†Now get out there and start being a flip-flop free thinker!

As they say, “Swamis and Yoga masters don’t wear them for nothing.”

my kitty stopped scratching to sneak a peek at these shoes

Even my kitty had to stop mid-scratch to take a look!

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. ūüėČ 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

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. ūüėČ

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 ūüėČ :

Baby Mobile small

my crochet project being unwrapped by the lucky new dad

avatarHappy Earth Day! I just found out about some great eco-conscious brands and news, so I thought today would be a perfect day to share.

First off is a new (to me, at least) shoe brand named SoleRebels. Based in Ethiopia, SoleRebels is channeling the skills over 40 people from¬†the village community¬†of Zenabwork with full time jobs and over 100 people with part-time jobs. African entrepreneur and founder Bethlehem Tilahun Alemu said to WWD magazine, “We passionately believe that trade, not aid, is the key to upliftment.‚ÄĚ

From materials (like recycled car tires for soles and organic, hand-loomed cotton uppers from Ethiopians paid fair wages) and talent almost exclusively sourced locally, SoleRebels are now selling in stores all over the US, like Whole Foods, and online! They sought to re-invent the traditional Ethiopian selate shoe which, since its not so traditional over here state side, looks like something all-together new. SoleRebels uses both bright and muted colors, that means something for everyone, and the line has created many different styles with closed-toe and open-toe options. Plus, price points range well in the affordable category at $30 to $65.

SoleRebels A Twist of Sole Sandal SoleRebels slipout light SoleRebels Fauna Flip-Flop Sandals

Second, I just found out that Payless Shoe Source has launched a plan to contribute a portion of sales this year from their new green Zoe&Zac line AND from purchases of their $1.99 reusable shopping tote (and trust me, even though you’ve seen a million of them, this one is cute!) towards planting one billion trees with The Nature Conservatory’s aptly named Plant A Billion Trees program. I’m down with that, if I may say so, and I’ve lined up some of my shopping list items below, not to mention the bag.

zoe&zac tigerlily wedge zoe&zac Ginger mary jane flat zoe&zac Snapdragon Ballet

Last, after being reminded by Lucky Magazine’s Spring Shoe Guide how much I love canvas sneakers (and being as their now in fashion and all), I decided to go to the source and visit the Keds website directly to see their new offerings. I was happily surprised to find a whole new Green section which, while not too large, has the same appeal as the shoes I expect from the brand. In addition to the usual recycled rubber soles (not to say that isn’t a huge step), these Keds also feature non-toxic inks and dyes, shoelaces that are 100% recycled water bottles, nickle-free eyelets and recycled insoles!

Their two green shoe styles (each in a few different colors) are below and hopefully we’ll be able to watch this section continue to grow!

Keds Willow lace up in green Keds Meadow Moc in blue

P.S. I love this idea sponsored by Nickelodeon’s Big Green Help for everyone to turn off their lights tonight at 9 pm for one minute! (hopefully it doesn’t result in massive power overload induced outages when all the lights come back on, but let’s not let that ruin the fun).

nyshoespyI’m going to let the pictures do most of the talking in this blog. You’re seriously not going to believe it, but every single pair of the shoes below are made entirely out of some sort of rubber or plastic!!! (with the exception of the occasional tassel, buckle or laces).

I haven’t seen this trend covered much in the mainstream media yet, but when old, well-established houses like Tods, Givenchy and Gucci dabble in molded PVC for their Spring collections and so do designers prone to the avant-garde like Marc Jacobs and Vivienne Westwood AND contemporary brands like Tory Burch, Melissa and See by Chloe… well, I would call that a full blown trend.

The best part is that most of these styles are totally affordable; even with all the designer names I’ve stacked up for you, not one shoe is over $200!

See for yourself ūüėČ

Melissa Joy + Ah Jelly Oxfords Melissa Three-Strap Ballerina Gladiator
Givenchy flat tie-up plastic shoe Tods jelly thong sandals
Gucci Etretat Rubber Flats Melissa Strappy Fetish Sandals
Cesare Paciotti Jelly Plateau See by Chloe ankle-strap sandals
Tory Burch Jelly Reva parrot pink

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