Reader CT asked: Another Corporette reader (although I never comment, just lurk!) here! I'm a journalist who normally wears pretty conservative outfits. However, I'm obsessed with quirky shoes and would love to get tips on low to medium-heeled shoes I can wear outside of work. I own several pairs of Poetic License flats and love that brand. I love patterns, metallics, glitter snakeskin, polka dots and different textures. Price range: max $200. Any ideas? Many thanks in advance!

Hey CT!  This is definitely a question I couldn't resist. I have to say that I tend to go with more simplistic shoes - mostly because they go with more outfits - but I LOVE quirky, patterned shoes as a way to add fun to a conservative outfit or for outside work. I will suggest a variety of fun shoes - and will try to find at least a few that I think will work for both work AND play. And for those I will also suggest work outfits that I think will go well with the shoes (either toning them down or coordinating with them in a way that brings them into the working world.)  That way you can have your cake and wear them to work as well!
Isaac Mizrahi New York Jenniferle slingbacks at Zappos ($87.99 - These shoes would be fun for weddings or fancy nights out with your significant other [or date nights with NOT SO significant others.]  I like that they are close toed but sling backed - making them useful for those of us who tend to wear panty-hose even with our fancy dresses. And since they are still relatively conservative, they'd be a great way to add flair for a work cocktail party or afterwork event.
Funtasma by Please Women's College 04 Mary Jane Pump at Amazon ($15.99 - if you follow my tumblr - which you totally should - you may know that I actually own these shoes. I'm totally enjoying the tartan trend lately and I figured, even if I only wore these shoes a couple of times, the price was certainly no bar. They are actually pretty cute and not wildly uncomfortable. So...tartan shoes....yay!
Ivanka Trump Natalie pump in Bronze at Zappos ($130 - bronze is a nice alternative to all the silver and gold metallics out there right now and this shoe would be great for nights out or for events - whatever those might be in your life. A fun shoe but maybe not for a trip to the farmer's market. Ivanka Trump's Indico pump in gold is also great.)
Vince Camuto Faux Wrap Stripe Blouse in Oyster at Nordstroms ($89-99 - simple blouse, would look great with or without a blazer in a variety of colors, including black or gray or purple - for examples.)
Jacquard Faux Leather Waist Pencil Skirt at the Limited ($69.95 before 50% off sale - I like the subtle jacquard pattern on this skirt, plus the leather waistband which is current without being TOO current. The purple would look great with both the gray pumps and the black and cream striped shirt. Together they'd make a chic but still conservative outfit.)
Jeffrey Campbell 'Bridges' Pump at Nordstroms ($119.95 - the perfect mix of a conservative color and fabric with a fun shape and a little snakeskin mixed in to assuage your funky soul.  With this outfit I think you'd look professional and awesome, all at once - and the relatively low heel means they may well be comfortable. Gray is my personal favorite for work pumps because it goes with EVERYTHING, but this shoe also comes in navy blue, burgundy, and black.)
Nexx Silk Blouse at Nordstroms ($88 - I'm a big fan of a simple silk button down, like this one at Nordies or this similar one at J-Crew (on-sale to a very good price) - better than a stiffer traditional fabric and still very flattering. Worth checking out.)
Camber A-Line Skirt by BCBG Max Azaria ($110.60 - Houndstooth goes great with cobalt blue and I wanted to recommend something a little different than the typical pencil skirt (not that there's anything wrong with that - I wear them all the time).  This a-line ponte skirt looks great for work - its a reasonable length and the a-line is noticeable without being too flouncy.)
Isaac Mizrahi Joy Houndstooth Pumps at Lord and Taylor ($140 - I love houndstooth and love that its back in fashion - and I especially love this pump - that its got a bit of the driving shoe/menswear look going on but the heel and the pump design keeps it quite feminine.  With jeans or a cute skirt it would be great for weekends, but it would also be a great "statement" shoe for work wear as well.)
Top Shop 'Maple' Mid-Heel Pump at Nordstroms ($60 - this is another pump that I think you could TOTALLY wear to work and for play, as long as you wear it with a fairly conservative work outfit [perhaps with black trousers] On the weekend, I'd go wild. The stacked heel means these would be pretty comfortable and they'd be perfect for wearing to a friend's house for brunch or really anywhere. They also come in bright orange, which I like a lot too.)
Dolce Vita 'Kadyn' Pump at Nordstroms ($178.95 - definitely more of a "going out" shoe than a "going out to the grocery store" shoe - but whoo boy - can you imagine this with a little black dress. Or skinny jeans that are short enough for them to show and a silk black blouse. Or a black pencil skirt, a purple shirt, and a leather jacket. Yes. I think I like them A LOT.)
Sofft 'Valletta' Pump at Nordstroms ($69.90 - POLKA DOTS - really need I say more? A cute, vintage style peep-toe pump with pink and black polka-dots. The reviews are quite good (the worst review is "I wish it were navy and pink," which I agree with but consider fairly minor.)  A cute, comfortable shoe for indoor events in the winter or outdoor events in the spring and fall.)
Instantly Slimming Three-Quarter Sleeved Dress at White House Black Market ($112 - so everyone should have that "go to" little black dress for work cocktail parties and date nights and just - generally. WHBM has become my go to for all my LBD needs - they have dresses in all shapes (a-line, bodycon, dropped waist, etc. but I like this one especially for work. If only they carried plus sizes as well.)
Nervous System 'Dichotomous' Stainless Steel Pendant Necklace at Amazon ($40 - this necklace, which is modeled off the leaf of a gingko tree, would be nice simple, almost quiet accessory with this outfit. Since I think for a work event I'd keep my accessories pretty neutral (maybe add some silver or mixed metal bangles) but otherwise keep it rather simple.)
Sam Edelman 'Othello' Pump at Nordstroms ($129.95 - so this is not really a 'wear to work' pump - but this would be a perfect 'wear to work' events pump. It would go with basically all of your cocktail dresses, unless your cocktail dress was bright gold, but they are a fun alternative to the more 'normal' neutral cocktail options of black, nude for you, or ... well ... black.)
Color Blocked v-neck Sweater Dress from Ann Taylor ($109 - I love this simple, yet pretty, burgundy sweater dress from Ann Taylor. I think for a business casual workplace this would be a great way to add some color. Add a nice necklace and perhaps a belt and you have a simple dress that is complete for the office.)
Lodis Accessories Burton Way Wide Covered Buckle Waist Belt at Zappos ($53 - I like this belt with this outfit - I think the sweater dress could really use belting on a lot of us who look best with a bit of waist definition and the green adds another color to the mix that grounds the outfit and keeps it in neutral territory. I really like this combo all together.)
Isaac Mizrahi 'Perry' Pump at Nordstroms ($139.95 - this is definitely a fun, bright shoe that would adapt beautifully to the work week. Not only would it go great with all things black because of the black on the buckle, but it would also go really well with gray and navy. I also think, though, that this would be a nice way to work in a couple other jewel tones into your wardrobe - like burgundy and emerald green, since these shoes would look great with both. This shoe is so seasonally appropriate, it might actually be MADE of fall.)
Gabriella Rocha 'Shelby 3' T-Strap pumps in Teal patent leather at 6PM ($21.99 - also available in a pretty sweet looking purple patent leather, I think these pumps would be great with an a-line skirt or dress on the weekend for going to casual but slightly dressy events or even for events that involve more walking since they look pretty comfortable with the stacked heel.)
Ivanka Trump 'Ilyssa' Pump at Nordstroms ($125.90 - this is maybe not the most fall/winter appropriate colors - but I love the oxford detailing on this shoe and the colors are undeniably fun. Its a different take on a classic shoe; and definitely something I'd wear to both work and weekend events.)
Miz Mooz 'Coco' Bootie at Zappos ($139.95 - for a weekend shoe, this bootie might be just the fun, sensible shoe you are looking for.  I love the color - the bright cobalt really would be a fun way to add some vibrancy to an outfit, and the stacked heel looks quite sensible. Plus the ruched leather and prominent buttons look just fun.)
 
So, I haven't done a shoe post in awhile (yeah, yeah, I know - I haven't done ANY posts in awhile - no backtalk from the peanut gallery) and, quite frankly, I'm in the mood to do a post about shoes.  Glorious shoes. Fun shoes. Some may be work appropriate and some may not. We'll see. There really isn't a theme to this post other than this...I like shoes. And I bet you do too. And its fall and everyone likes to get new shoes in the fall!  So here we go.
Crown Vintage Scout Pump at DSW ($59.95 - despite my ardent desire "shooties" or whatever aren't going away.  And I mean, they're purple (also come in brown and black)!  And I like the straps.
Ivanka Trump Angeline 2 Houndstooth Flats at 6PM ($64.99 - there are a bunch of houndstooth flats out there right now - I think inspired by these Manolos - but I like these Ivankas best.)  
Kate Spade 'telly' Ballet Flat at Nordstroms ($238) - I'm posting these in part so someone will explained to me why there is a bejeweled pretzel on the toe box.  Otherwise YAY GOLD!
Kate Spade Licorice Too Pump in black with gold flecked suede at Nordstroms ($328 - pretty much self-explanatory - I love this take on the black and gold trend - it looks like the evening sky.)
Savatore Ferragamo 'Rory' Pumps at Zappos Couture ($750 - okay, I don't usually feature shoes quite this expensive - but I saw these at the mall the other day and felt that you all should suffer their absence from your life just as much as I am.  So there.)
Bold Plaid Flats from F21 ($16.80 - Tartan is the pattern of the season and you can afford to add just a bit to your wardrobe with these flats!  Who knows about quality (or arch support for that matter) but the truth is, when buying flats in a pattern like this, you really don't expect them to last much more than a season, do you?)
Heeled Brogue Oxfords from Boden ($168 - I've seen a lot of high heeled oxfords since the trend started, but these are some of my favorites. Available in this shade and in a darker brown and black, the chunky heel (very on trend) would also be insanely comfortable I would think.)
LK Bennett Sybila Pump at Nordstroms ($194.98 - more a head's up than anything else - but for those of you who love LK Bennetts, several of the more classic shapes, including this perfect work/interview shoe, are on a pretty good sale right now at Nordies.  FYI)
Respectit Ankle Boots in Burgundy at Steve Madden ($149.96 - regular readers of my blog probably know that booties and ankle boots aren't really my thing - but these almost win me over. I *love* the color of the leather and the gold hardware is kick ass.  I think with a pair of skinny jeans and a blazer for weekends this would be a great fall look.)
Ted Baker London Neevo Pump from Nordstroms ($169.95 - this pump mixes two of the biggest trends for the season - emerald green and suede- but without looking ridiculous (and I like the little dash of gold thrown in.)  It also comes in a lovely purple that I'm sure Kat from the 'rette would love, orange, and red.  Might be worth checking out if youc an handle the 4" heel.)
See by Chloé 'Summer' Pump at Nordstroms ($176.98 - the descriptor is probably right that this pump is more summery, but you just don't see that many pumps in this vibrant yellow color. And I love the brown toe cap as a nice contrast. And the stacked heel would make it much more comfortable.)
Trotters 'Opal' Pump at Nordstroms ($72.98 - saw this while looking for other things and it struck me that it might be a great "nude for me" shoe for women who need a darker shade of nude than many nude shoes are.  So I thought I'd throw it up here.
Printed Pointed Toe Pump from the Express ($47.94 - yes - THAT Express.  I can make no claims to knowledge about quality - but this geo print was so cute I had to feature it.  Again - the heel is pretty high, so it may be only for the brave of foot. What do designers have against a 3" heel?)
Okay folks...that's it.  Literally its just a bunch of shoes I like that I found around the internets.  Add more in the comments if you've found shoes recently that you're really into.  I'm always looking for ideas!  What do you think?  Do any of these appeal to you?  
 
Reader Sam-Antha queries:

Turns out I need closed toe shoes to match this dress in the color "bluebird". What shoes can I get under $100 that won't look ridiculous. Heels can't be too tall, I'm already 5'8 and don't want to look awkward in wedding photos. I'm vaguely Beyonce colored so nude shoes are usually a problem. I'm between a 9.5-10 depending on the shoe.

Ah the joys of being a bridesmaid - you think you're good after you've booked your travel, helped plan the bachelorette party and shower, and found a dress.  But the shoes sneak up on you.  The ultimate goal for all bridesmaids should be to find shoes that will be both comfortable AND reusable.  But, I think the first priority should be comfort because DAYUM you stand a lot during the day of the wedding as a bridesmaid.  Okay - so for those playing along at home, this is the dress that the lovely Sam-Antha (that is how she submitted her name so that's what I'm sticking with) is wearing.  
I have to say, overall I like it - though does it have a big bow on the back?  It doesn't show up in the back view but I can't figure out what the model is showing off here.  Anyway - that's neither here nor there.  So my read of this color is basically a light bluish, purplish, grayish mix.  I think it will look lovely on someone of your skin tone.  As for shoes, I think the most obvious choice is to go for pewter or silver - it will match the dress and be unlikely to clash with anything anyone else is wearing.  Other colors that are a bit more aggressive but that I think would look lovely are a true eggplant, a dark navy, possibly a yellow, or a nice cream (no meant to be nude but just meant to be cream - possibly with some bling.)  I'll try to find you options in all of these colors and hopefully you'll like one of them.  One color I wouldn't recommend would be black, I think it would be too harsh with this dress, especially if its a summer wedding.  Now, on to the recommendations!

Silver and Pewter 

J Renee Women's Emily Pump in grey fabric at shoes.com ($99.95 - These are, to be quite frank, bridesmaid shoes to the max.  But there's a reason women buy bridesmaid shoes - they are neutral, they have sparkle, they match everything, and they have a nice thick heel that are comfortable and can stand up to walking outside, inside, and everywhere in between.  As bridesmaid pumps go, I like these.  The embellishment on the toe box is cute and overall its pretty cute.  But if I had to guess, I wouldn't imagine they'd be reused much.)
Corso Como Women's Littleton pumps in silver leather at shoes.com ($84.15 - I wanted to make sure you had at least one classic almond toed pump in the mix here and I thought these might be just the ticket.  Honestly, these are so nice you could probably wear them to work or with skinny dark wash jeans to dinner or dates.  But I still think they're fancy enough to work with this dress.  Corso Como is a nice brand and I think the stacked heel would be comfortable, though I do wish it was a bit larger.  Overall - if it was a bit more matte I might be considering buying these for myself.)
Nina Evita pump in silver at Nina Shoes ($39.99 - these also come in a darker, almost black, pewter and gold.  They are simple and yet sparkly which is a great feature for bridesmaid shoes, and Nina is basically a bridesmaid/wedding brand (plus $39.99 isn't a terrible price if you never wear them again).  Definitely not a bad option that would coordinate nicely with your dress, though it wouldn't make too much of a statement - which I guess is sort of the goal as a bridesmaid.)

Other Colors and Styles

rsvp Maren dark purple patent pumps on Zappos ($69.00 these pumps come in both this eggplant AND silver and a lovely teal.  The reviews are great and the heel height seems just about right.  I actually really like them.  I think the dark purple would create a nice contrast between the lighter purple of the dress, but the pewter might be a safer bet.  Something to consider at least though.)
Vince Camuto Goldie Pump in champagne at Nordstroms ($88.95 - I love this shoe, especially in the champagne color.  I think it would look great as a bridal shoe and I think it would look fabulous as a bridesmaid shoe as well, especially on a woman with a darker skin tone.  Its got just the right amount of shine to make it interesting without being crazy.  It could definitely be reused.  A definite contender, in my book at least.)
Gabriella Rocha Ginger Mary Jane pump in purple patent at Zappos ($65.00 - this shoe actually comes in about a million colors but I can't quite get past the idea that a nice eggplant would look lovely with this dress.  And this shoe hits a lot of my buttons - its definitely reusable and it looks like it would be super comfortable since the heel is somewhat wider and stacked.  Plus the low heel doesn't look unintentional or like its just accidentally there (like they added a low heel to a shoe that should be high-heeled) but rather like this shoe was always intended to be low-heeled.  Overall I really like it.  Check it out and the other colors!)
Söfft Abbot wedge in copper at Nordstroms ($99.95 - not what I'd normally think of as a bridesmaid shoe, but I really like it and I think a bit of shiny copper would add something to the pale pastel of the dress.  Plus a wedge would be super comfortable on the day.  This shoe also comes in a dark pewter.)
Vince Camuto Stefania slingbacks in steel at Nordstroms ($88.95 - These are in the "other" category because they are slingbacks and a bit higher (3") than I think you may have been looking for, but they are also gorgeous shoes with excellent reviews so I wanted to throw them out there. Reusability factor is definitely high, though I'd worry a bit about comfort, I'd want a pair of flats in my bag with these ones!)
Adrienne Vittadini Cecilia T-Strap Pump in soft gold at Amazon ($35.45 - okay, so the 3.5" heel is probably higher than you want, but I just got my own pair of these shoes (in black patent) and they are hawt as hell and I am totally in love with them.  And if you are going to be a bridesmaid and wear a dress someone else picks for you, you should get to pick shoes that make you look gooooood.  And these shoes would totally do it.  Seriously, they are awesome and would look totally awesome with that dress and when you are boogying down during the party afterwards.  And they are surprisingly comfortable.  Anyway - something to consider.  You can always take them off for photos, its not like people will see with the floor length dress!)

Okay!  So there are some shoe ideas!!  I hope one of them sparks your fancy and you end up with an awesome pair of shoes and have a glorious time at your friend's wedding.  Check back in and let me know what shoes you end up wearing (even if its none of these).  

Readers - have you been a bridesmaid?  What sort of shoes did you wear and did you get to pick them?  Were they nearly as awesome as these?  
 
I have been absent from this blog for an unacceptably long time - I am aware.  Unfortunately, my health has been...not good over the last month.  But I am hoping to have an upswing soon.  Today I was inspired by a black and white polka dotted dress I saw in Boden's daily e-mail advertisement - reminding me of my favorite pattern and one of my favorite dress shapes, the belted sheath.  I am also a fan of this particular neckline, which allows you to wear either statement jewelry *or* a pendant - but still maintains a mostly modest high neckline (especially for those smaller of chest.)
Now - having found such a terrific dress - I thought I'd go about styling it three ways.  One for pure fun, one for a more "sexy" date night or night out with the girls, and one for work.  But we'll go in reverse order - most demure to least demure.  ;-)

Styling it for work

BP Moveover Pointed Toe Flat at Nordstroms ($49.95 - red is so often the color of choice with black polka dots ... and don't worry, it'll make an appearance down flow, but for work I was thinking about keeping things a bit sleeker with patent, pointed toe black flats.)  Franco Sarto Instinct at 6PM ($47.99 - Recommended for those more interested in heels - I think the Mary Jane cut gives it a dash of vintage, but the pointed toe and angled block heel keeps it firmly rooted in the present - and comfortable for work at that.)
Fornash Enamel Bumble Bee Bangle Bracelet in black and gold at SimplySoles ($25 - again going a bit against expectations here - I like using a simple palette of black and gold to keep the outfit relatively neutral - while adding a bit of a wink with the bumble bee motif on the bracelet to acknowledge that the outfit is still fun and youthful.)
Studio Silver 18k Gold enamel Carnelian Pyramid Pendant from Macy's ($37.50 on-sale - finally, I've added a bit of color to the outfit, but again - I think - not in the way people expect.  When wearing polka-dots, most expect colors to be bright and bold, but I think tempering that and bringing it in a bit in a more controlled way gives the outfit a more refined look.  I really like these three items together for a work accessories plan for this dress.)
K. Amato Fan Teardrop Earrings in black and gold at Designs by Stephene ($47.50 - a perfect match for the bumble bee bangle, but also incredibly reusable in their own right - I like these earrings a lot as a basic workhorse for any wardrobe - or at least a workhorse with some edge to them.) 
Giani Bernini 24k Gold over Sterling Silver Diamond-Cut Teardrop Leverback Earrings from Macy's ($110 - honestly probably a bit much for this particular outfit, but so pretty I couldn't resist recommending them.  They'd certainly keep the outfit in the really focused black and gold world.  I love them just as they are, as single pieces of jewelry.)

Styling it for a night out with the girls - bright/vintage fun

Faceted white bead vintage necklace from etsy seller Bonnie's Vintage Attic ($29.95) or again for those preferring a more mainstream retailer Panacea Epoxy Flower Necklace, White at Cusp by Neiman Marcus ($45 - I *like* a white necklace for this [to be honest, its inspired by a vintage white chunky necklace I inherited from my aunt - it gives the look a vintage fun feel for summer without relying on many of the tropes that people frequently do with black and white dots.  White, other than pearls, is really an underutilized color in our jewelry lexicon and I think it would look great with this outfit.)
Ceramic Studs - yellow lemon dots - by etsy seller Hermoosa ($24.95) or for those who prefer more mainstream retailers Kate Spade New York stud earrings in yellow and white at Nordstroms ($34.80 - now 40% off - I love the bright vintage lemon yellow and white with black and white polka dots in the summer.  And I personally prefer studs - though there are lots of fun chandelier or teardrop options out there too.)  Now, if based on these earring suggestions you really wanted a yellow necklace idea, you might consider this one from Dillard's - though I'm not convinced about the starfish accents.  
Bruno Premi in emerald green at Yoox ($59 - I know that a green shoe is a bit different here - though not totally out of nowhere since green and yellow go so well together - but I love these sandals [the block heel would be good for dancing and walking but they still have that sexy look] and I think adding a kick of green at the bottom of the outfit would be just what the outfit needed.  Though for those of you who prefer a wedge - and are a lucky size 9 - these Butter wedges might be just the thing for you.  If, however, you were worried about the shoes being the only green in the outfit, you could consider something like this vintage bangle I found on Etsy (pictured above) that works in both green and yellow - as well as a few other colors - and would be a great way to work the shoes and the rest of the jewelry together into a cohesive whole ($5 used at Sissy's Touch of Grey.)

Styling it for a sexy date - finally - here's the red!

As way of introduction - I feel like you can either go with reds or cobalt blue here as a theme for your accessories (if you decide not to go straight black ... which you can but would overlap too much with my above posts so....).  So For each of the items I'm suggesting to style for date night, I'll recommend something in fire engine red and cobalt blue.  Pro-tip though, I wouldn't wear ALL blue or red, I'd wear say red shoes and red earrings - but maybe a silver or gold necklace, just to mix the color up, but I'll leave the mix up to you!  And whichever color you pick, make sure to bring it on the bright red lip!
Louise Et Cie 'Scorpio' Peep Toe Pump at Vince Camuto ($69.99 - there are as many red peep-toe pumps as there are people in the world, but this one is different and special while still looks like it would be comfortable.  It is a textured fish-scale leather in a bright red and the heel and toe accents are dipped in gold enamel.  It is under 4" in height.  I love that its an elegant and different take on the classic red pump.)  If you're interested in close-toed shoes, consider the Adrienne Vittadini Cecilia Pump in Red at Belk.
Kamalikulture Zaylie Sling Backs in Cobalt Blue at Zappos ($69.99 - definitely hot looking - the reviews are mixed with some concern about the strength of the sling though. I think it would be okay for a sometime shoe maybe?  If you're looking for a more traditional cobalt pump though - perhaps consider the Guess Rolene pumps on sale at 6PM right now - they look pretty good.)  
Gold Wing Earrings found on Shoptiques from Langford Market, Texas ($12.90 - okay - the shipping on these is absurd because, well, they ship from a little boutique in Texas - but I feel I would be remiss if I did not share these awesome earrings with my dear readers!  So here I am, sharing.  They also come in a green and gold that is cool too.)
Orion Teardrop Earrings at Nordstroms ($15 - I may or may not have done this whole red or blue thing just because of these earrings. I love these earrings. God. Earrings like these make me wish I could pierce my ears.)
Akuamarina Silver Leaf and Murano Gold Round Pendant Necklace at Forzieri ($70.40 - I know I said I'd stick with red, but this gold murano glass pendant goes so beautifully with this look that I couldn't help it.  Seriously, I love this necklace.  If you do want red - this version of it is red and this other murano glass necklace from the same company is a beautiful, fun red and yellow necklace (might go great with the look above this one as well).  
House of Harlow 1960 Plectra Pendant Necklace in blue on Zappos ($60 - so this is designed to be opera length, but I think you can make it shorter to be worn around the neckline of this dress.  And I love the color and the way it would go with these earrings.  Its pretty cool!)

Okay - since this post is already getting out of control a bit, I'm going to leave it there - though I think if I WERE putting together a date look with these pieces, I might add a bracelet or possibly a different belt than the one that comes with the dress.  But...for now I hope these items lend some inspiration. 

So one dress, three looks.  What do we think dear readers?  Are you happy to have me back?  Have I lost my touch?  How would you style it?  Leave a note in the comment section below!
P.S.  Do you have trouble remembering the names of necklines?  Look at this amazing resource I found when looking for the name of this neckline!  Its great (though it doesn't include this specific neckline - which I'm still not sure what to call).
 
Reader KG asks:

Hi TCFKAG! I'm in my mid-twenties and have been thinking about trying to create a more cohesive personal style lately. So far my shopping style is haphazard and I just buy what I like. My closet isn't bad, it's just not memorable. I'm trying to go about this by selecting a fashion icon (Jackie O) and trying to go from there. But I get a block when I'm actually shopping. What I really would love is a list of 5-10 modern Jackie O must-haves to get me started on building an awesome wardrobe. The details: Size: generally size small/2/27. I'm a skinny hourglass. Price Range: Lower is always better. Max prices would be $30ish for shirts, 100ish for pants, 75-100ish for dresses, $50-150 on shoes. But I love to fall in love and goggle at out of reach clothes too, so don't feel too limited. Hair color/skin tone: Super pale skin, brown hair Event: Everyday work and weekend clothes. I work in a pretty casual industry, so I don't need suits or really formal stuff. Shoes: Size 9.5, and definitely partial to flats.

Hey!  Look - I'm back. Sorry for the longer than expected delay in return. I got back from a PHENOMENAL vacation (go here to see photos) and then I got very, very, very sick. So my return to the world of vicarious shopping and blogging was delayed. But here I am and your question tickled my fancy. It also gives me a chance to expound for just a bit on a topic that has come up several times on Corporette and just generally in work environments I've been in in the past (but which doesn't necessarily apply entirely to your question). I have absolutely no problem with people having a defined personal style; in fact, I think its a great way (though not the only way) to guide your wardrobe and your closet into a cohesive unit - thus allowing the set of clothes you own to work well together as separates and saving you both time and money in the morning. 

But, with any style choice, you have to walk a fine line in the workplace. With the Jackie O inspiration, frankly, it would look incredibly odd for a twenty-something to be walking around right now wearing pill-box hats and chanel suits. And as with one of my recent posts, people who are more "goth" or edgy in their personal style have to find a way to reign that in for work. But I don't think this just applies to "out there" stylistic choices. If your style is "preppy" for example, a fairly well accepted style choice in the work place, I still don't think you can buy your entire work wardrobe from Lilly Pulitzer or LaCrosse.  And if you're into fashion and really like getting dressed up and looking trendy, I would think twice about wearing an Akris suit everyday to a more casual business casual firm, no matter how awesome you would look, because the edginess would likely throw off your superiors. What am I trying to say? With any style-inspiration, its all about taking that inspiration and working elements of it into a modern business or business casual wardrobe. No matter how loyal you are to the "look", you have to remember that your work wardrobe is *not* about expressing personal identity (with, of course, the exception of dressing to match the gender you identify with) - its about looking professional and pulled together. But there's also no reason that has to be boring. Hence the meeting in the middle. So just remember, you want to be remembered as the woman who filed a kick-ass Motion to Dismiss or solved the network problems that had been plaguing the office for months; that is what your office identity should be. You do *not* want to be "Jackie O girl" or "Mad Men girl" or "goth girl." Your style should be a secondary identity but not a primary one. If you pull that off, then you have achieved greatness my friend.  NOW!  Moving on to the actual meat (and FUN) of the question.

I guess the first question is .... what did Jackie O wear?  Of course her style changed somewhat throughout her life, but she was known for clean lines, classic styles, simple colors, collarless blazers, and in her early years a-line skirts.  She was a style icon of her time and always looked pretty amazing. She was also very New Englandy (is that a word....it is now) - trending, especially later in life, towards a sort of maritime look in her casual wear. Now, I have to admit up front a STRONG affection for Jackie - and frankly the whole Kennedy clan. I'm from New England (in fact a large chunk of my family is from Newport, RI) and I'm Irish-Catholic. What does that mean? That means that there were pictures of JFK and Bobby Kennedy up in all of my elderly relatives houses next to the pope. They were a very big deal for Irish-Americans in the 50s and 60s and it may be hard to understand now, but Jackie was their princess. My now deceased great-uncle went to JFK and Jackie's wedding, just so he could see them come out of the church and shoot a picture - the resulting picture (she looking pretty startled) was one of his most treasured possessions.  But really - how could you not love them? (By the way, that's a rhetorical question, I am well aware of the reasons that JFK was problematic.)
So - given this is my first post back AND its Jackie O, I'm going to do a slightly different format.  I'm going to post a picture of her that caught my eye - trending from the more business formal to the more casual - and then I will post  more modern items that I think would do a good job of recreating a similar look - without making it look like you were playing 1950s or 1970s dress-up (I will be doing various J.O. eras - she had fabulous style in all of them.)  So lets get started!
So - the Chanel suit with the pill box hat is, of course, a classic. Its practically iconic. But I also think its pretty dated for a young attorney at this stage of your career (and I'm just going to assume point blank you're not wearing pill box hats to work.) I also think its critically important that you get something that highlight the waist a bit more and is, frankly, a bit more flattering. But I have some ideas about suits that might give the same effect but without the stiffer, throw-back vibe.
Front zip moto in coral from the Limited ($49.99 also in yellow - I honestly think in your case that separates are the best way to go, since you don't need a full suit. You can get the vague look with a bit more modern flair.)
TopShop Fleck Bouclé Jacket at Nordstroms ($150 - a bit above what I imagine you'd want to pay for a blazer - but otherwise I think its perf. Its cute and modern and I love the color - and if you can get past the horrendous styling on the model it would be great for work (especially with gray.)
Bouclé Jacket at Mango Outlet ($79.99 on-sale - I think this blazer is cool and may fit a bit more with her later style - more in the seventies look - but I really like it. Especially if you tried something a little interesting and paired it with a black turtleneck, for example.)
So - other than the unfortunate Chanel suit - one thing Jackie was very good about was picking dresses that emphasized her natural waist.  Now - I'm not sure where your waist is precisely, but I'm going to assume for the purposes of this exercise that, like her, you had a fairly mid-range natural waist (which was great for her - it seems to have allowed her to wear things that hit everywhere from just below the rib-cage to almost a dropped waist....the lucky duck.)  So here I'll be showing a few work appropriate dresses that have nicely defined natural waists - but would also work as essentially a business casual suit separate with a blazer thrown over them (perhaps one of the blazers above - who knows.)  For that reason, I'm sticking mostly with the neutrals here, black, gray, and navy.
Belted sheath dress at Jones New York ($99 - in navy - you may notice a lot of higher necklines or boat necklines in this post.  That is intentional - it is one of the hallmarks of a "Jackie O" look.)
Ellen Tracy Belted Sheath Dress at Nordstroms ($128 - I like that the longer belt on this gives it a touch of interest - though I'd be excited to see it in person. The boat neck is lovely though.)
Anne Klein Swing Dress - Short Sleeve Belted Honeycomb at Bloomingdales ($89.95 on-sale - I love this one. I love the tiers on the skirt and the simple neckline. It would work well under a blazer or on its own and it gives off the right vibe I think.)
Tahari Belted Sheath Dress at Nordstroms ($128 - I like the shape of this (and pockets!) but I always worry about length with Tahari a little.)
Lauren Ralph Lauren Two-Tone Sleeveless Dress "Henshaw" at Bloomingdales ($134 - like the Anne Klein above this is also described as a swing skirt - but I love how the waist here is defined by the simple horizontal lines - without the need of a belt. If only it had sleeves it would be perfect.)
Lauren by Ralph Lauren Knotted Matte Jersey A-Line Dress at Nordstroms ($130 - I like this LRL too.  It has cap sleeves and the cross-knot waist accent is a very modern way of creating the same waist definition that Jackie O had above. Plus while the color is more vibrant, it can still be used as a neutral for the office.)
So, there may not be universal agreement on this, but I think Jackie's 70s style was absolutely fantastic. She didn't fall prey to some of the more hideous excesses of the period, but instead stuck with her figure flattering, chic look - but added a little more flair and a little more.....disco....for lack of a better term.  Take this look for example.  50s and 60s Jackie would never have rocked a super swag, collar popped trench coat and corresponding trousers.  And yet she looks fabulous.  Also...I think she's the only reason that sometimes I think that very sparing use of the turtleneck in your wardrobe is absolutely a go (see e.g. with the Mango Blazer above.)  But generally, what I would take away from this picture, is the power of a well tailored pair of straight leg (or slightly boot cut) trousers, a fitted blouse or short, and an awesome trench coat.  
Now, I will acknowledge, it is essentially an exercise in futility recommending pants blind over the internet because of simple size preferences, fit preferences, and the magic "it" that is impossible to capture via the world wide web. But take this from Jackie O - you should want your pants to fit - and don't trust catalogues as a judge for how pants fit - if you have lines pulling across the front forming that sort of spider shape across your pelvis (you know the one) they're too small.  If when you sit down, they ride up and show your whole sock, they're probably too short. If when you walk, you trip over them, they're too long. And if they dig into your stomach and make you uncomfortable, they're too small.  My best tip - buy the size that fits your thighs, hips, and stomach....the rest can be altered (and get a Nordies debit or credit card so  you can get some free alterations too.)  Okay...moving on, here we go.
Seasonless Straight Leg Pant at White House Black Market ($88 - I know I just said how I wasn't going to recommend pants - but I like the look of these - they're a bit different than all the other "straight" or "wide" leg pants. Might be worth a gander at this price. Readers - has anyone worn or purchased these?)
Silk Chiffon Houndstooth Blouse from Brooks Brothers ($91.20 - in trying to figure out what the modern equivalent to the turtleneck would be - I bet it would be something like this blouse. Its formal, but with a pattern and a bow to keep it interesting. In fact, Jackie liked neck bows as seen here, so you'd be keeping it on theme.)
Mark New York Asymmetrical Zip Front Belted Trench Coat from the Bon Ton ($140 - so I'm going with a bright color on this trench because sometimes we forget that Jackie was actually *really* fashionable. She wasn't just demure and proper; she was one of the first First Ladies who was young enough to be a "fashion icon." Yes her style seems a bit prim now, but she was cool back then, so a Jackie O inspired wardrobe doesn't have to be all prim all the time.  Is all I'm saying.
The Kennedys as I assume many of you know are Cape Codders - they have a huge house on the cape and most of the kids grow up there and spend a lot of their time there in the summer. I'm not sure what Jackie's relationship with Newport was, but I think she also spent a fair amount of time on the beach in the summer.  After JFK died, she married a yacht dude (I won't pretend to know what he did.)  Basically, her casual wear definitely had a fancy maritime theme.  Three elements that really defined her look were her cropped pants, her scarfs (traditional square ones, I think), which she would wear on her head or around her neck, and her flats (not pictured above as she's wandering around barefoot....like a peasant...or Britney Spears during her breakdown. But in other pictures it appears for flats she favors a box toe or a slight point with a buckle or other minimalist decoration on the toe box and either flat or a low square heel.  We won't discuss in too much detail her taste in heels, we'll chalk it up to the era.)  As such, I'll focus on these three items for "casual wear" assuming - probably rightfully - that you have t-shirts or blouses that you can wear that will go nicely with these items.
Caslon Chino Ankle Pants from Nordstroms ($34.80 - so, the Halogen brand cropped pant which comes in a variety of cuts and fabrics gets great reviews at Nordies, but I think I like these chinos a bit better. The cuff gives them a little more of a relaxed flare, while still keeping them looking good - plus I love this navy color - though they come in like 20 colors.)
Slightly Curvy Perfect Twill Ankle Pants from Eddie Bauer ($39.99 - if you are considering a more formal cropped pant - I think these Eddie Bauers might be a good fit for you.  They are mostly fairly straight, with the pressed seam in the front, but the slightly curvy cut will fit your slim hour-glass shape better.  I wish they came in more colors though...I feel like the whole point of cropped pants is fun colors; I'm almost sure of it. For ones that maybe aren't as curvy friendly but come in WAY more fun colors, check out the Hampton fit cropped pants at BR.)
Linen Straight Leg Pant from C&C California ($48.99 - so these are a bit off the radar - but for a modern "oh, you know, I'm just running from the beach to my yoga class to coffee and I just threw this look together" pant - I really am drawn to these.  They look amazingly comfortable and yet way more stylish than most similar pants. At least worth a look - especially if paired with an appropriately "just thrown together" tunic and some jewelry.)
Vintage Christian Dior Paisley Silk Scarf from American Apparel ($50 - I may or may not be having a stroke right now, since I'm willingly listing an item from AMERICAN APPAREL - but this scarf is SO PRETTY and is allegedly vintage Dior.  Either way, I love teal, I LOVE paisley, and it would go amazingly with the color palette we've been building so far [always an important consideration when adding new items and accessories.])
Vintage Waves Square Silk Scarf from Lord and Taylor ($30.44 - I love this bright yellow, it would really take a lot of gray and navy and even black outfits into summer with just a tie of a scarf. Plus this is a color I know Jackie favored [at least in the color pictures I saw of her] and I just think its lovely. This particular scarf would go especially well with say a gray or navy dress as a way to add some interest without needing to add layers in the heat of the summer. Plus its a great price for silk!)
Harmony close toe flat in dafodil from Sole Society ($59.95 - I have to tell you, I LOVE these, and I'm thinking of getting them for myself. And they feel like exactly what an updated Jackie O casual flat would be. You have the box toe and the buckle on the toe box and yet the color and the patent really scream fun. Plus the yellow will add some pop to otherwise neutral weekend or casual [or work] attire.  These are kind of amazing....I might be personally in love though I recognize they are not everyone's cup of tea.)
Sesto Meucci Exedra Flat from 6PM ($96.99 - so based on pictures of her actual shoes - these may be the most similar to Jackie O's casual flats that I could see on the current popular shoe market.  Which, is kind of funny, because this sort of vaguely male style flat is totally back in style right now. And these would be insanely comfortable [they also come in tan] but they are not as cute and adorable as one might hope. I have no idea if it was a Jackie O thing or a that period thing, but there ya go. She did wear more dressy flats for formal occasions (based on the pictures at least.)
Enzo Angiolini Pointed Toe Flats - Danville Metal Tip at Bloomingdale's ($72 - another pair of flats I love....this is a real problem.  These are great, I think the nice thing about leopard print is that you can basically wear it as a neutral [especially when its a shoe] and no one will really care.  Plus, I'm still not over the metal toe cap thing.  Other people may be, but I'm not, who doesn't want their toes to shine? Not me!  And if you're wondering if Jackie O would ever wear animal print, here is photographic proof she would.
So, we have come to the end of our epic journey....the Little Black Dress.  Perhaps not as famous for her choice of a LBD as, say, Audrey Hepburn, our First Lady in question sure knew how to make one work. I especially like the one in the above picture - completely appropriate for the wife of the President and yet stunning none the less (though I think in the modern day we'd ramp up the jewelry and the shoes just a bit.)  The bottom two dresses are different.  The one on the left is presumably still during the Presidency and it is a more formal event. But I like the deeper dip in the neckline. You can see her jewelry and her toned arms. This is Jackie O outside a boatneck!  Huzzah!  On the right is something entirely different. This is later in life (probably in the 70s - a google image back search couldn't turn up an origin) but her tastes have matured and she has been freed to be more sexy and fashion forward. Despite all that, and in the middle of the fashion....adventures that were the 70s.....she still looks classy and timeless. She could turn up to a gallery opening today in any of these looks and look in place - and in the end, isn't that the goal? (Well not always, but sometimes. Probably not with Lady Gagas meat dress.)
T by Tadashi Off the Shoulder Bandage Dress at Nordstroms ($138 - also available in red and blue - this dress is presented in honor of Ms. O's sexy later years.  Because having Jackie O as your style icon doesn't mean being prim and proper forever.... sometimes it means off the shoulder bandage dresses.  That's what we are remembering with this dress. ;-].)
David Meister Illusion Top Cocktail Dress at Neiman Marcus ($161 - I like this dress a lot - I feel like its classy with just a bit of sex appeal, just like Jackie.  It would be great for a formal work cocktail party type thing or as a guest as a wedding. Its screaming for dangly earrings, bangles, and brightly colored shoes [and possibly an opera length necklace, if it doesn't mess with the effect of the neckline.])
Bridge V-Neck Dress in Black from Reiss ($240 - also available in red - I feel like this picture likely does not do this dress justice. But it is the ideal sheath dress for fancy occasions, the perfect blank slate on which to build your jewelry and shoes and hair and make-up; with the up-side being that you can wear it to work as well. Also if you click through you'll see the back dips down just a little, which I really like as a detail. To bad the picture is so terrible.)
Kate Spade New York Lorelei Dress in "black/clotted" at Piperlime ($248 - okay my budget is all out of control on these....look at them as long term goals?  Sorry.  But I love the checkered design on this one and the pockets and the classic shape.  I also think it would be wildly flattering on someone with a slightly curvy figure [I say that as someone with a slightly but not super curvy figure....if that makes sense.])
JS Collection Peek-a-boo lace Cap Sleeve Fit and Flare Dress at Edressme ($270 - so I was trying to avoid lace, mostly because I feel like we're all going to look back at this period in 10 years and wonder if there was something in the water that made us all have a lace fetish, but everything else about the cut, the shape, and the fit of this dress is lovely...so here ya go.)
Carmen Marc Valvo Crepe Bottom Cocktail Dress at Bergdorg Goodman ($226 - so - I won't lie, this is only available in a size 6 - but I just think its lovely so I'm sharing it anyway. If any of my other readers are a size 6 and are looking to add something in the same style to their wardrobe, this might be a good match for you!)
So that's all she wrote folks. Did I miss any clear "Jackie O" necessary wardrobe elements? If so, give Reader KG a heads up in the comments! And I'm glad to be back - I missed you all!!  Look forward to hear from all of you going forward over the next few days/weeks. And since I couldn't share ALL the amazing photos of Jacqueline Kennedy-Onassis I found during the making of this post, I will leave you with just a few more (clearly its too bad I don't have the picture of her looking shocked/terrified from when my great-uncle jumped out and took her picture on her wedding day.....)
 
Reader SunnyD submitted over at Tumblr:

I need a pair of nude mary janes/t-strap pumps for the office.  They must have a heel that isn’t too thin (I prefer more blocky heals due to a prior ankle injury) and no more than 3-4”.  And I can’t find any anywhere.  Help!

So - future submitters - try to remember that you are going to get better answers if your questions include a size and price range (and in the case of nude for you shoes, an example of a shoe that is the right "tone" of nude.)  But - without that information, I will soldier on for you SunnyD - because nude Mary Janes or T-Straps sound cute.  And I feel confident we can find you something.  So let us begin shall we?

Fluevog Laura Evan's Patent gray and yellow t-strap pump at Amazon ($209.25 - most sizes available - oddly enough I'm starting with one that doesn't answer the prompt really.  But its the last one I'm posting and its probably my favorite.  It's just not a nude mary jane.  Oops.  I'm going rogue again!)
Sanzia Success Mary Jane Pump at Amazon ($38.08 - limited sizes - the reviews are - how do you say - terrible.  But at this price, it might be worth a look see if its available in your size, especially if this is nude for you.  I like she shape of the heel and its a nice height from the look of it.)
Me Too Lakota Mary Jane Pump in baby pink at Amazon ($50.22-82.95 - available in a variety of sizes.  For many white women, light pink shoes can work as a nude shoe so this could be a nice option.  I like the detail of the shiny cap toe and the solid heel which is 3".)
Fidji Women's Mary Jane Pump in tuc taupe at Amazon ($185 - so I think the taupe is only available in some sizes and it looks like you'd end up paying the full price, but I think this is an interesting enough shoe that I might consider it if it fits in with your style.  The reviews are very good, and while the taupe is nice, I have to say the other colors - especially the rust - are fabulous.  For people with a more rustic, or elven (as one reviewer noted) sensibility - these shoes would be perfect.)
Vaneli Ikeda Truffle Suede self button pump at 6PM ($69.99 - most sizes available - not sure if suede is an option you're willing to consider - or what color these really are in person but I kind of like the wider strap with the bigger button.  The shape isn't my favorite in the world, but they'd probably be super comfortable.)
Journee Collection Patent Leather Mary Jane Pump in Beige Patent at Amazon ($19.99 - only in size 7 - otherwise a great shoe, 3.25 inch wider heels on a "comfort" shoe with good reviews.  If you like it, see if your size is available elsewhere?)
Naturalizer 'Estelle' Pump in Onyx Beige and Black at Nordstroms ($84.95 - most sizes available - I kind of assume you won't want a nude/black combo - but I think these are so cute I'm throwing them in here.  Plus I bet they'd be really comfy.)
Franco Sarto Instinct mary-jane in brandy at 6PM ($47.99 - most sizes available - I thought this would be a great nude option for some of my readers of color - its a beautiful shoe, I think the chunky heel is nicely balanced by the pointed toe and the textured shoe - and the shade is lovely.  A beautiful shoe over all in my opinion.)
So what have we learned from this post - there are not as many nude Mary-Janes with stacked or chunky heels on the market as you'd expect.  And second - please send in your size and price and tone preferences (especially with nude shoes) - otherwise I'm shooting a bit blind.  

P.S. For SunnyD and other tumblr readers - if you want to do me a big favor and submit future questions through the Vicarious Shopping Questions form on this page (see the tabs on the top) it helps me out a lot and allows me to keep track of what questions come in and what I've answered!  So thanks!!
 
EDITOR'S NOTE TO MY OTHER READERS BEFORE WE GET STARTED:

Do you enjoy this blog? Would you like to have me help you revamp your wardrobe or get all your Christmas shopping done in August?  Well - then you should enter my contest!  Remember, all you have to do is (1) promote this blog on any social media platform or website, (2) send me proof of such promotion to tcfkag@gmail.com, and (3) wait to see if your name is one of the three lucky names drawn to win the raffle for my personal shopping services performed via e-mail.  Click through to the link just above here to see the full description but most important important take-away: 
  • IF YOU HAVE ALREADY PROMOTED TCFKAG SHOPS FOR THE PROMOTION, SEND ME AN EMAIL WITH A SCREENSHOT OR A LINK! 
  •  IF YOU HAVEN'T PROMOTED TCFKAG SHOPS - YOU SHOULD TOTALLY DO THAT (REMEMBER THAT FACEBOOK COUNTS) BECAUSE THE DEADLINE IS FAST APPROACHING.  
  • THE CONTEST ENDS AT MIDNIGHT ON MAY 30th!!!!  
  • And now we return to our regularly scheduled programming.


Reader AW is looking for a guiding hand
:

Hi, TCFKAG. I love your blog. I had a baby 3 months ago and my feet grew from a size 10 to an 11 wide. I work for the federal government and I would like to purchase a few pairs of comfortable, dressy flats--preferably almond toe-- under $120. Something like these Bandolino Genie flats. I've been looking for black, brown, navy and nude (beige). I like patent material and embellishments, although those things aren't a "must". Thank you for your time TCFKAG. 

For those shopping along at home, here are the (very nice, in my opinion) navy and/or black flats from Bandolino that Reader AW likes so much.  I think they would be great for my readers without size 11W feet - they are a beautiful, professional flat with just enough something, something to prevent them from being too grandmotherly (we can't all be Macklemore.)
So I have got to say, your feet growing and widening after child birth is definitely a mixed blessing.  On the one hand, all new shoes!  On the other hand, you now have feet that would make excellent flippers (my 16 year old swimmer self is totally envious by the way.)  But moving on, those Bandolino's seem quite nice - too bad they don't come in either an 11 OR a wide.  [Insert me shaking my fist at the shoe gods here.]  But I'm sure I can find you some options you like.  I'll try to fit all your preferred color needs - but if I come across another color you might like [cough gray cough] I'll make an executive decision and throw it in there.  One other last minute thought - would you consider a loafer or oxford (they are super in right now).  If so, you might consider looking at men's shoes - many retailers, like Cole Haan for example, make absolutely beautiful oxfords and even some loafers that would look lovely on women and a size 9 wide (or possibly even regular) width men's shoe would be MUCH easier to come by.
Vaneli Serene quilted flat with patent toe-cap at Zappos ($125) - a bit expensive but for some reason I'm very drawn to these.  They have the patent toe cap you like and the quilting is very classic.  They come in a variety of color combinations between the shoes and the toe cap.  Reviews are quite good.
Naturalizer Valya Pump in Inky Navy at Amazon ($68.99 - navy patent leather - the only color left in your size but also navy which you do need!  So, there are a few Naturalizer options in this post, I am not a secret shill for them, but as a brand they seem a good option for those with wide feet.)
Walking Cradles Women's Ringo Ballerina Flat at Amazon ($130 - a bit above budget but the one review says they are like "walking on air" - and I like that they are simple but with a little bling.)
Hush Puppies Candid Wedge in tan at Amazon ($49.99 - so, I bought the coral and cream version of this shoe a couple of weeks ago and I love them.  They are so comfortable, SO comfortable.  I don't ever notice it has a wedge and I wear them basically everywhere.  They come in lots of colors but I thought you'd like the tan for your brown shoe option, trust me on this ... you should DEFINITELY check these out.  Oh - AND you'd be paying $10 less than I did two weeks ago, which at that point was $20 less than everyone else was charging so you'd be getting a deal!  Seeing the price go down again just makes me want to buy them in two or three more colors!!)
Naturalizer Women's Heath Flat at Amazon ($59.99 in the color shown - this comes in several colors including black and an AWESOME gray or brown tweed which would be AMAZING for winter.  But I love this pewter and I think it would be a great workhorse in your wardrobe so I'm suggesting it.  But there's only one left in stock as of tonight so....get on that if you want it!  Otherwise check out the black version which is also pretty amazing.)
Ros Hommerson Metro flats in Camel Kid from 6PM ($59.99 - not sure what shade is actually nude for you, but I hope these are close, if they are I like the bow with some subtle shine and they may breathe for summer.
Naturalizer Vision Flat in Inky Navy at Amazon ($69.95 - another Naturalizer where only navy is available but its cute and I wanted to give you another navy option so - here it is.)
Comfortview Ava Pump in the natural cognac combo at Amazon ($29.77)
Aerosoles Teashop Ballet Flats in red tweed at Amazon ($59.99 - maybe not for summer but once fall roles around I think these flats would be amazing and a great office shoe - probably one of those surprise workhorse items.)
Bass Women's Bedford Skimmer in red at Amazon ($69 - available in black also - love the classic styling but I think the red brings it into the modern world.  A very nice looking option.)
Naya Ava Dark Pink/Dark Venom Floral Flat at 6PM ($64.99 - this bottom row is for shoes that you might not need but you may never have known you wanted - since, you know, my bottom row is where I go rogue.  Anyway, I thought these floral flats are fun as all get out and would be great for going out to drinks or dinner or even to a casual wedding or cocktail party.  Fun way to add a pop of color to an all black ensemble as well!)
Giorgio Brutini Men's Loafer in wine at Amazon ($52.95 - men's wear inspired loafers and oxfords are all the rage right now in women's shoes - why not go straight to the source?  This loafer is lovely, it looks well constructed, and the color is to die for.  And of course a men's size 9 is easier to find - plus I wonder if you'd even BE a wide in men's shoes.)
Ross Hommerson Monet peep-toe flats with polka dots at 6PM ($34.99 - because everyone needs fancy shoes, right?)

So that's all she wrote, at least for now.  Reader AW, I know it took me a bit of time to get back to you, so I hope I'm not too late and you haven't already found all your new shoes.  Either way - going forward - I hope these ideas will help!  Also, just a general tip, I found in my searching that the Endless/Amazon site and the 6PM site had the most options for cute wide shoes (Zappos was pretty disappointing actually).  So - hope that info is helpful going forward.
 
Reader NYNY writes in from a mysterious location and asks: 

Hi TCFKAG! I've been on a quest for some time with no success: I'm looking for red pumps in leather that isn't patent. I don't know why, but all I can find is patent, which always gives me blisters.  Add in that I fear red patent tends to look strippery - but that may be my office, where several staff members wear stripper shoes all the time (like these Qupid Neutral Platform Pump).  I wear a 7.5 or 8, prefer closed toe for year-round wear, like a 3 inch heel but would go up or down an inch, and want no or minimal platform. I'm willing to spend up to $150ish for the right pair. I frequently wear a lot of black, grey, and navy, and I've long loved wearing red shoes with a fairly neutral outfit. But I just can't find them lately. Can you help?

So - I'm going to start by addressing one issue in your letter - I'm fairly uncomfortable with the declaration that all patent leather shoes are "strippery" (or actually that any shoes are "stripper" shoes unless a woman is wearing them to dance on stage while taking off her clothes - but that's another matter entirely.)  But, what I'm not uncomfortable with is saying that certain shoes aren't necessarily work appropriate and are best saved for going out to clubs or bars or wherever else you want to wear them, and I think the platform pumps you linked to fall firmly into that category.  Here's why - I think work shoes can have one (or even two) of the following things: high heel, platform, bright color, patent leather, embellishment, or peep toe (know your office) - but if there are more than two of those on a given pair of shoes, you should think long and hard about whether the shoes you are holding are work appropriate.  But, moving on, I don't have to agree with you that patent is non-work appropriate by nature to understand that it may not be your style or preference - so I'm happy to help you find a nice, non-patent red pump (and I agree, they can be a real bitch to find.)  So let's give it a try, okay?
Cole Haan Juliana Leather Pump at Lord & Taylor ($109.99 ! - great price and beautiful shape - a great option!)
Nine West Selene Pump in red leather at Amazon ($48 - the reviews on this pump are decidedly mixed but it comes in so many colors that its hard not to recommend sometimes.)
Guess Rolenas Leather Pump at Lord & Taylor ($52.49 - I enjoy the color is "blood orange" - its RED - sorry, Project Runway joke.)
Kelsi Dagger Lillian Curved Leather Pump at Neiman Marcus, Last Call ($47.40 - clearly a bit too high, but so bad ass looking I'm sharing it. I love the curved side, my favorite heels have that and its beautiful.
Suede Leather Pumps in red at Mango Outlet ($54.99 - I know suede wasn't your first choice but the price is sure right on these and the shape is lovely.)
Naturalizer Clava Pump in dark venom leather (!) at 6PM ($31.99 - great shape and I like a darker red - and the price sure is right.  The reviews on other websites, if you google it, are great so this would be a really great option. Also best color name or best color name?)
And now for my tradition of a couple of less rule bound options:
Tahari Zoe Patent Leather Pointed-Toe Pumps in coral at Lord & Taylor ($59.99 - I *love* the shape on these and thought the color is called coral it looks like its a reddish coral.  Even though its called patent leather, it looks like these would be beautiful for the office in the spring and summer.)
Frye Regina High Heels in vintage red at Zappos ($188 - I love the shape and color of these - for a high heel these would be amazingly comfortable I bet.  Seriously.  There's a lower version too.)

EDITOR'S NOTE: Have you entered the promotional contest yet?  HAVE YOU?  And if you have, did you remember to send me the email documenting your entry?  Without the email I won't know how many people to enter in the raffle!!  So promote away dear readers - and then send me an e-mail at tcfkag@gmail.com with a screenshot or link showing your awesome efforts.  :-)  You are all awesome.  Thumbs up!
 
Reader KG writes:

Hi TCFKAG! I'm attending an outdoor wedding next month that will be filled with a ton of my old high school friends. I've been searching for the perfect dress for a little while, and could use some help. I'm really looking for a 20s/Gatsby inspired dress. I found this one: Floating on Air Dress - hopefully no one buys the one medium they have left before you get a chance to answer! 

My first question is whether it's appropriate for the wedding? I'm particularly worried about the color - is it too light/close to white? If it's appropriate, how would you style it? In particular, what about shoes?

While we at it (or if it's not right for a wedding), any suggestions for similar dresses? I'm normally size small/2 and very light colored/pale. For this dress, the $50 range is really my budget because I don't think I'd wear it very much.


Before I get started with answering - here's the dress in question.
I'll answer your first question first - I think its probably fine for a wedding.  On the website it is described as "sky-blue" and it looks fairly blue here, so I think on the color you're probably safe.  In terms of appropriateness otherwise, I think its lovely - though its maybe hinging a tiny bit on the dowdy side (I wish there was another color there.)  I would definitely want to punch it up with some fun accessories and shoes to add a little bit of color and maybe even sparkle to it - but overall I think its a nice look.  So first, let me offer up some shoe possibilities and a couple of jewelry options - then I will move on to a few other similar scallop dresses for your consideration.
Enzo Aglioni Maiven Shoes at Macy's ($49.99 - I like the idea of a textured metallic - gives a little shine to the outfit while still being classic and not too crazy.)
Pour La Victoire Case Mary-Jane Pump in Teal ($39.99-$249.99 - I think a mary-jane or a t-strap pump would be a great way to reference the era of the dress without being too literal.)
Vince Camuto Lexis Pump at Designs by Stephene ($49.99 - these might be a little too high for you - and I'm not sure how you feel about the studded look - but I love the idea of a bright cobalt or navy shoe - I think a second shade of blue with this look would be awesome.)
(If you like any of these specifically but want a different, similar recommendation, let me know.)
Inlaid Hexagon Cuff at Lori's of Chicago ($36.95 - I like the idea of adding some color in a bracelet - either coordinated with the shoes or in a contrasting but still friendly color - purple would be another nice option.)
Tortoise Box Bead Necklace from Forever 21 ($9.80 - check out all their options - they have amazing sales now.)
Lacquered Twist Necklace in green and gold from Forever 21 ($6.80)

As far sa other dresses - I didn't see much that I thought was particularly good in your aesthetic and in your price range.  Readers, have you seen any similar dresses that you particularly like?  And KG if you decide not to go with this dress, come on back and I'm sure I can find you something else.  Hope these ideas help - and have fun at the wedding!
 
Sun dresses for summer are so fun....and I love this dress from Patagonia - the Margot Dress in "Palm Fronds/Dragonfruit" at 6PM for $41.99 (comes in several designs/colors).  Here are a few more fun summer weekend day dresses that I've seen around the internet recently that I think you all might like.
Emily and Fin Strawberry Print Dress from Asos ($54.90 - so cute and free shipping both ways.)
Riviera Romance Dress at Modcloth ($53.99 - would look so cute with a jean jacket or a moto jacket.)
Bobeau Drape Neck Maxi Dress at Nordstroms ($43.49 - cute and comfy looking)
Vibrant Paisley Maxi Dress from Forever 21 ($29.80 - I'd definitely add a belt - maybe in brown or red.)
Merona Rugby Shirt Dress ($22.99 - available in blue and white also - one good customer review).

Now...clearly....if you are buying a cute dress for bumming around in the summer...you need cute new sandals, yes?  Here are a few options!
Merona Essie Woven Upper Slide Sandal at Target ($19.99 - cute, cheap, various colors, and well reviewed.)
Rieker Fanni sandals in gray at Zappos ($105 - the lower wedge might make it more comfortable for many.)
Nude woven mini wedge sandals at Dorothy Perkins ($49 - also come in a woven metallic that are cute.)

Okay...thats just a few sandals for now.  I'm sure I'll post some more soon.  Hope you like them!  Oh summer - I love you so.