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!
| |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.)
| |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.)
| || |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.)
Reader DancingLonghorn queried: Hi! I am a regular Corporette reader. I need to buy a dress for wearing as a wedding guest to weddings both this Fall and next Spring. I like this dress: Helene Dress in liquid jersey. The problem I am having is color. I like both the imperial blue and the crushed berry. I think that the crushed berry would look better on my coloring (and I wear a lot of clothing in that color), but I am worried that it will be difficult to style for a Spring or Summer wedding. What do you think? Do you have any ideas for styling that color for Spring or Summer?First of all, for those playing along at home, this is the dress from J-Crew that DancingLonghorn wants to buy.
My first reaction is that I much prefer the crushed berry to the imperial blue in this case. Generally, I love a good navy as much as the next girl (or even substantially more than the next girl) but I think this navy looks a bit washed out. In contrast, the crushed berry/burgundy is a warm, saturated tone that would be flattering on many skin tones.
Now - to answer your real question - I absolutely think the burgundy can work for both fall and spring - in fact, this shade of burgundy functions as a neutral in my wardrobe along with black, gray, and navy. Different accessories will completely change the look and ensure that the dress is seasonally appropriate for both events. So - for this post - I will put together a collection of accessories, one for fall and one for spring that I think would work well with this dress. Obviously you don't need all of them - but you could consider getting a couple of them (or items like them) to allow the dress to transition smoothly from season to season.
Accessories for the Fall Wedding
| |Natural Copper Earrings by sophisticatedjunkie on Etsy
($23 - these earrings come from a very cool Etsy store. I love the way they've used the copper and its natural color to give it a teal and brown color scheme; it gives it a colorful look but without undermining the rustic feel. Base metals - like copper (or bronze, gunmetal, etc.) are in right now and really read fall to me.)
| |House of Harlow 1960 Serene Serpentine Collar Necklace at Zappos
($75 - this necklace is a bit pricy but its also really cool and really unique. I think the brown is an ideal neutral allowing maximum flexibility with your other accessories. [Note: its called a collar necklace but it isn't a choker or otherwise hit at the collar - not sure why its called that.])
| |Mixed Metal Bangle Set at Ann Taylor Loft
($29.50 - in terms of bracelets for this outfit, I'm keeping it a bit simple. There are tons of mixed metal bangle sets out there but this one has a nice variety and selection. [BTW ASOS has a set
of mixed metal bangles that are literally called vintage 90s bangles
- when did the 90s become vintage?]
| || |Nine West Women's Flax Pump in Blue/Green Suede at Amazon
($69 - I like the idea of mixing teal and burgundy for a fall wedding this year since mixed jewel tones are so in right now. Plus, this pump would be a great addition to any work wardrobe, making it a two-fer. If the teal doesn't do it for you - you could also go with a navy shoe and work the teal in with the jewelry, as shown above, and have the shoes match the wrap. [Or, in the reverse, you could pick a teal wrap to match the shoes, either way really works.])
| |Touch of Nina Beaded Peacock Clutch at Loehmann's
($69.99 - plus an extra 25% off right now. Whenever I recommend teal for an outfit, I always think that peacock accessories should get worked in somehow. This is definitely no exception. This clutch comes in both a black beaded pattern and this white pattern, but in this case I prefer the white. Not only because its gorgeous but also because it can then be used for both the fall and spring weddings easily [and, I predict, many times in between.])
Accessories for the Spring Wedding
| |Giani Bernini 24k Gold over sterling silver earrings at Macy's
($59 - so, there are other, cheaper gold or "gold" jewelry on sale at Macy's right now (not to mention the rest of the internet) but I particularly like these. They are delicate and would also be work appropriate and great for use year round for non-wedding events. I think it goes great with the orange/coral necklace I recommended to the right [or the brown necklace I recommended above for that matter.])
| || |Blu-Bijoux Gold and Coral Stones Stretch Cuff Bracelet at Max & Chloe
($21 - note that this is final sale - so, obviously it is a bit hard to recommend jewelry on-line when you can't tell if the two pieces will match. These may be very different shades or they might match closely. Either way - I like the idea of coral or orange jewelry with the burgundy. I don't think it all has to match exactly as long as its not TOO far off.)
| |Linen Blend Wrap in Gold Artisan from Nordstroms
($28 - you could - of course - use the navy or gray wrap from above for both weddings - but why give up the chance to buy an awesome second golden linen scarf? There's no reason. But seriously, this scarf would be lovely for a spring wedding and throughout the spring.)
| |Nine West Beutie Pump at Macy's
($69.99 - really I think any neutral shoe of your choice would work with this outfit - but I like this pump from Nine West, which could be used either as a "nude for you" or as almost a white shoe rather than nude if its too light for you. Other neutral or light shoes might work too, like a light yellow, or gray, or navy blue, or even the teal shoes from the fall wedding if you want to be frugal.)
So there you go, two completely different outfits to go with one dress. By using these different color schemes and accessories (or something like this) you will evoke entirely different seasons even with burgundy as the same base color. So go forth and party. And let me know if you like what you see! What do you think readers? Do you have a set wedding "uniform" that you wear regardless of season? How do you keep it updated as the seasons pass?
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.
| |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 ET wrote in a really long time ago and asked:Hi! I'm looking for a nice crochet lace dress, preferably with a fitted waist and short sleeves. There's a lot of lace out there right now but nothing that seems quite right. A contrast with the underlay isn't absolutely necessary, but I don't like all white/cream. Cream lace with black/navy/purple underlay, or some dark lace in general would probably be the ideal. I love the black crochet lace with cream underlay of this dress: Wilfred Quai Dress the only issue it being a bodycon that I struggle to get myself into. It's a bit pricier than what I'd like for something I'm not sure about, but am otherwise willing to pay around that much if it's really perfect. I actually would have liked this Maitland Lace Dress from Anthro okay except that the skirt kind of fell flat. I tried it on and it just didn't do anything for me. I'm typically a size 12 if this helps at all. Sorry if I'm giving too many requirements! Thank you!
Okay, reader ET, I'm really sorry this answer is SO belated - I actually sort of hope you've found your dress already. Or that you've successfully phoned home (I'm sorry, I couldn't help myself, literally...couldn't do it.) Anyway - on the off-chance that you haven't - I think I've seen some good ideas out there for you. But first, for those following along at home, here are the dresses Reader ET sent in as examples.
Click through to see actual dress with black underlay - there was no picture of it on the model.
Both of these dresses are pretty - but nothing is wildly special about them. And I do love when retailers use "body-con" to just mean "really tight" instead of what I think it *should* mean, which is form flattering. Ugh. So lets get started on finding better options.
| |Midi Dress in Crochet Lace from ASOS ($64.49 - so the burgundy in the picture is apparently no longer available (boo), but the black version's details didn't show up well so I went with this picture instead. I like that this is fit and flare, though its sleeveless and not contrasting, and the price is right. I recently bought my first "midi" dress form ASOS and I surprisingly like the length, its fun and "twirly, if that makes sense.) | |Eliza J Lace Cap-Sleeve Dress at Dillard's ($106.80 - available in all sizes - I like the light blue crochet with what looks like a silver lining - its not a pairing you see much. I also like the belt to emphasize the fit and flare. I hope its longer than it seems on this model and I also wish the pictures on Dillard's was better so we could see the details better
| |Elie Tahari Lolly Dress in teal/coral at Elie Tahari ($358 - okay, so obviously this is WAY out of budget, BUT, it is also already on half off and all sizes are available at the Tahari site - so the price may drop further. I also think it fits your needs well and when I saw it, it was so pretty I took a picture of it through the store window at the mall.) For anyone who likes this, Muse has a similar but clearly not as cool version.
| |Sonia Black Lace Bodycon Dress from Reiss ($230 - so this is another "splurge" i.e. out of budget dress - though slightly less dramatically so. But I like many things about it, it has the black over cream overlay that you like. Its bodycon, but from Reiss, so it probably means bodycon as in form flattering. And the detailing at the waist and boob area (for lack of a better term) gives almost the effect of a belted dress without actually wearing, you know, a belt. Perhaps it will go on sale?) | |Graceful Gaiety Dress at ModCloth ($164.99 - I adore this dress and there are only two left, but hey, one is in your size ET. I just think this dress would stand out in the best possible way - its vintage but not dated. And the color would look AMAZING on a wide variety of skin tones. I know its not exactly what you came here looking for - but I want to throw it in the mix.)
| |Ivy & Blu for Maggy Boutique Cotton Lace Dress at Nordstroms ($178 - so its hard to tell from the picture - but the description says this dress is a lighter pink lace overlaid on a brighter pink lining. I bet it would look lovely in person. I like the elbow-length sleeves and I'm a sucker for a boat neck. Also, I think with a structured blazer you could probably wear it to work. An interesting option anyway.) | |Hand Crochet Dress from Boden ($187.60 - this was one of the few truly *crocheted* dresses I could find out there - most just being lace with a crotchet like pattern. This is the navy dress, so you can't really see the details, but click over and zoom in and the detailing in the crochet is beautiful. I know its long sleeved, but the sleeves are fairly lightly knitted so they may stay cool for the summer.) | |Suzi Chin for Maggy Boutique sleeveless A-Line dress at Zappos ($169.99 - its really a shame this one is sleeveless because its a really pretty take on this whole contrasting overlay look - the lace/crochet/cutouts are entirely different and the shape is just great. If its not right for you Reader ET, I wonder if other of my readers might like it for summer and spring parties and events ... or Easter Sunday. :-P)
Okay - so those are a lot of options - most of which don't precisely fit your needs but are cute anyway. Let me know if you like them (or if you've already bought something since I'm a slowpoke.) I hope you find something that makes your crochet loving heart go pitter-patter. Good night and good luck.....at the mall. (God I'm such a dork, why do you all come here?)
Reader AW of the longer and wider than average feet wrote back to ask
: Hi TCFKAG, Thanks for helping me with my wide flats request. I noticed that you mentioned that you love navy and berry colors. Those are my base/accent colors too! Would you mind sharing some of your personal favorites? Accessories would be fun too! Sorry for all the ?'s... I wore a military uniform for 10 years and I am slowly trying to build a quality casual/work wardrobe. PS- too shy to share your blog on Facebook, but I did show your blog to my ma and I am thrilled that she is learning to navigate the internet by looking at your blog.So - I'm totally happy to do this - within reason. I can't post pictures of everything in my wardrobe because (a) that'd be insane and (b) mostly because of a. What I am going to do instead is post my favorite go-to items (mostly work though I'll possibly through in a few casual items) - I'll try to find the originals on-line if they are still available for purchase, but if not, I'll find the closest item I can. A couple of provisos, though my personal style has improved dramatically in the past three years or so, I am still far from the most fashionable person in the world (or even in the 10 mile radius around my house.) In fact, I never thought much at all about my wardrobe until I began reading Corporette. It was there that I learned a great deal about the importance of fit, of finding my true waistline and understanding what clothes work with that, and of the impression made on others when certain faux pas are made or when you just generally represent yourself sloppily, and it was also on Corporette that I learned a great deal about how certain contrasting colors complement each other - and learned that I had a good instinct for those types of questions. I also discovered that I had a special talent for what I do here - internet shopping for others when given almost any parameters. This was quite the surprise since nothing in my background or in my personal style would suggest having these skills or having the eye to select the best looking or best quality items if I did find them. [Think these skills sound great and would you like a personalized exposure to my method and some back and forth on results - enter the contest and you will be entered in a raffle just for that. As for my workplace style, I dress to be business appropriate for that office, but with just enough color and flare to give the impression that I have enough self-confidence and dymanism to escape the "office wardrobe" of slacks or a skirt, a button down shirt, or a shell and a cardigan every day. I came to this idea somewhat organically, but if you pay attention long enough to pictures of most powerful female politicians, business people, or non-profit management, they are rarely dressed in just black, gray, or navy. So what I'm saying is - there's a reason this is a shopping blog and not a "fashion" blog where I take pictures of my daily wardrobe (well, that and I'm an attorney hunting for a job...so I guard my internet presence.) Finally, before we get started....HELLO AW'S MOM!!!! Welcome to the crazy world of my mind and the slightly strange hobby that has rescued my budget by allowing me to shop for other people rather than myself. Now on to the clothes!
Silk Shell from Ann Taylor in Plum Brandy ($44 - but not available anymore - see also Ponte Peplum Shell
at AT Loft ($44.50 -
| |Draycott Skirt
from in navy at Boden ($52.80 for this option - prices vary based on color. Fabric is stretchy and soft but utterly professional. I love it.)
Pewter pumps from Bella-Vita
Zappos ($89.95 - two shades of gray) and Cole Haan
at Amazon ($147.48 - very lucky sizes only). I love my pewter shoes, wear them daily basically.
| |Lambswool Navy Blue Blazer at Brooks Brothers
($139.20 - This is on-sale and an pretty damn good deal for BB. I have a very similar blazer to this (linings different) from a couple of years ago. I LOVE it and wear it sometimes 4 days a week. In fact, I kind of want to order this too so I can lessen the load on the first one, plus...POLKA DOTS. Here is a link
to another good looking navy blazer - but I think its in suiting material so less easy to pair with different color bottoms in suiting fabrics..)
| |Signature Silk Dots Shirt from C. Wonder
($128 - so, I have a lovely silk polka-dot button down shirt from Land's End Canvas maybe two or three years ago (?) that was a Corporette recommendation. So its obviously not on sale anymore, but this C. Wonder shirt is similar and I love coral and coral-like pinks in spring and summer. If you want something in red or navy though, I'd check out these great options at Boden.
Nic + Zoe Red Ponte Sheath Dress (no longer available) I just recently saw this Land's End dress
that is VERY similar. The radish or cobalt would both be great with Navy.
Tina Silk Blouse with multi dot print from Pendleton (no longer available - but see the Pendleton blouse I posted below.)
| || |Halogen Seamed Pencil Skirt in Red Beauty from Nordstroms
($41.40 - it seems almost silly to put this up here - but they are the most basic building block of my wardrobe. I don't actually own this color; I own black, slate gray, fuchsia, and cobalt blue. But this color looks pretty on the screen, so I might just add it to my collection!
THINGS I DON'T OWN BUT THAT I WOULD BUY IN A HOT MINUTE
Striped Knit Boat Neck Dress in navy at Banana Republic ($109.99 lucky sizes only on-line but other sizes may be in-store.)
| |Floral Print Blouse from Zara
($49.90 - just think with the navy blazer - might need to have a hook-and-eye closure added on the neckline to raise it a bit.)
| |Capped Sleeve A-Line Dress in sea glass at Talbots
($109 - could wait for it to go on sale since it almost certainly will. I'm including this because I love the sleeves and the waist definition. I also think you should consider pairing this shade of blue with all of the navy in your wardrobe, its a beautiful combo. Add in gold, green, or yellow jewelry and you have a showstopper.)
| |Andrea Tunic at Pendleton
($128 - available in Misses, Petite, and Plus sizes. I like that its a tunic so you can wear it belted as shown or tucked in and I love the pattern and I've been thrilled with the quality of my Pendleton purchase. My only tip would be to keep an eye on it and see if it goes on sale, I got my silk blouse from Pendleton for $29.99. So...maybe don't pay full price?
FUNNY EDITOR'S NOTE:
For my readers who also read Corporette (i.e. a sizable majority of you, I believe, I just saw this suit
at Brooks Brothers while looking for something else and it appears they've also gotten into the long suit jacket "trend" (that I had no idea was coming back.) This one is a MUCH more appropriate office length and I like the light gray color more. It is practically screaming for a belt though. (I'm still not completely sold on this look - despite the fact that Ally McBeal was on television during my formative years and thus influenced my perception of "workplace wear" AND the Cake song "Short Skirt Long Jacket"
that would be stuck in my head all day and make me feel like a BAMF wherever I went.SERIOUS EDITOR'S NOTE:
As you can see, I tried out a new format today. What do you think? Does it work and can you associate the links and notes more easily with the pictures or does it break up the flow too much? Any comments you could give me would be so helpful! Leave it in the comments below and I'll love you forever and ever!
So there you have it people, my sense of style...or else, some snapshot of my sense of style. Noticeably absent are the Captain America pajama pants and my LL Bean sweatshirt robe that I spend an inordinate amount of time in. But we all have our vices, mine just happens to be superhero pajamas. There's nothing wrong with that!
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 email@example.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.)
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?
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
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 firstname.lastname@example.org with a screenshot or link showing your awesome efforts. :-) You are all awesome. Thumbs up!
Reader MJ submitted to my Tumblr and asked:
Hey--MJ from Corporette. I am looking for a white denim jean/pencil skirt which is on the longer side (e.g. not a miniskirt or short pencil skirt). Need size 14. Go! Love the new blog!
First, may I salute your brevity in question asking MJ. Short, sweet, and to the point. I'm assuming you probably mean something with an a-line cut or at least a not to tight pencil skirt (I find tight pencil skirt jean skirts to be wildly uncomfortable.) I may also throw in a couple options in other casual fabrics (maybe a linen or cotton) just in case there are some great options in non-denim jeans. All that being said - lets get to work! (Oh - and thanks for reading the blog and the tumblr - I love all my readers!)
Essential Eyelet Skirt from Forever 21
($19.80 - posting this because the pencil skirt looks more relaxed, no white skirt post is complete without an eyelet option, and the price is totally right ... especially if you think this is going to be a "sometimes wear" item.)Stretch-Cotton Zipper Pencil Skirt at Lord & Taylor
($79 - I like the shape since its a more structured a-line and cotton is a great fabric for summer. Might beat out denim in my book.)Calvin Klein Tweed Pencil Skirt at Lord & Taylor
($89.50 - this is probably not ideal for you Reader MJ - but I'm posting it for my readers who might want a more business casual or networking appropriate pencil skirt. I don't even mind the exposed zipper! Tips for those of you looking for these items, Ann Taylor, the Limited, and WHBM have a bunch of other beautiful white pencil skirts right now if you want to add that item to your work wardrobe.)
Okay MJ....I hope these help. Perhaps you'll think outside the denim box? Though I think these denim options are kind of great. I personally cannot purchase any of these because they would have coffee, tomato sauce, or some other destructive material on them by the end of the day. So I salute you in your ability to wear white. Go forth and shop dear reader.