#TuesdayShoesday: Fabulous Shoes You can Wear to a Reunion

5 05 2015

You guys! This week marks the 10 year anniversary of my graduation from Howard University. I mean, what?! I can’t even begin to believe my friends and I are celebrating our 10 year reunion for undergrad, but this is where we are. But here’s the thing about Howard, and probably many other schools — it’s always a fashion show, especially for special events, and even more especially for special events for alumni.

Which means if you’re going to make an entrance and attempt to wow the folks you haven’t seen since you all wore your caps and gowns, you absolutely have to get your shoes right. Now, I don’t know each person’s personal shoe style (although I may do a post soon on how to determine your own), but I do know good shoes. So if you have a reunion coming up soon, and you’re still searching for the best statement shoes to slide on your feet, below I’ve listed a few options I found and fell in love with recently.

Oh and great news — the prices range from $25 to $350, so you don’t necessarily have to break the bank to step out in style.

Check out the shoes below and let me know what you think!

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Do you all have a reunion of some sort coming up this year? If so, have you picked out your shoes yet? And will you be trying to purchase any of the ones in this slide show?


A Birthday Surprise: A Shoe Story

29 05 2013
Shown - Aldo nude slingbacks worn by Darby

Shown – Aldo nude slingbacks worn by Darby

“Hey beautiful. Happy Birthday.”


I smiled. Standing before me was the guy I’d been sorta kinda dating for a couple months, picking me up for a birthday date from my appointment at the hairdresser. I hadn’t really expected much from him since we hadn’t known each other that long – but there he was, flowers and card in hand and looking – dare I say, nervous? It was really sweet… the kind of thing that makes you want to go from sorta kinda dating someone to actually dating him. The kind of thing that makes you happy you wore those nude slingback heels from Aldo instead of the flats you’d contemplated about that morning. The kind of thing that just puts a big smile on your face.

If only the date had stopped there.

“Thank you,” I replied, leaning in to give him a big hug.

“You’re welcome. I had to do something, right? I know how big of a birthday person you are.”

He’d been listening, I thought to myself. So even though I’d been nervous about this date all day, suddenly – I was put at ease. Surely, he wouldn’t do anything to make this night go badly.

We walked to his car – me still so surprised at the effort he’d put into things and basking in the glow of my flowers and the card that strategically had his name on the front.  The effort, unfortunately, hadn’t extended to his outfit, which included a white t-shirt, jeans, and kicks, but hey – I guess you can’t expect perfection, right? The only problem was that since I’d decided to wear those heels and my khaki shift dress that day, we looked like quite the odd couple – a fact that even while basking in my glow, I couldn’t quite shake.

He opened the car door and showed me that the surprises weren’t over yet. Waiting for me on my seat was a pretty, round birthday cake with my name on it in beautiful handwriting, just urging us to dig in. Yep, at that point – I was good to go. I picked up the cake, slowly made my way into the seat and then leaned over to open the door for him while he walked over to the driver side.

I was excited now and couldn’t wait to see what would happen next.

Since he’d bought a cake, my first thought was that we were going to go near the Potomac or by the monuments or even to the National Harbor to sit around, hang out and enjoy the weather, and eat this cake that was now calling my name. But as he continued to drive, I realized that thought was wrong.

“So where are we going,” I eventually asked.

“Don’t worry. You’ll be happy about it.”

“Well, I was just wondering because we have this cake we need to eat, but we don’t seem to be heading near any place where we would actually eat it.” I chuckled – one of those “now I’m actually getting nervous” kind of chuckles.

“Don’t worry. We’re going some place nice to sit and eat dinner,” he said. “I can’t have you outside in that dress and those heels.”

“Okay,” I replied. I was still worried, though.

Twenty minutes later, we pulled up to a restaurant that looked nice, but also looked to be slightly out of his price range.

“This is where we’re going?”

“Yep – nice, right?”


You could probably see the butterflies flittering in my stomach. Sure, I was a big birthday person, but I certainly didn’t want him to spend this kind of money on someone who didn’t even consider him her man.

I didn’t say anything, though, and just followed him into the restaurant, noticing even more now the difference in our clothing choices. Who decides to bring someone to a fancy restaurant in a white t-shirt and kicks, I thought to myself. I was also now acutely aware of everything. I could hear the difference between the click clacking of my heels on the pavement and the sliding, slightly swooshy sound his sneakers and jeans made. And I noticed the way the hostess looked at me and then him and then back at me in confusion as if to say, “really girl?”

But I remembered his comments to me in the car – “Don’t worry.” So I happily (at least outwardly) walked with him to our table and slid into the booth, making sure not to trip on my heels as I walked or expose my “Britney” when I sat.

The beginning started off nice enough. We ate and talked about what we’d done so far during the day, laughing about everything and nothing at the same time. And while there were moments that were really good, for the most part, things had been off from the moment we walked into the restaurant. I couldn’t put my finger on it, but he was just… different. He’d started reverting to class clown antics whenever the waitress came by to see about us, to the point that I felt the need to apologize to her on a few occasions. And he made more than a couple comments about how I just had to wear my heels that night and show him up. He’d laugh while saying it, but I could tell he really meant it.

I was confused.

Did this man not know me? Because of course I was going to wear heels for something that was pitched to me as a birthday dinner, unless I was explicitly told not to. And further more, if anyone was dressed inappropriately for our surroundings, it certainly wasn’t me! I mean, what the hell?!

The more the dinner went along, the more frustrated and annoyed I grew. What had happened to the sweet guy who’d picked me up a couple hours before then? Who was this person sitting in front of me, chip on his shoulder, not confidant at all, and taking swipes at the waitress every chance he could get? Finally, after realizing that this dinner date was becoming too painstakingly awful for either of us, we asked for the check.

While he was looking at the bill, I sat and watched his reaction – not because I was expecting one, but because there was one so significantly happening in front of me. He was clearly flustered. And in one minute, he’d looked at the bill a few times, looked in his wallet, looked at the bill again, and then looked in his wallet again – like someone continuing to open the refrigerator even though they know there’s nothing in there they want. I couldn’t take it anymore.

“Is there a problem?”

“Uhhh, yea……… I don’t think I have enough to pay for this.”

“Wait, what??”

“I don’t… I don’t think I have enough to pay for this.”

“But you picked… ”

He interrupted me. “I know.”

“So how…”

“I just don’t.”

“But you said, don’t worry!”

“I know.” His head was down. I’m sure it was humiliating for him. And I wasn’t sure if I felt sorry for him or if I was angry at the position he’d put us in or both.

“Well, how much are you missing,” I asked – now acutely aware I was about to pay for my own birthday dinner that I didn’t even ask for.

“About 50.”

“50 dollars?”


Oh, it was definitely more of the latter. Especially because his calculation of lacking $50 didn’t begin to include the tip.

“Fine,” I said and pulled out my credit card, handing the bill back to the waitress with his money and my credit card now in the folder.

“I’m really sorry.” His voice had turned to almost a whisper at this point. I cared, but I was still pretty upset.

“Uh huh. It’s fine.”

We moved in silence the rest of the night – from the walk back to the car to the ride home. When he finally pulled up to my apartment complex, I picked up my flowers, card, and cake, thanked him for night, and stepped out of the car – no hug, no smile back, and certainly no kiss to end the night. As far as I was concerned, me and my heels (that I’d supposedly worn to show him up that night) had had enough of him, and I just wanted to go upstairs and try to enjoy the last couple hours I had left of my day.

Sandal Season is Here!

29 04 2013
Photo Credit: Victoria's Secret

Photo Credit: Victoria’s Secret

Spring isn’t just for dating; it’s also the season for sandal wearing! So that means it’s time to get out your favorite nail colors, get those pedicures, and pop on your best sandals while the sun is shining down on all of your activities. But Spring can also mean shopping for you (like it does for me), and the best things to get right now are … you guessed it, sandals!

Here are some of my faves I’ve peeped recently: there’s a mixture of heels and flats, sparkles and bedazzles, prints and solids – but they’re all fabulous and potentially statement making.

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Are there any sandals you have your eye on these days? And what are some of your go-to nail colors to wear with them?

My Fav Fall Shoes for 2012

12 10 2012

Photo: Victoria’s Secret

It’s officially fall now, and if your weather is anything like mine, you’ve started to feel a bit of a breeze outside. Maybe the leaves have started falling all around you and you’ve started figuring out what jackets you want to wear this season. But more importantly, you’re also wondering what fall shoes you should add to your closet.

Well, to help with this I’ve pulled out a few I think are good for this year. Check them out below and see if there are any you’d be interested in getting.

Madden Girl Zulah Riding Boot

This equestrian-chic boot can be purchased for less than $80 from Victoria’s Secret.

Zigi Soho Spree Bootie

DSW offers these fancy booties for $80 in cobalt blue, black, and ruby red.

Aldo Yodis booties

You can get these cognac booties from Zappos for $100.

Vice Versa Over the Knee Wedge

Get these over the knee soft leather wedges on sale for $100 from Bakers.

BP Mansion Flat

For those looking for a fall boot alternative, these tweed flats from Nordstrom can do just the trick. Get these for $60.

What do you all think? Would you get any of these? And what’s your fav shoes to wear in the fall?

The Power of the Pump: On How a Well Paired Pump can Dress Up Any Outfit you Own

9 07 2012

Photo: Aldo Arnoldoa Pumps

Take a look at those nude pumps (pictured above) for a second. They’re simple. No embellishments. Nothing that screams “pay attention to me!” They’re just a plain, nude, tapered-toe, leather pump with a 4.25 in heel. And yet, if you were to add those heels to any casual outfit, they would instantly turn up the volume of that outfit at least 3 notches.

Don’t believe me? Okay, let’s go through this then.

I’m lucky. I happen to work in an environment where the clothing can be pretty casual. So unless I have a meeting with some “special” external partners, my wardrobe tends to vacillate between very business casual and casual cute. What does this mean? It means that you may find me wearing a pair of red skinny jeans to work with layered tank tops, a navy blue cardigan and pearls or a cute yellow and white plaid summer dress or even a pair of black wide legged pants, tank top and a blazer.

And with every single one of those options, I can choose to either wear some flats or a pair of heels. If I choose to wear the flats (for whatever reason it may be that day), I know that my look (yes, even the black pants and blazer look) is 20 X more casual than if I wear the heels. When I wear the heels, I notice the different reactions I garner from my co-workers. Instantly, I’m more refined and more put together. I could have my signature summer bun in, but they want to pull me into a meeting to discuss or describe some kind of best practices in creating a particular manual or document.

I notice the difference and so should you. Now, I understand that not every woman is comfortable wearing high heels. I’ve had a lot of practice because I’ve been 5’1 for at least the past 15 years. But I do think that you should have at least a few options in your closet for the times when you need to instantly dress up an outfit.

You may be wondering why the pump dresses up your outfit. I think it’s for various reasons, but these first three come to mind:

A) You walk differently when you have on  a pair of heels. Your walk is straighter, which usually positions your head higher and most importantly, your stride conveys that you are one confident woman. (If your stride does not convey that, read the tips here and practice, practice, practice around your home first.) And finally, your legs look amazing in them!

B) A pump is sleeker than many of the styles out right now, such as the gladiator and platform heels. You may find a pump that has other elements in it, such as one of my favs – my reptilian pointed toe heels from Aldo, but the idea behind a pump is to convey femininity and strength at the same time. Those elements rub off onto your outfit, and now anything you have on is also conveying femininity and strength.

C) I have a mentor that calls her pumps the “pearls on her feet.” And she’s right. Just like pearls, a great pair of pumps makes an outfit look dressier because it is a dressy accessory.

For those who still doubt me, go home, try on any outfit in your closet with a pair of sandals and then a pair of heels, and look in the mirror. You’ll instantly see the power of the pump when you do.

Happy 4th of July! (Tips on Finding the Best Shoes for BBQ-Hopping)

4 07 2012

Photo: The white loafers I’ll be wearing on the 4th of July.
Shoes: Aldo BLYE flats / Image: Me!

There are some holidays where it’s just kind of expected that you’ll hop around to different parties. The Fourth of July is one of those holidays. So while it happens to fall on a Wednesday this year, that’s no need to find yourself ill-prepared shoe-wise for what will probably be a long food-filled day for many of us.

Here are some tips to ensuring you have the best shoes to fit your bbq fancy:

Make sure your shoes are comfortable first…

I know that there are many of us who forsake comfort for beauty, but when you’re planning to stand around at bbqs/cookouts all day, this is not the time for such antics. And contrary to popular belief, you can find shoes that are both cute and comfortable; it just takes practice in knowing what works best for your foot. For example, if you’re at a shoe store, I would suggest that you try on BOTH shoes and walk around the store for at least 2 minutes before purchasing them. A 30 second seated try on of just your right foot does not give you an accurate idea of what you’ll be dealing with in normal circumstances.

Then make sure they’re cute…

This should be obvious, but you’d be surprised how many times I see women walking around with either shoes that are ugly or shoes that leave me feeling bleh. Trust me, one is no greater evil than the other. Your shoe should always make a statement… even if it’s a simple black or tan pump (ps: the best shoes don’t need to have a bunch of embellishments to stand out). So before you walk out of that house, look down at your feet, and if those shoes don’t look like a random person would come by and compliment you on them – go back and change.

And FINALLY, why not pick it up a notch and make sure they make a statement!

Like I said, I believe your shoes should always make a statement… but there’s a difference between a statement and a statement. That gold lamé gladiator sandal with crystal embellishments that you’ve been dying to wear, those are a statement honey. But it doesn’t even have to be anything that fancy if that’s not your style – picking it up a notch is just about wearing something that stands out in the crowd. And if you’re good enough, makes your entire outfit pop.

I’ll be wearing those white loafers with gold studs (pictured above) that I just recently purchased from Aldo for the 4th, because they fit all three criteria for me. If you’re anything like me, the best way to plan your outfit is to start with your shoes and then everything seems to fall into place. With that said, what are some of the looks you all will be going for today?

Get WEDGED up!

14 05 2012

The other day, I wrote about how I recently purchased two pairs of wedges even though it’s not typically a style I gravitate to – something about how they tend to lean towards being chunky and tacky tends to turn me off – but since then, I’ve seen my fair share of really cute ones out and about.

So in honor of those shoes (and to jump start the blog back into a 3 posts a week format), here are 8 wedges I found online that I would recommend.Many of them are perfect for the new warmer weather we’ve been getting on the East Coast lately, and some are just classics that can be worn at any time of the year:

Jessica Simpson Colorblock peep toe – Victoria’s Secret

With a 5 3/4″ wedge heel and a 1 3/4″ platform, these imported suede wedges can be purchased from Victoria’s Secret’s online catalog for $110.

Marina Liege T-Strap Wedge by Christian Louboutin

These Christian Louboutin wedges can be found at Neiman Marcus for the low price (for CL’s – at least) of $675. The t-straps with button closure have a 5 1/2″ cork wedge heel and 1 1/4″ platform, and also have the signature red sole.

STREMLOW wedges by Aldo

These tribal-influenced wedges have a 4 in platform and can be purchased from Aldo for $80. The platform wedge has an almond toe and a braided rope sole.

Vail Patent Leather d’Orsay Wedges by Michael Kors

For $195, you can get these classic KORS Michael Kors wedges from Neiman Marcus. It has dipped sides and leather lining and insole.

West Coast Wardrobe Wedges from Boutique To You

Boutique To You, an online store, offers these cute West Coast Wardrobe Neon Heights Wedges for a mere $42.

L.A.M.B. Inesa from Zappos

With leather lining, upper, and sole, these tan and black wedges will cost you $345. They have a 6 in heel and 2 1/2 in platform.

Bianca Open Toe Wedges by Madewell

Madewell’s Bianca Open Toe Wedges will cost you $178 from online store, shopbop.com. The patent leather pumps have a 3.75 in heel.

Calcagni Wedges from Aldo

Aldo offers these particular wedges in numerous colors, including fuscia (pictured), purple, beige, red, peach, yellow, and black. They have a suede/leather upper that wraps over a wedge platform. They also have a 5 in heel with a 1 1/2 platform.