#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?


Celebrity Shoe Spotlight Follow-up — Tamar Collection

12 03 2015
Photo courtesy of TamarCollection.com

Photo courtesy of TamarCollection.com

If you’ll recall, I actually did a celebrity shoe spotlight on Tamar a couple years ago, but since then she’s started her Tamar Collection line, and wouldn’t you know it — it includes some very stylish shoes! And all for less than $100 a pair.

I think that deserves a follow-up post, no?

One thing I love about Tamar is that she enjoys a fabulous, statement shoe, but she doesn’t like to “spend a lot of coins” on it. I think that’s something we all can appreciate, right? So while you’re waiting for that next tax return check to buy your favorite Christian Louboutins (don’t think I don’t know some of y’all do that), you should take a look below at some of her offerings. I could totally see myself in the nude pump, the bootie, and the black studded sandal (at least!).

What do you all think? Will you be venturing into the Tamar Collection? And if so, which shoes do you have your eye on?

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Shoe Tip: Boot Tricks for Wider Calves

10 12 2014
Photo credit: Me

Photo credit: Me

Like most women, I looove a good boot in the fall/winter. And especially one that goes all the way up my calves. Yes honey!

However, along with my love of shoes, long ago, I was also blessed with larger than normal calves. So it’s a STRUGGLE trying to find boots that fit me that aren’t of the ankle variety. No shade to the ankle boots, but that’s not always the look I’m going for.

Well, three years ago, I lucked up on a pair of grey boots that fit all the way to my knees. It was like a little angel came down and showed me that I, too, could rock cute, flat boots like the rest of the fashionable women out there. And since then, I’ve tried to find other ways to make this fashion staple work. So for any other women out there who have wider calves, I hope these tips I’ve come across help you out as well.

Grommets and Ribbon and Hammers, Oh my: I saw this DIY project on Pinterest (of course) and was a little skeptical, but figured it wouldn’t hurt to try. Lo and behold, after some serious arm work putting the grommets through the material, I came out with rain boots that fit up to my knees with a pretty snazzy design in the back. The plus side — it doesn’t even look like it’s a project done to make the boots wearable! I’ve received several compliments just walking down the street on my boots (and not just from women with wider calves).

Don’t forget your local cobbler: I talked about the importance of finding a cobbler before, right? But even I didn’t think about the possibility of using that cobbler to add an extender into the shaft of your boots until someone else suggested it to me. And when she did, it was like a light bulb went off in my head. Duh! Of course my cobbler could do that! It made so much sense… and so little sense that I’d spent all that time searching and searching when he could have been helping me out all along.

The Internet is your friend: Chances are if your calves are more than 14 inches around, you won’t find a cute pair of boots in the store in your size. But… you can find plenty of options on the Internet. From WomanWithin.com to OneStopPlus.com to Zulily.com and even Amazon.com, there are lots of places that sell wide calf, extra wide calf, and extra extra wide calf boots. I got my rain boots from this wonderful place called SpyLoveBuy! The plus side is that there’s a good amount of variety in these boots. The downside is that it’s online, so you have to gauge the quality of the material off of the reviews (always read the reviews folks!). But if you find a good pair, do what I didn’t do — buy a few of them in different colors. Trust me, you’ll thank me later. I’m dying now that my grey boots are reaching the end of their run, and no one sells them anymore.

Another caveat to buying boots online — I’ve learned that when you are shorter than 5’3 (like me!), you need to measure up an inch when looking at the size chart for the shaft of your boots. To wit: “boots get wider closer to the top of the boot. If you’re short, the widest part of your calf is going to be down lower than someone who is tall. So you’re going to have to get a wider boot than someone who is 5’8″, even if you have the exact calf circumference as that person.”

I hope these tips help my girls with more athletic or wider calves get out there and get their full calf boots on. And if you have any other tips to share, feel free to do so in the comments!

Shoe Tip: What to Wear when in a Bridal Party

21 10 2014

So I know last week I talked about wedding talk finally being over, but before I completely ended it on the blog for now, I had to impart just a bit of wisdom to those still needing to participate in weddings this year.

And that is — don’t choose cute over comfort.

I know. I know that’s haaaaard for us women to do. But let me tell you a little story about 5 bridesmaids who all wore different variations of gold sandals for a wedding. One chose a pair of 5 inch heels, another chose a pair she’d recently purchased but hadn’t broken in yet, another chose an old pair that she’d maybe worn 4 times, another chose 4 inch stilettos, and the last chose a pair with 1.5 inch heels.

One guess as to who was the only bridesmaid not dying to kick off her shoes as soon as pictures were taken after the ceremony.

And here’s why — because being in a bridal party is totally different than anything else you will have to do while wearing your heels. So you may be used to walking in high heels normally, but are you used to standing straight in them for 20 to 40 minutes with no break?

Are you used to then posing in them for several minutes?

Or running errands in them?

Maybe you are. But probably not.

Listen, I consider myself somewhat an expert on heels, and I was totally not the one who chose the sensible ones. I was the one who thought to myself, “well I wear anywhere between 3.5 to 4.5 inch heels on a normal basis, so these 3 inchers will be perfect.”

And they were… until about minute 20 of standing up straight in them. That’s about the time I became fidgety, and trust me — you don’t want to be the fidgety bridesmaid in front of 150 guests.

So take my advice – choose comfort (and don’t forget to still break them in before the wedding). That doesn’t mean your shoes can’t be cute. The bridesmaid who chose comfort? Her shoes were still cute. They just weren’t what we normally see as cute. They weren’t sky high heels. They weren’t winning any awards for best stiletto. But she was able to walk and stand in them without crying inside. And when it comes to being in a bridal party, that’s a major win indeed.

Tip: How to Get Out of Your Work Black Pump Rut

23 09 2014
Photo: musingsofacitygirl.com

Nothing wrong with these… unless you find yourself wearing them EVERY DAY. Photo: musingsofacitygirl.com

Look at your shoes.

That’s right. Go ahead and look at them right now.

If you’re a woman and either on your way to work or at work — answer these quick questions: Are they black pumps? And are they the same ones you pretty much wear every day??

If so, this post is for you.

It’s really easy to get into the work black pump rut. I’ve fallen into it a few times myself, and we all know the extensive color collection I have in my shoe closet.

But why is it so easy? And how do you get out of it?

Well the first question has a simple answer. Anyone who goes to work outside of their home knows how a routine makes life much easier. You figure things out like, “if I make my lunch the night before and pick out my outfit before I go to bed, I can wake up and be out of the house in less than 45 minutes.”

But then life happens, and you realize often the last thing you want to do is pick out your clothes and all the accessories before heading to bed. So what do you do? Wake up the next morning and throw some black pumps on. Or leave your black pumps at work because you already know that’s what you’re going to wear every.single.day.

It’s easy. It’s simple. It’s convenient.

It’s also extremely boring.

So how do you fix it once you realize you’re in the rut?

I have a few quick and easy tips.

1: If you have shoes already at work, bring them home. This will force you to have to think about the shoes you’re wearing prior to when you get to the office.

2: Start to plan (maybe even just once a week) your outfit based on your shoes. Most of us do this the other way. We pick out our clothes and see what shoes match or don’t clash, but that makes it really easy for the shoes to become a non-factor.

When you plan your clothes around the shoes, you put the shoe at the forefront of your mind, and make it less likely that you’ll end up wearing some boring old thing.

3: Be creative. I know what you’re thinking. Some of you are saying, “but I don’t work in a creative environment, so I can’t rock my favorite hot pink pumps. Maybe not, but you can find other ways to wear even a black heel. Maybe it’s a textured heel instead of regular leather, or one with a peep-toe or a suede pointed toe.

My point is creativity doesn’t have to mean loud; it just means different.

4: Remember to have fun. One of the easiest ways to have fun (for me lol) is to play around in my shoe closet. I would suggest every woman take some time out to remember why you bought the ones you have in your repertoire. Pull a few out, and strut around your place. See how great they look on your feet. I bet that will make you want to figure out a way for others to see them on your feet more often as well.

Any other tips you all can think of that I missed? And do you ever find yourself in such a rut? If so, how do you get out of it?

PS: Thanks again to everyone who has offered their prayers, thoughts, and kind words in light of what’s been going on my life recently. It’s more appreciated than I could ever say. 

Celebrity Shoe Spotlight — Nicki Minaj

26 08 2014
Photo: Elle Magazine

Photo: Elle Magazine

Nicki Minaj is known for many things — her music, her charm, her business acumen, her assets (lol), and after this weekend’s VMA’s, her amazing composure in handling wardrobe malfunctions — but one thing I’ve noticed above all else is that she’s just as much of a shoe girl as I am.

Now, I don’t always agree with the shoes she chooses, but you can never, ever say they are boring. Whether she’s rocking some Alexander McQueen pumps or knee-high Giuseppe Zanotti cage sandals, you can tell Nicki’s a woman who likes to rock a bold shoe. You see this even with her more toned down look she’s been sporting in 2014 — you’ll consistently find her in solid colors (like black or nude), but also in a bold, printed, or colored shoe. Her most recent example of this was in the post VMA photos, where she’s giving poses for life in her black and white Giuseppe Zanotti Crystallized Peep-Toe Booties. The shoes were the perfect accent to the simple, black velvet, deep V mini-dress she wore — and Nicki clearly knew it.

Those shoes were just for one occasion, but here’s a look at some of the rap diva’s other recent shoe moments. Do you have a favorite?

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Shoe Tip: Picking Your Best Formal Shoe

17 06 2014

My handy photo guide lol

Later this week I have the pleasure of attending a gala with one of my besties, and while I was shopping in my closet for the best formal/evening shoes to wear, it dawned on me — it’s summer! Which means it’s also officially wedding season! And officially just the right time to give some tips for picking the best formal/evening shoes for whatever events you all may have to attend soon.

NOTE: I mentioned weddings here, but a) clearly I’m going to a gala, so these work for all formal occasions, and b) if you are attending a wedding at 2pm, formal shoes may not be your best bet. Always, always, always start off your choices by looking at what attire is requested.

Which brings me to my first point…

1) Formal attire has been requested, so yes that includes your shoes — Whether you’re shopping in your closet like me, perusing online catalogs, or traipsing through the mall, the minute you know you need to wear formal attire, certain styles are instantly disqualified (yes, even if you love them!).

These include, but are not limited to:

– chunky heeled shoes

– gladiator heels that extend to your knee

– (most) exposed platform heels

– really wacky and wild colors

2) Make sure your shoes don’t look cheap — This should be an all the time tip, but it’s especially important when wearing formal attire. The last thing you want to do is have on a gown that looks like it cost $500 with shoes that look like they cost $5. They can actually cost $5, but they shouldn’t look like it.

This means no pleather, most likely. And probably not a lot of patent leather looks will work either (although there are exceptions). I wore cobalt blue patent leather and suede stilettos to a wedding a couple weeks ago, but again, that was an exception.

3) Look for something with a sleek, classic style — You know, I’m a fan of a pointed toe or slightly rounded toe classic pump without a platform, but that’s not the only style that fits here. As you saw above, I didn’t even include it as one of my “yes” looks. You could also go for a nice sandal heel, a pump with satin or classic embellishments like flowers or sequins, a slingback, or even in rare cases — a bootie (if it’s dressy)!

4) But whatever you choose, make sure you can walk in them with your dress — True story: While picking my shoes, I was stuck between two pairs of shoes that I really wanted to wear — a pair of black, pointed toe, suede stilettos without a platform and a pair of black suede sandal heels with a bow that ties across my toes. I was leaning towards the sandals, until I tried them on with my dress.

Now, a word about my dress: it purposely sweeps the floor, but it also has a lot of tulle at the bottom. When I attempted to walk with the bow sandals in the dress, I quickly found out a fatal flaw with my plan — by almost falling flat on my face! The bows kept getting caught in the fabric. So while the shoes are beautiful, I will not be wearing them with this dress. That’s not something I would have known prior to simply putting them on with the gown.

But this tip also applies to comfort. Chances are you may have to change into flats by the end of the night, but your chosen shoes shouldn’t be so uncomfortable that you need to change them within an hour. They serve no purpose, even as fierce as they are, lying under the table and not on your feet. Trust me on this.

5) Forget what’s trendy and go with what looks best on YOU — Part of why I love a pump is because I know that style elongates the look of my legs. When you’re 5’1, you learn these things. You also learn that ankle straps don’t work as well. But that’s me — you have to try on shoes to see what looks best on you.

Those are all the tips I have for today, but I know some of y’all probably have more. Share them in the comments!! And let me know if you’re attending a formal event this summer. I’d love to known what you all end up wearing.