Fashion Friday: Très "Shic"

C'mon, you knew it was coming, didn't you?

Take one outfit, four methods of perambulation, eight different shoe styles and four bags courtesy of Shi by Journeys, and what do you get?

Can't-miss fabulousness and on-trend, whimsical "Shic" no matter how old you happen to be!

The outfit is comprised of basics; straight-legged dark wash jeans, detailed tank top, and a neutral structured jacket perfect for everything from back-to-school to casual Friday. All can be had in a wide range of styles and prices. The accent here is on how the various footwear and bag choices change the tone of the overall look. I don't own any of these specific items (yet. The Nahla high-heeled boot is calling my name!) but I have scored all these styles from Shi via my fashion angel Matthew Bretherick. You can go for the sneaker option and look casual yet put-together. You can opt for the oxfords and channel your inner preppie. If you're feeling girly go for the more delicate flats. When the summer heat abates break out the boots. Finally, note that all the bag styles have shoulder or crossbody length straps and two have handles for even more versatility.

In short there are, what, 32 possible combinations with the pictured accessories alone? Imagine how many more you'll find when you visit Shi, either online or in person!

Spashionistas Wanted

The outfits that I put together for Fashion Friday are based on my BODS profile. Sure, some of the items I use are beyond my price range but I’m certain I can find reasonable equivalents within my budget. I would love the opportunity to put some together for you for the next installment of Fashion Friday. If you’re interested email me with your BODS profile and we’ll make it happen!

That Cinderella Moment

Every Spashionista wants to have that Cinderella moment, the one where the handsome prince places the glass slipper on her foot and it's a perfect fit. I've had that moment, complete with handsome prince, every time I visit my friend Matthew Bretherick's shoe store. As you can see from the photo I'm a frequent visitor. Everything you see below has served me better than a coach and footman ever could - and these definitely did not turn into a pumpkin and mice after midnight.

Matty is currently the manager of a Shi by Journeys store at the Galleria Mall in Franklin, Tn, but we met several years ago while he was managing the Shi at the Opry Mills Mall. In an outlet mall filled with bargain shoe stores how do you get customers to bypass them and buy from you? How do you see to it that your store is always busy and your profits up? How do you go from managing an outlet mall store to managing the one Nashville's upper-crust and their stylists frequent?

The answer is deceptively simple. Treat your customers as if they are the most important person on the planet, because if you're in sales they are. Of course, Matty is not just a terrific salesman, he is also one of the most generous, open-hearted people I know. It doesn't matter to him that I'm old enough to be his mother and in a wheelchair, we are thick as thieves.

The ritual is always the same. We hug and catch up on life for a few minutes then Matty disappears into the back. He returns carrying many shoeboxes filled with styles he thinks I will like and can wear.  After my third or so visit not only does he remember my shoe size and favorite color, he knows my left foot is wider so it's the one I favor when trying on shoes to check for good fit. He also understands my feet don't work well in barely-there flats and I can't wear sandals or impossibly high heels - but those grey ankle boots pictured above are a dream to wear. If he doesn't have my size in a color I want he'll check for fit with a different color and have the ones I want shipped to my house. The red Frye boots are an example, and that's important to me because I find it especially difficult to find boots that fit properly. I paid full price for those boots four years ago and have never regretted it. I'd say the photo represents a  near 50-50 split of full-priced and sale-priced footwear.

There's the infamous white oxfords from Fashion Friday: American and Proud! and Red, White and Blue.

So what's the big deal? If you're a Spashionista and are lucky enough to find a Matty to help you find shoes that are not only stylish but fit you properly you are investing in clothing that works well and goes a long way towards making you look great with very little effort. If you live anywhere near Franklin, Tn it's worth you while to go see the real Matty (but, be warned, only I get to call him "Matty". You have to call him Matthew. If you call him "Matt" his Mother will not be pleased!). If not, let me know if you've found someone in your life that has proven to be your fashion angel.

Give A Girl The Right Pair Of Shoes...

and she can conquer the world.I have those shoes. I decided to start the budget section of BODS with the things that I will, on occasion, pay full price for. It's ironic that a Palsy who has trouble walking should be so obsessed, so consumed by shoes. But I am, and always have been. Even as a child with short, wide feet that were very difficult to fit I had double-buckle-t-strap Buster Browns just like the red ones in the picture.

    

In high school I was a mere 4'8" and a size 5 shoe. Platforms were all the rage so I wore them enthusiastically. Back then, when dinosaurs roamed the earth, the elevation was less pronounced than it is in the newer styles so I could easily manage a 4" heel with a 1.5" platform. I even wore black patent leather platforms with my Catholic school uniform!

    

As I've gotten older the heels have begrudgingly gotten lower. My feet, which used to cooperate willingly with being shoved into constricting or delicately constructed footwear, are starting to betray me. They are prone to curling up if the shoe reveals too much toe cleavage and they occasionally swell past the point of comfort in anything but a sensible shoe.

But I'm not ready to be a sensible girl. Not yet; not entirely. Good thing I don't have to.

         

These shots are of my closet - at least, part of my closet. As you can see Mr Spashionista was good enough to add two additional shelves during the post-flood house rebuild (a topic for another day). As you can see over the years I have amassed a small hoard modest collection of shoes, even some that aren't pictured, and I wear all of them. My winter boots and high heels are at present on the top shelves. My flats and summer shoes occupy the bottom shelf and floor.

There are some great bargains here. The Lucky brand clogs, Vera Wang grey pointy flats, Anne Klein black rosebuds, Hot Topic black and pink Mary Janes and purple Converse hightops all had for a grand total of $85. All of my high heels were likewise purchased on sale or from thrift stores.

But this post isn't about the bargains. It's about the shoes I will pay full price for, and why.

It always boils down to a boy, doesn't it?

I look ultra-Spazzy in this picture - but don't look at me - look at my wonderful friend. His name is Matthew Bretherick and he is the only reason I would ever pay full price for a pair of shoes. I own 16 pairs of shoes and boots that are in some manner connected to him, and I paid retail for some of them.

Intrigued? You'll have to wait for the next installment. Matty is too important to be relegated to a footnote (pun intended) on a single post.