My Boyfriend's Back

My Boyfriend's Back

At least his clothes are.

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Pattern Mixing: Make My Day

Pattern Mixing: Make My Day

This outfit is brought to you by a happy, undercaffienated accident. 

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Vamping Up A Storm

Can there be any grace in being a vamp?

The answer is yes, of course, provided that vamp is an extension of a gorgeous shoe.

I've talked about my obsession with shoes before, and I know that I'm not alone in my weakness for beautiful footwear. Who can resist a slinky strapped sandal, a revealing d'orsay pump, or a scandalous vamp that exposes tons of toe cleavage? Who hasn't teetered on a heel too high, stuffed themselves into a shoe too narrow, or wobbled on a poorly constructed stiletto?

sandal

dorsay

stiletto

Guilty, guilty, and guilty.

A beautiful shoe renders me momentarily incapable of rational thought. It is in those moments of weakness, impulse, or stubbornness that I have made most of my regrettable shoe purchases. I used to think if I really loved a pair of shoes I would somehow make them work on my wide, palsied feet. I carried on with this delusion for most of my life, until one day I caught myself looking for a pair of shoes to wear, nixing one after the other because of fit or comfort issues. I had a closet full of beautiful shoes I didn't want to wear.

The solution was obvious. I had to let go of my outdated thinking about shoes and replace it with a practical, elegant philosophy that would truly serve me. I donated all of the absolute "unwearables" at once.

The most delicate kitten heels that made my ankles turn with a single misstep.

kittenheel

The slingbacks that perpetually slipped off.

slingback

The flats with such a low vamp they couldn't conceal my foot curling up.

lowvamp

Anything too tight or uncomfortable to endure for more than an hour. They all left my closet, but I was by no means done.

Since then I've really paid attention to what works for me as well as what doesn't. Oxfords and brogues work well and they're de rigueur right now so I'm snatching them up as fast as I can. Styles range from ultra-feminine to uber eccentric and I love most of them.

oxfords

oxforcutout

agencyoxheel

Anything with a high, wide vamp like certain espadrilles works, too. So do Mary Janes and T-straps. I'd kill for the perfect pair of T-Strap shoes; they're my very favorite style!

tstrap

Boots must have a wide calf or laces for adjustment. When I'm on crutches heels for walking may not exceed 1.5", but if I'm in my chair I can double that number.

laceboot

I was actually told by a Physical Therapist that it's good for your foot to vary your heel heights within reason.

One pair at a time I replaced shoes that were "okay" looking or fit "so-so" with shoes that were beautiful and comfortable - because I refuse to wear ugly shoes unless I'm exercising or there's a zombie apocalypse. Actually, I can probably scare up some attractive boots if there's a zombie apocalypse.

zombieboot

I can certainly pull it together better than the ladies on "The Walking Dead". Never have so many needed a bath and a makeover so badly. But I digress.

Although this post is autobiographical I must tell you that this is a clarion call for all of you lovely ladies reading it. Some of you are already experiencing some form of physical disability that requires you to be creative with your footwear. I'm here to tell you that nowadays even supportive shoes are available in attractive styles, and if you are unable to wear shoes you can certainly find some stylish socks or embellish some slippers with Sworovski crystals. Whatever you can manage, own it, rock it, make it yours!

slipred

For the rest of you I'm here to give you a reality check. Sooner or later you'll have to abandon the towering and torturous footwear you have for a wider variety. The padding on the ball and heel of your foot begins to diminish as you approach 40 and the delicate bones in your feet become more malleable with age. This leaves you with increasing discomfort in those shoes that pinch and push your foot forward and at increased risk for permanent deformities such as hammer toes. I'm never anxious to welcome anyone else into the crippled community, especially a self-inflicted disability. Start putting some less extreme, but still stylish,  footwear into your rotation, please.

Okay, I confess; I still consider myself to be a bigger vamp than any of my shoes can contain.  So much for the "sensible shoe"!

All images courtesy of Pinterest

Exploring New Places

After the wonderful time I had at the National Czech and Slovak Museum's Alphonse Mucha exhibit, we still had an entire day in Ceder Rapids before our return to Nashville. We decided to explore some of the surrounding area and ended up at the Amana Colonies. My new friend Deb Brown suggested that we meet there for lunch but I decided that it was high time to do some serious shopping before the noonday meal

The Amana Colonies are similar to the Amish and Mennonite communities you may be familiar with one big exception; they enjoy all the same modern conveniences that we do. You can read more about the history of the Amana communities here.

image

It was really lovely to see all of the old buildings and the specialty shops. Alas, only half of the buildings had access for wheelchairs, but this is understandable because there are historical guidelines that have to be adhered to in the modification of any of the buildings to make them accessible. Instead of being upset I was thrilled to take in the scenery and I decided I was going to patronize the shops that did have wheelchair access!

image

We went into the Amana Woolen Mill and saw the looms used to weave cotton and woolen items. There were all manner of blankets, scarves and other items available for sale, all of which had been made right there. As you can see from the picture I decided I could use a few scarves. I also found a wonderful white wool blanket with my initial monogrammed on it that was on clearance because it had been custom-made for someone who did not pick it up. image

I also went into a cute little clothing boutique called Yana's. I picked up this red and pink stone bracelet which my husband actually pointed out to me and a headband with a beaded flower on it. The headband, which seems fairly unassuming, makes quite a statement. image

The weather was perfect. I wore my purple pants with a white shirt and my grey studded oxfords. I also wore my big purchase from the previous day - a silk scarf from the museum featuring one of Alphonse Mucha's decorative patterns.

Uploaded from the Photobucket Android App Uploaded from the Photobucket Android App

All in all it was a lovely day. Next time I will show you where we stayed and the new friends that I've made.

Fashion Friday: Pumpkin and Oxblood

This week I'm styling a pumpkin colored jacket similar to the one I purchased at Stein Mart a few weeks ago.

This shade of orange looks much better on me than Pantone's Summer 2012 color, Tangerine Tango. Here it is in a shawl-collared version of my trench jacket by 89th & Addison from Stein Mart.  It's paired with treggings in the season's trendy color, oxblood. The bag is a D Lisk Zip Detail Bar Handle Bag in the same color and can either be carried or worn crossbodied. In looking for shoes to pair with this outfit I found two pairs of oxfords that were almost identical save for the heel. Both are by Sperry and I thought it was worth using both heel heights as a styling option. The Merona Olive Self-Tie Felt Cloche hat from Target picks up on the green in the shoes and the leopard crutches from Cool Crutches add a little animal print to the equation.

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!

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!