Kimmie Jones' Tao Of Shoes

Kimmie Jones' Tao Of Shoes

I'm so happy to have another guest post from my beautiful, talented IRL friend Kimmie Jones, also known as That Girl in the Wheelchair. Yup, she actually puts up with me in real life! This time around Kimmie shares her practical experiences and advice - her Tao, if you will - of shoes.

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Put On Your Red Dress Baby

Put On Your Red Dress Baby

And don't forget your high-heeled boots. Although these pictures were taken several weeks ago I wanted to use them today, post-Thanksgiving, to talk about some of the things I'm thankful for that may seem a bit trivial to some but mean the world to me. 

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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?

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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 I had to let go of my outdated thinking about shoes and replace it with a practical, elegant philosophy that would truly serve me.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.

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The slingbacks that perpetually slipped off.

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

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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!

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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

Visible Monday: A Violet Valentine

You didn't really think I  was going to wear red for Valentine's Day, did you? photo 20130214_150015_zps6f004448.jpg

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 photo 20130214_150148_zpsadc7b49b.jpg Since I already had to go into downtown Nashville for some tests at Vanderbilt University Clinic my Mr and I decided to finally go to the Frist Center for the Visual Arts to see the Rembrandt and the Dutch Golden Age exhibit. We had planned to go to the opening a few weeks ago but, as it often does, life happened and we had to postpone.

Most of the pieces in this outfit aren't anywhere near new. The cap-sleeved, turtleneck sweater dress by rabbit rabbit rabbit petite is four years old and was purchased at Stein Mart . It's fairly heavy and happens to be my favorite shade of dark, lavendery violet. Likewise the Peck & Peack plum and grey reversible leather jacket was purchased during a big sale at Stein Mart. It's a lightweight leather that, I must confess, I've never worn on the grey side. The leopard Sugar boots are only a few months old from Shi by Journeys at Cool Springs Galleria. They are very comfortable and timelessly stylish but at 3" heel height are as high as I can go and still stand up. The Gracie Lynn butterfly sequined watch is also new from Stein Mart and is my nod to Nashville style. You'll never see me wear sequins in the traditional, Nashvillian sense, but I love to reference the city's glitzy tendency in select pieces of my wardrobe.

After the museum my sweetheart and I went to a romantic dinner at one of my favorite restaurants in West Nashville. I'll talk more about that in my next post which continues the "Passionate About" theme for February.

Thanks again to Patti at Not Dead Yet Style for the Visible Monday linkup.

I'll leave you with a picture of my Valentine's gift courtesy of The Frist Center's gift shop.

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Visible Monday: Errand Girl

This is my very first Visible Monday post. It requires a little backstory.

As I've mentioned before I can't drive, but it doesn't particularly bother me. I'm used to spending the bulk of my time at home and Mr Spashionista and I run our errands on his days off. Last weekend he bent down to tie his shoe and threw his back out very badly. It was so bad we ended up in the ER. He was in no condition to drive for the rest of the week.

We live out in the country where there are no buses and no grocery or restaurant delivery so I had to grab some groceries at the very least. Fortunately, my good- hearted friend Lani offered to take me into West Nashville to take care of a few things.

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You've seen some of these pieces before, but they were dressed up, not down. This being Nashville, denim is a staple and these Nine West "Date Night" capri jeans are perfect for a busy day. They really are capris, but I'm not quite 5' tall so on me they're skinny jeans! Okay, I'm not skinny, either, but you get the idea. The navy knit top is an R-Q-T Petite. Being incredibly buxom I generally steer clear of knit tops that are cut this high, but this one has a built-in silver mock ringed necklace detail that draws the eye down a bit. My ruffled raspberry Baccini jacket is terrific if I have to push myself in my wheelchair for long distances because it stays put. Because it's made of polyeurethane it also wipes clean if the sleeves get a little wheelchair spoke schmutz on them.

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Just because I'm running errands doesn't mean I have to look boring, right? Here's a navy sequined oxford done oh-so-right courtesy of Shi by Journeys. The socks are fisherman’s cable ivory boot socks I talked about in Shop Smart, Stay Fit, Get Noticed, Be Fabulous

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The accessories are worth a look, too. The watch is silicone two toned purple from Stein Mart. Finally, this marks the debut of my cuff-styled Medic Alert bracelet. In all honesty my expectations for this trinket were pretty low but I'm happy to have been prove wrong. For what it is it's understated and inconspicuous. I will have several other Medic Alert bracelets to show off in the near future.

Thanks to Patti at Not Dead Yet Style for letting me play in her sandbox. I hope to participate in more Visible Monday linkups in the future.

Don't Buy That Yet

If you've been a regular reader of Spashionista Report you know that I love a good bargain and I hardly ever pay retail for anything. Now, it's obvious to any smart shopper that you go for the places, sites, and items that are on sale. But did you know that there are actually optimal months, even days of the week, to buy certain things? No? Well, let me clue you in on a strategy that can save you lots of money. Let me elevate your retail IQ.

• January is filled with post-holiday sales, clearances, and closeouts.

• February is the best time to buy winter shoes, boots, socks and tights. Lingerie is typically on sale as Valentine's Day approaches.

• March is denim discount month. Buy your jeans now. Small electronics like DVD players and iPods see a price drop this month as well. If you need luggage this is the month to pick it up.

• April brings us big spring clothing sales, especially women's and girl's dresses and shoes. Computers can also be had for less this month.

• May sees a resurgence in lingerie sales as well as athletic clothing and shoes. Swinmwear begins to be marked down while inventory is still plentiful. Jewelry is deeply discounted for Mother's Day.

• June heralds in the men's clothing and power tool sales in honor of Father's Day.

• July is a prime month to buy a bag or a swimsuit. Men's shoes go on sale, too.

• August ushers in all the back to school sales - which include sales tax holiday weekends in some states. Coats and cosmetics can also be had on the cheap.

• September sees another big price decrease for jeans. Fall fashions are unveiled at sale prices, and gardening supplies are on clearance this month.

• October is the best time to do some early holiday shopping. The weekend before Halloween typically sees big sales on clothing and computers.

• November marks the cornucopia of Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales - which are starting earlier every year. If you're going to take advantage of have a list and a budget with you before you dive in. If you need a sweater this is the month to buy one.

• December brings the lowest toy and children's clothes prices yet along with the usual holiday sales. After Christmas holiday decorations are deeply discounted, as is any inventory that didn't sell by December 25th. The last week of December marks the lowest clothing prices of the year.

Need more help? According to ShopItToMe.com, a San Francisco company that analyzes more than 750,000 sales items a year from more than 200 online retailers:

• Mondays: Shoppers can save nearly 50% on men’s and women’s dress pants, and about 55% on sunglasses.

• Tuesdays: Expect to save more than 40% on men’s apparel.

• Wednesdays: Shoppers save about 40% on shoes and children’s clothes.

• Thursdays: Save 36% on handbags.

• Fridays: Pay 42% less for jewelry, belts and scarves.

• Saturdays: Lingerie (37% off) and jackets/outerwear (51% off).

• Sundays: Swimsuits (52% off).

There is a bit of fluidity in these categories that may vary from region to region within the US, but this should give you a framework to start shopping more strategically and intelligently.

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