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Wednesday, December 30, 2009

8541 Terra by Laredo

We love boots, especially when they are as sunny and fun as the 8541 ankle boot in Terra by Laredo, one of our exclusive Italian lines! This is a spring boot. (What better way to survive the winter?) Think forward to blue skies and this boot with skinny jeans or rolled shorts!

8541 taps into the ongoing motorcycle/rocker trend, but lightens the mood with a soft, slim, taupe suede. The short stack makes it an easy look. It is less 'cycle than scooter. Your Vespa will love you for these. The 8541 is perfect with skinny jeans or – our new favorite – HUE denim leggings. Huge this spring, people. Huge. Add on a summerweight plaid shirt, short denim shorts ... 8541 was made to take advantage of carefree days.

The boot shaft has a natural, unstructured shape – not so much a slouch as a kind of shrug. A gusset at the top makes them easy to pull on and encourages the casual look. Likewise the toe and heel are weathered, the suede nap worn to a polish. It's a sign that the rest of the boot will wear just as well as you break it in. The leather sole has been pocked (we're guessing ballpeen hammer). This is not a detail anyone will especially notice, but it's a guarantee of sorts that these boots have been hand-crafted (that, and the incised "Lavorate a mano" near the heel).

The only thing we don't like about this boot is the serial number name. Che noia! Upon removing these from the box, promptly christen them with a more imaginative name like "Penelope," or "Sally" or "Sassafras." Something that sounds as bright as May, as fun as a Coney Island summer and as fun as it looks with your outfit.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Rowdy by Charles David

Soldier On: Charles David's neo-dragoon boot blends military pomp with civilian chic.

Happy holidays! Mirth and cheer! Egg and Nog! (Can we go home now?) All this festivusness can be a bit draining. We need a pick-me-up. We need a retail therapy. We need a present for ourselves.

Fortunately for us this winter season, Charles David agrees. At least that is the message we are receiving from the Rowdy, a bold, beautifully grey cavalry boot with bright red zip up the calf. It stands at attention there in the store, watching us. Commanding. We nod our head in unconscious acquiescence. Corree's already succumbed. She bought a pair last week and now, like The Red Shoes, they never leave her feet. She is condemned to look good ... forever! Now, that's a present.

We simply drool over the silhouette of this boot. Knee high, shaped in the calf with an almond toe and light distressing at toe and heel. The bootshaft is higher on the inside leg, a nod to the form's equestrian roots. A buckled rand wraps the ankle. It's just so ... clean and ... CLASSIC! But that ZIPPER! and RED! AND GREY! OMG MASS HYSTERIA-EEEEEEEE!

OK, we're calm. -er. Look, get this boot. Buy some skinny black jeans. Procure a peacoat nipped in the waist for a bit of flare and a slimming profile. Walk down the street and feel hot enough to melt us out of this winter whiteout.

We'd say you can thank us later, but, really, pat yourself on the back. This season, getting Rowdy is the best gift you are going to give to yourself.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Ronni by Calvin Klein

Ronni. We like that name. It feels recently retro, '70s. The nickname-that's-a-full-name. The woman who introduced you to Vogue as a kid. Speaking of the Bible, the name's root word means "strong counsel." You should consider this heel your wardrobe's fashion consigliere: it will inform your outfit and keep everything humming along.

The Ronnie comes in a beautiful metallic pewter perched on a slender 4-1/2" heel with a one-inch, leather-wrapped platform. Doing the math gives us a very comfortable 3-1/2" toe-to-heel height differential. Easy peasy. You could daywalk that with denim leggings, glide into the office sporting a pencil skirt and blousy top and finish the night in grand holiday style with statement jewelry (rhinestones, pearls and glass gems in layered ropes) and a party dress. Piped ankle straps and micro-braided trim and T-strap add addtional texture.

Ronni comes in Anthracite. Appropriate, since Ronni's cluster of faceted, smoked-glass cubes over peeptoe looks like nothing so much as a fancy version of Pennsylvania bitumen. (If coal were this pretty, we wager there would be a higher percentage of fashionista miners.) The mineral look is a perfect compliment to the estate jewelry trend we love. We like this look for its elegance and grace in fussy clusters of mix-matched textures and colors. The contemporary take suggests a hint of decadence. This is fine with us. We'll be the sophisticated bad girl. We'll wear our lumps of coal, prancing and singing "Santa, Baby."

Ronni is stylish. It's now and a little bit then. That breadth lets it work with different outfits and different times of day. Wear it elegantly, wear it naughtily. Either way, we strongly urge you to take our advice: get this shoe before it's gone.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Tick by Jeffrey Campbell

Dare we say it? Dare we tell you this shoe will make you look sharp as a ... tack? How about this from our marketing department: Tick. Tack. ... Peeptoe! OK–yes! Slap it on the homepage! We give in to the easy one-liners. We have no willpower. Not in the face of this lovely peeptoe wedge that looks like the apotheosis of a Project Runway fashion challenge. The DIY aesthetic of a four-and-one-half-inch wedge scaled over with chromed thumbtacks is surprisingly seductive. The black leather upper is a zip-up with a gusseted ankle for a seamless fit. And don't fear the peeptoe in winter – those leggings you're going to pair to this shoe will take care of the cold factor.

As for the visibility factor, you will be noticed from across the block, much less the room. There's an affinity with the bricolage aesthetic of punk safety pins, but the orderly, overlapping rows of shining domes also feel discoball and fiercely indy-glam. What's more, it's just ... different. Fresh. We like the styling of these as seen on Cupcakes and Cashmere via Jeffrey Campbell's site (though it is decidedly West Coast. Snow? What snow?). The frilly, feminine dress is a nice contrast to the boot and we like the big slouch bag with a pattern that doesn't so much clash as simply disregard the rest of the look.

But what really toots our horn is how JC took this aggressive, H-O-T-hot urban bootie ... and turned it into ... resort. Yep, the Tick in natural is a heavy-gauge cotton duck upper over antiqued bronze tackheads. We can't wait to see these on the beach, by the pool, in the warmer climes. Sigh: warmer climes. This cold is making us develop a ... tic? Ouch, sorry, couldn't resist.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Good Vibrations by Poetic License

Feel the Vibe: The Good Vibrations by Poetic License has us feeling the season.

EEEEEEEE! HOW CUTE ARE THESE SHOES! We picked these up earlier in the season when we were taking a hard look at pumps. Lori was (and is) obsessed with the classic pump silhouette. It is a return to the basics, a return to comfort, a return to the elegantly understated instead of the self-consciously ostentatious. That being said, we strayed (but just a little bit). The Good Vibrations goes a bit beyond classic, but its style is as harmonious as the eponymous Beach Boys tune. It merges multiple elements into one stylish whole.

We LOVE the oversized gingham check in colors that melt our hearts: fuschia, teal, white. Add to that a giant fabric rose looming over a dainty peeptoe and you have a shoe that takes a page out of British stylebooks: clash it just enough to make it amazing. Flowers and checks? Blacks and brights? Oui, nous t'aimons. Customers have walked in the store and made a beeline for this peppy little kicker. It's the footwear equivalent of a puppy: you just want to pick it up and squeeze it and widda widdle wuggums!

And then you put it on your foot. This shoe is vivacious. Because of its festive nature, we like this for holiday and office parties. Continue what this pump starts: break style rules. Your confidence in mixing colors and patterns is the power of your look. Suit up with some herringbone tights (more texture!) or a bright legging (more color!), and pair with your best LBD. Add some glitz with estate jewelry or something from the big bauble aisle, but let your legs and shoes do the work this party season. Shoes that make the outfit? We've got good, good good vibrations indeed.

For larger sizes, visit Barefoot Tess Barefoot Tess for larger sizes.