By Marcie Everhart
Part of being more strategic about your image (meaning your appearance, meaning ultimately your closet) is getting rid of the junk that doesn’t work anymore for you at this stage in your life. It’s too short, too cheap, too bleak, etc. The other part is taking a break from shopping, which our generation pioneered as an “entertainment” activity in the malls of the 1980s.
I’ve been working both angles religiously, then the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale happened. But, I was ready for it and had my plan in place! And while decluttering my belt drawer, I came across stashed Christmas present money! Everything was working in my favor.
After organizing my entire summer closet, I could easily see the weak area – shoes. My shoes were either cheap and falling apart (Target, I’m looking at you, “it’s $15, just throw it in the dang cart”) or expensive but so old they’re falling apart and outdated (Talbot’s ancient treasures). Most of it was trash. I needed to upgrade this area with strategic, high-quality basics at opportune pricing.
Objective 1: A Brown Gladiator Sandal for Next Summer
To replace the peeling brown vinyl gladiators from Target. We’re looking for genuine leather, gladiator-ish, in a cognac brown shade to match a favorite belt. The various shades of brown and beige drive me absolutely nuts. Yeah, OCD juuust a tad. There’s chocolate, mocha, cognac, buff, burnt umber, caramel, camel, whiskey, penny, sienna, rust, taupe, khaki, wheat, tawny, arghhh. Bring the belt with to nail this down! We had complete and total success – the Franco Sarto Giovanna in Whiskey for $40. She’s the all-American classic – it wouldn’t be summer without her. She loves bikinis, cutoffs, tailored walking shorts, sun dresses, jeans, t-shirts, and all shades of toenail polish.
Objective 2: An Every Day Casual Sandal for Next Summer
I’m going to come clean. I wear flip-flops way too much…and they wreak havoc with callouses and fallen arches. I need an upgrade that I will actually wear. I researched the heck out of this beforehand and was delighted they were in my local store – the TEVA Flatform Universal with adjustable Velcro everywhere and a little height for this short girl who can’t find the time to hem pants. I absolutely fell in love with this weird, glint-y gold. The good people of the Internet told me to wear these with socks for a couple of weeks to break ‘em in. Yes! Love. I think it’s so hip-square, I may wear socks with them always. Maybe all winter around the house. Cost, $30. She’s the practical, flexible gal with all the answers.
Objective 3: A Basic Black Flat Bootie for This Fall
This flat bootie in soft black leather is so stark and European it takes the breath away. Just go ahead and wear it with everything. The Krome Leather Boot from Topshop, $35. She’s the tough girl in the closet, when you need to kick some “bootie.”
Objective 4: A Statement Bootie for This Fall
I know, I already own plenty of “statement” booties – two leopard pair come to mind, flat and heeled. But FLORAL! And VELVET! I’ve lusted after this black velvet, floral embroidered bootie for a year I think. Totally Stevie Nicks approved. Wear it now with shorts or a float-y dress, later with black skinny pants or jeans. Cost, $35. She’s the romantic…she’ll never stop believing in fairy tales.
Objective 5: A Dressy Black Heeled Shoe
I desperately needed a nice, black, heeled shoe, and normally I can’t wear the “open-toe” style because the front edge of the upper literally slices the skin off my big toes. But what about a soft elastic mesh upper?…that clings to the foot without the abrasive edge? Insanely comfortable. Brilliant. Finally, I’m cool! :^) Thanks to the Hatton in Black, $60. Obviously, she’s the slick, hard-working career girl.
Each of these shoes has an amazing personality and purpose, each wielding their own special magic. I never realized how eclectic I am, with all these different girls to be embraced.
You don’t think these are cool with socks? Or bandannas tied around the ankle? Boom!
The Franco Sarto Giovanna has become elusive. Here’s some options.
The Real-Real Behind the Scenes
The “bootie” of today is a direct descendant of the Chelsea Boot that Queen Victoria made popular. Her shoemaker patented the design in 1851. It reached iconic status, though, when the Mods in 1960s Great Britain rocked it. It even became known as the Beatle Boot thanks to those four guys.
The Real-Real Behind the Scenes: Take Two
Some of these are already in heavy rotation.