Wednesday, February 3, 2010

New Shoes and Some Polyvore on the Floor . . .

Seriously, could you have resisted these? I quickly dismissed my January shopping embargo and snapped them up (Brown's ID line). I've been wearing my black patent Oxfords (same make) often -- these spectators let me change it up a bit and they're much lighter, great for packing.

I love the way they let me get away with a shorter skirt, a more fitted dress -- while I might worry about appearing to ape youth, to try too hard, combining short and/or fitted with a heel, a more serious, flat shoe lends a certain gravitas, no? Not too much, though, thanks to the fun of the spectator's contrast -- or, with my other pair, the gleam of the patent leather.

Here, for example, is a favourite combination: the Helmut Lang dress I snapped up in last year's winter sales -- it's a snug-fitting sweater dress that hits above my knees and has a generously-scooped u-neck. I keep it work-appropriate by wearing opaque black tights and often fill in the deep scoop with a scarf. Here, I've styled it even more simply with a favourite pendant and cuff, my trusty red bag, and my new shoes.
Pater brought me this cuff from a business trip to Russia a few years ago -- the amber is wonderful -- evocative, lively. . .
And this simple chain and pendant (changeable with other elements in the same line) by Vancouver jeweler Karyn Chopik has become a favourite of mine.
I love being able to integrate a new item of clothing with older pieces. While the shoes in this post are new, I'm confident they'll be anchoring outfits two years from now. Meanwhile, everything else I wore here is at least a year old, with the cuff at least eight years old. I think of Georgia O'Keeffe who apparently put away anything new for a year before she took it out for use, and I think what a useful test this might be for the value of any purchase. While I would have become very impatient waiting to step out in my new footwear, I know I would have been just as thrilled to unwrap them next January. Knowing this helps me recognize which style choices are really mine as opposed to those more shaped by the winds of fashion.
What do you think? Could you imagine putting a new purchase away for a year? How would you feel unwrapping it in 2011?


  1. Oh, I'm swooning. Those shoes are Fabulous!!!

  2. I think those shoes are sooo the red bag and your accessories, you could wear that to a variety of events so versatile!
    I need to go and dig around in my off season wardrobe and see what I have that can be repurposed, or reinvented, you've inspired me.

  3. OMG (as my 12-year-old would say), I WANT those shoes!!! Total and utter shoe envy emanating from the other side of the world ...

  4. Answering your question: Yes. I have a pair of shoes like the ones you have, sort of masculine one´s, deep lilac ( posting a picture of them soon ), which I have not worn even once, I bought them in August. But I will wear them, one of these days ( late spring). Some of my purchases have been absolutely flops, and I have just given them to charity. When will one ever learn? I like your new combination, so easy to dress up,up,up or down,down,down with/without accessorizing!

  5. Instant gratification is my middle name, like Leyla I have been known to rip the tag off in the shop and change into something new in the changing room!
    I understand the theory but hell I may get run over by a bus etc...
    I do love it when one thing suddenly opens up a whole new look, the shoes are lovely especially with the amber.

  6. Oh, I love those shoes!!! Oddly enough, last night I posted about a beloved (and long gone) pair of two-tone brogues . . .

  7. Pseu: I could easily see you wearing these. . .
    HHB: It's such fun to resurrect something that's languished at the back of the wardrobe, don't you think? To freshen it by styling it anew?
    Tiff: Browns is on-line, but sadly, so far I've only seen the solid-toned version of these on their website.
    Metscan: oooh, deep lilac oxfords -- yes, indeed, you'll wear those! I'll watch for them on your blog.
    Alison: I hadn't appreciated how the amber is accentuated by the shoes until you mentioned it -- that's the great artist's eye working!
    Miss C: I'll watch for that post. And I'm off to check on nomenclature -- I've called these spectators, but is that right? two-tone brogues, yes, maybe not spectators then . . . hmm . . .

  8. I love your shoes- and it's the amber piece I want to steal! I love amber yours is so beautiful, earthy yet lively, it's like nature conspired to connect air and earth.

  9. It's complicated: brogues usually have perfs around the edges of the wing tip, which mine did, but then again, they are usually one color. So my shoes were more of a hybrid spectator/brogue, but I just like the rougher sound of brogue . . . feels rather rogueish.

  10. A nice thought, Duchesse, and I also love the way amber brings the past into the present.
    Miss C: your rogueish way with words makes you much more than simply a spectator, absolutely!


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