Off the beaten path: Loving these shoes & boots

Shoes…I might have a few pairs.

No matter how I feel or look or whatever one thing is certain: none of my outfits are complete without a rocking pair of shoes or boots! I thought it would be fun to have an open discussion post about what shoes we have in our closets that we love, purchases that didn’t work out and what we’re wishlisting right now. There are so many great shoe promotions going on right now it seems like the ideal time to discuss!

Inside, a bunch of shoes I’ve purchased recently; what I’m wishlisting and some advice needed!

First, a quick update on the Sandy Tortie Pump ($198) which I reviewed along with two other Anthropologie shoes here. I received my 41s last night. The 40s had been just small enough to be uncomfortable. The 41s are a little large but with an insert both will be perfect. I wear a US size 9 so that means I went up two sizes in these shoes. A 41 is what I wear in most shoes made in Spain — they tend to run very small.

While the terra cotta pair (color shown right above) is perfect, the green pair has an unsatisfactory dye job on its suede. The back of the shoe, toe and even the sides all have significant bald patches where the dye didn’t take. I’m shocked that Anthro would send these out! I’ll be emailing customer service today to see if I can either get reimbursement for taking them to a cobbler to have them re-dyed or at least a damage discount.

If you’re looking for a less expensive alternative, these Report shoes are the exact same green as the Sandy Torties but with a square stacked heel instead of a wedge triangle. I haven’t found anything close to the terra cotta pair that’s less expensive. These wedge heels are a trend embraced at the luxury level for Fall 2013 so expect them to be more prevalent among the mid-level retailers next year. It’s cool that Anthropologie is so on-the-ball with this one.

Pretty pumps.
How many pairs of heels does one girl need? I don’t know the answer but I tend to wear 10-15 pairs of shoes in a given week. When it comes to pumps ideally I want a pair that’s comfortable enough to wear all day, including my commute to work. Living in New York City is perilous for a heel wearer. On my walk to the subway I face subway grates, cracked uneven sidewalks and mean pavement. Then once I’m off the subway in Soho I’m up against cobblestones and angled sidewalks.

With all that in mind and the way my legs are shaped I tend to gravitate towards thicker heels. It’s so nice that a thicker heel is popular right now if only because it means way more options to choose from! Two Anthropologie pumps recently added to my wishlist are the Headline Pumps ($95) and Chie Mihara’s Iona Mary-Janes ($398). Ahhh, Chie Mihara. The Iona heels have come out in many different variations over the past several seasons but this pair is the first one to really grab me. Although the rounded toe and pattern have a definite vintage vibe that could contrast with my more modern style, I also think the pumps have an architectural look that would fit right in with some of my favorite closet pieces.

Recent pump purchases.
I’ve been on a shoe-buying tear recently. I’m not sure why but as I’ve lost weight my shoe size has changed too, so I had about 15 pairs of shoes that suddenly became too big on me. Add in my recent apartment move which was proceeded by a big closet purge. I’ve been refilling the slots in my shoe caddy at an admittedly speedy rate.

Here are some of the pumps I’ve purchased recently that I really like and recommend:
Enzo Angiolini Call Me — this is my new basic work pump. The 3.5″ heels are ideal height for me and the insole has comfortable padding. I have been looking for a new pair of nude heels for awhile. These appealed to me because the nude is a darker, more brown-based color than most of the pink-based nude heels on the market. (My skin has pink undertones so a pink-based nude shoe makes me look especially pale.) The shoes don’t have a reinforced toe unfortunately so I might wear through them quickly. I found these true to size. I’d wear these with anything from a suit, a dress to flare jeans on the weekend.
Buy them at: Zappos // Piperlime // Bloomingdales

Jessica Simpson Women’s Cirrus Dress Pump — An ideal date pump, these look scary but are incredibly comfortable if you’re used to wearing heels. I have to say, I’ve been very impressed by Jessica Simpson shoes. I purchased these in the burgundy and other than an annoying mixup where a pair of size 10s was hiding in my size 9 shoe box (Amazon fixed the issue immediately, props to them) everything about these shoes is great! I worry that the suede-wrapped heel will get caught in the sidewalk and tear. Otherwise, these pumps are perfection. The ankle strap has plenty of holes to choose from and the vamp has that arrow shape that’s very popular right now. I found these true to size. I’m wearing them with vegan-leather front leggings and an oversized sweater.
Buy them at: Amazon // Piperlime // 6PM

Madewell Frankie Pump (not shown) — A wooden heel may not sound comfortable but this almond toe heel is quite wearable. I purchased them in a beautiful plum color that’s currently out of stock online (but I’ve seen it in stores so I know it’s still out there). The Frankie comes in a myriad of colors and textures. I decided leather would be most versatile for me. I always size up to a 9.5 (from a 9) in Madewell shoes. These shoes look fantastic with Anthropologie’s Vegan Leather Mini (review) — you can see an OOTD at the bottom of this post.
Buy them at: Madewell // Shopbop

Rachel Roy Aron (not shown) — These heels are so friggin hot! I managed to snag two variations (the red/white snake — on me here — and the blue snake) on super sale thanks to a combination of friends & family periods and other promotional discounts that stacked. I love them for so many reasons, the biggest being that they just strike me as NYC ladies who work heels. The toe and heel are wrapped which is great for a hard walker like me. They are not all-day long comfortable for me unfortunately; I can wear them for about a half-day before I need to change into my flats. Normally this would be a deal-breaker for me. But I want the pumps to last forever, so it’s OK with me that they are a half-day shoe. I sized up to a 39.5/9.5 in these Italian-made shoes. I am wearing them with a shift dress and tights, or straight-leg jeans, a blouse and a blazer, or light wool slacks.
Buy them at: Lord & Taylor // Piperlime // Zappos Couture // Nordstrom

***What pumps are you loving right now? Wishing for? Let us know in the comments — links welcome!***

Trendier leanings.
Since I wear through shoes so quickly it gives the opportunity to try out a few of the seasonal shoe trends. Here are a couple of shoe trend ideas I’m toying with for Fall 2013.

Brilliant blue.
Cobalt blue is my favorite color and recently I’ve been dreaming of a suede pair like the Nine West Flax ($70) shown right above. But now I’ve been tempted into the delusional grandeur that is a satin shoe. Yup, you read it right. Satin. Thought it was only for weddings and proms? Well…logically that’s probably right but mark my words, satin is coming for us in a big way. Nordstrom has an amazing pair of brilliant blue Pedro Garcia satin pumps but there’s no way I’m spending $460 on a shoe that I might tear through in a month. So instead I’m looking at Badgley Mischka Women’s Vision II Pump ($135) which goes on sale for under $100 periodically has a similar look to the Pedro Garcias.

Calf hair.
I love calf hair anything. Purses, belts, and especially shoes. Last year I grabbed the J.Crew Everly Collection Calf Hair Pumps ($350). But I have to admit they are so not comfortable. I sized up to a 9.5 so I could wear them with a gel insole and it still doesn’t help much. They look beautiful — the calf-hair is tightly patterned in a gorgeous rich tawny brown and black and the pointed toe is stunning — but they are the very definition of pain is beauty.

***Is there a pair of calf-hair pumps you own and love? Let us know in the comments! (Links welcome!) I’d love to hear what the community loves!***

Boots, booties and boo.
The last couple of years had been disappointing boot years. There wasn’t really anything in stores that grabbed me. Fall 2013 has totally changed that and now I want too much. So it goes! My last everyday boot purchases had been in 2010 (and my everyday flat boots were from 2008) so during my moving purge I felt it was time to let a few pairs of boots go rather than repair and re-sole them again.

The first pair to catch my eye was Coclico’s stunning Halifax Boots ($595) which just showed up at Anthropologie. I adore Coclico! Their production practices are eco-friendly — they use Portuguese cork for their soles, they purchase carbon offsets, they seek out local or recycled materials to incorporate into their products and packaging whenever possible. And their shoes just so happen to be some of the most beautiful, durable shoes out there. Unfortunately for me their boots are very narrow in the calf so I can hardly ever wear their tall boots, but they have a beautiful selection of pumps on their website worth glancing over. They’re a brand truly worth investing in. Right now the Sarah pump has me swooning (they are also available via Shopbop and Amazon).

This year I’ve made my first over-the-knee boots purchase. I’ve had good luck with Vince Camuto shoes so I decided to purchase the Vatero Boots. They’re just barely over the knee on my 5’8″ frame and slouch somewhat over the course of the day. What I like is that they’re super comfortable and a versatile everyday boot. I sized up half a size to a 9.5 in them.
Buy them at: Amazon // Bloomingdales // Nordstrom // Dillard’s // Zappos

If my budget were unlimited I’d spring for the Mikalo Suede Boots from Belle by Sigerson Morrison. Even on sale they’re out of reach given everything I want right now. But pretty to look at from afar. Another boot I’m lusting after is the Hunter Two-Tone Riding Rain Boot. Love the equestrian vibe in the winter-perfect colors. Also pretty? These yummy Tory Burch heeled equestrian boots
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And finally I need a new pair of brown riding boots. I’m leaning towards the classic look of the Lauren Ralph Lauren Maren Riding Boots ($150). I also really like the look of the Kork Ease Shawna (on sale at Piperlime, also available via Nordstrom, Zappos and Anthropologie). But I was wondering if the community had any suggestions.

Chie Mihara once again has my heart with its tempting Corridor Booties ($510). But they’re not quite the everyday bootie I’m looking for. The winner in that department might be Sole Society’s Giuliana Chelsea Bootie ($90, also available via Nordstrom). But I’ve never purchased from this brand before. Community members, have you? How do their shoes hold up? How do they run for sizing?

***What boots are you hoping to buy this year? What styles do you like, not like? Have you purchased from Sole Society before? If so, what was your experience? ***

Some promotions to get you good deals on your hot new shoes.
Piperlime — Save 30% with the code MERRY through midnight tonight.
Amazon — Save 20% off shoes with the code 20SHOES1 through November 23.
J.Crew Factory — Save 40% off everything, plus a threshold discount of up to 20% more! Fun fact: many J.Crew items are available on Factory pages, allowing you to use this discount for regular J.Crew items too.
Lord & Taylor — use the code BIG for 15% off regular-priced items or 20% off sale and clearance.

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