May 10, 2011 at 11:22 am , by Gabrielle Porcaro
Gab, I’m going to Italy on my honeymoon and there will be a lot of walking. I just can’t roll up in a pair of mom/granny shoes or huge sneakers. Do stylish walking shoes exist? Any other kinds of shoes that won’t kill my feet? — Amanda
I went through the same dilemma when I traveled to Italy 4 years ago. I didn’t want pictures of me from my first trip to my family’s homeland sporting lame sneakers so I rocked Converse the whole trip. That’s me sporting them at St. Peter’s Basilica at the Vatican. I’m taking a rest from dazzling my friends with knowledge of Renaissance sculpture and getting in a fight with a nun (there was some confusion about the placement of a decimal point on a price… forgive me!).
It’s a tough one because you want to be supported and comfortable all day and that doesn’t always equal stylish. My trick is to bring a few different types of shoes and switch it up. Then your feet don’t get used to one shoe. It’s spring/summer time so shoes are light and easy to pack and you can certainly wear one pair on the plane to save space while packing. Here are some ideas:
Any low profile sneaker is a good option. I am currently obsessed with New Balance’s new Minimus sneakers which is their barefoot inspired line. They are all incredibly sleek and weigh a lot less than normal sneakers. My favorite is the fitness/walking shoe which are so light they inspire me to do ballet moves every time I wear them- true story. I also think PF-Flyers sneakers are very comfortable because they have a thick cushy sole. This gray canvas style is a good option that will go with everything.
As for non-sneakers, we are huge Toms fans at LHJ because of their Do Good aspect but they are also super comfy. Pick a fun print or a bold color like red and it will style-up a t-shirt and jeans. Any fun flat espadrille would work as well. I would also recommend Sperry’s Top-Sider boat shoes. They are cute, preppy and classic so no regrets years later when you look back at your photos.
If you want to take a pair of sandals, pick a pair with support or comfort features like Cole Haan or Naturalizers. Get a cute pair that can also work for a nice casual dinner. You can also embrace the Boho trend or return to your hippie routes and rock some Birkenstocks. Just no flip flops — flip flops are only for the beach! I know this is a rule that I myself break, but they aren’t going to support your feet and will probably give you blisters.
Wear the shoes a bit before traveling to break them in and check that they won’t hurt. Make sure you pack some Band-Aids and have them on you each day. You don’t want to spread your DNA all over the Louvre from bleeding blisters like one of my friends did while we were in Paris — not fun! One last suggestion, pack some Baby Powder. I mean it’s your honeymoon and you might be wearing these shoes sans socks. Stinky feet is definitely a mood spoiler!
April 27, 2010 at 11:57 am , by Gabrielle Porcaro
I’ve gotten really lazy lately and worn flats almost exclusively. I’ve decided to try to reintroduce my heels into my wardrobe but OUCH, they hurt—even more than they used to. Do I just have to suck it up or is there anything I can do to help make them more comfy? The ouch-factor has me running back to my flats, big-time! – Amanda
Well there are several ways to attack this problem. Here are my suggestions:
* Don’t jump feet-first into 4-inch heels (in fact, you shouldn’t jump in 4-inch heels at all—ha!). Try to first ease into heel that’s around 2.5 to 3 inches. J.Crew always has some stylish sensible heels
* Pick a shoe with a thicker stacked heel. It’s studier, thus easier to walk in. These Banana Republic pumps will keep you from wobbling.
* Shoes with a platform are also more comfortable and give you added height. Love these Ann Taylor platform sandals.
* Wedges also tend to be more supportive and easier to walk in. LOFT’s cross strap wedges seem like a great option.
If you STILL can’t take heels, check out my spring flat story for some great new options!
April 20, 2010 at 11:02 am , by Sue Erneta
Spring has just sprung so let’s celebrate everything springy: The birds singing, the flowers blooming, long sunny days… and sale shopping! I put this great look together online. Don’t I look cute?
Dress – I’m dress-obsessed this season and I can’t wait to get my hands on this classic shift in a modern print. It’s down from $158 to $89.99 at Ann Taylor. (Sizes are limited online but check stores for more options.) Bonus: It comes in petite!
Shoes – This cute natural-colored peep-toe is perfect for work! It’s a great deal at Nine West: was $89, now $59.99.
Necklace and Bag – I’m adding color to my look with accessories from Loft. This beaded necklace looks so luxe and it’s only $29.99 (down from $44), while the bag is super fun and versatile: You can remove the chain and use it as a clutch—plus it’s only $69.99, down from $98. And, shhh…if you go to the store, they’re offering an additional 30% off all sale items, which will make the necklace $20.99 and the bag $48.99—that’s more than half off!
Four pieces for a cute spring look—and we saved over 43%! (Check out more of my bargain shopping tips in the May issue of LHJ or see the story right here!) Happy spring, and happy shopping! So, tell me…what great deals have you scored lately?
March 30, 2010 at 2:07 pm , by Gabrielle Porcaro
I’m so excited that one of my favorite shoe stores in New York, ShoeWoo, launched their website yesterday. ShoeWoo.com is a one-stop destination for all of Jones Apparel Group’s shoe brands which includes: Nine West, Boutique 9, Rachel Rachel Roy, Joan & David, Enzo Angiolini, AK Anne Klein, Bandolino and Circa Joan & David. It’s a fun, interactive, easy to navigate site with a plethora of gorgeous shoes! And be sure to sign up for “shoe closet makeover” sweepstakes.
There are also ShoeWoo stores opening in Boston, Virginia and Ohio, in addition to the stores already in New York, D.C., New Jersey and Arkansas. Trust me ladies—this will be your new go-to shoe site!
October 13, 2009 at 10:22 am , by Gabrielle Porcaro
Gab, I trash-talked ankle boots a lot when they first came out, but now I’m secretly drawn to some of them. How do I come to terms with my uncertain feelings about ankle boots? And if I decide that they we’re meant to be, I’m worried that by the time I get them they’ll be out of style. How long do we think they’ll be acceptable for? - Kate
Kate, I think it’s always great to admit you were wrong about something. You don’t always have to be right and being wrong is a great lesson… oh wait we are talking about fashion! I remember when I was young making fun of my older sister’s Dr Martens only to get a pair a year later. Our style and tastes change year to year. And sometimes it takes a season or two for a new trend to become wearable for “real people” and not just something that models or super-trendy ladies can pull off.
In terms of forecasting, you never know what will be in one season and out the next. When metallic was huge trend a few years ago, my friend asked me if she should buy a pair of bronze flats. I told her no because metallics had been around for a few seasons already and I thought it was probably on its way out. I was wrong and metallics are still around—and she likes to remind me of my mistake!
Booties are huge and everywhere right now. If you’re still on the fence about them, go for a classic pair—nothing too trendy, edgy or expensive. Get something that you know you’ll wear and can work into your lifestyle and wardrobe. Stick with black and other neutrals. (For those of you out there who are more comfortable with your booties, I encourage you to certainly take some risks!)
Once you buy a pair, rock them with a slim pant, short dress or skirt. And don’t worry about what you said last year. I’m sure no one will remember once they see you looking hot in your new booties!
September 22, 2009 at 9:56 am , by Sue Erneta
I was recently in Target when my 4 year old started having a HUGE tantrum. What was wrong, you ask? Oh, just the simple fact that she had spotted a Dora mermaid doll and I said she’d have to wait to ask Santa for it. Her face began to turn red, the waterworks were sprouting, and she started jumping around like she hadn’t peed in hours. I wanted to say “Knock it off! You’re being ridiculous!” but instead I soothed her with some reasoning. “We can’t always have what we want.”
Sure it’s silly when she pulls these tantrums but then again, she is 4. And we all know what it’s like to want something we can’t have. Which reminds me…
I’m on the hunt for some new fall shoes. Let’s face it, it’s not really a desire, it’s something I need, right? Unfortunately, my budget is more “steal” than “splurge”. So, I picked out some nice Banana boots and felt pretty satisfied. Until…I popped into the Saks shoe salon. Prada studded round-toe pumps! Balenciaga lace-up booties! YSL navy sandals! Christian Louboutin patent peep-toes! My heart began to race. My palms started to sweat. I had an achy feeling in my stomach. Had I died and gone to shoe heaven? If so, it didn’t feel very good. I had to do everything in my power to avoid having a full blown tantrum when I looked at the prices. And suddenly I understood the way my daughter felt about that Dora doll.
The next time we went to Target, I bought her that doll. I know that was probably not the right lesson but I just figured one of us should get what we wanted, right? And since hers was only $14.99, she won.
So, tell me…What have you wanted so bad that it hurt?
September 15, 2009 at 9:09 am , by Gabrielle Porcaro
Gab, I need a new pair of black flats that are actually comfortable but still uber chic—do they exist? And can you explain the difference between stylish flats and dorky, outdated ones? What do I look for/what do I avoid? — Erica
Style and comfort can coexist. It’s all about the cut and the make—you don’t want anything that looks orthopedic! Shy away from a super chunky or sporty sole. Although both can be comfortable… most likely they won’t be chic. The front of the shoe shouldn’t be super wide or rounded in the toe; it makes your feet look wide. Oh, another fact: Super point toes haven’t made a come back yet so steer away from them as well. Toe cleavage is also a plus—it kills the dork factor.
Embellishment is big for fall so anything with a little something special is great and can actually elevate your look. Try a pair of sequined flats or some with studs or zipper detail. Piperlime.com is a great place to start.
And although black is the most versatile color, why not go for color? You don’t have to choose neon pink but why not red? My mom taught me at a young age that red is the best color for accessories: It’s bold and goes with just about everything… and Dorothy would be proud!