Fashion and shopping, Melbourne style

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Entries in shoes (125)

Tuesday
Aug272019

What I Actually Wore #0155

Serial #: 0155
Date: 30/10/2013
Weather: 20°C / 68°F
Time Allowed: 10 minutes

Right on theme is this outfit out of the archives: it is very graphic with the stripes and stars, and I still like it. Stripes are one of my outfit go-tos – a default, if-in-doubt wardrobe staple. I still own all these items in fact, except the starry tights ran off and have been replaced, and the shoes are in storage as they are actually quite uncomfortable because of the inflexible glitter fabric of the uppers. I still love the idea of the glittery Dorothy-inspired shoes so I can’t bring myself to sell them online, as was my original plan – nor do I want to inflict them on some unsuspecting buyer!

I happen to be wearing a few souvenirs from my trip to Spain: the skirt is by a Catalonian designer, and the ceramic earrings and ring were both bought in Barcelona; the ring always seemed to me to be a suitable memento of Gaudí’s famed and fabulous sculptural architecture in that city. The herringbone skirt looks wintry, but it is made of a linen and rayon blend. (The skirt looks like it has a rosy tint on one side, but that is actually the reflection of the sunset.)

According to my notes for this outfit, I also wore my vintage 60s black velvet and fur trim coat, and a matching vintage hat, a soft velvet cap with fur trim that pulls down over the head like a turban, which I think may be even older – possibly even 1910s or 20s. I also carried a favourite white leather tote from a now sadly-defunct Melbourne designer label. I don’t know why I omitted to photograph them!

Items:

Top: Meredith
Skirt: Celia Vela
Hat: vintage 1920s
Coat: Fashion Gems of Melbourne, vintage 60s
Earrings: souvenir
Ring: souvenir
Stockings: Leg Avenue
Bag: Elise Caarels
Shoes: Wittner

Photos: January 2014

Monday
Aug262019

Shoe Tales Time Tells

Quite a while ago I took these photos of new shoes (new to me that is, they were both bought secondhand), and for some reason I did not get round to writing a story about them while they were still actually new, and now they are old.

This shoe story became so old it transmogrified into a different story: that of shopping habits, knowing one’s own style, and listening to gut instincts.

Time tells its own tale, for in fact, only one pair had time to get old. I can’t recall where I found the shiny black high-heeled oxfords, but it was instant love. They were a perfect fit, looked hardly worn, and were quite inexpensive. I bought them and never regretted it, wearing them countless times since as a good, sturdy winter shoe that fit in perfectly with my favourite 1930s aesthetic.

The other pair tell a different tale, however. I spotted them inside a cabinet in an op shop, and was attracted by the soft blue colour. Upon request to look at them, I discovered first off that they were expensive (for thrift store shoes) at $20, and there was no indication of what material they were made of (they didn’t smell of leather). I don’t like to wear synthetic shoes: they don’t breathe and do not soften with time, so if they don’t fit perfectly, they can rub painfully. An uncomfortable shoe is a pain in the … foot. The soles of these were also quite thin. But, I reasoned, I run through walking shoes quickly because I wear them so much, so it’s always good to have plenty on hand, so against my better judgment, I bought them. That transpired to be a mistake; I had too many misgivings about them, and I ended up wearing them only (ahem) a handful of times before I returned them whence they came.

The lesson: don’t buy shoes that don’t perfectly fit either your notions of quality or personal style, or your physical proportions: unlike garments, shoes cannot be much altered to fit you better. A bargain is not a bargain if you don’t wear it, after all.

Photos: July 2016

Tuesday
Mar192019

Goody, Two Shoes!

I have been doing some desperately-needed culling in my closet over the last couple of weeks, and have so far completed sorting through all the summer clothing which is currently in my wardrobe, plus the winter jumpers which normally don’t go into storage. (I’ll do the winter clothing either when I bring it up out of storage, or at the end of the coming winter.) I have not yet touched any accessories at all either, so I am not even half way! So with that in mind, when I saw these photos again today, they made me laugh.

I find it difficult to cull shoes, except if they are worn out, or are uncomfortable – or if I suddenly decide they are ugly and wonder why on earth I ever bought them. This happened once, a long time ago, when I wore Birkenstocks for commuting. I was sitting in a park and looked down at my feet and found myself thinking, “Those shoes are extremely ugly.” The moment I returned home, I threw them unregretfully into the garbage. (I didn’t want to donate them so that some other misguided soul would wear them – why inflict that on the world?) These days I wear more attractive walking shoes.

But why do I find myself with two pairs of navy suede pumps? Well, they are not exactly the same, it’s true. It came about that after I threw out a pair of beloved but worn out patent navy Mary-Janes, I was in search of replacements. “Somehow” I ended up with two. At least I can say that they both came from op shops (thrift stores), so I can feel good about recycling.

… what if some mishap occurs, such as a heel snapping off, or muddy rain, then I will be glad I have two.

They are both very comfortable and elegant – one, by Australian brand David Lawrence, features scalloped edges, how cute! The d’Orsay pumps, which I found first, are by Jady Rose; I only discovered recently this is an extremely expensive brand that I could never afford to buy retail. The pairs are slightly different shades of blue, and have different heel heights, so I simply can’t choose one over another. Besides, what if some mishap occurs, such as a heel snapping off, or muddy rain, then I will be glad I have two. So much for the blue.

The red suede T-bar Mary-Janes are by Guess, and I bought them on Ozsale at a huge discount. Despite their deceptively high heels, they are extremely comfortable. I can even run in them. They even stop traffic! Once, as I dodged cars to cross a road (the traffic was stationary), some random woman shouted urgently from her car, expressing her love for them. The rich hue is delicious, the style is a classic.

And then along came the claret coloured Mary-Janes by Nine West, with cute little button fasteners. Some foolish person had donated them to a charity store unworn, so I took them home with me. What would you? (I do have a thing for red shoes.) The colours, and again, the heel heights, of these are so different that clearly it’s necessary to keep both of them for different outfits.

In conclusion: why ration your shoes when you can rationalise? Good shoes come in twos in case of emergency!

Photos: November 2018

Tuesday
Jan012019

Picnic-Perfect

The first day of January is a perfect day for a picnic, and what is a more perfect picnic outfit than one featuring gingham? There is something just so cheerful about this fabric, and my favourite combination is red and white, although I do have other colours.

Gingham is usually made from cotton or cotton-blends, but the origin of it is open to speculation, possibly originating from the Malay, or from a town in France, or even perhaps from the Dutch. Many women would associate gingham with school uniforms, which may put them off, or imbue it with an affectionate nostalgia. My high school uniform was a green and grey plaid, so I have no such reminders. (I don’t think I’d want to wear a dress made from my high school plaid though – the notion makes me laugh aloud.)

There is something just so cheerful about this fabric …

Perhaps the picnicking connotations has to do with red and white checked cloths traditionally used in picnic baskets? While a picnic did not after all transpire on my first day of the year, I did have a friend visit for afternoon cake and coffee on my balcony, and we went for a walk in the local Botanic Gardens. I was pleased to wear a red and white gingham dress rather than this exact outfit, as it was far too warm for denim.

This blouse was actually gifted to me by the friend I saw today, which is apt, and the vintage 60s hat I purchased on eBay. The adorable heels were purchased from Anthropologie on sale. They were a bit expensive to start with, and I dithered so long over buying them, by the time I finally did they were drastically reduced – hurrah!

It was a lovely sunny day in the gardens (I carried a red parasol), and while my friend and I ambled around, we came across plenty of picnicking parties – a pleasant beginning to the year indeed.

I hope that 2019 brings you joy and fulfillment, and the strength to see any challenges through. Here’s to a fresh new year!

Photos: September 2018

Friday
Dec282018

The White Walkers

It was maybe last summer that I bought a pair of as new off-white kid leather sneakers by Camper in a thrift store. Technically they were a size too big, but they were so soft and comfortable and just my kinda sneaks, that I bought them anyway. They became my favourite walking shoes. I wore them everywhere, and I wore them to death.

First they developed the sundry scuffs and scrapes of normal wear-and-tear, but then holes appeared in the outer sides where the leather was thinnest – I was aghast! I kept on wearing them anyway. Then the shoelaces snapped, and I tied them in knots and I kept on wearing them. Then the treads, in patches, wore down to non-existence.

Then, my friend bought a pair of white brogues by Australian brand Country Road – also from the thrift store – but finding them too small for her, passed them on to me. These were also in excellent condition when they were donated. Admittedly they are a little too tight for me, but once they are worn in and their stiffness softens, they will be fine (toes crossed).

… normally I would be embarrassed to be seen on the streets in such shabby shoes …

The only problem was that I was stubbornly clinging to my disgraceful Campers instead of wearing in the Country Roads. Even though normally I would be embarrassed to be seen on the streets in such shabby shoes, I was brazenly continuing to wear them.

Finally on Boxing Day when I gave the apartment a good post-Christmas-rush clean-up, I forced myself to pick up the disreputable shoes and march off to the giant garbage bins – where, wincing, I threw them in. A few, sad tears followed them like the handful of pebbles one casts over a coffin.

I wish I could say I took to the brogues with gusto, but my feet are in mourning still.

Photo: December 2012