A Little Sparkle for the Holidays

I was just looking at some of the catalogs that have been arriving and it looks like “sparkle” will once again be the way to go for the Holidays!  I love a little Glitz and dressing up – even if I probably will be spending most of the Holidays at home.

My favorite so far?  Those little clip-ons for shoes that WHBM is showing this year.  Maybe because it reminds me of some of the boot bling Steve and I are so fond of creating?  How can you not like a little sparkle on your feet?  Makes me think of Cinderella and her wonderful glass slippers!

I vote for a clingy black dress, a pair of sleek black stiletto heels adorned with a touch of rhinestones, surrounded by family, friends and good food and drink – what could be better to welcome in the new year?

The French Mystique Continues

I just returned from a wonderful trip to France – and even though its been twenty years since my last visit – French women still have “it”!  They look like they spend no time on their makeup or clothes and yet they all look amazing – like they just stepped out of a fashion magazine!  How do they do it?

It just looks effortless!  Here is what I saw over and over – a black leather jacket, a pair of well fitting jeans or pants, a scarf, and a pair of boots – that’s it!  I wore the same thing and I assure you – I did not make the same statement.  Its got to be the attitude – I wonder how you get it?  My guess is if you have to ask – you don’t have it and probably never will!

 

Boots – Choosing Your Shaft Length

For years the most exciting thing about picking out a new pair of boots was the “heel” style – and whether you wanted black, brown and if you were really adventurous – cordovan.  That is no longer the case.  Now you pick out your next pair of boots by “shaft” length. (The height of the shaft measured from the middle of the arch up the outsole of the boot to the top of the boot shaft in inches. (Definition taken from Zappos measurement guide).

 

Ankle – boot shaft height is 3″ to 8 3/4″

Mid-Calf – boot shaft height is 9″ to 13 1/2″

Knee-High –  Boot shaft height is 13 3/4″to 17 3/4″

Over – the Knee – Boot shaft height is 18″ or higher

This table is taken from Nordstrom’s Measuring Guide.  They use a women’s size 8 1/2 to measure their boot shaft heights.

 

 

My “Go To” Shoe

When I was working in Downtown Dallas – my “go to” Shoe was what used to be called a “Stewardess Heel” – a medium heel with a closed toe- the exact style depending on what heel and toe shapes were in style that season – no straps, and always black.

Some seasons it was more comfortable than others – but generally flattering to the calf and acceptable to my company’s dress code policy.

I’ve no complaints – I had a closet full of them – I admit I am a pack rate and hate to throw anything away!  But now that I get to work from my home office – I get a little more freedom. So my new, “go to” shoe is actually a bootie – still black – this time suede instead of leather – and extremely comfortable.  I can wear it all day and when I take them off – my feet don’t ache – not even my toes!  Plus I can wear it with pants of any length, dresses and even my faded old, jeans.

 

Custom Shoes and Boots – a Dream Come True

I have a problem when it comes to finding comfortable shoes and boots.  I’m pretty average in height and weight – can buy clothes off the rack and really not need much in the way of alterations – except for my footwear!

The only way I can describe my feet are duck like.  I have a very wide foot, a high arch and very thin heels – so if I get something that is comfortable on my toes, its too wide for my heel, and if I get something that is comfortable for my arch – the rest of my foot isn’t happy.

I am a weekend jogger, so I have purchased running shoes with special inserts – and they have worked out well.  So I decided, I would see what was out there in the way of custom boots and shoes.

My first online search brought me to Shoes of Prey.  They are out of Australia but ship international.  They offer a free questionnaire to help determine your true shoe size – I generally wear a 7 – 7 1/2 – the results of my questionnaire – I should wear a 6C.  How crazy is that?

The sad news?   It appears that Shoes of Prey has stopped accepting  orders – looking for new funding options. I hope they find it – their style options were okay and their price points were actually affordable – usually under $200 – while most of the custom footwear sites I visited started at about $300 and went up dramatically from there.

Boots – a pair for every taste!

I admit, I have a boot obsession – after having to wear black pumps most of my adult life – nothing sounds better to me than slipping into a comfortable pair of boots!

I try to limit myself to one pair of new boots for the spring and summer time and one pair for the fall and winter.  So its time to look for my fall/winter pair!  I don’t like to decide too quickly or it will make for a long wait before I get to  shop again.  So I decided to start with an online search to see what was out there this season.

I stopped after my first 2 searches – Nordstrom’s had over 125 pages of boots and DSW had over 30 pages – and no – I did not scroll thru all of those pages to see if they were really all boots!

But I looked thru enough to know that there are a lot more types of boots than when I was young.  Here is a sample of what we women now have to choose from:

  • Over the knee boots – I would love to try on a pair – but where do you wear them?
  • Booties – more styles and colors than I could possibly try on in a weekend shopping trip!
  • Cowboy Boots – now who hasn’t wanted to be a cowgirl at one time or another?
  • Riding Boots (even though most of us don’t ride and probably never will!)
  • Moccasins – they look so soft and comfy – but so far I have not succumbed!
  • Classic Black Boots – these have gone from necessary winter accessories to the focal point of your outfit.
  • Industrial looking boots – I do remember these from my youth!
  • Motorcycle boots – yes I do have a pair – and no I have never sat on a bike!
  • Combat Boots – I haven’t really been drawn to this style yet – but you never know!
  • Snow boots – no longer worn just in the snow – and some are probably better off getting nowhere near the  white stuff!

 

Our First Sale Ever

Post from Julie:

Steve is in charge of our inventory and he has decided that before he will unveil our newest creations for the Holidays, we should clear out a few of our seasonal summer jewelry.  Theses are still one of a kind pieces – but may have a bit of a warm weather vibe.  So if you live in a warmer climate, or will be travelling to the tropics during the winter – now is the time to check out our Inventory Close-outs!

There’s No Place Like Jamaica

Post From Steve:

I recently traveled over to Jamaica for a vacation. I really didn’t do very much research on the island other than I’ve know some friends that have traveled over to Jamaica; some love it others found it to be just ok. I can’t pinpoint why, but I too found it just ok. One reason for the soft review was the crazy amount of humidity. Yes, I know it’s an island but I really haven’t experienced this level of humidity and heat on any of the surrounding islands I’ve visited.

Post From Steve:

I recently traveled over to Jamaica for a vacation. I really didn’t do very much research on the island other than I’ve know some friends that have traveled over to Jamaica; some love it others found it to be just ok. I can’t pinpoint why, but I too found it just ok. One reason for the soft review was the crazy amount of humidity. Yes, I know it’s an island but I really haven’t experienced this level of humidity and heat on any of the surrounding islands I’ve visited.

Another item to note if you visit Jamaica, they travel in the opposite side of the road from us in the United States.

Now on the fashion side, I saw just about every conceivable range of clothing. From shabby t-shirts and shorts to dress to kill, it just depended on at what time and where. In Montego Bay, there’s an area of clubs called the “hip strip” where the younger crowds visit. Here it was the women showing off as much skin as possible. If you read that women’s dresses are getting more conservative and longer; that is not happening in Jamaica. Wish I could tell yout here was some common theme, there just wasn’t one other than less is more. You can almost say the same thing if you had the body, it was wear whatever shows off your assets.

I am by no means suggesting you not visit Jamaica, it’s really pretty and the people are really friendly.

Post from Julie

When we went to Jamaica last year we had a wonderful time – there was some humidity but the afternoon rain cleared it out, so the evenings were beautiful. Maybe the difference is that I have lived in South Florida, so perhaps he humidity didn’t bother me as much. I do agree with Steve that with so many visitors from so many places, in the way of fashion, anything goes!

I also agree with Steve, you will not go to many places where the people are friendlier or happier to have you there.

Summer’s winning swimsuit

Post from Steve:

Swimsuits

Summer has hit. It’s time for the beach or a swimming pool to beat the heat. Wondering what hot in women’s swim wear? It’s an old spin on the one piece that is being brought back by the resurgence of the Bay Watch TV series and the new film with the same name that is showing in theaters. Any one of the you fans of the old TV show would know what I am speaking about immediately…….the High cut Leg, red one piece. This one style made Pamela Anderson a star almost overnight. While maybe not a style for everyone, it’s still going to be a fan favorite for those of us that were fans of the TV show.

Fashion in Austin

Post from Steve:

Think fashion is different in the city you travel? I think most people would say yes, but at the same time not realize how drastically fashion can change just a few hundreds of miles away. Take for example my trip to Austin TX. Austin has always been known to be the “different” and “unique” city in Texas. Austin goes by the motto, “Keep Austin Weird” and they do honor their motto.
Being the State Capital as well as housing one of the largest universities in the country, there is a social economic mix there that is unique to just a few places in the U.S. You’ll likely see a billionaire and a student frequenting the same bar or restaurant. Talk about extremes, from high fashion to college grunge.
While some establishments would frown on this diversity, it’s actually embraced in Austin. I think they may have something going here….maybe other place should adopt.

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