Sunday, March 30, 2008

Reinventing the basic black heel

You might that have noticed that, in shoes, my tastes tend to run towards the whimsical, the detailed, the slightly out of the ordinary. Life's too short to wear boring shoes, right? But then being too stubborn to invest in a good pair of black pumps leaves you forced to wear brown heelss with a black dress, since your one pair of black heels are way too open-toed to wear with tights, and it's too cold to go bare legged. I love my Claire Satin Slide Heels, $16.99, from Target, but I can't get away with having them as my only black shoe. (I do have a lot of love for these shoes, since they were my first pair of real heels and I learned how to walk in them. I wore them to cotillion, to English AP cocktail party, to multiple weddings. I bought them almost four years ago but they're so classic that Target still sells them, both in stores and online.)

So after last nights brown shoes/black dress fiasco (not really-- no one noticed), I decided I needed to get a pair of hot black heels. Here's what I'm looking for: preferably close-toed and heeled so I can wear tights, simple enough to match almost anything, but with some element that will make other girls look down and say, "those shoes are totally fucking fierce!" I'm thinking mary jane, t-strap, just something beyond a basic pump.

These are pretty much exactly what I'm looking for, but I can't buy them because they don't have my size and Danielle owns them, and knowingly buying the same pair of shoes as your roommate is just, like, against the rules of feminism. And they also have a little peeptoe, but they call it a "keyhole" so I think it's small enough to get away with tights. The Report Signature "Dita" Mary Jane Pumps, $149.25, are maybe the hottest shoes I've ever seen in my life. If you wear these shoes people will think you're either a really freaky librarian or a really classy burlesque dancer, both of which I want to be (or, at least, want people to think I am).

These shoes aren't quite as hot, and way too expensive, but I find t-straps are way too rare in the shoe world. How is it fair that there are Uggs and Crocs everywhere, but you have to search high and low for a good t-strap pump? The black patent Engage heels by Charles David, $250, also come in a burgundy color that I like so much better. See, that's the problem with shopping for back shoes: if they come in another color, I always want the cobalt or aubergine or jade version.

These Chinese Laundry Attitude shoes, $70, don't have much of a wow factor, but the cut-out on the side is interesting and they'll match every single thing in your closet. I'm also a big fan of the 1/2 inch hidden platform, since you can pretend you're just naturally that tall. Oh, but they come in dark teal! I want the dark teal! It'll match absolutely nothing but I want the dark teal!

Oh, these Report Bijou shoes, $152.10, are so vampy I'm getting a little flushed just looking at the photo online. I like pretty much anything with corset-style tie-up detailing: shirts, underwear, dresses, pants, whatever. These shoes would also be good if you're into toe cleavage, which I'm not really. I don't have anything against toe cleavage, but I sort of don't think it's a real thing we need to talk about and want to create. It's just your toes getting smushed together-- to compare those to real cleavage is just sort of insulting to boobs.

Here's another from the Report label, which I've kind of fallen in love with in the course of writing this post. They're out of my price range, but if I got a job and saved part of a few paychecks I could swing it; contrast that to, say, Manolo Blahniks which I could only afford if I saved ten paychecks and did buy any food for a month. For just $152.10 you can get these beyond fabulous Celine pumps with a sequin overlay. Sequins can be dicey-- you don't want to look like you're going to be performing in the Tarrytown Community Theater revival of Cabaret. But black sequins are subtly glitzy; you won't look like a disco ball but you will catch everyone's eyes. But they also come in red and gold at Zappos, silver and purple for $169, and red and purple for $84.50 at Macy's. I love black sequins, but when there are red sequined pumps, you have to ask yourself, "What would Dorothy do?" and go for the red. Yes, everyone you see will make Wizard of Oz references, but they'll also think you are exceedingly fetching and playful.

You couldn't wear these with tights, but I really like these Steve Madden Seducce (not a typo, just a stupid spelling) Black heels, $19.99. Also, they're really practical because the t-strap ensures that your foot is staying in the shoe. There's no slingback strap slipping out or your foot stepping out of the front. And they're nice and minimal, so you can wear something a little more detailed and your shoes won't compete for people's attention.

Two things I'm not sure about are suede and pointy-toes (they make your feet look kind of scary and long!), but I like these Steve Madden Arouse pumps, $29.99. The combination of the two is sexy, I think. I know that I would constantly be sitting, crossing my legs, and touching my soft shoes, and encouraging cute boys to do the same.

I posted the red version of these shoes a few posts back, but the black version is also hot. From Isaac Mizrahi for Target, the Black Chris Mary-Jane pumps, $29.99, are the sort of shoes secretaries who sleep with their bosses wear. In a good way.

I like the Kenneth Cole sublabel Unlisted because some of the shoes have a bright red sole, Christian Louboutin-rip off style. I don't really believe in designer knock-offs, but I wouldn't be made if I was wearing these shoes and some stranger thought they were real Louboutins. These "Stylish" pumps, $45, have an awesome fake crocodile embossed upper. I like that the croc leather and red sole are very sex kitten, but the general shape of the shoe is very demure.

These shoes are super demure. They should call them Coquette shoes. They're called the Charming shoe, $44.99, which is a little uncreative. These shoes might be a little too sweet, with the pleated satin and the ribbon and the tulle and the bow. But I think it could all work if you were wearing something almost, but not quite, as sweet and girly.

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