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What I Wore: A Place for Everything with Dagne Dover

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Blazer: Ralph Lauren (thrifted – similar) | Tee: armor-lux (gift from reader – similar) | Jeans: NYDJ | Shoes: Cole Haan (similar) | Bag: c/o Dagne Dover

Reader Missy recently contacted me regarding the bag company Dagne Dover. She saw there was a pop-up shop taking place in DC and asked if I may be attending, and if so could I report back on what the bags were like in person. See, Missy has had the Dagne Dover Mini Tote on her wish list for months but was afraid to pull the trigger on such a pricey bag if she hasn’t seen and experienced it. Unfortunately I had plans the day of the DC pop-up shop so I contacted Dagne Dover to see if there would be another show in my area in the near future. To be honest I hadn’t heard of this brand before Missy’s email.  They were kind enough to send me one of the Mini Totes for me to experience and share with all of you.

Dagne Dover The Mini Tote Review

The Mini Tote from Dagne Dover is an incredibly smart bag while still maintaining style. Though it’s called a “Mini” you can tell from the photos that this bag isn’t small. However, it’s a manageable size that seems to easily hold much more than my biggest hobos or satchels. It’s not as tall or wide as my Brahmin satchel, but it holds twice as much and is far easier to access everything. There’s a removable cup of sorts to hold an umbrella or bottle of water, a padded pocket inside for a tablet or small notebook computer (I use it to hold my momAgenda and a book or my Kindle), and a zipper exterior pocket that can also hold a similarly sized device (I slipped in my tablet). There’s a pouch to hold sunglasses so they don’t get lost in the abyss, a detachable cord to hold my keys, and pockets to hold and easily access everything from my SmarTrip to my iPhone to my lipstick.  Missy asked if the bag can hold an 8.5 x 11″ document or folder and the answer is yes.  While it wouldn’t fit in any of the pockets, the main interior compartment is wide and deep enough to accommodate.  As I type this, I have 250 flyers of that size tucked in there and still room for my sunglasses, wallet, and the ability to access all the pockets.

Not pictured is a detachable adjustable strap that can make the Mini Tote a shoulder bag or crossbody. The strap is even smartly designed with padding where it rests on your shoulder! For my 5’3″ self I put the strap on the shortest setting and it was right at that comfortable hip place as a crossbody.  The built-in short straps do fit over the shoulder; I could fit it with a thin knit but found it too awkward with this outfit and impossible with a winter coat.  A slimmer woman may find it easier.  Full, the bag may feel too boxy for comfort under the arm, but the other day I slipped it over my shoulder for a quick trip to get lunch (my agenda, book, tablet, and umbrella were not in the bag).  I use the crossbody to get to the office so I can have my hands free to carry coffee or hold on when standing on the Metro, but I feel most comfortable at my height and weight to carry this bag in my hand as I did in this post.

After reading about these bags and the loyal fanbase, I really wanted to see the bag in person.  Why so much for a bag not out of leather?  Seeing it in person and using the bag, the price and loyalty is justified.  The bag is of coated canvas but it could easily be mistaken for Saffiano leather.  All the trim including the handles are of butter-soft Napa leather, the hardware is heavyweight and utterly gorgeous, and the pockets and added details are made with thought and care (a tight pocket for a Metro card, a deeper pocket for a SmartPhone, the ability to put the key cord on the side of your choice for easy access, etc.).  The more I used this bag the more I liked it; to be honest I wrote this post Sunday and came back Wednesday to edit it with more raving and detail.

I find Dagne Dover to be a perfect bag for the busy woman on the go. Unlike my other big bags, I find it a breeze to wear it across my body, unzip it and be able to see and access everything with one hand. Yes, you can hold a cup of coffee and be able to grab your sunglasses, you can hold a child on your hip and find your ringing phone, and you can quickly access your keys in a mall parking lot without having to put down your packages.  The Dagne Dover Mini Tote has a place for everything, with everything in its place.  If you have any questions about the Dagne Dover Mini Tote, please ask in the comments.  While Dagne Dover did send me the bag, this post is not sponsored and they knew I would be completely honest in my review and in replying to any comments.

FYI: The links in this post are for Missy to Share + Score with Dagne Dover.  I wouldn’t have known about this brand if it wasn’t for her.  You can learn more about the Share + Score program on Dagne Dover’s site, but if you are interested in purchasing one of their bags I encourage you to use one of the links on this post and support a fellow Wardrobe Oxygen reader!

What I Wore: Old School Allie

wardrobe oxygen what I wore Red Fossil Leather Erin Satchel wardrobe oxygen what i wore fossil red leather bag wardrobe oxygen what I wore ann taylor stripe tee loft pants fossil bag
Tee: Ann Taylor | Pants: LOFT | Scarf: Liberty London (similar) | Bag: c/o Fossil (similar) | Watch: Citizen | Bracelets: Nordstrom, Rebecca Minkoff (similar) | Shoes: Cole Haan (similar)

I wore this outfit last week to work and I felt very Classic Allie. My sister bought me this scarf a few years ago when she visited London and I love pairing it with stripes. And well, we all know I love stripes! I put away laundry this weekend and was floored how I have a drawer of almost all striped tees, but I wear them all and they all have different purposes, fits, and colors. This one I recently picked up at Ann Taylor; I like the notched hem and leather elbow patches which makes it look a bit more polished than a traditional tee, and I liked the sale price!

My Wardrobe Today – Monday

Tee - LOFT
Skirt – Ann Taylor (bought on eBay 5 years ago for $14.99, no clue how old, label style unfamiliar to me)
TightsNordstrom
BootiesCole Haan
Scarf – c/o Nordstrom Rack
BagSabina
Silver cuff

I forgot to set my alarm last night. My body woke me up at 7:15 (glad it wasn’t 8:15) and I had 45 minutes to get myself together and out the door. I had pulled this skirt out of my stash of potential winter things and a month ago it was just too tight, too short, and I thought I would re-eBay it. I pulled it on this morning since it was sitting on the cedar chest at the foot of the bed… and it fit! Only thing wrong is I guess the hem dry rotted and has fallen out while wearing (easy to fix). Very excited to have another leather skirt in my arsenal!

New bag – I had $40 in Nordstrom rewards, saw this bag for $129 and decided to try it.  I have wanted a bigger bag to carry my netbook and such, and wanted a soft black purse (currently have my Banana Republic one which is that textured hard leather like a football). Love the bag, so soft, holds so much, necessary front pocket (with magnet closure) and hey… gotta love such a quality bag for only $89!

Sorry for the delay in posting, work has gotten really hectic. Glad I stocked the office fridge with Lean Cuisines because that’s the only way I get to eat anything. The only time I have left my desk is to hit the printer or the bathroom (and refill my water bottle!). Whew, what a crazy couple of weeks!

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Tuesday: Sign of Fall

Cardigan: Halogen
Blouse: Ann Taylor
Skirt: Halogen (similar)
Tights: Nordstrom
Shoes: Cole Haan
Bag: Hobo
Lipstick: Cover Girl Lip Perfection in Embrace

You know it’s fall when I break out the tights. While many adore hosiery and look for any chance to wear it, I’m more comfortable in bare legs. However the weather has gotten chilly and the office still seems to be cranking the A/C so the tights came out of storage!

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My Wardrobe Today – Monday

Jacket – Josephine Chaus (via eBay – similar)
Blouse – Ann Taylor (similar)
JeansNYDJ
BootiesCole Haan
Brooch - Unknown (have had for at least a decade – similar)

I wasn’t looking for a jacket like this on eBay, in fact I was looking for a sequined skirt. This showed up in the search, and I totally fell for it. I know Josephine Chaus is more of a department store career wear sort of brand, but I loved the colors, the embellishment, and the super duper low price (less than $20). It’s a hair small (can’t close over my bust), the shirt is a hair large (a 14 regular, last worn here), but together I think they really work nicely.  I think this jacket will also be adorable come spring – I have tried it over sheath dresses and like the effect.

This post also shows how desperately I need jeans – my size 12 NYJDs look dumpy, my 10s look like jeggings, and with my weight loss I need a lower rise.  This has been a frustrating search all fall and winter – this body is not yet made to wear jeans and trousers (or else a silhouette that flatters it is not currently popular).  I will continue to search – in fact I just ordered two pairs of denim trousers from two different retailers and hope at least one pair fits a bit – I’d be happy to have a pair altered to fit if they at least look good enough from the get-go that I would need to have them completely recreated!

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Ask Allie: Commuter Shoes for Summer

I have to wear comfortable shoes during my daily commute, as I walk 20+ minutes each way. Okay looking shoes/boots are easy enough to find for the cold winter months but I’m at a loss for summer. Flip flops aren’t an option as I have high arches and can’t stand feeling of something between toes. Gym shoes are too dorky. Any ideas?

I am so glad to find a fellow woman who won’t wear flip flops on her commute. Not only do they not provide arch support and can be deadly on slick sidewalks (and feel weird between the toes), but they are just plain tacky looking with your corporate attire. Keep the flip flops to the backyard barbecues and beaches!

I also am anti-the beaten-down ballet flats; this morning when walking to get coffee, I overheard two women discussing their commuting shoes. A woman said she loved ballet flats from Gap, but admitted she was on her fifth pair in two years because they got, “Super gross, super fast.” I’m glad that she would replace them once they got “gross,” but think it would make more sense to invest in a higher-quality shoe that could survive more than a couple months. There are great quality summer shoes out there with comfort and arch support, here’s a few that have been on my radar:

I like that this pair of Ecco shoes isn’t your typical ballet flat which is free of structure and support. This shoe has a proper sole and a tiny bit of a heel to put your foot in a more comfortable position. Leopard is an unexpected neutral that will go with almost everything in your closet. This shoe also comes in solid colors.

I have a pair of Cole Haan shoes with Nike Air Technology and can attest to the fact that they are really comfortable, wearable for long spans of time, and great for walking. These adorable bow flats from Cole Haan have miles of style and great reviews for comfort when walking. While black is a safe bet, I am partial to the red for a fun pop of color on your commute.

A driving moc or loafer is always a classic choice, and looks fresh with everything from menswear-inspired trousers to flippy sundresses. I love the orange color, which screams summer and would also look smart come the weekend with twill shorts or cropped pants.

When I was pregnant, I had a flat from Naturalizer very similar to these. They were utterly amazing – so supportive, comfortable, and fit right out of the box. These may not be the most chic of flats, but your feet will be happy by time you finish your walk and the color is subtle enough to not destroy the look of your ensemble.

I own these sandals and adore them. They are so comfortable, they have become my sightseeing shoe and even wear them when attending concerts when I know I will be standing the whole time. While they have an ankle strap, once you wear them twice you don’t need to unfasten to get on and off, which makes it easy for commuting. I also like the covered toe, which will keep your feet clean and your pedicure intact when walking down city streets.

Very similar to the Ventura, but with a different heel or sole. I love that this shoe comes in widths so you can ensure a comfortable fit from the get-go.

Great selection of colors, great reviews on comfort and the ability to walk for miles in them. I like the adjustable straps for a custom fit, and love that they are under $100.

Do you have a favorite commuting or walking shoe?  Please share in the comments!

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My Wardrobe Today – Friday

Black tuxedo jacket – Ann Taylor (no longer available)
Quarry Print TankAnn Taylor
Jeans - Not Your Daughter’s Jeans “Marilyn”
Black bootiesCole Haan “Air Talia Bootie”
Gold and crystal necklace - Ann Taylor LOFT (no longer available)
Gold and crystal bracelet – Anthropologie via eBay

Sorry for the dark pictures, this morning was very dark and gloomy. However the day has brightened a bit and I am looking forward to this weekend. There is a music festival in town on tomorrow and I hope to hit a mall on Sunday!

Have a great weekend everyone!

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Basic Black and White

Blouse: Jones New York c/o Gwynnie Bee | Jeans: NYDJ | Shoes: Cole Haan | Necklace: Cameron Pendant c/o Kristin Biggs, Stella and Dot | Watch: c/o WatchCo | Bracelets: c/o Lifetherapy, Nordstrom, had forever | Glasses: c/o Coastal.com

This top is perfect for this weather – billowy and breezy for the commute, but enough coverage that I don’t freeze to death in the office. This is totally the kind of top I buy, wear once or twice, and tire of the print because it’s too memorable. Love that with Gwynnie Bee I can wear it once or twice, and then return it for something new without buyer’s remorse. Interested in trying Gwynnie Bee?  Use this link, tell them Wardrobe Oxygen sent you and get a 30 day free trial of the program.

I just got these glasses Friday evening but have already fallen in love. When I got new glasses back in December, I wanted something classic, stylish without being trendy, something appropriate for work as well as every day. My Issy and La “Gloss” frames are perfect for that, but now I want more frames, and fun frames. I love the bold look of these, and it’s exciting to find frames that are big enough for my ginormous noggin. I did get these frames for free (review here), but I would totally order from Coastal.com again. Great prices, good service, and shipping is lightening fast. In fact, if you go to this link (not an affiliate link, not getting paid to share, just me being jazzed about sharing this with you) and pick any of these frames and add your prescription and use the code FIRSTPAIRFREE you get… well your first pair free! You do have to pay for shipping (which is around $9.00), but what an awesome steal of a deal. It’s always good to always have a spare pair or a fun pair that gets you out of your comfort zone.

Speaking of great deals, I have been wearing my Lifetherapy bracelets quite a lot and get so many compliments on them.  They have offered Wardrobe Oxygen readers 20% off on ALL Lifetherapy products (body care as well as jewelery).  Use code WARDROBEOXYGEN at checkout; this code is valid until 7/1/2013.

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Ask Allie: What Flat Shoes Look Good with Socks?

I need flat, stylish shoes that I can wear with socks on chilly fall and winter days. I love the way that ballet flats look but obviously socks don’t work with them. I have low, black, ankle boots with a kitten heel, but need to mix it up with some other work-appropriate shoes (meaning, no boots that you’d wear jeans tucked into). I’ve looked at some driving mocs but haven’t found any that are cute/stylish and age-appropriate (34). Help!

Socks
First things first, the type of sock you wear makes a major difference. Men are used to this, and have dressier socks to wear for work, and more casual socks for weekends. For a sock to work with flats, you want something that is sleek, fits snugly to the ankle, doesn’t slouch down, has a refined finish. Trouser socks are a safe bet – they’re made to be slim and professional looking. While some may seem like glorified knee-high pantyhose, others look great and add a bit of warmth. I am a big fan of the Spanx Perfectoe Trouser Socks – they are moisture wicking and double layered which adds some padding to the tootsies and extra warmth come winter. They also don’t leave red rings on my calves after a work day. DKNY also makes some nice microfiber trouser socks which are more opaque, keep their shape better, and launder better than most other brands I have tried. Both brands come in standard dark neutrals that will work with most trouser and shoe colors.

I also have much success with knee socks, which come up past the widest point of your calf, ensuring they don’t slide down. Also the extra height prevents a visible line in thin or more fitted trousers, and you get a couple more inches of warmth.

You don’t have to stick to boring black, gray, and brown socks. Again, take a cue from your male colleagues and have some fun with your footwear. Since only a sliver is seen, it’s a great way to add a pop of color or do some pattern mixing without being too extreme. A gray and black pattern is a subtle look; a classic pattern like leopard, polka dots, argyle, or houndstooth is chic; a solid bright like candy pink or aqua can brighten a gray winter day.

Shoes
Okay, we’ve covered socks… now on to shoes! I agree with you, I don’t think ballet flats work with socks. The look is awkward. However, there’s a lot of styles this fall that do work really well with socks:

Be a modern-day Katharine Hepburn with a pair of smoking slippers.
Left, from top to bottom: jcp | Cole Haan | J. Crew | VC Signature | Dorothy Perkins | Franco Sarto

The Smoking Slipper
With the higher vamp and the loafer-esque silhouette, a smoking slipper works quite well with hosiery. I’d stick to a dark color that matches the shoe or trousers since the shoe has a very unique silhouette and most smoking slippers come in a print or unusual material. Pair with menswear style trousers and a crisp white shirt or fitted sweater and channel Katharine Hepburn.

 She may be wearing loafers, but you can achieve Audrey’s sleek look with this season’s oxfords.

The Oxford or Brogue
The oxford or brogue shoe isn’t going away any time soon, and that’s good news for those of us wanting flats that pair with socks. While some styles of oxfords can seem heavy and manly, there’s also many sleek and feminine styles out there. While an oxford looks great with most any cut of trouser, it’s fresh and feminine with a slim and slightly cropped pant (the better to showcase your legwear, my dear!). Pair narrow black pants and black socks with a printed or textured oxford and be a modern-day Audrey Hepburn.

Driving mocs look great with the feminine version of menswear, take a cue from Olivia Palermo’s look.
Left, from top to bottom: Cole Haan | Cole Haan | Geox | Cole Haan | C. Wonder | VANELi

The Driving Moc or Loafer
You mentioned this style and I agree it’s perfect with socks, but it is hard to find a more youthful version. It comes down to color – most mocs look the same, but if you choose a fun hue, it automatically looks younger and more hip. Don’t be afraid of a lighter color for winter – a bone, pale gray, or winter white moc can be quite modern looking this season. Be inspired by Olivia Palermo’s style and wear them with a feminine version of menswear in soft neutrals.

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Ask Allie: Finding The Perfect Pump

Hi Allie, I’m looking for a comfortable matte black pump. Something with a heel that isn’t TOO high or TOO low (but just right, like Goldilocks, LOL). I might be in my 50s, but I don’t want a shoe that makes me look older, nor can I wear 3″ heels. Any suggestions?

Ah shoe shopping – can be so much fun or can be so frustrating!  Since I am a busy working mom, I do the majority of my shopping online, and that includes shoes.  While answering your question, I will also give you a peek into how I find shoes online:

I love shopping Nordstrom online for shoes – not only do they have free shipping and free returns and no time limit for those returns, they also have a search-friendly site and a boatload of customer reviews. On Nordstrom.com, I went to Women, Women’s Shoes, then chose Pumps, and then chose less than a 3” heel. From there, I could narrow to just black and found:


I have this shoe in a higher heel and find them wearable all day. They are comfortable, classic, and not at all frumpy. Not only that, you get all this for less than $100!

Reviews say they run a hair large, but are cushioned and comfortable. The wide heel will keep you feeling stable, but the touch of gold keeps these pumps from looking frumpy or boring.

In a similar sleek silhouette as the “Flex,” this is a pump that will stay stylish for many seasons to come. Reviews say it runs a hair narrow, but one said she was able to wear them straight out of the box without a single blister!

Next stop was ShopStyle, where I clicked on Shoes, then Pumps, then narrowed by color, and then narrowed it to shoes under $250. You can also narrow by size, price, and if the shoes are on sale. While ShopStyle can be utterly overwhelming (without size I had 426 pages of black pumps), it covers more than one retailer online. In just the first 20 pages I found:

Naturalizer shoes are known for comfort, and these pumps have a N5 Comfort system footbed, which provides cushioning, support, and shock absorption with each step. Since these are available via Zappos, you have their free shipping and return policy, and over 20 detailed reviews from customers that can help you decide if these are a worthy purchase.


I have a couple pairs of shoes from Fitzwell and find them to be well made and very comfortable. Their heel is strategically placed to be the most supportive and to balance the foot. These shoes are on Amazon and sold by size, so if this isn’t your size, search the site for another listing. $89, eligible for Prime shipping and free returns!

Unfortunately since it’s via Loehman’s there’s not a lot of information on this shoe, just a great price of $69.99. However I did a bit of Googling and found that people find Tahari shoes to be very comfortable, yet occasionally run a hair long or narrow.

Finally I went to Zappos. While Zappos is known for their extensive selection, I often have a hard time weeding out decent shoes from all the crap or designer pieces. Usually they are my second or third destination, once I got a lay of the footwear land at other sites. Zappos is however, a place I regularly search for reviews of shoes – if I find the shoes I like at one retailer but don’t have enough information on them, I will check Zappos, and if Zappos has a competitive price, I will likely purchase from there. Here, I clicked on shoes, then heels, then pumps, black, and all styles under 3” heel that are under $200. You could further narrow the selection by size, width, fabric, and even occasion. Even with all my details, I still had 244 shoes to choose from. A couple nice ones:

This shoe gets mixed reviews, some saying the toebox is too short or stiff, but others finding the shoe to be perfection. The slight platform makes them look modern and also offsets the heel height, the shoe has an Adidas adiPRENE® heel and Adidas adiPRENE®+ forefoot cushioning which absorbs shock and enhances natural motion. All this for $110.

I have a pair of the Cole Haan Air series shoes, and find them to be stylish, well made, quality materials, and far more comfortable than standard shoes of a similar style. Cole Haan’s Air series has concealed NIKE AIR® technology which makes the shoe more comfortable for long days. One reviewer states they were transformed into Audrey Hepburn upon wearing these shoes – sounds pretty stylish to me!

Always nice to find a shoe that is available in a variety of widths! Vignotti shoes are trendy silhouettes rooted in classic, timeless designs. Cushioned footbed for additional comfort, and positive reviews from readers make these a good shoe to consider.

Finally, if I know a brand or style fits, I will search for the lowest price while still having a great return/exchange policy.  I will go directly to sites like 6pm.com who have great customer service and prices that can’t be beat.  I’ll also check eBay, and even have a few alerts set up for certain styles that I know I want.  Finally, I will Google a shoe brand and name or style number and see what pops up – sometimes they will be cheap at a site like Endless, Amazon, or Overstock, and sometimes I will even find bloggers who are selling the exact shoe I want in a “Shop My Closet” site.  Point is, don’t stick to one style of search, it is possible to find fabulous shoes that fit and flatter not only your body but also your wallet!

Note: Though shoes may be seen in patent, all styles shown are available in classic and versatile matte black leather.  I just had a hard time finding decent-sized pics for all!

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What I Wore: Leopard with Stripes

wardrobe oxygen what i wore talbots leopard coat wardrobe oxygen what i wore stripes and leopard wardrobe oxygen what i wore leopard coat talbots alison gary wardrobe oxygen
Coat: c/o Talbots | Tee: Armor-Lux | Jeans: NYDJ | Booties: Cole Haan (similar style, same brand) | Bag: c/o Fossil | Sunglasses: Ray-Ban

I shared this Talbots coat in my Talbots Fall Look Book post and was so excited when they sent me one as a gift! This is more of a coat than an indoor jacket; it’s the perfect choice over dresses, blouses and trousers, but I love how it glams up a classic weekend look. I’ve always been a fan of mixing leopard with stripes (see here and here), and this coat’s fuzzy texture adds an additional layer of interest. This coat is a 12 Petite, lined and cozy enough for a brisk fall day; add a pashmina at the throat and leather gloves and it will be just enough until the weather gets frigid!

Current favorite red lip is actually two colors – I start with Revlon Matte Lipstick in ‘Really Red’ and top with Revlon Colorburst Lacquer Balm in ‘Enticing.’ I find if I start with the Pixi lip primer/liner first, pat it in my finger, apply the lipstick and let it dry/set a bit, I keep the color all day and the Lacquer Balm refreshes it and adds shine.

Monday – Emerald Green with Silver

Blouse - Talbots (similar)
PantsTahari “Hazel”
BootiesCole Haan “Air Talia” bootie
Belt - Express circa 1998 (similar)
Silver cuff (similar)
Silver hoops (similar)

How was everyone’s weekend? I was super productive this weekend, accomplishing a lot of cleaning and errands. Even so we had time to hang out with my sister on Saturday night and I had breakfast with my sister and best friend Sunday morning.

I know few still watch Saturday Night Live; we still enjoy it in the Gary household. While I felt Lindsay Lohan was terrible as host this week, Jack White was utterly brilliant, and we really enjoyed this skit:

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Ask Allie: The Perfect Black Pump

Dear Allie,
Could you please recommend some specific black pumps that could make good staples? I like cute shoes but also sometimes walk up to 2-3 miles in the course of a work day (between walking to/from the bus, stepping out for lunch, etc) and would like to find a shoe that I can wear all the time without getting blisters, twisting an ankle, etc.
Thanks,
Emily

I think a pair of black pumps just like this are such a must for most women’s wardrobes! You can pair with skirts, dresses, pants and even some capris; they can be worn to your cousin’s wedding, a job interview, or a night out on the town. Such a shoe staple makes most sense if they can be walked in all day (or danced in all night!). Here’s some suggestions I have found online:

If you read Wardrobe Oxygen, you know I am a major fan off Sofft shoes. They are stylish yet incredibly comfortable and well-made. I have sandals that are several years old, have worked very hard yet still look great and I know I can wear them all day and through the night without any pain.

These pumps from Sofft are a very classic style – nice round toe to keep your tootsies comfortable, cushioned footbed, and a thicker heel to give stability and to better disperse body weight. These shoes come in Narrow, Regular, Wide, and Double Wide so there should be a great fit for anyone! (currently on sale for $58.90 on Nordstrom)


I have a pair of Cole Haan Air shoes and they are utterly amazing. They have Nike technology in them so they are more cushioned, flexible and wearable than similarly-styled shoes. My booties from Cole Haan are a high pointy heel, yet I can wear them for 12 hours without any pain.

These pumps from Cole Haan’s Air line are such a perfectly classic style. 2.5” stacked heel, rounded toe, free of any details that will make them passé in a year. Cole Haan Air shoes usually come with a strategically cushioned insole, flexible leather and rubber sole, and smart technology to place the heel where it can disperse body weight the best. They aren’t cheap shoes, but they are so well crafted and elegant, they can be a wardrobe favorite for a decade. ($197.95)


I am a big fan of pointed toe pumps. As someone with chubby feet, I feel they actually give my toes more space and are structured to normally be more flexible and wide than classic almond shapes. This classically elegant shoe by Ivanka Trump reminds me of my uber-comfortable pointed-toe kitten heels from Nine West. This is a shoe that will look great with trousers as well as a dress, and the pointed toe and slim heel makes them dress up with ease.

The reviews show that many find them to be very comfortable and a great wardrobe staple. ($119.95)

Naturalizer does a great job of marrying comfort with style. These shoes are not exception. They look very similar to many popular brands, but have the great Naturalizer quality and fit. The slight platform of the Lennox keeps them on trend, while also minimizing the height and discomfort of the heels. Signature N5 construction and padded insole will keep you comfy all day or night. ($78.95)


Another adorable pointed-toe kitten heel pump. So glad this silhouette is back en vogue – it’s feminine yet totally wearable all day. Available in patent or regular leather, these shoes will be a style you will keep continuing to reach for with each ensemble.

It’s rare to find a pair of shoes on Zappos that has a 5-star rating, but the Diema Pump has just that from 68 different reviewers. Says a lot for the quality and comfort of these shoes. ($89.00 at Calvin Klein website)

Readers, what say you? What are your favorite brand of classic black pumps?

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Thursday – Neon Colorblocking

Jacket - Vince Camuto
Tee - Ann Taylor
Pants – LOFT (similar)
BootiesCole Haan
Cuff (similar)
Pendant (similar)
Bag – c/o Handbag Heaven

It is a very dreary day today in DC… perfect weather for the brightest pieces in my closet! I got this tee at the Ann Taylor Friends and Family event the other week and have to admit it is the only thing I liked. While at first glance this season’s Ann Taylor collection is right up my alley, I find many of the fabrics to not be nice enough for the pricepoints, the silhouettes a bit too racy for the workplace, but the styles not trendy enough to make them be right for after hours. I’m not really sure who the current Ann Taylor woman is, but it doesn’t seem any more to be me. Did you buy anything at the recent Ann Taylor Friends and Family event? How do you feel about their current season collection?

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My Wardrobe Today – Wednesday

Cardigan - Ann Taylor (similar)
Blouse - White House | Black Market (similar)
Pants - LOFT (similar)
Belt – Ann Taylor (similar)
BootsCole Haan “Air Talia”

You know those days where you wish you could go to work in your pajamas? Yeah, today is one of those days. Thanks goodness for ponte, which is work-appropriate yet as cozy as yoga pants. And this cardigan was an impulse purchase from the clearance rack last year that has totally been worth the money. I wore it this weekend with a white tank and a cobalt crinkled gauze oblong scarf with jeans, and have worn it to work several other times.

I have been dealing with a cold off an on for about a week – it has been tough to shake because it seems each time I get well, Emerson gets sniffly. This morning, my husband woke up coughing and sneezing so it looks as though it will make another cycle through the Gary household. Le sigh.

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My Wardrobe Today – Tuesday

Shirt - c/o CAbi
SkirtAnn Taylor
TightsNordstrom
ShoesVince Camuto
Bracelets – swap event, Ann Taylor, Lauren Ralph Lauren
Necklace – boutique in Rehoboth Beach

I wrote this post before ever owning anything from Vince Camuto. When I saw these booties on sale I felt it was fate – since the hurricane destroyed my only pair of brown shoes I decided to get these babies. While they are a bit tight on the top of my foot (I have especially chubby feet), the suede is very soft and supple and I can feel them easing to the shape of me as the day progresses. As for standing in them… they are more comfortable than my Cole Haan booties with Nike Air technology! They seem really high but there is a hidden platform that helps greatly. Very sturdy on my feet, a really great shoe that if they go on sale even further I may pick up another pair in a different color or material!

Trench - DKNY
Faux fur collar - H&M

While yesterday was near 70, today is quite chilly.  Good for me, another chance to wear my H&M fur collar!

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My Wardrobe today – Thursday

Ponte collarless jacket - Banana Republic Outlet (similar)
Striped tee - LOFT
Ponte bootcut pantsLOFT
Bag – Sabina (similar)
Pashmina - c/o Pashmina International
BootiesCole Haan “Air Talia”

Ugh, another rainy day in DC! My old raincoat from LOFT is now too big – totally swimming in it. I recently ordered this trench in black from Nordstrom and wish I ordered it a week sooner so I could wear it today!  Instead I made do with an umbrella and a cozy scarf!

My hair is finally getting used to the new cut (got last Wednesday) – this morning I let my hair air dry sans product, then did big sections with a curling iron, a bit of Elnett to set.  So far so good on this soggy yucky day!

Another busy work day, and heading into a busy evening!  I will be at Simply Soles in Georgetown from 6-8 for the Presenza media event.  Will you be there?

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My Wardrobe Today – Thursday

Navy knit top with taupe dots – Ann Taylor (no longer available, purchased in December)
Navy trousers – Ann Taylor (found on clearance rack – no longer available online)
Pink patent skinny belt – Hobo International (no longer available)
Black leather booties - Cole Haan “Air Talia” Booties
Silver Cuff

I realized I haven’t worn this top since Christmas Eve.  I really like it and its great details like the silver buttons on the cuffs, but don’t have a ton to go with it.  Well duh, I now have navy trousers!  I do think this top will look cute with a fuller skirt in khaki or dark red or even a rust color, and I did like wearing it with denim.  Think there are some serious sartorial possibilities with this piece!

First time doing my hair non-straight since getting the new cut.  Second day, I just put large sections in my curling iron and then finger combed.  Looked okay here, looks even better now at lunchtime. 

The weather today in DC is stellar – I just went to the bank and post office and didn’t even have to put on my jacket!  The sun is peeking out, and this hint of spring is really putting me in a great mood!

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My Wardrobe Today – Monday

Black matte jersey dress with peacock feather pattern - Muse (no longer available)
Black tights - Nordstrom
Black bootiesCole Haan “Air Talia”
Silver and yellow necklace – New York & Company (no longer available, couple of years old)
Silver cuff

I had a completely different outfit planned out in my mind, one where I could wear my leopard pumps that don’t stay on my feet when I wear hosiery.  Yesterday was rainy, but so warm we opened all the windows in the house.  This morning I let the dogs out and found a thin sheet of ice on the deck.  I decided to wear this dress, which I haven’t worn in a while.  I was going to wear my Nine West black patent Mary Janes with the red heels, but I don’t feel as steady on my feet in them as I do in these.  Good thing, because our front step was also a sheet of ice when I headed out this AM.  Gotta know I love you all – sure didn’t want to take off my coat this morning and stand in the bitter wind for these photos!

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My Wardrobe Today – Friday

Navy cotton shirt - Gap Printed Pintuck Top
JeansNot Your Daughter’s Jeans “Hayden”
Black leather booties - Cole Haan “Air Talia”
Necklace - Tags-n-Stones
Silver hoops - Ralph Lauren
Silver cuff

Clothes are cheaper in Gap stores than online. This top was $29.99 in the store and then an additional 40% off that price.  This top isn’t something I would normally pick up, but I saw real potential with it.  I can imagine it with white jeans in the summer, fully unbuttoned and over a dress or tank, and even with a belt at the empire waistband.  It’s a really lightweight cotton that will be great when the weather gets warmer.  And it was nice to have a pricetag of $17.99!

So what is everyone’s plans for the weekend?  I am going to visit my friend A tomorrow and finally meet her twin babies.  The rest of the weekend is pretty open and I look forward to sleep and time with Emerson.  Yesterday was so hectic I only saw her for about ten minutes in the morning.  Saturday mornings are our QT when my husband goes to teach and she and I play and have a good time together.  I look forward to it all week long! :)