Search Results for: label/sofft shoe

My Wardrobe Today – Wednesday

Dress – Gap (from last year – similar)
Belt – vintage
Shoes – Sofft (no longer available – similar)
Bracelets – eBay, Ann Taylor, picked up at the DC Sip & Swap

My husband picked up our dry cleaning and it feels as though I went on a shopping spree. I completely forgot I even owned this dress and it’s perfect for hot weather! I was going to wear it with a black belt and my Payless sandals for the life of me I couldn’t find one of the shoes. I obviously haven’t gotten completely unpacked and back to normal after the vacation… what needed to be laundered has been laundered and put away, but my husband’s duffle is still on the bedroom floor spilling everywhere and clean clothes are piled up on the cedar chest at the foot of the bed. I am doing a little bit each evening and hope to have it all cleaned up by Friday!

And I believe this is the first time I have worn this necklace on the blog!  Recently I won a giveaway on Real Girl Runway for a gift certificate to JewelMint.  I have been hearing great things about the company but had yet to buy anything so the certificate was pretty awesome.  The quality is nice – heavyweight, well constructed.  And the packaging is amazing – it comes in this gorgeous heavy box that snaps shut with a hidden magnet.  Open it and there is your piece displayed nicely, as though you were receiving a piece from Harry Winston or Tiffany.  All this for pieces that are only $29.99 and free shipping!   If you haven’t joined JewelMint, you can join here (this is my personal referral URL – if you join and like it you can share your personal referral URL with others and collect points for free jewelry!).

In the Navy

Dress: Coldwater Creek c/o Gwynnie Bee | Necklace: Boutique in Key West | Shoes: Sofft | Bracelets: Silver cuff, c/o Lifetherapy | Rings: Vintage, Had for Years, Argento Vivo

This weather sucks – it’s like soup and so thick and humid that when there’s a cool breeze it feels like the chills you get when you have a fever. That being said, it’s doing some super fun things to my hair. I have hardly been washing it; once a week I will wash the scalp with shampoo, and once a week or when needed I will wash with conditioner only, but otherwise it’s surf spray and the occasional dry shampoo and scrunching. I like the crazy mop mess, and wish it would do this year-round!

Another Gwynnie Bee winner. This is not my kind of dress, I don’t like sleeves like this, I don’t love the color, but with Gwynnie Bee it’s okay because I can wear it once, send it back and get something else. And while it’s not something I would buy and keep in my closet for years, it is something I like wearing today. Stretchy navy lining doesn’t ride up and keeps everything opaque, a long self-belt I could have tied in a bow but instead doubled to make it shorter, and a breezy style that will do its best to keep me cool (and a fabric that won’t look a mess in the heat). It’s a win in my book and a true example of Gwynnie Bee – clothing without commitment! If you’re 10-26 and would like to try Gwynnie Bee yourself, use this link or mention Wardrobe Oxygen and get a 30 day trial free. They have some fab brands and styles to choose from and the selection is constantly growing!

Note: If you use my specific link or mention me when signing up for Gwynnie Bee, I will receive a commission if you extend past the 30-day trial. However, I really dig Gwynnie Bee and wear clothes from them because I like them and the company and am proud to share them with you.

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Ask Allie: Work Appropriate Sandals for Spring

Hi Allie, I’m in desperate need of stocking up on new work-appropriate sandals for summer and am not having luck. Any suggestions? My office is business casual/jeans on Fridays. Typical D.C. area gov’t office. I like my feet to be comfortable but don’t want to look too fuddy-duddy (I’m 31). Stylish and comfortable and work-appropriate?

Hi Meredith:

In the colder months, office workers can feel pretty safe with a pair of pumps, some ankle booties or loafers, and some tall leather boots. However once the weather begins to warm up, women seem to be at a loss as to where to find work-appropriate sandals – especially ones that are also comfy when walking to work or standing all day. I have seen women on the streets of DC wear everything from flip flops and Tevas to satin strappy stilettos with their summer career wear.  Here’s some great styles I have come across lately that will be kind to your feet as well as your personal style:

If you have followed this blog for a while, you know I am a major fan of Sofft for shoes – they really have been able to make stylish shoes that are also extremely comfortable. I wore Sofft throughout my pregnancy – when in my third trimester I found a pair of Sofft Mary Janes to be more comfortable for my swollen tootsies than even my sneakers!

This spring I am loving the look of a very modern, clean heel – sort of the summer version of the ankle bootie. The Sofft Pavia Sandal is an excellent choice to pair with crisp shift dresses, cropped trousers, and modern silhouettes. If you are fair like me, the Eggshell color may be the perfect nude shoe for you – a color close to your skintone will not only go with most any color in your wardrobe, but it will also elongate your leg.

Another great choice by Sofft is their Renata sandal. In Twine, you’ll find this shoe will look great with dresses, skirts, and also with a pair of jeans and a boho-inspired top for a rooftop barbecue. The white looks clean and modern, while the black gives an edgy rocker look. All three colors would really work with this summer’s colors and silhouettes.

Finally, the Sonoria sandal from Sofft is a more feminine summer shoe from this brand. The details are what make this shoe a winner – the wood stacked heel and the looped side straps keep the look fresh and also more expensive. I am partial to the Coral Patent – a hot color for this season and an unexpected neutral that will go with black, white, browns, navys, and all the chambray and denim that is on trend this spring.

And yes, I do like brands other than Sofft! The Carla sandal from MICHAEL Michael Kors is surprisingly comfortable – I know because I tried them on. If my feet weren’t so wide, they would currently be in my wardrobe in Taupe Leather. The height is deceiving – the heel isn’t really so high due to the platform. The bold, modern lines make it a versatile choice for spring with dresses, skirts, and with trousers. The taupe color will blend into many skintones (on me it was darker than my skin but still a great neutral) and become one of the most worn shoes in your wardrobe.

Clarks is known for comfort, and based on reviews at Zappos, their Fiddle Scroll Sandal doesn’t disappoint. I am a fan of wedge heels, which give the height to flatter the leg, but the support to be comfortable on your feet all day. In Beige or Ginger leather, this sandal would be extremely versatile and look great with most everything in your wardrobe. However, don’t ignore their more unusual color options – the Deep Red and Turquoise leather options would be a great pop of color to a more neutral wardrobe.

It’s hard to find a flat sandal that looks professional – they often end up looking like flip flops, don’t support and hold the foot, and can look weathered before we have even reached the 4th of July. The Frye Alessia Artisanal T Strap Sandal is a nice choice – the substantial straps and structured sole give the shoe structure and make them look more professional. I am partial to the Orange or Yellow leather, and think they would look great peeking out of white sailor trousers or paired with this season’s midi and maxi skirts.

My Wardrobe Today – Friday

Black dress – Mossimo for Target (no longer available)
ShoesSofft “Pavia”
Shell necklace – Vintage
Crocheted purse – Vintage

I feel as though I need to wear my cold-weather pieces as often as I can before summer comes. If i keep with this weight loss, they may not fit next fall and I want to get my money’s worth! This dress is one of those pieces; though it’s a gorgeous spring day I wanted to wear it and still make it look seasonably appropriate.

The necklace and the bag both belonged to my mom.  She and I believe the same fashion rule – never get rid of accessories.  If they are in working order, keep them.  They don’t take up much space and you never know when you can use them again.  Accessories  come in and out of fashion, so a piece that seems passe in 2011 can be quite perfect in 2016.  If you have the room, store them properly so they can have a second life!

These shoes arrived yesterday. You may recall I wrote about these shoes as a work-appropriate sandal. I had been eying them for a while since I have had such great success in the past with Sofft for sandals. Then I saw Callandra wear them on Petite Early Morning Style and HAD to have them.

I searched online and found them for the cheapest price on Amazon (no longer seems available at that price), though they only had them in an 8.5 Wide in this color.  I am usually an 8 Wide for Sofft, but I do have a pair in 8.5 that works okay.  Ordered them, found them awful.  They looked dorky and clunky and my pinky toe was hanging out the side.  Unfortunately the company that supplied them has the biggest PITA return policy and I feel I will lose out half the money by buying from there.  Bad shopping decision.

I decided to get the 8 Wide from Nordstrom.  Not the cheapest price, but I know that with Nordstrom, returns are super easy.  I ordered on Monday, they arrived on Thursday, and they fit perfectly.  It’s funny, Sofft shoes are hit and miss with me, but their sandals are a perfect fit.  I not only have wide feet, but my feet are thick (fat from sole to top).  Finding sandals has always been tough for me because the straps are too tight over the foot.  I don’t encounter this with Sofft; the shoes are comfortable right out of the box.  This is my first time wearing the Sofft Pavia and I don’t have any chafing, blisters, hot spots.  And gosh, talk about a shoe that blends in with one’s skintone – do know I am a pretty pasty white woman, these shoes are a lovely soft beige with a pink undertone.  They shouldn’t be called “Eggshell” but more so “Allie’s Paleness!”

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All Gone

I just gave away the last of my size 7.5 shoes. 

My pre-pregnancy shoes.

I now am an 8, sometimes an 8.5.  And not only that, my feet are now wider than they even were before.

Gone are the leopard peeptoes, the black silk peeptoes, the black patent peeptoes.  I gave away the orange and pink suede wedges from J. Crew, the silver and black Pucci-inspired strappy heels, the delicate purple silk heeled sandals with the silk flower on the strap.  I even had to get rid of my wedding shoes – hot pink silk with rhinestones and a 4″ heel.


Nine West, Impo, Franco Sarto, Banana Republic, Jessica Simpson, BCBGirls… these were brands I KNEW would fit my feet in a 7.5.  I hardly had to try on, I could pretty much go into a store, see a style I liked and they would fit.  Now, even brands I have tons of luck with (Sofft) are hit or miss (which you can tell by the three boxes in my bedroom that I need to return to online shoe retailers).

Yesterday I had brunch with three of my best friends.  One friend’s mom had to give up heels due to a foot/leg issue.  The friend showed up with three large trash bags FULL of heeled shoes, ranging from size 7 to 8.5.  I went home with four pairs of pretty basic shoes – conservative pumps in black and brown leather and croco.  Nothing thrilling, nothing that made me drool, but I was still so excited because my shoe collection right now is so sad.

Sofft Calisto in Red
Sofft Calisto in Black (and looking a bit worse for wear)
Sofft Vanna in Brown Croco
Gray chunky strappy shoes from Me Too
Black “Value” peeptoe pump from Franco Sarto (last time I wore, total blisters and digging but hope this time will be better)
Black peeptoe wedges from Anne Klein (got at TJ Maxx – have a bit of a knot detail at peeptoe which I don’t love but these shoes are really comfy and a great length for trousers and fit a hole in my shoe wardrobe)

That’s it right now.  Yeah.  Okay, I have slingbacks from Banana Republic and my tan boots from DUO(and of course sneakers and flip flops), but my other shoes don’t really go with the weather or my wardrobe right now.

It’s sad.  I think of the book/movie, In Her Shoes where the character has a large shoes collection because they always fit, even if clothes do not.  Yeah, notsomuch.  I always had fun shoes to jazz up basic wardrobe staples.  And a great pair of shoes can always make you stand taller, feel sexy, feel fearless.  Taking home those very basic, verging on matronly shoes yesterday made me feel a bit desperate.  My sister said I had to take them because she hears me always complain how I don’t have shoes for outfits and situations and now I have shoes that will work.

Will work.  This is something I hate (as you can see from this post I wrote on Wardrobe Oxygen).  I don’t want to make it work, I want it to work right out of the box.  But until I can rebuild my shoe collection, I guess I need to make do with simple basics that will at least get me to functions without being barefoot.


This weekend was pretty busy – Sunday I hosted a bridal shower for my best friend. I hope to have pictures from that event a little later in the week. I wore the same dress that I wore on Thursday, same shoes too. :)

Anyway, on to today…
my wardrobe todayAttire:
Old Navy – Two white ribbed tanks layered for opacity, black ponte trousers
Halogen – Teal knit jacket
Ralph Lauren – Silver necklace
Sofft – Black patent T-strap sandals
Silver hoops, cuff and chain with wedding band

Next day, brushed out

Estée Lauder – Double-Wear Light Foundation in Intensity 2.0
Nars – Blush in Orgasm
Pop Beauty – Shadow palette for Brown Eyes – the taupe and celadon blended
Cover Girl – LashBlast mascara in Rich Black
Maybelline – UltraLiner in Black
L’Oreal – Color Juice Stick in Berry Spritzer

It is tres hot and humid in the DC area, but my office is very chilly. Only way i can get away with layers like this! :)

Monday and Tuesday

No pictures on Monday because I haven’t put up the new mirror, and I drove myself to work early in the AM.

I wore my black jersey sleeveless wrap top with the ruffle trim from Ann Taylor and my ivory tropical wool trousers from Talbots. Freshwater pearl necklace that my sister gave me as a gift and black kitten heel sandals from Banana Republic. Hair curly.

Here is Tuesday:

Ann Taylor – Black matte jersey wrap dress
Expres – Red print silk scarf
Sofft – Red patent leather T-straps (I just splurged to get them in black, they are so comfy and cute)

Next day
Blown out semi-straight

Estee Lauder – Nutritious Vita-Mineral Makeup in Intensity 2.0
Nars – Blush in Orgasm
Revlon – ColorStay shadow quad in Neutral Khakis, ColorStay lipcolor in Rich Raisin
Maybelline – UltraLiner in Black
Cover Girl – lashBlast mascara in Rich Black


Talbots – Black jersey wrap dress
Sofft – Black suede Mary Janes
Ann Taylor – Silver and crystal necklace
Silver necklaces, cuff and hoops

Next day
Straightened with round brush and dryer on dry hair

Body Shop – Vitamin E Face Mist to prep/hydrate the skin
L’Oreal – True Match foundation in C3
Stila – Illuminating Tinted Moisturizer (the two mixed together)
Philosophy – The Supernatural Color Correctors in Light
Nars – Blush in Orgasm
Revlon – ColorStay shadow quad in Neutral Khakis (just the ivory)
Maybelline – UltraLiner in Black
Cover Girl – LashBlast mascara iN Rich Black
Clinique – Long Wear lipstick in Beauty

This is the same dress as my navy print one. I liked the other one so much, I went back and found it in black AND for less than $30! Seriously, Talbots is having some ridiculous sale items right now. I also got some ivory flannel wool trousers in a very classic cut for less than $20, originally $148. They are five pounds away from fitting well, and for that price I figured I could break my rule of buying things I do not yet fit into.

Contest: Tolani Scarf from

jessica alba tolani scarfTo celebrate me coming back to work and to blogging, I have a great contest for you readers!

One of you can win a Tolani scarf that has been seen on the likes of Jessica Alba (pictured), Sienna Miller, Vanessa Minnillo (pictured), Halle Berry and Mary-Kate Olsen.

The Tolani scarf is courtesy of, an awesome site that sells hip women’s designer clothing from the likes of Black Halo, Marc by Marc Jacobs, Diane Von Fürstenberg and Vera Wang Lavender Label.

I am so excited, because you KNOW I love scarves, and these beauts from Tolani are fabulous!

vanessa minnillo tolani scarfHow to enter:
Send an email to with the word “TOLANI” in the subject.
In the body of the email, please provide your name and mailing address (I promise these addresses will only go to me – except for the winner, and will be deleted once the contest is over). Winner will be chosen by random.

Contest ends Friday, March 20th, 2009 at midnight ET. Winner will be contacted by email. Scarf will be mailed out from Sorry international readers, but the contest is only open to those in the United States.

Get to know
Facebook (friend “shop chickdowntown” and/or become a fan of the chickdowntown page)
Twitter (
YouTube ( or

Good luck!

Shop My Closet – On Poshmark!

WardrobeOxygen on PoshmarkI’ve been saying for a while that I needed to get off my tuchus and sell all the clothes I don’t currently wear. While I may clean out my closet I do have a dirty secret… I have bins and bags full of clothes in my attic (and there were a couple full contractor bags in my home office). I regularly donate career wear to a charity and have Freecycled and donated all my maternity clothes and clothes that are in “well loved” condition, but the nicer stuff I’ve been holding on to.

No more. All this clothing is doing no one favors being boxed and bagged up in my attic. A couple weekends ago, my best friend came over and for eight hours we dug through three bags. All pieces were photographed, packed up, labeled, and ready to ship. While I have used eBay and a Shop My Closet blog in the past, this time I decided to use Poshmark. My friend Alyson has raved about it for a long time and many of you have told me you use it with great success. It seemed simpler than eBay too.

For the past two weeks I have been using Poshmark and I have become as big of a fan as my friend Alyson! It’s an app-based program; while you can visit Poshmark on your computer, to buy and sell you need to do it on your phone. As a seller, I think this makes the process uber easy – my pictures are already on my phone so I can easily upload them, write a quick description, and even answer questions and negotiate counteroffers. I’ve found the customers to be more… reasonable than on eBay. You’re not usually expected to offer 5,000 measurements for a $6 LOFT tee, people are super friendly and quick to share and comment, and while I have had a couple ridiculous counter offers (no, I will not sell that NWT original retail still in the store $250 item for $15), in general it has been a friendly and painless experience.

Tips for Selling on Poshmark by Wardrobe OxygenA couple of you saw on social media that I was on Poshmark and have joined to buy and sell. If you’re interested, if you use this link and code PMZYS you’ll get $5 off your first order and I too will receive a $5 credit (find me, I am wardrobeoxygen).  There’s no auction or bidding, you can counter-offer and some sellers (myself included) offer  “bundling” where you can purchase multiple pieces from a seller at one time and save on shipping ($4.99/order).  If you’re interested in selling on Poshmark, here’s what I’ve learned so far:

  • Be Honest.  Like other selling sites, Poshmark has a rating system.  Buyers can give you up to five stars for orders.  It’s not worth it to ruin your reputation by trying to pass off replicas, lie about the condition of a garment, or its original price.
  • Provide Details.  Is it an XL but fits more like a L?  How did you style it?  If you recall the original style name or number or even color name, include it.  While Poshmark won’t let you write a novel, you can offer quite a lot of information.  The more details you provide, the more likely the item will sell and the more likely the buyer will get what she expected and leave you a favorable rating.
  • Take Good Photos.  I use my iPhone 6s and take the pictures in natural light near a window.  For Christmas I got this dress form; it’s not high quality (in fact I cracked the base the day my friend and I were on a Poshmark selling spree and it’s now held together with packing tape) but it gives a better idea of how an item will fit than lying a sweater on your bed or floor.  If you have a photo of you wearing the item, include that too.  I also search the internet for stock photos of the item.  A mix of all three is a great way to get an item sold.  Poshmark lets you upload four photos per item with the first photo being your cover photo.  I’ve found the most successful cover photos are those with me wearing the piece.  If you don’t have a photographer taking your picture in items for a blog, a mirror selfie in a well-lit room is still good (and you can cut off your head in the photo if you wish to be anonymous).
  • Stock Up on Free Priority Mailers.  Your post office has Priority Mail Tyvek envelopes and boxes for free; these are perfect for shipping out your orders.  Included in the cut Poshmark takes from your sales (20%, or $2.95 if the item sells for $5 or less) is a shipping label.  When you make a sale, Poshmark emails you this Priority Mail label.  You can order shipping bags and boxes from for free but know it takes up to two weeks to receive your order.  If you have a post office nearby, grab a few to get your sales going.
  • Take Care with your Sales.  I fold nicely, wrap in tissue, tie with a bit of curling ribbon, and carefully slip into the box or bag.  I got a pack of cheap tissue paper; you only need 1-2 pieces per order.  The curling ribbon I purchased when I attended a baby shower where all presents were to be wrapped in blue.  That yet-to-be-born baby is now 5 and as you see in the photo above, there’s still plenty left even though every shower and birthday present since the shower had turquoise ribbon on it.  I bought some rolls of packing tape, and because I’m a dork like that, ordered some cheapy business cards from VistaPrint (this is a referral link that will give you $10 off your first order) that thank the buyer for her order, have my name and my Poshmark address on them.  The overall cost is minimal, but it makes the experience much nicer for the recipient.
  • Raise Your Rates.  Poshmarkers LOVE to counter-offer.  Consider this when making your prices.  It’s worth it to up the price a few dollars to be ready for a counter-offer (if you accept a counter-offer the item sells immediately to that individual).  Also, if you have stagnant items that don’t want to sell, you can then lower the price without too much heartache.  A plus to lowering the rate is anyone who “liked” the piece will end up receiving reduced shipping.
  • Be Quick with Communication.  If someone asks for additional details or makes a counter-offer, be polite and reply within 24 hours.  Since Poshmark is on your phone, it’s easy to quickly type in a response and move on with your day.
  • Follow the Rules.  Don’t accept sales through PayPal or offline.  Don’t try to sell used makeup or clutter Poshmark with items they don’t allow to be sold on their app (home goods, electronics, health and wellness products, used underwear and makeup).  Don’t label something a blouse when in fact it’s one of those belly wrap things that spam social media.  And don’t call something Chanel-esque or like Louis Vuitton – that’s a trademark violation and such names can only be used if the item is legitimately from that brand.
  • Be Part of the Community.  Share other people’s sales (I only share that which I actually like), follow other accounts, leave comments and reply to comments.  Poshmark is very social, and by being part of the community you’ll get a larger audience to see your closet, resulting in faster and more sales!

Are you on Poshmark?  I’d love to hear your experiences and feel free to share your closet in the comments!

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.

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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Dressing in the dark – I got to work at 6:45am this morning.  Blech.  Pictures taken at the bathroom at work.

Super big scarf from H&M, black merino short-sleeved dress from Banana Republic over dark straight jeans from NYDJ, gray shoes from Miz Mooz, silver hoops and cuff, hair in messy updo, makeup basic, with Bare Escentual Buxom Eyeliner in Leatherette (love it!).
The shoes:

I have worn them before, totally adore them.  Surprisingly comfortable too!

Will be another early day tomorrow, think I will be wearing my white gauzy peasant top from Old Navy with my Seven jeans.  If it’s warmer than today, I will wear with my brown croco Carlina heels from Sofft.  If not, might wear these shoes again!

I am considering upgrading my cell phone.  I currently have an “old school” cell phone – it does everything that I need – takes pictures, I can text, get calls.  My plan is a reasonable price – I never go over minutes, have unlimited texts.  I don’t have picture texts (have to pay for each) and don’t have Web features (canceled that to keep the price low).  Well the phone is starting to get a bit old – doesn’t hold a charge as long as it used to, scratched up.  I find I am texting much more than I used to be – even for work I often have to text and a QWERTY keyboard would make life easier (and texts faster).  I also wonder if I used my cell to check email, I would be on the actual computer less.

So I can get a free phone with my cell provider, but I would have to change plans to accommodate a “fancy” phone.  This would be an increase of $20 a month.  I don’t see any other “old school” phones that are any nicer than the phone I have now so I don’t see the value in upgrading from regular cell to regular cell.  But I don’t know if it’s worth the $20/month to become high-tech and modern with a phone that can surf the Web, hook up to my email account and calendar, have GPS (I don’t have one for my car), blah blah blah…  What’s your opinion?

Bed Head

What are you looking at, Mommy?  I just woke up and haven’t had my morning coffee.  Jeez.
When she moved her head from the high chair, her hair stayed like that… a little girl Alfalfa.
So no pics of me… but by seeing these pics you can see I am now again a woman with a camera!  I had two dead Canons.  Canon will refurbish your camera, but for the models I had it would cost $99 each.  I decided to return the more expensive of the two, and then spend around $100 on a new little point and shoot. 
I got the Canon PowerShot SD1200 IS and with my Amazon gift cards from Swagbucks, I only paid $100 for it.  Not too shabby. This camera doesn’t have a bunch of bells and whistles, but it has the basics that I want – fits into a pocket, uses a standard USB, has video.  Since we are a Canon family (and I actually had the equivalent to this camera like 8 years ago), I already have an extra battery charger, higher gig memory cards and batteries.  I think I can still find the case for the old camera I had that was this size. 
This weekend I am officiating another wedding – this one is for a friend of a friend and I am very excited.  I plan on wearing my bracelet-sleeve black matte jersey wrap dress from Old Navy – very simple, won’t stand out in pictures, won’t clash with the wedding colors. 
Sunday there are no plans so I hope to be able to FINALLY get up into the attic and pull down my warm weather clothes.  I am hoping to find some things that fit and to organize that which is up there. 
Recently I have ordered a couple pairs of shoes – a pair of black peeptoes from Franco Sarto and some sandals from Sofft.  Though my Sofft shoes from last spring still fit great, these recently acquired shoes (and the cuties from Franco Sarto) are too narrow.  Seriously, my foot is pouring over the footbed.  What the heck?  I am still on the search for another pair of dressier shoes for this spring – if the Franco Sartos weren’t so tight I think they would be perfect.  I may have to try them on again this weekend.  The length is perfect, the heel fits great… maybe it is something my shoe dude can fix with a bit of stretching.
Hope everyone is doing well… will be posting very soon about a fantastic contest where you can win a necklace worth $198 from Allison Dayton jewelry!  A big thanks for sticking around as this blog goes through transition!

Who Wants a Year’s Worth of Free Shoes?

When I feel bad I like to treat myself. Clothes never look any good… food just makes me fatter… shoes always fit.
-Rose Feller, from the movie In Her Shoes

It’s true, no matter what size we are, we can usually find a pair of fabulous footwear to make us feel sassy, feminine, powerful and pretty. No other accessory can transform a look, or the wearer with such intensity.

Footprints International free shoesReader Jacqueline recently told me about a company she is part of – Footprints International. We have all been exposed to the at-home parties for Pampered Chef, Partylite, and even I used to even be a consultant for The Body Shop at Home. Those parties are fun because you get to sip cocktails with your girlfriends while shopping or playing with gadgets or beauty products. Well imagine if you could have a shoe store come to your home? Well Footprints International allows you to do just that.

Jacqueline is having the most fabulous contest going on right now, and I just had to share it all with you:

Footprints International wants to know, in 200 words or less, why you adore your shoes. What is it about wearing a fabulous pair of shoes that excites you, makes you feel beautiful, or puts a smile on your face? All contest entries will begin: “I adore my shoes because. . .”

The Grand Prize winner will receive 12 pairs of fabulous Footprints International Shoes – yes, that’s the equivalent of a pair a month for a year with special surprise bonuses throughout the year. The Grand Prize winner will also receive a special shoe gift arrangement filled with shoe goodies.

The First Prize winner will receive six pairs of Footprints International Shoes, plus a gift arrangement; and Second Prize winner will receive three pairs of shoes, plus a gift arrangement. All pairs of shoes are at a value of up to $50.00 each. The Contest ends at 11:59:59 P.M. PT on March 31, 2008. NO PURCHASE NECESSARY.

To enter, visit our website at Please indicate her name (Jacqueline) at the end of your entry. As our special gift to you, for entering our contest, you will receive a 20% discount on your next purchase from Footprints International. See complete rules for this contest at

For more information about Footprints International, stop by Jacqueline’s blog, Give a Shoe Party. Good luck to all who enter!

Footprints International has extended the contest deadline to April 16th. Winners will still be announced on May 1st.

My Wardrobe Today – Tuesday

Blazer – Ann Taylor (similar)
Skirt – Caslon (similar)
Belt Lauren Ralph Lauren
Shoes – Jessica Simpson (similar)

Today I was rushing to get Emerson out of the house and I didn’t even realize I forgot my coat. It’s so warm in DC, I just wore this with an avocado-green pashmina looped around my throat. Crazy!

These shoes, as Chelsea so perfectly put it this AM on Twitter, are “taxi to tabletop” shoes. In theory, they are comfortable – hidden platform, soft suede. In reality, they are constructed in a strange manner where my feet seem to slide not only forward but in a pigeon-toed manner where my pinky toes want to slip out of the vamp. I always forget, put them back in the closet, and pull them out with shoe amnesia. They have Foot Petals to keep from slipping, I slide them on and they look cute and feel comfortable… until I walk more than 20 feet. I wish I still had my Chucks in the bottom drawer of my desk. Good thing I don’t have to do much walking at the office today!  Note to self – don’t try wearing these shoes AND walk more than one block!

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Monday and Tuesday

Boy was it warm in DC yesterday!  It was weird seeing people all bundled up in parkas and scarves when it hit near 70 degrees.  I dressed for the weather more because my laundry wasn’t dry and I have a shoe issue.  Those new pumps I got… the heel broke the first time wearing them.  Yeah, so I am back to no closed-toe dress shoes.  Back on the lookout for some…

So Monday:

My red print matte jersey dress from Max Studio, black patent buckle belt from Ann Taylor, black T-strap heels from Sofft.

Hair was washed and conditioned with Pureology, then some Frederic Fekkai Luscious Curls was added.  Let air dry, then used dryer and round brush to smooth bangs.

Makeup is Philosophy The Supernatural Color Correctors in Medium, Nars blush in Orgasm, Clinique Almost Lipstick in Black Honey, Revlon ColorStay shadow quad in Neutral Khakis – the khaki and ivory blended on lid, Maybelline UltraLiner in Black and L’Oreal Voluminous mascara in Black.

Today I don’t have pictures because I forgot my camera at work.  However I am wearing my black merin short-sleeved dress from Banana Republic with black tights and tall boots and my chunky silver necklace from Ann Taylor.  Smoky eye paired with my Laura Mercier lipstick in Pink Champagne.

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, 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 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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My Head is Too Big to be Hipster: A Warby Parker Review

Once I got new glasses, I wanted more. A pair of red frames to channel my inner Sally Jesse Raphael, a funky blue or green pair to jazz up all-black ensembles, a funky shape to show personality at the office. I had heard a lot of great things about Warby Parker and decided to try a pair of frames from them.

Me in my new glasses – Lafont’s Issy & La collection, the frame is called “Gloss”

Warby Parker Eyewear’s mission is to offer reasonably-priced fashionable frames. On top of that, for every pair of Warby Parkers sold, a new pair is given to someone in need. Warby Parker is also proud to be a carbon-neutral company.

Warby Parker has a try-on program where you can pick five frames and try them on at home. They will ship the glasses to you for free and offer free return postage; I decided to take advantage of this program and see if I could find a new pair of signature prescription frames.

The Warby Parker site is very easy to navigate; click on your gender and then whether you desire optical or sunglass frames. From there you can choose material, color, frame shape, and width. From experience, I know my face is pretty wide, so I stuck to the medium and wide styles of frames. Since I already have a pair of tortoiseshell frames, I stuck to more unusual colors.

The glasses arrived quickly in a sturdy shipping box, and then a lovely navy linen box. Each pair of glasses was in its own compartment, wrapped in plastic and labeled with its name. Each pair of Warby Parker frames has the brand and style name inside on the temple. I found the quality to be stellar, especially for the price. These frames rival the more expensive designer styles I tried at my nearby glasses shop. The return process is simple – peel off the self-adhesive UPS label and drop it in a nearby UPS drop box. I couldn’t be more impressed with Warby Parker and their process… except that my face is too big for them.

Maybe I should have tried men’s frames, but I felt that almost every pair I tried (except for the Bensen, and they just weren’t a style I was looking for) was just a hair too small for my face. I often have this issue not just with glasses, but sunglasses as well. In fact, when I got my new glasses, they were the only ones I liked after trying on about 20 pairs – each other pair seemed just a bit too small for my face shape, even some of the men’s frames I tried.

So if you have a normal to small-sized noggin, I encourage you to try Warby Parker. The Warby Parker at-home program is completely free so you have nothing to risk; if you find a pair you like you can feel good that not only will you look great, but your purchase will also be doing good. As for me, I will have to look elsewhere, my head is just too big to be hipster.

Note: Warby Parker has no idea I am doing this review and I was not compensated in any way for it.  I just decided to try the brand and share my experience with you!

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A Minty Miss – My Experience with StyleMint and JewelMint

If you follow fashion and beauty bloggers, I’m sure you have heard of JewelMint, StyleMint, and ShoeMint. These are celebrity-sponsored sites that offer a monthly “showroom” of pieces based upon your personal style.

You start by filling out a survey of your personal style – are you more Zara or J. Crew? If you’re getting a pedicure would you rather read InStyle or Cosmo? From this, the Mint site decides what from their collection is most appropriate to your taste and creates your custom showroom. The collection is updated each month, so you have new pieces to choose from.

The idea is fabulous – jewelry designed by Kate Bosworth and her stylish friend, shoes picked for you by Rachel Bilson, tees via the Olsen twins (and skincare via Jessica Simpson, though I won’t be discussing BeautyMint site in this article).

All of these sites are subscription sites – once you make your first purchase, your credit card is on file and you will be charged every month. You have the first five days of the month to dash to their site to say “skip this month” or else you will be charged the monthly cost ($29.99 for Style and JewelMint, $79.99 for ShoeMint).

Last year, I won a “gift certificate” to JewelMint. I had a devil of a time trying to figure out how to use it, and realized in essence it was just a free credit for the site. I went to the site, and wasn’t too impressed with the options – my skin doesn’t react well to rings not made of silver or platinum, I am not really an earring person, and I don’t like delicate necklaces. However, they had a green pendant on a longer gold chain that looked promising.

My JewelMint necklace

The necklace came quite quickly, and I was impressed with the packaging. A glossy mint green box with magnetic closure, the necklace was carefully displayed on a velvet-covered foam box insert. The packaging was so pretty and luxe, I felt I was getting an item from a high-end designer. Then I opened the box… and was underwhelmed. The necklace was… fine. The quality was average to below average – lightweight, a weird color of gold that looks fake even from several feet away, an odd length of chain. A stylish friend said it looked like a piece from Forever 21 and I had to agree.

My JewelMint bracelet

JewelMint has a referral program – get others to join with your custom URL and you get free credits towards more jewelry. I ended up acquiring four credits in 2011. Each month I would go to JewelMint to use my credits, and leave with nothing. Seriously, I could get free jewelry and couldn’t find a single thing I would actually wear. Last month I saw a gold link bracelet that looked promising and used a credit towards it. Again, the piece arrived very quickly, and in quite luxe packaging. And again the piece is underwhelming. While this bracelet is a better color of gold, it’s still lightweight, simplistic and should cost less than $29.99. I have heard from friends and fellow bloggers that pieces have turned their skin green and have broken in just a couple months’ time.

Even with my less-than-awesome experience with JewelMint, I was curious about StyleMint. I respect Mary Kate and Ashley’s personal style and taste. Also,the blogger A Girl in Boston had the StyleMint “Venice” tee and I liked how it looked on her. I also got an email from StyleMint for a discount on my first purchase so I decided to give the site a go.

Based on the size chart on StyleMint, I got a size 5/XL. With my shoulder, arms, and bust I usually err on the side of too big with tees to get a flattering and work-appropriate fit. While I felt the cut of the “Venice” tee would be cute with jeans on weekends, I was also hoping to wear it sucked into pencil skirts for an office-worthy ensemble.

As with JewelMint, the purchase arrived quickly and was wrapped with care. At first glance, the tee looked pretty nice – a soft lightweight knit that had a luxe, silky finish. Unlike cheapy big box retailer tees, there was care to have the stripes line up at seams. I liked the neckline – a slim hem that would look appropriate with a blazer or for casual wear.

The other night I tried on my tee… and it was huge. HUGE. The sleeves were so long they went past my fingertips, the neckline gaped and displayed a bra strap, and the swing cut made it look like a maternity piece. With all these Mint sites, returns are accepted but it cannot be worn, washed, must be in its original packaging, you need to contact them for a shipping label, and while shipping is free there is a $5.95 restocking fee.

I looked at the label – 100% cotton (though online it says 50% cotton, 50% modal), though it said to wash on gentle and lie flat to dry. I decided to throw it in the washing machine and dryer in hopes it would shrink. It did – not a lot, but enough to make it wearable. I was pleased to see that the color did not fade, and the knit held up nicely through the machines.

Me in the StyleMint “Venice” tee

Yesterday I wore this tee, and I like it… okay. It’s a beautiful color scheme, and a unique silhouette, but I don’t know if it’s really worth it for a tee sight-unseen, especially with the return process. The swing style is a bit too short to be flattering on most – even my sister agreed that a couple more inches would make the style more wearable (able to tuck in), and more flattering. It’s nothing dramatically awesome, and by looking at this month’s options, I don’t really know if any of them are. While the price is reasonable for a designer brand tee shirt, I don’t really consider StyleMint to be a designer brand, just associated with designers/style icons.  I would rank the quality and style to a store like Gap or LOFT.

These Mint sites are great if you have a pretty standard size or personal style and crave something new each month. However, they can quickly become expensive if you aren’t quick to manage your memberships. Unless you tell them otherwise by the 5th, these sites will charge your card each month, whether or not you purchase anything.

The cancellation process for these different sites vary – for StyleMint you need to call them during business hours, for JewelMint you can send them an email. I sent an email today and within a couple of hours, they replied saying it had been done. I was pleased to find it so simple, no attempt at wooing me back with discount codes, just a cancellation notice and request to rate the customer service experience.

I have not tried ShoeMint because I am a hard-to-fit person. I know certain brands fit me best, and prefer to have the ability to try the shoe on in the store.

Have you joined any of these Mint sites? What are your experiences with the product or the service?

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I know, hideous pic of Emerson.  I was trying to get a pic of us together since we were both in orange but she was a busy bee this morning – lots of singing and running around before I headed to work.  With that cute sun top are some balloon knit shorts from Gap in the same color, and I even have sandals for her in the same shade.  Super cute!

So my order from arrived.

I am glad that they have easy returns.  Wah!

So I ordered this dress.  Mega cute, well made, but totally cut for someone who is 5’8″.  I looked as though I was playing dress-up.  The dress hit almost to my ankle bone, the waist started at my hips, the shoulders too broad.  Definitely a brand that makes their 14s not just wider but bigger everywhere.  I think if I were a size 6 and my height it would fit great. The color was a bit… intense.  Almost a neon red.  Also the fabric is a bit thin – excellent for a hot summer day, but with this color I would have had to wear nude undergarments and the type that go invisible under thin cottons.  If it came in petite and a darker color, I would reorder.

I also ordered these shoes in yellow.  They looked comfy, I think yellow is a bright that works as a neutral (could go with 90% of my wardrobe because I don’t ever wear yellow.  Imagine with gray, black, navy, white, blues, greens, tans…) and I am always a sucker for wedges (and I really want the new TOMS wedges in yellow and this was cheaper and more work appropriate).  Yeah, these run narrow.  Super narrow.  I have fat feet, but I couldn’t fit more than the edge of my toes in the toe strap.  And you can tell that the strap in back that holds the elastic to the shoe isn’t elastic… well it’s shiny patent leather.  Which I don’t think works with braided rope and elastic.  Leather – sure.  Nubuck?  Why not.  Canvas?  Yes.  But patent leather made the shoe suddenly look cheap.

And finally I ordered this dress.  I usually have success with MICHAEL Michael Kors.  I was envisioning this dress with the self-belt replaced with a brown leather belt, my brown croco T-straps from Sofft, maybe my long turquoise necklace from Allison Dayton Designs.  Well as you see, I AM wearing it… but at 5pm today I am NOT loving it any more.  And I don’t think I loved it when I left the house.

The fabric is awesome – a crinkly sheer fabric that doesn’t feel cheap.  The body is lined in a dark coral acetate that doesn’t cling.  The neckline is elasticized and if you so wish could wear it off the shoulder.  The wrists are also elasticized – and the sleeves are bracelet-length, not full length.  I liked all these features, and I think the print is cute in person – a dark coral/pumpkin shade with ivory, olive, and very minor touches of pink.  It doesn’t look gaudy or cheesy.  The length is perfect for me – right at the top of the knee.  I think if I were taller it would be too short for the workplace.

The problems – I got the XL and then remembered that this line runs big.  I probably would have done better with a Large.  It fits, but it balloons a bit.  The self belt is just the sheer fabric.  I think I actually would have liked there to be a layer of the coral acetate or even some interfacing in it to give it more durability.  It looks best when it lies flat, but because it’s so lightweight it become all smushed and looks more like a rope than a 2″ band after sitting down a few minutes.  And the elasticized neckline is fun, but because I don’t go to work baring my shoulders, I find the normal sitting of the neckline to be a bit dowdy.

I also found the dress doesn’t look good on me with a wide belt under the bust.  It is too flowy to handle a solid belt at the waist unless it’s slouchy.  And I don’t have the bod for a slouchy belt at my waist/hips.  I ended up tying the self belt right at the bottom of my ribcage – where I am still narrow, but low enough that I am not all “Hello Boobies!”  Yeah, the elasticized neckline does make the bust area a bit poofy, and I am not a woman who needs added poofiness in her bust area.

I am wearing it with my brushed gold “twig” bangles from Ann Taylor, big thin gold hoops from Nordstrom, and a gold rope necklace from J. Crew.  And yes, the brown croco T-straps from Sofft, though now owning the dress I think it would have looked better with a shoe that was tan or beige or even gold.

So the route was a bust this time, but that doesn’t mean I wouldn’t shop for clothing from them again.  The clothes are excellent quality, they just weren’t the best choices for me.