Ask Allie – Trench Coats, Shoe Repair, and Leopard Skirts

Allie,
I love trenches and have two, but I only wear them when it's raining. My question is, is it okay to wear them as a coat when it's overcast? And is it okay to wear them as a coat, period?
Thanks,
Katty

Hi Katty,
By all means, YES! Trenches are the perfect coat for when it’s raining – you look chic yet stay dry. However trenches are quite stylish even on days when the sun comes to visit. I wear my trench on any day where it’s not cold enough for a wool coat, but not warm enough to go sans outerwear. A trench is a wonderful spring and fall piece of outerwear, looks elegant with pants or skirts, and can be worn even if there isn’t a single cloud in the sky. Wear your trench with pride, no matter the weather!

***

Dear Allie,
I have a brown, cream and black leopard print skirt, what would be a good color choice for a top to pair it with other than basic black?
Sincerely,
Simone

Dear Simone,
Ooh, sounds like a pretty versatile skirt! Dark red, mustard, pumpkin, forest green, teal, or you could even get wild with hot pink or magenta. Leopard ends up being a pretty neutral piece, though I find it to be most elegant with darker jewel tones. If you do want to go standard with a color in the skirt, you can jazz it up with red heels, a hot pink belt over the sweater, a kelly green bag. It's a great base piece to really play with color.

***

Dear Allie,
I think I live or work near you – where can I find a really good cobbler in the DC area? Who do you use?
Thanks,
Carole

Hi Simone,
I go to a ridiculous hole in the wall of a place in Greenbelt (near College Park, Maryland) called Arto’s Shoe Repair. I have been going here for eons. I find they do quality work, are honest with their abilities, and have reasonable prices.

Arto’s is in a dying shopping mall, all the shoe orders are on display in bags over the employees' heads, and the place looks as though it could use a thorough cleaning. However for $11 I can get my shoes reheeled, they will glue down any snagged leather on the heels and smooth it until it almost disappears, will polish them to a shine and do any other minor repairs I didn’t ask for but are needed (glue down lining or glue together fraying strap, etc.). I took them a pair of boots I wanted cut down an inch and that required one replacement zipper. They admitted that the boots wouldn’t look that great cut down, and told me it wasn’t worth the time or money to do such a change to the shoe. However with the new zipper, they not only said they could do it, they had a cheaper price and said they could use the old zipper pull on the new zipper for a cohesive look.

Cobblers and shoe repair places are a company where you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover – ask your neighbors, visit Yelp, Consumers' CHECKBOOK and get true reviews, don’t base your decision on a fancy storefront or modern Web site.

Once you find a place that sounds good, test them out with a simple reheeling.  Do they do careful work?  Did they go the extra mile by polishing your shoes and catching any other minor repairs that needed to be fixed?  If they pass the test, then consider a more complicated repair.

5 Comments

  1. March 7, 2011 / 6:54 pm

    thanks so much for the answer! I thought it would take ages for you to respond! I am having my cream trench shortened so it is more wearable in the spring and fall. But I just love my long black trench just as it is for winter- plus it has a detachable fleece vest that makes it sooo cozy!

  2. February 26, 2011 / 2:14 am

    thanks so much for the answer! I thought it would take ages for you to respond! I am having my cream trench shortened so it is more wearable in the spring and fall. But I just love my long black trench just as it is for winter- plus it has a detachable fleece vest that makes it sooo cozy!

  3. February 22, 2011 / 9:51 pm

    LOL, I had my first date with my husband there back in ’93 when it was THE place for high schoolers to go. Two movie theaters, a video game shop and a Bennigans? Who could ask for more? Now I only go there for Target, Marshalls, and to get my shoes repaired.

    Thank you for commenting, I love your style! Adding you to the “DC Bloggers” park of my blogroll!

  4. February 22, 2011 / 9:47 pm

    I wear my trenchcoat in the Spring, Fall AND Winter. I don’t play.

    Question: Do you live in PG County? Because I live within a pretty good distance from Greenbelt and College Park. And I am so familiar with the dying mall you are talking bout! lol.

    http://www.heartprintandstyle.blogspot.com

  5. February 22, 2011 / 8:54 pm

    nice questions, nice answers! i enjoyed reading these!

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