Friday, August 30, 2013

It's almost time for boots!

It's almost that time of year.  The time that most women look forward to all year.  Christmas?  Summer?  No way, it's boot weather in the U.S.!  I like shoes, but I LOVE boots.  All kinds of boots are in my closet - knee-high, ankle-boots, booties, mid-calf, suede, leather, flat, high-heeled, sleek and dressy, tough-looking, Doc Martens to Vince Camuto.  I try to vary my colors but the majority of mine are black.  But they all look so cool.  If it were up to me it would be autumn for at least 6 months out of the year.  (The best time for boots if you live in a snowy climate.)

This year it looks like the trends for boots are on the tough side.  Motorcyle boots,  riding boots, "Engineer" boots (basically flats that look functional rather than fashionable), and cowboy boots are everywhere.  I suppose these go well with the leather jackets that are so in right now.  To be honest, none of these are my favorites.  I do like a general purpose flat boot, so I may invest in some of those in leather, since all of my flat boots are suede (not so practical in snowy weather if you have to do some walking).  But aside from that, I'll be taking a pass on the trends this year.  Below are a few of my favorites that I'll be wearing.

For any day that it's not snowing or slushy, I'll be wearing my Minnetonkas.  I love, love, love the look of these boots, and they're super-comfortable, too.  And they come in fun colors in addition to the usual black, brown and tan.  Heaven!

Minnetonka three-layer fringe boots (Zappos)

When I'm in the mood to look bad ass, these boots from Koolaburra will be my choice.  They make me extremely tall (I'm already a little over 5'8"), but they look SO very cool I couldn't resist buying them.  I love the look of the distressed leather and the studs.
Koolaburra boots (Hautelook)

Last, when I just want a low heeled (but not flat) boot that will go with everything, these ankle boots from Vince Camuto will probably be my choice.  They're dressy but not too much, and they're not suede!

Vince Camuto Gregger (Zappos)

These won't be all I wear.  I have flat black suede knee-high boots that I love, flat rust-colored suede cal-height ones, flat grey suede knee-highs, and of course Doc Martens and some Ugg-looking boots by Steve Madden.  I think I've got my feet covered!  Are you a boot lover?  If so, what are your favorites? 

Monday, August 19, 2013

Shop savvy using Hautelook

If you haven't tried Hautelook and you like to shop, or you like to get a deal on a good brand, you're missing out.  Hautelook is a web site owned by Nordstrom. It features clothing for men and women, shoes for men an women, jewelry, beauty products, home decor, and children's clothing and shoes.  The idea is that it's a "flash sale" site.  Every day different products are put on sale at 8 am PT.  Most of them stay on sale for a few days.  The supply of items is often limited, so they may sell out, or they may not have something in your size.  But if you find something you want, the discounts are usually very good.  Often the brands are ones that I'm not familiar with, but I've discovered those are often some of my favorites.
If you want to try it, you have to create a login.  Then, if you want, they send you emails each morning telling you what's new on sale that day.  Click on an item in the email and you're taken to that sale on the site.  If you find something you want, choose Add to Cart and it will stay in your cart for 15 minutes.  After that it remains in your cart but is listed as expired, and you have to add it again.  That can be annoying if you're doing a lot of browsing.
The only other downside in my opinion is the sizes of the women's clothes.  I'm either an XL or a plus 0 or 1, and I have a hard time finding things in my size.  It's not that bad, though - it keeps me from buying too much.  That's the other potential downside to Hautelook - it's addictive.  But I've found some unique clothing, and gotten some great deals on clothes and beauty products.
One other thing to note, although it's owned by Nordstrom, it doesn't have the same fabulous customer service.  They charge for shipping unless you order over $100.00, and if you need to return something, you pay the return shipping UNLESS you're willing to take a site credit.  And don't expect your purchases to come quickly.  For some reason most orders take AT LEAST a week, usually more (as in several weeks).  Occasionally I'll get something in a few days, though.  I'm guessing it depends on whether they have it in stock, and if not, how fast the vendor ships to you or them.
So now that you know, check it out.  And let me know what you think of it.  Here's a link to get you there.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

My favorite shoes this summer (get them on sale now!)

If you're still in the market for some sandals, here are a few of my favorites that I got this year.  I had more money this summer than I've had for several years, so I went a little shoe and make-up crazy.  It didn't hurt that some of my favorite things were trendy.  I love embellishments, and studs, rivets and beads were very popular this summer, along with metallics.
This first pair is from a brand named Wanted.  Their motto is making shoes that reflect the latest trends but making them more affordable than most brands.  The straps on these are man-made rather than leather, but they're still very comfortable.
Wanted Kahlua sandals
close-up of Kahlua sandals

Two of my very favorite sandals from this summer are both from Steve Madden.  The first are a play on a big trend this year - the sandals with ankle cuffs or straps.  Instead of putting a cuff around the ankle, Madden put it on the vamp of the shoe.  I love the way it looks and they're very comfortable (other than the typical lack of arch support in summer flats).
Steve Madden Cufff sandals in Pewter
The other pair I love have my favorite thing - studs.  These sandals look beautiful and are also very comfortable.

If you want your studs a little more tough looking, ala Jeffrey Campbell's Lita shoes, try this pair from Rampage. The studs on these are pointed. I can't remember the name of them, but you should be able to find them at Macy's or anywhere that sells Rampage.

On the other hand, if you want studs on a dressier shoe, take a look at these from Anne Klein.  The straps are suede with small gold studs.  The straps are a little thin, and I think it would be better if they were sturdier, but the shoes look so nice that I overlook the thin straps.

Minnetonka suede sandals
Anne Klein Faybriza

Next up are a brand that's totally different from the metallic studded sandals, but eye-catching nonetheless.  I've wanted to try some Minnetonka boots or shoes for awhile.  These look so great, and they're super comfortable! They tie around your ankles, so there's no worry that they won't fit.  The fringe around the ankles is really flattering, too.  I'll be getting these in black next year.
A different view
Minnetonka Marquette ankle tie slide sandals
If you're looking for some sandals that you can wear to evening events, look at these.  They are so gorgeous that I bought them in every color.  They're Vince Camuto, who is quickly becoming one of my favorite designers.  They come in black/gunmetal, dark purple, robin's egg blue, and these bronze-gold ones.  These are the prettiest flat sandals I've ever seen.  And they're on sale now!
Vince Camuto Emera in bronze/gold
 While I'm on the topic of Vince Camuto, check out these high-heeled sandals.  They're the high-heeled equivalent of the Emera's - drop dead gorgeous.  I very rarely wear heels, but these were so stunning I thought they'd be great to have on-hand for any event that I needed to dress up for.  They're comfortable to walk in, too.  They also come in pink, navy blue and beige.
Vince Camuto Cassi sandals

Last, these aren't sandals but they're more comfortable than any sandal, and they'll turn heads.  Honestly, they are so bright that I feel more upbeat and energetic as soon as I put them on.  Anything that motivates me to exercise is good in my opinion.
Asics GT-1000 Electric punch, flourescent pink and "highlighter yellow"