Monday, February 03, 2014

The Detritus of a Crowded Mind...

Calder, of course

1.  There's a great Calder exhibit right now at the Chicago Museum of Contemporary Art.  We love the MCA - although the building looks like a government bunker from West Germany circa 1960, the inside is light and bright and often full of amazing things.  Sometimes full of troubling things, but that's what you get with contemporary art - you can't always fully grasp it first time through.

And there's a Wolfgang Puck cafe.

AND, one of the best gift shops in the known universe.  Particularly their choices of children's books and toys.  I do much of my gift shopping there...

2.  I had my first experience mailing clothes to Thredup.com, and this part of the equation is beautifully simple.  Go onto their site and order a bag, and about a week later, you get this cool polka dotted mylar bag (pre-address and postage paid!) which is large enough to mail maybe 10 garments.  Your mileage will vary depending on the bulkiness of what you're sending, but I was able to say goodbye to a substantial pile of things within about 5 minutes: bag, seal, drop at mail box.  I'll let you know how the selling side of things turns out.

3.  Talk to me about shoes.  I often get comments about the conservative nature of the shoes that I show here, and recently the terms matronly, staid, and frumpy have all entered the conversation.  I personally believe that high-heels are silly, and I only see a woman MAYBE once a week walking in them sufficiently gracefully that she qualifies as elegant.  I do, however, see a lot of limping, hobbling, foot dragging, and other bizarre contortions... My personal philosophy is that I will wear approximately the same height of heels as my husband wears - when he breaks out stilettos, I will hasten to follow.

So, did you climb K2 in your Manolos?  Can you run a marathon in Christian Louboutins?  Am I missing the fashion train because I just happen to run into women who wear high-heels badly?  If you're sincerely interested in seeing shoes that I seem to think are more about appearance than utility, I could certainly give it a try...



4.  So how are your clusters working out?  Poor Belovedest is having to live with the clothes rack in the dining room right now, while I work out my clusters.  I'm finding it to be a really great way to help me focus on what I don't need to keep; especially now that I don't go into an office five times a week, my wardrobe needs have changed dramatically.  Someone else needs those clothes that are just hanging unused in my closet...

5.  Shopping on Michigan Avenue: we went into Levi's to get B a new pair of jeans, and I was admiring the shopping style of the man in another fitting room.  He took in - no exaggeration - 40 pieces of clothing, and ended up purchasing 8 things.  He took his time, and he was very discriminating.  I was impressed by his discipline, and his ruthless refusal to buy anything that wasn't absolutely perfect.

76 comments:

  1. I love these posts. Could you, would you share the name of your clothes rack? Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's a Fol-D-Rac - and it's brilliant. They are available from the container store, and they fold down to a handful of pipes - just the five bars - I can pick it up with one hand. When not in use, it stands in a corner behind a folding door that we never close! I can sincerely say that it is something that I wish I had purchased decades ago, and would replace tomorrow.

      Delete
    2. I use the shower rod in the spare bathroom as a temporary clothes rack when needed. I use it to decide on quantities and items for packing for trips. The bathroom is conveniently located near my suitcase storage area!

      Delete
  2. I'm with you on the shoes! I want style, but not maimed feet, so there's a balance.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I used the cluster concept to plan how to pack for a conference in Philadelphia last week. It helped plan so I could carry layers and fit everything into a small carry-on bag.The only thing I would change (in retrospect) is to carry more scarves!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. When I went to Ireland last year, I carried many more scarves than the recommended amount. I did not regret it. I was able to change up outfits or coordinate different pieces by adding a different scarf. I'm going to Switzerland this year and plan to do it again. Fewer pants, more accessories and knit tops.

      Delete
  4. I too am with you on the shoes...your way of putting it made me laugh. Heels just don't work for me, I fall off them and twist my ankle. Ballet type flats are not my style so I appreciate seeing the alternatives you choose...and I don't think they're frumpy at all!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I totally agree! One of the main reasons I keep coming back to your posts is because you offer such nice shoe ideas for the practical walker!

      Delete
  5. Dear Janice,
    I thought this would make you laugh....the Junior League in our city had a fundraiser, this past fall. It was a 'stilleto run' around an outdoor shopping center. I did not attend, but saw photos on a local blogger's site. She is a member. Being a bit older and limiting all my high heels to 2.5 or less, I commended their good sportsmenship, yet the photos were sort of funny, as I'm sure they were meant to be. There were socks involved. I hope they raised a good bit of money for all that discomfort!

    ReplyDelete
  6. One question I've been dying to ask you is why you always show so many shoes. When I travel, I usually limit myself to one versatile pair, two at most.
    As far as heel heights and shapes are concerned, I think it's a very personal thing. I feel more comfortable in a low to mid height heel than wearing flats, and doctors don't usually recommend wearing completely flat shoes. Up to 7 cm is comfortable for me. Above that isn't. And I feel more comfortable in a pump than a round toe shoe because the shape of my feet is slim and pointy. My toes just bump around uncomfortably in the front of round toe shoe. Certainly, the fact that such shoes (slim with some height) improve my gait, makes it even better!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I show a choice of shoes - I like to have a pair with each outfit that I show, but I don't for a heartbeat believe that anybody actually NEEDS to pack more than 2 or 3 pair of shoes, tops.

      I was just sitting here pondering what I'm going to take to Paris, and I'll probably pack 3 pair of shoes - although 2 pair of them will be tiny and flat and pack in the space of 1 normal pair. Shoes are VERY personal - but I like to think that we can be beautiful without pain!

      Delete
    2. Thank you Janice. Yes, 2 or 3 makes sense.
      Of course, I wouldn't run a marathon in heels!

      Delete
    3. To be honest, I'm having trouble believing that any doctor with integrity would really recommend not wearing flat shoes. I'm suspicious these are doctors that treat foot and back issues that can be caused by wearing heels. For goodness sake, people went barefoot and/or wore shoes like mocassins for a millenium before the first pair of heels were invented. It is simply not believable that our bodies were not designed to be walking barefoot or in extremely flat shoes. Also, there are thousands of runners who have found that knee and hip issues go away once they have started running in minimalist shoes without any heel lift. Sorry, I'm just not buying that. If someone prefers a heel, that's cool but I just really don't buy that they're doctor recommended. Sorry.

      Delete
    4. I have had the top podiatrist in the state, among other medical professionals, suggest I avoid wearing completely flat shoes most of the time, as it puts to much strain on my calves which then transfers to my back. Wearing a slight heel (I'm talking .5" to 1.5" so realistically they are pretty much still "flats") is, for me, far more comfortable when walking or standing for long periods of time. Our ancestors did not walk around on hard flat surfaces all the time (no concrete), and they did not stand a lot (we are designed for walking, not standing). I can't speak for all of the runners you know, but statistically speaking some of them are toe runners, not heel runners, and therefore the heel of the shoe is largely irrelevant. Running also puts different forces on the body than walking or standing. If flats and bare foot work for you, great, but they don't work for everyone and doctors are not necessarily corrupt for suggesting that they don't.

      Delete
  7. I've been neglecting my shoe wardrobe the past few years, due to hard-to-fit wide feet, and knee issues that prevent me from wearing heels except for very dressy occasions.

    I finally buckled down this year, and dealt with the shoe issue. Found a brand that works for me for most events, even in heels. So now have one pair of 3" closed pumps for dressy occasions, one pair of 2" open toe sparkly shoes for dressy spring/summer fetes, and a small variety of low-heeled shoes, booties and sandals for everyday wear. And I'm done!! All in black, which is my basic foundation "color" anyway, and all very comfortable. And since all my clothing goes with black (which is also my go-to handbag color), I'm set. Color only appears in scarves and sweater/jackets...very minimalist, and very easy to pack and match.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Do you mind sharing the shoe brand?

      Delete
    2. Arthritic knees and wide feet here! I second the request for the brand!

      Delete
    3. Ecco, for the most part. I found a great kitten heel sparkly open toe for dress up at Beautifeel. All a bit expensive, but still nowhere near the prices of the Manolos, etc. that I'll never wear anyway. I used to wear Rieker, but hard to find decent styles lately and the sizing became erratic. I'm a 36 in every Ecco that I've tried, so can even order online, which is lovely!

      Delete
  8. I will admit that I've been privately thinking that the shoes you chose can be matronly and frumpy at times. I rarely wear heels and when I do, they're 2" or less. I also rarely wear sneakers outside of exercise. I place a premium on being able to walk in my shoes in comfort, whether I'm running errands or exploring a new city. And when I'm traveling, it's not uncommon for me to walk four or five or even six miles in a day. If you like, I'd be happy to share with you some of the brands and styles I wear most often.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Please do! I am on my feet teaching all day and heels are just not an option!

      Delete
  9. Yes, the shoes appear a little more "frumpy" than what we are directed to wear by fashion magazines. But, they also look comfortable and appropriate for the outfits they match. Please keep the shoes! They give me great ideas and free me from the fear that only heels can look polished!

    ReplyDelete
  10. I love, love, love ballerinas and have come to use them as a way to introduce bright spots of color. That said, I also love kitten heels and how feminine I feel when I wear them, not sexy, just feminine. I must be a conservative, girly girl. While I can admire the look of very high heels, they just hurt when I wear them. So they have been banned!

    ReplyDelete
  11. Shoes should never, ever hurt or make you walk like a baby giraffe. What you put on your feet to be comfortable and stylish is as varied as we are. As for myself, I would wear every pair of shoes ever shown on this site. Thank you, Janice, for showing us "low heelers" stylish footwear!

    ReplyDelete
  12. I am 60 years old and have fought pinched nerves since I was 20. I learned early that comfort is paramount and my reward has been beautiful feet-- no bunions, corns or hot spots. I look at young women's feet and cringe. My trick is to check out the new seasons of Danskos, Mephistos, Borns, Eccos for the comfortable but stylish pair of pumps, boots and sandals and I snap them up. No one has ever called my shoes frumpy and I can walk a mile in every pair! Susan in SLC

    ReplyDelete
  13. To me the shoe is part of the whole, and when your outfit is well put together, a comfortable shoe is fine. However, I will wear this type of shoe only in the color of my slacks or tights, no pop of color, please. And I always take three pairs as I like to switch shoes when I walk. Lot.

    ReplyDelete
  14. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  15. On heels: I went to the opera yesterday and decided to try shoes with a heel. They were not stilettos but were higher than I usually wear. My knees and ankles suffered enough that I went barefoot for the stairs. I simply did not feel safe wearing them. Admittedly, it was odd and improper but better than a fall. The shoes hit the "Out" bag this morning. I like pretty shoes but comfort these days is more important.

    On clusters: This subject tickles me. Soon after I jumped on it, I realized that I can cluster around all sorts of things...(much as you do on the blog). By color? Check. By a certain garment? Check. Around a scarf or two? Check. Even around jewelry. Almost too many choices!

    ReplyDelete
  16. I enjoy seeing your shoe choices - they look fine AND comfortable. I look for both as in my profession (teaching) I am on my feet ALL day, and want something I can literally walk miles in without suffering. Most foot surgeons cringe at stilettos as well as ballerina type flats - neither are good choices for regular wear, but DO enhance their job security !

    ReplyDelete
  17. Love your idea of wearing the same height heel as men!!! I wear Thierry Rabotin Lena with everything.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I wear Thierry Rabotin flats all the time - I'm taking two pair on vacation. Unlike most ballet flats, I find that these have enough support to allow me to walk quite a bit, and they still pack flat like pancakes. They're brutally expensive, but well worth it if you choose carefully and take care of them!

      Delete
    2. Just looked these up and they're very expensive. Certainly out of my price range.

      Delete
    3. Look for a second hand pair on ebay!

      Delete
  18. Fun tennis shoes are my footwear of choice and my casual lifestyle allows that. However, I love the variety of shoes you show. You will not be able to please everyone and like all of your posts I think we need to look at it and change and adapt it to our own lifestyle. I don't wear dresses so whenever you show a dress, in my mind I am substituting a top and a bottom that would work in its place. Your posts are all wonderful starting points that should get our individual creative process going. Thanks for all you do.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Love your shoe choices

    ReplyDelete
  20. I have always loved shoes and as a sewist, often fantasized about making shoes. I wore a lot of stilettos in my working days and still do at past 65. However, now I am realizing that flatter shoes flatter and matter! Have you tried Chie Mihara? They are expensive but are wildly expressive and are very comfortable.

    ReplyDelete
  21. I used a cluster inspired by some of your posts for a trip including a conference, visiting with relatives and miles of sightseeing in San Francisco last week and had everything I needed - all able to fit in a backpack and purse. Thank you!

    ReplyDelete
  22. Echoing the first "Anonymous" - I love these posts too! Thanks!!

    ReplyDelete
  23. Stilettos make me ANGRY. They strike me as just as anti-woman as binding feet. And the fad of platform stilettos, where even models and actresses mince along? This is power? Yikes.

    But don't mind me. I like shoes that make me feel grounded and leave me able to claim my space as I need to. That doesn't always mean flats, but it does mean shoes I can wear all day.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. LOL, I, too, have compared many women's shoes to foot binding. I can't tell you how many formal events I've been to wearing a fabulous pair of flats instead of heels where women will come up to me at the end of the evening and comment how cute and comfortable I look because, by that point, they're either barefoot or visibly hobbling.

      Delete
  24. Loved the comment about women walking like giraffes in very high heels. We saw a hostess in a restaurant on Friday night that looked just like that. My right knee still bears the scar from falling out of the back seat of a 2-door car because I caught my very high heel trying to get out when I was a teenager. They were called "spiked" heels back then, for those who might think stilettos are a new invention. I haven't worn shoes with any kind of heel for at least 25 years. As with most, my feet have changed over time and I've worn a variety of well-made supportive shoes and clogs. My current favorite brands are Orthaheel (recently known as Vionic) and Dansko. I have a pair of purple Orthaheel Melanie ballet-type flats that I love and I recently bought a pair of navy blue Dansko Edda Mary Janes that I hope I will love. I also have some Orthaheel Yasmin sandals and Dansko Colby ankle boots. None of them look like old-lady shoes to me, but then I am one, so maybe my judgement is skewed. After a harrowing experience in the rain on some very slippery big round cobble stones while wearing Dansko Pippa clogs, I swore off anything that is very far off the ground. Shoes are often mentioned on the travel website I monitor daily. One person recently said that she wanted shoes that were appropriate to the need for being on her feet for hours, standing or walking on surfaces that might not be flat or even. She also wanted shoes that didn't look like sneakers or bowling shoes. Shoes that look like that are the usual recommendations for travel, so I find the shoes shown here great examples of something else that will work, both for travel and for everyday.

    ReplyDelete
  25. Love the shoes and the variety. Something for everyone that way.

    ReplyDelete
  26. It's refreshing to see a fashion site that doesn't feature impossibly-high heels. I have bad feet and tend toward "frumpy" shoes myself. I am trying to expand my horizons and find comfortable shoes that are also somewhat stylish. I think designers are finally getting it since I seem to find more and more cute low-heeled shoes.

    ReplyDelete
  27. Let's face it, most of us reading the Vivienne Files care, at least somewhat, about fashion, or we wouldn't be here! Even so, I am totally with you Janice on practical shoes. I live in the mountains where the ground is mostly uneven and small pieces of granite are scattered everywhere. And, of course, in the wintertime there is ice and snow everywhere. It's a struggle to find attractive fashionable shoes that keep one steady and upright, but it can certainly be done. As an interior designer, I like to look nice when I go out in case I bump into clients, so I find I do a lot of shoe shopping and only occasion purchasing. It takes effort to find beautiful, practical comfortable shoes, but it's worth it.
    Also, there is the factor of aging gracefully and with vigor. I plan to be skiing, hiking, doing yoga and Zumba for as many years into the future as I can. I can't afford to fall off of some silly shoe and tear a tendon that would sideline me from all the fun, maybe permanently. It takes a smart plan to survive life keeping your body healthy and strong. Shoes are an important factor in living smart!!

    ReplyDelete
  28. Yesterday, I cleaned out my closet of several pairs of heels that I had only worn a couple of times, until I decided they hurt too much to keep wearing. I need to wear dress shoes to work and walk quite a bit. When I find a pair of heels that are comfortable enough to last all day without hurting, I buy another pair of the exact same size/brand as a back up.

    ReplyDelete
  29. I'm also one that thinks the shoe choices a a bit frumpy. Not necessarily because they are flat tho, shoes can be stylish and comfortable. The shoes shown, imho, look very heavy and clunky to me. If i put some of them on my size 11 canoes, i'd feel like i had cement blocks on my feet.

    ReplyDelete
  30. I LOVE your shoe choices. Appropriate, beautiful and, most of all, wearable. I've already done the teetering around on sky high heels thing and it's done my feet, no favors. Many thanks for your realistic footwear options!

    ReplyDelete
  31. In general, I like most of the shoes you've posted. Some specific shoes aren't to my taste, but I MUCH prefer flats and low heels to stilettos. Lived and worked in too many places where high heels were a health hazard (cobblestone streets, steep hills, ice, etc.).

    ReplyDelete
  32. It's funny you should ask the shoe question today, Janice -- on Saturday I was admiring the variety of shoes that you show. My feeling was that the selections are as varied as your folllowers probably are. Some shoes you show might be to 'frumpy' for some, others might be too expensive -- but while your followers may all share the same passion for great and practical fashion, we are all going to express it in our individual ways. You can't please everyone all the time, but you sure do a great job appealing to a wide audience. As for heel height -- I love the lower-heeled options and seeing just how elegant and classy lower heels can be. And as with all the options you show, those who want to go for a higher heel can simply adapt your beautiful inspirations to fit their own personal style.
    Once again, thank you!

    ReplyDelete
  33. I'm totally in your camp as far as the shoes are concerned. I have ordered several pairs from your vignettes, and am so happy with them. This blog has broadened my horizons for shoes as well as clothes, and how to put them together. So many other blogs focus on clothes so dressy I would wear them only once a year - it's completely outside my real life, which is casual. And now that I'm in my sixties, totally flat, unsupportive shoes are extremely uncomfortable, as are heels. Only rarely do I think anything you show is frumpy - I am learning that it's the total look that matters, not one item.

    ReplyDelete
  34. Weighing in on the shoe question - flats doesn't necessarily mean frumpy as high heels don't necessarily mean stylish. Also, flats don't necessarily mean comfort.

    I like the more stylish offering by Clarks and Footglove shoes at M & S for a good blend of comfort and style. I walk in flat shoes, but I wear medium heels for my sedentary job 'cos I think they look smarter and I like them!

    ReplyDelete
  35. I'm totally with you on shoes. Frumpy, that's no surprise, matronly, it's in the eye of the beholder. But at least with a smile on my face!
    Don't forget that it's absolutely clear that high heels cause the excess 65% or so in knee arthritis in women, and these days will lead you to bionic knees, which are not as good as the original.. So you don't just look happy in flats, you look smart.

    ReplyDelete
  36. For those of you teaching and/or standing on concrete eight hours a day, you might look at MBTs which I found after many years of teaching; they help the feet, lower back, and hips so much. I ordered most of mine through Footwear, Inc. and bought some at Foot Solutions. They now have some very stylist options.

    ReplyDelete
  37. P.S. "MBT" stands for Masai Barefoot Technology. A lot of research went into their design.

    ReplyDelete
  38. I love shoes. On a day to day basis I wear a low heel. Flats give me foot and back pain. That doesn't mean I don't own gorgeous black court shoes. I guess that is what you in the US call 'pumps'. I usually where them when I have the arm of a lovely man to hold. I would appreciate seeing a variey of shoes, not because I'd but them, but just because they are nice to look at.

    ReplyDelete
  39. I'm curious to know what conclusions you drew, if any, from all these answers?

    ReplyDelete
  40. Aren't there enough blogs and websites featuring high heels? Why try to change this one into something it isn't? If you want stillettos, bandage dresses etc, buy any fashion magazine.
    I've personally found the shoe inspirations great. The payoff of feeing that it is OK to wear laceups is that I've been able to walk for miles with my husband. I bought a black slip-on shoe after your suggestion and it has been worth its weight in gold as a shoe wardrobe addition, used in the evening with the same ensemble I've worn in the daytime with laceups.
    Funny that when women have supposedly never been more liberated, shoe fashions can be so confining and sometimes even dangerous. (A friend's daughter is in a coma after falling over in the street wearing very high heels.)
    Personally I can't wear high high heels anyway but the odd thing is that my daughters in their thirties hardly ever wear them.
    As women get older they do look stranger trying to balance in high heels and if you think this is a flattering look, try to see yourself while walking.

    ReplyDelete
  41. My husband and I debate the heel topic all the time. He would love to see me in a pair of stilettos. He works with a lot of girls, and they swear that heels are comfortable... you just have to learn how to walk in them. I tell him that most girls just endure the pain. I personally like a lot of styles from Sofft Shoes. They are more fashion forward, but still designed to be more comfortable than a standard shoe.

    As a result of the heel debate, I have researched shoes a lot. Shoes are made on a standard last for the "average" foot. Because feet have so many nerves in them, they are very sensitive if even a small thing is out of place (think a tiny rock in your shoe). If you have average feet, then just about any shoe you try will be comfortable and fit well-- flats and even stilettos. However, if you do not have average feet, then finding comfortable shoes in any style can be a real pain. I have long narrow feet that are small in the heel, and have the worst time finding comfortable shoes. Most shoes with straps don't even touch my feet except at the clasp. Narrows often mean smaller foot bed, not smaller straps.

    I am seriously considering a trip to Hong Kong to have some custom shoes made. I think the investment would be worth it, especially with how long shoes last.

    Also, I recently injured my foot and am having to do all sorts of exercises. I do them on both feet. I never understood how to strengthen my tendons before. I was trying on dresses this last weekend, and the shop had a pair of stilettos to try with their gowns. I was amazed that they actually seemed more comfortable than ever before. They were just cheap Target shoes, but I think the comfort had more to do with my having a stronger foot than the shoe itself.

    Janice, this is your blog, so I suggest you offer shoes you love. If anyone wants stilettos, maybe refer them to a good cordwainer where they can get a pair that has the greatest chance of being comfortable and safe (not falling off or slipping from bad fit). If you like the look of a high heel, go ahead and include it as an option. Honestly, I have thought your taste in shoes a little more conservative than my own... but I also wore holographic platforms in high school, and I definitely don't expect those to be anywhere on this blog. Clothes and shoes are so individual, and even beautiful clothes don't flatter every figure. I like your blog because it teaches me how to combine things and think of clothes and the construction of my wardrobe in a new way. I might not pick the exact same outfits, but I can identify and construct a coordinated outfit much better than before. I can also more easily understand exactly what pieces I need to fill holes in my wardrobe (currently a black purse). The color and variation of the wardrobes you offer are already eye candy and inspiring, so keep up the good work!

    ReplyDelete
  42. Life is too short to have sore feet! Mine are wide, too and I swear by Hotter's shoes: http://www.hotterusa.com/

    ReplyDelete
  43. Janice - I did not read through the 57 comments above. They may have already said this: stilettos? Puh-leeze NO! Maybe for some, but I think you put it so well. When husband wears them I may try. But then again, I have more respect for my body than that.

    ReplyDelete
  44. I'm so with you and your shoe choices. I want to be a shoe designer in my next life. I think the men who design those towering heel and platforms should be made to wear them! I've never had foot issues since I wear flat or very low heels. Cowboy boots are as high as I go ( they are very comfortable).

    ReplyDelete
  45. I echo EleanorJane, in the UK we have some lovely non-frumpy shoes by Clarks and M&S Footglove which can be dainty and very comfortable. I spend a lot of time in the US and find comfortable shoes to be what I would call "old lady shoes"!

    ReplyDelete
  46. Isn't this another very individual matter? Depending on the size and shape of your feet, as well as your weight (I used to be able to wear reasonable heels comfortably when I was lighter…) each woman will feel differently about which shoes are comfortable, quite apart from the aesthetics. Even brand recommendations, although I am grateful, will be difficult - many brands that offer "wide" fittings are either too narrow or too wide for my short, "square" feet with a high instep, and boots are almost impossible for me to find - the very widest may fit my calf but are either too loose or too tight at the ankle and the height on short legs will be difficult, too… So endless shoe problems and each of us is going to have to settle in and do the necessary work to find the right kind!
    And then the aesthetics - you offer a good selection but then I find some of the fashionable styles frumpy (bedroom slippers my grandad wore?!), so it's another matter of opinion. Apparently the women here in Switzerland like their comfy shoes frumpy, as I have difficulty finding any that appeal to me - but yes, it's personal!!

    ReplyDelete
  47. I also have (Swiss) MBTs - they are comfortable, Mary-Jane style, but I look like Minnie Mouse… sigh.

    ReplyDelete
  48. Well would you care of an european woman opinion on heels (which means high heels) and confort shoes? Agter all, you are talking so much of Paris...
    I do admit (and not confess) that I do not your choice of shoes most of the time, I would not wear them on any time but they do suit you, and that is the most important. That written, do I wear uncofortable shoes: of course not, I am not loving to have my feet (and back..) in pain for the sake of having nice shoes. But confortable AND beautiful shoes do exist. Only not pointy shoes... why complaining for ones feet in pain when one goes on wearing extermely and unatural form fitted shoes? That is beyond me I should say. I have a lot of shoes with heels (from kitten to high heels) but not pointy. And I never buy them only because they look good (but they do though).And remember, your feet are in pain when the shoes are bad quality: even high heels shoes (pumps, it that the proper word, sorry, english is not my first langage) should be well made with a real stydy of the foot balance and proportion, not only a stylist like most those days. Remember, Salvatore Ferragamo is one of them and Charles Jourdan, before the company was reclaimed by businessmen alas! I never had problem not pain whith this kind of shoes so far. And Janice, as you are going to Paris soo, try this brand, CAREL. It has a rather "old fashion" reputation nowadays but I can assure you it is not the case. They are well made, elegant, somehow classy but with a twist. You can find them in their own store or at Le Bon Marché or in their outlet close to La Bastille place. And they are confortable and not matronly at all (well most of them). Forget the Louboutin, horrid shoes not well made at all and rather came to fame because of their red soles. No seriously, they are not that good and too exterme, pretty that is true but that is all. All right I hope I did not sound to patronizing because that was not what I intended to transmit. But I am sure there can be a way between very high and very flat and confortable.

    ReplyDelete
  49. Well would you care of an european woman opinion on heels (which means high heels) and confort shoes? Agter all, you are talking so much of Paris...
    I do admit (and not confess) that I do not your choice of shoes most of the time, I would not wear them on any time but they do suit you, and that is the most important. That written, do I wear uncofortable shoes: of course not, I am not loving to have my feet (and back..) in pain for the sake of having nice shoes. But confortable AND beautiful shoes do exist. Only not pointy shoes... why complaining for ones feet in pain when one goes on wearing extermely and unatural form fitted shoes? That is beyond me I should say. I have a lot of shoes with heels (from kitten to high heels) but not pointy. And I never buy them only because they look good (but they do though).And remember, your feet are in pain when the shoes are bad quality: even high heels shoes (pumps, it that the proper word, sorry, english is not my first langage) should be well made with a real stydy of the foot balance and proportion, not only a stylist like most those days. Remember, Salvatore Ferragamo is one of them and Charles Jourdan, before the company was reclaimed by businessmen alas! I never had problem not pain whith this kind of shoes so far. And Janice, as you are going to Paris soo, try this brand, CAREL. It has a rather "old fashion" reputation nowadays but I can assure you it is not the case. They are well made, elegant, somehow classy but with a twist. You can find them in their own store or at Le Bon Marché or in their outlet close to La Bastille place. And they are confortable and not matronly at all (well most of them). Forget the Louboutin, horrid shoes not well made at all and rather came to fame because of their red soles. No seriously, they are not that good and too exterme, pretty that is true but that is all. All right I hope I did not sound to patronizing because that was not what I intended to transmit. But I am sure there can be a way between very high and very flat and confortable.

    ReplyDelete
  50. Re #2: does Vivenne or another of the super sophisticated followers of this blog know of an equivalent to Thredup in France? I, too, have gone from being in an office, boss of 100 people and on TV daily, to being a freelancer working from home. I have some beautiful, classic clothes that are far to formal for my life today. I have held onto them, but I am trying to downsize and have selected some to give up. They are high quality, actually made in France, Italy, Germany and Spain. I am familiar with leboncoin, but it's too downmarket for my stuff.
    Re #3: After bunion surgery, I refuse to wear heels. The most amazing shoes I've ever worn (and my feet are wide and difficult) are "Go Walk" by Sketchers. They weigh nothing and are like having little marshmallow puffs under your feet; you barely notice the lightweight uppers. I have two pair that I wear almost constantly and plan to buy more on my next trip to the U.S.
    Bon voyage, and welcome to France!

    ReplyDelete
  51. Google or Pinterest some famously stylish celebs to see chic without heels: Audrey Hepburn, of course, Jackie Kennedy Onassis, Grace Kelly, even Caroline Bessette Kennedy....Many of their outfits from the '60s, '70s and '80s, especially Jackie's, are still fashionable today. And they are anything but matronly.

    ReplyDelete
  52. I have NEVER worn heels higher than 1/2" and still suffer from bunions, neuromas, and flat feet. Finding appropriate shoes has been a never ending source of grief, and I think all the shoes on this site are amazing! I would appreciate even more lace-up styles that aren't tennis shoes.

    ReplyDelete
  53. Not all the shoes on the blog are to my taste, but you do find some that are cute. My problem with "comfort" shoes in all brands and all styles are that they are immediately recognizable as "comfort" shoes. Sadly I think Americans, as a culture, equate "comfort" with "hippie" and "hippie" with "old." I never want my fashion choices to age me, not that there's anything wrong with aging, but allowing yourself to slide into "nursing home chic" before you're actually in the home seems like a sartorial mistake - and a big indicator that you no longer care what people think about how you look. I far prefer to buy shoes that are stylish and tolerably comfortable for short periods, and enhance them with all the fantastic insert products available today at any drugstore that can cushion the balls, cradle the instep, and buffer all the little straps. And really, for most of the events to which I wear astronomically high heels, I am sitting for the majority of the time anyway. I sneak flats into my bag if I need them for the trip home. Long way to say I wouldn't mind seeing some more fashion-forward shoe choices, if you like them too.

    ReplyDelete
  54. I say show the shoes that you want to show. It's your blog. I do wear heels everyday though and Manolos are the most comfortable of all the shoes I own. I am a science teacher and I stand for over 12 hours a day in heels - I don't have a desk because I never get to sit down anyway. I think heels are power shoes. You cannot command a room well in flats. They are too little girl. I read an interview recently about women, clothes, and the work environment (it was from Forbes or WSJ). The author said that she had interviewed many of the top women executives and all of them had worn heels. I want to add that I have hiked from Florence to Fiesole in heeled sandals that were quite dressy. They were very comfortable.

    Leah

    ReplyDelete
  55. I find it difficult to find comfortable fashionable shoes. I would not wear some of your shoe choices but I would not wear some of your clothing choices either. That doesn't mean there is anything wrong with them, we all have different taste. Why do some people feel the need to be so critical? Just substitute a pair you would like and move on! I appreciate seeing all your choices Janice.

    ReplyDelete
  56. I am another who finds the shoes sometimes frumpy - and, as Liz said, not because they are flat but because they look heavy and clumpy to me. But equally, they are sometimes fabulous.

    However, I have to disagree somewhat with the assessment of the width of the range: it is indeed wide - within its chosen boundary conditions, which include "no high heels". Not all of us who follow the blog avidly want to deny ourselves the options of heels; but while it would be nice to see them sometimes in the vignettes, it is no big deal to make the substitution - we all do it all the time with Janice's wonderful offerings to tweak them to our own personal preferences.

    I also have to take issue with some of the anti-heels comments and assumptions. It is not like binding feet because it is my choice. And I am a bit puzzled by the comments that suggest that this is an all or nothing debate, because it isn't: the fact that I choose sometimes to indulge myself with heels (and that I love shoes of all kinds) does not mean that I would wear them all the time or on all occasions. It is, as always, a question of horses for courses. If I'm going hiking, I wear hiking boots; if I'm going skiing, I wear ski boots...... (and in New York today I need wellingtons with winter chains on.......!!)

    ReplyDelete
  57. Re number of shoes to pack: except for very short 1-day overnight trips, I always like to pack at least 2 pairs - and at least 3 for longer trips. I really hate it when my feet hurt, and I have found that even the most comfortable shoes can unexpectedly start to hurt - feet swell on the plane; a sock seam or piece of grit rubs a blister .... etc etc. And then there's the weather: if my shoes get soaked, I don't want to have to either put them on again wet or rapid-dry them, to the detriment of the leather. (I like to pack 2 swimsuits, too, because I hate putting on a cold wet costume on the second day). Of course, if there are specialist activities involved, it's a whole new ball game (currently, I have running shoes and ballet shoes on board ..........)

    ReplyDelete
  58. I didn't read all the comments ... but in case it wasn't mentioned, there are lots of comfortable, sensible alternatives to 3-4" heels that are attractive. I love ballerinas in good weather ... there are so many choices (check out Madewell, J. Crew, Clarks, etc.), as well as stacked lower heels which are also comfy. In the winter I'm in love with booties. So many styles are incredibly comfortable (J. Crew, Jack Wills, Sole Society, Sam Edelman Petty boots, Rachel Comey, Clarks...] Loafers, oxfords & even sneakers (Supergas, Vans slip ons, New Balance black classics) are other options that might freshen things up a bit. Take a look!

    ReplyDelete
  59. 1. I love your taste in shoes and would happily wear over 80% if I could afford them. I guess I prefer clunk.

    2. I find it refreshing to see the comfortable, walking-friendly, low-heeled choices that few other blogs select to showcase.

    3. On the other hand, I personally prefer less black and less classic tailoring. I am a short, round woman with a more quirky taste in clothes sometimes. So? Does that mean you should change your aesthetic or the blogs? Of course not! Your posts are just as useful and delightful as they are. So why change the shoes? Surely people are meant to find inspiration here and not a personal shopping tutorial (for that, there are personal shoppers and stylists).

    ReplyDelete
  60. 1. I love your taste in shoes and would happily wear over 80% if I could afford them. I guess I prefer clunk.

    2. I find it refreshing to see the comfortable, walking-friendly, low-heeled choices that few other blogs select to showcase.

    3. On the other hand, I personally prefer less black and less classic tailoring. I am a short, round woman with a more quirky taste in clothes sometimes. So? Does that mean you should change your aesthetic or the blogs? Of course not! Your posts are just as useful and delightful as they are. So why change the shoes? Surely people are meant to find inspiration here and not a personal shopping tutorial (for that, there are personal shoppers and stylists).

    ReplyDelete