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Entries in Footwear (89)


El-No: Common Sense For Sexy Time

According to those clichéd personals ads, a long walk on the beach is sexy time. 

The media decrees that stilettos are the sexist shoes.

Ergo sexy long walks on the beach require sexy high heels.

Wait, what? This logic seems a bit flawed.

Miss El-No should not be wearing rhinestone heels during her long morning walk. Hobbling along in last night’s pumps isn’t romantic… unless her man has stock in Dr. Scholl’s moleskin and ankle braces.

Mama needs some flats. Bernardo sandals are some of my summertime favorites and perfect for a leisurely lakeside stroll. These Mars snake sandals for $113 are a much better option.

*Thanks for the photo MS!



El-No: A Little Bit Country, A Little Bit Cardio

I have been looking for a way to tone up for summer. Pilates and yoga? Hours on the treadmill?

Step aside Jillian Michaels; Miss El-No has it unlocked.

Apparently the new trend is cardio hoedown. Now I haven’t actually seen this advertised anywhere, but I am confident that it is coming to a sports club near us. Yee-haw!

Gym class line dancing is the only logical explanation for the Umbro soccer shorts/ cowboy boot combination. Either that or Patsy Cline here doesn’t know that performance materials are for playing sports. At least that was the intent when performance synthetics started being produced in the Eighties.

Miss El-No, please ditch the exercise gear and upgrade to something a little more summertime sassy. How about this cute dress from Shabby Apple? It pairs comfy jersey fabric with crisp sateen for only $86 and will look perfect with those boots. Order now and you will have it in time to wear it to the Carrie Underwood concert at Ravina.

*Thanks for the photo GAR!



El-Yes: Afternoon Delight

I’m free!!!!!!!

I don’t want to gloat… but I have three weeks of summer vacation before the summer school term starts and I go back to teach. I plan to wallow in fashion magazines and sunshine (apparently Mother Nature didn’t get the memo today).

What better place to celebrate summer break than a concert at Millennium Park? With a picnic spread across the lawn and classical music wafting through the air, I was thoroughly enjoying my afternoon.

And then I started people watching.

Have you ever sat around in Millennium Park looking at tourists? It sort of makes me sad for America. I was expecting fun street fashion and was met with fanny packs and jorts instead.

But then I saw Miss El-Yes.

Lightweight button down with rolled up sleeves; check. Cool tailored graphic shorts; check. Leg lengthening nude ballet flats; check. I adore this outfit.

Revel in summer with this crisp ensemble from J.Crew. This perfect linen shirt will keep you cool for $79.50. You should pair it with these striped Rivera shorts for $150 and finish off the look with these gorgeous nude woven flats for $128.


El-No: Go Cubs Go


That is how I spent Saturday. Dripping wet and full of beer, I waited out the Cubs game. We perched in a bar while watching the Indy 500 and eventually headed over to Wrigley (with a quick stop at the Lakeview Music Fest to hear Hairbangers Ball).

It looks like Miss El-No was trying to avoid blisters while she was root root rooting for the Cubbies. A quick walker, I could hardly get a picture of her footwear fashion crime. I’ll have to translate the blurry white for you- Miss El-No was rocking white socks with flip flops.

Hey bleacher babe, that’s a swing and a miss. Ditch the socks!

Socks and sandals have a history together that dates back to Ancient Rome. Ancient Roman men wore a ankle length leather sandal called "soccus." Who wants to get fashion advice from Julius Ceaser? Et tu, Brute? Nope... not even Brutus.

Beat the summer heat with these cool Reef Sweetwater sandals from Moosejaw for $27. Of course they will look so much better without socks. You can make it a win by adding on this Cubs Classic Tote by Vineyard Vines for $95.



El-Vacation: You Don't Know Jack

It's vacation time y'all!

I am off to the land of sweet tea and southern sun. I am taking my trusty travel buddy, Jack Rogers, along with me to enjoy the beach (I didn't get him a plane seat though... awkward.).

Jack Rogers is a classic American resort brand that has been around since the Sixties. A favorite of Jackie O, the company initally launched with a focus on footwear. Recently they moved into fashion and woven accessories.

This fabulous black and white cardigan has me whistlin' Dixie. Love!

Since you can't join me in the Carolinas, I suggest you spend this weekend watching Shag, drinking Beevos, and wearing some Jacks.

This Southern Belle will see you on Monday.





El-No: Berry Berry Red Hair

Breaking News Alert: Strawberry Shortcake Has Moved To Europe

Judging from this reader submitted photo, it appears that Strawberry Shortcake and her cat, Custard, have vacated their Berry Happy Home in Strawberryland.

This Eighties icon has taken up residence in Prague’s Wenceslas Square. I hope that she left a forwarding address- how else will Lemon Meringue and all the other kids find her?

Now that she is living in Big Apple City, Miss El-No needs to take her look out of the strawberry patch. I vote that she ditch the crimson curls and the tight/ boot combination. Maybe she could wear a bare leg and these adorable Fawna flat sandals from Kate Spade?

*Thanks for the photo JDL


El-No: Crafternoon Delight

I can't condone the use of faux flowers and glue guns. I try to avoid Joann Fabrics like the plague (crafters of the non-p.s. I made this vibe scare me).

It is this type of tragedy that keeps me out of craft and scrapbooking stores. I think Joann Fabrics threw up on this poor lady's shoes. Either that or she got caught in the crossfire of a quilting bee. I am willing to bet that she is wearing a gold painted macaroni necklace.

Paisley was introduced to Westerners during the 17th century by the East India Company. As textile manufacturers spread throughout Europe, the pattern picked up steam. What was once a textile that was associated with Eastern religions and cultures is now a common sight in American fabric stores.

This paisley disaster would never happen at The Needle Shop! Next time you have DIY desire, stop into this Bucktown treasure for some fashion forward fabrics.

*Thanks for the photo MS!



El-Yes: Color Me Happy

I went through a teal phase a few years ago. I believe it was a result of Breakfast at Tiffany's over exposure. (Which might also explain why I whistle Moon River while spying on my neighbors).

Anyway, I was living and breathing aquamarine. I even painted our bedroom that Restoration Hardware silver sage color. Then I hit a wall - a fancy designer teal wall to be exact. I quit colbalt cold turkey and promptly moved on to lime green.

I thought that I was over aqua. Nope. These shoes brought me back! I love them and think that they will be the perfect edition to my Spring wardrobe.

Tiptoe into Teal Steal: Merona Marlis suede wedge shoes for $24.99

Springtime Work Kicks: Pour La Victoire Morgan flats for $120.42

Luxurious Leather Love: Lanvin Leather Ballet flats for $485


El-Buy: Crunking In Heels

Doing the Dougie can be difficult, especially while wearing high heels. All that casual shoulder leaning and Cali swagging can do some damage (I should know; my feet haven't recovered from this weekend).

The real killer was the Cha Cha Slide. I may have pulled a muscle from the non-stop sliding and stomping. Listen up DJ Casper, after all of these years I still don't understand what you mean by "taking it back real smooth." However hard I tried, I just had a hard time popping and locking in my adorable 3.1 Phillip Lim wooden heeled shoes. Ouch.

With all these Springtime weddings in my future, I'm going to need some serious dancing footwear. Clearly I need to call in the experts.

I love the Cole Haan Violet Air Strap Sandal 90 (with concealed Nike Air technology). Available in metallic gold and silver, this strappy sandal will be perfect with Springtime brights or florals. Now I can actually swag in comfort.


El-No: Totally Grand Lux

Nothing is more luxurious than a chain restaurant and a booty.

I saw Team El-No last night as I was leaving dinner with friends. Painfully tight pants and uncomfortable shoes made it hard for these ladies to get down the escalator. Too tight over-the-knee boots and acid washed jeans made it painful for me to watch.

Oy with the waddling.

I'm all for "beauty is pain," but not when it restricts your ability to function. I don't remember Sir Mix-A-Lot mentioning anything about painted on pants?

Baby's got back, but she also might end up with a UTI and a sprained ankle.

Wide leg pants and wedges to the rescue!

Check out these wide leg stunners from Rock & Republic for $187. Love them. I love them even more when they are paired with these MacAlister boots ($198 in dark pewter) or these Avenelle wedges ($198 in burnt orange) from J.Crew.


El-No: Ceci n’est pas une pipe 

Have you ever heard of the game Exquisite Corpse?

If so, you would agree that Miss El-No is a prime example. One big jumbled up mess that would be at home in a Rene Margritte painting.

The game, invented by Surrealists, is also sometimes called Picture Consequences. Players fold up a piece of paper and pass the paper around the room, each drawing a part of the body without seeing each other’s handiwork. Usually you end up with a bizarre image of miscellaneous styles.

Well on an up note, at least she isn’t wearing a urinal around her neck. Readymades aside, I am totally confused by this ensemble.

I get that it is freakishly cold outside and will not say a word about the coat and hat. But what the heck is going on with this skirt? It is a little bit Sixties Summer and a little bit Morticia Addams. How is this a good idea? And the running shoes! She obviously needs to make a fast getaway from Cousin Itt.

Miss El-No, I think you can find a more flattering and seasonally appropriate maxi skirt. How about this solid color Rachel Roy Priya Maxi Skirt for $79?  You could pair with these cute a comfy metallic flats from Gentle Souls for $195. Once the weather gets warmer, swap out the ballet flats for a pair of flat sandals.


El-Yes: Chihuly says what? 

Las Vegas is dotted with colorful glass installations by artist Dale Chihuly.  Multihued and otherworldly, they are inspirational.

We have out own little slice of glassblown heaven in Chicago at the Garfield Park Conservatory. In his Chihuly in The Park: A Garden of Glass installation, the artist fused bright pieces with nature. Beautiful! Why have I never visited?

Meanwhile, back on my Vegas vacation, I saw Miss El-Yes as I was wandering through the casino. She looked like a walking Chihuly piece with her electric blue dress and sunny yellow heels.

I was enraptured. I am in love with this color combination and in lust with these shoes.

Get her lemony look with some zesty Kate Spade favorites:

Daffodil Valerie Jacket for $395

Sunny Kolette Skirt for $295

Enchanted Garden Bib Necklace for $275

Villa Adele Tunic for $265

Lemon Drop Small Framed Lella Purse for $225

Tipsy Shoes for $198


El-No: Peripheral Platforms

Don't tell MTV's If You Really Knew Me, but I'm discussing Goths today.

Goth, a late 70’s offshoot of the Punk movement, is a major subculture that has dramatically affected fashion and music (as well as most high school cafeterias).

It is a mixture of the sexual repression and death undertones of the Victorian era, the darkness of the Industrial Revolution, and the bondage styles of the Punk movement. Sounds like a recipe for fun!

While Goth isn’t really my vibe, I totally respect it. But I always have a problem when subcultures become stagnant. And that leads us to these lovely platform shoes.

These dark and bulky shoes have trickled up and down the trend chain. From Hot Topic to Chloe Sevigny for Opening Ceremony they permeated all levels of the fashion industry. In other words they are no longer edgy and on the fringe.

Miss El-No, in addition to fearing for the health of your ankles, I think you can do better than this. If you can buy it in the Mall, you’ll have a hard time convincing me of your peripheral street style.

*Thanks for the photo N


El-No: Big Shoes To Fill 

I saw Miss El-No when I was headed in to Starbucks for an afternoon treat. (Sometimes a girl just needs a slice of pumpkin bread and a cup of tea.)

Clad in super tight jeans and the world’s tallest high tops, she was going in the same direction. I was amazed. Riveted. MESMERIZED! What were those shoes?

They appeared to be a cross between wrestling shoes and ski boots. I wonder if they hurt her shins? Do you think they are hard to walk in? Should I call up the good folks at the Guinness Book of World Records?

Listen up snow bunny, I’d loose the crazy lofty kicks and find something a little more current. How about these adorable Onitsuka Tigers from Piperlime? They come in a variety of fresh colors (I love the White/ Caribbean) for only $80.


El-Buy: Here Comes The Sun

Little darling, it's been a long cold lonely winter
Little darling, it feels like years since it's been here
Here comes the sun, here comes the sun
and I say it's all right

Alright Winter weather, I'm over you. I am sick of the chill and the grey slushy snow. I am done with layering. I'm ready for sunshine and tulips.

Judging by all of the trend reports, we can look forward to pops of orange and honeysuckle pink in our future. What better way to show off these warm brights than with a canvas of white and blue?

Here's how I am setting the scene for Spring. Enjoy!








Carly Chair with Blue Frame
$899 -


Ginger Blue Side Table | Crate&Barrel
$299 -




Ikat Pillow
$85 -







El-No: Hooker Heels on Ice

Yesterday I watched a video about undiscovered tribes in Peru. This civilization had been untouched by the modern world and was honestly amazing. Everything about them seemed foreign.

Miss El-No reminds me of these indigenous uncontacted people. Her ability to wear stripper platforms and thigh highs during a blizzard is mind-boggling and odd.

She should be studied.

Meanwhile back in the Artic Tundra, I plan to wear leggings and flat heeled boots. I'm no hero and don't plan to test my coordination with hooker heels on ice (Sounds like the name of a killer skating show). I tried a pole dancing class once... not pretty and adding in a slick surface would really be a death wish.

I have my eye on these Sorel Joan of Artic boots for $130. They seem a touch more appropriate and totally cute!


*Thanks for the photo GAR


El-No: Fringed Follies

Cue the jazz hands.

Miss El-No is ready to “Shuffle Off To Buffalo.”

When I first saw this fringe footed female, I thought that she looked like Keltie the heartbroken high kicking Rockette. Jilted by The Bachelor, sweet Keltie seemed just inconsolable enough to throw in the towel and wear something this horrible. Membership in a precision dance team seems like the only valid reason to be wearing white fringe booties.

Miss El-No also looks remarkably similar to Miss Arkansas the yodeling ventriloquist. While I didn’t catch her act on Miss America this weekend, I have seen the videos. A red sequined jumpsuit? How could the puppets let her out of the house looking like that? I’m guessing that this southern beauty has a pair of boots just like these in her closet.

Miss El-No these snow colored shooties are horrible (as is the short sleeve windbreaker- but that is another post). Please ditch the fringe and replace them with a classic pair of boots.

I love Frye’s Belted Harness boot. Stylish and solid, these boots are a great buy at $238. Get the same look for less with Mossimo’s Supply Co. Kaiala boot for $39.99.


El-Buy: European Union


She spots shoelaces by the Spanish seashore.

Try saying that ten times fast (especially after a pitcher of poolside sangria). ¡Ay, caramba!

La Familia El-No Chicago just got back from a relaxing holiday in Spain. Overwhelmed by tapas and Custo Barcelona, I was snapping photos right and left.

While I have a pile of pictures to go through, I did want to clue you in on this Iberian craze. Sassy shoelaces were all the rage and a perfect way to make a statement with your kicks. Green, purple, and blue- even my husband jumped on board.

Bring a touch of España to your shoes this winter. At only $2 a pop, this look might be cheaper than the neon lipstick that is popping up all over Spring runways. We Love Colors has an amazing selection of laces that will keep you multi-hued all winter.


El-No: Whoroscope

Mercury is in retrograde and everything is in a tailspin due to the lunar eclipse. My horoscope said that today I would experience things that are out of the ordinary.

So I am blaming the stars for this fashion disaster.

Clear heels- Is this photo from VIPs? While acrylic heels seem to be a stripper staple, I spotted Miss El-No grabbing a cup of coffee at Au Bon Pain. Oh là là lap dance!

While invented in the 19th century, acrylic plastic did not see widespread production until 1936. Polymethl Methacrylate (acrylic), along with other plastics, was developed and popularized during WWII. I am sure that those chemical engineers never imagined that their creation would be used to elongate the legs of exotic dancers.

I’d leave the Lucite heels for the pole dance professionals (or Taylor Momsen). Clearly you can incorporate transparency into your life in a more tasteful (and comfortable) way.

Pop Art Spot Resin Bracelet from Kate Spade for $42

Lucite Bubble Earrings from Bettina Stark at The Museum of Contemporary Art for $55

Peekaboo Nesting Tables from CB2 for $199

Philippe Stark Kartell Louis Ghost Chair from All Modern for $410


El-No: Keep The Lace Out Of My Face

Does anyone else hear Roy Orbison singing faintly in the background?

These reader submitted photos look like outtakes from a low-budget remake of Pretty Woman. In this version, the hooker goes shopping for accessories at Claire’s. I am waiting for the shop assistants to come out and start bringing her high end classics while Richard Gere talks on an enormous cell phone.

Hopefully the mall minions and managers well get Miss El-No out of this lace explosion (which is complete with an ill-fitting dress and Uggs). Ugh.

Lace, created during the Middle Ages and popularized during the Renaissance, was originally intended to serve as an ornamentation or decoration. Originally handmade, lace decoration was very expensive and was only worn by the elite. In the 19th Century, a lace-making machine was invented. Lace was suddenly available to everyone. Stupid Industrial Revolution.

Miss El-No needs to look at lace as decoration instead of a neutral fabric- it should be used sparingly. Just because you can buy it doesn’t mean that you should wear it.

Keep the tights, but swap out the unflattering dress and cardi for this simple Ella Moss black dress for $135. Switch out the Uggs for these gorgeous La Canadienne Valentina boots in black for $316.


*Thanks for the photos DR and GAR!