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Entries in Footwear (89)


El-No: Josephine and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat

Holy color wheel explosion!

I saw Miss EL-No while I was walking the dogs through our neighborhood. Like a vibrant rainbow, she was a bright sport on a cool day. I’m wondering where she keeps the pot of gold?

Green. Red. Orange. Yellow. It’s never good to look like an arts and crafts project gone awry. While color blocking is fun, this is just a multihued disaster. She used way too many colors. Just stick with two hues and balance using neutrals.

Embrace the rainbow with this red seamed and pleated dress from Zara. Pair this dazzling dress with Lanvin patent leather navy pumps and this Furla tote in blue. Or get zippy by incorporating a blue toned pink (that’s right, live on the edge ladies!). I love these magenta Karolina shoes from Kate Spade and this magenta Marc by Marc Jacobs purse.



El-Yes: A Very Happy Hour

Finding preptastic outfits at a Junior League event is like shooting fish in a barrel. They are everywhere you look. Last night was no exception.

Maybe it was the wine, my excitement over my new red lipstick (LOVE), or possibly hanging out with my girlfriends? But I was on a good outfit picture-taking roll. I was snapping away all night at Martini’s and Mistletoe. I only stopped for cookies and gossip.

These are my favorite outfits of the night- all perfect holiday happy hour options.

So, how do you transition from work to festive holiday revelry? Easy- a great dress or skirt and some fab accessories will take you from day to night.

I love this ¾ sleeve faux wrap dress from Banana Republic for $98 (in black, teal, purple, or coal grey).  It is a great price and the perfect work-to-party transition piece!

For day, pair this classic with a Foley + Corinna Mid City Tote in Black ($395) and these Nine West grey suede heels ($59.99). For a little extra sparkle, add on the Lotus Flower Pendant from eco-friendly local jewelry designer Julia Failey ($135).

For night, switch out the tote for this chic Anya Hindmarch mirrored-leather clutch ($530). Loose the daytime kicks and opt for these Metallic Pumps from Tory Burch ($325) or the Caz Heel from Kate Spade ($298). Top off your ensemble with some heavy-duty monogrammed shine. I am in lust with this personalized necklace from the Pink Monogram ($4,780). Bring a contemporary edge to your look with this Jill Platner Jupiter Necklace ($1,075).


El-No: Auf Wiedersehn To These Boots

I don’t want to brag, but I am kind of good at inkblot tests. Over the course of my life, I have taken several. My creativity and whimsy definitely shine through. That is totally a pig going shopping. Look at the adorable bunnies wearing high heels!

I wonder what Hermann Rorschach would think about my response to this reader submitted photo. One look at this picture and I instantly reacted. A parade float riding Matthew Broderick appeared in my head accompanied by a Wayne Newton soundtrack.

Ferris Bueller’s Day Off is one of my favorite movies. So naturally Miss El-No’s white boots remind of Sloane Peterson, Ferris’s white boot wearing love interest. Add on a fringe jacket and shorts and you would have a dead ringer! Of course, that was 1986 and under the watchful eye of John Hughes.

I love that Miss El-No ditched the traditional black or chocolate brown boot and tried to go with something a bit more zippy. White leather boots are a no-no (unless you are channeling Nancy Sinatra). These great choices might be a bit more fashion forward while still keeping in the same tone.

Hopefully Miss El-No will say “Danke Schoen” for the fashion advice.

Plenty by Tracy Reese Banjo Boot in Grey for $189

Frye Melissa Button Boot in Fawn for $318

Frye Dorado Riding Boot in Charcoal for $458


El-No: I’ll Take A Rain Check

Comin’ atcha straight from the Land of Oz, today I’m writing about boots (rain boots to be exact).

We’ve had insane weather this week in Chicago. Wind, rain, and grey clouds have dotted the skies. I’m waiting for the rest of the seven plagues to arrive- Bring on the frogs!

So it was no surprise that I saw a million people in rain boots this week. From my observations, it appears that some Chicagoans have forgotten the rules to wearing Wellies.

Miss El-No is a prime example.

Resplendent in orange rubber boots, she was having a long phone conversation in the hallway. As I approached, I zoned in on the outfit. She was sporting matte black leggings with large slashes up the front (maybe her pants were ripped due to all of the wind?), a wet look synthetic top, and green flowers in her hair.

What the El happened here? Her ensemble seemed like a rocker meets English gardening Grannie. Perhaps some sort of cyclone induced schizophrenia?

Make no mistake, rain boots need to work with your outfit (just like regular shoes). Brightly colored or patterned boots are a great way to make the yucky weather a bit more palatable. But please pair them with simple neutrals so that they can shine.

Miss El-No should have opted for an edgy rain boot to go with her ensemble. These studded Limited Edition Festival Hunter Wellies would have been a much better fit for her aesthetic. And her shiny top would have worked well with these glossy neoprene Regent Hunter Wellies.



El-No: Climate Change Clothing

Ok weather, I’m getting sick of your tricks. I just need you to pick a season and go with it. This is more confusing than Justin Bieber creating an OPI nail polish line. Should I dress for Fall or Summer?

It is supposed to be 78 degrees in Chicago today. I am having a hard time understanding how I am going to wear my fabulous riding boots or yummy cashmere sweaters. But chances are that I will be singing a different tune by February, so I’ll just pipe down.

Miss El-No was hanging out on a curb near the Damen/ North/ and Milwaukee intersection. Judging by the white pants, I’d say that she is also a little confused on what to wear during this weather. Here’s a tip: high-waisted white pants are rarely the right answer.  While the Hawaii Five O shirt is adorable, it doesn’t really work in October (no matter how warm it actually is in this city).

I’d switch up this outfit to work better for our faux Fall. Instead of the white pants and white Keds, check out these slate colored slacks from the Gap and these classic Chuck Taylor All-Stars from Piperlime. Replace the pink tank and Hawaiian shirt with J.Crew’s stripe sequin boatneck tee. This sassy yet traditional thin t-shirt comes in pumice or black.

* Thanks for the photo AG!


El-No: Running in Heels

I try to avoid running at all costs (unless I am hurrying towards a sale). But when this reader submitted photo popped up in my inbox, running was on the brain.

Miss El-No’s athletic inspired stilettos are ridiculous and confusing. Is she competing in the March of Dimes High Heel-a-thon? If so, this is the perfect shoe.

And didn’t she get the white shoes after Labor Day memo? Listen up girlfriend, that is not winter white.

But athletics aside, my real reaction to this shoe is one of amazement.

This seems to be a sporty version of the shoes worn by turn of the century ladies from the Edwardian era. During the Belle Epoque, woman paired their tailormade suits with a low heeled, pointed toe, lace up boot. As hemlines rose slightly above the ankle, these boots became more decorative. This was also the era of crazy corsets, so I am not suggesting that we reference this time period for fashion tips.

Miss El-No, I suggest you keep your heels firmly planted in the 21st century. Ditch the Sporty Spice does Titanic footwear and move on to something more classic and timeless.

Check out these great high-heeled boots from J.Crew- I love them all!

Flannery Platform Ankle Boot for $298

Sutton Fold-over Leather Platform Boot for $298

Bronson Leather and Snakeskin Boot for $350

*Thanks for the photo SDC!


El-Yes: Cab Shoes

Men are great.

But even the most fashionable guys appear to be missing a chip. They don’t seem to understand the “Beauty is Pain” notion.

Yes, we (ladies) will:

  • Hobble along in insane platform shoes because they make us look taller.
  • Squeeze ourselves into Spanx because they make us look thinner.
  • Spend hours coloring our hair because it makes us look younger.
  • Wake up early to go to pilates/ yoga/ running/ boot camp because it makes us feel better.


It’s not just us. Women have been sacrificing for years.

During the Renaissance, wealthy Venetian woman wore tall platform shoes called chopines. These insane cork shoes could be almost one foot tall and required the floor length dresses to be hemmed accordingly. Balancing on the equivalent of mini stilts, ladies needed constant assistance to move around. Can’t you just hear their husbands?

I told you to wear the flats!

Flats don’t go with this gown. So pipe down and hold me up.

Now, get the heck out of my way and let me in the cab. Miss El-Yes and I are wearing cab shoes and cannot walk another step.

Get Miss El-Yes’s look with these great platforms from Piperlime:

Steve Madden Caryssa for $89

Sam Edelman Niland for $100

Joan & David Flipp for $179.50


El-Buy: Falling For These Leggings

Get ready to have your world rocked. I have some admissions to make:

  1. I have never seen Jaws or Jurassic Park.
  2. I have not visited the Sears Tower… sorry, Willis Tower.
  3. I do not own a pair of leggings.

I know. Shocking!

I just never thought that leggings were my jam. I have been blessed in the badonkadonk area and have always felt that I look better in skirts. I also hate when I see people who think that leggings and pants are the same thing (they aren’t). But with this fabulously bizarre warm weather, I have been considering making the leap into leggings. They might be just the thing to take my wardrobe through Fall.

Savannah Miller, sister to Sienna and designer of Twenty8Twelve, also agrees. In the recent WSJ article “Making Leggings Dressy and Flattering,” she calls leggings a “key Fall accessory” and mentions that they should be a dark color and not skin tight. Miller says that leggings should ALWAYS be paired with heels (to elongate the leg) and a loose bum-covering top, tunic, or dress.

Sold. Where do I sign up?

I’m picturing my entry into the world of leggings a little like this picture. I will be sipping mulled cider next to a cozy fireplace while wearing a chic Autumnal ensemble. So cute!



El-No: The 3-1-1 On Travel 

This reader submitted photo comes straight from the Land of Cheesesteaks and Yuengling. An Ugg wearing and pantless Miss El-No was spotted while going through security at the Philadelphia airport.

The situation really isn’t Miss El-No’s fault. I checked the TSA website and I was totally confused when reading the “Prohibited Items” section.

Brass knuckles and snow globes need to be checked in your luggage. Bleach can’t be checked or carried. Without bleach, you can’t do laundry on board the airplane. It is clearly a logical jump to assume that pants are on the prohibited list.

I am sure that Miss El-No 3-1-1ed her liquids and gels, now it’s time to do the same thing to her look.



Travel with three layers so that you can handle the temperature changes (especially on the plane… brrrr). I like to travel in a skirt (summer) or jeans/ slacks (winter) with a short-sleeved shirt, cardi or pullover. I always carry a wrap/ pashmina that I can wear or roll up and use as a pillow.


Travel with one of each of the following: packet of Shout Wipes, packet of Fashion Tape, and a small bottle of hand sanitizer. Accidents happen. Be prepared.


Slip-on shoes are great for travel but keep a pair of Peds with you to use as you walk through security. And finally: Uggs are for one time of year only: Winter. Winter also requires pants. Pick a season.


*Thanks for the photo JCB


El-Yes: Sublime Shirtdress

I had my hands full yesterday. Weighed down with textbooks, handouts, and an iced coffee, I was forced to abandon my cell phone in my desk drawer. Of course I would see a fashion trend on a day without my camera.

Throughout the afternoon, I saw three students wearing different versions of the same outfit: a shirtdress, textured tights, and flat heeled over-the-knee boots. While the styling ranged from the sublime to the ridiculous, it really was an adorable look.

The modern shirtdress was popularized during the tail end of WWII and has several personas. The shirtdress of the Fifties Momma has petite shoulders, a wasp waist, and wide full hips. It’s swinging Sixties counterpart is short with an A-line skirt. The sexy Seventies take is long and lean.

Miss El-Yes was my third and favorite sighting of the day. More Seventies bohemian than Fifties Baby Boom, her menswear inspired dress was narrow and belted with skinny black leather. She paired this slender look with textured black tights and simple black boots. Standing in the hallway, she looked like a contemporary take on Ali McGraw.

Join the El-Yes shirtdress/ tights/ boots Love Story with these great affordable pieces:

Chambray Shirtdress from American Apparel for $62

Smooth Black Leather Belt from J.Crew for $32

Wolfred Bally Fishnet Tights from Saks for $68

Chinese Laundry Trust Me Over-the-knee Boots from Nordstrom for $99.95


El-Yes: Holy Harem Pants! She Looks Great!

The Division and Ashland intersection is usually abuzz with ridiculous characters.  Several bus stops, the Blue Line Division stop, and a taxi stand make this a hub of commuter activity in Wicker Park. Finding a fashion disaster is a pretty safe bet.

But yesterday, something wonderful happened.

I spotted a million El-Yes contenders. It was an El-Yes fest!

What the El was going on?

The sky was blue and rays of sun glittered down to the street. Everyone was beautifully dressed and looked so chic. I swear I heard a choir of angels (A unicorn and a rainbow might have also been involved too).

I was snapping away when I saw Miss El-Yes. She was wearing two of my least favorite pieces (a modified harem pant and a cape) but managed to look rather hip and tailored. The key was that the pant was rather slim and the cape was belted to show off her waist. This mixture could have easily gone south but she did a good job of keeping the look crisp and flattering.

Miss El-Yes was also wearing some delicious silver flats and power walking down the street. I tried to get a picture but she was so fast! I think she was running off to a meeting to cure cancer or end global warming or something equally as important.

You can look like Miss El-Yes with these great buys:

Stella McCartney Belted Cape from Net-a-Porter for $1,195

J.Crew Super 120s Elan Trouser in Black for $98

Anne Marie Ballet Flats from Tory Burch for $225

Vintage 80s Envelope Purse from Etsy for $22


El-Yes: On the Road

I was listening to the Soul Town satellite radio station in the car this morning. “Listening” might be the wrong word… it was more like “singing my face off to Aretha Franklin while sitting in traffic on 90.” I’m only mentioning this because I feel that it has colored my post.

I sat down to write about today’s photo with the 1950s and 1960s on my brain.

“Winkle Picker” is one of my favorite fashion history vocabulary words. Perhaps I need to get out more, but I just find it hilarious. Winkle Pickers are a pointed toe dress shoe that men wore during the 1950s and 1960s. This exaggerated point elongated the leg and was popular with beat poets and rockers alike.

So imagine my surprise when I saw a modern day Jack Kerouac on the train. Mr El-Yes had on an updated take on the winkle picker that he paired with denim and a chunky belt.


Embrace the Beat Generation with these fabulous men’s dress shoes from Nordstrom:

Salvatore Ferragamo Lanier Oxford for $570

Bruno Magli Maioco Oxford for $395

Magnanni Basilio Apron Toe Oxford for $295

Hugo Boss Crest Loafer for $245



El-No: Black Socks Up In Here 

I’m gonna go out on a limb here and say that when Mr El-No was a small child, he went to summer camp. In between canoeing and TPing the girls cabin he learned a rather misleading children’s song.

News Flash: Black socks DO get dirty.

You know what else?

Black socks only have one function. You can wear them with black or navy pants. That’s it.

We need to stop this epidemic of improper black socks use.

Men, just say no to black socks and shorts. Wearing them together makes legs look short, stubby, and pale. Go sockless when wearing shorts or having sex (you can thank me later). If that isn’t an option, check out these white and invisible Fruit of the Loom Men’s Ankle Socks.

*Thanks for the photo H


El-No: Oh Mickey

Every few months I read an article about kids wanting to dress like adults. Thongs and lipstick have become common in middle schools. However wrong it may be, we have become immune to Toddlers and Tiaras.

But there is another questionable issue in the age appropriate department: Adults wearing cartoon characters. 

I’m sorry, but how can you look mature while you are wearing an oversized Tweety Bird sweatshirt or sequined Minnie Mouse shoes?

It’s not a riddle. You can’t.

Miss El-No needs to dress her age, not her shoe size. It’s time to cancel the Mickey Mouse Club membership and upgrade to something a bit more stylish.   

Celebrate being young at heart with these zippy and cool sport shoes:

Simple Take on Ribbon Women’s Shoe for $55

Puma Men’s Dallas Shoe for $65

Puma Women’s Arayla Shoe for $65

Tretorn Stymra Men’s Canvas Shoe for $65

Burberry Check Women’s Slip on Sneaker for $195

Golden Goose Low Top Zebra Print Women’s Sneaker for $615

Take it away Toni!

*Thanks for the photo DH!


El-No: All Kinds of Crazy

What the El is this outfit?

No really, what is this?

I think Miss El-No’s ensemble appears to be a strange conglomeration of odd parts. It is a bizarre fashion chimera composed of: the accessories and footwear of a Victorian child; the jewelry and dress of an FLDS housewife; and a coat that was made during Grandma’s latest crafternoon.

Make it stop. I can’t take the madness.

I vote that Miss El-No show her obvious love for the eclectic in a more wearable and flattering way.  Try this on for size lady!

Fixing Miss El-No




El-No: Thanks Mr Narwahl! 

The Saturday morning rainstorm ruined my plans and my hair. So instead of spending the morning browsing at Renegade, I spent it shopping indoors.

I thought that I would check out Lori’s Shoes for some new Fall kicks. This Armitage Avenue boutique is a perfect rainy day destination and always delivers. While there were some really great fashion-forward options, what really amazed me was a little treat that I found in the back of the store.

First, I went through the seven levels of the Candy Cane Forest. Then, I went past the twirly, swirly gumdrops. And after that: I went through the Fall shoes to the sale rack.

The Jeffery Campbell “Michele” or “ Unicorn” shoe is a little like it’s elusive namesake. I have heard all about it, but have never seen it in person. But there it was! Magic.

The whimsical detailing of this shoe surprised me. The heel was really quite amazing and lovely. But the combination of elements just seemed silly. Honestly, I couldn’t stop giggling. Ruffles, ribbed horns, and metallic gold? Oy! I felt like I was either trapped inside the movie Elf or the room of a pre-teen girl.

Was it horribly interesting or just horrible?

My vote is horrible.


El-No: “Well color me happy.” It’s time for Fall boots! 


This weekend, I saw Miss El-No standing outside of a club. No doubt she was waiting for Richard Gere to come pick her up in his Lotus Esprit.

Oh wait… that was Pretty Woman.

Miss El-No’s short/ boot combination reminds me of the pre- makeover Julia Roberts. Where is the helpful Beverly Hills Hotel Manager to school Miss El-No on manners and etiquette? Get her over to Rodeo Drive ASAP- she needs those snooty salespeople to help her.

Wearing a revealing and short ensemble with over the knee boots is just wrong. Or as Julia put it in this Ninties pop culture hit: “Big mistake. Big. Huge.”

So how do you wear these trend forward Fall boots? I love them layered over black leggings or a dark skinny jean. If you plan to pair them with a skirt or dress, shoot to have the hemline fall between 1-3 inches above the top of the boot. Following these simple guidelines will keep you looking stylish (not slutty).

My favorite over the knee boots are below. Enjoy!


Gucci Over the Knee Suede Boot $1,550

Jimmy Choo Earnest Flat Over the Knee Boot $1,295


Stuart Weitzman Over the Knee Flat Boot $595

Frye Taylor Over the Knee Boot $428


Kelsi Dagger Sophia Over the Knee Boot $240

Sam Edelman James Over the Knee Boot $225


El-Yes: Blissful Brunch 

Brunch is a luxurious weekend ritual- a perfect combination of breakfast basics and lunchtime loves. Mimosas and breakfast potatoes seem to have magical powers on a lazy Sunday morning. Add in the weekend newspaper (resplendent with fall fashion articles) and… bliss.

This weekend, the air was thick with summer warmth. But calendars and retailers say that we are transitioning into autumn. Miss El-Yes’s brunch ensemble seems to effortlessly dance on the edge of these two seasons.  Like brunch, her look was a natural combination of two distinct elements.

I’m not gonna lie, I am totally excited for changing foliage, school supplies, and a slight drop in the temperature. Fall is my favorite season. Miss El-Yes’s trend forward slouchy boyfriend jeans and elongated cardigan are both on my shopping list.

But it is still summer! So, I love that she paired these fall essentials with her warm weather favorites. Her nautical inspired tank, straw bag, and leather sandals were as yummy as my omelette.



El-No: Street Fashion Fiasco

Yesterday’s Wall Street Journal article “Seen on the Street: Strangers as Style Icons,” argued that fashion icons are no longer models, rather everyday people. Author Christina Binkley highlighted this trend by interviewing a variety of fashion bloggers and journalists. Their street subjects, “become fashion influencers who may lead others to imitate their looks or even inspire designers to create new fashions.”

Let’s freaking hope not!

Lord, help us if this strap happy look becomes part of the fashion vernacular. When coupled with the bra straps and tank straps, this denim vest is a busy backside disaster. Add in the too short/too tight white shorts and some yellow heels and we have a street fashion catastrophe up in here.

Part of what makes street fashion so exciting is watching people put their creative spin on classic elements. That is why street fashion blogs are big. A successful look propels readers to purchase new products or try new styles. We succumb to fashion lust.

Miss El-No, your ensemble did invoke my shopping desire. I want to run on out and buy you a strapless bra and some flat shoes.

Next time you wear a strappy tank, please pair it with a strapless bra like this option from Wacoal through Bare Necessities. That will save you the headache of matching your bra to your shoes (which you so thoughtfully did here).

Swap out the yellow heels for a metallic flat. It will play up the gold in your shirt and calm down the shortness of your shorts. I’m rather fond of the Lilly Pulitzer McKim sandal. The metallic sandal comes in a spaghetti strap, a wide strap, or even a wedge. These are a much more suitable option for day.

*Thanks for the photo SDC!


El-No: Cubs vs. Cardinals, Part 2

Let me root, root, root for the Cubbies. If they don’t win it’s a shame. For it’s one, two, three strikes your out at the old ball game!

Sorry, sports fans. I saw a lot more than three fashion strikeouts at this weekend’s Cubs vs. Cardinals game. Wrigley Field was practically bursting with fanny packs and Tevas. And don’t even get me started on the shirtless sunburned men in the bleacher seats.

After the game ended (Cubs Win!), we headed through the chaotic crowds for some post-game cocktails. We found a shady patio spot to set up camp and cool off after our day in the sun. Fortified with a cold drink, I started snapping away.

So in honor of America’s favorite pastime, it’s an El-No Double Play!

Mr El-No, my grandmother has the same Coach hat. Seriously. I gave it to her for Christmas two years ago. That’s a swing and a miss, dude. Trade in your designer derby and show some team spirit with this Cub’s baseball cap.

I spy with my little eye some sandals. Oh wait, they’re mandals.

Mr El-No, please consider switching into flip flopsboat shoes, or even a slip on. Go ask the nice men at Bonobos- they can set you up with some cooler kicks. I understand that summer weather leaves men with insufficient footwear options, but there must be something better than these unflattering/ high tech/ Velcro/ adventure/ performance sandals. You are drinking a beer, not on a rafting trip in the Amazon.


* CT- Thanks for capturing Coach man!