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Entries in Footwear (89)


El-No: Purple People Eater

I love you. You love me. We’re best friends like friends should be. With a great big hug and a kiss from me to you. Won’t you say you love me too?

No. I’m sorry, I just can’t love anyone who is wearing this much plaid or purple. 

If rugged mountain man Paul Bunion and Barney the purple dinosaur had a love child, I think this would be her outfit. Holy purple buffalo check- It’s everywhere!

I do admire her use of color. The jewel tone violet is beautiful and works well with her skin tone. I also understand that retailers have been pushing tartan during 2010. But that doesn’t mean that you should wear it literally from head to toe! That much of any pattern is just unflattering and frankly, overwhelming.A better idea would be to skip the matchy matchy look and use plaid to serve as a hip accent.

Miss El-No needs to ditch this plaid shirt and bag business. I love this black and white bow tank from Urban Outfitters. It would be a perfect option to pair with Miss El-No’s black leggings. She would also be channeling Italian designer Elsa Schiaperelli (she popularized hot pink, zippers, and bow prints).  Add in this Dara Ettinger metallic blue/purple knuckle ring to tie in with the purple check shoes.  Now switch out the bag with this Deena & Ozzy leather tote. Gorgeous and hip!

* Thanks for the picture LS!


El- No: Sneaky Black Ops…NOT Sneakers with Black Socks!!!

There is a bipartisan crisis in Washington. 

Healthcare? Job creation? The environment?

Nope. Something worse. It’s the attack of the unfashionable tourist. 

Perhaps President Obama should take a cue from our own Mayor Daley and hire some sort of American Fashion Czar. While Melissa Gamble resigned in May of this year, in the five years that Chicago had a Director of Fashion Arts and Events the city began hosting Fashion Week and welcomed the Macy’s Fashion Incubator. Chicago is just starting to become a hub for new American designers. 

Emergency solved. Get me a secure line to the West Wing! A Fashion Czar is the only logical approach to handling some of these El-No fashion violations. 

In the meantime- black socks with white sneakers? Ugh. Go from Miss El-No to Sassy Sightseer with a quick footwear switch. There are many comfortable and attractive shoe options available for an urban vacation. I love these delightful slip-on shoes from Puma and Adidas. These Converse lace ups are another adorable alternative. Skip the dress socks and check out the liner or no-show peds from Little Miss Matched.




El-No: What Would Betsy Do? 

This Independence Day weekend, I’m raising my glass to America’s most important seamstress: Betsy Ross. A widow, mother, and businesswomen (she ran an upholstery shop), Ross befriended George Washington through her church in Philadelphia. According to oral history, Washington asked Ross to construct the first flag after she sewed some buttons onto a suit for him.

Why the red, white, and blue? While there is technically no record for the flag’s color scheme, the same colors were selected for the Great Seal of the United States. Records indicate that white stands for purity, blue for justice, and red for valor. The six point stars represent heaven, and the alternating red and white stripes signify America seceding from England. Historical significance aside, I think these bold colors totally complement each other.

I’m just wondering what Betsy would think about these ridiculous open toe Giuseppe Zanotti ankle length boots. Patriotic or idiotic? 


El-No: Mini Skirt Minnie

Hold up ladies. Looks like the Mini Skirt Mob lost one of their crew!

The jury’s still out regarding the inventor of this fashion hit. “Mini” skirt is short for minimum- which is fashion speak for “thigh grazing.” The short skirt culprit may have been mod British boutique owner Mary Quant. French designer Andre Courreges (of go go boot fame) is also credited with inventing the mini skirt. Either way, this tiny skirt makes a big impact.

Miss El-No, I love your nod to the swinging Sixties. Your A-line mini dress is totally Twiggylicious. You make me want to order this vintage inspired Lilly dress and wear my hair in a beehive. Unfortunately the knee socks/ Mary Janes/ school bag combo take this outfit from Sixties chic to middle school geek.

Ditch the schoolyard accessories and put an adult spin on your amazing dress. I would lose the knee socks and go with a bare leg for the hot summer months (add on opaque tights for Fall). Swap out the kiddie shoes for a pair of classic Jack Rogers flats. Or, put a casual twist on the outfit by wearing these Bensimon canvas kicks. Lastly, ditch the messenger bag for a monogrammed “boat and tote.”


El-Yes: Charlie would approve of these three Angels

Well Charlie, you picked an adorable ensemble. This chic little threesome is a definite El-Yes.

Nothing against Cameron Diaz and her underwear dance, but I think this trio is channeling the classic style of the original Angels (minus the feathered hair). Like a Gawker-esque stalker, I followed these ladies down the hallway snapping pictures until I got a perfect one. Each woman has a distinct work- appropriate look that is composed of classic pieces… although my favorite is the tunic/ white pants/ metallic sandal combo. Love!

On the Right: Jaclyn Smith

Try on a timeless choice from Tunic Queen Tory Burch or a more trend forward Kate Spade Beach Tunic (which you can also wear as a dress). Layer the shirt over a slim white ankle length pant from Talbots. Yes, Talbots. They really have refreshed the brand with the appointment of their new President (a J.Crew alum) Trudy Sullivan. Finish the look with these great Bernardo croc sandals in silver. 

In the Middle: Farrah Fawcett

This simple Amalfi dress from Boden is a perfect choice for work or a backyard summer bbq. Avoid the office air-conditioning chill with this lightweight short sleeve cardigan from Banana Republic. Complete the look with some Farrah hair and these Frye t-strap sandals in Clay.

On the Left: Kate Jackson

Looking for the perfect black dress to transition from work to drinks? This cotton Blakely dress from J.Crew is the LBD for the job. Add on this unbuttoned striped lightweight sweater from Target to finish the outfit. Looking for an updated gladiator sandal? You are in luck! Try the Erika sandal from Pour la Victoire or the Charles by Charles David Brace sandal. Both are open enough to balance out a short skirt and not weigh down your limbs (although if you have thicker legs, it makes more sense to skip this trend).


El-No: Summer Uggs! Ugh

I bought my first pair of Uggs in 2003 after spending a year in Chicago.

Each winter, I take these warm sheepskin lined boots out of the closet and wear them whenever I leave the house. These boots make my commute across the artic tundra (a.k.a. the five block walk to the train) at bit more bearable.

So imagine my surprise when I saw this jean short clad El-No in Uggs on a sunny June day. For real?

Judging by the contents of Miss El-No’s clear plastic beach bag, I was able to deduce that she is a college student (or practicing a weight lifting regime involving textbooks). So. I understand that she is trying to be comfy and relaxed.

I’ll ignore that the Ugg trend is on a steep decline and that the top of the boots hit her leg at the unflattering mid-calf height. Let’s just focus on finding something easy for her to wear to class.

Miss El-No, I recommend that you swamp out the sweatshirt for a simple cotton pullover from Old Navy- just as cozy but way more adult and attractive. Next up, loose the winter boots and celebrate the summer. Try these fun and fashionable gold Bernardo sandals. For a Ramen sized budget, pick up these adorable Miss Trish or Merona sandals at Target. 


El-No: Dancing Queen


I’m gonna live forever.

I’m gonna learn how to fly-high!

I feel it comin’ together!

People will see me and cry.


Sorry… my jazz hands are getting tired so I’m just going to stop singing now.

Admittedly, jazz shoes are the footwear de jour for many of my skinny jean wearing students. They are sassy, flashy (especially these little metallic numbers), and comfortable. Designers like shoe superstar Christian Louboutin and Marc Jacobs even got on board by creating bank-breaking renditions for Fall 2009.

Bad news twinkle toes, these little kicks aren’t too flattering and don’t offer much support. Try the trend forward menswear inspired oxford shoe instead. These sharp and well-crafted Prada oxfords will surely become a favorite. 




El-Yes: She’s a Oui, Oui, Oui All the Way Home

Mais Oui! I love a girl with a bike.

Get your mind out the gutter! Not in a “tattooed stipper/ porn star Jesse James” kind of way. This is more of a “chic french girl with a beret and a baguette” kind of love. 

This lovely girl is channeling her inner Audrey Hepburn (Funny Face) with her ankle length black leggings and adorable flat shoes. Black is always chic, but it becomes more fabulous when it is accented with a bit of color. 

Want to recreate this look at home? Try these Gap slim pants paired with these bright Tory Burch Revas


El-No: My Workout is All Business

Where are you running in that business suit?

Every time I see a person wearing running shoes with a business suit, I can’t help but think of Working Girl (cue Carly Simon “Let the River Run”).

I know you are late to work/ have a long walk to the train/ don’t want to wear your cute shoes outside but this is ridiculous. Find some attractive commuter shoes and save your gym shoes for the gym!!!

My favorite commuter shoe options are an inexpensive ballet flat (ladies) or Adidas track shoes (men). Check out Piperlime for some great ideas!


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