Recently, I found myself chatting with a friend about the increasing malleability of price thresholds, meaning the absolute cap you've self-imposed when buying a category of fashion. My thresholds do differ from category to category (panties are no classic Burberry trench, you see), but across the board, it's been a slippery slope since I was a lowly FIT student and wouldn't spend more than $100 on a pair of shoes.
In short, the moment you cross a previously perceived price ceiling, it's all downhill, cherry's popped, it no longer feels out-of-the-question to spend, say, $1,295 on the Fendi Layered Pyramid Stud Heel Pump seen above (price ceiling in question being $1,000+ pre-tax).
Now, don't get me wrong, even I will own up to the fact that these are a splurge by the truest definition. After all, no woman in the world needs a pair of $1,295 shoes, and in particular, a pair that resembles, vaguely, a dinosaur comprised of Legos.
But love is love, you guys, and sometimes, love is impractical.
Any price thresholds you'll own up to, particularly in the category of footwear?
As a woman perhaps best known for her shoes (for better or worse), I was PUMPED (pun intended) when my friends at Sole Society asked me to curate a selection of 'Insiders Picks'. You see, Sole Society is easily one of my few standbys when it comes to affordable shoe shopping. Their assortment of styles, ranging from just $49.95 - $69.95 includes all that's on-trend - be they flats, strappy sandals, pumps or wedges.
There's a full page of selects for your persusal on site, but these are my very favorite of the bunch:
- Lana - I often say that I couldn't live life without a platform, and the Lana's generous boost makes these pumps as practical as they are lovely.
- Kaylie - Rich-feeling and ladylike - yet still fun, particularly in one of the pop colors!
- Ophelia - I live for a fun, colorful shoe, and the contrasting piping on the Ophelia adds just the right element of interest.
- Jeannell -In any of the colorways, this heel is downtown perfection; I'll pair with a sleek, skinny cargo.
When shopping Sole Society, I recommend investing in the genuine leather or suede styles (there are plenty on site) as they're a killer value. To shop my current faves on site, visit my page of Insiders Picks!
As a marketer by trade, I'm continually interested in how mildly staid and conservative brands reinvent themselves. The most recent (and among the most assertive!) to hit my radar is Cole Haan. Truth be told, I'm obsessed with their New York-specific campaigns, which have encompassed outdoor/subway advertising, pop-up dance parties, late night food trucks and their neat-o Tumblr, which focuses on #SubwayStyle. Try sorting by neighborhood or subway line for stark exercises in contrast. Clever, yes?
Of course, Cole Haan remains a fashion brand, so what I care about most is the product, most notably the shoes. Many of their styles remain a little conservative for my tastes personally, but THIS pump, the Chelsea Pointy High Pump in Larkspur Purple Snake Print (currently on sale for $229.95), is among many standout styles worth your attention this Spring. Like other styles from Cole Haan, the Chelsea incorporates Nike Air technology (Nike used to own Cole Haan, for those keeping score), which adds to the comfort level despite the towering 4" stiletto. The lavender feels so fresh for spring, with pastels having a major cultural moment. That said, there's also a bold green or a neutral sand, if you're so inclined. Shop: here.
I've been to London a handful of times, and one thing that I'll say about the city is that it's an INCREDIBLE shopping town. Whether my stops are high street or ultra-luxe, I always leave feeling a lot lighter in the wallet. And while I hit many of the classically British department stores like Harrods and Selfridges for shoes, a perennial stop on my UK shopping itinerary has also been Kurt Geiger, a quintessentially London footwear + accessories brand with - until a recent acquisition by The Jones Group (parent company to Nine West, Rachel Rachel Roy, B Brian Atwood and so many other brands) - had no outposts in the U.S.
But, suffer no longer, friends! Kurt Geiger's new West Village store opened last month, and it's worth a visit for the signature shoe chandelier ALONE, but also boasts, essentially, "everything but the dress," i.e. a bold assortment of shoes for both men and women (mostly women, which is fine by me, KG), along with sleek bags and an edited assortment of jewelry.
Brands - all unique to Kurt Geiger - include, in close-to descending price order, Kurt Geiger London, KG Kurt Geiger, Carvela Kurt Geiger and Miss KG. The most expensive is, uncoincidentally, the best made and also unsurprisingly my favorite, but there are gems to be found in each collection. I left the store with the Elliot in Nude, a super sexy pump boasting a sleek metal cigarette heel (available online in White for $335 here).
Visit Kurt Geiger in the heart of the West Village at 375 Bleecker or online, here.
Little known fact about me? I was once a sneaker collector. And with last season's resurgence of designer sneakers (I'm 2 pairs of Isabel Marants deep, you guys), my collection keeps accruing - it's a dangerous thing.
My latest addition is a pair of super sweet and ladylike Melly low-tops ($75) from the new Gola collaboration with Liberty Art Fabrics. Liberty's admittedly been everywhere in the past few years (including a multi-season collaboration with Nike), but I'm not yet over their iconic florals, which here add a spring-y freshness and youthfulness to Gola's classic low-top sneaker.
Shop the Gola Liberty collection online here or at ASOS.
I referenced flagrant Sandy-induced spending in a prior post and here's the proof. Recent additions to my shoe wardrobe, clockwise from top left:
- Maison Martin Margiela x H&M Lucite Wedge Booties, $349 - available at select H&M stores, or on eBay - I may regret, but the plexi glass wedge makes these lean more art than fashion.
- Schutz Snake Flats, available at 655 Madison Avenue - I wish there were a little more toe cleavage, but the chain snake detail is incredible.
- Pamela Love x Nine West Pamela Bootie, $299 - Rough and tumble, I love the Southwestern influence.
- Stuart Weitzman Leopard-Print Calf Hair Ankle Boot, $650 - Stuart Weitzman leans mumsy, but these were hard slash apparently impossible to resist.
What have you recently acquired?
'A little bit country (Western, that is), a little bit rock and roll' is likely the most succinct imaginable summary of Pamela Love's pending, single-style collaboration with Nine West. The Pamela bootie, seen above, will be available in three colorways - Brick, Black or Red - all with signature, Southwestern-y silvertone metalwork, shipping 10/30. I normally eschew a mass market shoe (let's be real), but even at the ambitious price point of $299, I had to cave.
Pre-order here, and for more on Pamela's inspiration: