falling for fall

photo credit: http://www.polyvore.com/come_hither_fall/set?id=58371091#stream_box
I’ve had a love affair with fall my entire life. I’m just not a summer person. Perhaps if I could, as my friend Sarah says, summer on a lake (just the use of the word “summer” as a verb connotes leisure) or if I didn’t live in a landfilled swamp, I’d feel differently. But nothing lifts my spirits like the first nights that dip into the 60s, allowing for open-window sleeping, sweaters, and my all-time favorite, riding boots.

I’m not completely convinced that fall is imminent, but am fed up with summer. Two mani-pedis ago, I abandoned the bright shades that aren’t very me but which I feel compelled to adopt in warmer months. And earlier this week, I knocked two items off my fall wish list, though I hope the purchase of said items doesn’t have the effect of extending this dreadful summer.

Since imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, I must disclose that I was inspired to assemble my top ten list by DC Style Factory and her list earlier this week. Thanks, Rosana, for reminding me on a 92-degree day that fall might be around the corner.

And because it’s never too early to wish upon a star, my list:

1. The Bettye Muller Roxy in Bordeaux: I have lusted over this shoe since style sister Austin from SimplySoles sent me a photo of it before they had it in stock. This is one item I already bought because I panicked the other night when I noticed they only had two more pairs in stock, one in my size.

2. Western Jean Shirt in Desert Willow Wash by Madewell: I was not only inspired by Rosana to make a list, but to add a dark wash denim shirt to my wardrobe this fall. I have a summer weight, chambray one, but the darker wash version appeals to my sense of fall. Except when I stepped into the dressing room at Madewell, I liked the fit of this western version better. I would NEVER in a gazillion years have ordered this shirt sight unseen. I wasn’t even going to try it on until the saleswoman suggested it, and I’m glad she did.

3. More Minnie Pants: I fell in love with these pants a few years ago, then fell out of love when I was feeling a little heavier than I like to be. I’m usually a skeptic when it comes to any pant on me that isn’t floor length, but the Minnie has been the one exception. However, the pairs in my closet, aside from looking well-loved, are actually a little too big (thank you, Biker Barre!) so new Minnies go on the list for fall. The only debate is what color(s)?

4. Essie Nail Polish in Stylenomics: I suffer corals and fuschias in the summer because I technically live in the south, but my northern sensibilities want to wear dark nail polish all year round. While I normally default to OPI’s Lincoln Park After Dark or the Essie version, Wicked, the color I have in mind now is a dark green, and Stylenomics looks to fit the bill.

5. Opera-length Fingerless Gloves: I first coveted a pair from DVF that cost a shocking $350 more than this affordable pair. I love fingerless gloves to allow for easy access to my touch-screen devices, as well as for the fact that they won’t cause wear and tear on my manicure. I want to wear these with jeans as much as I do a fantastic dress. And at this price, it’s a no-brainer that you will soon find them in my possession.

Other items that round out my top ten wish list include (6) a new LBD, object of my affection yet to be identified; (7) more bracelets and bangles to stack on my wrists; (8) new jeans, maybe even the sexy boyfriend style Wardrobe Oxygen swears by; (9) the Marie Jo Carole Bodysuit, or at least the Avero plunge bra in raisin since I’d slightly intimidate myself in a bodysuit; and (10) a new wool coat. My old ones are on the verge of being threadbare; I needed to invest in a new one last winter. I can’t decide whether I want a reliable neutral shade or pop of color. I will try to not let indecision get the better of me this season.

There’s so much more I covet, but these essentials will work with my existing wardrobe and get me into and through the glory days of what I can only hope will be an extended fall.

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jubilee

In January and July of each year, SimplySoles holds its three-week Jubilee sale. A gambler’s sale, the way it works is the first week, select items are 30% off, the second week they are 40% off and the third week, remaining items are between 50-80% off. It’s a great way to score an investment shoe at Nine West prices, unless of course, you are cursed with the ever-so-common size 8 foot like I am, in which case your dream shoe is almost always sold out by the third week.

Usually my approach to Jubilee is to roll the dice the first week of the sale under the premise that if the item(s) I covet is still available the second week, then it was meant to be. Rarely do I risk the third week, though in January I did wait and scored the Stuart Weitzman Tango for a mere $67.00.

My friend Adrienne is more daring than I am. She waits until the last week and more often than not, ends up with shoes by Bettye Muller, Butter and Dana Davis at highway robbery prices. But this July’s sale, her patience paid off greater than normal dividends. In fact, she said she feels like she’s stealing shoes from Kassie by getting the deals that she got.

The catch is that Adrienne can afford to wait. She has a size 11 foot.

By her own observation, many of the shoes she picked up in this week’s haul were the last remaining shoe of that style. Thus they were marked down the entire 80%. She didn’t have to worry (like I do) about the little “1 remaining!” alert next to the sale price because of her confidence that not a lot of other size 11s are out there competing with her. As such, on Tuesday, the beginning of the third week of Jubilee, she bought six pairs of shoes. The original price of all would have totaled $1062.00. But when you calculate the sale price and subtract the $50 “sole saver reward” she used, her total came to $242. That’s over $800 in savings!

So next time you large-footed friends of mine lament your shoe size, I’m going to remind you of Adrienne and the benefit of sales that us average-footed women never get near. I would posture that savings like this is worth the few hundred water ski jokes you’ve had to endure over time.

 

monday musings

eeny meeny miny mo

I’m the kind of person who is often paralyzed by indecision, which when it comes to purchases, can often result in buying two of what it is I am contemplating.

By way of example, I love the Treat by Bettye Muller and own it in two colors. I could easily own it in 15 (please, make it in berry and teal). It’s the perfect heel height for work; the perfect height for fun. I can wear the Treat all day long (even through the marbled halls of Congress) and well into the evening. While like every Sex and the City watching woman I’m tempted by all the Manolos and Louboutins of the world, I can (even at this price point) buy two (if not three) of the Bettyes for the price of one of the others and know that my toes aren’t going to pinch at the end of the day. Or by the end of breakfast. Not to mention I’d never want to ruin that beautiful red sole of the Louboutin by subjecting it to the sidewalks of DC.

I knew I had to add another Treat to my collection from the moment I first saw it with the orange cap toe, which I have to admit I got a preview of when Austin from Simply Soles sent me a photo of the shoe after she and the other “shoe angels” had gone to New York for a Spring 2012 shoe buying expedition. Then I saw my favorite shoe with the black toe. A classic. Perhaps more versatile.

Both are gorgeous.

I’ve created mental outfits for both. So now I play eeny meeny mino mo. Don’t hate me if I end up buying them both.

Fall Fashion Finds

Fall Simply Soles Wish ListWho isn’t dreaming of fall? As I have previously established, it’s almost all that I think about. As if the Sweat Ceiling 2011 weren’t enough to send my daydreams in the direction of crisp October afternoons and brilliant foliage, I had to go and get the Simply Soles Fall Preview Catalog. I believe I previously referred to this catalog as “shoe porn” but it’s so much more than that. They sell purses. They have accessories. Jewelry. And I want it all.

I play this game with myself sometimes. I go to a favorite online store, put everything I want in the shopping cart, just to see how much the grand total would be if I could indeed buy everything. (Let’s just say when it comes to outfitting my fall wardrobe, I am in love with more than a mortgage’s worth of precious finds from the latest Simply Soles catalog). The way this game plays out is that I negotiate with myself. After putting together the “dream shopping cart” of everything I want, I go back through and ixnay the items that are too much like something I already own. I think critically about what outfits I could pair with the items in question. I don’t always look for versatility. But if I am making an investment, I want it to fit in my wardrobe without requiring additional purchases. The said good(s) should enhance my “look” and of course, I love something that I know is unique. I don’t want to be in an elevator in the Dirksen building sporting the same something as someone else, unless that someone is Adrienne (whose office is in the Dirksen building and who seems to share my taste in Chie Miharas). Of course, there is the matter of budget too. I have a cap. If I want to exceed the cap, I have to cut elsewhere, and/or go seek additional revenue. Imagine that for a formula?

While a picture is worth a thousand words (and all my favorite items look so pretty when pictured together) I do have to briefly expound upon each of my new true loves. First, the footwear. The Bettye Muller Treat in Platino might be my new favorite child. I actually own this pump in buff (the palest pink) and when I bought it, in my on-line review I wrote that I wanted a pair in every color. Two is a good start. As for the Frye boot, it is the perfect shade of distressed gray. I have been cruising for a tall gray riding boot, but nothing struck me as quite right until I saw this beauty. And I know a Frye boot will last forever, which immediately gives this item frontrunner status. The orange Dana Davis is the wildcard here. You know me and my pop of orange. I want to wear it with jeans, a structured blazer, and a great scarf.

Speaking of, does anything say fall more than the perfect scarf? While I usually opt for solids, this Orla Kiely acorn print in my favorite neutral hues has definitely caught my attention. And the Fornash necklace would work with just about every item in my fall wardrobe. (I have already tried it on mentally with everything hanging in my guest room closet where off season clothes wait to be worn.)

But really, the crown jewel of my list of needful things is the Isabella Fiore satchel. This bag screams autumn. It is busier than my usual handbag choices (I can see those of you who have seen my neon orange Kate Spade Scout rolling your eyes) but this bag has both the structure I like and the space I need.

While negotiators hole up in their partisan hovels, taking our economy to the brink, I am going to be playing my own budget game, but with less severe worldwide consequences. And if I reach a stalemate with myself, I might even resort to eeny, meeny, miny, moe.