31 March 2011

Shoes Were Made for Running for Trains

The sky-high stiletto looks glamorous in glossy magazines as well as on film and the red carpet. Unfortunately they do not suit the enterprising, multitasking, traveling city girl. I always find myself ‘on the run’ in every sense of the phrase and I demand a lot from my shoes. My footwear must work wonders for my chosen outfit but also enable me to stand and walk in a sturdy manner without teetering over into Italian sidewalk cafés. I demand that my shoes carry me for oftentimes miles each day and that they run with me when I am five minutes away from catching a train that leaves in two. They must render me confident during speaking engagements and personable when styling clients. They must age gracefully but also remain timeless.

The ballet flat is the most versatile shoe that ever existed. Personally they make me feel very European and as classy as Audrey Hepburn. Leggings, jeans, dresses and skirts are all bottoms that nicely complement this shoe, which has grown in popularity as a chic alternative to heels. Not only are ballet flats designed to appeal to age groups across the board they are also produced with a great variety of soles. If you must go to the gym before boarding a 16 hours flight to Sydney, the collapsible flats that folds into your purse will seem like a walk on a cloud while traveling. If you are a postgraduate attending multiple interviews in one day, a ballet flat with a slight heel will prove sturdy by the time you collapse into your rewarding 5:00pm Starbucks. Need to improve your posture? Comfortably walk for hours in Italy wearing the ballet flat with an interior wedge like J.Crew's Cece.

Michelle Obama stepped out in a J.Crew argyle cardigan in April 2009 to volunteer at a D.C. foodbank but all eyes were on her $540 Lanvin sneakers. Reporters were curious and naturally inquired about the captoe sneakers with grosgrain ribbon laces. Questions arose as to whether Mrs. O’s footwear was appropriate for a public appearance. Some criticized her for spending such a large sum of money on a pair of sneaker especially during a recession. The chic sneak is a very appropriate option when doing manual work. The fact that Mrs. O opted to wear sneakers while attending her volunteer event tells me that she did not plan to sit passively on the sidelines. She dressed to sort items, lift boxes etc., not to have tea. Thank you First Lady for never being afraid to get your hands dirty and for proving that you can look great while giving back to the community.

I can’t resist the boyish charm and classic silhouette of the Oxford. They first appeared on my radar in summer 2010 after seeing Olivia Palermo wearing a metallic silver pair by Sergio Rossi. I acquired my own in metallic gold and and realized their juxtaposition against the most feminine outfits was as sweet as yachting in the Whitsundays.

Boat shoes, especially in metallic materials and bright colors add a preppy element to your weekend, leisure and vacation attire. A must-have especially for spending time by the seaside and venturing out in New York City in springtime. I prefer them on days when I feel overly preppy and/or when I know I will be sightseeing by foot for an entire day. Pair them with your most crisp of basics like summerweight capris and shorts or to usher your denim into warmer seasons. Top off your look with button up, tee shirt and/or lightweight cashmere sweater perfect for moonlit strolls around The Rocks.

Flip Flops however are never suitable for climbing rocks but they are wonderfully skimpy for hot weather. During the humid summer months when all I want to do is lounge by the pool, I turn to flip flops when cruising around the city (whichever one I happen to be in). Thong sandals were considered a fire hazard in high school which is why I was so relieved that I was permitted to wear them in college. Rainbow flip flops even offer arch support and a lifetime guarantee; thus they were popular amongst my peers and for good reason. Although never appropriate for presentations or business meetings, this wild card of a shoe will prove a faithful companion for lackadaisical days - we are all allowed to have a few.

I own at least four pairs of espadrilles. They were all purchased in 2006, the year I decided to give them a test drive. I instantly fell in love with the kind that allow the sun rays to hit your toes. When Nine West called for its twitter followers to voice why she #MustLustEspadrilles, I replied "@NineWest #mustlustespadrilles for days when I want to be model tall without the model falls. Supergirls on the run don practical footwear." The leg-lengthening effect and sturdy nature of the espadrille proves that you can have your cake and eat it too.


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