Shoe Sentimentailty

My friend Jennifer told me I’m sentimental about my shoes and I think she’s right. Each pair takes me to a different place and into a different mood. My saddle shoes are ready to dance at a moment’s notice, my Keds are always up for a picnic or a bike ride, and my Palladium pink MJs always make me think of my BFF and are more comfortable than slippers.

These are Poetic License heels with plastic flower on the toes. I LOVE these shoes! I got them on clearance at Hall’s department store. I was so happy to get them on sale because I had been lusting after them since before Christmas. They are a bit high for me to wear too often but I’ll try! They are so January Jones-y!

All my favorite casual shoes never even make it into the closet. I love mary janes, flats, Keds and Converse lo-tops. These are the shoes I wear most frequently because they are easy to bicycle while wearing them and are all summery.

(I know I just posted this photo but I am so happy with these shoes I had to share them twice!) These are my new natural linen, recycled-tire-rubber-soled Eco Sneaks from Simple Shoes. I found them on Ebay since they are last seasons designs. The soles are pretty stiff which make them great for bike riding.

These are my double-strap maryjanes from Clarks. They have very low heels but they look dressy so I can wear them with my dresses and look sort of period-accurate. They are a little school-marm-ish but I kind of like that about them. I do have an urge to wield a ruler menacingly whenever anyone talks too loudly while I’m wearing them though. Should I be concerned?

What are your favorite shoes?


Choosing Vintage Inspired Shoes: Part Two – Flats

Unfortunately, due to years of ballet, my feet are not as forgiving about my shoe choices as I’d like them to be. I physically can’t wear high-high heels. As high as I can go is about 2″ and then only once a week, maybe twice if I know I’ll be sitting most of the time. I work on a large campus which requires a lot of walking, often several miles in the day just to get from my car to the office, the office to the cafeteria for lunch, a few meetings and then back to my car.

As a result, the hunt for vintage and vintage-inspired footwear is quite limited for me. I spend a lot of time in Keds and saddle shoes because heels leave me crippled. Even my relatively low 2″ heels leave me hobbling by the end of the day.

So far, the closest I have to somewhat period looking shoes are these Clarks Unstructured mary janes:

and the shoes that go with the dress!

They have a miniscule one-inch heel and look dressy enough for most of my cotton dress. Of course with summer swiftly approaching, I am itching to get some sandals.

My friends have me fairly convinced that Salt-water sandals would be a good option. Originally created in the early 1940s, they are still being produced in their original design:

My friend Rebecca's black Salt-waters

Courtney's brownish tan Salt-waters

Ruth's pastel pink Salt-waters

They are flat as flat can be and reasonably priced at about $40US for leather sandals that are noted for being basically indestructible.

For a dressier look, I am totally smitten with these hand-tooled leather sandals from Mexico:

These sandals are available in five different colors and are just $70 a pair on Etsy.

I think the hand-tooled sandals are lovely in the tan and would like the Salt-waters in either black or red.

I’ve sort of derailed the original intention of this post which was to talk about flat and low-heeled shoes to talking mostly about sandals. Does anyone have any good sources for vintage-inspired flats or very low heels — specifically 40s-styles?


Choosing vintage-inspired shoes: Part One

My job requires that I walk a lot. Sometimes it requires that I unpack boxes, schlep products from one side of the building to the other, and other times, I end up crawling around on the floor trying to figure out why some piece of hardware is malfunctioning. While I try my best to dress vintage or vintage-inspired, I just haven’t sorted “The shoe issue”. I’d love to wear heels but by lunchtime, my feet are usually screaming at me. I’d love to wear sandals but the buildings are air conditioned enough to keep mayonnaise fresh all day. So, you can see my dilemma. I need low or flat shoes with closed toes for work. And of course they need to be cute and vintage-y! So, what a girl to do?

Option #1: Sneakers
There’s something I find really charming about a girl in a cute floral dress and a pair of vintage sneakers. I’m considering getting a new pair of sneakers for bike riding, walking and just looking kind of playful with a dress. There are several styles of vintage sneakers still being produced today:

Keds (1916) are a true classic — in any of the colors shown here. $35

Converse Chuck Taylors (1923), I have several pair of these but only one pair is in a traditionally vintage color and they are starting to get pretty ripe. If I were to get a new pair, I think white, natural, navy, black or red. $45

Converse Jack Purcells (1935). $50

Pro-Keds (1949) Royal Lo Canvas. These are a secret favorite of mine. They had a resurgence in the late 90s and then the hip-hop community started wanting them with lots of bling, grafitti and gold added. I am so glad to see they are available in plain, classic colors again. They are way more comfortable in the long-run the the traditional Chuck Taylor Converse. $45

Tretorn. I’ve known them more for the Nylite series that seem to be more from the the 1970s though I couldn’t find any specific information to confirm this. These are the T56 based on the plimsole designs from 1956 so they are well within my requirements. I wish the contrasting trim was not beige. I don’t know what color I would prefer but I find that beige stripe distracting. $70

I’m sure there are a few other classic looking sneakers available but these are the ones I found that were readily available. Based on price alone, the classic Keds seem to be the way to go. Which ones are your favorites? What is the most classic colors to buy?


Let’s Talk About Saddle Shoes


From Saddle Shoe Habitat Flickrstream

I’ve been having trouble finding comfortable vintage or vintage-styled shoes that I can wear all day at work. To clarify, I don’t work in just an office, I work on a campus that is made up of about four or five different buildings that occupy an entire city block with some of the buildings several stories tall. On any given day, I may have to go back and forth through these buildings and then walk out to my car in a parking lot another block away. I have small feet that cannot take the abuse of high heels for long. Needless to say, many vintage-styled shoes can present a challenge.

This leads me to my current solution: saddle shoes. I pretty much wear my saddle shoes three or four days a week. While I know most people tend to associate them more with the 50s than the 30s and the 40s, I think that my saddle shoes work pretty well with the style of vintage dress I wear for work: longer skirts and cardigans mostly.


From Saddle Shoe Habitat Flickrstream, note says photo is dated 1937

I love the collection of vintage photos of saddle shoe wearers on Saddle Shoe Habitat.

So here are my saddle shoes:

reflections of a vintage girl

Reflection but you can see the long skirt, white socks and saddle shoes

everyday is a good day for saddle shoes

I got my saddle shoes from Muffy’s and if you are looking for a pair of classic saddle shoes, I think its the only place to shop. I got the Willit brand but will probably acquire another pair at some point. They sell a variety of different styles but they are all leather-upper, some with leather soles, some with classic coral rubber and even some with white soles. Muffy’s also has a variety of colors available for men and women.

What’s your feeling about saddle shoes? Do you have any other recommendations for low-heeled or flat vintage-styled shoes?

houndstooth, stripes and saddle shoes


New Shoes!

It was a little warm on Tuesday to wear handknit socks with my new Dansko clogs. I love them! I am going to have to find more colors!


Shoe Lust strikes again…

{Photo from Flickr user: h. wren]

About a week ago, I tried on a pair of Dansko/Sanita black patent leather Marcelle clogs and I like them but was iffy on the shiny patent leather. Plain black leather seemed too plain but infinitely mixable with handknit socks and my assorted sock love. Then I discovered that there was once red leather Marcelles which have been discountinued…. argh! What’s a girl to do?