Menswear-Inspired Shoes—Better Think Twice

I’ve been seeing a lot of menswear shoes for woman on style-focused websites—shoes like these:

And these:

They’re worn with socks/tights and without, and the look is fun, funky, and fashionable (as shown in these photos pulled from

Except…I can’t make it work. Perhaps you have to be young…or super leggy…or European (as these women obviously are) to pull off the look. I bought the black monk-strap shoes pictured above and tried them on with a pair of ankle-length skinny jeans. I looked as if I’d raided my husband’s closet, so back to Zappos they went.

I’m not sure what the problem is, so if anyone can figure out why menswear-inspired shoes look so good on the women above but fail so miserably in real (baby boomer) life, I’d love your input.

2011 Emmys: Hits and Misses

While the overall production of the 2011 Emmy Awards seemed to be trying way too hard to be funny…clever…entertaining, there were a few outstanding dresses that made the event worth watching:

Martha Plimpton — perfect in every way: from color to cut to fabric to her fabulous body.

Nina Dobrev — A vision in red.

Evan Rachel Wood — Exquisitely elegant and sophisticated.

Kiernan Shipka — She’s adorable, and her dress is perfectly age appropriate. The mother in me can almost hear her say, “Please, Mom…let me wear the pointy shoes!”

The misses of the evening:

Julianna Margulies — I love her in “The Good Wife,” but the minute she walked on stage last night, my husband and I both said “The Jetsons!” in perfect unison.

Gwyneth Paltrow — I’ve been reading all morning about how fab her abs look in this dress. Am I the only person who thinks they look soft and squishy?

Connie Britton — Too, too much. There’s enough fabric here for two dresses…and what’s with the nude patch on the sides?

Paz de la Huerta — Her expression says it all. She invariably makes that dreadful face whenever she’s in range of a camera, and quite frankly, it scares me. If I saw that mug heading toward me, I’d dash off in the opposite direction.

The Latest Trend in Jeans

I’ll admit it…I’m intrigued. I’ve been seeing brightly colored skinny jeans all over the place for fall, and I’ve decided to figure out a way to make them my own.

These, in particular, caught my eye. They’re the AG Stevie Ankle jeans, available at Anthropologie.

I own a pair in black, and I confess to having worn them to death all summer. My hesitation about the red ones is that I always clad my lower body in black or grey, so a bright color embracing my hips and bottom gives me pause. (A classic baby boomer dilemma, I’m sure.) But since these are really skinny…and therefore lend themselves nicely to a long cardigan over a tank or cami…I’m thinking there might be a possibility. My plan: a black ribbed cardigan from White House/Black Market…an as-yet-to-be-determined tank…black heels or boots. Could work!

Another Great Basic

Taking its place as a close second to the little black dress is the little grey dress. This wool sheath from Banana Republic is the perfect piece to transition from summer into fall.

Again, as with most Banana Republic dresses, it does not fall as far above the knee as it appears here…unless you’re 5’9″, of course.

This little number is incredibly simple and basic, inviting you to accessorize to your heart’s content. I’d scrap the nude shoe shown here for a pump in black patent or red to give it some punch…add a chunky silver necklace…and you’re good to go. For fall and winter, I’d complement it with a brightly colored cropped cardigan. This one is on sale at Banana and is disappearing fast.

Finish it off with a floral scarf and you’ve got a look that combines the best of ’60s retro and contemporary style.