The Most Beautiful Shoe in the World

Ummm…okay, perhaps that’s a bit of an exaggeration, but I’m standing by it…for this week anyway.

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This amazing shoe is the work of Stuart Weitzman, who never ceases to amaze me with brilliant creations and surprising comfort. I’ve had my eye on this one for weeks, and finally decided to go to the source and visit the Weitzman store on Rodeo Drive. (Alas, this particular design doesn’t seem to be available in department stores that regularly stock Weitzman shoes.) I spotted it the minute I walked into the shop, but let’s face it…the incredible burst of color is pretty hard to miss.

This shoe, called the Heist, adds a fabulous pop to a black or solid-colored, jewel-toned dress and looks equally good with skinny jeans and dress pants. The good news is that if you’re as taken with it as I am, it’s available online.

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Heels, Glorious Heels

I am an admitted shoe junkie. Perhaps the best thing about footwear is that it always fits, whether you’re having a slinky day or a chunky day. Shoes are mercifully kind in that respect.

Several years ago, I became enchanted by the skinny-jeans/pants-with-pumps look, since it tends to make one’s legs look miles long. The higher the heel, the happier I was…until it was time to do any serious walking. That just wasn’t going to happen in a tall platform pump. On weekends away, the shoes I packed determined whether or not my husband and I strolled from our hotel to a relatively close-by restaurant for dinner. And since my  favorite out-of-town shoes were always high, that meant not much walking. And dang it…I like to walk!

The upshot is that I spend a lot of time being torn between a style I love and the comfort I require to go the distance, and the fashion-forward gene I inherited from my mom usually wins. [I’m grateful, Mom…truly…but the DNA you passed on to me has a tendency to get in the way. After all, aren’t you the one who said I’m the only kid you knew who dressed up to walk to the corner to mail a letter?]

And then…there were these.

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Stuart Weitzman, as always, comes through. These pumps have a 3-inch heel and a 1/2-inch platform, making them the equivalent of a 2-1/2-inch heel. They’re the perfect solution when you want a stylish, dressy look without the limitations of a shoe that’s uncomfortable to walk in for any length of time. They look great with dresses and skirts, and also make a contemporary statement with skinny pants and jeans.

Shoe-Shopping with the Girls

Two weeks ago, I met my niece Karen and great-niece Megan in LA for a shopping trip. They flew from New Jersey for the occasion, so this was clearly a very big deal. And trust me…there is nothing quite as thrilling as three generations of style-conscious females in one of the country’s leading fashion centers.

We hit Century City, The Grove, and Rodeo Drive over a three-day period. Our purchases ranged from multicolored flip-flops (Meg) to Louboutin pumps (Karen) to Stuart Weitzman wedges (me)…and yep, there was some clothing in there, too.

I have no doubt that the SWs will be my go-to shoes all spring and summer.

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Unlike most wedges, they’re extremely lightweight. I love the look of tall shoes with skinny jeans, but I hate clomping around with what feels like a five-pound weight on each foot. These, on the contrary, feel almost airy. And in true Weitzman form, they’re about as comfortable as it gets.

 

I have no will power.

I’ve been lusting after these sandals since last summer.

They’re by Stuart Weitzman…no surprise there…and I am hopelessly in love with them. Steve Madden has done an inexpensive knock-off this season that’s profoundly similar in design, but unlike the khaki neutral of the Weitzman shoe, Madden’s is a muddy brown. And I just can’t go there.

There’s something in my DNA that viscerally resists the idea of looks-like-the-real-deal-but-is-a-cheap-imitation. It’s compounded by the fact that I was raised by a mother who believed that accessories can make or break an outfit. When I was a teenager, she told me that a quality shoe can make even an inexpensive dress look good, but it never works the other way around. Even the most beautiful, costly outfit will pale if paired with cheap shoes…and I’ve never forgotten that.

So here I sit…waiting for my authentic Stuart Weitzman “Alex” sandals to arrive via UPS. Nordstrom has ’em. Bloomingdale’s has ’em. They’re absurdly expensive, but that’s feeling irrelevant at this point.

Sigh. I am truly my mother’s daughter.

Style Compromise…or Not?

These are the Stuart Weitzman sandals I’ve been lusting after:

They’re a variation of a style that was introduced last year, and I think they’re a great-looking neutral sandal. The only problem is the price tag, which is a hefty $365. In this economy…heck, in any economy…that’s a lot of money to pay for a pair of summer shoes.

So imagine my delight when I discovered these by Michael Kors on the Nordstrom Web site:

In a color called white gold, they’re a perfect neutral, the style is similar to the Weitzman sandals, they feature a variation of the bold ankle strap, and the platform wedge is about the same height. The big difference: the Michael Kors sandals are only $139.95.

Stuart Weitzman wedges

I fell in love with these wedge sandals when I first saw a similar version in a braided beige fabric last summer.

Shortly after spotting them online, I saw a photo of an actress (who will remain unnamed) wearing them with rolled-up khakis. The look was so edgy and cool that I was hooked, but the $365 price tag–compounded by the fact that my wardrobe is predominantly black, so I wasn’t sure how the beige would fit in–gave me pause.

A recent Web search revealed these on a New Jersey-based site called footnotesonline.com. In addition to being my color of choice, they’re marked down from the original $365 to $182.50. No tax…no shipping.

I’ll let you know how they work out.