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Sunday, August 22, 2010

Eureka, I've Got It!

Holy smokes, do you remember this post from almost exactly seven months ago, about how I was desperately searching for a perfect pair of menswear-styled flat oxfords? Well, today, ladies and gent, I FOUND THEM. I have them right here under my desk, and they are fabulous.

As is every great shoe acquisition, today's started innocuously--I had just pledged to not spend any money, having several large upcoming purchases in mind to save up for, and I was out helping my father shop for men's shirts. I was absolutely not going to buy myself anything. The last time this happened two years ago, I ended up with a pair of Chie Mihara pumps that I still wear at least twice a week and I certainly do not regret that shopping indiscretion. We ended up on 4th Street in Southwest Berkeley, always a nice time what with the lovely CB2 and the Pasta Shop, at local and sustainability-conscious boutique Convert.

Convert is a pretty, bare-bones shop with windows filled with utilitarian Moxsie-esque goodies like Toms Shoes and recycled fabric knapsacks. It reminded me of the small warehouse-style boutiques I saw in Japan that seem to be taking hold here, all white walls with a couple of minimalist racks and long, industrial tables in the middle of the room. (Maybe I just haven't been shopping in a while, we are in a recession, after all.) The men's clothes at Convert are far more practical than the women's, so my father was lucky in his shopping endeavors: three shirts, one sweater. Disappointed in their weird, batwing-y ladies' selection, I strolled over to the shoe section to see if Jeanne was right about those weird Tom's shoes (cushioned, but stinky!).

First, I spotted the adorable Dorothy pump with its tickly little leather+fur flower and charming barbershop-pole striped wooden heel. So cute! So furry! Then, OH GLORY:
Eureka! Hello, lovely Jazzy flat ladies' oxford! They are amazing. Handmade real leather soles by J.Shoes, made in the United Kingdom, charming pinked and layered vamp, waxed leather laces that actually stay tied (unlike my Jeffrey Campbell Steppin heels), obviously crafted exactly a la a man's sturdy oxford and I love it.

I feel like I need to bring up the hems of my wideleg trousers and invest in a pair of suspenders to go full-time mascu-femme, top it all off with a snappy fedora and voila! I already scuffed up the slippery leathery soles by walking around on the asphalt and they are going great so far. Perhaps for work, a pair of opaque black patterned tights, a slim skirt, and a high-necked Victorian blouse? Or for the weekend, black tights again with a mid-thigh skirt and summer tee. Back in black, as always!

How should I put my best foot forward with these new shoes, hmm? Keep it period with a heavy dose of tailoring, or go all-out hipster-y in skinny jeans? I can't wait to trot these babies out for the fall!

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