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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!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Polished up and pretty!

So obviously you all know that I'm a big nail polish fan, and my collection is such that I've had to reorganize it a couple of times. Right now, I have a three-drawer unit guy, like this one from Target, sorted out by color.

Top Shelf: Blues and turquoises.
Middle Shelf: Pinks, reds, purples, and overflow from bottom shelf.
Bottom Shelf: Vamps and darks, metallics and brights, and unusual colors in general. (Again, it overflows into the middle shelf.)

It's nice to have such a big variety -- when Kati came to visit in June, she asked me what colors I had so if she needed to retouch her polish, would I have it. (The majority of the time? Yes. Yes I did.) My roommate asked to borrow a hot pink for a pedicure and I promptly fished out Essie's Mod Squad for her.

The thing is, I have such a variety that there are polishes I've never worn before, even while I'm sighing over new colors (and, yes, occasionally bringing new ones home). And so I have to challenge myself to switch up my toes more; I have to keep them in good shape because of my newly-acquired athletic status, so that means I should be taking better care of them and switching up the colors whenever I tend to my toes.

Right now, my toes are the gorgeous Zoya Rea, a shimmery lavender mauve that was hiding in the middle shelf. I'd bought it almost exactly a year ago, as part of the 2009 Fall collection, but I'm totally loving it right now for my cool-weather summer pedi. As soon as I had painted one coat, I told purple-loving Karen, "You have to try this." I don't even know what prompted me to pick up Rea last year, but I am absolutely glad I did.

So while I work my way through my stash, tell me -- what untested colors do you have in your nail polish collection? Any surprises or discoveries?

image from zoya.com

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