Archive for the ‘Donald J. Pliner Shoes’ Category
For those of us with high arches, or sensitive feet, wearing flimsy-soled shoes in the heat of summer can often prove to be a painful experience. You may end up to feel every grind and bump in the road, and your arches may ache by the end of your trip. Fashion designers don’t really seem to care about these issues, as they know their target-market pretty well. Thus, as long as their footwear looks dainty and pretty, they know that the alternative is often Birkenstock, and Birkenstock wearers tend to (somewhat wisely) put comfort ahead of fashion–thus, they’re not their target clientele. Problem solved!
As you all know, I love my comfort as much as I love my fashion, and so I couldn’t help but wonder: isn’t there some compromise in between? Can’t I have my molded, anatomical footbed, and my fashion, too?
Turns that why, yes, I can! There are a variety of anatomically friendly sandals out there, which in addition to offering arch support, metatarsal support, and plenty of cushioning, are also quite easy on the eyes. Just let’s get one thing clear: dainty delicate things, they’re not, and they’re not meant to be. That doesn’t mean they’re not beautiful, though, and that they won’tt keep you comfy during the hot summer days.
Without further ado, here are some of my top choices:
The Rafe ‘Kate’ jewel sandal. The suede-covered footbed is secured on a crepe bottom for plenty of cushioning. The upper is vintage-finish leather decorated with antique brass and agate resin stones. Not only will they make you feel comfortable, but also rich and fabulous, too! Barefoot Tess has a fantastic sale on these ($69, down from $245), although, sadly, only in a size 10. Oh wait, that’s MY size! Yay!
It’s hard to top these in glamor, but these next contenders put up a strong showing:
Also available in a natural cork color, these Pedro Garcia thongs with crystal-encrusted suede uppers and molded footbed lined in metallic leather are on the pricey side ($375 at Neiman’s), but they will make you feel like a barefoot princess.
Alternately, these Donald J. Pliner toe-loop sandals will unleash the wild woman in you:
They are lined in the softest suede and are supremely comfortable. Neiman Marcus has them for $165, but you wanna know a secret? Endless has them currently on sale for $55, plus they give you free overnight shipping and pay YOU $5 if you order from them–so really, they would only be $50. Not only that, but they’re also available in a variety of attractive patent uppers (red, blue, and black) in addition to the Congo print (pictured). God, I love a good sale when I see one! I almost need to smoke a cigarette now, this one was so good.
I was of split mind about these Mephisto ‘Violette’ sandals, but on closer inspection, I think they pass the comfort-cum-style inspection:
….They’re also available in red or black, although red is my favorite, and they’re 140 at Shoes.com.
I’ve heard a lot of praise for Naot, though I can’t say I’ve tried them myself. However, I would wear these in a heartbeat:
Finally, anything by Think! will be both well made and reasonably stylish. The footbed is molded and supportive and the upper sturdy and funky:
I’m also favorably inclined towards these Marc Jacobs cute-and-comfy patchwork slides ($204 at Zappos):
So, if you want to give your feet a break (and you should, they’ve served you well all these years), wear a comfortable sandal several times a week, or whenever you get a chance, really. You don’t really have to compromise on style–and the only downside is that you’re going to get so used to the comfort you’ll never want to go back to the flimsy, delicate, strappy things that fashion dictated you to wear.
Mothers of the Earth, I salute you! May you be shod in the most beautiful, elegant, comfortable shoes all your life for your service to humanity.
And for all you stylish daughters of stylish moms out there, I’ve compiled a mini-guide for taking your mom shoe-shopping for this Mother’s Day (you do want to take her shoe-shopping, don’t you? She deserves at least that much!) The thing is, there are all sorts of stylish moms out there. A few examples:
For the mom young at heart, who can still rock a Bee Gees tune on the dance floor, these Kork-Ease bordeaux velvet platforms will keep her elevated, stylish, and steady on those disco moves. (‘Whether you’re a brother or whether you’re a mother, you’re stayin’ alive, stayin’ alive’)
For the younger mom who is stylish but run ragged with chores and PTA meetings and grocery shopping and job and whatnot, I recommend you keep her comfortable but elegant and fresh with a pair of Taryn Rose shoes, like these low wedges, available in red or brown:
For the elegant mom who lunches with the ladies and attends gallery openings in her spare time, which is pretty much anytime, may I recommend a low, stylish slingback, like these Stuart Weitzman kitten heels, in a sophisticated beige with the added sexy bonus of the animal print linen:
For the foxy momma who rivaled you in hotness when you were a teenager, show her you hold no bitter feelings and take her shopping for these Sergio Rossi sexxxy metallic heels. You may want to make her pay for them, though:
For the no-nonsense mom who keeps her hair short and stylish and rocks a pair of jeans with a little black T-shirt, give her some simple yet sophisticated espadrilles, like these Testoni wedges:
And for the hippie mom, who will not leave the house without a handful (and earful, wrist-ful, neck-ful) of ethnic jewelry, here’s the pretty and ornate thong sandal from Donald Pliner:
Finally for the mom who is perhaps the school teacher and has to keep herself nimble on her feet to manage those little urchins, may I recommend a comfortable natural shoe like these Samara flats from Arche in a neutral, non-distracting shade:
I love this peep-toe, cut-out, knotty vamp thing on flats the designers seem to have going on these days. It’s a breezy design that nevertheless offers plenty of converage and opportunity for visual interest. These Donald J. Pliner slingbacks play with metallic greens (‘kiwi’ and ‘cactus’ shades, respectively) to give us a fresh, subdued but resplendent sandal:
In the same vein, but hitting a much softer note, are these pretty Alejandro Ingelmo crisscross d’Orsays:
…which nevertheless retain the metallic accent in the gold piping, but contrast it with this fresh suede.
Given that one is $215 and the other $375, I’ll probably wait for these babies to come down in price a bit before I fully enjoy this trend. Oh well!
Well, I’ll likely be away from my computer tomorrow for actual St. Patrick’s Day, but Shomore’s green shoes thread on the forums inspired me to combat the nasty mixture of sleet, freezing rain, and snow that is once again falling from the New York skies with some more fun green shoes. Green is a great color to me. I can wear it pretty easily, and it always makes me happy in a calm, peaceful sort of way (as opposed to say orange, which makes me happy in a one-too-many-lattes sort of way). So, here are some more shoes in lovely shades of green. Make sure to check out Shomore’s thread, too. There are some prime luck o’ the Irish colored shoes that way.
Check out the Jeane by Lacoste shoe. This adorable hybrid that combines all the charm of the canvas sneaker with the femininity of a slingback platform wedge. Snag it for $154 at Zappos.
Hit your local Irish pub for some communcal cheer in these metallic ankle strap sandals from Donald J Pliner ($202 at Zappos).
Frolic in the shamrock fields in these $125 adorable Princess flats from M by Morenatom (a great brand that I’ll have to do an entry about sometime soon).
Feeling like an old-fashioned Irish lass? Go for these vintage-flavored Camper Twins wedges. Just different enough to be unique, and available for $145 at Nordstrom.
If you’re after the award for &amp;quot;Most St. Paddy’s Day Spirit,&amp;quot; you might want to go with these green Check Mate flats by Poetic Licence. Green upper AND a green bow for trimming. And only $65 at Nordstrom. Erin go bragh indeed!
My husband is one of those people who has a personal relationship with his shoemaker. (He has a personal relationship with his tailor and eyebrow-waxer, too, but that’s another story. And between you and me, I’m glad I don’t have to remind him to take care of that unibrow.)
I, on the other hand, know of what shoemakers do only vicariously, through him. I never was particularly inclined to attach taps to the heels and tips of my shoes (in clear only!), or give my shoes a proper shine, change their shoestrings, or resole them. Au contraire, a badly broken shoe usually meant–you guessed it!–an opportunity to buy a new pair.
Recently, however, I acknowledged, grudgingly, that shoemakers can and do make a difference.
See, I purchased these Donald Pliner Cybel loafers as a chic, sporty pair for city-wear. I didn’t want something too sneaker-like (in general, not really my style) and these fit the bill. They were colorful, simple but elegant, looked comfortable, and they were by Donald J. Pliner, which is known for quality and comfort. Also, they were 55% off on sale. I’m a sale whore, what can I say.
Unfortunately, the high cut of the shoe didn’t go well at all with my high arch+high instep combo. In fact, I could barely slip them on. They cut deep into my instep, to the point that it became really painful. Still, not deterred by the ill-fit at home, I decided to wear them outside to break them in (they have suede uppers–how hard could it be?), so I couldn’t return them. Breaking them in turned out to be pretty hard. ‘Excruciating’ comes to mind.
So, I was stuck with a pretty and well-made but impractical shoe–which goes to show how much credence you can put in those online reviews (which for this particular shoe were very good). Each woman’s experience is unique. The stiff instep problem was not mentioned once in the reviews on Zappos, and even more puzzling, over 70% of the reviewers described the shoe as having excellent arch support. Why, these shoes are flat as a pancake! Do they even know what arch support is? Sheesh! (My orthotics take care of my arch problems, but still.)
I just had to consider having them stretched at a shoemaker’s, you know? After all, they had cost over $80 and were now bound to be stuck in my shoe closet for ever. Luckily, I discovered that overcoming my fear of shoemakers really paid off. For only $4, they stretched them for me into a comfortable, relaxed fit. Nay, even luxurious. Yes, a luxurious fit describes this well. Now I can trot around downtown for miles without the dreaded instep chafing (which, by the by, happened with thin or thick socks, no exception).
I think I’m going to form a personal relationship with my shoemaker, too. Totally worth it!