3 Pairs

Spring has sprung, and this time of year always has me yearning for renewal in my closet. Maybe it’s the Florida girl in me, but spring shoe designs are usually my favorite—they’re more bare than boots, but haven’t yet reached the two-straps-of-leather style that we Floridians are forced to don in the summer months because it’s so hot our feet are sweating.

Of course, we’d all love to buy an entirely new shoe wardrobe every year, but who has the money (or time or closet space) for that? So here are my recommendations for the shoes that you’ll get the most style mileage out of this spring if your shoe budget is a little limited (full disclosure—these recommendations assume you already have a serious pair of black pumps and a comfortable pair of nude pumps. You don’t?! Run, don’t walk to your nearest computer and hit the checkout button now! Then come back here):

If you can buy only one pair:JCrew Leopard stella pumps

LEOPARD. Leopard, leopard, leopard.

Leopard has been A Thing for a hot minute now, but there’s good reason it’s popularity hasn’t diminished. It lends chic to black and other neutrals and a dose of cheekiness to brights and prints (Exhibit A: the J. Crew catalog. “Leopard is a neutral”—Jenna Lyons is my kind of girl).


If you can buy only two pairs:PG.NWJOWZER.JJ127A4.PZ

A muted tone like blush, dusky blue, or lucite green. Elegant with the pastels so popular right now, they’ll also pair well with deeper, warmer tones in fall.


If you can buy only three pairs:Cole haan sandals

A pair of block-heeled sandals. Great for grounding airy styles, and low-heeled pairs can work with mid-and long-length shorts as well.

Wedge shoes for city living

How to Walk on Cobblestone Streets and Save Your Shoes (or How to Stop Swearing At the Pavement)

Everything was humming along smoothly. I woke up early and worked out. Got the perfect sugar-to-cream ratio in my coffee. Actually shaved my legs. Matching underwear. The whole enchilada. So as I scampered down my apartment steps and out into the street to begin my day, it was with a smile on my face and a bounce in my step—until this:Broken Shoe

One thing I love about living in a historical downtown is the beauty that surrounds you at every turn. I’m a firm believer in setting yourself in beautiful surroundings, and the parks and gorgeous buildings I walk through every day can turn my mood right side up in an instant when I’m having a bad day. But if there’s one thing I hate (and I mean despise) about living downtown (and I know my friends are going to blast me for this one), it’s navigating cobblestone streets.

Normally, I am all about form over function (Spanx, minimalist décor, and owning a Miata when you have a baby come to mind), but as an avid shoe lover, cobblestone streets are my arch nemesis.

I appreciate that they are a beautifully preserved part of our history, but McFarland’s Shoe Repair is getting a quarter of my yearly salary due to cobblestone casualties alone. However, since railing against an important piece of my hometown’s history is likely to be as successful an endeavor as wearing precious jewelry at the beach, I have developed a three-part strategy for walking on cobblestone streets.

First, I look for awesome wedges as often as possible. Boots, pumps, sandals, and espadrilles—anytime I find a leg-flattering wedge (not as easy as one might think), I snatch it up, because I know it makes walking downtown that much easier.Cream wedges walking on cobblestones

Second, when I do wear stilettos, I walk on the outside perimeters of the street. The stones in this portion of the street haven’t borne as much weight as those in the center, so the edges aren’t as worn away, and you’re much less likely to accidentally get your heel stuck in a gap.

Third, as ridiculous as I feel, I walk on the balls of my feet to avoid putting any pressure on the heel. I like to think what I sacrifice in grace, I gain in calf workouts and less frequent trips to the shoe repair shop.

As far as this strategy has gone in preserving my heels, I still have an occasional mishap, which I consider to be one of the tradeoffs of living in a place that values its history. I guess McFarland’s won’t be dropping off my speed dial anytime soon.

$10.17 Fixed My Wardrobe

Black Knit Work 5x7

Captain Obvious Statement of the Day: taking care of a baby is hard work! I envy the discipline of all those moms who never miss a workout; I am not one of them (so needless to say, I still have a few more inches to go before I’m back to my BC–Before Corsten–size).

While I have a true loft-style closet (read: miniscule), it’s still a little depressing to stare daily at a rack of Beloved Clothes I Can’t Wear, no matter how small it may be.



Black Knit Weekend 5x7

Normally, I’m a fan of building your wardrobe in a very calculated, deliberate manner with high-quality, classic pieces. I’m not crazy about the idea of buying something that may fall apart in two months. But suddenly, I find myself in need of something to wear for (hopefully) only two months because I cannot wear maternity clothes ONE. MORE. DAY. And I’m just crazy enough to want leftover pocket change to return to my normal wardrobe-building strategy this summer (REISS, stop haunting my dreams!).

Enter the Old Navy Clearance rack. At odds with my general wardrobe strategy, but ideal for a few pieces to carry me through to that glorious day when I can once again slip on my favorite jeans–and BUTTON THEM.



Black Knit Date 5x7

This little black knit number is perfect with a bright blazer for work, can transition to weekend with a simple pair of espadrilles, and isn’t too shabby at dinner with a richly-colored scarf.


Work: Dress, Old Navy. Blazer, Hattie’s Branches Boutique. Shoes, Michael Kors. Bag, Coach. Snakeskin bangle, five and dime.

Weekend: Earrings, Magari by Eva Mora. Bag, Brahmin (via What’s New Consignment). Espadrilles, GAP. Nail polish, Jamberry Cardinal. Gold bangle, five and dime.

Date: Scarf, Who knows? (sometimes I pick these things up on a whim from places I can’t remember 2 days later). Belt, Hattie’s Branches Boutique. Booties, Coach.