Shoes, Glorious Shoes!

As I get older, I find myself less willing to wear low-quality stuff – but resolute in my unwillingness to spend more money in order to obtain the high-quality stuff. This, you might imagine, makes shopping for myself a challenge, but thankfully it’s one I enjoy. It also means I get *very* excited when the important annual sales roll around – and last week’s Friends & Family sale at Cole Haan is one of the big ones.

I’ve got a few brands I’m completely loyal to – Madewell for denim, Moleskine for notebooks, and so on. Over time, I’m realizing I’m coming to that place with Cole Haan shoes; the quality of craftsmanship and attention to comfort as a non-negotiable component of a good pair of shoes means that every pair of Cole Haan shoes I buy is better than almost every other pair of shoes I own. As such, over time, the Cole : non-Cole ratio in my closet has steadily increased. The downside, of course, is that Cole Haan shoes aren’t cheap – a pair of ballet flats are easily $150, and boots double that. When the annual Friends & Family sale was announced, I used the opportunity (and the storewide 30% off) to stock up. Here are my spoils, and their value-add to my style:


ZeroGrand Stagedoor Stud

A good pair of neutral, comfortable flats can go for miles – and these are my perfect match. The new ZeroGrand technology (seemingly replacing the old Nike Air technology in previous incarnations of CH shoes) is insanely comfortable – like walking on a TempurPedic mattress – and the goring around the shoe allows it a flexible fit. The toe is round, but with a very slight almond shape that doesn’t make my feet look like hooves.

Black flats, of course, can be worn with basically any outfit where black is a useful neutral. In the past week, I’ve worn these shoes with black ankle pants and a pale pink tunic (my new blonde hair has me loving pastels and black, for serious) for work and with white jeans (girl, do that don’t!) and a gray trapeze sweater (one of my big wins from this year’s Anniversary Sale) for a Saturday playing board games with friends.


Amalia Skimmer

Y’all, these have been in and out of my shopping cart since the LAST storewide Cole Haan sale. The price hadn’t gone down since then (despite multiple months in the clearance section) but the percentage off had gone up, so I still consider it a win on my part! Anyway, the months of thinking about them gave me the opportunity to try them on in-store to come to a conclusion as to the correct size – thank goodness, because they run very small. In Cole Haan shoes I’m a standard-to-wide 8, but in these I’m a 8.5 wide. That said, the fit is impeccable in that size.

These are also super versatile, but the color blocking means you have to make sure you don’t skew too 1980s. I wore these yesterday with my favorite maroon ankle pants (I have this line of ankle pants in basically every solid color) and a lace top. The lace’s femininity provided a softness that was offset by the straight lines and angles of the shoes.


Bowie Slip-On Sneaker

I’m such a huge fan of the new trend for slip-on sneakers. A sturdier cousin of the previously-ubiquitous TOMS trend, slip-on sneakers are a great, unique casual shoe – and they can be as fancy or as casual as you want. Prior to these beautiful golden slippers I’d been wearing a pair of comfortable but not-me Puma sneaks, and these just take my weekend outfits up a notch. I’m currently wearing them as part of a Casual Friday outfit of my beloved ankle pants (seriously, y’all, year-round) and a Breton tee; I’ll probably wear them again tomorrow with distressed jeans and a sweatshirt tee – also procured at 30% off from the Cole Haan sale!

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