Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Walk the Line


Earlier Draft:
I wore this dress for my MA defense, which forced me to consider the difference between projecting and performing professionalism.  (And if you have a little extra time, I'd love to hear what some of our newer readers think about the issues I raised there.)

blue cotton dress (J. Crew)
gold disc earrings (NY&Co)
gold hoop necklace (Old Navy clearance bin)
brown wedge heels (Old Navy)
brown snake platforms (Nine West)

Last week Michelle, our friend and colleague IRL, suggested that she's looking forward to seeing how our footwear choices might be impacted by the switch into the classroom.  I thought I'd address that today since my German class has actually forced me to face the "walk across campus" obstacle a few weeks early.

I normally pair these snake print platforms with this dress because I like the juxtaposition of the big, feminine,  flowy skirt with the hard edges and print of the platforms.  Plus, the whole thing feels a little reminiscent of Reese Witherspoon (one of my style mentors) as June Carter in Walk the Line.  It is a truth universally acknowledged, however, that these are the world's most impractical shoe.  In order to survive yesterday's walk across campus, I had to swap them out for a more comfortable (but still sky high) wedge.  So there's my admission: the wedge is my way of finding a middle-ground.  I actually tried on a pair of heels made by Born at Marshall's the other day, and though they were not wedges, they were easily the most comfortable pair of heels I've ever put on my foot.  Unfortunately, I couldn't find the left shoe in my size, so despite their $28 price tag, I left the store without them.  The perils of discount shopping!

I also wore my hair up with the dress this time because the button detail on the back is one of my favorite things about it.  It was actually Michelle who also mentioned a few weeks back that wearing your hair up or down can make a huge difference in how an outfit looks.  The swingy ponytail felt like a good match for the swingy skirt and it gave me that extra June-Carter-spring-in-my-step even without the squared platforms.

And finally, I had to include the lower left photo not only because it offers a better view of the wedges, but also because it's as if Oscar said "Oh, we're posing backwards today, Mom?  I'm in!"  And while he's getting some extra airtime on the blog, he'd also like to wish Tiki over at Orchids in Buttonholes a continued healthy recovery from his recent surgery.


  • How do you manage the comfort vs. style dilemma when it comes to shoes?  There's been quite a bit of blog discussion of we've been dressing to beat the heat, and I'd love to hear you weigh in with your ideas about how you dress to manage days when you'll be walking or standing for prolonged periods of time.


Kara M. said...

That's such a coincidence that you're discussing shoes! I have spent most of this summer purging a decade's worth of wardrobe items. Last night, I went through my shoes in my NJ closet to donate. Needless to say, my practical work shoes, (i.e. flats or functional mini heels) are worn to the sole. My once trendy heels, however, may be posted to Ebay because they've been worn only once. It forced me to be honest about my financial choices, especially now that I don't have the luxury of spending part of a paycheck on fashion. Heels haven't worked for me on our campus because of the amount that I walk (I clocked in at about 1.8-2 miles per day). That doesn't mean flats are unprofessional or unfashionable; they're just the active academic woman's best friend. Your feet and posture are important, especially when protecting the lower back, and it's crucial not to abuse your body!

Kara M. said...

And PS - I'm a fan of Aerosoles and Naturalizers for fashionable, comfortable shoes. Granted, they cater to a broad age range of consumers, but nonetheless you will find cute, comfy sandals for sale on their respective websites now. That's why I'm stocking up! :)

Katie from Interrobangs Anonymous said...

I'll second Kara's comment on Naturalizers. They've gotten a lot cuter than they used to be, and if you're narrow of foot they're heaven sent!

I like how, by keep the accessories and hair simple, you also played up the texture of the dress. Such simple lines, but the cornflower blue and crinkled cotton really make the dress something special.

When it comes to shoes and comfort, I'm a flats girl all the way. I rarely, rarely wear heels, and I enjoy the challenge of finding cute and comfortable flat shoes, and also making my wardrobe work with those shoes.

A-Dubs said...

'Love the beautiful blue dress and both pairs of shoes, but may be drooling (just a teensy bit) over the snakeskin platforms. Also, Oscar is clearly a natural at the blog-modelling thing!

As to your questions, the wedge is the only answer I've found to the comfortable-walking-while-being-professional-on-campus conundrum. Well, wedges and flats, of course; but flats don't work with every outfit. My most comfortable wedges (thus far - my search for the perfect comfortable heel continues) are by Clarks, Born, and Nine West.

Have you ever tried Taryn Rose shoes? They're usually pricey, but are designed by a chiropractor-turned-shoe-designer and are, therefore, supposed to be more intuitively designed for optimal comfort and appropriate posture. I've been stalking some of her shoes online for a while and have almost convinced myself it's time to commit. . .

I hope you'll keep us updated on your search!

Michelle said...

I'm so excited to see you posting about the stylish-yet-functional shoe dilemma! Thanks to this post and A-Dub's comment, I've already got my eye on a pair of Taryn Rose wedges on Zappos. We'll see...they are pricey. I do favor a long-lasting, well-made shoe over trendier, cheaper options, but my budget makes the latter seem more feasible.

Love the outfit today, Liz, with either shoe choice! And I absolutely agree, showing off those buttons down the back is the way to go!!

FYI, I had to go sample "Jackson" (the Reese/Joaquin version) over on iTunes while typing this!

Michelle said...

Whoops. It's not the wedges I like, but the Fierce peep toe pumps. Liking those a lot.
(And whoops on my A-Dub's/A-Dubs's slip above, too. Should've been the latter.)

orchidsinbuttonholes said...

Aw thank you so much for the sweet thoughts for Tiki! He's doing better - his stitches came out yesterday, which meant the e-collar could come off. He spent all afternoon cleaning himself and napping. So he's happier, anyway. Thank you again!

Both of those shoes are amazing! I adore the thick-heeled snakeskin shoes. That's like the perfect proportion of shoe and heel, and I love the print. That shade of blue is amazing on you, too, by the way. I love that has a row of buttons in the back.

Iris said...

I love the dress and the snake skin pumps!