Browse Tag: footwear

Boot Lust

14615851_970463813083424_4587667630100396654_oAny clothing lover like myself gets beyond excited when they come across a great pair of boots. Recently I have stumbled into three pairs of amazing boots, unique in their own way. Now in the summer I caved and spent considerable money on new Fly Londons, which are great and all but very heavy on my feet and unfortunately don’t allow me to stand the 9 hours I need to without feeling sore. I think that’s just the reality of retail, no one shoe can be comfortable for that long.

I accepted two pairs of worn boots for consignment last week because they were my size, normally they’d be too worn to sell but considering they’d be coming home with me and I will love them regardless! One pair is a brand called MAG which is not really known in Kingston, that has really unique footwear. We’ve had this brand at the store before and it hasn’t really caught on, but this particular pair I thought was really unique and had the laces I require to fit my muscular calves.

14691311_971299892999816_6497213829281078253_oAlthough my tiny feet require several insoles and thick socks to pull them off comfortably, I feel like these bad boys could be a nice addition to my fall wardrobe. The other pair were dark plum coloured Fly London boots which I took home as they were in need of major love. Seeing as I had spent serious cash on the shoe version months prior I thought it’d be worth it to give these taller boots a good home. There is some serious distressing going on around the toe and ankle areas (the previous owner was rough on her boots!) but I thought maybe one day I’d find a polish to touch them up. I also couldn’t get them done up at the back, so I opened them up down the seam and inserted black elastic so they would fit over my calves. Surprisingly it worked out quite well! I will need to find new laces as the ones they came with are too small based on the size I had to expand to.

The third pair of boots I found recently were at Value Village, where lately everything is priced at $15.99 for no apparent reason… these western ankle boots by Lucky Brand however are worth considerably more. I honestly didn’t expect them to be comfortable but they really are.

 

 

Smart Thrifting

JANUARY8-THRIFTLOVECHALLENGEToday we are experiencing the worst parts of a Canadian winter, ice followed by snow, strong winds and a plummeting temperature of -22. For no particular reason I decided today would be the first trip I make to the local Value Village. I became one of those shoppers that I deem “crazy” for going out in such horrendous driving conditions. In my own defence, it is on my route home from work!

With the challenge idea in mind I began to practice the art of window shopping, simply walking up and down aisles not really searching just being in the moment. It was soothing just to let my eyes enjoy the array of colour, texture and pattern. The items in their home decor section were particularly interesting and plentiful today due to it being after the holidays. I’m sure much like myself, many people took their time off to clean the closets and purge to start a new year fresh. All the strange and wonderful things made it a rather exciting trip.

I spent most of my time in the footwear department as its one of the hardest things to thrift. I did find plenty of shoes and boots that fit surprisingly but trying on footwear at the end of a long day with sore feet isn’t exactly ideal. I found a pair of lace up shoes by Forever 21 that I just couldn’t leave behind as they were exactly what I had hoped to find for months!

1. Shoes Forever 21 $10
2. Slippers $3
3. Scarf SportyGirl $5
Total: $20

Simple Ways to Organize

Jewellery Closet OrganizerIf you are an accessory girl much like myself, you may find yourself with a surplus of jewellery and shoes that are ending up in a messy pile. Unfortunately the cute jewellery trees available at Michaels just don’t cut it for an avid jewellery lover like myself! Considering only about 2 of my necklaces would even hang on one, I use it instead for my earrings!

Now I described my issue to my father who is far more crafty with woodworking than I am, and he came up with this. My problem was having too many large necklaces, some short and some very long. I wanted a quick way to display them so I could find them as I was getting dressed. His solution was four boards with staggered screws for hanging that would be simply screwed into my wood closet doors via the two end screws. It was simple, easy and is actually a neat visual!

Shoe OrganizerLately I have been only using the two hangers (or one door!) and the other is full of things I never wear. I finally decided this weekend to take down part of the second installation in order to have a location for my shoe organizer. I do have several shelves inside my closet but now that I have moved all the summer flats into the door organizer, I can leave the shelves for heels and loafers!

My next step is to use a second organizer and attach it to another door so I can have all of my sandals easily accessible come summertime!

Redesigning Your Shoes

ACo FlatsI’ve talked about the wonders of redesigning your footwear a number of times but I have revisited it quite a bit lately for two reasons:

1. The store doesn’t sell my size in the colour or style I want.
2. I realize after the fact that my toe nails dig into the end of the shoe.

Most people would be afraid to attempt such a feat, but I however, love a challenge!

Ardene is currently having an 80% sale storewide so I took the opportunity to see what they had in regards to my beloved flats. Yes not the most comfortable in regards to standing all day long without support, but they seem to be the only shoes I can wear. After perusing the nearest store, I found only 3 pairs of size 6 in the entire store. If I hear a woman with larger (8, 9, 10) sized feet come into work and complain about there “never being any shoes in my size” I will flip my lid!


Redesigned Shoes I managed to find blah beige flats that would be great for painting. As you can see with this work in progress shot, it sure isn’t hard to paint a pair of simple flats! These are a very cool gradient from white to mint blue! I have prepped a second pair from stone to white and still have one more pair that I haven’t decided what to do with. Perhaps maybe pink?


American Eagle Navy Flats My second issue with footwear is the fact that my toenails point upwards, at least on my big toes. This you’ll find, digs a hole into the top of the shoe! Even if I have them filed down it still seems to happen, its just the nature of my feet. This latest pair of navy blue flats I thought were too adorable to pass up, and at the time fit quite well.

Unfortunately when I got home and wore them around with a potential outfit, I noticed my toes were starting to pinch in the usual area. So taking inspiration from another pair I had altered, I grabbed the scissors and created a new pair of peep toes!

ALDO Cyphers Tassel Flats

Who could leave these behind?! In a brief stop in to donate some items, I caught a glimpse of a rich dark turquoise pair of flats with an adorable gold buckle and tassle detail! These bad boys were in mint condition and only $5! I looked them up online and their actual title is “ALDO Cyphers Tassel Ballet Flats” and run in the vicinity of $80 new! Talk about a great find!

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Stripes, Sequins and Gold!

Gold Stripes and Sequins As mentioned in my previous post about my thrifting adventure this week, I discovered this super fabulous tank by Bebe for $7.99 at Value Village in mint condition. Beautifully soft and flowy with two tone gold mini sequins in stripes around the whole thing. One of my pet peeves is companies making a design only on one side of a top or dress. I’m talking something really obvious too such as sequins, it looks really strange to see a top full of sparkle on the front and flat matte on the back. Just seems really lazy to me and unprofessional!

It occurred to me today that I am lacking a white cardigan to go with outfits like this. I have had several in the past, but as we all know, white doesn’t last. The cost of smelling good? Damaged, soiled underarms… boo! The lifespan of white thrift cardigans is extremely short sadly, but luckily the cost makes it worth while to simply buy another one when that sad day comes. In lieu of my non-existent white cardigan I pulled out the khaki blazer as it seemed like a softer choice than my black leather jacket.

I’d like to take this opportunity to point out the fact that this blazer does not do up. Too often do I hear women fussing over jackets, cardigans and blazers because of the zipper or the buttons. The standard response to these customers is: “When are you going to wear it done up?” To which they always respond: “Well it needs to be able to do up!” Honestly, when have I ever worn a cardigan or blazer done up? It’s usually the top underneath it thats most exciting so I like it to show but have my arms covered! That’s its purpose… for me anyway.

Because its go gold or go home, I pumped up the sparkle with my custom designed “military ball” necklace, bracelet and earring set which I altered a second time about 6 months ago into this very long, luxurious piece of jewellery. I even paired the ensemble with the white flats that tore up my poor toes the other day for no good reason! All in all not a bad casual setup for the office!


As mentioned in my previous post about my thrifting adventure this week, I discovered this super fabulous tank by Bebe for $7.99 at Value Village in mint condition. Beautifully soft and flowy with two tone gold mini sequins in stripes around the whole thing. One of my pet peeves is companies making a design only on one side of a top or dress. I’m talking something really obvious too such as sequins, it looks really strange to see a top full of sparkle on the front and flat matte on the back. Just seems really lazy to me and unprofessional!

It occurred to me today that I am lacking a white cardigan to go with outfits like this. I have had several in the past, but as we all know, white doesn’t last. The cost of smelling good? Damaged, soiled underarms… boo! The lifespan of white thrift cardigans is extremely short sadly, but luckily the cost makes it worth while to simply buy another one when that sad day comes. In lieu of my non-existent white cardigan I pulled out the khaki blazer as it seemed like a softer choice than my black leather jacket.

I’d like to take this opportunity to point out the fact that this blazer does not do up. Too often do I hear women fussing over jackets, cardigans and blazers because of the zipper or the buttons. The standard response to these customers is: “When are you going to wear it done up?” To which they always respond: “Well it needs to be able to do up!” Honestly, when have I ever worn a cardigan or blazer done up? It’s usually the top underneath it thats most exciting so I like it to show but have my arms covered! That’s its purpose… for me anyway.

Because its go gold or go home, I pumped up the sparkle with my custom designed “military ball” necklace, bracelet and earring set which I altered a second time about 6 months ago into this very long, luxurious piece of jewellery. I even paired the ensemble with the white flats that tore up my poor toes the other day for no good reason! All in all not a bad casual setup for the office!

Giving Your Shoes a Facelift!

It can be pretty expensive at times even when you thrift, to keep up with the latest styles and trends. Some days we even find ourselves caving and rushing to the mall and spending a fortune because at that particular moment – you HAD to have them! Honestly I do not recall an instance where I was thrilled with my decision to do this – and nine times out of ten the item sits in the closet because I found something better thrifting several months later.

Painted Shoes Painted Shoes

One thing that I have always found interesting about friends is their shoe collections. Not to mention the widely acknowledged joke about women with far too many shoes. Because of my uncommon tiny foot size, fat-less ankle and high instep, finding a size 5.5 shoe that doesn’t look like grandma’s is a very difficult feat. Lately I have noticed my feet shrinking even more, combined with the wear and stretching ability of thrift footwear.

Painted Shoes Painted Shoes


Two years ago I was invited to a military ball. As you may or may not know, these are very formal events usually requiring an expensive gown of some sort. You know me, to Value Village I went! Lucked out with the dress but the footwear was impossible as always. I found myself going to Spring and dishing out a pile of money for gold sequin wedges – quite simply because the sparkle pumps I was hoping for I couldn’t walk in! I am a dancer so I need something I can dance all night in. Wouldn’t you know it, the guys wanted to leave the ball before the dancing even started!

It was a pointless purchase as cool as they were, I never wore them again… until one day I decided I wanted a pair of nude/fleshtone shoes to wear with my dresses. When I go out on weekends I like to have some height so I typically wear either a medium heel or my J.Lo wedges which always grab attention due to their huge size. Believe it or not, they are the most comfortable bar shoes I have ever owned.

I got out the paints and decided to attack these sequined beasts in hopes of improving them. I was never going to wear gold sequins, the outfits one could wear are just too limited to justify owning such a pair of shoes. So I mixed paint over and over to achieve my skintone in acrylic paint. It was certainly going to have a textured effect which was just fine with me. I gave them a good two coats, even changing the colour a second time so it was more accurate.

After the two coats I did a light sealer of clear gloss medium in hopes of giving it a more finished look. Honestly that step should be repeated as it was a very thin coat. But I wore them out that weekend and they went over really well! They didn’t stand out and by extension, made my legs look longer.

The topic of painting shoes came up at the office one day last month, as to whether there were techniques and methods of doing it successfully. I didn’t really have any answers just my basic acrylic application – so I decided to do a little research! I found three great articles that are very interesting for making your footwear more exciting!

H&M Emerald Green Dress

H&M Dress H&M Dress


Every now and again we come across amazing finds that become a staple in our wardrobe. People ask me all the time where I get things but it just makes me laugh, about 90% of the pieces in my closet (save for my underwear!) are thrift. It’s rare that I even go into a “real” store! This particular gem was a “grab first, analyze later” piece. Found it rummaging through the dress rack and my jaw dropped. It’s an absolutely stunning number by H&M with a sequined neckline.

Like I say all the time, I have yet to see anything like it. It’s slightly formal for most people but when has that ever phased me? Beautiful emerald green – my favourite! I look forward to next year’s thrifting adventures when all the girls get rid of their popular “in” pieces from this year… with any luck I’ll have a wide variety of this green to choose from come next January!

Normally I like to wear my nude, peep-toe heels with this outfit but seeing as I’m sitting at my desk all day I just opted for black flats. To give it more of an edge, I paired it with my new addition – black pleather biker jacket. Surprisingly when I got to the office I noticed another girl had a bright coloured dress on, royal blue – with a similar black jacket! Seemed to be the outfit or style of the day!

Shoes Get the Death Penalty

Destroying My ShoesSometimes even shoes you love, must be subjected to the death penalty. No electricity required, just scissors or a garbage can. I tend to push the limits with my clothing, especially my shoes. Thrift shoes are both wonderful and not at the same time, as this footwear is already worn in so they tend to be far more comfortable than new – however this also means their life span is a lot shorter than you would expect. Both a positive and a negative in their own right.

Don’t get me wrong I loved these white flats with the ankle buckle, it really pained me (quite literally!) to have to enforce this terrible fate. The first few times I wore them they were perfectly fine, but due to the slick lining my feet did occasionally slide or sweat. Very strange sole I can honestly say I haven’t seen a shoe like it. The last two times I gave these shoes a chance at life they tore up my toes in the most excruciating and annoying way possible. No three strikes for these bad boys!

 

I did happen to find a pair of 725 Originals white (replacement) flats at Value Village last week. Very simple and sweet. So I took those home and later that evening decided to take the buckle flats off the shelf. They didn’t go far, just to the floor as I decided what to do with them. It then occurred to me the part I liked about them was the ankle buckle – unfortunately I’m not able to redesign these new flats with the same ankle design but I could reconstruct them to be a decorative addition to the toe of the shoe. As it exists now, the design at the toe is a simple knot which I will be removing and attaching the buckle piece across in its place.

I didn’t have my glue gun handy so I couldn’t do this all in one go, so it is still a work in progress. I cut the buckle flats in such a way that they could be worn, by removing the toe completely – which is what was cutting my toes in the first place and removing the back zipper as well as the buckle. I plan to see if they are salvageable by painting them, adding either an elastic or ribbon to the back where the zipper used to be… I’m not 100% sure what I’ll do, but what’s the worst that can happen? These painful shoes go in the garbage!

Singles Awareness Day

Valentine's Day

SAD aka Singles Awareness Day aka Valentines Day.

At the office today was a special contest to win prizes if you wear pink or red. I realized I had worn most of my vibrant pinks and corals earlier in the week so I stared blankly at my closet wondering what to wear. After pawing through I realized I had a lot of vintage pastel pink I could wear.

The top is a very unique spaghetti strap blouse with ruffles. Such a unique piece that I go months without wearing because I conveniently forget how sweet it is! Not to mention I obtained the same colour leather jacket late last year! It is certainly a lot easier to style now!

For jewellery I wore my fancy glass and antique brass set as it really pulled out the pink accents.

The Wild Green Necklace

Lime Necklace It’s finally Friday and once again not trying to do anything too crazy with my outfit… except for wanting to wear this awesome lime green necklace for the first time! I picked it up a couple months ago from The Revolving Door along with a few others of equal vibrancy! Its made of all tiny (not to mention irritating) seed beads! And no, I definitely did not make this piece – I don’t have the tolerance for that!

I wanted to wear something rich in colour, potentially blue. I have a couple royal blue dresses that I often wear as tops, as well as this sheer bright blue irregular one I got for $5 at Spoof the last time I was downtown Toronto. The dresses were a failure, one is too big (I have since thrown it in the donate pile) and the other I need more time to sort out the styling of. So I elected to go with the tried and true: sheer blue with basic black tights, cardigan and tank top underneath paired with a thin black sparkle belt.