How to pretend your flats fit

This post comes to you inspired by the wonderful Kelly of Alterations Needed. Kelly had a great post last week, “Faking Fit,” in which she gave advice on how to take items that don’t fit exactly right and make them look like they fit great. They’re genius tips, and simple, too — rolling up long sleeves, pushing up blazer sleeves to balance wide shoulders, putting cardigans over ill-fitting shirts, etc.

I managed to snag a pair of Missoni for Target flats back in September, but after only a few days of wear, the soles broke down and I had to get them resoled. To add insult to injury, the shoes stretched out somewhere in the resoling process, so I have trouble keeping them on my feet, especially when wearing them with tights. I’ve been dealing with it, taking tiny steps and walking slowly so I don’t randomly lose my shoes. But yesterday, inspired by Kelly’s post, I thought, “There has to be a way I can make this better.”

On Sunday, a friend told me that she about stuffs her pointy-toed heels with cotton balls to make them fit better. I wondered if I could pull off the same thing with my flats. I put four cotton balls in the toe of each shoe, and, sure enough, it worked! The cotton pushed my foot back just far enough to make the fit more snug.

Top, without cotton balls; Bottom, with cotton balls. See the difference right at the back?

It wasn’t a totally flawless fix. As the day wore on, my feet slid around a little more because the cotton packed together and took up less space; I’ll probably try five or six cotton balls next time. Also, because the flats are low-cut to begin with and the cotton pushes my foot back, I ended up showing a lot more “toe cleavage,” if you will, than I think is attractive.

"I need to ask you to cover some of that toe cleavage. That's just obscene."

Still, given the choice between “You can see too much of my toes!” and “You can see my entire foot because my shoe just fell off in the middle of the street!”, I will definitely take the former. All in all, this is a great trick! Definitely give it a try next time you’re struggling to keep your flats on. Cheers.

Sweater dress and small-town fun

For as long as I can remember, it’s been a tradition in my family for my mom, sister, aunt and I to go out for tea for one afternoon over Christmas break. We live close to Chicago, so we’ve always gone to a fancy hotel in the city, dressed to the nines, and sat in a beautiful room, drinking tea out of delicate teapots and sneaking sugar cubes when Mom wasn’t looking.

This year, we decided to switch it up and take a more laid-back approach to the tradition. One of the nice things about living in Chicagoland is that you can drive an hour one way for a major metro area, and drive an hour the other way and end up in a tiny, quaint town in a farming area. My mom found a cute little teashop in a 5,000-person town, and it was perfect. Casual, but totally charming.

I was still on a dark-color overload after wearing black so many days in a row for the holidays, so I went for my purple sweater dress, white tights and my Missoni for Target flats. I would have been way underdressed for the city, but for where we were, it was just right.

My feet got caught off in this picture, but I like it anyway — love the pink tree, and the shadows are cool. Not bad for autotimer.

After a delicious tea, we went roaming around the town — mostly shopping in Christmas-y, vintage-y shops, but some wandering, too. I could never live in a small town, because I like a bit of hustle and bustle in my life, but they’re always fun to explore for an afternoon. So many cute sights to see, especially around the holidays. Cheers.

Dress: Macy’s (old). Belt: Forever 21 (old). Flats: Missoni for Target (out of stock). Tights: Target (recent — they sell them in stores very cheap in a million colors, and they’re awesome).

Finally joining the Color Brigade!

One of my favorite fashion blogs is Cute & Little, by Kileen. Kileen is one seriously stylish person — I’m always impressed by the beautiful outfits she puts together! Even her casual days are worlds more sophisticated than my dress-to-impress days. It’s amazing.

Kileen runs the Color Brigade. I’m not sure exactly what the history of it is, but it’s a weekly feature on her blog. Here’s the challenge: Wear an outfit that combines at least 3 colors (patterns count as one color). I always love the outfits, and I’ve been meaning to join in for months. But every week Monday rolls around and something happens — I oversleep, I have to wear something specific for whatever reason, I get lazy and wear something basic. You all have seen my struggles with color.

This week, I was determined to do it! I woke up Monday ready to go… and realized I had woken up late and still needed to finish a homework assignment before getting to work. So. That ended up being a uniform polo day.

But today, today, I finally did it!

Oddly enough, this outfit started with the gold tank top. It was a work day, so I was aiming for black and gold, and I had planned to wear the tank top with a plain black skirt and a black cardigan. But I had my plain black skirt on the same hanger as this tiny-floral patterned one, so I thought I’d switch it up and make it more interesting. Then I spotted this pinkish cardigan next to my black one and guessed it might work with pink flowers in the skirt. I ran it by my roommate, just to make sure I didn’t look dumb, and she approved it. Ta dah! My first Color Brigade outfit.

Close-up on the skirt pattern. I don't know why it's so brown here! It's a black skirt with pink and gold flowers.

I wish I had had the time to put some more effort into this outfit, and to take some better pictures, but it’s not a bad start! Here’s hoping I can pull it off again next week. Cheers.

P.S. — No posts over the weekend because I traveled home and had occasion to make some questionable fashion decisions — I refuse to put effort into looking nice for dentist appointments, because nothing good comes out of dentist visits, and I may or may not have broken out the old letterman jacket while attending an event for my high school. Whoops. But, I managed to throw on an uncharacteristic amount of color for my drive back to school! Look at this. I had a bright green shirt that matched a stripe or two on my beloved Missoni flats, and coordinated with a tank top in another shoe-stripe color. Not a black cardigan in sight, either 🙂 Maybe there’s hope for me after all.

Not even college names on t-shirts can escape the retouching tool of my Internet paranoia.

Shoe repairman appreciation post

Remember how I was so happy to get my Missoni for Target flats, but sad to find that the soles had nearly worn through after three days of wear?

There’s a shoe repair place right across from where I work, and the man there is probably one of the nicest people I’ve ever met. He fixed a pair of sandals for me last spring and did a great job for a low price, and I guessed he could do the same for my flats. And he totally did! For $20, he replaced the “leather,” aka cardboard, sole with a new rubber one. He also replaced the half-cardboard-half-rubber heel with a full rubber one, for free. They look so much better, and I know they’ll last.

I read a lot of fashion blogs, and I see a lot of posts in which people express their appreciation for their tailors, but I’ve never seen anyone give their shoe repairman any love. Part of this could be because people don’t get their shoes repaired often; I’ve only done it twice. But seriously, if you can find someone who does good work, it’s definitely worth it.

And if you find one as nice as mine, bonus. I dropped off the shoes last Friday and was told they’d be ready a week later, but I was already in the area so stopped in today to see if they were done. I didn’t even have to tell the guy behind the counter what my name was — “my” man had seen me walk in and came over with my shoes! He remembered who I was after meeting me only once or twice before. People like that are special. Treasure them. Cheers.

Missoni for Target flats! Worn three ways.

I know I’ve been saying that I was working up to a big post, and this is it!

I’m sure you all followed the big Missoni for Target fiasco earlier this week. If not, in a nutshell, the collection went on sale last Tuesday and was basically sold out both in-store and online by the end of that same night. So. Everyone went a little crazy, to say the least.

I had my eye on the collection all summer, and when the lookbook came out I knew that if I got nothing else, I had to have the ballet flats. Missoni is all about bold, bright zigzag knits, and I’m more of a basic solids-and-stripes girl, but I figured I could handle a pair of shoes. Plus, everyone needs a crazy pair of shoes, right? So I had one of my friends, who works at Target, keep an eye out for me, and when the collection finally arrived he was able to snag a pair in my size.

I was so thrilled to get them! The colors were not exactly what expected, and they’re a little more low-cut than I usually wear, but I love them. Also, I had no idea how fashion-savvy my coworkers were until I wore them to work right after I got them and was swarmed by at least four people, much to the bafflement of our male supervisors. That was a good laugh.

Anyway, because colored shoes are so far outside my usual dressing habits, I knew I had to start wearing them right away. I also wanted to try to wear them in as many ways as possible, because a lot of the time things like colorful shoes become items I wear once a month, with the same shirt every time. Ready?

Tuesday, I kept it simple. I had a tank top in the exact color of one of the zigzags, and threw a black cardigan on to keep it school/worksafe, which picked up the black zigzag, too. Opted for cuffed skinny jeans to show off the shoes!

Wednesday was even easier. This plain black dress is one of my favorite items of clothing, because it’s cute and simple enough to be the perfect backdrop for whatever crazy accessories I choose to throw at it. Also, how delighted was I to discover that I had a headband that matched a zigzag in the shoes? So delighted.

Thursday was my most work-friendly outfit with the shoes. Again, I tried to keep things mostly simple up top to balance the shoes. I wanted to wear this with black slacks, but the only pair I have at school right now are tailored for heels, so that was no good. But it still works!

So there you go, one pair of multicolored zigzag shoes, worn three ways. I have several more outfits planned — when I first got the shoes, I thought I would be in trouble because I didn’t think I had many items in appropriate colors, but in the past few days I’ve come up with tons of combinations of what I have, combined with black and white and gray.

I had hoped to wear the shoes at least five days in a row. Unfortunately, I have learned the unhappy lesson that even with its colors and zigzags, Missoni for Target is still nowhere close to Missoni. Check out the soles of the shoes after three days of simply walking around a college campus:

Seriously. It’s disappointing and pretty much unacceptable, and if I didn’t love the way they look I would take them back. But I do, indeed, love them, so after class today I took them to our local shoe repair shop to get proper soles (then walked home barefoot, to the amusement of the repair man). I’ll have them back next Friday, at which point you can expect to see them again. Terrible soles and all, I’m so glad to have them in my closet! Cheers!

Did any of you manage to snag Missoni for Target items? What did you get? What do you think?