Shoe stories – Manolos

My Manolos featured on Sex and the City

Sorry I’ve been missing in action lately, but my free time has been sucked up by car shopping. Not as much fun as shopping for clothes, but I am looking forward to having a nicer ride to take to the mall.

I’d like to share the story behind the first designer shoes I ever acquired–still my only pair of Manolo Blahniks.

I had just graduated from college and was living in suburban Chicago at the time. I was shopping with my mom at Neiman Marcus when I spotted them. Pink mules with white laces and sneaker treads, size 5 1/2. Really freaking cute. They were used as in a display and had no price tag.

On a whim, I asked how much they were but no one seemed to know. After several inquiries, it was determined they were the only pair left in that style and Neimans offered them to me at a great price — about $200 as I recall. My mom said it was OK, and I took them home. I was so excited but also felt a little buyers remorse. I had never even come close to spending $200 on a pair of shoes before (haha — this is REALLY funny now).

Then one day when I was watching Sex and the City, I noticed Carrie’s shoes in the jury duty episode. OMG those are the same Manolos that I have! It still gives me a thrill today.

Fall 2011

Celine tuxedo pants, Fall 2011
Jason Wu lace blouse, Fall 2011

So, I’m a year behind. So what? I saved more than $2,200 at Nordstrom Rack yesterday in Northbrook, Illinois. My receipt even said, “You are a shopping genius.”

I spotted a clearance sign as we walked into the store. Uncharacteristically, I didn’t head straight for the shoes. Rather, I zeroed in on several racks that were labeled “Designer Clearance.” I couldn’t believe the treasures hanging there. I found everything from Gucci to Pucci, and even some Dries Van Noten, Alexander McQueen, Thakoon, Missoni and Oscar de la Renta. Before I knew it, my cart was overflowing.

I narrowed down my choices to about 10 really great items, so I could at least manage to carry them into the dressing room. When all was said and done, I paired together a gorgeous ensemble — a Jason Wu red lace blouse and slim cut Celine tuxedo pants. This is my first “real” Jason Wu purchase (Target doesn’t really count) and also my first Celine garment. I must say, Phoebe Philo knows how to cut pants well! They make me look very tall and slim.

These are both gorgeous, classic pieces that will live in my closet for years to come.



Summerfest 2011, after watching Britney Spears

Here in Milwaukee the biggest event of the year is Summerfest, an 11-day music festival down at the lakefront. On Saturday, Dirk and I went to hear ZZ Top. We also caught a few songs by the Scorpions and The Roots. But perhaps the most entertaining part of Summerfest is the people watching.

Every year, I see many people at Summerfest who would make the Fashion Police scream in horror. I’m not trying to be mean, I applaud individualism, but I really wonder if they own a mirror. So I’ve decided to make a list of my Top 10 Summerfest Fashion Don’ts.

1. Don’t wear a crop top unless you have a flat stomach. And no one has a flat stomach after eating and drinking at Summerfest.

2. Don’t wear shorts so short that they could be mistaken for underwear. Or a skirt so short that I can see your underwear.

3. Even if you are going to see your favorite ’80s band, don’t wear the same outfit you wore when you saw them in the ’80s.

4. Don’t wear a spaghetti strap top with no support if you have large “girls.”

5. Don’t let anyone tell you that your mullet is still cool. The time has come for a new hairstyle.

6. Guys, don’t go shirtless, unless you are a cast member in Magic Mike.

7. Ladies, don’t wear stiletto heels. You just look ridiculous hobbling around after three hours and five beers.

8. If you are underage, don’t think dressing slutty makes you look older. It just makes you look slutty.

9. Don’t wear white pants/shorts that are see-through. Double (triple) check this before leaving home.

10. Don’t wear a foam cheesehead. This is not a Packers game.

Miami style

The Fontainebleau
Missoni kaftan, Givenchy jewelry, Versace for H&M shoes
Trina Turk for BR tunic, Marc by Marc Jacobs bag on Calle Ocho

Just wanted to share a few photos from our recent vacation to Miami. We had a great time, even though it was kind of cloudy and rainy from Tropical Storm Debby. We did get two good beach/pool days, so I can’t complain. I love seeing the ocean and palm trees, and our hotel, the Fontainebleau, was really fun and glamorous. I could really go for another one of those mojitos topped with Perrier-Jouet champagne! Plus, a little rain was actually a welcome relief from the heat/drought we’ve been having here in Milwaukee.


Proenza Schouler patchwork shopping tote

Look what I found in Miami! A Proenza Schouler patchwork leather tote, on sale for 60% off at Neiman Marcus in the Bal Harbour Shops. Quite a beauty and a great souvenir of our vacation! If you’d like to buy one of your own, this bag is currently available here but at a much higher price than I paid. A canvas version is also available in this season’s trendy tropical print.

Packing for Miami

I recently went shopping for a few new things to wear on my upcoming tropical getaway to Miami. I am fortunate to own a fabulous Missoni kaftan, courtesy of the Outnet. I actually won it in a giveaway last summer! Of course that will go into the suitcase; otherwise I am planning to just pack some stylish basics that I can mix and match. I bought two new swimsuits, two pairs of shorts and white jeans. And today at Target, I snagged a necklace from the Webster collection at 50% off. Here’s hoping Tropical Storm Debby doesn’t rain on our parade. I need some sun!

My Missoni kaftan
New VS bikini
Webster for Target necklace
Webster for Target deco print dress
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