Foot Soldiers

I usually don't care for tabloid magazines or shows, but a couple of nights ago I just had to watch "Access Hollywood." No, it wasn't so much for the latest celebrity gossip. I was wondering if all the paparazzis stationed all around the courthouse that morning (including those working for Access Hollywood, which left a microphone lying around in plain view) got the shot they were looking for.

I was already running behind schedule that morning, so I really wasn't happy to see the throngs of camera people milling about. I was even less thrilled when I came upon the atypically long security line at my favored entryway today. But something caught my eye. There was a disproportionate number of "fashiony types" in line. Not to say that those of us from the local bar are not fashionable--it's just that we don't wear a whole lot of flashy colors, and even if we do, there are only so many ways we can wear them. I mean, I was standing there in my beige skirt suit, powder blue shirt, and black patent pumps from Payless. One young woman a little ways in front of me was wearing a bright coral top, a pencil skirt, and bluish-teal slingback pumps. Someone standing behind her wore a cute little outfit with a shruken vest. Given that the regulars wear dark or neutral-hued shoes, they clearly stood out. Interestingly enough, Access Hollywood's little feature on Denise Richards, who apparently was the person all the aforementioned photographers were after, took enough time out from its "legal analysis" to focus on the fashion. Denise Richards was wearing a pair of greens shoes in a springy green to go with her black dress.

"Suits" like me would rarely get away with that. I have many a pair of colorful sneakers, pumps, and flats. And then I have quite a few pair of black pumps specifically for court dates. There's an obvious dichotomy here. In my mind, colorful is fun, and black is serious. Which brings me to a challenge--making black a little less serious to wear.

I recently bought a pair of black sneakers from DSW. Darker sneakers could conceivably be worn with a pair of long, dark, widelegged pants, and no one would really notice that sneakers were being worn. They're much more discrete than those white tennis shoes that office folks wear during lunch or commutes. I've only worn them for casual outfits, but I can see the potential.

Another pair of hardly-austere black footwear I acquired recently is a pair of black leather Sigerson Morrison gladiator sandals. Gladiator sandals are popular year in and year out, and I've been wanting a pair for quite a few years. The tough look can work quite well with shorts or girly dresses. At the same time, it's nice to have a flat sandal that is a little dressier than flip-flops. Trouble is, finding a pair I love has been difficult. I don't like it when sandals have too many straps, especially when they are rough and cut into the skin (like cheaper pairs tend to do). Besides, too many straps = too fussy for my tastes. When there too few straps, it's not really a gladiator sandal anymore. Luckily, Loehmann's had a 40% off clearance sale. And more luckily still, it didn't take me long to find the sandals.

There was only one pair left, and they happened to be in my size. The leather upper is so soft that I don't have to worry about having strap marks or cuts on my feet. They look fairly sophisticated for a casual pair of sandals, and they look sleek and uncomplicated. They can go with everything, ranging from casual to a little dressed-up. I thought they were especially striking in this stark black-and-white contrast of an outfit.

[dance club t-shirt (free, since I caught it), Forever 21 skirt, BCBG bag, Sigerson Morrison sandals]

At just under $80 including tax, they're over 75% off, but they're not cheap. However, since the style is recurrent without being trendy, I know it's a sound, lasting investment (a rarity amongst investments these days). Interestingly enough, a week after I bought these sandals, I found the knockoffs at Target. To me, the design is virtually identical. You can see for yourself.

This is probably the first time I own something that has been knocked-off, and it's a bit strange. Mine is way better in quality, and I enjoy having the "real thing" for once because I didn't have to sacrifice any arms and legs for it.


Sara Millionaire said...

Ooh, I love those sandals. Lucky! I really like the way they look with that skirt, too.

yulanda said...

The outfit with the sandals looks great. I love the skirt.

Sales Rack Raider said...

Thanks, ladies! I love that skirt and have waited for a while for an opportunity to wear it. The pattern is very simple grid of lines that look like they've been roughly drawn on with a Sharpie, and I love it.

Anonymous said...

They also had VERY similar sandals at Kohls. I should know, I bought them. Didn't know they were knockoffs though =X but I don't think that will keep me from wearing them. All the versions are quite cute!

Sales Rack Raider said...

Anonymous--wear them away! A lot of things in department or discount stores end up being knockoffs of one thing or another anyway. I always say, "if you like them, wear them."

To this day, many things I buy from stores like Target are knockoffs, even if I don't know it at the time. It just so happens that for the first time, I own something that was the "inspiration" for knockoffs. Perhaps even "the real thing" was "inspired" by something else once. That's just the nature of fashion.

Hope the Kohl's version looks and feels better than the Target version. There was a bunch of the metallic silver ones on clearance, and I just didn't like the feel of the faux-leather upper.

Frank said...

I don't like it when sandals have too many straps, especially when they are rough and cut into the skin (like cheaper pairs tend to do). Besides, too many straps are too fussy for my tastes.