Tag Archives: shoes

Spring Is In The Air….

17 Apr

tulipsOkay, the fact is, I’ve been a blogging slug. So much has been going on… such as life!… that my mind has been focused on things other than fashion and glamour. Can you believe that? Even though I haven’t had much time to write about the latest hip styles and products out there, that does not mean I haven’t had time to shop for them. I don’t have to leave my house to be a top-notch fashionista, you know. I can go online and do any research I need to do, and then have my goodies brought right to my doorstep. In fact, one day I had so much stuff come, I considered leaving a fruit and cheese platter outside for the delivery men to pick at.

Since the last time I blogged, a major thing has happened: Spring arrived! Living in Upstate NY, it hasn’t been the most alluring Spring I have seen in my lifetime. To say the least, I have not packed away any of my boots, coats or sweaters. But that doesn’t mean I’m not getting ready for the new beginnings that spring has to offer. So as I expand my closet and cosmetic drawer for the new season, I figured I would let you know what I think are “must have” items right now….

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­ nailpolishA killer Spring-colored nail polish – You’ve spent all winter wearing dark, warm colors to match your cold weather attire. Now it’s time for some fun! Look at the colors of flowers sprouting up around you. Yellow, fuschia, lilac, corals. They are bright and cheery and they just bring a smile to your face whenever you see them. So why not take them with you everywhere by putting them on your fingers and toes!
Sassy’s Fave: Opi’s Nail Colour in “How Cute Is That?”- a vintage pink coral (Sephora.com)

­ eyelinerA stay-put waterproof eyeliner and mascara – With constant April showers bringing May flowers, it’s a necessity that your eye makeup stay put during the seasonal sprinkles and downpours. Even if your eye makeup is water resistant, you may notice it has trouble sitting still on your eyes. Especially if your skin begins to kick in a little extra oil during the more humid days. It may take a little extra time and makeup remover to get off at night, but it will be well worth it during the day!
Sassy’s Faves: Sephora Brand Retractable Waterproof Eyeliner (Sephora.com) and Covergirl Waterproof Lash Blast Mascara (most drug stores)

­ bbwA new scent to jazz your senses – You’ve been stuck inside all winter. Imbedded in your brain are the smells of pine trees, musty basements, and wet gloves and scarves. It’s time to open up the windows and immerse your body in a scent that will lift your spirits. Choose something light, maybe with notes of gentle flowers or citrus. And rather hose yourself down with your new fragrance each day, layer it in different ways. Sometimes just a body lotion, dry oil spray or body mist can be just enough to tease the senses!
Sassy’s Fave: Bath and Body Works Signature Collection in “Butterfly Flower” (Bath & Body Works)

­ flatsA pair of metallic flats – No doubt, metals are in!! Silver, bronze and gold. They are adorning our tops, enhancing our jeans, and embellishing our accessories. Bring your new favorite spring outfit to life with a pair of matching flats that coincide with the metal in your attire. Remember, don’t turn yourself into a disco ball. A belt, a pair of jazzy earrings and a matching pair of flat shoes in the same metal shade is just enough to make your look pop!
Sassy’s Fave: Dr. Scholls “Habit” Flats in Silver Metallic (Shoebuy.com)

­ betsypurse1A bold handbag – Remember the day when your handbag had to match your shoes? Basic black, mocha brown, ivory cream. Blah blah blah. It’s time to live a little! Today’s top designers are not afraid to play with colors and patterns as well as rhinestones and studs. And you shouldn’t either! They say a man’s watch is the definition of his style. I think this is true with a woman’s bag. Whether it is a hobo, swing bag, clutch or shoulder tote, step outside the box and have some fun!
Sassy’s Fave: Betsyville’s “Cha Cha Cheetah” Flap Shoulder Bag (Zappos.com)

­ pinktrenchtrenchcoat2A stylin’ trench coat (in fact, at least two!) – Trench coats are this spring’s hottest craze.Coming in endless colors, styles & materials, the fashion possibilities are immeasurable. They can be worn with your fanciest of dresses or to turn a simple jeans and t-shirt outfit into a spiffy statement. Perfect for the ever-changing spring weather, these are priceless for rain or shine!
Sassy’s Faves: Grass Sateen Ruffled Trench Coat in Fuschia (Macy’s) and Wrapper Double Breasted Trench Coat (Kohl’s)

My Foolproof Outfit….

5 Feb

When I wake up each morning, I check my humongous magnet calendar on my fridge to see what my day will consist of. Because of my laid back appointments and informal business endeavors, my daily style can be classified as “feminine casual” at best. I no longer have to don the pleated black pinstripe skirted suit, thank the heavens. Bye bye, I’ll be seein’ ya… glad to say I’ll no long be wearin’ya. I will say, though, that even when I am just home for the day working on odds and ends around the house, I always look presentable. I’m not saying I diva-tize myself from head to toe, but I do put on my face and look decent not just for the UPS man delivering my package of the day, moreso for myself.

So what does Sassy Auburn consider her foolproof outfit? An ensemble that is comfortable enough to allow me to comfortably move about, look approachable and easygoing and still enable me to look and feel current, sexy and feminine. And with the fashions available nowadays—at all price ranges—this is very easy to do.

Tomorrow I have what I would consider a “typical” day: I have dry cleaning to pick up and drop off, a visit to the market, a medical appointment in my big city, visit a former client, and depending on my son’s band practice schedule possibly a chauffeur roll to finish up the day. With the weather calm and seasonably cool, this is a perfect day for my foolproof outfit:

Jeans

Z. Co. Stretch Skinny Jeans (indigo blue) – Saying it is hard to find a pair of jeans that fit me perfect is an understatement. If I get them to fit in the hips, then they are too big in the waist. If they fit in the waist, they are either too tight in the hips or too short in the crotch. I found these jeans in Macy’s about a month ago and fell in love with the fit immediately. I loved them so much, I bought three pairs: one in indigo, one in faded blue and one in black. I will say the indigo jeans fit more true to size with the others being a bit big, but they aren’t baggy big. Plus, it gives me a bit of “cheesecake space”, if you know what I mean. The dark color enables you to be totally casual with them or really dressy chic if you like. (Macy’s, $35)

Top

Stargazer Knit Tunic – Nothing goes better with skinny jeans than a nicely fitted tunic, and there tunicdefinitely is a tunic for all seasons. During the cold months, sweaters with poet sleeves or belted waists make the cozy very jazzy. As the warmer weather soon approaches, the Spring will bring with it bright, flower colors and lightweight fabrics. This tunic is a bit of both worlds. The long sleeves, scoop neck and empire waist still gives this top flare during the cool months but the light stretchy fabric allows for comfort as well as style as the temps rise. The go-with-anything pattern and colors makes this a style-statement must have!  (BostonProper.com, $79)

Shoes

Bandolino Smiley Shoe Booties – When it comes to choosing shoes to accompany skinny jeans, you are pretty much safe with everything EXCEPT sneakers. (Don’t do it, don’t do it, just don’t do it). Pumps of all sorts (peep toed or closed), boots, sandals, ballerina flats or shoe booties can really give your outfit personality. My Smiley’s are smooth black leather oxford with a soft insole, a rounded toe and a medium height (2 ½“) stacked heel. Walking in these is easy and comfortable, even on slightly slippery walkways. Plus they lace up which allows you put on heavier socks when it’s really cold out. And these aren’t just for jeans anymore. They look sharp as heck with wool skirts and tights too! (Zappos.com, $62)

Purse

Guess? Gold Coast Satchel – I have to be honest, this isn’t the exact bag that I carry when I’m out handbag1gallivanting during my day, but it is pretty darn close. I love my black Guess handbag. The single, drop-down handle is the perfect length for me. It is long enough where I can toss it over my shoulder when my hands are full, but small enough to carry by hand so as not to break my arms. The size is big enough to keep just the necessities without turning it into a suitcase. Plus there are just the right number of compartments inside to hold my makeup, cell phone, etc. keep The big “G” on the front shows people that you know style, the price tag shows you know how to shop! (Boscovs, $56)

Jewelry

Daisy Fuentes Silver-Tone Hammered Necklace – I love love love this necklace. If I’m not sure what necklace to grab with my outfit for the day, this is my go-to bauble. The large hammered circles look casual yet stylish with any type of open-neck top or dress. This necklace doesn’t just draw attention, but is also expensive looking! (Kohl’s, $18 )

Fragrance

Marc Jacobs Daisy – This is the newest “make me feel pretty” fragrance in my collection. It’s soft, daisyfeminine and playful with a slight vintage edge. Notes of strawberry, violet leaves, grapefruit, gardenia and vanilla all intertwine to make you feel elegant but not too serious. And the bottle? How can you not love the whimsical design! What is great about Daisy is it doesn’t just come in the typical large spray bottle. It is also available in a purse-size spray with refill, a solid fragrance ring, a sparkle roll on, a rich body cream and a silky, shimmery body lotion. A little something for everyone. (available at most major department stores, beginning at $30)

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John Fairchild once said, “‘Style’ is an expression of individualism mixed with charisma.” Orson Welles also wrote, “Create your own visual style…let it be unique for yourself and yet identifiable for others.” You don’t have to be wearing any specific designer or drop a house payment to feel great about yourself. Look on line or grab a few fashion magazines and see what looks are hot right now. Then pretend you are five-years old some day and just play dress up… either at home, the mall or a thrift store. Mix, match, try, play, discover. Find out what gives you the WOW factor, then turn that discovery into something that is uniquely your own. That’s the kind of style that will make you feel like a million bucks every single day!!

Then and Now: Fashions For “Old Farts”

10 Jan

Ever since I was a teen, there have been a few things that have been a staple in my wardrobe, closet and makeup drawer. They are probably things that you cannot live without either. But as I move up in age, I notice fundamentals of these items evolving. For example, every woman needs a purse. As a young woman, my purse needed to be able to hold my money, a lip gloss and a license. That was it. When I got married and had children, my purse then had to be able to hold those items plus a travel-sized pack of baby wipes, hand sanitizer and a Ziploc bag of Cheerios. You see where I am going with this.

Even now that my kids are teens and my daily routine is totally different, I am finding that my must-have items are becoming less and less basic. At least the designers are aware of this because no matter what I need, someone seems to make it. Let’s break down my simple fashion necessities and what requirements they must have to fit my more “mature” life now:

  • PURSE

Then: Small shoulder bags in jazzy colors with one compartment were fine. Sometimes it wasn’t even necessary to carry one at all. Carrying a purse meant you could only carry one drink at the bar during 2-for-1 nights.

Now: Shoulder bags are frowned upon due to arthritis bothering the shoulders. Black or brown is fine. It must be able to hold a wallet, checkbook, ATM card, cell phone, pill box, lip balm, bottle of water and the janitor ring of keys. Extra room should be available in case there is a need to carry a small pack of tissues, datebook, two granola bars and a hair clip. Designer name not required but it helps to justify the purchase.

  • SHOES

Then: High, high, high. The more hooker-looking, the better. Brown didn’t exist, red and black patent leather were a necessity. Comfort was not even considered. Kinney’s was your go-to shoe heaven.

Now: Leather shoes work best because they stretch out and allow room for bunions. Square-toed and rounded-toed shoes work best. Pointed-toed shoes make your eyes water just looking at them. Peep toes are the new sexy. Black and brown are a must, grey or silver is now considered daring. Any shoe over 2” must have a comfort, no slip sole and a built-in cushioned arch support. Designer name not required but helps to justify the purchase.

  • JEANSjeans

Then: If your jeans weren’t tight, you returned them. Stretch jeans were best because they enhanced your figure. You lay down on the bed to put them on and you were fine with that. If you wanted them to feel snugger, you wore stockings underneath them. Acid-washed was your favorite color but anything tight would do.

Now: If your jeans are tight, you return them. Jeans must be purchased at the store because they have to be tried on—no two pairs of the same size fit the same. Stretch jeans are best because they stretch for your figure! If you have to lie down on the bed to put them on, you can expect to be there all day. Usually the classic name jeans fit best but if a designer pair fits better, then that will help to justify the purchase.

  • JEWELRY

Then: The gaudier the better. You watched Madonna and Janet Jackson videos for ideas. Your earrings were so heavy that you were told your piercing holes were about to rip through. Getting you ears double pierced was a luxury that made you the envy of your friends. Your bracelets were made of rubber. Your necklaces looked like Mardi Gras beads. If your jewelry turned body parts green, it was no big deal (that’s what clear nail polish was for.) If you didn’t get your jewelry at a “Buy One Get Two Free” sale at your local teen store, you paid too much.

Now: The shinier the better. Golds, silvers and platinums are the jewelry box trend. Styles are simpler and reflect the person wearing the pieces. Studs, hoops and chandelier earrings are most common. Necklaces are all lengths with varied pendants. Bracelets are usually flashy. If you only have your ears double pierced, you are considered white bread. Minimum of three holes in one ear (with diamond studs) is more the norm. A pierced belly button is now a common accessory at PTA meetings and soccer games. Any watch with two hands will work, but ones with diamonds have been said to keep better time so that helps to justify the purchase.

  • MAKEUP & SKINCARE80sgloss

Then: There was no such thing as the “natural look.” Foundation had to be slightly on the orange side and end right before the neck began. Lipsticks came in pink, hot pink and fuschia. Lip gloss rolled on and came in strawberry or cherry flavors. Mascara was in a pink tube made by Maybelline. Eyeliner was a foot-long pencil, was always black and always cheap. Skin care consisted of Sea Breeze pads and Noxzema in the blue jar. Moisturizer was only something you used on your hands in winter. If you went to bed with your makeup on, you knew it could save you time in the morning. Perfume was Love’s Baby Soft or Charlie.

Now: You have two looks—au natural and glam gorgeous. The natural look is earth tones from mineral powders. Chapstick with a shimmer is enough for the lips. Eyeliner is soft and smudged and mascara is minimal. The glam look is more out there. There is glitter on everything from the eyes and lips down into the cleavage. Eyeliner is blackest of blacks and mascara is thick and bold. Focus on skin care is a must. We will try anything…and everything… to avoid crow’s feet, laugh lines, wrinkles, flakes and sun damage. Paying $40 for a good moisturizer is not unusual. We look for words like Retin-A, peptides, SPF, omegas and vitamins. Our bathroom counter looks more like a spice cabinet. We go to retail stores that sell nothing but makeup and skin care, and won’t think twice about dropping a car-payment size amount of money to stay looking young. Washing your face at night takes 10+ minutes. There are perfumes everywhere that suit a person’s personal taste, but if it comes with a body lotion and shower gel sampler, a free tote bag and a pair of sunglasses, it certainly will help to justify the purchase.

  • HAIR

Then: No matter how big your hair was, it wasn’t big enough. Two cans of Aqua Net and a can of mousse per week was normal usage. Finesse shampoos and conditioners were the designer brand for routine care. Home perms were what you had done if you and your mom were bored on the weekend. If you mother refused to give you a home perm, you bought a hair crimper. You were happy with your natural hair color. That is, until June, when your locks drank Sun-In as much as you drank Iced Tea. When you realized that the Sun-In had turned your hair into dried grass, you tried to make it look stylish with either Farrah Fawcett side curl flips or a jazzy banana clip.

Now: Your monthly hair maintenance is as routine as your mortgage payment. And about as expensive. You’ve lost track of what your natural color really is because you can’t tell where the highlights begin, the lowlights end with the blending of the roots in between. Your stylist knows all about you and refers to you by name & hair color shade. (“Oh, hello Tina Redken OC8 Cayanne/Saffron!”) You can’t stand the thought of even a wave in your hair and you don’t hesitate to pay an exorbitant amount of money on a ceramic hair straightener and blow dryer to prevent any type of curl. You have bottles, tubes, cans, sprays, foams, gels, waxes and pomades in every nook and cranny of your bathroom and shower. Because your hair looks so slammin’, you save money by not buying hair clips, and that in turn helps to justify the purchases.

  • TATTOOStat

Then: You hoped the box of Cracker Jack you bought contained a tattoo that because that would have made you sooooooo cool with your friends.

Now: You are wondering where on your body you are going to put your third tattoo because your friends think you are a Cracker Jack for having less than them. You finally tell your husband you are going to get a tramp-stamp of the design on your wedding invitation tattooed on your back because it will make you feel that much closer to him. That surely will justify the purchase with him… Right?

A Shoe-Tasting Menu…..

29 Nov

shoeshopping1
My husband, Mr. Sassy, has a job in the food service industry. In addition to being a manager to his team of guys, he is also somewhat of a consultant to many fabulous restaurants and chefs in our area. His job is great when it comes to trying out the newest fab foods too. I’ve been a taste tester for some fabulous things such as coffees, spices, desserts and prime cuts of meats as well as been a part of the launching of some of the best restaurants in our area. Recently, my husband informed me that we had been invited to attend a seasonal gourmet dinner of an Epicurean Circle at one of these restaurants. Since there was a limited seating of only sixty “epi-curious” people, my husband made sure we were on the “A” list for the evening.

I’ll be honest, I don’t cook much. I grew up on comfort foods. I can make a steak, pork chops, stew and a killer chili. I can make side dishes such as corn, green beans, baked potatoes, and yam casserole with marshmallows. Early on in our relationship, my husband loved taking me to all kinds of different restaurants to expand my range of food tastes. He introduced me to a variety of ingredients I had never even heard of, much less consumed. In addition, he showed me fine wines and the types of foods that they paired well with. I didn’t just learn that eating was a means of survival but it could also be a true experience. With that being said, in our twelve years together, I had never heard the word ‘epicurean’ before. So I looked it up on the website for the event. I learned it would be a chef-designed tasting of foods “inspired by the freshest bounty of the season, prepared imaginatively, beautifully presented as well as narrated and paired with complimenting wines.” Let me get this straight. You are going to serve me eight courses of different meals in sizes I can actually finish? Check. You are going to use fresh, seasonal ingredients? Check check. And you are going to accompany each course with a different vino? Triple check, I’m in!

Now as my husband was anticipating a night of eclectic amuse bouches, tartares, emulsions and infusions, you want to know what I was anticipating? A reason to go shoe shopping! Come on…new flavors, new foods, new shoes! We all know a fancy foo-foo dinner just tastes better in high heels. He could become the gourmand of mission figs and I could become the guru of Manolo Blahnik’s. All in the same night. Once the reservations had been made, the online shopping began. I already had the stellar go-with-anything “little black dress”. That was easy. My search now was for the killer pair of shoes that, as Emeril would say, would make my outfit go “BAM!” So many funky styles are out that I had endless options. I knew one thing though – wanted pumps. Killer, model, “F”-me pumps. I am 5’9” with more legs than a bucket of chicken, but I love the feeling I get when I can wear a pair of heels with confidence. It jazzes me even more if I can wear them with confidence AND no blisters!

I hit the hot footwear websites, and the internet quickly became my own personal tasting menu. What’s great about online shoe shopping is so many of them are in competition with each other that they offer deals that cannot be beat. Free shipping, free returns, exchange upgrades, and every designer name imaginable. Plus, let’s not forget really great deals and sales. Now, when I stopped to think about it, I realized I hadn’t invested in a good pair of name-brand shoes in a really long time. In fact, the last pair I bought was an uber-jazzy pair of Nine West peep-toed pumps with a gift certificate my fiancé/now husband gave me for Mother’s Day. That was over 7 years ago. I still have them because I treat them like gold. That’s because when I got them, they were over $90 and at that time (as a piss-poor singe parent) I couldn’t imagine anyone other than a runway diva or Oprah having a pair of shoes that expensive. I never thought expensive meant better, but I think with shoes it just might. “You get what you pay for.” The leather on those classic Nine West shoes have now become smooth like buttah and is soft like a baby’s butt. It will be difficult to let them go when they finally fall apart. I think I will need a coroner to officially declare them gone.

shoes
I shopped online for several hours, hitting endless websites, and charging pair after pair of black heels. With tens of thousands online to pick from, I just couldn’t nail down just one pair without testing many. I think I ordered a total of eight pairs. Now don’t hassle me, I had no intention of keeping all eight. My goal was one jazzy-yet somewhat comfy-pair to add to my collection. Now began the waiting game for my boxes to begin arriving at my doorstop. Within 48 hours, my UPS man began ringing my doorbell. Day after day after day. If he had stayed any longer than 60 seconds, I’m sure my neighbors would have begun to wonder what Brown was really doing for me. The excitement of the shopping/selection experience however soon dwindled as I opened each pair and found a problem with each. Too high, too tight, too large, too “what the hell was I thinking?” Eight pairs came, eight pairs got rejected. I was frustrated and annoyed. The good news? I did find a shoe I absolutely loved. A pair of zip-top gladiator pump sandals in black. The bad news? The pair that came was too small and the size I did need wasn’t available from the shoe site I had gotten them from. Once I fell head over “heels” for this pair, I grabbed the laptop and began searching for that specific shoe in the size I needed. And fast too, because the tasting dinner was quickly approaching. After an hour on a few search engines, I found my dream shoe. A perfect size 8.5 Berkley sandal in black patent leather by Michael Kors, the fashion guru judge from “Project Runway”. I love his style and his shoes are to die for. They had them at Nordstrom’s, a primo store known for top designers and high-fashion styles. And I could order them online at a (cough cough) respectable price. My heart began to beat faster as I rushed to get the order placed for same-day shipping. They would officially be the most expensive fashion purchase I had ever made in my life. Well, I had a leather coat that was more, but that doesn’t count. Warm coats are a necessity in New York. Black, strappy, 4” heeled shoes are a splurge.

Since it was a Friday and the multifarious feast was on Tuesday, I requested two-day priority shipping. That meant they would be guaranteed for Tuesday morning delivery, and I’d have time to walk around the house in my new kicks to get my feet ready for the 6 pm dinner. I took seven of the eight pairs of unwanted shoes to the shipping store to return to their appropriate online stores for credit. The only ones I chose not to return yet was the too-small pair of Kors’ Berkley sandals I had just reordered from Nordstrom’s so I could jam them on with my dinner dress, practice not walking like an ostrich, and play makeup until the new ones came. I designed a look from head to toe—sparkly makeup to toe ring—that made me feel like a red-carpet superstar. I walked through my living room pretending I was Heidi Klum telling each of my cats, “One minute you’re in. The next? You’re out!” They just looked at me like I was on drugs.

When my husband came home from work that night, I was excited to show him what I was going to wear to his special event. Mr. Sassy was in awe. He thought I looked stunning and was happy to know I was this excited to be attending an event so out of my comfort zone. And when I asked him how he liked the shoes, he replied by saying they were “hot”. Nice, good answer. Over the next sixty minutes, I told him the story of my shopping experience including every specific, useless detail. When I told him how stressed I was after everything I had dealt with, I assured him it was all worth it now that I had managed to arrange for my new en vouge party shoes to come first thing Tuesday morning for that evening’s event. At that point,  he turned to me with a blank, fogged look on his face. “Oh, I didn’t tell you?” Mr. Sassy said in a nonchalant tone.  “I was wrong. The dinner is on Monday, not Tuesday.”

I was speechless. Probably because my teeth were clenched together so hard I could have crushed a walnut, still in the shell. When Mr. Sassy saw my tense look of shock, he was speechless too. Maybe because he just knew better than to speak right then. I didn’t know if I should have cracked, cringed or cried. I just kept hearing Heidi whispering in my head, “One minute you’re in…”  Oh shoot me.

Long story short, I dug out my pair of shiny black boots circa 1970, paired with a leopard skirt and black sweater, and we went to the dinner Monday evening. The food was fabulous. I tried an oyster for the first time. Of course, it was fried, and anything is good if you fry the hell out of it. I ate a frog leg (even though I was given two), which I think actually did taste like chicken but I couldn’t really tell because I couldn’t get passed the fact that… well, it looked like… a frog’s leg! I promised my husband I would try everything, which I did. I also told him that trying it didn’t mean I would finish it, which he respected. I’m looking forward to attending next season’s feast. And you can guarantee, I’ll get the exact date of the event well in advance!

My Michael Kors black patent zipper-top shoes came, right on time, the next morning. Still in my pajamas, I took them out of the box and tried them on. They fit like a glove. Still in my plush bathrobe, I strapped on my new shiny designer heels and headed out to the driveway to get my mail. Even in fuschia fuzz, supermodel shoes look “hot”. I haven’t had a real reason to wear them outside of the house yet, but every time I open my closet, I see them in their box. Trust me, they will get their time… with or without a fried oyster!