Out With The Drab, In With The Fab: Part I

During some down-time at work yesterday, I was thinking about what makes my wardrobe “sing.” I’m at a stage in life where I’ve accumulated plenty of basics, and I pretty much know what flatters me and what to avoid (although I still step in a manhole from time to time).

So I started doodling about the extras, the “icing”, the special pieces that take an outfit from good/acceptable to fun/can’t wait to wear. I made a list!

One definite spicy seasoning for me is The Shoe. And that’s fairly recent in my life. For many decades I stuck with safe choices. In my corporate years, the nice stacked pump or sling-back. Simple flats or brown sandals made do for casual hours.

Now I find myself attracted to Fabulous Shoes as a way of expressing more creativity with my outfits. These shoes also have to be Comfortable, because middle age is not for sissies, my friends.

I recently acquired these cobalt suede shoes by Sofft, and I love wearing them. I think I wear them every day it doesn’t rain:


I have my eyes on these, but they are above my usual price range, so I have to either a) work more hours; or b) buy them anyway and decide not to feel guilty:

This style, the Kate, but in red. Re-Mix shoes, $198.

And Sally of Already Pretty just introduced me to Oh! brand, supposed to be ultra-comfortable:

The Daisy, such a cool version of the classic work sandal, $190.

I have more stuff on my list, and will write about it later. What’s on your list of things that make your outfits more intoxicating?

Have a wonderful day, and don’t forget, Monday, June 11th is Visible Monday! Everyone is welcome to participate!

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  1. I hear you on the shoes! I am suddenly going for the shoes I would shy away from before and I have to say, I am really enjoying wearing them! Especially the funky ones. I am drawn to crazy shoes now so keep that in mind when you start seeing some weird shoes on my blog. 🙂

  2. In high school in the 60's there were people who hated me because I wore bright blue suede shoes.  I wish I'd know you as you now….then.  You break the rules I love breaking.

  3. Shoes, fabulous shoes! Completely agree with you, but I have to warn you, once you start down that road, it gets easier and easier to justify the higher prices . . . .just sayin' . . . Generally, simple styles in neutral colours, I'd say, don't scream out their budget origins. But Cheap Fabulous isn't so easy to achieve. So thrifting can be your friend, but the other option is to go the "Few but Fabulous" route. . . .There's a post for you: The Fabulous Few!

  4. I love "icing" .  Most times when I analyze an outfit I find the accessories cost way more than the clothes!  Off to the farmers market to get my new fedora.  One of the vendors ordered it for me.  So happy I finally found one that will fit my big head!  

  5. Beautiful shoes!  I think you should go for number two…love them!  For me, it is all about the accessories and the fit.  An oversized outfit really doesn't sing!  I am the scarf and bracelet lady…they bring the opera!

  6. Oh Patti!!!  Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes!  It's about the shoes!!!!  I think sometimes that our shoes are our kindest sartorial friends….pants are probably the biggest frenemies!  Shoes don't get out grown, you can lay down a few extra dollars for them because, despite the beating they kind of take, they're well made and last and what. a. difference.  they make to an outfit.  Throw on all black and just mix up the shoes and belt and you have as many different outfits as you could want!  Love your thinking on this!!  Hugs!  ~Serene

  7. Shoes can make or break an outfit, as can a hat. Or a pair of gloves. I think I'm saying that I love accessories.

  8. All really awesome shoes. I love how vintage the second pair look. I've learned it's okay to buy interesting tops, pair them with interesting bottoms, and wear wild shoes and it is possible to be alright. 

    I no longer believe in the plain basic because of it. Stopped buying plain tanks, plain jeans, plain pencil skirts. Not that these aren't wonderful things, but it's so exciting to not feel like only one piece of your outfit is the 'interesting bit'.

    Also that it's possible to buy comfortable practical things that still look really interesting (as you've shown here with these shoes!).

  9. That's a great idea, writing down your "sizzle" ideas!  The blue shoe is really gorgeous.  Shoes do make all the difference!

  10. Hi there, I'm a new reader who recently found you through Already Pretty.  I make jewelry, some of it from re-purposed old beads and baubles I find secondhand.  Anytime I find myself wearing an outfit that lacks oomph, I remind myself to make a necklace or earrings that will go with it.  Next time I wear that outfit, I have a unique accessory ready to help take it to the next level. 🙂

  11. I know I've faulted myself for not wearing more jewelry, scarves…and making more daring choices with my footwear.  Your blue shoes are wonderful and they look comfortable too.  I hear you about the price range; to me $100 is a lot of money for a shoe.

  12. You know I'll definitely be on the side of "buy them anyway and not feel guilty"! You'll be so busy feeling fabulous in the red version, who has time for guilt? (okay, easier said than done…) I'm glad you're feeling more creative with your footwear. My booster into fab was my beret. I still like it as a staple but my eyes are a'wandering.

  13. That is so weird – I've been doing the same thing with my shoes lately.  Almost all of the shoes I've purchased in the past have been comfortable, practical shoes.  The black, the brown, the nude.  But, the last six months or so, I've been drawn to crazier shoes.  Leopard print booties, bright orange wedges and the black wedges I wore the other day.  And I love it!

    Very excited for this series of posts!


  14. Oh, such a great question, Patti! Can't wait to see what others say. I agree about shoes (though I am still mostly in the "safe" zone you describe. I have one special pair!) Other than that, I love a colorful top with something unexpected — ruffles, an unusual neckline, or a bit of embellishment. Those can really put a classic outfit over the top. 

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