Archive | professional fashion RSS feed for this section

Your Opinion Matters

31 Dec

This week I experimented with crowdsourcing opinion on some new eyeglass frames.

It was a painful process and decidedly a situation where the warning, “Be careful what you ask for,” hit me in the gut.

Here’s the photo post that launched a host of comments:

Twenty people told me no, and the votes are still coming in. (This is not counting all of my family members, who also gave a unanimous and repeatedly emphasized thumbs-down.)

I should have known it was going to be bad from the start, when cousin David commented almost instantly:

Cousin David always compliments me. He’s a southern gentleman. While tactfully leaving room for another option that could be positive, this was decidedly NOT a compliment.

Meanwhile, people I haven’t heard from in years gave the glasses the thumbs-down. I haven’t made a post that has garnered this much extreme opinion EVER.

Very good friends were delightfully candid. This type of brevity was telling:

Many friends echoed with similar “to-the-point” reactions, along with additional guidance and welcome honest feedback:

This comment from a former Bexley neighbor sealed the deal:

Even after I reported back that I had decided not to get the frames, the comments continued to roll in.

I appreciate everyone’s efforts to save me from myself. Your opinion matters.

Clearly, I am not qualified to select glasses without supervision. In a fit of wanting to try something different, I went with the cool clear frames, a little bit bigger, with the benefit of being 100% recycled. Alas, I am not cool enough for these frames. They are different, but in a bad way.

And, as my husband wisely observed:

Who wants clear frames? It’s like people who try to hide their a$$es. What’s the point?

You need glasses, and you wear bifocals, so why not go big?

Correction, dahling: I wear PROGRESSIVE LENSES, not bifocals.

I made the trip to the optician’s again today and selected cat-eye frames that are much smaller, blonde tortoise-shell with blue on the flip side. I like them, my husband likes them, and everybody else had better like them.

I am not posting a picture until after they arrive and I’ve been wearing them for a while.

 

 

Re-heeled: Part 2 of My Shoe Saga

24 Nov

From naromeel's Flickr photostream

Some of you cried right along with me a couple of weeks ago when my dog destroyed several pairs of shoes. I appreciate your sympathies. Truly, this crisis is no laughing matter for a professional woman with any self-respect. I’ve healed and consequently re-heeled myself with some quality kicks and want to share my finds.

My first step was to try on some beautiful gray flannel platforms at Banana Republic. They appear to be only sold in-store…couldn’t find them online. Looked fabulous and appeared to have some semblance of comfort in mind with a padded sole. The platform part of the shoe is a dark veneer and looks great with the flannel. But as soon as I put them on, I noticed the problem. There’s no room in the foot-bed for a normal-sized foot. I’d need to lose at least one toe on each foot to make this work. The shoe tapers into nothingness and gives you zero space to put your pigs.

When I tried to walk around in these, they were in fact beautiful torture devices. I informed the shop-girl that they should go back to the drawing board. (Not sure she appreciated me. Oh well.) Anyone with half a brain would know that putting a three-inch heel and a nonexistent foot-bed together is a recipe for discomfort. When you’re riding that high, you need to have traction — and the only way to do that is to spread out your toes. Without any room to do so, I’d be teetering around like a drunk lady. Not very professional looking, eh?

My next step was to go back to my tried and true L.L. Bean Signature platform heels. I had already purchased two pairs of these — one in tan (ruined by dog…see here) and a second in a dark pink. Love them. But upon their initial release last year, the colors were a bit limited. First, there was no black. Seriously, guys? Also, no navy or other neutrals.

Bean has since solved that problem. They added a beautiful dark brown as well as navy and black — check/check/check on neutrals. Second, they added some nice seasonally appropriate options, such as a deep forest green and a rich burgundy. Love them all? Which to choose? I went with the dark brown as a good choice to round out my collection…the dark pink is not always that practical.

Next, I noticed that they took the wood platform to the next level: A more tapered heel (still 3 inches) but with a tie-up black patent leather in brogue style. Sweet. I’m proud to lovingly embrace those aspects of my heritage that work well — there are many Anglo-influenced fashion options that are workhorses AND fashionable. Wool, of course. And who doesn’t love a brogue?

Let me just say that I am not a woman immediately drawn to a three-inch platform heel. When not at work I am most comfortable in Haflinger or Dansko clogs. Or perhaps boots. Clunky yet comfy. Perfect for walking dogs or exploring the ravine. My daughter tells me I need to be on the show, “What Not to Wear.” Harrumph.

But here’s why I love both of these models from Bean’s Signature collection — and why anyone with five normally shaped toes will feel the same:

  1. Padded sole. Comfort plus height? You got it.
  2. Foot-bed space for the toes. A proper design for the heel height. Traction and no totter? Bingo.
  3. Wooden platform. Fashionable and the wood gives an organic, outdoorsy feel that’s nice for someone like me who’d rather be in nature but spends a lot of time at the office, too. I am literally winched up by trees in these things…all day long.
  4. Nappa leather…soffffttt. Looks good, plus lasts.
  5. Price point. $129. Not as pricey as a designer brand, but packed with all the perks.

Walk on!