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Manolo the Columnist: Sable from Belle by Sigerson Morrison

Manolo says, here is the Manolo’s latest column from the Express of the Washington Post.

Dear Manolo,

I’ve just read that all the cool kids are wearing Birkenstocks again. Is it wrong that I’m tempted to join them? Please advise.

Debra

Manolo says, this where the Manolo wishes that his computer keyboard had the Grumpy Cat key, which he could push whenever he needed the strongly worded “NO!” to appear on the page. Unfortunately, his computing machine does not have this very useful function, and thus he will have to make his opinions known by plain metaphor:

The Birkenstocks are to the other shoes what the haywagon drawn by donkeys wearing battered straw hats is to the Ferrari Testarossa, which is to say that if you do not mind looking like someone who should be driving the 19th century manure spreader to work each morning, then by all the means, wear the Birkenstocks.

Alternately, if you are the sort of person who enjoys having the people who buy all of their clothing at the Dollar General Factory Outlet Store look down their noses at your poor fashion sense, you should consider the Birkenstocks.

In the other words, if you regard your feet as hateful appendages worthy of being ridiculed by strangers, then the Birkenstocks are the shoe-like things for you.

The Manolo says, even though it is still roasting hot outside, it is now the Fall season of shopping, and thus if one can safely ignore the Birkenstocks for the next few months. With good fortune, by the spring of 2014, this mania will have subsided. In the meantime, here is the Sable from Belle by Sigerson Morrison, the versatile transitional flat that will take you into the new season.

Sable from Belle by Sigerson Morrison

Manolo the Columnist: Scarlet from Isabel Marant

Manolo says, here is the Manolo’s latest column for the Express of the Washington Post.

Dear Manolo,

Let us pretend for a brief moment that money is no object for me. What would you recommend in the way of ultra-chic booties for the fall?

Nan

Manolo says, oh to live in the world where the money is not the object! Where every morning you could be gently awakened by your ladies maid, O’Brien, Ph.D., quietly clearing her throat as she puts the diamond-encrusted tray containing the civet cat coffee from your hillside estate in Sulawesi down onto the solid platinum table by your carved ivory bed.

You would sit up, take the little sip, and then, eager to start the day, arise, throwing aside the brocaded duvet made from the single piece of natural silk, spun over the course of three years by your own silk worms, laboriously trained by your staff entomologists to work as the team of tiny weavers.

“What to wear, what to wear,” you would ponder as you stood at the entrance of your 17,000 square foot drive-in closet.

“Might I suggest, ma’am,” says O’Brien, pushing in the top drawer of the Louis XIV bombe chest where you keep nothing but the extra buttons that come with your custom-made clothing (and which was actually made by Louis XIV), “that you consider mink.”

“Brilliant idea, Jensen, but white or black?”

“Brown, I should think, ma’am.”

“Make it so, O’Brien,” you shout, and seconds later Dr. O’Brien is bringing you your three-piece, brown mink Galitzine tunic and pant set, the one with the beading at the ankle, not the other one with the subtle stripes.

And if the money were the no object, and you wanted to be wearer of the most au courant, super fantastic booties, then you will need the Scarlett from the Isabel Marant.

Scarlett from Isabel Marant

Manolo the Columnist: Mannie from Kate Spade New York

Manolo says, here is the Manolo’s latest column for the Express of the Washington Post.

Dear Manolo,

With fall fast approaching, I’ve begun to think about what I’m going to wear, specifically, I need a pair of fun boots for the weekends. Please recommend something.

Doretta

Manolo says, it is never too early to think about what to wear for the coming season, or the coming year, or even the coming decade. Indeed, thinking about what to wear in the distant future is one of the Manolo’s favorite hobbies, right next to reading the frivolous novels and taking the long naps in the late afternoon.

Although the Manolo is the unusual, quasi-obsessive case, thinking about what you will wear in the time of twenty years hence should occasionally be on the mind of every adult person of any good sense. This is especially true when the adult person is doing the shopping, when one must ask oneself the question, “Will I still be able to wear this thing in two decades?”

This is the two-fold question about the style and the quality. Is this thing classic enough to withstand the vagaries of fashion, and is it well-built enough to withstand the vagaries of time and usage?

Of the course, there are the categories of things for which this does not apply. Some things are meant to be worn the few times when you are young and lissome and then forgotten forever, such as the micro-miniskirts and the teeny bikini swimsuits.

Still, thinking about what to wear in twenty years time is generally the good practice.

Here is the Mannie from the Kate Spade New York, the classic ankle boot that will undoubtedly still be wearable in the year 2033.

Mannie Bootie from Kate Spade New York

What to Wear if You are the Man: Desert Boots

Manolo says, since the Manolo has come out strongly against the Keen sports mandals, what then should the , sporty man of the age of the middle be wearing when he is not ‘shredding it with his homies’?”

What else? The desert boot, also know as the chukka boot.

Branch Boot from Base London

This is the Branch from Base London, the smart-looking, leather dessert boot that will not only cover your man toes, but make you look like the respectable adult human, rather than the over-grown-adolescent couch surfer.

Here is one more choice…

Gobi Boot from Ikon

This is the Gobi from Ikon, in the olive suede that the Manolo finds both handsome enough to wear around town on your various manly, grown-up adventures.

Both of these, and many, many others like them are the sort of comfortable, casual shoe that the man can feel good about slipping on in the morning and wearing through out the whole day.

The Keen: At Least It Keeps the Man Toes Covered.

The Keen Newport

Manolo says, since the Manolo has recently been talking about the popular brands of the comfort shoes, perhaps it time to consider the monstrosity that is the Keen.

One can go no where now without one’s senses being assaulted by these shoe-like things on the feets of the adult males who should know better.

“Oooh, I am so sporty and with-it,” smugly and silently says the wearer, “I’ve got these super-hip outdoorsy sport sandals on my feet. When I wear these shoes I feel like I’m ‘shredding’ it with my ‘homies’. I look like I’m an X-Game’s athlete, don’t I?”

To which the Manolo silently replies, “No, you are the middle-aged dork whose choice of feetwear befouls the public space with its ugliness, thus proving the tragedy of the commons. Also, riding your $2,500 mountain bike on the paved paths at the park is not ‘shredding it’, no matter what the other members of your Fantasy Football league say.”

Still, the Manolo has to admit that the Keens, unlike the mandals, cover the unsightly middle-aged man toes, the small favor for which we are not especially thankful.

Ecco: The Comfort Shoe That is Not the FitFlop

Manolo says, one of the Manolo’s internet friends has asked him the question:

Manolo, I agree that the FitFlop is an abomination, but what would you recommend by way of comfort shoes for just kicking around the farmers market on a Saturday morning?

The Manolo is the fan of the Ecco, as being the non-loathsome comfort shoe that would work well for the farmers market kicking. Indeed, he has recommended the Ecco shoes on several occasions in the past.

As for what he would recommend at this moment…

Biom Lite from Ecco

Here is the Biom Lite 1.3 from Ecco in the silver and purple, the techno-shoe the Manolo does not hate! Indeed, the Manolo finds it’s futuristic Maryjane-Jetson look to be both amusing and appealing.

This is the sort of shoe that begs to be worn with the yoga pants to the farmers market, where you will buy the half-dozen, $4-each, ersatz cronuts “for brunch on the patio”, three of which you will hurriedly eat by yourself in the front seat of your car while driving home.

Manolo’s Late Night Bargain: Ash Shoes from Brand Boudoir

Manolo says, from the Brand Boudoir comes the many end-of-the-season bargains on the Ash Shoes, the French brand made in Italy, for the example…

Lucy Kitten Heel from Ash

This is the Lucy from Ash, the Cleopatra-inspired, kitten-heeled sandal that is selling for 57% off of the usual price.

Or, if you wish the flat heel…

Lui Flat Sandal from Ash

The Lui from Ash, silver flat sandal, selling for 60% off.

Both of these are the sort of sandals which will likely never go out of the style, and thus can be worn for many years to come.

The Viviana from Hush Puppies: Who Let the Dogs Out?

Manolo says, one minute you are surfing through the luster-lacking shoe sites on the interwebs, being bored by the endless pictures of the clunky, dreary comfort-ish shoes, and the next, ayyyy!, you find out that the stodgy old Hush Puppies has gone all Fluevog!

Vivianna from Hush Puppies

This piece of retro-Victoriana is the Vivianna lace-up, side-zipper bootie, from the Hush Puppies.

The Manolo found this at the Shuperb site, and is now showing it to you, not because he especially admires it, but rather because it is the powerful evidence that the old dogs can learn the new tricks.

Manolo’s Late Night Bargain: K&S Slingback Pumps

Manolo says, from the Manolo’s friends at the Sister Online comes the news that they are selling the K&S Shoes pumps at the good prices.

KS Shoes Slingback Pump2

For the Manolo’s American friends who do not know about the K&S Shoes, they are the old-timey, mid-market European shoe manufacturer, founded in the 1918 as Kennel und Schmenger, who have long been known for producing the well-made, if somewhat stodgy shoes. Lately, however, they have been updating their designs to make themselves more trendy and appealing. And it is working!

KS Shoes Slingback Pump2

These handsome, slingback pumps with the bow will become the Friday night, wardrobe staple, especially since they are selling at 30% off of the usual price.

Manolo the Columnist: Portman from Burberry

Manolo says, here is the Manolo’s latest column from the Express of the Washington Post.

Dear Manolo,

My best friend since grade school is getting married for the second time, in Key West, in what she’s describing as a “very informal” ceremony. I know I’m supposed to wear sandals, but I need help with this. I’m not sure which kind.

Sarah

Manolo says, the Manolo cannot help it, but when the Manolo hears the words “Key West wedding “ he immediately thinks “gay pirate themed,” with the Right Reverend Captain Blackbeard the Bear officiating.

But, that is only the first problem, the second is that the Manolo hesitates to imagine what the phrase “very informal” means in the context of the Key West, where the physicians at the local urgent clinic have been known to greet the patients bare-chested, Papa Hemingway style, with the fruity daiquiri in the one hand and the stethoscope in the other.

Thus, the Manolo has many, many questions. For the example, clearly, the shoes will be optional at this wedding, likely the shirts, too. But what about the pants? Would cargo shorts be considered overly dressy? Will the swim up bar be hosted? Since the Manolo has been lead to believe that gay pirates are the mandatory part of the Key West wedding, is it okay if they only act as ushers, rather than as the groomsmen and bridesmaids?

Here is the Portman thong sandal from Burberry in the silverly color described as Metallic Trench, which since it is the end of the sandal season is half off the usual price at Zappos.

Portman Sandal from Burberry

The FitFlop, Part II

Yoko Frilly Sandal from FitFlop

Manolo says, the Manolo has been hearing from many of his friends that he should take the FitFlop more seriously, that it is not the mere gimmick designed by the unscrupulous shoe trolls working on the “greater fool” theory, but the actual beneficial shoe-based magic (+2 boot of toning) produced by ancient wizards who live in the enchanted forests of Candyland.

“But, Manolo, the friends say, the FitFlops are soooooo comfortable.”

To which the Manolo replies, “so are the cardboard boxes filled with the goose feathers.”

“But Manolo, look at the Mozimo shoe store, they have many more styles than just the sandals. Take a look at these ballet pumps.”

FitFlop Due Ballet Pumpfitflop-ballerina2

“Perhaps,” answers the Manolo, “it is time for the Manolo to reemerge from his semi-retirement. It appears that his missionary work on the interwebs is not done.”

“Don’t you like it?”

“Like is such the strong word.”

“So, should I get myself a pair of FitFlops, Manolo?”

“Only if you regard your feet as the hateful appendages worthy of being shamed by whatever pieces of colorful flotsam are currently au courant.”

“Soooo, that’s a yes?”

“Yes.”

Gola Classic Plimsolls

Manolo says, the Manolo loves the simple classic plimsolls from Gola, the ancient British sporting shoe company (sort of like the Converse) founded in the 1905.

gola-classics-womens-quota

For the Manolo, who have been the fan of the crazy colorful hi-tech running shoes, this simple plimsoll, the Quota in classic white, is the sort of athletic shoe that will not make you .

gola-classics-womens-quota-union-jack

If, however, you wish to express your excitement over the birth of George, the future King of England, then this Quota with the Union Jack would be the good choice.

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