For the afternoon of the Fourth of July, my husband and I are doing a big family-and-friends picnic in our backyard, followed by the obligatory trip down to see the fireworks. Given the amount of time I’ll be on my feet, I know I should probably be wearing sneakers, but I’d prefer sandals. Please help.
Manolo says, ayyyy! The Manolo loves the Fourth of the July, with the fireworks and the picnics, and the friends, and the warm potato salad and the cold beers, but especially the fireworks. Many cheers and “good-job-well-dones” to the peoples who have invented and perfected the things that explode in the air but do not kill us.
The Manolo regards the fireworks as one of the pinnacles of human achievement, right up next to the indoor plumbing and the safety pin. Such genius to take the substance designed for destruction and convert it into the article of beauty and delight. Indeed, the fireworks displays are the one conspicuous and universal occasion when the adults are encouraged to express the childlike amazement at the world, when we profoundly wish to be surprised and awed by what comes next. And, because the fireworks are rarely exploded, only the Fourth of the July and other occasions of great joy, they retain their ability to delight us when so many other pleasures have become mundane and common.
As for the summery sandals of comfort, the Manolo recommends the Air Bria Thong Sandal from the Cole Haan, in the perfectly appropriate color known as “gunsmoke”.
I’ve got this great summer internship at cable news network helping in the newsroom . I’m supposed to dress professionally, but since this is my first time in a professional setting, I’ve got to buy some new outfits. Can you please recommend some shoes that are not too expensive?
Manolo says, it would have helped if the Manolo’s friend Emma had mentioned for which of the various news networks she was interning, as it would have made the difference in what the Manolo would recommend. For the example, at the MSNBC the Manolo imagines that it is all sweaty people with bad haircuts in bulky sweaters and sensible shoes, while at the Fox News it is puffy frat boys in bowties and icy blonde beauties with big hair and cultured pearls.
Of the course, the Manolo could be completely mistaken, and that in fact, the production of the cable network news is more like the making of the tofu, in that it all comes out of the same unappetizing vat of flavorless bean goop. Only at the very end, do the crazy chefs add the little bit of flavoring and tons of the MSG to produce the All-American Fox News Tofurkey, or the Progressive MSNBC Vegan Hotdogs.
In this case, the Manolo would imagine that the same people work behind the scenes at both places — likely dressed in the sweat pants, tattered novelty t-shirts, and hairnets — as they go about the business of scooping out our daily ration of heavily-spiced, meatless news substitute.
Here is the Cole Haan Air Talia Wedge in the very becoming maple sugar color, perfect for the summery office work.
I’ve just landed my first real post-college job, as a research assistant with a think tank. (I won’t say which one, I’ll just tell you that my male coworkers mostly wear bowties and quote Chesterton a lot.) As a
consequence, I need a new professional wardrobe, especially shoes. I need something traditional and not too expensive.
Manolo says, one of the things that has long amused and entertained the Manolo is how the various political tribes and sub-tribes of the Washington, D.C. identify themselves through their clothing and habits.
If you tell the Manolo that you are working at the thinking tank with the bowtie-wearing gentlemen of the Chestertonian persuasion, he will tell you that the conversation around the luncheon table involves the vigorous discussions of the Laffer curve marginal tax rates, fly-fishing in Montana, and the perfidious behavior of the tyrants at the Department of Energy.
If, however, you say that you are working at the place where everyone who is not driving the Prius to work, instead rides the recumbent bicycle, then the Manolo will tell you that you spend most of the day arguing about how best to bring the head of Exxon/Monsanto/Dick Cheney to justice in front of the tribunal of the people.
Sadly, despite what you may have heard, you can judge the book by its cover, especially if it is wearing the Birkenstocks on its feets, or the bowtie at its neck.
Here is the Braiden High Loafer from the Cole Haan in the attractive maple sugar suede finish with the little kiltie detail, exactly the sort of shoe of which Chesterton would have approved.
Manolo says, what is not to like about this? The Cole Haan Air Carma Peep-Toe Slingback, the perfect patent leather work shoe with the comfortable technology built in, selling at 60% off of the regular price!
And here is the closed-back pump version at the same great price!]]>
Manolo says, Manolo, what about the gentlemen, do they not also deserve the late night bargain?
To which the Manolo replies, yes, and here it is, the Air Ryder Driver from Cole Haan, the casual driving shoe that has both the comfort and the style in mind. This is something more sophisticated than the New Balance sneakers that are your man’s habitual casual wear, and selling at nearly 65% off of the usual price, you will be the smartest of smarty-smart shoppers.]]>
Manolo says, it is no secret that the Manolo is the fan of the comfort and practical stylishness of the Cole Haan Air line of shoes and sandals. And so when he saw that this flat, summery sandal, the Air Tali JWL Thong was on the sale, he had to absolutely recommend it to his many internet friends.
On the sale? Yes. Available in the black, white gold, and the Manolo’s favorite, the gunsmoke metallic, it is 65% off of the usual price! The deal almost too good to pass up.]]>
My husband and I are ditching our DC Jobs, packing up our lives, and taking a year off to travel through Southeast Asia. It will be hot, probably messy, and we’ll be on our feet all day. And I will die if I am forced to wear Keens, Chacos, or other clunky sport utility sandal out of a lack of options that don’t sacrifice form for features. Are there cute, supportive, dare-I-dream even gladiator-y sandals for the REI-phobe packing heels in her backpack?
Manolo says, frankly, the Manolo does not fully understand the allure of the backpack travel.
“But, Manolo,” say the friends of the Manolo, “it is romantic and liberating. You can go where you want, when you want.”
To which the Manolo replies, “Yes, when you backpack you are free to travel like the wind, weighed down by nothing more than the ninety pounds of dirty laundry you are carrying on your back.”
Oh, how the Manolo wishes for the return of the civilized travel, when the people of gentle breeding were able to pack up several dozen changes of clothing, top hats, kid gloves, patent leather shoes, and spats into the steamer trunk.
Later, when we reached our destination, we would “rough it” by changing into our safari clothes while the native bearers carried the trunks to our first campsite, where the gin and tonics would be awaiting our arrival.
Now, instead of travelling like civilized peoples in barbarian lands, we travel like barbarians in civilized places.
Here is the Cole Haan Air Marcella Flat Sandal in black, the gladiator sandal with the comfort in mind.
My mom is going to appear on a local television show and is bringing me as her plus one. I need something that is casual but also comfortable.
Manolo says, the Manolo has not asked, nor was the information volunteered, but the Manolo is now burning to know the context of this motherly appearance on the local television program. Indeed, in the absence of information, the possibilities to exercise the imagination are deliciously endless.
For the example, the Manolo wonders, is the Mother of Eliza being feted on the Channel 37 Action Eyewitness News at Noon for her recent victory in the National Corn Flake Bake Off? (Once tasted, who could ever forget Mom’s Crunchy Chicken Kiev, Iowa-Style?)
Or, perhaps, Mama Eliza is being arraigned on criminal charges resulting from the unfortunate events that occurred during the release of her new rap gangsta album?
Maybe, instead, she is the community activist, working to save the habitat of the greater crested greeble, who has finally been invited to say her piece on that community affairs show that airs at 5:30 on the Sunday mornings.
Whatever it is, the Manolo recommends that her daughter wear the sensible but attractive shoes, because undoubtedly it will be the wild time. Here is the Cole Haan Air Lainey Chain Wedge in nougat-colored suede and patentleather. Perfect for the sudden celebrity.
After way too many years commuting from a far-flung suburb, I’m moving to downtown D.C. Well, almost…Mt. Pleasant. It’s a comfortable, 20-30 minute walk from my office downtown, and I’d like to stroll to work most days this summer. However, I don’t want to be one of those frumpistas who tromps to work in workout shoes or — the horror — flip flops! What do you suggest?
Manolo says, ayyyyy! Walking in the city is one the Manolo’s favorite entertainments! Indeed, the Manolo spends the hour or two each afternoon strolling through the streets, tipping his hat to the ladies, saying good afternoon to the gentlemen, stopping occasionally at the sidewalk café for the cappuccino, or the tiny glass of Campari.
Walking is the civilized and civilizing activity. It forces us to slow down and consider our surroundings, to politely acknowledge the fellow humans with whom we share the sidewalks. Walkers do not suffer from the road rage, the particular scourge of the automotive commuters, the malady brought on by the confining and isolating nature of our cars.
Walking is to driving as the tipped hat is to the flipped bird.
Of the course, when the Washington summer finally and fully arrives, one may be tempted on the hottest and most humid days to retreat to the air-conditioned comfort of the car. Resist, dear friends, enjoy the season first hand by walking!
Here is the Cole Haan Air Cynthia Mid Sandal, the mid-heel espadrille that would keep you cool and comfortable on those pleasant strolls from Mt. Pleasant.
I work in a congressional office on Capitol Hill, and I would like to know what shoes are work appropriate in the spring and summer. I love wedge sandals, but I always feel uncertain about wearing them to work. How about those gladiator style sandals? Any help is appreciated.
Manolo says, from the casual observation of the C-Span, Internet gossip, and the police blotters, it is possible to say that the average congress being is the highly-strung, go-go-go, narcissistic, type-A lunatic with the poor impulse control and the outrageous demands.
“Ms. Smith, can you pick up my cleaning, notify the press that I’m available for comment, walk my dog, clean my gutters, and mark up that new interstate trucking bill? Oh, and when you’re done, I need you to come in here and pumice the calluses off of my feet. Chop, chop.”
Thus, the Manolo would recommend taking measures to avoid doing anything that might “angry up the blood” of the Congressmen and the Congressladies. Also, because professional appearance is to be highly valued in such situations, the bit of the peeping toes is probably about as far one would wish to go with the displays of feet skin.
It is best to save the stylish and sexy sandals for the after hours partying down.
Here is the Cole Haan Air Talia Open Toe Slingback in the palomino patent, the conservative, comfortable, and professional choice of congressional aides everywhere.