Dear Manolo, My boyfriend and I have tickets to attend the Metropolitan Opera in December. We have very good seats, and I want to get dressed up, but I also don't want to be cold or uncomfortable walking around New York on our way to and from the event. Do you have a suggestion for a pair of shoes that says "dress up" but also "winter"? Elizabeth Manolo says, how nice to see that there are young peoples who are still taking the interest in the opera! The Manolo had begun to believe that it was only the fogeys of oldness, such as himself, who still cared. Of the course, one of the minor pleasures of aging is being able to complain about the cultural philistinism of the young peoples. You know, sort of like, “These truculent whippersnappers racing their jalopies down to the drug-store and getting themselves all het up over that Bing Crosby on the jukebox, thinking Jolson isn’t good enough for them. Why it’s the end of western civilization, I tell you!” Although, the first opera whippersnappers undoubtedly had their coachmen race their carriages down to the opera house, where they got all het up over Mozart, and thought Gregorian chant wasn’t good enough for them. Look! Here is the Sebbie from Kate Spade. The elegant black suede pump with exactly the right about of understated ornamentation.
Dear Manolo, I am in an existential crisis. At 40, I am about to be divorced, I am mother to a nearly 6-year-old son, and I am a lawyer. I need a pair of shoes that will lighten the stresses on my soul, that will feel ever-so-slightly frivolous to put on. I need fun shoes. I need a pair of shoes that I can wear with Capri pants to the playground, that will tell the other mothers that, even though I am an underpaid, overworked, single mother, I still rock in my soul. Monica Manolo says, ever since the Manolo wrote about the curative power of shoes the few weeks ago, he has been receiving letters such as this one. And, all because Dr. Manolo, consulting specialist in the medicine of the broken heart, refuses to put the sugar-coating on the bitter pills he prescribes. He tells it like it is, to wit, if you wish to wash that man right out of your hair, first you must go shoe shopping. No time to wallow in self-pity, do as the Manolo’s friend Monica has done, and rush the patient to the nearest shoe sale, stat! Make way, people! This is the medical emergency! Can you not see that this woman needs shoes? Here is the Vera from Kate Spade, the frivolously fantastic pom-pom skimmer in white tumbled leather, just in time for summer. Dr. Manolo says, take two of these and call your best friend in the morning to gloat.
Dear Manolo, I'm a small town girl with big time dreams, who has just been given the job of a lifetime. The next eight weeks will be super demanding and I'll be in the limelight a lot. All of my friends say I have a sort "sexy librarian" vibe. What would you recommend to make me seem a little more sophisticated and polished? Sarah Manolo says, congratulations on your recent success, clearly you are the woman to be reckoned with! It is always the same with the small town girls who make it big; on the one of the hands, you wish to give yourself the making over so as to seem more fashionable, while on the other of the hands you do not want to lose that refreshing American naturalness which others recognize as the heart of your charm. In the other words, how to be more Catherine Deneuve without sinking your Molly Brown. Naturally, the Manolo suggests starting with the shoes. You must shed those pedestrian, low quality shoes and move up market with something truly super fantastic. Look, here is the Karolina in black patent from Kate Spade, both super fantastic and all American!
Dear Manolo, Now that July is over, I've begun to think about more autumnal shoes. I'm especially eager to find a girly flat with lots of personality. Please help. Eva Manolo says, August has arrived and although the weather remains intolerable, the Manolo has also begun to obsess over the shoes for the fall. What are the perfect shoes to wear while hunting for the pumpkins, or watching the football games, or instructing your lawn minions to rake the leaves under the Japanese maple? These are the sort of questions that occupy the Manolo's mind, even as he huddles in his air-conditioned home, sipping iced tea, and mopping his brow. But then it is always thus, no? We are fickle creatures who in the depths of winter long for the strappy sandals spring will bring, but in the summer daydream of the cozy fur-lined boots we will wear when picking out the Christmas tree. Look! Here is the Papillion from Kate Spade, the super girly chocolate suede flat with the outsized bow that would be perfect to wear to your friend’s annual Autumnal Equinox party.
Dear Manolo, Can I, or can I not, wear white shoes after Labor Day. My mother says “no”, my sister says “yes”. I’m confused, please help. Laura Manolo says, it would not be late August if the Manolo were not required to answer for his friends the eternal question, “when is it proper to wear the white shoes.” Happily for many, and to the chagrin of the few, the Manolo’s response to this question has not changed for many years now. Yes, you may wear the white shoes after the end of the summer. Certainly, the Manolo is the traditionalist, one who believes that our standards of dress and comportment have slipped badly in recent times, but the Manolo is also the realist one who recognizes that this ancient and petty dictum had outlived it usefulness in the modern age. So, unless you are having the high tea with the ladies of the Biloxi Garden Society, this is the rule you can safely ignore well into the fall, but only if the weather remains hot and sunny, as white shoes are indeed summer weather shoes. Here is the Emmy by Kate Spade the white shoe with the brown leather trim that would allow you to stylishly make the transition from summer to fall.