Recently, I’ve seen a lot of young women wearing flannel shirts and short lace-up boots. I love this casual look. Do you think that a woman of a certain age (me, in this case) would be able to carry this off?
Manolo says, it is true what the Manolo has long said, that the beautiful young peoples would look good in the Gareth Pugh burlap sacks and the Birkenstocks (which is indeed the recent trend). This is the one of the key principles behind the fashion show; that even the worst article of clothing, designed by the most untalented fashion hack, still looks good when worn by the super model strutting down the catwalk to the pulsating techno music.
But, do not be deceived. Those 1980s, retro-Madonna bib overalls, with the one shoulder strap artfully undone, which you saw being worn by the fetching gamin on the H Street are not for you, Respectable Lady of the Certain Age. For you, the instant you put on the stone-washed Big Smiths, and unbuckled the strap, you would look like one of the minor characters in the touring version of Li’l Abner goes to Washington, perhaps Aunty McMutton, or some such.
And this is why the Manolo cautions against adopting the trend of the short boots and the flannel, as appealing as it may seem. It is better to go with the more sophisticated lace-up, one that will better withstand the vagaries of fashion. Here is the Prance from the Donald J. Pliner, the tall croc-patterned riding boot with the lace-up fronts, something that would look smashing on the beautiful mature woman of taste.
I’m getting married again at the end of May. Since this is my second marriage, as well as the groom’s, we’ve opted for a informal wedding with close family and a few friends on the beach in South Carolina. Since my dress is light blue, I need a pair of sandals that will match. Can you please help?
Manolo says, ayyy! So romantic! Indeed, just the words “beach wedding” alone can conjure up in the mind of the hearer all sorts of fantastically romantic scenarios to explain why someone is getting married at the seashore instead of the church or the justice of the peace.
For the example, you are the beautiful mermaid of the certain age who, during the giant storm, has been washed ashore suffering from amnesia only to be found by the handsomely rugged sea captain (played by the Tom Selleck), who despite the long-standing and well-know animosity between seafarers and merpeople (in reality misunderstandings caused by practical joking dolphins) has carried you back to his skipjack and chastely restored to health, hand feeding you sardines and oysters and little pieces of delicious eel, while softly singing sea shanties and playing his ukulele.
When your health and memory have returned, rather than swimming back to your underwater home, to your rightful place as Neptune’s spinster merdaughter, you have convinced the old merwizard to give you legs. Many complications and dangers ensue, but in the end, here you are, standing on the beach in South Carolina with the man in the Hawaiian shirt and famous mustache getting married.
Here is the Connie from Donald J. Pliner, the silver thong sandal that will be perfect for wearing on the beach.
Manolo says, here is most super fantastic bargain, the hotty-hot, with-it, cork sandal, the Cleva from Donald Pliner. It is reduced 75% from the usual price! The savings of nearly $300 of the American dollars!]]>
My mother, a wonderful woman of a certain age, buys all of her shoes from discount outlets, like Wal-Mart and K-Mart. Unfortunately, in conversation she alternates between crowing about her frugality and complaining about her foot pain. I’d like to buy her a pair of decent shoes for Mother’s Day, a mid-heel sandal, something suitable for summer, but not dowdy. What do you recommend?
Manolo says, ayyy, your mother, she is pennywise and footsore!
As the Manolo has long noted, inexpensive shoes of shoddy construction are the false economy. Yes, your mother saved the seventy-three dollars by purchasing her pleather-and-plastic pumps from the General Dollar Mart, but look at how she suffers! And worst, eventually, she will spend many times that amount on her feet surgeries.
But, now is not the weekend to complain about the mother and her habits of cheapness. Now is the weekend to celebrate your mother and her many good qualities, such as her ability to find perfectly serviceable birthday presents from the items left along the side the road.
“Honey, it’s a coffee table. I can fix that leg and paint it pink, and you can put it in your room, for your HiFi.”
“Britney, what do you say to Grandma for the gift?”
Truly, your mother is the woman to be reckoned with!
Here is the Decima from Donald J. Pliner, the elegant thong sandal with the zip up back, and the cork heel for motherly comfort.
Manolo says, now is the time for the end of the season shoe bargains, for the example, there are many good deals available on the shoes of the Donald J. Pliner, such as the stiletto-heeled, ankle-strapped sandal, the Nenet, which is selling for nearly $170 off of the usual price, the savings of almost 50%!
These shoes have the grommety, rocker aesthetic that the Manolo finds most amusing, the look that would be the stylish counter-point to the platform-wearing crowd.]]>
I am in a quandary re. red shoes. I can find amazing evening ones, but not respectable daytime ones. I know red is hardly respectable, but it seems to give a nice jolt to a day outfit, if only one can find the right pair. Any thoughts or suggestions? Or should I just stick with red evening shoes? Thank you!
Since the Manolo does not know whether these hypothetical shoes of the daytime jolt are to be worn casually or professionally, the Manolo will make the three suggestions to cover the range of possibilities.
This is Petra from Donald J. Pliner, the wonderfully tomato red casual loafer of reputed comfort that would undoubtedly look good at the bottom of your legs, which could be wearing either the pants, the shorts, or the sporty skirt.
If the red shoes of the Pliner are too sportif, and not enough joltif, then perhaps these flame colored patent leather wedges, the Lacross from the Stuart Weitzman, would be more to your liking. Not only are they sufficiently attention gathering, but they are also on the sale, reduced more than $130 of American dollars.
Finally, if your intentions are to perhaps stun your officemates into the state of heightened alertness, the Manolo would recommend these peep-toe pumps from the Marc by Marc Jacobs (also currently on the sale) as being suitable for wearing to the place of employment.
Of the course, as everyone knows, red shoes have the complicated history of dangerousness. They have long been the symbol of excessive vanity and frivolity, and yet, they are also irresistible to those of us who have eyes to see.
The Red Shoes, one of the Manolo’s favorite movies.]]>
Manolo says, if you are looking for the bargain on the classic shoe that will quickly become the staple of your wardrobe, the Viana from Donald J. Pliner in black distressed metallic and pewter distressed metallic is on the sale, over $100 off of the regular price!]]>
I’m about to graduate with a masters degree in landscape architecture, and will shortly be going out to seek my fortune. To this point, I’ve not thought much about footwear, content to wear my wellies in almost all situations (I did put on real shoes for my sister’s wedding). Now, however, as I begin to think about job interviews I become somewhat nervous. What do you recommend to convey the exact right combination of professional seriousness, outdoorsy intellectualism, and artistic competency?
Manolo says, to the uninitiated, the landscape architects are merely glorified gardeners, but to those who know about such things, landscape architects are members of the ancient and useful fraternity, stretching back to God himself, who in one of his first recorded acts redirected the major water feature to produce the usable spot of dry land, where he subsequently planted the garden.
Of the course, less august landscape architects have more mundane concerns, such as how to convey the proper image through personal dress and style.
Like the traditional architect, the landscape architect must appear both professional and artistic, but with the additional burden of having to appear sufficiently in touch with nature, without resorting to bib overall and John Deere gimme caps.
The Manolo suggest expensive but comfortable, tailored suiting made from natural fibers in woodland browns and greens. Think Jedi Knights meet Robin Hood meets Prada.
Look! Here is Fanny from Donald J. Pliner, the mid-heel wedge with the rich walnut-colored leather that would look good indoors or out.
I’m taking my wife to New York for a romantic weekend. However, I’m have a devil of a time finding a pair of hip, downtown shoes in my size, which is sixteen. Please help.
Manolo says, at the least, the Manolo’s friend can take comfort that the size sixteen, while enormous, is not the biggest feets of which the Manolo has ever heard. Indeed, the Manolo had the acquaintance many years ago, who wore the size eighteen (which he covered most frequently in the red Converse All-Stars). And even this freakishly large size is still well below the extra freakishly large Shaquille O’Neal size twenty-threes.
It is the opinion of the Manolo that men with such majestic feet deserve nothing less than the finest custom made English shoes, although such luxurious feetwear are generally beyond the means of the average person.
In America, many big-feeted men and professional athletes (including Shaquille O’Neal) shop at the venerable Friedman’s Shoes in Atlanta which has specialized in extra big shoes since 1929. (If you cannot go to Atlanta you may visit their website at www.largefeet.com)
Likewise, there are other on-line shoe stores which carry the big sizes, including the always reliable Zappos.
Speaking of majestic shoes, here is the Rex from Donald Pliner. Wear them with blue-jeans and you will be the hippest big-footed man in all of the TribeSoNoLitaHo.
I came across your Ugg response to the mom. Can’t say I disagree more. I went to a recent award show where P. Diddy was honored (yes fab) He told this tear jerking story about how his mom worked 3 jobs to take care of her kids including caring for adults with cerebral palsy – getting only 3 hours of sleep a night. To think I had always judged Mama Combs so harshly for her red carpet fits which included cleavage and lots of fur. After hearing her story I say she can wear whatever she wants. Where do we get these silly ideas that women after a certain age can’t have fun anymore. Men continue to wear their silly shorts with their bony pale legs way into their sixties. Yet us girls must be age appropriate. I say ‘Mom” if you wanna wear some Uggs go for it, not with a mini skirt, but definitely with some non-mom jeans and a cute warm sweater. Hopefully you’re raising a great kid – so hey you deserve it.
30 year old Ugg wearer
The Manolo believes that just because one makes the bad fashion choices does not indicate that one is the bad person, indeed, there are beautifully tailored men and stylish women who are loathsome, just as there are kind, cheerful, and humane people dressed in outlandish or shabby costumes. One is not necessarily connected to the other.
The reason the Manolo singles out the Ugg boots usage among the older ladies is that such things send the wrong message (“Look at me! I’m trying desperately to be youthful!), and because it is the opportunity missed.
If you are the lady of the certain age, there are so many better things to put on your body. Indeed, it is more fun for the fully grown woman to get dressed up in something beautiful, surprising, flattering, and age-appropriate than it is to ape the childish and attention-getting fads of the teenagers. ( Tattoos of SpongeBob the Square Pants may be cute when you are 19 and stupid, but when you are 50, they are just sad.)
And so the Manolo objects to the Uggs because wearing them prevents one from dressing in better things, things that can indicate you are the person of sophistication, intelligence, and, yes, fun, such as this this, the Quinn from Donald J. Pliner