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Manolo the Columnist: Dazzling from Bernardo

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


Dear Manolo,

In August I am going to a three-day training workshop in Philadelphia that will be attended and taught by senior people in my field from around the country. The dress code, according the information packet, is supposed to be “casual, shorts, sneakers and sandals are appropriate.” Can you please help me interpret this?

Monica

Manolo says, the Admiral Manolo, standing on the bridge of his imaginary star cruiser shouts, “It is the trap!”

It is the well-known fact that the “casual business attire” is never casual, nor very good for doing the business. What it is very good for, however, is proving that you are someone whom one can do the business with later, after the casual thing has ended

For the example, if you were to take this admonition to casualness at its face value, and showed up at the opening breakfast breakout session wearing the dirty running shoes and the tighty bicycle shorts, rocking your favorite, faded “Actuaries Probably Do It” novelty t-shirt, it is unlikely you will be considered the serious person.

This is why the Manolo usually recommends the modified preppy-wear for the important out-of-the-office outings. One rarely goes wrong with khaki and cotton tattersalls, as long as the Prep-o-Meter is not turned up too high (which the Manolo defines as asking other people to refer to you as “Muffy”.)

If you wish to wear the sandals, the Manolo recommends the Bernardos, which were good enough for the Jackie O, and thus good enough for anywhere. Here is the Dazzling, the aptly-name classic strappy sandal from Bernardo.

Dazzling Sandal from Bernardo

Manolo the Columnist: Zuriel from Pedro Garcia

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


Dear Manolo,

I took my summer vacation in June, and now that the Fourth of July has come and gone, I realize that I’ve got nothing to look forward to until Labor Day. Can you recommend some fun sandals to get me through the dog days of summer in DC?

Natalie

Manolo says, it is summer in the District of the Columbia, and you are now paying for all of those glorious spring days filled with the cherry blossoms and the beautiful, clement weather.

As the temperature rises and the humidity soars towards the one hundred percent, the days become unbearably long and the tempers fray. It is like living in the sauna except you are not allowed to go about naked unless you are one of the crazy peoples who lives in the Metro stations. Instead, since you cannot shed your clothing, you must shed your dignity by scurrying like the cockroach from the air conditioned apartment to the air conditioned car to the air conditioned office, and back again in the afternoon.

Happily, there is the consolation, which is that after the first of July the summery shoes begin to go on the sale, and we may find many bargains that will lesson our suffering.

For the example, here is the neon pink Pedro Garcia flat sandal called the Zuriel that is both wonderfully fun and selling for $200 off the usual price at the Zappos. Similar deals may be found this time of the year at other online shoe stores. Go look for them!

Zuriel from Pedro Garcia

Manolo the Columnist: Kork-Ease Ava

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

Dear Manolo:

Recent events in Bangladesh have me upset. I don’t want to buy shoes made in China anymore! But are any cute shoes for work made in the US — or somewhere else where a child isn’t sewing them — anymore? This may be your greatest challenge yet, but I don’t want to turn to making my own shoes from fair-trade coffee beans or something.

Nell

Manolo says, it is true that we live in the world of the wonders, where the long distance trade fills our shops with things from the faraway lands.

Unfortunately, we know little (and perhaps wish to know even less) about the sometimes deplorable conditions under which the peoples who produce these goods labor, even as we must always remember that the inexpensiveness of the items we purchase does not absolve us of our moral duties.

Just because the thing is cheap and stylish and you wish to own it does not mean you should always buy it. Your responsibilities to others extend beyond the limits of your closet and your pocketbook.

What then is to be done? Firstly, we must buy only from those producers whom we know to be ethical. Secondly, we must work to expand the number of ethical producers worldwide.

The poor Bangledeshi ladies who make the inexpensive shifts deserve to work for reasonable wages under safe conditions. If such conditions can be achieved, then it would be fine to purchase the goods made there.

In the meantime, you may safely enjoy the retro-fun of the Kork-Ease Ava in brown, shoes that have been made in the U.S. of the A. since the 1953.

Kork-Ease Ava

Manolo the Columnist: Alto Disco from Clark

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

Dear Manolo,

I have a shoe dilemma. Our family is traveling to Disney World this summer and I have absolutely no idea what shoes to wear. I like to wear summer dresses with cute sandals but I do not think any of my current sandals will survive days walking around the parks and will stay on my feet while I go on roller coasters with my little nephews. I need a stylish, incredibly comfortable pair of sandals?

DeeDee

Manolo says, Ayyyy! The Manolo loves the Disney World Land, with the giant walking mice, and the spinning tea cups, and the various and sundry princesses in their wigs and evening makeup! Indeed, who could not love this place where the little children are treated like royalty, and the adults are happy to pay for it?

The Monolo has compiled some of the little known statistics about the average family visit to the Disney World Land. During the one day visit, alone, the average family can expect to walk 17.1 miles, wait in the line 294 minutes (88% of which will be for the Space Mountain), and spend $3249.27 on souvenirs featuring the anthropomorphic animals and talking teapots. Tiring and expensive, no? But it is all worth it, no, to see the smiles on the faces of the Disney Corporation shareholders.

Here is the Alto Disco from the Clarks, the sort of deceptively plain, super comfortable walking sandal that actually looks great once it is on your feets. The Manolo likes the navy blue, but it is also available in beige, teal, white, and black.

Clarks Alto Disco

Manolo the Columnist: Salinas from Aerin

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

Dear Manolo,

My husband owns a small company with 25 mostly blue-collar employees. Every year we host a company picnic at a local park, complete with hotdogs, hamburgers, potato salad and assorted games for the kids. I usually wear a summery sundress, but this year I’m having trouble picking out a pair of sandals. Please help.

Marissa

Manolo says, the annual company picnic is, together with the company Christmas party, one of the most dangerous events on the corporate calendar. There are so many things that can go wrong at the company picnic, such as injury, permanent humiliation, intestinal distress, and the long-term unemployment.

Happily, as the boss’s wife you cannot be fired in the usual way. Unhappily, you will instead be the sort of grande dame, required to arrange for and preside graciously over the festivities. If everything goes well, your husband, who will spend the picnic handing out beers, telling jokes, and slapping backs in his role as Lord Bountiful, will get all of the credit. But, if the burgers are undercooked, the potato salad over warm, the sack race disorganized, or even if the rain comes, you will bear the blame for it.

Worse, you will have to do all this while looking better, but not too much better, than all of the other women present.

Here is the Salinas from Aerin, the simple, flat sandal with neon red patent leather trim that will be perfectly appropriate for your boss’s wifely duty.

salinas-aerin

Manolo the Columnist: Gale from Sam Edelman

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

Dear Manolo,

I love your shoe recommendations, but unfortunately, I’m just a poor working girl who struggles each month to get by. Can you recommend a pair of summery sandals for me that won’t cost and arm and a leg?

Christina

Manolo says, as always the Manolo recommends saving your monies and buying the high-quality super fantastic shoes, because nothing provides as much pleasure as wearing the beautiful, well-made shoes that fit properly and last the long time.

Still, at the same time, the Manolo knows what it is like to be poor, indeed so poor that you must fashion your own super fantastic summer sandals out of the moldy corks and castoff foil you have scavenged from behind that trendy wine bar next to the yoga pants store.

And so, because of this, the Manolo has much sympathy for the poor working girls that live in the 400-square-feets studio apartments where the oven of the two-burner stove must also serve as the dirty laundry hamper. (Remember the time you pre-heated your camisoles and that hunky fireman who showed up and laughed at you? Sadly, it not the good kind of “ho, ho, ho, you are so cute and ditzy” laughter, but the “ha, ha, ha, wait til I tell the guys at the station about this” jeering sort of laughter.)

Here is the Gale from Sam Edelman, the kicky thong sandal with the beaded accents that will be perfect for your summer wearing needs. And look, it is on the sale, less than $60!

Gale from Sam Edelman

Manolo the Columnist: Eleni from Pour la Victoire

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


Dear Manolo,

For the past month, my husband has been in California working on a business project in Silicon Valley. At the end of next week, I’ll be joining him for a week long vacation in San Francisco and Napa Valley. I’m not really sure what to wear. Please help.

Monica

Manolo says, for the Manolo, who is of the certain age, whenever someone says they are going to San Francisco, the Manolo thinks “be sure to wear some flowers in the hair.”

But then the Manolo remembers that putting the flowers in the hair to go to the San Francisco is like dancing the Lindy Hop, or wearing the coonskin cap to watch the Sunday night television programming; the artifact of the distant past, poorly remembered, and perhaps better forgotten. (Ayyyy! The Manolo just looked it up!, That song came out 46 years ago this week, in 1967, when the earth was still young and nubile. )

Now the days, when one thinks of San Francisco, one is more likely to think of the unpleasant, shallow-chested billionaires–the plague of the modern era–who believe they should rule the world from the front seat of their all-electric Google cars.

If you are going to Silicon Valley

Be sure to vest some options in your stock.

If you are going to Silicon Valley

You’re going to meet some awful people there.

Undoubtedly, you will want to wear the sandals on your feets. Here is the Eleni from Pour la Victoire, which will be sufficiently and defiantly bohemian.

Eleni from Pour la Victoire

Manolo the Columnist: Stacked-Heel Sandals from Marni

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


Dear Manolo,

With Mother’s Day coming up I want to buy my mom (think Barbara Streisand without the singing or acting talent) a new pair of shoes. The problem is that she still insists on wearing super high-heeled shoes even though she complains incessantly about her feet and back. I’m hoping that the news that low-heeled shoes are trendy can persuade her to change her ways.

Krista

Manolo says, when the daughters write to the Manolo it is usually because they wish to de-frumpify their mamas, as in, “Manolo, please help me, my mother is dressing like the progressive nun, in the polyester pantsuits and Birkenstocks. How can I get her to look more stylish and hip, maybe like Vivian Westwood, but more dramaticy?”

To which the Manolo can only reply, “wait until the funeral.”

In this case, however, the Manolo can wholeheartedly recommend that your mother adopt the chunky-heeled shoes, which as the Krista has noted are au courant on the feets of the super models on the runways.

Here is the silvery, stacked-heel, gladiator slingback sandal from the Marni, exactly the sort of shoe that the lady who wishes to command favorable attention will wear. And, look! They are extra fashion forward, and comfortable for the ladies of the certain age! Mirable dictu, the stars they are aligned!

Slingback Sandals from Marni

Manolo the Columnist: Metallic Flower Sandals from Miu Miu

Dear Manolo,

Now that the first day of spring has arrived, I find that I need a new pair of sandals suitable to the season. I would describe my style as understated and classic, but this year I’m feeling a powerful need for something a little more colorful than usual. Please help.

Marci

Manolo says, the spring, it has sprung! Finally has arrived is the most glorious time of the year, when the Mother Nature shakes off the gloomy gloaming of winter, hitches up her skirts and gets to work painting the countryside in the riotous shades of green and gold, accenting the fields with flowers and the trees with singing birds.

How can one not be in love with this vernal season, when life returns to the Earth, bringing with it the hope for better days and warmer weather?

It is only natural that we should wish to respond favorably to this bounteous love offering by choosing to wear colorful clothing and beautiful shoes. How better to honor our fabulous good fortune, and the Divine Providence that has provided it, than by expressing our joy in as many ways as possible, with the smiles and kind words, the cheerful mien, and the beautiful happy clothing? Our outward appearance should be the reflection of the happiness that resides within, so that others my share in the mood of the season.

Here is the glittery, jeweled flower metallic sandals from Miu Miu, the perfectly gorgeous sandals for the perfectly gorgeous time of the year.

Miu Miu Metallic Sandal

Manolo the Columnist: Expressed from Naughty Sandals

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

Dear Manolo,

From the depths of Snowmageddon 2013, I implore you to show me some fun, sunny, light-hearted shoes to make me feel better. I want to see shoes that will reassure me that the weather will soon get warmer, and that spring will arrive on time. Please help!

Jessica

Manolo says, ayyyyy! It is always like this in the Washington, D.C. when the biggest snowstorm of the year finally arrives, and the city is plunged into chaos and despair.

As some wag once said many centuries ago, D.C. is the city of Southern efficiency and Northern charm, the statement that is never more true than during the snow emergencies, when the mere four inches of white flakes turns the entire town into the sort of dangerous, post-apocalyptic, Ice Age wasteland.

Not only do all ordinary services cease, but those few pedestrians who are brave enough to venture forth from their poorly-heated caves are continually in danger of being crushed to death by the mammoth SUVs that
are skidding off the unplowed street with shocking regularity.

Happily, joyously, it is already March, and the spring, which is by far the best time of the year to be in Washington, is just around the corner, and we will soon be freed from our dreary cold weather wear, and will once
again walk in the sunshine.

Here is the Expressed from Naughty Monkey, the fun, light-weight, spring sandal that will make you think that everything is proceeding according to divine plan. The Manolo is especially fond of the chocolate colored shoes.

Naughty Monkey Expressed Sandals

Manolo the Columnist: Pebbled Metallic Sandals from Jimmy Choo

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

Dear Manolo,

As you know, next week is a big deal here in D.C., for me especially because I’m on the organizing committee for one of the inaugural balls, and will thus need to look my best for the big event. I’ve already got the gown, in a deep sapphire blue, and now I need the shoes. Please help.

Margot

Manolo says, ayyyy! How exciting it is every four years at the Inauguration Day, when the entire city of Washington is transformed into the magical, make-believe fairyland of limousines and ball gowns, when every minor bureaucrat will be briefly made-over into the Cinderella and the Prince Charming.

One minute you the Assistant to the Assistant Deputy Undersecretary of the Department of Homeland Phrenology, and the next you are Belle from the Beauty and the Beast, dancing the lively foxtrot with the man in the tuxedo who tomorrow will go back to being the person at the Internal Revenue Service who sets the depreciation schedule for the mechanized manure spreaders used by dairy farmers.

Ayyy! It is so romantic!

Of the course, this quadrennial day of celebration will be especially festive because the President was reelected, which means that at the stroke of midnight on January 22nd, none of the political appointees will be looking for new job!

Here is the strappy sandal with the pebbled leather finish from the Jimmy Choo, the perfect shoes for the celebratory festivities of democracy.

Jimmy Choo Pebbled Metallic Sandal

Manolo the Columnist: Aksaya Sandal from Schutz

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

Dear Manolo,

It has been a very tough year for me here in Suburbia, so I really want to celebrate its end. So, can you recommend some shoes for a New Year’s Eve black tie gala in the city, complete with dinner and dancing?

Patricia

Manolo says, as is always the case, the last few weeks of the year are filled to the bursting with events, which require substantial preparation and attention, such as the Christmas, and the Eve of the New Year, and the Mayan Calendar Apocalypse.

One minute you are trimming the Chrismakwanzakah tree and taking your little black dress to the seamstress for adjustments, worrying about which shoes are in fashion, and the next you are stocking up on the Meals Ready to Eat and filling sandbags so as to fortify your basement against the fiery arrival of Quetzalcoatl and his Army of the Undead.

But, then the life of the suburban housewife has never been easy, has it?

Happily, the gigantic party at the very end of the year makes up for the various indignities you have suffered over the course of that year, such as the bald spots in your lawn, and the rust spots on your minivans, and the way your seven year old’s violin practice makes you want to call the meteorite down upon the head of the person who wrote the “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star”.

Here is the Aksaya Sandal from the Shutz, perfect for the celebratory boogying.

Schutz Aksaya Sandal

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