Manolo says, here is the Manolo’s latest column for the Express of the Washington Post.
Thanks to the congressional schedule my annual vacation will be arriving shortly. This year, my husband and I are going on a cruise to the Bahamas. Please recommend a pair of fun sandals I can wear on board and on shore.
Manolo says, August in the District of the Columbia is the best of the times and the worst of the times. On the one of the hands, all of the congress-beings are going “home” for the month, giving the residents of the District the brief respite from the antics of the elected class. On the other of the hands, it is August in the DC, with all of the climatological misery that implies. Thus, if one is able, running away to the sea voyage is the reasonable response.
Leave behind the sweltering heat of the nation’s capital and exchange it for the sweltering heat of the Caribbean! There, on board your pleasure barge, you will be plied with mountains of shrimp and buckets of rum-based drinks. Daily, you shall enjoy the touristic sights ashore, where you will be given the opportunity to purchase your weight in tchotchkes made from such exotic materials as coconut shells and coral beads. And, at night on the lido deck, your cruise director will bully you into participating in various “fun” events, such as the limbo contest and the pirate song sing-a-long.
Here is the Natty from the Stuart Weitzman, the raffia and leather sandal that will serve the needs of the most discriminating sailor.
I’m expecting a baby in September and although I’m planning on quitting my job after the baby arrives, I’m still obligated to look nice when I go
into the office every day. The problem is that my feet are swelling up like balloons. Do you have any suggestions for a good-looking, low-heeled
business shoe that will be comfortable enough for a pregnant woman?
Manolo says, the Manolo has so much sympathy for the working ladies who are pregnant, those mighty Heroines of Fecundity who must suffer through
both the joys of child production and the woes of industrial production.
Often, while out strolling, the Manolo encounters these heavily gravid ladies struggling down the sidewalk through the summer heat toward their
places of employment. If only the Manolo could snap his fingers in the dramatic way, instantaneously producing the palanquin toted by the four
young Fabios, in which our pregnant ladies could then be carried to the office in luxury like the Cleopatra arriving in Rome.
But, sadly, the Manolo does not possess such super fantastic magical powers, and so all he can usually do is to suggest to these uncomfortable
ladies of pregnancy that they “take it easy, deary”, the same advice provided by generations of the elderly Jewish grandmothers.
As for the shoes, the Manolo thinks that what would be best is the classic loafer, such as this one, the Bobolink from the Stuart Weitzman, shown here in the “Milli Velour” finish, which is the sort of greeny color.
Holiday season is here again, and I STILL don’t have a good pair of shoes for those dressy parties. My feet are average size, but a bit flat. Worse, those super high, very fashionable, shoes are the worse for my knees. I would love a pair of stylish, even sexy, dress shoes that will be comfortable for the whole evening (and won’t leave me soaking my sore feet for days after the event). What do you think Manolo?
Manolo says, ayyyy! The holidays, they are upon us, like the hungry polar bear on the hapless baby seal! Hurry! Roll into the ball and protect your vital organs!
The Manolo sings:
It’s the most wonderful time of the year!
With the kids toy-full yelling,
And Nordstroms is selling red sweaters you jeer.
It’s the most wonderful time of the year.
Office parties for drinking,
And bosses for thinking,
Your career is ending, let’s go.
There’ll be sad hosting duties,
And credit card worries,
And fruitcake from long, long ago.
It’s the most wonderful time of the year!
There’ll be much sullen groaning
And turkey-full moaning
And eggnog from cartons you fear.
It’s the most wonderful time of the year!
Here is the Poco from the Stuart Weitzman the snazzy kitten heel in the color imaginatively called the “pyrite nocturn”, perfect for the elegant evening of seasonal “fun”.
After many re-heelings and much tender loving care, my favorite pair of super-practical, low-heeled, black leather ankle boots have finally given
up the ghost. These are boots I’ve worn a least once a week for almost a decade, so I’m pretty broken up. Can you please help me find a new pair?
Manolo says, oh, how well the Manolo knows the six stages of the shoe-loss grief–denial, anger, bargaining, depression, acceptance, and shopping–
however, it is the personal letters like this that bring home to us the tragedy of losing the dearly beloved one after the long slow decline.
It is not easy letting go and moving on, knowing that you will never again experience the pleasure of your dearest footwear friend.
And, yet, as the writer of the Ecclesiastics reminds us, “to every shoe there is the season … the time to wear, and the time to closet; the time
to keep, and the time to cast away.” The message is simple, when your shoe has reached the end, it is the mercy to let it go and ease its
passage out of your closet and into the recycling bin as painlessly and with as much dignity as is possible.
Do not worry, dear lady, undoubtedly your old boots would want you to be happy, would want you to find the new boots to cherish your feets.
Here are the Step from Stuart Weitzman the low-heeled boots that will perhaps ease the aching heart, especially as they are on the sale!
Can you please help me? I’m having a hard time deciding on my Halloween costume this year. It’s come down to a choice between Morticia Addams (with a very short skirt), a Sexy Librarian, or Sarah Palin. Which do you think would be the best? What sort of shoes should I wear with it?
Manolo says, the Manolo remembers when the Halloween was a holiday for only the little kids, who dressed up like the balleina, or the cowboy, or the Superman, and took delight in the seasonal joys of carving the pumpkins, eating the candy, and “scaring” the neighbors.
But then, sometime around the 1995, the Halloween metamorphosed into the fully adult holiday, in which the little kids are almost the after thought. Now it has become our annual Brazen Festival of Hoochie Unbound, the Dionysian bacchanal in which even the most matronly soccer mom must, for the single evening, put on the micro-mini dress and halter-top and become the Sexy Nurse, or the Sexy Pirate Lady, or the Sexy Eleanor Roosevelt.
The Manolo suggests, this year, tossing out the old, exhausted Sexy Something Halloween template, and going with the more creative costuming. Instead of tarting up the mundane, (such as the Sexy Meter Maid), try to de-tart something naturally alluring, such as the Unsexy Stripper, the Unsexy Scarlet Johansson, or the Unsexy Librarian (which, at this point, would be the radical departure from the new Halloween tradition.)
Here is the Park tall boot from the Stuart Weitzman, something that would look great under the full-length, tweed skirt that is the centerpiece of your Unsexy Victorian Trollop outfit.
I am only 44 but was recently diagnosed with arthritis in my knees and was told by my doctor NO high heels. Any time I cheat and wear even a low heel (2 inches) I end up in pain for three days, so I’m back to flats. This summer has been fine because I can get away with ballet flats, and I can wear riding boots with skirts in the winter, but when I need to look really professional for special meetings and presentations, I need to wear skirt suits, and a very professional-looking shoe. Can you help me find a flat, comfortable, but professional-looking shoe?
Manolo says, ayyyy! It is true, time is cruel!
One minute you are the 22-year-old hottie, who looks amazingly great dressed only in the ill-fitting burlap sack from the Sears, and the next you are twice that age and have just received the personal letters from both the Dolce and the Gabbana asking you to please, please, please stop wearing their clothing. (And, look! Stefano has even enclosed the check and the Talbots catalog!)
And this says nothing about the various infirmities and physical indignities that are brought by the process of aging. Indeed, the Manolo, who is the gentleman of the certain age, has his own trick knee, one which renders him unable to walk without the slight limp, or drink vin ordinaire.
Here is the Flatiron from the Stuart Weitzman, the smashingly smashing dress flat in the rich cognac anilie finsh that will leave the teeny boppers in their burlap dresses gaping with envy.
Wait, no, that’s a little too much Dylan Thomas for the first day back after a long weekend, but it’s as good a place as any to start. Like Dylan Thomas, I am a writer full of whisky and Welsh blood, though not in such high concentrations. Unlike Dylan Thomas, I am both alive and sober, though it’s not quite noon and I’ve yet to make plans for the day.
I’m Miss Plumcake, writer, editor and long-suffering troll starvation expert at Manolo for the Big Girl.
Lured by the siren songs of lithe footballers, cheap wine and easily-obtained pharmaceuticals, I left my newspaper job in Austin, Texas for the hidden beaches of Mexico where I reside in occasionally sunburned splendor with my dog and my boyfriend.
The Manolo, in his infinite kindness and unerring good taste, has invited me to post here twice a week, and I –not being half so dumb as I look– hastily accepted.
That leaves me with the problem of introducing myself.
I think most introductions are a mistake because they start too well.
If you start out with “This is Miss Plumcake, she won the Nobel Prize in Physics” (which I haven’t, although I did pack for two weeks in Ireland using nothing but my Birkin and a cream alligator overnight bag) the bar is set prohibitively high.
On the other hand, if you start out with “This is Miss Plumcake, she was dropped on her head repeatedly as a child” people will be impressed and amazed at my ability to tie my shoes and conjugate verbs. Everybody wins.
With that in mind, here is an extremely abbreviated history of my questionable decisions:
(the oddly-named Stuart Weitzman “Geek” available for almost 40% off)]]>
Manolo says, yes, perhaps you are not, at the moment, the bride, but perhaps you know the bride to be, or are the mother of the bride to be, or the bridesmaid to be, or whatever, these two dyeable satin sandals from the Stuart Weitzman, the LouLou and the Hiturn, are the bargains almost too good to pass up. 90% off the regular price, only $29.99!]]>
Manolo says, it is summer! Do something fun, like wearing these lighthearted sandals, the Cordy from the Stuart Weitzman, while strolling this evening down by the waterfront with that young swain you met at the farmers market.]]>
Manolo says, among the many arcane divisions, factions, schismatics, and denominations which make up the Religion of the Shoe are those exuberant charismatics who are devoted to the tassel. They are known colloquially as the Tasselites, and for them this sandal would likely be considered the sacrament.
For you, who may be more ambivalent about the tassellation, or whose devotion may be directed elsewhere, this sandal from the Stuart Weitzman would be the perfect sort of fabulously fun shoe with which to welcome the first weekend of spring.]]>