It’s Tuesday, time to find out What Miss Plumcake is…
Manolo says, here are the few amusing things…
Bell Polisher = A young man addicted to lingering in the vestibule at 1 a.m.
They concern themselves entirely too much with making a huge splash, and not enough about the feelings of the person they wish to propose marriage to.
Women with larger busts and long or short torsos may find that high waistlines emphasize these features. Some will love that, some will hate it, some will be neutral …
Manolo says, here is the Manolo’s latest column for the Express of the Washington Post.
I think I need a pair of new booties to go with my pink skinny jeans. What do you recommend?
Manolo says, yes, it is true, colorful panting— pink, green, yellow, red— is all the rage among the hipsters, fashionistas, and style setters. In fact the trend is so ubiquitous, that it is probably actually out, and we have just not gotten the news yet.
But such is always the way when one chases to the trends, no?
One minute, everyone in the world is laying down on their beds desperately trying to squeeze into the Gloria Vanderbilt, super-slim-fit designer disco jeans, and the next it is all “Come on Eileen”, and now you have to go down to the hardware store and buy the overalls and bandanas so as to achieve that sexy-retro-junky-hobo-gamine look that was so popular in the summer of 1983. But as soon as you button up your Big Smith’s and started to look for someone to teach you to play the penny whistle, it was time for the “Girls Just Wanted to Have Fun”, and, well frankly, that whole Lauper-based period is best forgotten. (Your hair has only recently recovered from what you did to it then.)
Manolo says, fashion is overrated. Style is underrated. Be your own style icon!
Look! Here is the York bootie from Michael by Michael Kors, the platform ankle bootie that is trendy-hot in the purple (which the Manolo loves) and more timeless in the conservative black version.
In the spirit of full disclosure, the Venn Diagram of “People Who Think Spangled and Be-Caped Polyester Jumpsuits Are a Good Idea” and “People from Whom Miss Plumcake Takes Sartorial Advice” does not see a great deal of overlapping.
Still, as both Elvis and Carl Perkins –the artist responsible for writing the seminal rockabilly classic– know, there’s just something about a good pair of suede shoes.
Blue is fine if a little expected, but greens from dusky olive to deep viridian are having a major moment this fall. Plus, green suede ages better blue does, where a bit of dirt and scuffing add to the character.
A little Annie Hall, a little Jules et Jim, these immaculate oxfords from Gravati (seriously, look at the soles, they are works of art) are the exact sort of shoe you didn’t know you needed until you find yourself wearing them for thirty years. Style it with rolled up jeans and a bateau-neck top for the kooky naif look, or go elegant with wide tailored trousers and a mercilessly chic cashmere sweater to channel Marlene Dietrich at her deadliest.
The iconic Alexander McQueen skull pump rarely goes on sale and this iteration is among the more elegant (the shark, I’m afraid, was jumped a good while ago with some of the late designer’s other iconic designs. See also, Marc Jacobs’ mouse shoe). Sizing is extremely limited, but if it fits your foot, you can get a signature shoe for over 50% off.
For something just as sexy but a little more sly, Robert Clergerie’s curvaceous Quatro in Basil is a lovely sample of a desk-to-dinner heel. The t-strap makes it perfect for dancing. In my experience, Clergerie cuts on a narrow last –it’s truth universally acknowledged that French women have skinny little banana feet– so size accordingly.
What do you wear to transition summer’s favorite maxi dresses into fall? A summer cut in an autumnal fabrication. The wallet-friendly Primrose from Seychelles fits the bill perfectly with a strong design element at the vamp that ascends higher up the throatline for a slightly less summery look. Even better, they’re on sale for 25% off.
Finally, I know people avoid suede because of the staining. I wouldn’t.
With use, suede develops a patina every bit as elegant as the crumpled lines of a linen pant. Buy them in neutrals and do your best to keep them away from oils –basically don’t fry chicken or perform automotive maintenance in them– and you’ll be good to go.
Oh, and as for maintenance: Ignore pretty much everything you’ve read on the internet on how to clean suede and listen to the advice from London custom shoemakers James Taylor and Son. They’ve been making bespoke footwear since 1857 and wouldn’t steer you wrong.
To begin at the beginning.
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:
- I wore Wet n’ Wild screaming purple lipstick all through 8th grade. Mrs Cheeseman told me it didn’t go with my complexion. Mrs Cheeseman also made us wrap masking tape around our fingers and pick lint off her skirt, so it’s not like her judgement was flawless either.
- I was much older than I’d like to admit before I realized my first crush –that freckled cartoon Norwegian from A-Ha’s Take On Me video– would probably not come to fruition. See Also: getting to marry Axl Rose in a mullet wedding gown a la Stephanie Seymour (filed under Bullet, Dodged)
- I not only bought, but unironically wore a gold lamé toreador outfit, complete with black satin stretch capris and bugle beads. The nineties were a dark time. A dark, dark, glittery time.
- I accidentally set the oldest Episcopal church west of the Mississippi on fire ten days before Christmas (it’s okay now.)
- I just bought a pair of white shoes…AFTER Labor Day
(the oddly-named Stuart Weitzman “Geek” available for almost 40% off)
Manolo says, here is the Manolo’s latest column for the Express of the Washington Post.
My fifteenth high school reunion is only five weeks away, which gives me just enough time to totally make myself over. Or, maybe not. I’m thinking that instead of doing all that work, I should just get some really great shoes. Please advise.
Manolo says, ayyyy! The Manolo likes the way you are thinking. Obviously, you are the long time reader of the Manolo.
Normally, the most common thing to do when the Day of Labor arrives, and the high school reunion season approaches, is to start the lemon-water-cabbage-soup-watermelon starvation diet. Followed closely by calls to the beautician, the aesthetician, the dietician, and the botox doctor.
One needs to do these things so as to overcome the trauma of the high school by showing up of the mean cheerleader girls who dated the quarterbacks and ruled the lunchroom from their Mordor-like table in the center.
But, unless you have magically become Cindy Crawford in the years intervening since graduation, this sort of thing rarely works. You are still you, and they are still them, just older, perhaps wiser, and maybe more centered and contented, and the world spins on, your high school days ever receding into the distant past.
Better, says the Manolo, to fix yourself up within reason, put on the beautiful shoes and enjoy the evening. You will be surprised and delighted by what has happed to many of your classmates.
Look! Stunningly beautiful shoes! The Lancer crystal-embellished suede sandals from Jimmy Choo!
Manolo says, here are the few things which will entertain…
In addition to liking the sturdy construction of these shoes, Mr. Laurie said he was delighted that they do not set off metal detectors …
[N]obody seems to give two hoots about “proper” hair color any more.
Who could resist temptation like this?
Manolo says, all of the smart, stylish, and very wearable Marni sandals shown below are selling at the 60% off of the regular price!
Marni leather t-strap sandals, 60% off!
Marni canvas and leather, t-strap sandals, 60% off!
Marni canvas, chain-embellished sandals, 60% off.
Marni canvas and leather, chain embellished sandals, 60% off!
Yes, it is the end of the summer, and so the season for the sandals is near the end, but the Manolo asks, will the summer not come again? And when it does, will you not be glad that you were wise enough to have stocked up on handsome sandals made in Italy for beautiful Italian ladies of great stylishness?
It is the good deal, and there are many more styles the Manolo has not shown you, and at 60% off the regular price they will be hard to resist.