Manolo the Columnist: Perforated Straight Tip Oxford from Alden

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

Dear Manolo,

Last week, you answered a Valentine’s Day question from a woman who is giving the holiday another chance. I have a similar dilemma, from a slightly different perspective. I’m a 28-year-old man who’s found the love of his life, and who now wishes to propose matrimony on Valentine’s Day in a fairly traditional, get-down-on-one-knee sort of way. I’ve got a new gray suit, and I need a pair of new shoes. The question is, brown or black?

Tom

Manolo says, the Manolo applauds your willingness to stick with the most traditional and romanticest form of the proposal, rather than as has become depressingly common, taking your beloved to the Capitals hockey game, and during the second intermission having the Slapshot the Mascot skate out with the ring on his stick, while your visage appears on the Jumbotron, thirty feet tall, pledging eternal love to your deeply embarrassed girlfriend, whom you refer to repeatedly, in glorious amplification, by your own special, little love nickname, “Sugar Butt”.

Trust the Manolo, only the lunatic, or the Hollywood producer (but the Manolo repeats himself) would think that such the spectacular public proposal was the good idea. Better to take your lady friend to the romantically dim little place, where if things do not go well. and you are rejected, you may slink away largely unnoticed by the few diners who are present.

As for the shoes with the gray suit, the Manolo’s choice is brown, which if properly chosen can have the deeper, more luxurious color than the black. Here is the perforated straight tip oxford from Alden in the rich walnut brown color.

Perforated Toe Cap Oxford from Alden

The Face of Villainy

Manolo says, the English archeological nabobs have made the facial reconstruction of the newly found bones of the Richard the 3, and not surprisingly he has the very shifty eyes….

Richard III

Richard III, shown without the hump.

Here is the close-up of the artist’s reconstruction.

Lord Farquaad

Definitely not the Lord Farquaad

Manolo the Columnist: Chantel from Pour la Victoire

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

Dear Manolo,

Because of past experiences, which I shall not describe, I’ve come to hate Valentine’s Day. This year, however, I’ve got a new boyfriend who’s romantic enough to do right by the holiday. Can you please suggest some red shoes appropriate for the day?

Nicole

Manolo says, yes, it is true, Dia de San Valentine is one of the most dangerous days of the entire calendar, when the wild passions that bubble beneath the surface erupt in the geyser of candy hearts, red roses, and dime store lingerie.

Woe be to the man, says the Manolo, who ventures forth on that day, forward into the fray of love, armed with nothing but the box of the Russell Stover’s caramels and the risqué greeting card he has picked up at the Wal-Mart while buying the oil filter wrench, and signed, in block print, “Love ya.”

Such paltry tokens of ardor are insufficient to the task of soothing the savage breast of the ordinary American woman, who demands the more earnest evidence of ardor, such as the romantic dinner at the Red Lobster, or the gift certificate, denominated in the high two figures, to the Victoria’s Secret.

And woe to the woman, says the Manolo, who fails to understand that what the ordinary American man most desires on that auspicious day is that the festivities culminate in the most passionate embraces, after which he be allowed to peacefully roll over and subside into blissful slumber.

Look! Here is the Chantel the hot, sexy, hot passion red shoe from the Pour la Victoire/

Chantel from Pour la Victoire

Manolo the Columnist: Donna Italy 2 from Geox

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

Dear Manolo,

What would you recommend for a 32-year-old stay-at-home mother of three preschool boys who doesn’t want to be seen as old before her time? So far, I’ve managed to avoid the mom jeans with the running shoes, although I feel that most of the time my style choices take a back seat to the chaos of kid rearing. Please help me find something casual but smart.

Lisa

Manolo says, sadly it is true, the time races forward with the shocking alacrity. One minute you are floating through the college quadrangle without the care in the world, looking exactly like the more charming but slightly less goofy version of Zooey Deschanel, and the next—ayyyy!— you are the permanent custodian of the three little boys who, after fifteen minutes of contact, would cause the Super Nanny to lock herself into the downstairs bathroom, crying her eyes out and swigging from the jumbo bottle of vanilla extract.

And although this description seems like the horrible trade off, as if you have given up something valuable for something terrible, it does not in the least describe how you actually feel, which is as if the cosmos have handed you the most beautiful, joyous, precious gift (three gifts!) along with the pile of dirty diapers, the broken dishwasher, and the grotesquely overweight Golden Retriever with the shedding problem.

In the other words, life is to be lived as it comes, as the giant tangled mess of joy and work, grief and leisure, filled with beautiful shoes and rambunctious children.

Here is the Donna Italy 2 from the Geox in the hot momma red color that will dispel any rumors that you are not still “with it.”

Donna Italy 2  from Geox

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: Pamela from Via Spiga

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

Dear Manolo,

At the end of March, I’m going to Los Angeles to attend the wedding of my college roommate. The problem is, I’m an East Coast girl who’s not spent much time in Los Angeles and my roommate is a native Californian who now works in the film industry, so I’m not really sure how to dress for this. Please help.

Catherine

Manolo says, it is true the people of the California they are not like us!

They drive their four-hundred-thousand dollar Lamborghinis to the Ralph’s Supermarket, even though there is not enough luggage space in the car to carry the single gallon of free range, cruelty-free, fat-free organic soy milk back to their Richard Neutra-esque three-bedrooms located in the wildfire-prone landslide zones above Mulholland.

The Calfornians, they think it is normal to live in the places with names like Tarzana, Topanga, and Rancho Cucamonga, where there are hot dog stands that have their own paparazzi who, if you are wearing the designer sunglasses and looking especially hungover, will chase you down the street shouting “Lindsay! Lindsay! Lindsay!”

As for how to dress for the California wedding, the Manolo can offer no better advice than dress as you normally would for the wedding anywhere
else, as it probably does not matter. If it is the typical California ceremony some people will be there wearing the suits and the dresses, and
others will be in board shorts and the flip-flops thinking about surfing.

Here is the Pamela from Via Spiga, the smart t-strap platform sandal, in the anthracite black glitter, the exact sort of thing that the Californians might think pretty.

Pamela from Via Spiga

Manolo the Columnist: Giorgio Armani Two-Tone Wingtip Brogue

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

Dear Manolo,

What are the hot shoe trends for 2013?

Kelly

Manolo says, from what the Manolo has seen in the various spring shoe collections of the major designers, the hottest trends will be the outrageously tall 6 plus inch heels in the super hot colors, like puce and verdigris, made from the skins of exotic endangered animals such as the lesser tree sloth and the greater pangolin, shoes which will sell in the $4700 and up range.

The Manolo’s sources among the with-it crowd also say that mix and match will be all the rage, as super skinny ladies of mode will seek to wear different shoes on the different feets, perhaps the Jimmy Choo stiletto snakeskin sandal on the left foot, and the Louboutin embroidered satin flat on the right, or vice versa. Hobbling will briefly replace strutting on the catwalks of Paris and Bucharest, and pedestrian accidents will skyrocket in parts of lower Manhattan.

In late March, the widespread front of Swarovski crystal spikes will move into the tri-state area, causing panic buying among matronly women on the Upper East Side, who will pile into the Saks 10022 Shoe department to load up on the 9 inch Giuseppe Zanotti wedge heels in the metallic color known as “”samovar””.

By early April, crystal spikes on mis-matched shoes will be out, out, OUT! Ugh, how can you wear that, it is so last minute?

Manolo says, chasing fashion trends is out. Developing your own personal style that is timelessly you is the new black!

Here is the Giorgio Armani leather and patent, two-tone wingtip brogue, just because.

Giorgio Armani Two-Tone Brogue

Manolo the Columnist: Gira from Born

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

Dear Manolo,

Now that winter has officially arrived, I need a pair of comfy, handsome, tall winter boots that suitable for the conditions. Also, I should mention that I want something stylish enough to wear into work, if possible. Please help.

Cynthia

Manolo says, for the Manolo—who has all of the tolerance for the wintery weather you would expect of the person raised in the balmy Mediterranean—winter means the few days of wettish, coolish weather, followed by the hasty trip to Ibiza to recover.

Thus, it is foreign to the Manolo, this Midwestern idea that for several months each year you must daily bundle up like the Yukon Cornelius and go out into the frosty world to face the Abominable Snow Beast in the hand-to-the-hand combat, armed with nothing but the snow tires and the long-handled ice scraper.

Unfortunately, the Manolo’s friends from the great frozen north tell the Manolo that the only alternative to learning to like being out and about in the snow, is to languish inside your house, crouching by the fire, hoping that the cable television and booze supply do not go out, otherwise you will be quickly eyeballing the various members of your family like Jack Nicholson in the Shining.

Look! Here is the Gira from Born, the tall, shearling-lined boots that will keep your toes warm, while having giving you more than enough fashion snap in the worst conditions.

Gira Boot from Born

Merry Christmas!

A Merry Christmas Shoe

Manolo says,

Merry Christmas!

The Manolo wishes you the most super fantastic of holidays, warm and happy, with friends and family, good food and wonderful gifts!

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

Manolo the Columnist: Ivette from Jimmy Choo

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


Dear Manolo,

On the day after Christmas, my husband and I are going to Argentina for two weeks of tourism and fun. We want to go out dancing at night in Buenos Aires, but I’m worried because the Argentine women are so glamorous. Can you help me glam it up.

Carolyn

Manolo says, ayyy! How exciting to be going to the Manolo’s beloved Buenos Aires in the early summer!

Of the course, there will be no reason to worry about being insufficiently glamorous, as on the day after the Navidad, all of the most glamorous people of Argentina go to the Uruguay, to the place called Punte del Este, where they put on the tiny little bathing suits and strut around on the white sand beaches, and that is just the men!

Still, even though the high society leaves for elsewhere, there will more than enough places left in the city to dance away the night The Manolo strongly recommends the Bar Million, the combination art gallery-restaurant-bar -dance club in the opulent fin de’siècle French-style townhome in the center of the city as being the place to have the great deal of glamorous fun.

For the maximum effect the Manolo recommends the Ivette snake-print leather sandals from the Jimmy Choo 2013 Resort Collection as being the super fantastic shoe that will make the Argentine ricos goggle at your utter glamorosity.

choo-ivette

Manolo the Columnist: Jolie from Sam Edelman

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

Dear Manolo,

I will soon attend my granddaughter’s baptism. This church asks that women do not wear dresses above the knee, or trousers. I am short, and longer skirts make me look, well, grandmotherly, unless they are worn with heels. However, the ceremony is long, and the congregation stands for the whole thing, plus of course there is a party afterwards which will probably be too crowded for much sitting. Is there a flat shoe that says “although I am delighted to have a grandchild, and know how to dress appropriately for a religious occasion, nevertheless I am not too old to look superfantastic”?

Ruth

Manolo says, oh how often the Manolo wishes he were the wizard with the long beard and the conical hat with the stars embroidered upon it!

“Good Wizard Manolo,” the Manolo’s hobbity friends would say, “can you please do something to make our feets feel both comfortable and gorgeous while we are on the lengthy quest to observe our religious rites.”

To which the Grand Wizard Manolo would say, “No. The Manolo is only the mage, not the miracle worker. There are some things beyond the power of even magic.”

And then he would wave his wand over the pile of leather and silk causing them to magically turn into the glittery, six-inch-tall, Louboutainish platform sandals that could only be worn by the Elfish super models, who seem to glide along the forest in wispy-gauzy fabric shifts that show their sylph-like figures to good effect.

The non-wizard Manolo would say that if you have the shape for it, the elegant ankle-skimming skirt cut on the bias could look good with the romantic pretty flat such as the Jolie from the the Sam Edelman.

Jolie from Sam Edelman

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