Diane von Furstenberg for the Spring

Manolo says, it is wet and gloomy today where the Manolo is, but that has not stopped him from thinking about the imminent arrival of the spring. Soon, soon, soon, the weather will break and we will be plunged into the most clement of all seasons, when the birds bloom and the flowers sing, when the young lady’s fancy turns to thoughts of shoes!

Here are three shoes from the Diane von Furstenberg which will help you usher in the new season.

Klee from Diane von Furstenberg

If you are especially brave, maybe you will break out the shorts, in which case you will need the The Klee, the fun toe-ring flat sandal perfect for helping you shiver through until the real spring arrives.

Opal from Diane von Furstenberg

Although, maybe your desire to to show off your wintery legs to good advantage is not as absolute as you first thought, or, perhaps you want to distract viewers downward, away from your holiday remnant thighs, either way the Opal is the sort of snazzy-juicy platform that would look super-fantastic on the first day of the new season.

Botswana from Diane von Furstenberg

Maybe, on careful reconsideration, your legs would be better covered with the seasonalish capri pants, in which case The Botswana, available in eight safari-themed finishes.


Manolo the Columnist: Vivian from Kors by Michael Kors

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

Dear Manolo,

At the end of the month, I’m taking a series of exams, the final portion being an hour long oral defense of what I wrote in the written exam concerning marriage in Rome, Latin poetry, necromancy, magic and the Goddess Hecate; (in multiple essays, not just one). It’s very frightening, as I am just a shy and lowly undergraduate. I want to WOW my professors in the orals, but I need the confidence that can only be gotten from fabulous shoes (on a budget though, I am a college student). Do you have any suggestions?


Manolo says, on the one of the hands, what else would one wear to take the exams about the world of Rome than the handsome pair of the gladiator sandals?

But, on the other of the hands, that would be too obvious, would it not?

And yet, on the third of the hands, the professors who are doing the examing are probably the Romanophiles, and so would certainly be amused by your choice of the feetwear.

Although, on the four of the hands, probably not.

Still, on the fifth of the hands, the sandals of the gladiator sandals are comfortable, yes?

Besides, on the sixth of the hands, it is February, and cold and wet, even in Rome itself.

Ultimately, on the seventh of the hands, you must project the aspect of confident seriousness, not frivolity, and so the Manolo recommends the Vivian from the Kors by Michael Kors, in the Taupe Kid Suede (also available in 11 other finishes.) Not exactly Roman, but when in Academia one must do as the Academians do.

Vivian from Kors by Michael Kors

Alexandre Birman Strappy Denim Wedges for the Monday

Manolo says, it is Monday and is it just the Manolo, or has the entire world gone cuckoo nuttybar crazy?

Look! Beautiful and interesting shoes…

Alexandre Birman Strappy Denim Wedges

These strappy denim wedge sandals from the Alexandre Birman are the sort of shoe that you would perhaps at first scorn, thinking to yourself, “Denim? Where would I wear these,”

Only months later, while sitting at your desk daydreaming about things more personally consequential than your job, you would realize that they were the most popular shoes in your closet, capable of being worn more things than you could ever have imagined.


Manolo the Columnist: Just A Little Knotty from Lilly Pulitzer

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

Dear Manolo,

Labor Day is this weekend, and I’m confused about the rule that prohibits the wearing of white after that date. Where does it come from and why should I pay attention to it?


Manolo says, it has been two or more years since anyone has asked the Manolo about the white shoes and the Day of Labor, the fact which the Manolo takes as evidence of the final death throes of this old rule.

Its origin lies in the ancient history of Edwardian America, when lightweight suits, hats and shoes in light colors became the preferred summertime clothing of the rich and leisured. When the summers ended, these comparatively casual clothings were put away and the sobriety of black and brown were resumed.

To have several suits of seasonal clothing, when the working people made do with the same clothing year round, was considered the mark of refinement, hence it became the rule to which the socially elevated and those who aspired to that status, rigorously adhered. White in summer, black and brown the rest of the year.

Now, of the course, we live in the vastly more crass and materialistic culture, and clothing is cheap, and cheaply made. And the rich and famous are distinguished not by their sartorial refinement, but by the outrageousness of their televised antics.

And so the Manolo’s rule is now wear what you desire, as long as it is refined, well-made and appropriate to you and the occasion.

Here is the Just The Little Knotty Wedge from Lilly Pulitzer, not exactly white, but still the fun and flirty post-Day of Labor rule breaker.

Manolo the Columnist: Willie from Diane von Furstenberg

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

Dear Manolo,

This summer I will be on a faculty fellowship at an Ivy League university, where an ambitious film actor is also pursuing one of his 11-or-so literary PhDs. What kind of footwear can I wear with my floaty dresses that will at once announce “serious academic” to my colleagues as well as “important ingenue” in case the actor’s looking for a fresh co-star?


Manolo says, to paraphrase the immortal Dorothy Parker: seldom cast as actresses, are the girls who wear glasseses.

Despite the unusual circumstances involving the pretty boy actor and the Ivy League fellowship, this is the variation of the old conundrum: how does the smarty-smart girl attract the admiring male gaze without feeling, self-consciously, that she is the gender-traitor for conforming to the traditional, heteronormative, patriarchal orthodoxy.

Although, the modern world, being infinitely more complicated than the 1980’s music videos, offers further difficulties that the acerbic Ms. Parker could never have imagined.

Or, to paraphrase the Thomas Dolby, “Good Heavens, Miss Sakamoto! You’ve filed harassment charges against me for noticing that you’re beautiful!”

Which is why the pretty boy actors tend to date the pretty girl actresses, because such academy-specific complications do not enter into the mathematics of Hollywood romance.

But, it never hurts to give it the old college try. Here is the Willie from Diane von Furstenberg, the sharp-looking wedge heel sandal with enough intellectual interest to maintain ones credibility in the faculty lounge.

Willie from Diane von Furstenberg


Lilly Pulitzer Knotty Wedge for the Thursday

Just a Little Knotty Wedge from Lilly PulitzerJust a Little Knotty Wedge from Lilly Pulitzer

Manolo says, the Manolo is feeling especially in the pink today, and so what better way to express this happiness than with something fun and flirty and especially joyful, like these wedge sandals from the Lilly Pulitzer, the Just the Little Knotty Wedge.

Perfect for your Saturday outing to the yacht club for lazy late brunch!


New Elie Tahari Wedges for the Spring

Manolo says, earlier today, while the Manolo was sitting in his usual cafe, enjoying the kir royale and the most beautiful spring afternoon, he could not but help notice two young women nearby who were wearing the shorty skirts and the Uggs.

“Please,” bethought the Manolo, “you are both 27. You should not be dressing as if you were waiting for the Justin Beiber tickets. And it is spring, which is not the season for the Uggs!”

“So, Mr. Dandified Smartypants,” retorted the girls in the mind of the Manolo, “what should we be wearing?”

“Beautiful spring wedges from the Elie Tahari!”

Robin Wedge from Elie Tahari

The Robin Wedge.

Wedge from Elie Tahari

The Rita Wedge.

Alicia Wedge from Elie Tahari

The Alicia Wedge


Manolo the Columnist: Lilly Wedge from Lilly Pulitzer

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

Dear Manolo,

I make my living as a wedding photographer. I would characterize my style as less traditional and more journalistic, which means I try to blend in somewhat with the guests, and move around a lot. When the weather warms up, I’ll be doing a lot of outdoor wedding on lawns and cobblestones, so I’d like a find a good wedge heel shoe, but one that looks classy and would go with my usual outfit, a silk shantung pantsuit. Please help.


Manolo says, the wedding photographer is one of the most difficult of all creative occupations.

On the one of the hands, if you do the job well, you will be praised for properly memorializing one of happiest days in the life of the family. Your work will sit on the mantelpieces and pianos of parents, siblings, and future children for generations to come.

On the other of the hands, if you fail, you will be reviled as one of the great villains of history, alongside the Ghengis Khan, John Wilkes Booth, and the man who invented the 1040A form.

You will be blamed for marriages that go bad, and your failure to photoshop away the mustache and double-chin of the bride, or your picture of Uncle Leo plumber’s crack will be cited in divorce documents and become legend among the members of extended families. Which is why it is important to always ask for the big deposit up front.

Here is Lilly Wedge from the Lilly Pulitzer, the simple, elegant wedge heel sandal available in silver or gold.

Lilly Wedge from Lilly Pulitzer


Fancy Wedge Heels, Take Two

Manolo says, the Manolo has bungled the answer to the question about the fancy wedge shoes for the outdoor party.

But, the internet friends of the Manolo proved ready and able to gently correct the Manolo’s error by providing the much better solutions to the problem.

The Manolo’s friend Vizia suggests the following.

Also–Pour La Victoire Evening/Bridal has dressy wedges. I’ve never bought or worn any, but my niece is considering the brand for her wedding, ie….http://www.zappos.com/pour-la-victoire-bridal-and-evening-cordelia-black-satin

Pour La Victoire Cordelia Wedge

This is the marvelous alternative!

In the second comment the Manolo’s friend Laura friend further develops the theme with more of the good suggestions.

I was just about to post the Pour La Victoire shoes! There are also these http://www.zappos.com/pour-la-victoire-bridal-and-evening-enya-black-satin and these http://www.zappos.com/pour-la-victoire-bridal-and-evening-divia-black-satin?zlfid=111. The Kate Spade shoes are pretty, but I’d be concerned that the stiletto-diameter heel tip would go around making potholes. All of the PLVs appear to have a slightly thicker wedge while still remaining very elegant and cocktail/evening appropriate.

Though, if I were the LW, I’d take a cue from the baseball-stadium venue that the “cocktail/evening” dress code was a bit looser than usual. A pair of fun dressy-but-not-evening wedges would likely be appropriate, and could still fulfill the “sleek-and-sexy” requirement: these http://www.zappos.com/kors-michael-kors-vivian-gold-metallic-venus, these http://www.zappos.com/pour-la-victoire-edie-dusty-peach-patent, or these http://www.zappos.com/costume-national-1115554-22110-purple-grey (or, if she’s daring and has the right proportions for the look, an elegant ‘shootie’ like this http://www.zappos.com/joan-david-opal-black-leather could work with a cocktail dress.)

Pour La Victoire Wedding and Evening Diva Wedge

This is the Pour La Victoire Diva which the Laura mentioned in her comment and which the Manolo thinks is far superior to what he had suggested.

The readers of the Manolo, they are indeed most super fantastic!


Manolo the Columnist: Panama 2 from Geox

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

Dear Manolo,

Now that my youngest child is in school, I’ve decided that it’s time to ease myself back into the work force by substitute teaching. Unfortunately, my usual footwear for the past few years has been sport sandals and tennis shoes. Can you recommend some stylish, yet comfortable shoes?


Manolo says, the Manolo can think of few more difficult jobs than that of the substitute teacher. It is like being the lion tamer forced to enter the cage armed only with the feather. One must attempt to maintain the discipline conducive to good learning without being given the best tools available to do so, principally, the bullwhip and the taser.

Of the course, discipline was never the problem at the Manolo’s alma mater, Our Lady of the Flaming Spleen Country Day School. There, all of the nuns were well versed in maintaining order using the combat skills taught by the yardstick-based martial arts.

However, if the level of the rowdy-dow could not be quelled by the usual means, word was sent down to the boiler room for Sister Assumpta (who looked like Earnest Borgnine in the wimple) to make the appearance. Usually, the sound of her hobnailed boot and peg leg clomping down the hallway was enough to end any disturbance.

Look! Here is the Panama 2 from Geox, the good-looking maryjane wedge in bordeaux suede that will keep you happy through the most difficult class.

Panama 2 from Geox

The Lady Politicians’ Shoe of Choice

Manolo says, it is the Kate Spade Wedge!

Despite the three-inch wedge heels on her black patent leather shoes, after hours of walking, Ms. Saujani, a former hedge-fund general counsel and a successful political fund-raiser, seemed as calmly cheerful as she did at the outset of the day.

Finally, as we returned to her office, I asked: About those shoes?

“They’re the Kate Spade wedges,” she said, sagging slightly, as if she had only just then been reminded that she had feet. “They’re these politician-woman shoes.”
Marli Too from Kate Spade
She had gotten the tip from someone who worked for Hillary Rodham Clinton. They are apparently something of an “it” shoe right now for women in politics: Ms. Saujani said that Kathleen M. Rice, who is running for attorney general, also wore them (a photograph on Ms. Rice’s Facebook page bears that out). The chief of staff for a prominent woman in Congress told me that she, too, religiously relied on her Kate Spade wedge heels (though she spoke on the condition of anonymity because she preferred not to be known for her brand of footwear).

“They’re very comfy,” said Annie Mullaly, Ms. Saujani’s finance director. “They’re like Crocs. You’ll see them everywhere once you’ve identified them.”


But the Kate Spade wedge heels are not just one candidate’s shoes. They seem to be the shoes of a circle of younger women aspiring to power or already in it, women directly and indirectly passing on to one another ways of navigating the particular challenges of being a woman in the public eye. A woman must look put-together, but not as if she is a slave to fashion; she must look groomed, but never be spotted grooming.

That is all well and good if you want to look like the politician, however, if your tastes run to the slightly more aggressive, and you wish perhaps to make the statement on the campaign trail…

Belle by Sigerson Morrison Over-the-Knee Boots

Allow the Manolo to suggest these over-the-knee Boots from Belle by Sigerson Morrison as being worthy of consideration.

With these on your feets, you would not ask for the votes, you would command them!

P.S. The Manolo has long been the fan of the Kate Spade shoes, for exactly the reason cited above, they are well-made, reasonably comfortable, and perfectly suitable for the working girl.


Manolo the Columnist: Denny from Delman

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

Dear Manolo,

Because I’m the new girl in the office, I’m not going to get take my vacation until the very end of August. In the meantime, I’ve got to stick it out at work, here in the city, in this sweltering heat. At least my boss is cool with open-toed shoes and sandals, which means I can find some relief for my poor, swollen, sweaty feet. Please suggest something that will make me feel better about my predicament.


Manolo says, it is summer time! Time for sun in your fun!

Or, in the case of the Manolo’s friend, time to sit in the office and dream of being somewhere other than at the desk.

But, such is the nature of life. While some peoples are off riding the gold-plated jet-skis with Fabio on Lake Como, others must tend to the machineries of commerce, adding their imperceptible widow’s mite to the Product of Gross Domestication.

Later, when it is finally your turn to take the vacation, you will spend most of it helping your divorced mother clean out her garage, so that there will be room for her new boyfriend to park his bass boat.

Then, after your familial duties are completed, you will have three days all to yourself, which you will spend at the unseasonably rainy Maryland shore, eating room service crab cakes and watching daytime television.

Look espadrilles! From Delman!

Denny Espadrilles from Delman