I’ve always been a shoe aficionado. I remember when I was thirteen, I bought a pair of black t-strap pumps that had heels covered with shiny metal. They were epic. I was so excited to wear them to church with an Angela Chase-esque dress and cardigan. On Sunday morning, My father took one look at them and told me no. I stuck to my guns and the resultant argument was so bad that he actually took them outside and THREW THEM IN THE DUMPSTER.
It was awful. My mom tried to recover them but she could only find one.
Now that I don’t need my dad’s stamp approval on my purchases, my tastes are not quite so wild. To help my ST choose presents for my birthday, I created a Pinterest board filled with stuff I’d love to receive. This year, my favorite item were the Realove shoes by Steve Madden in classic black suede.
Then, a few days before my birthday, I stumbled upon the Soiree by Jeffrey Campbell, also in black suede. I’m not exaggerating when I say it was love at first sight. I haven’t been that excited about a shoe in a long time. ST gave the OK to order them and that’s how I found myself with both pairs for my birthday.
When I was ordering the Soirees, I couldn’t find information about fit anywhere, so I just ordered my normal 6.5 from Urban Outfitters. For the Realoves, I also requested my usual 6.5. My experience with Steve Madden is that they are very consistent with their sizing (from flats to boots to wedges to sandals), which I really appreciate.
The Realoves are beautiful. The bottom strap is actually slightly diagonal, which is subtle in the image above. When you put them on, the skewed strap adds comfort and interest. They fit perfectly. Despite the thin heel, they are comfortable and feel sturdy.
Unfortunately, the Soirees run big. When I press my heel to the back of the shoe, there is nearly 1.5 inches between my toes and the top of the shoe. When I tried to walk in them, they looked good on my feet but felt ridiculous because there was such a large gap between my heel and the back of the shoe. My foot kept sliding forward, making it both awkward and comical to walk. Additionally, they cost $152 after tax, which is $72 more than the Realoves. So, back they went. For what its worth, they are gorgeous and feel luxurious.
I’m a little sad about returning them and am contemplating repurchasing them in a size 6, but the truth is I really don’t need both pairs. My club days are long gone so that minimizes my opportunities to wear them. They’re also a bit trendy and run the risk of becoming outdated. I tend to shy away from trendy stuff because I like to wear my stuff for years and years.
Anyway, I hope this is helpful for anyone who is thinking about purchasing the Jeffrey Campbell Soiree.
I’d planned on arriving at the Atlantic Center Target by 9 am but I ended up there at 9:30. At that time, no other stores were open so all was calm and quiet. As I ascended on the escalator, I held my breath and hoped that there wouldn’t be a massive line to get in…
So far, so good.
Once inside, the goods were just around the corner. There were about thirty women picking over the merchandise and a lingering sense of urgency in the air. I quickly headed over and managed to snag the last sulphur ruffle dress in size 2 and calypso coral short-sleeve dress in size 4. I wasn’t interested in any of the printed stuff – it was too trendy for me. After that, I turned the corner and found the shoes (the shoes!). I quickly procured a pair of black strappy sandals, Nolita print pumps (the black ones are still available online), and red wedge sandals – all size 6.
Kim and I were on the phone and texting the whole time (she overslept). She liked these but I wasn’t feeling the patent leather. Also, yikes. I’m due for a pedicure.
And then I waited for about 15 minutes to get into the fitting room. I apologize for the horrible quality, but their fitting rooms are bright red! I’d say that everything in this collection runs at least half a size large. I’m 5′ 0″ and 108 lbs and the size 2 fit but bordered on loose in a few areas. If you weigh any less than 106 lbs and are my height, my guess would be that this dress is too big for you.
The short-sleeve dress was adorable in person and of nice quality, but the size 4 was simply too big. The waist area felt right, but the length was too long and the sleeves were baggy.
I was a bit annoyed that Target neglected to tell the masses what would be available in-store and online. I was really excited to get my hands on the ruffle dress in red, but alas, it is only available online and is currently sold out. The same with those coveted ankle-strap sandals. And I only saw one black and white dress with a bow in size 10.
Anyway, I’m not complaining. I walked away with some pretty new things and even got some for Kim. She requested the Nolita print pumps and the red wedge sandals (pictured above). Side note: I took these fashion blog-esque photos on top of Leela’s crate and blanket. Fancy, huh?
For myself I purchased the black strappy sandals I’d wanted and the ruffle dress in sulphur. (Can you call two items a “haul”? Methinks not.) The sandals are quite sassy and not as uncomfortable as they look – they feel solid. I can walk in them around the house without feeling crippled, which is a win. Usually, patent leather doesn’t appeal to me but when layered with suede-like fabric, it creates textural interest and it works. The laces are another story though – they are literally black plastic lanyard. Any idea what I could replace them with?
I tried on the dress for ST and he really liked it, which means I’m going to keep it. Also, I don’t have anything else like it. Just for fun, I tried it on with a black belt and the Nolita pumps. Side note: My poor scarred legs! I need a tan ASAP!
I think the dress looks pretty cute with the pumps, but since they only had one size 6 left, I bought these for Kim. I can always borrow them from her though – that’s what sisters are for. It looks pretty nice with the strappy sandals too.
I’m going to hold onto the sandals until next week, after my birthday. Between the weekend and my girls trip to Atlantic City, I will be shopping up a storm. Who knows? Maybe I’ll find other party sandals that I like better.
Did you buy anything from the Prabal Gurung x Target collaboration?
Let’s talk boots. I’ve been on a quest for the perfect boots for the longest time. For me, “perfect” means:
Previously, I purchased the leather Kasia boots from Target in cognac and black. I wore them all winter and they still look nice. However, they have begun to slouch a bit and that, combined with the flat bottoms, make me look sloppy. Plus, they do nothing for my short legs.
This year, I decided to give heeled boots a try. I’ve always shied away from heels because I’m allergic to discomfort. But go heavy or go home, right? Since I’m so short, they add to my stature and, in my opinion, make outfits look more put together and professional.
Because I wanted to get a head start on boot season (I am obsessed with getting a head start on everything), I convinced ST to take me boot shopping. I like me some Staten Island shopping. I find that Staten Island stores have lots more in stock and are never chaotic or crowded like in Brooklyn. Even though summer was in full swing, I decided to browse the clearance section in DSW. Because, why not?
Jackpot. B.O.C. brown leather boots. Perfect heel height, calf circumference, color, and of course… price. Originally $119, marked down to $36. Done and done. They’re comfortable enough to wear for an entire work day but probably not for a long walk.
Riding on the high of that victory, I thought the perfect ankle boots were going to just fall into my lap.
WRONG. My ankle boot story is fraught with heartache. Dramatic but true.
First of all, even though ankle boots are less than half the size of normal boots, they are EXPENSIVE. The other day, I was browsing H&M and I found these PVC booties for $50! They were cute, but for me, nothing special.
Trying to find something that fit my criteria was almost impossible. The cheapest option I could find were these Ecote suede ankle boots at Urban Outfitters. Since they’re currently on sale for $49, my size is sold out everywhere. Additionally, the ankle openings are too big and they feel cheapy. I really like Urban Outfitters but sometimes I forget their clothes are primarily for college students.
After hours upon hours of futile Internet search, I found them. The prettiest, most affordable suede ankle boots with just enough of a sassy western vibe for me to be like, “Yeah, I married a Texan.”
I present to you the Call it Spring Antall.
Aren’t they pretty? And the best part was that they were on sale at Zappos for $58! They have since sold out of black, but cognac can be purchased for $65. They were actually cheaper at 6pm (sold out also) at $48 but I made the rare decision to spend more because I know that buying shoes online can be disastrous and Zappos has an amazing customer service reputation.
Well, I didn’t get the boots but I’m so glad I went with Zappos.
So here’s what happened. My order was delivered and I was stoked. Since I was away at a conference and they were delivered to our workplace, I made ST open the box and send me pictures. They looked a bit big to be 6.5 but I ignored that and was practically bursting with excitement when I got home. Feel free to mock me now.
Well, they were too big. They were size 9. I was pretty disappointed and immediately called Zappos to whine about it. Luckily, the customer service representative was the sweetest girl ever and we had the most pleasant conversation. Not only did she get an exchange for me, she refunded all my money – giving me a five finger discount! – and upgraded me to VIP status! This means I get one-day shipping for free! (remember when that was standard?)
So I waited another few days for the UPS man to deliver me my precious Antalls. As soon as ST brought the box in, I ripped it open only to find… size 8. Whomp, whomp. I was seriously crestfallen at this point. Like, I almost teared. Another call to Zappos got me a $25 gift certificate and the promise of being contacted by a Zappos warehouse representative.
After a few days, I was sent a very cute and apologetic email. They ran out of my boots and to make it right, they gave me a $60 gift certificate. I couldn’t believe Zappos had given me the best customer service of my life AND and $85 gift certificate just for being a customer. Mind blown.
Oh, but wait. This story has a happy ending. I got my boots!
During one of our long walks, Helene and I ended up at Atlantic Terminal. We wandered into my favorite store: Marshall’s. For those of you who don’t have Marshall’s – I’m so sorry. It was like ankle boot clearance day over there. Within five minutes, I’d loaded my cart with five pairs – all leather, all under $60.
May I present to you the Vince Camuto Belta in black leather.
Leather, perfect ankle openings, goes well with skirts and pants, and they are so cute. I actually like them even better than the Antalls.
Moral of the story: Paying a few extra bucks for stellar customer service is a worthy investment. Also, good things come to those who wait.