The Shoes!

Any discussion of style will inevitably turn to the topic of shoes. In 2017 I added several low-heeled shoes after selling or donating many of the high heels from my collection. Styles and attitudes change, and current trends are moving toward kitten heels and platform brogues. I no longer find high heels comfortable for daytime, but I am still working out which low heeled shoes work best.

Very casual, relaxed outfits are the daily look for many people these days, so let’s talk about that style first. My favorite sporty casual slip-on sneaker style is here. I often wear them at home with jeans or loose-fitting knit tops, cardigans, and very casual jackets.

I find a thicker sole to be more comfortable and more attractive than the thin, flimsy sole found on some styles of shoes. When your feet are smaller in proportion to the rest of your leg, a skimpy shoe can make us look larger than we are if we wear dainty shoes. My body is more visually balanced if I wear high heels or a shoe with a thicker sole. Most importantly, I do not find unsupportive shoes with a thin flat sole comfortable to walk in.

Short boots are at the top of the best footwear list because the support often continues up the foot to include the ankle. A pointed toe and a low block heel, as well as a slender shape, make these short boots by Marc Fisher one of my all-time favorites. They look great with bootcut, flare, or straight leg jeans.

Another shoe style that ticks off all the style and comfort boxes are the brogue (perforated) or oxford (smooth). I have several variations inspired by the classic men’s style shoe. (If you would like to know a lot more about proper men’s shoes, visit this link.) The gray suede shoe above is by Marc Fisher. The smooth navy leather shoe is the Jesse Oxford by Paul Smith®. I wear this style of shoe with straight leg jeans or dressy trousers.

Loafers are another great classic shoe that works well with jeans or skirts with blazers or cardigans. I look for slender shoes with pointed or almond-shaped toes. The soles can be lugged, smooth, or stacked, but I like the shoe’s upper to be simple and sleek. If you wear the loafers with dresses or skirts, look for a low vamp style to show as much of the top of the foot as possible to make your legs look longer.

I still enjoy wearing heels for evening events. The suede pump shown above is from Saks Off 5th a couple of years ago. The lower block-heeled Sam Edelman pump works well for business meetings.

Summer shoes can be a challenge when you want to wear a supportive, comfortable shoe with an updated style. I do not wear flip flops, but I wear casual thong sandals with a back strap to keep them on. I wore the caged sandal in pewter by Söfft Shoe Company above, more than any other last summer. The color and the style looked great with the white or faded jeans I like to wear in warmer weather.

You may use the descriptions and photos to find something similar that works for your style and budget.

This week, I am reviewing my favorite items from 2017. The Marc Fisher shoes in the photo above were purchased at the end of the season last year. I have gotten more compliments on those than any others. The coat was from Ann Taylor last year.

  1. Happy New Year ..

    You are a girlfriend Extraordinaire !
    Fashion is fun & u make it wearable.
    Otherwise, I shop without any notion
    I can do retail. You bring age appropriate
    and updated together.

  2. Love shoes! How do you care for your shoes? I read a tip to use baby wipes to clean shoes. Then I use those Kiwi sponge polishers on the leather ones. I store mine in their boxes because my closet gets dusty and I use hairspray nearby. What works for you? P.S. I have heavy legs and don’t wear “delicate” shoes! They don’t work for me!

    1. I keep my shoes on open racks because leather needs to have air flow. I use Kiwi Shoe Polish Paste in a small tin, and I also bought a KIWI Horsehair Shine Brush to remove dust before and after wearing my shoes or switching out bags and wallets.

  3. Thank you so very much for the shoe blog post! Shoes are my biggest challenge. I’m 57, only 5ft tall and pear shaped so I feel like shoes can really save or ruin an outfit for me. On top of the stature/shape issue, I have feet with birth defects and they are not attractive at all, so no strappy shoes for me! Your post gave me confidence to choose stylish footwear that I will be comfortable wearing, that will look stylish and work with my special needs feet. I’m bookmarking it so that I can find it quickly when I have a footwear dilemma….and I heading out to pick a couple of pairs of shoes to round out my closet. Your blog is awesome and I’m glad I found you. Happy New Year!

  4. Thank you Susan! I’ve been replacing round toed shoes with almond shapes and more pointed toes this year at your wise suggestion. The leg lengthening effects are worthwhile

  5. Thanks for posting — ladies and their shoes!!!! I love the gray oxfords – so stylish and I feel more secure in an oxford. You look beautiful in that leopard gray coat!

  6. Hi Susan, if you really want to have some fun with shoes, take a look at You get to design your own shoes! They have lots of patterns and lots of different materials to choose from. Ive bought three pair so far and love the quality. They have a great guarantee too. I’ve really had a great time playing on their website, it’s easy to use and the shoes really do arrive at your door in two weeks. And they are quite reasonable. I’ll be ordering more… your advice on what styles to wear with things is spot on!

  7. Happy New Year Susan, for fun, will you demo an outfit that is too too much? That is my sin, I am the one who looks like a crazy gypsy. Please show a before and after when you have too fancy a jacket and jewelry and shoes/boots. Then show us how to tone it down. Sincerely, Monet Desrosiers in San Diego

    1. I have done something similar to your suggestion in the past. However, some people liked that look and couldn’t understand why I was saying don’t do this. My style is classic and understated, which will seem very boring to some people.

  8. I’ve been a fan of FitFlop (brand name – not flipflop) for years. They’re designed by British foot doctor and now they have wonderful shoes as well as sandals and can be purchased on sale on-line. Their “Superskate” is soooo comfortable (similar to the Sofft style you like) and I have four pairs in different colours. Great arch supports, slightly elevated heel, cushioned sole. They’ve relieved my plantar fasciitis. I normally wear size 7 shoe, but take size 6 in sandals and 6.5 in full shoe.

  9. Nice suggestions, Susan. For casual shoes, I have fallen in love with Minnetonka Moccasins. I have 3 pair now. They are wonderfully comfortable and cute. Not a lot of support, but still very comfortable. Some people use drug store arch supports.

    I cannot follow your preference for pointed toes because my feet are as big as tug boats, and I don’t need pointed shoes to make them look even longer! Rounded toes work better for people with that issue. Why can’t life be simple?

  10. Susan, I’m so glad you are embracing the lower heel………I think they look fabulous for you !! Marinell

  11. Just a note to those looking for stylish yet supportive shoes, …Vionic, (many numerous styles found on the QVC website), has been a real winner for me. They aren’t inexpensive, but what you get for the money, (built in arch support), pays for itself. They are also not overly expensive. How do you put a price on comfort and support with style?

  12. I’ve learned a lot from you, Susan, about what shoes can do to make an outfit. Love the Marc Fisher short boots. I’ve been looking for a pair of sleek, short black boots for a year and a half. But, I have a narrow foot (a true AA, not just a shoe that “runs narrow”) and it’s all but impossible. Sigh …

  13. Yeah, you finally embraced the low heels!! Love the Sofft shoes and bought a pair in all the colors after seeing yours a while back. Those of us Florida retirees need almost all open toe shoes and wish we could wear more of the cute winter jackets you wear!

  14. Just found your site this evening. I am 63 and finding that trying to wear too high of heels daily is no longer comfortable. Like you, I reserve heels to dress/evening. Also, I’ve been reevaluating my wardrobe and style. I like a chic/dramatic style, but don’t want to be too dressy or casual on a daily basis. Blacks, whites and gray are good for me. Your advice and pictures are helping me to create a wardrobe that’s functional, stylish,and that I love!! Many thanks.

  15. Hi Susan,
    Can you give some guidelines for how you choose your purse color/style based on your shoe choice? In particular, if a metallic shoe, what purse? I know we don’t want to match, but that’s about all I know.
    Thanks so much!

    1. Sometimes I carry a handbag for a single punch of color in an otherwise plain solid color outfit. A bag can add a touch of whimsy and a color pop like earlier this week with the clutch or it can tie in with one of the other accessories such as today with a color link back to the scarf. Personally, I like bags that more structured and not too large.

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I share tips and inspiration for using what you already have in contemporary ways. Defining words include effortless, classic, refined, discreet, and elegant. My style is chic, minimal, and timeless with a bit of edge.