Archive for December, 2008

Subtle Plaid Sweater

Subtle Plaid Sweater

This wool sweater features an oversized grey and white gingham pattern. Perfect for pairing with a crisp white shirt, as shown.

$59 at Urban Outfitters.

Add comment December 18th, 2008

Q&A: Warm and Waterproof Winter Shoes for Him

Q:  What are some good winter shoes that are warm, comfortable to walk in, semi-waterproof (unlike canvas converse sneakers that just soak up the snow), affordable, and fashionable - both his and hers.

Quoddy Trail Grizzly Boots
Pictured: Grizzly Boots | $320 at Quoddy Trail.  Other more affordable options: Suede MacAlister boots | $135 at J Crew, and Clark’s Desert Boots | $89 at Zappos.

A: I’ll address the “his” part of this question.  The “bad weather shoes” problem is much simpler if you’re not a white collar worker.  Without a doubt, the first pair of bad weather boots I’d recommend are by Quoddy, makers of high quality bad weather shoes.  As you can tell, however, they are for people who experience a few feet of snow in the winter.

Desert boots are another viable option if you live in a place with a less harsh winter.  Clark’s desert boots have always been around, but nowadays you can find stylish desert boots everywhere from J. Crew and the GAP (via Pierre Hardy) to high end retailers like Tom Ford.  The beauty of desert boots is that you can wear them while walking around the city as well; it’s a bit harder to “urbanize” those rugged Quoddy boots.

If you’re a working man, you have it a bit harder.  You have to wear dress shoes to the office, unless you work in a creative industry.  Certainly, you can wear galoshes, but that option is more practical than stylish (even though Esquire endorses it).  If you live in the city, where the streets are a bit more groomed (e.g. less snow on the sidewalks), you can try wearing dress boots, but again, at a formal, conservative type office, I’m not sure that would fly.  If you do decide to wear dress shoes or dress boots, do wear ones with rubber soles.  The snow and slush will wreck havoc on your leather soles.  If you absolutely must wear leather soled dress shoes to the office, do not wear them outside; instead, change into them at the office.

Last words?  Please feel free to beat up your shoes; in fact, I encourage you to wear them in.  A lot.  Tom Ford ran a series of ads a year or so ago in which a man in alligator shoes was walking through the mud.  I love this; “beat up the pretty things,” as they say.  Buy high quality things and wear them out.  This kind of nonchalance is the essence of American style, so embrace it.

UPDATE from Colleen Geary for women’s shoes: The tricky thing about winter shoes is that they’re often ruined by winter conditions - water, salt, ice and mud. I’d recommend purchasing a very inexpensive but good looking fake leather boot from Target or Walmart that can be worn with pants or skirts. Choose a pair with clean lines so that it’s inexpensiveness is not readily apparent. “Indulge” in a pair of black or brown leather boots that you love and can be worn for occasions or when the weather is not inclement. In Utah, you should have enough occasions to warrant two pairs of boots.

Have a great tip about great bad weather shoes–both his and hers?  Share it with us in the comments!

7 comments December 17th, 2008

Fab Bow Front Skirt

Fab Bow Front Skirt

Update your work wardrobe for less than $15 with this gorgeous bow front pencil skirt. The versatile grey color pairs well with both neutrals and brights.

$12.50 at Forever 21.

2 comments December 17th, 2008

Q&A: How to Match Shoes with Work Clothes

Q: Can Omiru provide some basic guidelines about pairing work shoes and pants/skirts?

How to Match Shoes with Work Clothes
Shoes with Work Clothes, courtesy of The Sartorialist

by Colleen Geary, fashion stylist and image consultant

A: To understand how to pair shoes with clothes, you first have to look at silhouette.  Shoes should complement the lines and proportions of an outfit, particularly the bottom that you’re wearing.  We’ll start with the basics—regular trouser pants and a knee length skirt—and then we’ll expand out into other options:

Regular Trouser Pants
For regular width trouser pants, the classic choice is a medium height (approximately 2” tall) shoe.  You can wear pumps, loafers, two-tone shoes…and you can also experiment with different toebox styles.  For a sophisticated look, try pointier toed shoes.  But for a more chic, casual look, you can try a round toe.  If you’re not a fan of heels, you can also try a more subdued kitten heel (usually around 1.5” tall).

Knee Length Skirts
The perfect shoe for a knee-length skirt is a heeled shoe.  Most women prefer to wear a medium height heel to visually elongate the leg, but a shorter kitten heel is also a common choice.  Women who are blessed with extra long legs can also get away with flats, but the rest of us should steer clear of them. 

Wide Trouser Pants
To balance out the width of a wide trouser pant, you’ll need to wear a high heel (3” or taller).  The high heel visually (and physically) elongates your leg line, and it gives your bottom half balance.  If you’re blessed with long legs, you can also try a medium height heel.  But for optimal figure flattery, no low heels or flats allowed!

Skinny Pants
Channel Audrey Hepburn when pairing shoes with skinny pants.  What did Audrey wear?  Ballet flats, of course!  When you’re wearing tight pants, you want a shoe that’s not overly sexy.  So steer clear of high heels and shoes with “toe cleavage.”  The ballet flat (or even really short kitten heels) will do the trick.

Short Skirts
Short skirts are best paired with a kitten heel or ballet flat at work.  If you’re wearing a revealing skirt, you don’t want to go overboard with an overly sexy shoe.  That said, the woman in the miniskirt pictured above made the sexy shoe and miniskirt look work.  How did she do it?  She wore tights to cover up her legs (and tone down the miniskirt), and she wore a heeled bootie.  Because they provide more coverage, booties are a less risqué shoe option than an equivalently high heel.

Long Skirts
Because long skirts and wide trouser pants share similar characteristics (length and width), long skirts require the same shoe options as do wide trouser pants.  So the same rules apply: high heels are best, and no flats are allowed.

I’ll leave you with two parting thoughts on shoes: 
(1) Shoes can be the sole point of interest in an outfit by providing a point of visual interest with design or color.  This is particularly true for work clothes, which are often restrictive style-wise.
(2) Shoes do not need to match the colors of your clothes or your handbag but they should enhance your overall look.

Have a great tip about how to match shoes with work clothes? Share it with us in the comments!

9 comments December 16th, 2008

American Eagle Captain Boat Moccasins

American Eagle Captain Boat Moccasins

If you’re looking for a great everyday shoe, consider a pair of moccasins. They’re as chic as they are comfortable–and you really can’t beat this price!

$13.99 (sale) at Payless.

2 comments December 16th, 2008

You Said: Yes to Patent Leather

Omiru Poll Result: Yes to Patent Leather

Mossimo Vergie Peep-Toe Patent Leather BootiesWe asked: Would you wear Patent Leather?

You said:  Yes to Patent Leather, with an overwhelming 67% to 33% vote.

Style tip? Patent leather is absolutely classic on shoes, but you can also try patent leather on other accessories–such as belts or handbags.  And if you’re even more adventurous, try patent leather in a bright color…yellow, green, or even red.  But if you’re just looking to dip your toes into the trend, try a pair of patent leather booties in basic black.

Next question: Lace can be romantic, but it can also be edgy–depending on how it’s worn.  But what do you think?   Tell us, would you wear Lace?  Cast your vote on the sidebar!

Pictured:  Mossimo Vergie Peep-Toe Patent Leather Booties | $29.99 at Target.

6 comments December 15th, 2008

Open Front Buttoned Blazer

Open Front Buttoned Blazer

Oversized buttons add a chic detail to this polished open front blazer.

$27.80 at Forever 21.

Add comment December 15th, 2008

How to Wear Sequins During the Day

Feeling the love for this set?  Here’s more information about it.

A sequined top is great for going out at night - for cocktail parties, or for a festive dinner out.  But why not get some extra mileage out of it?  Worn with the right pieces, you can pull off the sequins-during-the-day look.  Simply juxtapose it against more tailored pieces, and play down the glam factor with more casual clothes.  Here’s how to wear sequins during the day:

1. Start with your basic sequined top.  The simpler the shape of the top, the more versatile it is.
2. Add casual pieces: a pair of jeans and a brightly colored hoodie.  The orange hoodie brings out the warmth in the gold sequined top.
3. Bring on the tailoring with a structured jacket and oxford shoes.  The boxy tweed top and the lace-up booties elevate the casual jeans and hoodie.

How would you wear sequins during the day?  Share your style with us in the comments!

5 comments December 12th, 2008

Sequin Tank

Sequin Tank

Pair this stunning sequin trimmed tank with a neutral colored pair of pants for a festive holiday look that’s one part casual, one part chic. Notice the tiny box pleats that frame the top of the shirt. Simply lovely.

$21.99 at Target.

Add comment December 12th, 2008

Ready Made Outfit: Playfully Polished Plaid

Feeling the love for this set?  Here’s more information about it.

You may see plaid paired with preppy sweatervests and tailored blazers, but plaid doesn’t have to be stuffy. Here’s how to pull off casual plaid with a polished twist:

1. Start with a fitted plaid shirt.  Fit is key; if the shirt doesn’t fit correctly at the shoulder, bust, and waist, the outfit loses its polish.
2. Slip on a pair of dark rinse jeans.  They really do go with everything!
3. Layer on a fitted puffer vest.  If you’re long and lean, you can afford to wear a vest with a lot of puff.  But for the rest of us, try a vest that’s not filled quite so completely.  The good news is that these less-filled puffer vests tend to be cheaper than the luxuriously puffed ones.  Note how this brown vest brings out the best in the blue plaid shirt.  The plaid lining of the hood also adds a nice coordinated touch.
4.  Finish off the outfit with a pair of brown boots (echoing the brown in the vest) and a brightly colored handbag to add a splash of color.

How would you wear plaid?  Share your style with us in the comments!

5 comments December 11th, 2008

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