I've been eying the slip-on sneaker for some time. And recently, it's become a family affair.
If you follow me on Pinterest, you may have noticed that my mom and I have gotten a little pin happy with the chic sneaker pins. After learning how to use Pinterest in January, my mother has become a master pinner, and now she can run Pinterest circles around me. (Seriously. You should follow her. She has 3,600 pins -- and counting! -- and they're all fabulous.) Last week, we started a shared board called "Happy Feet" and we have been pinning madly (or dare I say happily?) to it ever since.
Even my dad has gotten in on the sneaker action. Without any prompting, he sent me a link to an article from PureWow about slip-on sneakers and their benefits as commuting shoes.
In fact, slip-on sneakers offer a number of pretty great benefits. They look awesome. They feel awesome. And they don't have to be tied. Win, win, and win.
Many of you know that I've been mildly frustrated by having to wear the same extra loud, doctor-recommended orange sneakers and a cane to literally every event I've attended since being released into the post-surgery wild. I am three months into what I am told is a six month recovery, and at a certain point last week, I decided I simply couldn't take the orange sneakers anymore. I needed something quieter for work. Something that didn't scream, IAMWEARINGSNEAKERSWITHTHISSUIT. Something that didn't have laces (I am oh so tired of tying my shoes). But something that my doctor would approve of.
Enter the black-on-black Vans slip-on sneaker.
Slip ons are available at all sorts of price points, from designer to non-designer, from Valentino to Vince to Vans. I'm sure Valentino makes a winning slip-on sneaker, but I'm not about to spend hundreds of dollars on a sneaker. I happen to believe that Vans are classic for a reason (and they are also very wallet friendly), and so I recently zoned in on those as the potential candidate for my first non-orange sneaker footwear option. Reviews stating things like "handcrafted by God himself" had me sold.
Last weekend, I hobbled my way over to Bloomingdales (where judgment of my cane/sneaker look occurred and I was rudely ignored by, like, 15 associates who all universally refused to make eye contact with me: big mistake, huge! Clearly these people don't understand the buying power of a female who hasn't been able to purchase shoes for a year!). I moved on to Urban Outfitters, where I felt much more comfortable (you've got to love a no judgment, self-serve environment at times) and found what I was looking for: the black-on-black Vans classic slip-on sneaker, $45.00. In all black, they look almost like a loafer (they look super cute with cropped pants and jeans) and can blend into office wear so that it is not so readily apparent that I am wearing a sneaker with a suit (unfortunately, I'm not Ellen, so pulling the look off takes a bit of finesse for me).
I tried the shoes on and... whoa. As it turns out, skaters know a thing or two about foot comfort (no wonder they seem so laid back!). I mean, seriously, I think the shoes actually were handcrafted by God himself. They run wide in the toe box, which is just the loveliest thing ever for a gal like moi, and they're super padded both on the bottom and in the seam that goes around your foot/ankle. I walked around for a while in the store, trying to contain the amount of joy that was surging through me as I realized with each step that these shoes actually might work, these shoes could be my ticket to relative normalcy.
Needless to say, I bought my first pair of post-surgery shoes. After getting doctor approval, I wore them to work and felt decidedly zippier -- a pep to my step, if you will -- even while carrying a cane.
A few days later, I returned to Urban Outfitters and picked up a pair of black and white checkerboard slip-ons. You know, for the weekends. Luckily, these shoes come in like a gazillion colors and are probably the cheapest pair of shoes I've bought since elementary school, so I feel pretty excited about the prospect of purchasing multiples of this shoe.
Get them, your feet will thank you. And feet deserve your love.
Where To Buy
Urban Outfitters, Van's Classic Slip-On Men's Sneaker, $45
Vans, Solid Colors Slip-On, $45
(They come in lots of other colors too!! This is just the tip of the iceberg!)
How To Style
I've included some of my favorite slip-on sneaker looks below. For work, I'll wear the black-on-black with my usual suits and such, and for play I'll have a little more fun with some of the other colors (like the checkerboard) with cuffed boyfriend jeans or skinny ankle jeans. What are your faves?
Happy keeping your feet happy!
It's Friday, which means we are but a few short hours away from stripping off the work wear and throwing on our favorite weekend wear. (Yay!)
For the past two years, skinny black jeans have been my fall and winter weekend staple. While there are a lot of great black skinny jeans options out there, I am particularly into the J.Crew toothpick jean in pitch black wash, which fit great (they are très slimming - seriously, there's something magical in them) and (when a good 25% off sale is running) are a much better price point than the more "designer" brands. I am 5'7" (though "legally" I am 5'8" (according to my license)), and the length (28" inseam) is just right on me. If you're any taller, I'd upgrade to the "tall" (30" inseam). If you're much shorter, J.Crew unfortunately doesn't carry this jean in a petite, but they offer free alterations if you purchase with a J.Crew credit card (which also offers generous end of season gift card "rewards"). Warning: there is a moment of fear as you squeeze these puppies on ("OMG they're never going to get past my knees!"), but then suddenly, voilà!, you're in. And they fit. Like an incredibly slimming glove.
Wear these jeans during the day with a great pair of boots (like these Frye "Smith Engineer Booties, $297.95 - I'm partial to the black - or this Donald J. Pliner "Diem" Boot, which is on sale for $260.90 and I am flat out dying over) and a button front shirt (like the classic utilitarian J.Crew chambray "keeper" shirt, $78) or even a t-shirt (love the J.Crew vintage tee in white, heather chrome, deep pine or warm ash) with a cozy sweater (like this Vince sweater coat, $475 + 25% off = $380) or, on cooler days, a collarless car or pea coat (like this Vince military jacket, on sale for $525 (down from $750!) + 20% off = $420).
Wear them at night with a gorgeous silk blouse (like this Vince one, $265 + 20% off = $212, or this other Vince one I died over in Wednesday's post)and great flats or heels with a fabulously cut blazer (like this Theory one, $415 - 20% = $332) and, in colder weather, an incredible coat (like this insanely awesome DVF coat, on sale for $556.60 (down from $795!) + 20% off = $445.20) (all of the above are at Bloomies with code FRIENDS).
Note: The deep black wash (which I love) tends to fade over time, giving it a grungier, less evening-appropriate look (though still totally great for casual weekend days). I had to rebuy the same pair this fall that I'd purchased last fall, but I got them during a big sale that helped lessen the blow. JCrew runs sales often. They're running a big sale on their sale items right now (sale squared!), as they often do to clear out merchandise, and that usually means that after a week or so of no deals, they'll run a 25% off sale on their full priced merch. So if you're willing to wait a week to save ~$30, by all means do. Back in the day, these bad boys sold out quickly, so I would have paid full price without question, but J.Crew seems to have ample stock available now, and waiting a week might yield you some delightful savings (though, according to my "consumer insights" business school professor, delaying your purchase to get a discount may "undermine" the emotional benefit of the discount). My takeaway? Buy the jeans now, wear them immediately. You'll feel great, and you'll look great too :)
What's your weekend wear staple? And how do you style it?
Happy weekend! :)
I am an artist/designer and former financial professional with a background in comparative literature, business and design. I live in New York with my overworked lawyer husband and my two boys Michael and Theo and spend much of my free time dreaming about how to enhance the aesthetics of our little world. I am endlessly inspired and always in search of something new. This is a blog about my search, my inspiration and things I just really, really like or want.