Shoe Purgatory: What It Is and How To Fix It

Shoe purgatory is a topic I feel like I can write about both every fall and every spring. And still, every fall and every spring, like clockwork, I receive questions about it. 

First, let’s start with what exactly is shoe purgatory? Shoe purgatory is that in-between time of year when it’s too cold for sandals and yet, not cold enough for boots.

I know, you’re nodding your head right now, because if you live in Ohio – or anywhere else that has seasonal changes, you’ve encountered this problem too. The cold hard truth is that many shoe wardrobes go straight from sandals to boots (or boots to sandals in the spring) and this in-between time (aka shoe purgatory) is a killer. I was going to say that it is hell – but I’ve used that pun before and felt it was getting stale!

The Shoe Struggle is Real

The other day, I received this message from a person in Cincinnati that’s a member of my private Facebook group, All Dressed Up With SOMEWHERE To Go. Which if you’re not part of, I highly suggest joining ASAP! It’s a private, carefully moderated group where people post fashion questions, ask for opinions, share great finds – and I weigh in with answers too. It’s a great group – everyone is really nice and supportive AND, bonus, it’s kind of a direct line to me, without having to actually hire me, lol!

Ok, anyway, back to the question…

Reader: Will you do a piece on shoe options in this warm weather transition to fall? Especially down in Cincinnati, where it stays hot. I swear, I never know what shoes to wear. It drives me crazy.

Bags, Bags, Bags – Are You A Handbag Person?

I received a question from a reader a few months back (sorry it’s taken this long to give you a complete answer!). Asking about handbags and building a handbag collection. The truth is, from a personal POV, I like bags, but I don’t love them. For me often function trumps fashion when it comes to bags. And in fact, If I can go bag-less and shove items in my pocket (or my husband’s – which does not go well, FYI) I absolutely will take that option.

For my personal wardrobe, I tend to gravitate to clutches and evening bags (often vintage or thrift finds) because I feel they add personality and dimension to an outfit. On the everyday bag front, I typically carry one for the season, and it’s often a tote (because it holds oh so much). And then I leave it in my car when I go into places (ugh, probably not good info to share on the internet but, it’s true).

So basically, this is my way of saying – I needed to outsource to an expert to answer this question.

My Handbag Guru – Pierce Morgan

So when this question was posed, I turned to my bag guru, Pierce Morgan for the answers. Pierce is the founder and creative director of Chicologie, a luxury collection curation and restoration business. Pierce is a walking encyclopedia of bags – old and new. He appraises, authenticates, restores, and sources bags for his clients. And one of his signature services is bag fittings – What bag is perfect for you? What bags should you try? Finding new styles, colors, and brands you’ll love. For more information check out Pierce’s website HERE.

Pierce is Taking Over the Blog This Week…

Fall Trends for 2021

Compiling a list of fall trends is quite an undertaking. But one I totally love! As a “fashion forecaster” and proud fashion nerd, I joyfully and intensely spend hours (maybe even days) surveying what designers, fashion editors, and store buyers are focusing on for the season ahead. I do big-time research each season – viewing the fall runway shows, reading all the old school, print fashion mags (Vogue, Marie Claire, In Style, Glamor, Cosmo, WWD, Harper’s Bazaar, Elle). And all of the digital publications as well (PopSugar, Who What Wear, Style Caster, The Zoe Report, and Pinterest, of course).

Then I create lists, upon lists, upon lists. Asking myself questions and categorizing…What did I see repeated? Did it resonate? Is it feeling new and fresh? And most importantly: what was wearable? Because while fashion is most definitely an art, styling people for everyday endeavors is the marriage of artful inspiration and real-life practicality. Both are integrally important in making one’s wardrobe feel fabulous.

If a wardrobe is purely practical, it can be boring, and conversely, if it is only artful whimsy, it’s super hard to wear. So what’s the sweet spot? The intersection of fresh seasonal inspiration and the way to actually wear it and feel great. Focusing on what key pieces to add that make the old feel new.

Fall Trends AKA, Trend 2.0

In the last 6-12 months I’ve been seeing a new kind of necklace and it’s completely captured my attention. A tennis necklace. It’s basically, a tennis bracelet (aka a strand of diamonds or faux diamonds) but for your neck. It’s not really all that new, but it feels new. Because as with most fashion, what’s old is new again. Or what’s new is a re-invention and new twist put on something that already existed. So too with this new(ish) necklace.

What to Wear When the Calendar Says Fall but it Feels Like Summer

My Jewish readers know the drill. Are the High Holidays early this year? Or late? It’s always a question, year after year. Because unlike Christmas that falls on December 25 every single year, the Jewish calendar is lunar. So our major holidays are always changing. For instance, in 2016, Rosh Hashanah began on October 2, and Hanukkah was on December 24. This year Rosh Hashanah falls on LABOR DAY!! Like, the actual Monday of Labor Day, AKA the official end of summer. According to some outdated fashion rule, it’s also the day you have to stop wearing white clothing (until the next summer, marked by Memorial Day). Just as an aside, I think that rule is total rubbish and you do not need to follow it. But that’s probably more for another column.

Anyway, Rosh Hashanna, for me, marks the beginning of autumn. It’s the big fall kick-off. The Jewish holiday version of the September issue of Vogue. In fact, as a girl, when my mom would take me on our annual back-to-school clothes shopping outing (because back then it was a good thing to outgrow your clothes each year – at my age now, not so much!) One of the most important items to check off the list was a new Rosh Hashanah outfit. 

Rosh Hashanah Usually Means Fall Clothes

Normally, my New Year’s outfit (Rosh Hashanah is considered the Jewish New Year) would be in a fabric or color that felt like fall – think wool, corduroy, or velvet and in colors like brown, camel, or burgundy. Nice rich colors and fabrics that are on point for colder weather. The same way there are distinct foods one associates with certain holidays that make it “feel” like that occasion, so too with specific garments.

I vividly remember the feeling of wearing my new outfit to every Rosh Hashanna family dinner and then to synagogue. And then I’d wear it again for the school holiday concert and any other colder weather events we had. Until, of course, it was time to shop for my new spring outfit (this time it was for Passover).

This shopping ritual to mark important milestones is not just a “Jewish thing.”  My Christian friends had similar seasonal shopping experiences. However, their touchstone holidays were usually Christmas and Easter. Ya know, same song, different tunes.

But, It’s Labor Day!

But this year, with Rosh Hashanah landing literally on Labor Day – a day I think of as reserved for pool parties and backyard BBQ’s – it’s throwing the whole what-to-wear, fall-debut, thing off. Big Time. Personally, as much as I might sacrifice comfort for fashion on occasion, wearing wool tweed when it’s 80 degrees outside is a definite NO in my book. Honestly, I’m sweating just thinking about it.

So the big question is what are we to wear for Rosh Hashanah 2021? The answer: something that’s covered but lightweight. Breathable for outside but can keep you warm in the air-conditioned synagogues. And is on the more modest side, because, let’s be honest, what we wear to a  house of worship should be slightly more conservative than what you’d wear to a club.

Ok, so let’s chat about how to ring in fall and the new year (this year it’s going to be 5782!!) and not melt…

And, BTW, this styling tip is not only for my Jewish readers… there are all kinds of events (work-related, family festivities) that happen when we think it’s autumn, but the thermometer says otherwise. This type of transitional dressing works really well for fall and for spring – the times when it’s usually the hardest to get dressed.

My Girl Crush, Kiya Tomlin

I originally discovered Kiya Tomlin because she’s represented by Hello LLC, a PR firm out of Chagrin Falls run by my friend Michelle Venorsky. Since then I’ve followed her on Instagram and am a big fan. Her designs and the overall brand concept are just WOW!!  

Custom designer, Kiya Tomlin, launched her collection of re-imagined sweatsuits in the Fall of 2014. Inspired by the energy and aspirations of today’s modern woman, the namesake line was designed for women, like herself, with a purpose and passion for life. Uniting cover girl glamor with the comfort and ease of a favorite sweatshirt, her designs embody femininity, versatility, and the constant pursuit of the place where style, function, and luxurious comfort intersect.

Kiya Tomlin is the ultimate female entrepreneur and I’m so excited to share some of her favorite things with all of you