Posts Tagged ‘Sofft’

Söfft 'Fiorella' Pump, Dark Purple suede. Also available in grey (and black. Which you do not need).

This year, my Nordstrom Anniversary Sale trip was minimalist.  In the past I went in with the attitude of, “that’s a great price, I’ll take it.” Sometimes this veers into a “I’m sure I’ll find a use for it, at that price”  attitude.  These days I’m economizing, set a strict budget, and only wanted purchases that I couldn’t live without.  It helps me to approach a sale with the test: “I love it so much I’d pay twice that.”  I can make do with what I have as far as pants, suits and extra thingies (bras, scarfs, necklaces).  So I was only considering wardrobe-transforming pieces: shoes, maybe a blouse.

I bought three things.  First, Sofft suede pumps (above).  These are so killer comfortable, it’s almost funny. The lady next to me was buying the “Reva” snakeskin-print zippered cage shoe  and practically yelling, “It’s that old lady brand! They are so comfortable! Buy these!” If you wear a lot of heels, or (even more importantly) don’t wear heels because because you think they’re always painful —  Please go try some of this brand.  The heels are not-too-high, but sculpted with angles and curves that make them not-too-clunky.

Franco Sarto 'Stage' Bootie, Smoke-colored Calfskin

I also liked these Franco Sarto booties. Usually I hate heeled booties. I think they look fine under pants, but on their own they have that creepy “WTF high-heeled ankle-less boot/shoe?” vibe. There’s a wrongness about them.  I don’t know if I’ll keep these — I need to try them on with my pants and see how wearable they are.  The heel is 3 1/4, which makes a 9-hour workday feel pretty long. But the smoke color is killer and if they work, they would be a major wardrobe upgrade to all my fall/winter pant looks. 


Burberry Taffeta Down Puffer Coat

I spent quite a bit of time with Classiques Entier Tops, I often find really pretty, flattering tops that go well with any a suit and also work well dressing up jeans or cords.  I didn’t see much I liked that was on sale: a pretty print in a very difficult shade of green was discounted, but much of the purple line was not.  Um, no thanks guys.  I can’t do mandarin collar or that faux-tux-front look at all, which ruled out a bunch.  (Although now I’m looking at the website and see a lot of stuff I missed — maybe Tacoma had a scant selection? ) I tried on a puffy cashmere boatneck sweater that was super cozy but made me look like a purple cashmere boat. But the Classiques Atelier line has totally different stuff online than in the store, so I can’t show you a picture. I ended up with one top (picture coming soon).

What I didn’t buy: No pants, no leather jackets, no skinny jeans, no batwing tunics.  Some jackets were cute, but I’m not in the mood — Seriously I have enough jackets.  In a more flush mood I might have considered this plaid Burberry jacket, which I think is hellishly cute.  But I have a very similar coat in brown that is four years old and doing just fine.   No real incentive to buy the Burberry.

There were a ton of gorgeous boots — Mostly tall ones; very, very few short “Little Black Boot” types.  I will post the Julie and Jennie report soon and we can talk about what a person wears the boots with (skinny jeans? Does that require tunics? Can you just tuck regular jeans into the boots?)  I might go back and see how I feel on a different day (I need to take my kid to get the right size shoes — this is the only time we buy Geox for boys).  For now, I’m happy with the minimalist thing.  Anyone else?

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J's look: Praga patchwork skirt by Free People, with interesting detail.

One of our regular blog contributors is wearing this Free People Skirt today (I think it’s this one). She is very tall, funky and fabulous, and also she works in a kind of artsy/techno job, so I think this might be the perfect skirt.  But she wonders if it’s “too Boho.” Well, I don’t know. (I do know that on me, this skirt would be too, “My Mom’s Gypsy Costume she wore for every Halloween the 1980’s.”)  My friend J is NOT “a Boho person,” she is an edgy, hip person who used to live in Prague for real.

This reminds me that adjectives are useful for describing things (Does the skirt belong to the category identified as “Boho.”) Adjectives are less useful for describing people (is this person Boho or not?)  Labelling people hinders them.

So I generally resist the shortcut, “I’m not the kind of person who ___,” or “I’m more of a ____ girl.”

Labels are categories.  Categories are useful when we need to quickly sort ideas or things.  But people are not ideas or things.  Categories taunt us: What to include? What to exclude? 
It’s big issue with moms.  Are you a working mom or a stay-at-home-mom? Are you granola or crunchy? Are you hip or funky? Moms are an exhausted, isolated, brilliant and busy bunch of women.  We crave definition and connection.  This sucks us into categories, fast.  And labels like “attachment parenting” (for instance), while useful in gathering and sorting ideas –hinder us  when we begin to agonize over whether we want to take on the label of “An Attachment Parent,” or whether a certain parenting choice is “AP.” At best we distract ourselves with mind games about who is in, and who is out.  At worst, we condemn and ostracize each other — and ourselves.

Of course we can (and should) judge what we see of a decision — of an idea, a look, a statement, a skirt. We just can’t judge the entire of a human person.  (When we do start to judge a person — as judges, as juries –we are careful about what we can consider — Race? Reputation? Gossip? Appearance? — and what we must ignore). In daily life, putting people into categories (are they good or bad? Cool or weird? My kind of friend — or not?) is a waste of time — and a dangerous one.  And the worst person to label is ourselves: Is this dress ME?  I’m not a BOOTS KIND OF GIRL. If I wore that I’d look like A SLUT.

Judging ourselves is a way to grab at masks, instead of accepting the complexity and dynamism of our authentic selves.  It limits our potential. It sets ourselves up for failure. 

My look: Sofft pumps, with interesting detail.

My challenge then is to judge and describe things — the clothes, the awesome Chevron stripes, the texture and the shape. And not to judge and describe people.  Things — especally clothes, especially style — need to work FOR us. They don’t define us.  They can’t exclude us.

And I’m saying all this because I want to say: I’m not much of a Gypsy Skirt kind of girl.  I’m more of a “interesting black pump” (what I have on today) kind of girl.  And that makes me feel a little stodgy and boring next to friend J.

But I’m challenging myself to express this without self-labelling.  I’ll let you know when I succeed. 


the American Red Cross: http://www.redcross.org/

Catholic Relief Services: http://crs.org/
Doctors without Borders: http://www.msf.org/

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Sofft, $99

Napoli III in Chianti by Sofft

There is nothing — nothing I tell you — that dresses up a workday outfit like a beautiful heel.  No other single piece of clothing can make a woman feel so confident, powerful, beautiful and absolutely butt-kickingly fabulous.  But I will admit, even as a big proponent of high heeled shoes , I do get tired of wearing them some days.  With five days a week to fill with fabulous business casual, I definitely mix it up and wear plenty of cute flats, loafers and boots. 

Kara Rose by Clarks Indigo

Kara Rose by Clarks Indigo

So I was thrilled to discover that Nordstrom has lots of new fall shoes from Sofft’s Fashion Comfort line.  Sofft have always struck me as the clunky kind of comfort shoe, “cute” like chunky little teddy bears are cute.  And seriously I don’t want teddy bears on my feet.  This new generation of Sofft has really raised the bar, though.  Gorgeous patent leathers, sleek shapes, deep current colors like red wine and midnight blue.

Clarks Indigo is also doing some great things.  These are all at price points below $100, making them a bit more accessible than the Cole Haan [Nike] Air series that I also rave about.  And Nordstrom has a promotion right now for Clarks Indigo that if you try one on, you get a scratch ticket to see if you win a prize!  I won a Clarks Shopping Bag.  I’m conflicted, does this kind of promo cheapen my Nordstrom? Or is it just one more reason to linger over my big messy pile of try-on shoes while the salesclerk bring me more and more to try on?  Whatever the reason, today I’m raving because my shoes “look like a pump, and feel like a sneaker” (tm Easy Spirit).  And yes, we still need to be careful with overwearing any heel regardless of comfort (especially if you walk a lot — I have a desk job). 

But it’s a wonderful feeling to have a Good Shoe Day, and I felt so inspired I thought “I wish I had a place to tell everyone about these shoes!” Oh wait, here we are!  Ladies of America’s Workplaces, hear me now: There are shoes out there that will inspire you to run, not walk, through the parking garage on the way to the office because they are so comfy and you look so great that you want to show them off to your best coworker girlfriends.  If fall has you reaching for your same dumpy pair of black ankle boots from two years ago, YOU TOO can go shoe shopping.  YOU TOO can wear beautiful clothes you love and still be comfortable.

Shoes are magic!

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