Double-Take: Alexander Wang Aminata

I love seeing shoes in a bold, striking hue. Combine this with a sleek design and you’ve got a winner. The Aminata heel from Alexander Wang has a rather simple silhouette, but the crocodile texture really makes the red color pop. You can get these at Farfetch and Barney’s Warehouse.



Double-Take: Tabitha Simmons Early Bootie

It’s the middle of winter here in Philadelphia, and although there aren’t piles of snow around on the sidewalks, the temperatures do dip below the 40s and that makes me want to put on my coziest outfits for outdoor excursions in center city. Icy sidewalks are no place for heels, and black ankle boots are the answer to staying chic in the cold. The best are those tastefully adorned with eye-catching details like buckles, zippers, and studs.



Double-Take: Givenchy Buckled Sandal

Givenchy Buckled Sandal (Net-a-Porter, Barney’s)
There’s something very appealing about ankle-boot-sandal hybrids. They give off a very cool vibe. I think what I like most about them is that they can work across all four seasons; I’d love to pair these with some textured knit socks,tights, and a skirt on a chilly fall day. I also love the thick heel. Most people don’t find them chunky heels very flattering, but on my legs they really help balance out my small feet with my runner’s legs. And they’re much easier to walk in than pencil-thin heels! The designer price tag is quite hefty though, so I found some double-takes that are more wallet friendly:
Kelsi Dagger Gina (Amazon, LuLu’s, DSW,
Zara Ankle Boot Sandal


Double-Take: Chloé Ankle Strap Sandal

Chloe Banded Ankle Strap Sandal (Farfetch, Ssense, Barney’s)
I know it’s getting close to fall, but I’m still completely enamoured with simple and sleek ankle strap sandals. I’ve been lusting after this color blocked pair from Chloe all season; it’s understated and modern, and perfect for neutral outfits. Of course, the price isn’t so perfect for my budget, and I can’t believe I came across a double-take so close to the end of the summer season: 
Chinese Laundry Balance (Zappos, Amazon, Piperlime)
Chinese Laundry is pretty good at offering the latest trends at lower prices. These sandals have the exact same shape as the pair by Chloe, and are even crafted in neutral colors. But if you don’t like the monochrome look, there are fun colors options as well!

Double-Take: Manolo Blahnik BB

Manolo Blahnik BB (Saks – in many colors; Barneys; Bergdorf Goodman)
The Manolo Blahnik BB Pump. Perfection. There’s no other shoe that calls my name more than the BB; it’s simple, classic, and sexy with all the right curves and proportions. Named after French siren Brigitte Bardot, there’s a reason these pumps are seen everywhere on everyone. They just work. You can wear anything with these shoes and still look fabulous. And let’s not forget that most Manolos are extremely comfortable, at least in my opinion. Whenever I tried them on (I’ve yet to own a pair), they felt right at home on my feet as I pranced around in the shoe department. 

In June, Neiman Marcus opened their made-to-order BB boutique, where you can customize your BBs by choosing the heel height, color, and material for your new pumps. After you submit your order, the shoes are made in Italy and shipped to you. The best part? A customized pair doesn’t cost any more than a retail pair!

It’s my dream to someday buy myself my very own pair of Manolo BB pumps. But for now, I’ll just eye them from afar, and perhaps temporarily satisfy myself with a double-take.
 Vince Camuto Harty (teal on Shoebox, other colors on Amazon)
I’ve had a lot of success with Vince Camuto lately; they offer trendy shoes in addition to classic styles. And their flats are extremely comfortable! You can’t go wrong with the Harty pump. The shape is beautiful and very similar to the Manolo BB. 

Feast your eyes on other scrumptious styles…

Whistles French 75 (Asos)

Boutique 9 Migs (Zappos, Macy’s)

Manolo Blahnik BB (Neiman Marcus)
Although I’m lusting after a pair in black suede, I really like the BB in metallic grey. The color works wonderfully as a neutral, and the metallic sheen creates a modern, edgy, and sophisticated vibe. Because the color is more matte than silver, the pumps will last long after the metallic trend has faded. 

ShoeMint Gelareh
Some time ago, ShoeMint had the best Manolo Blahnik BB double-take I’ve ever seen. The Gelareh came in three different colors: silver, yellow suede, and wine patent. They sold out extremely fast, and I regret not getting the yellow pair. However, they just released their August collection, which includes a pump named Bess that looks strikingly similar to Gelareh. It’s available in four fantastic colors, and they’re all suede!  Here’s your chance to get what I think is the next best thing to the BB pump if you’re on a budget:
 ShoeMint Bess 

Update August 8: I just came across these pumps from Victoria’s Secret. They look extremely similar to the BB and come in a bunch of gorgeous colors! They are a bit out of my price range for pumps, but they are made of leather and look very classic, so it might be worth the investment if you love them!

Victoria’s Secret Pointed-ToePump


Double-Take: Christian Louboutin Pigalle

(Barneys; in black and blue on Net-a-Porter, Saks)
Although I have never particularly loved the more inventive shoes from Louboutin, there are classics that I think are quite scrumptious and will never go out of style. The Pigalle has, in my opinion, the ideal shape for a pump. The curves are sensual and highlight the shape of the foot, and although some people hate toe cleavage, I think a little bit here and there doesn’t hurt anyone. Pigalles have the ability to make your feet look perfect; they ooze glamour, sexuality and confidence. Unfortunately, they also cost and arm and a leg for most people. I would never buy a fake pair, but double-takes are fair game in my books! I’ve found some pumps that have the same effect, minus the red sole:

Truth or Dare by Madonna Lele (Macys; in white on 6pm)
Currently, these are probably the closest you can get in shape and style to the Pigalle. I tried on a hot pink (!) pair at Nordstrom Rack, and they actually look quite fabulous on. There’s even a slight hint of toe cleavage in these. However, the sole is pretty thin but I think add some foot cushions would work perfectly! I had no need for hot pink pumps though, so they didn’t come home with me. 
There are even more of these great double-takes! 


Aldo Frited 
I’ve never really had any luck with Aldo shoes being comfortable on my feet, even though every season there are several styles that I really love. But if they work for you, you’re in luck! The Frited pump has a gorgeous shape and looks very similar to the Pigalle. The most noticeable difference is the thickness of the heel, but who’s going to be looking closely at that?

Christian Louboutin Pigalle Spiked
(Barneys in red, black; Net-a-Porter
The edgy punk spike trend is still having it’s moment because there are so many people that love it, but I’ve had a hard time finding something I absolutely love that looks sophisticated enough without being overdone. Louboutin added spikes to the classic Pigalle and turned it into a shoe that says something completely different. The beauty about this pump is that the spikes are the same color as the rest of the shoe. So although they add a fierce touch, it’s more understated and not an in-your-face-rebellious detail. Of course, it didn’t take long for others to jump on the bandwagon, so there are even more double-take options for this pump than there are for the regular version of the Pigalle.
Truth or Dare by Madonna Panu (6pm
Madonna’s line has a lot of double-takes lately, no? It seems that Louboutin shoes are very inspiring for the brand, although I’m pretty sure she doesn’t actually design them.

Truth or Dare by Madonna Cesis (Macy’s
The Cesis pump is a little more subtle than the Panu. It looks both ladylike and edgy, and it’s even cheaper! I wonder if they’re comfortable…

Bucco Finola (DrJays)

This one is practically sold out, and I’m not surprised. With ShoeDazzle offering stylish shoes at super low prices, and the fact that spikes are a huge trend, these were bound to sell out quickly. The shape is actually quite nice, but I’m not sure about comfort and quality because I’ve never ordered from them.


Double-Take: YSL Clara

Yves Saint Laurent YSL Clara Pump
YSL Clara (Barneys – sold out) $695

Even though the Clara pump is considered “past season,” the design is timeless. This beautiful pump from YSL is classic with an unexpected twist: a subtle metal detail on the heel. Clara is part of a collection from before YSL was re-branded to Saint Laurent. 

I’m glad that a double-take exists, especially because it’s done almost as beautifully as the original. The Amy pump from Guess by Marciano is pretty much an exact copy of Clara. The only standout difference is that the leather is not as shiny and the interior is tan instead of black. They’re also pretty affordable, especially if you’re looking to “invest” in a good-quality black pump. But if you still want the original, Gilt is having a YSL sale today, which includes the Clara pump in platinum and red. You can also find the 3″ version on Yoox.

Guess by Marciano Amy Pump YSL Double-Take
Guess by Marciano Amy

 Vince Camuto Cynthea (The Shoe Box

I love this double-take from Vince Camuto because it’s a suede version of the beautiful YSL Clara, and I’m more partial to suede than leather. Vince Camuto also makes their shoes out of high quality leathers, which are usually very soft and comfortable.

Schutz Verniz (Ideeli)

Update August 8: The Verniz pump from Schutz is another great alternative to the YSL Clara. I have three different pairs of Schutz shoes, and they’re all extremely high quality. But hurry, I’m not sure how long the deal on Ideeli will last!

Update August 15: Gilt is having a Schutz sale today with the same pump, except under the name Saulo. It’s also cheaper than on Ideeli.

Summer Style: White shoes and how to wear them.

Alexander Wang Antonia Sandal (pretty much sold out)

Black has always been the traditional go-to color for a neutral shoe. When all other options fail, a black pump or flat is guaranteed to work with your outfit. Every woman has at least one pair of black pumps in her closet. But the fashion world is always changing, and a “new neutral” is always popping up each season. Last year, the nude shoe was huge because it works with every color, and has the added bonus of leg-lengthening properties. And this year, the fashion world is inducting white shoes as a wardrobe staple.

White shoes finish off an outfit in a clean, fresh way. No longer a relic of the past, the newest generation of white pumps and shoes look sleek and modern with minimalist single soles and new shapes. They look stunning when worn with an all white ensemble, pair perfectly with black, and add a touch of sophistication and elegance to busier outfits with a lot of color. 

With the official start of summer not too far away, it’s safe to bring out the whites. While I was never one to follow the “no white after Labor Day” rule, I do feel that white shoes, especially strappy styles, are more appropriate for the summer.
Sometimes wearing white shoes can be tricky – the words often bring to mind weddings or tacky stilettos – but I’ve put together a list of tips to help steer you in the right direction:

Reserve satin fabrics and gemstone embellishments for formal occasions. 
Details like this are too formal for day wear, particularly in the summer when a relaxed look is favorable.
Wear white shoes in the spring and summer. 
While white pumps and booties can be worn outside of the summer season if styled well, reserve your sandal and wedge styles for the summer.

Don’t overdo your tan.
The contrast between white shoes and your skin will make you look tan, even if you are on the paler end of the spectrum. If you’re very tan, a cream or tan color will look less tacky next to your skin.

White shoes will compliment fabrics featuring white details.
There are no strict rules to pairing white pumps with your clothes, but if you’re nervous about the trend, try pairing white shoes with a dress that features white in the pattern, such as white polka dots or stripes.

Never buy cheap white shoes. 
White is a color that will showcase ever flaw if the shoes are not made of quality material. Avoid patent styles; a soft buttery leather will look more elegant.

Clean your shoes after wearing them. 
White obviously gets dirty very quickly. In order to keep your white shoes in pristine condition, don’t wear them in situations where they might get dirty. And if they do, clean them immediately after wearing them.

(click to enlarge) 
1. Aldo – Essi $100 (Aldo)
2. Nine West – Callen $85 (Nine West, Amazon, Zappos, Nordstrom)
3. Balmain – Metal-Effect Pump $549 (Barneys)
4. ASOS – Hostage $70 (Asos)
5. Topshop – Gwenda $116 (Topshop, Nordstrom)
6. Jeffrey Campbell – Mosaics $152 (NastyGal)
7. ZARA White Wedge $99 (Zara)
8. Casadei – Softymetal $770-1100 (Shoescribe, Casadei)
9. Nine West – Gee $99 (Amazon, Nine West)
10. Truth or Dare by Madonna – Muncy $130 (Macys)
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