Double-Take: Giuseppe Zanotti Cap Toe Pump

Giuseppe Zanotti Muffa (The Outnet); 

 Nine Eldori (DSW, Nina Shoes)

Giuseppe Zanotti designs such a wide range of shoes, from classic to fantastical. The Muffa is a classic cap-toe pump with a twist: Swarowski crystals on the toe. If you can get them in your size, they’re on sale on for $299 (50% off retail). The Nina Eldori is a great alternative if you’re looking for something more budget-friendly. They’re also made of leather, which is a huge plus for the price point!

Real girl budget.

Shopping doesn’t have to empty your wallet.

There are a lot of blogs out there for the fashionista on a “real girl” budget. But when you start seeing posts about buying one item of fairly average clothing for more than $150, you begin to question what defines a “real girl” budget.

In reality, there is no single answer to that. Having a budget is real enough for almost everybody, unless you inherit a ridiculous fortune or have a credit card with no limit (I can always dream!). In my opinion, a fashionista who has student loan debt, a yearly income on the lower-end of the spectrum, and doesn’t depend on her parents (or significant other) for the means to fuel her passion is about as real as you can get. This is the soil savvy fashionista’s sprout from; make way for the bargain hunters!

There’s absolutely nothing wrong with being “that girl” who digs through clearance and haggles for lower prices at thrift stores. In fact, scoring a great deal on something is almost as exhilarating as finding something you really want that fits like a dream. I love finding something for an unbelievable price, especially since everything is becoming more expensive these days. I didn’t paid retail for a single item in my closet, and I’m very proud of that. 

Whether you have to set a “real girl” budget or don’t have to think twice about shelling out a couple hundred for a pair of shoes or a blouse, it’s important to realize that good style can come from anywhere. Sometimes spending a little more is necessary, and sometimes the cheapest finds will end up being a wardrobe staple in your closet.

I’ll leave you with a shopping tip I live by: compare the cost of something you want to the cost of things you need every day; your rent, groceries for a week, and your utility bills are good reference points. If it’s a huge fraction of the price, it almost always means it’s not really worth it (unless you can afford it of course).

Fake vs. Double-Take

Not everyone can afford the Real Deal, so naturally, there are fakes of designer shoes, handbags, and clothing. A stranger might not notice the difference (unless they have a very keen eye), but there’s something bothersome about wearing a fake. You’re really fooling yourself (as well as others), because most are sub-par quality, and don’t even come close to the real thing. Luckily, there’s a way of getting around that: fast fashion.


Tuesday Shoesday: Slouchy Suede


There’s a fabulous story that comes with these gorgeous Sergio Rossi boots, and I’ve pretty much told everyone who asks about them.

I found them at a DSW in Chicago (on clearance for a jaw-dropping price) while shopping with my boyfriend. Because I was traveling at the time, I wouldn’t have been able to fit them in my suitcase. Plus, my boyfriend felt I didn’t need any more shoes. So I flew home and a few days later, I was still thinking about them.


Every Shoe Lover has a Beginning

I love walking around barefoot. When I was a kid, I never wore shoes if I could help it. Which always makes me wonder, how did I become so obsessed with shoes? I’m turning 24 this year, and though I have a few theories, I’m not set on an answer because I can’t really pinpoint when it all started. It’s just one of those unanswerable questions.

Even though I was a tomboy (being a middle child with two brothers does that to you), I still snuck into my mother’s closet to try on all the shoes. I was particularly attached to a pair of green suede pumps. I even put on my dad’s shoes when I was a toddler. My parents have photographic evidence of this.

I got my first pair of little-girl-high-heels when I was 9. My dad actually bough them for me because I made a big fuss at the store. They were white leather with an ankle strap and a 2-inch black block heel. I loved them to death and tried to wear them every day. I think after that first pair, I got hooked. My parents didn’t think I needed more heels, so I used to make shoes out of cardboard from cereal boxes and used empty toilet paper rolls for the heel. I was pretty creative with my designs, and they were actually sturdy enough for me to walk in. Of course, I didn’t wear them in public, but it was fun to wander around the house pretending I was shopping in a department store.

So despite my preference to run around barefoot, I’ve somehow developed a strong attachment to shoes, particularly supple suede pumps. I don’t like to call it an addiction, because it’s not like I can’t live without them (I hope). My obsessions is more of an appreciation for beautiful shapes, materials, and colors. Shoe design is like architecture really; some are purely artistic sculptures, and others balance form with function. And since they’re on your feet pretty much every day, why not have a little fun?

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