Pump it Up

Zara Woman shoes VIA

Classic. Black. Pumps. 

A staple that should be in every broad's closet. And one that is worth every penny - once your find the perfect pair. I received a recent email from a fellow broad who is looking to update said staple...

Dear Classy Broad,

If you and your classy self were to buy a new pair of black heels, what route would you go? I have a basic pair of pumps that kind of look like this:
photo c/o Zappos
  but they are beat up and I need something new. I'd like something versatile that I can wear to weddings, with jeans, etc. I have a hard time with black because I feel like they are a bit boring and I thought about doing patent but do you feel that is a good choice? Your insight and expertise would be much appreciated.

Love,

Pondering over Pumps....

Let me start with saying that black does not, and should not, be boring. With the way pumps are these days, you should focus first on the cut (think shape of the shoe, toe cleavage) and second on the texture (leather, suede, patent, oh my!). As far as patent leather goes, it can look wintry, but if the style is more of a cutout or open style, it could work across the seasons. I would't worry a whole lot about closed toe or peep toe - I personally believe either work all year round. Even in the heat of summer, if you're attending something that requires an LBD or more formal dress, your black pumps are going to work regardless. On the flip side, if you're wearing a cute summery dress, you're not going into your closet for your black pumps anyway. 
Exhibit 1: Boring? Since when is this sexy cut and snakeskin boring?
I love this shoe.  A bit of a splurge, but remember this is a staple.
Dina Sure Pumps, Alice + Olivia c/o ShopBop

Cutouts.

Another fun idea is going with cutouts. This pump will work for many seasons, since the toe is covered but the cutouts make them appropriate for warmer months as well.
Gaia Pump by Via Spiga, c/o Nordstrom



More Cutout to Lace options. You'd be surprised how much these styles go with; don't be afraid to mix textures or patterns! You can wear a patterned top with these shoes.
These would look awesome with anything from an LBD to a pair of cuffed boyfriend jeans.
Pina Pump, VC Signature Pump c/o Nordstrom 

Limit the Black. 


Wearing black pumps doesn't mean your entire foot must be covered.
I love mesh or other sheer fabrics that open up the shoe and show off the foot.
This option would work anytime of year. And who doesn't love a sexy ankle strap?
Cynthia Pump, BCBGeneration c/o Nordstrom

Add another color.




You'd be surprised how much mileage you'd get from a much a black and nude choice. 
Keeping the front of the shoe black will still give the look you want. 
Heliette by Aldo (again, Piperlime)


Mix Textures. 
If the whole shoe is black, add definition with one that mixes textures,
like shimmer and suede.
Izzie Pump, BCBGeneration c/o Nordstrom

Or classic leather and patent leather. 
Wrenn Pump, Anne Klein (via Piperlime)



Back to Classic

So you really meant you wanted a simple, classic pump? Well, alright. Here we go.

 
When selecting classic pumps, I prefer something in between a pointed and round toe. Sharp pointed toes look great with pants but can be harsh with dresses. Round toes can look sweet with dresses but with some pants, can give that short-footed look. No thanks. Somewhere in between is the answer. 
Pompadour by Charles David

I love this classic style.
And, the above looks scarily similar to a certain Manolo Blahnik version.
If you can't splurge, go for the Pact Pump, Charles by Charles David c/o Nordstrom

Keep the classic option fun with interesting shapes along the side, a V at the toes for some toe cleave, or both. 



So, my broad, I hope your ponder is over. Or that you at least now have some direction.  Remember that the above are just ideas and if you're looking for a bargain there are tons of brands emulating the look of high end designer shoes. Using specific search terms like "cutout", "ankle strap", "cap toe" or "d'orsay", will help get you where you want to be. 

Happy Shopping!

~TCB

Kick Some Bootie

Image c/o I Am Fashion

Ankle boots are a must for any Classy Broad's rotation this Fall and Winter. However, these cute little booties- while adorable on display at the store or online - can pose a troublesome question for many a broad. A fellow CB recently bought the below pair and asked me...

Madden Girl Booties, c/o Zappos


"How do I wear these?"...

Be brave. The toughest part about booties is wearing them out of the house for the first time. Here is your warning: It only takes one day, one outfit and one well executed look to make you wonder what you ever did each fall and winter before them. They are incredibly versatile, can be dressed up or down and are generally more comfortable than their taller, high heeled cousins. Here are some of my favorite ways to rock booties.


Back to Basics

Nothing classier than a  crisp white button down and clean, simple denim.
Miranda Kerr adds trendy shoes to a  timeless look. Nailed it.
Photo c/o GQ


Sweaters and Skinnies

Skinny jeans (or even leggings) tucked into the boots and a cozy sweater 
keep the look both feminine and casual.
Outfit c/o Piperlime 
Here they are shown with ankle length pants. Don't be afraid so show some  [ankle] skin.
Look c/o of the always Classy BEE of Atlantic Pacific
If you're not pleased with the length of the pants and how they fall with the boots, just fold up for a cuffed look. Distressed denim also creates a more casual, dressed down look.
Look c/o Piperlime

All Dressed Up

I have yet to see Alexa Chung make a fashion mistake. Here it's obvious that booties can be dressed up. I also love sheer black tights for evening cocktail attire.
Photo c/o Style Bistro
Lace is timeless but booties create the perfect girly to edgy ratio.
Outfit and look c/o The Cool Girls Closet

For a more subtle and leg-elongating look, wear tights and boots of the same color.
I love how the military style jacket makes this look more daytime appropro.
Look c/o Elle

Make neutral-colored booties pop with a colored dress.
c/o Isabella Oliver



Even more dressed down... and don't be afraid to bare your legs (weather permitting!).
Look c/o Swell
 Layer Up
Layer tweed or cord shorts with tights and booties.
BEE strikes again.



Cozy tights layered with thick socks not only mix up textures and colors but also makes this look oh so wintery.
Image c/o Going To Make it Mine
You're on your own now. Break the booties out of the box and hit the streets.
Until next time, 
TCB

Kick It!


Thank you to the Broad who sent this question in to Sarah Asks! While it came in from a cute mama-on-the-go who literally goes the extra mile for her fellow broads in need, this applies to Broads everywhere.

Q: I'm a stay-at-home Mom and am looking for stylish, yet comfortable shoes to wear while chasing my two-year-old son. Maybe to pair with jeans and a cardigan? I'd think that ballet flats are the obvious choice, however I tend to want to wear some sort of socks when it's cold... Can you think of anything to solve my issue? And comfort is a must!

A: Comfortable, yet stylish shoes for being active can be tough to find. There is nothing worse than wearing a cute pair of pants or skirt only to realize the most suitable kicks for the day would be your running shoes.  Talk about your ultimate outfit-killer. Or you opt for the non-comfy-but-oh-so-cute option and you find yourself in the Foot Care aisle at your local drugstore.

Lucky for us, many brands have decided to seize the opportunity to make comfy AND cute shoes for the Broad on the Go. See some of my faves below...

Snazzy Sneaks

Snazzy Sneaks
Wearing any of these sneaker, or sneaker inspired shoes will have you looking like the opposite of a high school gym teacher. Even espadrilles which are so in this spring and summer (can you remember a season when they weren't?!) have comfortable, more sneaker-like soles. And, all of these are under 100 big ones - and don't think your local discount store won't have them too. What's better? Buy a pair of Toms and you're buying a pair of shoes for a child in need.

All sneakers and espadrilles can be viewed HERE.

Fab Flats
Fab Flats


You mentioned ballet flats. There is a special spot in my heart for all ballet-inspired shoes. Just looking through a Sprint J.Crew catalog and perusing the rainbow-like collection of amazing ballet flats gets me drooling. They're a great option. However, try out a few styles of flats - loafers, ballet flats, cute summery sandals, moccasins! So many comfy-yet-classy options.

All flats, loafers and skimmers can be viewed HERE
So, there you have it. The only thing I've not yet touched on is socks. My personal rule is that socks were meant to be worn and not seen. Hue makes a great line of Shoe Liners  that are very reasonable. 

Now go get yourself some new kicks, my active Broad!

Have a question? Chances are you're not the only one. Just hit up The Classy Broad.

Sarah Asks: Black Tie Mama

This installment of Sarah Asks comes from a dear friend who is a very new mom to a beautiful baby girl. Her question is great as it touches on multiple topics: Black Tie, Post-Baby Fit and my favorite, the power of accesorizing! Read on, my Broads...


Q: Okay "Broad", Here's a real challenge for you: My hubby got us invited to a Black Tie optional gala in April. I have NO idea what to wear given two "obstacles": it may be chilly (SF at night is a big question mark), and given my recent status change to New Mother, my body will need some strategic covering (namely the belly that carried my cute baby, and my arms which is where all that extra "baby fat" has set up camp).


Any ideas??

Thanks!!

A: Challenge Accepted. Let's look at this in a positive light: you GET to go to a black tie event in San Francisco and you GET to choose a new dress for the occasion. So, although it's optional I'd say do it! You can go non-black-tie anytime you want. In fact, I don't like that you were given the "option"; no wonder you have questions! Embrace your inner fancy broad. This should be a fun task, not a daunting one.

Here are the Broad's helpful hints:


1. Stick to Black. The rules for Black Tie no longer require the need to wear black but since you're wanting to look as slim as possible, this is going to work in your favor. It's also the most fun color to complement with accessories.

2. If you dare to go non-floor length(which you can - again,"optional"), these are my recommendations:

This dress will make you feel zipped up and sexy at the same time. Pair this with some fun lace tights or sheer black nylons to dress it up. You said it was San Francisco so it's totally okay to do a lighter tight in the summer!

Amanda Uprichard Ponti Sheath Dress, Piperlime

Want to go short but more fun? This dress requires little to no accessories (some cute posts or slight drop earrings will do) but is fun and will hide any arm issues that concern you. Again, sheer black tights will make this more black-tie appropro.

Polka Dot Lace Shift Dress, Laundry by Shelli Segal via Nordy's

3. Now for floor length, which I prefer. Maxi's are in, Girl! Embrace it...

Yes, I know this is sleeveless. However, the flow of the material and the draping will work the rest of your figure so well. Brave this style with a pretty statement necklace and if you're feeling shy bring a bright wrap and wear it all night. You won't look like you're covering anything (again, SF in June!)

Evie Long Dress, J.Crew

THE BROAD'S #1 PICK: I love this dress. The sleeves will give you just the right amount of coverage while still looking like the sophisticated and sexy mom that you are. While this material may appear tight, it will work with you, not against you. And remember, SPANX are your friend!

Split Sleeve Dress, Lauren by Ralph Lauren via Bloomies



4. Now the fun part - ACCESSORIES!
Choose a color that you want to work into your black attire. Some fun ideas for summer are fuschia, yellow or lime. I highly recommend checking out stores like Ann Taylor Loft, J.Crew and discount retailers like Loehmanns for sales or great prices on trendy, attention grabbing statement jewelry. The right piece will MAKE the outfit. Check out some of the rec's I gave to Shanna when she asked about her maid accessories here.

Here are my two favorite jewelry ideas....

Statement Necklace

Okay, I am biased since this was what I had my maids wear, but this necklace is so fun to add to a sleek dress or more bare neckline. It also has silver and gold, faux diamonds and pearls so the earring choice to match (so long as you go simple) is SO easy. The necklace was from Anthropologie over a year ago but a somewhat similar piece can be found here, but I'd recommend scouring aforementioned stores for a better deal. 

Photo Courtesy of Joielala Photographie


Want even more color? This necklace will make your entire ensemble. Pair this with  posts and a pair of gold heels. Want to be crazy? Throw on a Fuschia wrap for more color.
Tessellate Necklace, J.Crew

Stunning Lobes
Put your hair up in a classy or more messy chignon and add these shiners to each ear. DONE.

Kate Spade Chandelier earrings via Piperlime


Get Your Kicks

I don't think  a broad can go wrong with simple, strappy metallic heels. *Online Shopping Hint* Search for "sandals" instead of pumps when you want a look like the above.

Rory Strappy Sandals, J.Crew



Never underestimate the power of a good  nude shoe. You will find endless reasons to wear them again and again. This is also the best color option should you choose a fun bright-colored purse or clutch. There are all types in every price range. I like the look and price of these.

Aldo Hersey Pumps via Nordstrom


So, now it's up to you to decide.. report back to us. Stay Classy, Mama!

Gotta question for The Classy Broad? Send an EMAIL and you may see your name in lights, or just in the Sarah Asks section.