Thursday, January 31, 2013

Worthington -Honor, Black

Ciao a tutti!

My fellow Shoe-A-Holics, I am feeling Hot in the City today!  For the second time in as many weeks, the unseasonably warm weather has me putting my boots on temporary hiatus and rummaging through the back of my Shoe Arsenal for lighter, cooler footwear.  A couple of weeks ago, I asked on my Facebook Page if you have a break from the winter's cold and snow, what is your go to footwear?  Many responses were of remaining in boots or shoes, but some mentioned that sandals were an option if the weather was warm enough.

Erring of the side of conservatism, you will remember that I opted for a peep-toe wedge, but today in this 80 (26 Celsius) degree heat, although it way be 'winter' here, that is summer in Toronto, and I put on sandals.  Okay, so I didn't break out my 'summer'  summer sandals, I opted for these strappy gladiators which did manage cover most of my feet, yet keep them cool enough during the day.  The only thing I need now, is a pedicure; although the weather is sandals ready, my poor tootsies are not!

Baci a tutti!

Stella Notte

Day 308: Thursday January 31st 2013
Designer: Worthington
Name: Honor
Color: Black
Style: Gladiator Sandal
Heel: 4 inches (10.16 cm)
Material: Interwoven Leather upper with stud details
Beautiful in any color; click here to see these beauties in Brown!

 How I Styled It?
I love dresses!  I would wear them everyday if I lived in a tropical locale; they are very forgiving like skirts, but unlike skirts (and other separates), there are no co-ordinating pieces and the styling is already done for you.  I'm going to let you in on a little styling secret of mine: make a polyester and spandex blend dark print dress your new warm weather best friend.  Here's why: the summer can be brutal, and if you are headed out on a warm or hot day, you always want to look your best.  After living in Sicily and experiencing their dry desert heat (and no summer breeze), I would shower and dress in the morning, only to have my clothing drenched in sweat by 10am. And it wasn't cute especially when meeting with Local Nationals and trying to give a good first impression.   The beauty of a mixed fabric print dress (like the one I'm wearing from Ross Dress for Less, I found for $4.99 on clearance) is that you can sweat, and if doesn't show! The print, unlike a solid, hides this little embarrassment, and the fluidity of the material, unlike cotton or a cotton blend, will mask any wetness; so when the mercury rises, I still manage to look cool and fresh which is always chic.  SN 

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Old Navy -Basic Pump, Black

Ciao a tutti!
I bought these shoes while still living overseas, and after seeing how cute they looked on a friend. She highly recommended these beauties to me, so I went ahead an ordered a pair, but have been a little disappointed after having received them.  My fellow Shoe-A-Holics, this morning, I have a little shoe advice to dispense.

BE WARY OF COMPANIES THAT SELL SHOES BUT DO NOT MANUFACTURE THEM: I vowed that after buying these (actually these shoes are part of a string of shoes I bought from Old Navy where the size and fit were both off), I vowed that I would never buy shoes from Old Navy again (with the caveat that canvas sandals my be reconsidered at a future date). Old Navy's main focus in the nearly 20 years they have been in business has been clothes. They are not a shoe manufacturer, and this is evident in their footwear, at least in these shoes. I bought them because they were leather, inexpensive and were to be a staple piece of footwear.  Since then, I have come to find leather does not equate to good quality, and when you buy and inexpensive shoe often you get what you pay for...something cheap!

Baci a tutti!

Stella Notte

Day 307:  Tuesday January 29th 2013
Designer: Old Navy
Color: Black
Style: Basic Pump
Heel: 3 inches (7.62 cm)
Material: Leather Upper

How I Styled It?
rI have always loved a plaid skirt because the matching possibilites and color combinations seem almost endless.  This morning I paired this black turtleneck from Say What? with a juniors skirt I found at Walmart about 7 years ago. I could have easily have gone with a grey top, and used black or grey tights with either choice.  But what may be a little difficult to tell from the picture is the blue stripes in the plaid print.  These tights were my first pick, adding a bold infusion of color to the neutral grey and black ensemble.  I'm thinking should I revisit this skirt and blous combo, I'll do black top and tights or grey top and tights and cobalt blue shoes!  SN

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Fitzwell -Blakely, White

Ciao a tutti!

My fellow Shoe-A-Holics, I have a bitter-sweet relationship with white shoes, they are white, but that is not the color they always remain!  For as long as I can remember, I have always had a white pair of shoes.  The first pair of pumps I ever owned were white, and come to think of it, the second pair were as well, and before long they looked like they were zebra striped shoes with all the scuff marks they ended up with with the regular course of wear.  During high school, I wore a white pair of leather moccasins so much that by the end of the school year, I needed to coat them daily with white leather shoe polish in order for them to still look white.  And although I have bought white sandals over the years, I've ended up donating most of them (here) even before I had the chance to wear them...including the sandals I bought for my wedding then decided to go barefoot instead!

There is something about a white pair of shoes that I love; perhaps it is the clean appearance, which always makes it look like a new shoe regardless how many times it has been worn (provided they are clean, that is), or maybe it's because until recently, white has been traditionally reserved for the months between Easter and Labor Day, and when seen, they evoke thoughts of warmer days.  It could be that fact that not everyone wears white shoes: Brides, girls during their first communion, little girls in their Sunday dresses and pre-walking infants top the list of white shoe wearers, and even then, they are only worn once or for a short amount of time .  But one thing is true, white shoes are a deliberate shoe; one doesn't slip them on haphazardly only to realize later that they wore the wrong color shoe.  They are shoe which is selected, with forethought of the occasion they'll be worn and what exactly will be done while wearing them, and while most people think of a pair of shoes to go with an outfit, white shoes are probably the only shoes one needs an outfit to go with.

Baci a tutti!

Stella Notte

Day 306: Sunday January 27th 2012
Designer: Fitzwell
Name: Blakely
Color: White
Style: Slip-On Flat
Material: Patent Leather Upper with oversized metal buckle at vamp

Crushing on these beauties as much as I am?
You can find them here, at!
My recommendation? Order 1/2 size larger!

Beautiful in any color; click here to see these beauties in Navy!

How I Styled It?
Styling pop color jeans has become quite easy. I've come to find that if you want the color to stand out, you pair them with a neutral color, but if you want to tone them down, you pair them with more color!  I still believe in the old adage, that white goes with everything but with the caveat: provided you wear white.  This fabulous navy and white polka dot crepe blouse I found on sale at Old Navy, while the bottoms are DKNY Jeans.  The jacket is from Express (years ago), and the suede bag is from Carpisa Italia.  SN

Friday, January 25, 2013

Flashback Friday: Timberland 14" Premium

Ciao a tutti!

As promised, my fellow Shoe-A-Holics, snow!  Okay, so it's not exactly's ice from the skating rink that the Zamboni cleared off; and although these Timberland beauties didn't get to play in the snow, they did take to an event to which I have never been ice hockey game!

I can hear the collective gasp of my Canadian readers, but it is true, even though my high school had a hockey team, well two actually, even though many of my friends played for the school and in the Metro Toronto league, even though my high school's Senior (Varsity, for my American readers) team made it to the provincial finals and won, this was my first time going, and I loved it!

The first game of the double header in the annual Thrasher Cup between The University of Florida (Gators) and Florida State University (yes, they do play hockey in the tropical location of Florida), I rooted for the FSU Seminoles, only because there was a Canadian on the team.  Unfortunately they lost to the Gators 6-2.

The second game was more evenly matched, and the defending two-time Thrasher Cup champions, the Georgia Tech (GT) Yellow Jackets, iced the University of  Georgia (UGA) Ice-Bulldogs, 3-1.  It was a difficult decision deciding which team to cheer for considering GT had 2 Canadians and UGA had a woman player (number 5, with the ponytail).  So I did as any true Canadian would do, I voted for my fellow countrymen!
Something else I've never seen at high school or the small liberal arts college I attended, was a band that came to cheer on their competing team.  Check out the Georgia Tech band's rendition of War's Low Rider
Unfortunately, I'm experiencing some difficulties with You Tube this morning, but I'll try again later to bring you the video!
Baci a tutti!

Stella Notte

Designer: Me, with some help of
Name: 14" Premium (Custom Made)
Style: Tall Lace-Up Boot
Heel: 1.5 inches (3.81 cm)
Platform: 0.5 inches (1.27 cm)
Shaft: 14 inches (35.56 cm)
Material: Full-grain waterproof nubuck leather upper with rust proof hardware, embossed logo and lug sole.  The attached tag is part of the monogrammed custom made option

How I Styled It?

When I purchased these boots, I had the unique opportunity to design them myself!  In the Design Your Own Boot  section of the website, you can customize your very own Timberland boots in an array of sizes and colors, down to the height of the boot and font of the monogram.  When I created mine, I was heavily into my Feminine & Pink phase, and not being able to find pink boots anywhere, I chose this delicate color to pair with this rugged style.  I chose the grey complement, because I have always loved how these two colors worked so well together.  Hard to tell, but the pink puffer jacket (which I found at a market in Italy), is much lighter than the setting sun would lead one to believe, (as shown when I first previewed these beauties here).  The hooded sweater dress is from Old Navy (several seasons ago), while the leggings and pink t-shirt with lace trim are form Forever 21.  The bag is Bongo and the scarf is from the market.  SN

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Franco Sarto -Whitney, Black

Ciao a tutti!

Brrrrrrrr, my fellow Shoe-A-Holics!  As most of the country (and continent) is experiencing a cold snap, after being spoiled by the unseasonably warm weather last week, I thought it was time to don some cold weather gear, and officially kick off (my) boot season; I'll be honest, it won't be long, but I can promise that it will be good.  You'll see some new ones, some old ones and some favorites of mine you haven't see in a while!   So pull up your boot straps and grab your parkas because there is snow forecasted in my immediate future, and it's gonna be a bumpy ride (well, for some of us at least)!

Baci a tutti!

Stella Notte

Day 305:  Thursday January 24th 2013
Designer: Franco Sarto
Name: Whitney
Color: Black
Style: Tall Wedge Boot
Heel: 3.5 inches (8.89 cm)
Shaft: 15 inches (38.1 cm)
Material: Luxe suede upper with crossed straps at vamp and buckle detail

Crushing on these boots?  You can find a similar style sold under the name of Maven, by Franco Sarto at!

Beautiful in any color; click here to see these beauties in Taupe!

How I Styled It?
Quite possibly the coldest day of the year (it reached 29 degrees this morning, that is -2.0 Celsius), I wanted to dress warmly, but by the time I made it outside, it was 57 degrees (14 Celsius), and the heavy winter items were put back in the closet.  I had been looking for a puffer jacket for some time, but I wanted a sleeker version, and this quilted, belted, corduroy trimmed version from Forever 21, fit the bill.  I decided to pair it with this corduroy mini dress/tunic from Old Navy (a few seasons ago).  It is so easy for me to go monochromatic, especially with black, but stepping out of my color comfort zone, I went with brown HUE tights and a sleeveless brown mock turtleneck.  The brown herringbone hat I got from an Italian market, and I love to pair it with a mixed print bag (one square has a similar herringbone pattern) from Carpisa Italia (several seasons ago).  The paisley satin scarf is also from the market.  SN

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Natural Soul by Naturalizer -Kassandra, Black

Buongiorno, amici!

With such an auspicious time in our nation’s history, the second inauguration of President Obama, the occasion certainly gives one cause to reflect; looking back we see how far we have come, and looking forward, how far we have yet to go.   As the President looked out among the throngs who braved the cold to witness an event that has occurred only one other time in history, he simultaneously looked back into the past; down the National Mall at the monuments erected to the Americans who left an indelible impression on the nation as they wrote the course of history while they lived: George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Thomas Jefferson, and the most recent addition, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr..  The last seemed most befitting, especially on the day designated to honor the incredible life of the late Dr. King.

And if you are one of those who have had the privilege to see this monument, you stand before it in awe and you’re inspired; awe, because you see the metaphorical image before you –Dr. King emerging from the stone that was the struggle, Dr. King standing up against tyranny and oppression, and Dr. King standing at the doorway ready to take that next step into unknown territory, ever mindful of what would inevitably occur, yet bound by a cause greater than the man himself; and one can’t help but feel inspired, for it was the standing up by this great man which led others to stand by his cause, it was standing his ground which ended standing in lines of inequality, and for a man who didn’t stand a chance, in a divided nation which stood still and often found it easier to stand aside than to stand up, his life stands as a testament.

What do you stand for?  Are you at a standstill?   Do you stand on the sidelines or stand out in a crowd?  Will you take a stand or quietly stand down?  Is today the day you stand up and be counted, stand and deliver or remain a bystander?  In this day of stand-offs, when it is far to easy to stand for nothing, it would stand to reason that we as a nation have forgotten what it means to stand on one’s own two feet, and have forgotten how to stand by someone or stand up for someone, preferring to stand someone up; standing back out of fear of standing fast or standing firm. Dr. King’s words stand the test of time and we understand impact he has made.  We stand on the cusp of humanity’s greatest moments, and today as you put on your shoes and stand, I ask you, what do you stand for?

Stella Notte

Day 304: Tuesday January 22nd 2013
Designer: Natural Soul by Naturalizer
Name: Kassandra
Color: Black
Style: Slip-On Flats
Heel: 1.25 inches (3.18 cm)
Material: Leather Upper with contrast Moccasin stitching detail at toe and woven leather on vamp

Beautiful in any color; click here to see these beauties in Red Pepper!

Sunday, January 20, 2013

2 Lips Too -Too Dishy

Attention, Shoe-A-Holics!
We interrupt your regularly scheduled blog for this Shoe-Stopper of a post!

Every now and then, I like to dispense some shoe advice, and for those of you who love shoes, but have yet to get on the heel bandwagon or those of you who love heels, but have not explored the wonderful world of wedges, I shall get on my soapbox this morning, and say a word or two about these beauties!  Wedges are my favorite style of shoe, offering the same advantages of a regular heel: the slenderizing effect of your legs and an added boost in height, yet they are virtually worry free because there is no skill needed (as there is in mastering of the skinny stem) in order to walk or even balance while standing.  Granted, heeled shoes often have a certain sexiness associated with them, but one should discount the wedge because of the thickness of the 'heel'; strappy uppers soften the appearance of the wedge, while textures (such as the woven wedge pictured with a satin upper) go a long way to sharpen the wedges' style, but wedges, although not traditionally considered sexy, can be, especially with the right shape, for example an ankle strap peep-toe version like mine!
Baci a tutti!
Stella Notte
Day 303: Sunday January 20th 2013
Designer: 2 Lips Too
Name: Too Dishy
Color: Black
Style: Peep-Toe Ankle Strap Wedge
Heel: 5.25 inches (13.34 cm)
Platform: 2.25 inches (5.72 cm)
Material: Satin Fabric Upper with woven raffia wedge and contrast stitching throughout
How I Styled It? 
I have fallen off the wagon and gained back the 6.5 pounds I had lost, plus another 1.5, so spandex (and a lot of it) was in order to dress this morning.  Spandex (elastane) is has got to be the greatest fabric invention of the last 50 years; it is so forgiving, and in the right percentages turns something which barely fits into the most incredible fitting item ever!  In all three items I'm wearing, the spandex is blended with nylon to create a virtually wrinkleless-iron-free item of clothing.  The pencil skirt I found on clearance at Charlotte Russe just after Christmas, is a style favorite of mine with an ankle strap shoe.  It reminds me of 1950's office attire and is a chic look when paired with heels.  The back zip tank I got from Cato (many, many years ago), and the jacket is from Express (ago several years ago).  The easy care, stretchy fabric is a wardrobe staple of mine especially on my not-so-skinny days. The two-tone clutch is from the GAP.   SN

Friday, January 18, 2013

Flashback Friday! Gabriella Rocha -Karissa, Black

Ciao amici!

My fellow's cold outside!  And as quickly as winter went away (okay, for some of us it was 7 days ago), it has returned, and so I say again, boot season is back!  Back to freeze warnings, back to wind chill factors and back to tall, smooth leather footwear that keeps us warm and stylish during those times we'd rather stay bundled up inside, but are forced to forge the elements.
Back to the boot basics this morning, and every Shoe Arsenal needs a basic black boot; whether heeled or flat, tall or short (or in the case of mine today, mid-calf), a basic black boot is my go to winter staple.  There is no over thinking it, and it's extremely hard to find something a pair of black boots don't go with; and once the footwear is figured out, everything else seems to fall in place...well for me at least!

Baci a tutti!

Stella Notte

Friday January 18th 2013
Designer: Gabriella Rocha
Name: Karissa
Color: Black
Style: Mid-Calf Wedge Boot
Heel: 3 3/4 inches (9.525 cm), Shaft: 10 inches (25.4 cm)
Material: Leather Upper with stitch detailing near collar

How I Styled It?
There must be something with these boots and ma fille intérieure françaises (my inner French girl), because the three times I have been photographed in these boots (here), I am wearing a beret! Believe me, it was not planned.  The inspiration for today's styling was warmth!  Being chilly isn't cute, and neither is looking like the Michelin Man; just because it is cold outside, bulky dressing isn't your only option.  The trick to winter dressing is layering; as children growing up in Canada, we'd play in the snow for hours (not all of us had snow suits), and how we did this and not manage to freeze, was layers of clothing.  Tights, although stylish, were functional under jeans, that were often under another pair of pants. Undershirts were covered by t-shirts, turtlenecks, cardigans and finally sweatshirts.  So I utilized this layering concept with a tank top, long sleeved t-shirt and a cardigan, all under my wool coat from Old Navy (last season).  Wearing seamless tights under my skinny jeans  ensures there are no extra lines under the fabric and I am warm when the wind blows.  Black and white are an on trend neutral color combination providing the perfect background palette for any pop of color!  SN


Thursday, January 17, 2013

Pelle Moda -Fantasi

Ciao a tutti!

A winter footwear dilemma:  My fellow Shoe-A-Holics, far too often, during the throngs of winter, when frigid temperatures and harsh weather conditions often dictate functional footwear over anything stylish, and the practicality of wearing those lug-sole-waterproof-insulated-hiking boots in a blizzard makes more sense although you really wanted to wear those sexy-over-the-knee-slippery-soled-stilettos because they would have looked better with your outfit, and you are left, after your sub-zero-slushy morning commute, sitting at your desk and wishing for warmer days; then a weather anomaly comes along, and as you wished it's summer (at least during the few hours of sunlight in the Northern Hemisphere) in January. 
My question to you is:
A)  Do you follow conventional wisdom and continue to wear boots, after all, it is January.
B)  Do you wear boots in the morning, but slip into sandals by midday.
C)  Do you throw caution to the wind and pull out the sandals only to pack them away in a week, or
D)  Are you ever mindful that it is still winter and as quickly as the weather changed it can change back, but you don't want to waste the warm weather you wished for so you strike for a happy medium.
I'd love to know how you spent your warm days (if you were one of the fortunate few to experience them).  You can respond on Facebook!
Baci a tutti!

Stella Notte

Day 302: Thursday January 17th 2012
Designer: Pelle Moda
Name: Fantasi
Color: Black
Style: Platform Demi-Wedge Peep-Toe Pump
Heel: 4 inches (10.16 cm)
Platform: 0.5 inches (1.27 cm)
Material: Corduroy velvet upper with leather bow detail on vamp and rivet detail
How I Styled It?
Styling these beauties were easy!  When I ordered these shoes, I had already thrifted this pleated corduroy skirt, and knew I had wanted to wear them together.  But after I received the shoes, they didn't fit as I had imagined and it would have cost an arm and a leg to return them, so I just kept them hidden in the deepest recesses of my Shoe Arsenal...that is until today.  I pulled them out and tried them on and not only did they fit, they felt incredible!  So, I pulled out my matching mini, and decided not only to add a visually softer top to the heavy corduroy but a brighter one in contrast to black.  As one of my favorite blouses (from Forever 21 some years ago), I love how the sheer fabric, pleated-neck, ruffle-keyhole, peplum and jeweled button placket add femininity to items I pair with it.  The bolero cardigan is Derek Heart (from a few years ago).  I removed the bow pin from the sweater and added it to the blouse because of the bow detail on the shoes.  SN

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

RSVP -Madison, Black

Ciao a tutti!

I have always had an affinity for pumps, since my first pair that were bought at the tender age of twelve specifically for my first communion. I practiced walking in them for months so that I could master my 3-inch heels by the big day, and I did!   The ultra-feminine silhouette of platform-less pump, especially these pointy-toed beauties, have such a power and sexiness to them, that they are essential to any Shoe Arsenal;  from jeans to pencils skirts and everything in between, they add a va-va-voom factor to even the most mundane article of clothing, so if you want to add a 'wow' factor to any outfit, add a pair for skinny-heeled, platform-less, pointy-toe pumps! 

Baci a tutti!
Stella Notte
Day 301: Tuesday January 15th 2013
Designer: RSVP
Name: Madison
Color: Black
Style: Platform-less Pointy-Toed Pump
Heel: 3.75 inches (9.5 cm)
Material: Kid skin upper

Crushing on these beauties as much as I am?  You can find a similar pair by the name of Jade at!

Beautiful in any color; click here to see these beauties in Red!
How I Styled It?
 Prints, like colors, have been a scarcity in my wardrobe, and when I first saw the skirt on clearance at The Limited, I wasn't impressed.  I never shopped at this store before, and when I went online and saw how they styled the skirt, I had to go back and get it!The chambray shirt is from Stetson.  I was actually looking for a denim shirt when I happened along this one.  It's actually a tunic, which I'll style with tights on a cooler morning (I love it when an article of clothing plays double duty!).  Not my usual attire at the beach, I turned many a head on the pier this morning, my only regret with this outfit was that I didn't wear my navy pumps.  You will remember that I wore them when I was feeling patriotic (read the post here);  I could have sworn that when I looked at this skirt it was a floral print on a black background.  Stepping out of my (matchy-matchy) comfort zone, I went ahead with the black pumps (although I could have worn the red), and it turned out pretty nice, if I do say so myself!  SN 

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Steve Madden -Heaven

Ciao a tutti!

Heaven, I'm in Heaven
And my heart beats so that I can hardly speak...*
My 300th pair of shoes, and I am at a loss for words!  Thank-you for those of you who have shared my cathartic journey, and likewise explored the depth of your own Shoe Arsenals and personal love of shoes.  When I started blogging nearly 2 years ago, I knew I had a lot of shoes.  This self proclaimed Shoe-A-Holic, has always found a great deal of comfort in shoes; not just physically but psychologically, because new shoes have endless possibilities, and no two shoes take you to the same experience.  Looking back on these 300 pairs, I see the paths I've walked, run, trekked, climbed, the footsteps I have made and subsequently have left behind; but more importantly, as I look forward, I see the myriad of paths which lie before me: routes waiting to be discovered, byways ready to be explored, and trails meant for me to conquer...and I smile, because wherever I go, it will be in a fabulous pair of shoes!
How I Styled It?
I've never considered myself to be much of a fashionista, but over the course of the last few months (and my recent embracement of color), I believe I am certainly on my way!  But a mantra I have adopted when it comes to styling clothes is: don't reinvent the wheel!  Companies pay big money for stylists and style teams to match colors and prints just right, so those of us who are fashionably challenged shouldn't mess with perfection, especially when we can use, if not share the professional stylists and have them work for us, as they do in the stores!  One of the big trends this year is stripes, and the navy/white combination has been one I've been eyeing for some time.  It has a nautical feel, and is an enduring color scheme.  I found this monogrammed sweater already styled with dark bottoms and paired the emerald green flats (2013's "in" color) to add a splash of color (do you remember Academichic's Fashion 101 series? See How to Combine Colors: Neutrals (with a Pop)) to this neutral background.  And the monogram? Stands for Marvelous, of course!

Grazie a tutti!  Baci!

Stella Notte

Day 300: Sunday January 13th 2013
Designer: Steve Madden
Name: Heaven
Color: Green
Style: Ballet Slip-On Flat
Material: Suede Upper with textured rubber outsole

Crushing on these emerald suede beauties as much as I am?  You can find them here at!

*Lyrics from the Irving Berlin song, Cheek to Cheek