While I was packing for LA back in October, it became clear to me that all the miles that I logged walking around DC in my Cole Haan with Nike Air Technology heels took a toll on many of the shoes, and as such, it was time to retire a few pairs. Compounded with the fact that I have become fatigued with shopping for clothes over the past few months, it was time to buy some new shoes.
In Fallen for High Heels, I discussed my love with the J.Crew Suede Lucite Heel and lamented on missing out on the J.Crew Velvet Lucite Heel (which I have been looking out for, to no avail). Since I had such a great experience with that style, I have been tuning in to their new arrival footwear. Two weeks ago, J.Crew released a holiday assortment and in terms of women’s footwear, they brought it.
I ordered several styles in sizes ten and ten-and-a-half, as I learned that the downside to J.Crew footwear is that the styles can run inconsistent. It is my hope that I can aid others in their selection of footwear and respective sizing.
Colette d’Orsay Pumps
I was able to wear my typical shoe size, a 10. While the metallic canvas leopard print that I purchased over Labor Day weekend is no longer available, new prints and fabrics are available in the Colette d’Orsay Pump. Obsessed with the metallic canvas leopard print? J.Crew still has the sister wedge sandal in said print in stock.
I purchased these with the intention to wear during my engagement photo session. The engagement photo session consisted of two hours of walking around Georgetown, including navigating cobble stone streets, dirt paths along the canal, and the pebbled road near the boathouses. Afterwards, the fiance and I went to a party celebrating a couple of our newly eloped friends on 14th Street, a tiki bar on U Street, and Old Ebbit Grill for late night raw bar. I didn’t remove the Colette d’Orsay Pump until we returned to the hotel, well after midnight.
I was dying for a pair of velvet shoes since I missed out on the J.Crew Velvet Lucite Heel and the J.Crew Velvet Avery Heel. As mentioned in Fallen for High Heels, I went up a half size in the Lena Pumps, as well as the Olive Pumps (the J.Crew Factory version of the Lena Pumps, available in suede and embellished with a glitter heel). The velvet version is no different. When I previously purchased a pair of the Lena Cap-Toe Pumps and Olive Calf Hair Pumps I didn’t love the height on them; however it was the velvet finish on this particular pair that made me reconsider the style.
While the heel height is a bit aggressive for someone topping 6′-0″, I appreciate that the heel is block-y and sturdy. Sometimes I think that stiletto heels can just look too dainty and delicate on taller women, and often I forget to walk on my toes over subway grates when I am wearing them (#citygirlproblems). This issues are moot for the Lena Pump. Whether or not I will keep the velvet version remains unseen; I have a reminder on my phone to make a decision prior to the conclusion of the valid return period. It is my hope that I will magically put together an outfit that requires a pair of dark forest green velvet high heels.
As mentioned in Fallen for High Heels, these run true-to-size. The item description is a bit off when it comes to the fabric, as it cites a suede upper; however it is actually feels more like a velvet, albeit less much less plush and more subtle than the Lena Velvet Pump. Although I have heard opinions that the kitten heel is the shoe version of a mullet (looking at you, Lauren Conrad), I actually love the 2-1/4″ heel. My favorite part of this shoe is the jeweled detailing – perfect for holiday! Both features remind me of a pair of shoes I saw in my vintage copy of The Official Preppy Handbook.
If you do not like either the kitten heel or the jeweled detailing, J.Crew Factory still has you covered! For those who concur with Ms. Conrad opinion of a kitten heel, I would recommend the pump version featuring a 3-1/2″ heel. For those who do not like the heel height but do not love an embellishment, I would recommend the Esme Suede Kitten Heels (or even the Dulci Kitten Heels at the retail counterpart), which comes in a variety of colors, some of which are marked down.
Canvas Espadrille Wedge
I purchased a pair of these in a size 10, as mentioned in Fallen for High Heels. Fortunately for me, the size 10 fit as they were on final sale through J.Crew Factory; however I think I could definitely accommodate a half size up.
I have been obsessed with finding a pair of navy canvas espadrille wedges since seeing photos of Princess Kate in an navy blue blazer – striped Breton tee – skinny dark denim – navy espadrille wedge ensemble. As one of my style icons, I knew I wanted to incorporate elements of her look into my wardrobe and I promptly ordered a navy Rhodes light wool blazer. It took me slightly longer to find a pair of navy wedges in my size at a price I was willing to pay. While the navy blue is currently out of stock, J.Crew Factory has a pair of navy / ivory gingham print and flax in stock and J.Crew has black and metallic silver in stock.
The sister style to the Colorblock Heels with Fringe, the Suede and Leather Heels with Fringe and Snakeskin-printed Leather Heels with Fringe caught my eye earlier this season but sold out shortly thereafter. When the colorblock version was released with a promotion, I jumped at purchasing them. I loved them for the colorful twist it took on a kiltie loafer and immediately mentally paired them with acid-colored corduroys of J.Crew seasons past. Does anyone else remember when the tall Matchstick Corduroys and the tall Bootcut Corduroys were offered in a 36″ inseam? #memories
To be completely transparent, I was disappointed in these shoes. They fit true-to-size, but I had an issue with the quality of the detail and craftsmanship or lack thereof. The fringe detail looks as though it was carelessly applied. For example, check out the creasing on the left two fringes on the left shoe and the separation of the right two fringes from the others on the right shoe. I attempted smoothing out the left side but it was too creased and the fringes on the right side were fixed in place. On top of that, the suede is more muted in person; I was hoping for maximum color saturation. I expect better from a $248 shoe.
I saw these and I had to have them. No question. Even though they were full price, I bought them in both a 10 and 10.5, because nothing – NOTHING – was going to stop me from wearing these throughout Holiday 2016. In light of the popularity of the Tweed and Velvet Avery Heels, I wasn’t going to chance ordering the wrong size while the correct size inventory was selling out. As it turns out the 10.5 was necessary as I needed to go up a size.
These heels fit my classic aesthetic. When I slipped them on, I immediately started thinking about all of the items in my closet with which I was going to wear them. I am actually glad that I missed out on the velvet and tweed versions, because the frugal side of me believes that buying the same shoe in different colorways or fabrics is a touch excessive, and I wouldn’t have chose either of the pairs that I missed out on over this tartan with ribbon embellishment.
Can’t you imagine finding these in the next Lisa Birnbaum book?
Elsie Pumps in Leopard
I purchased these to go with a beautiful winter white dress that I intended to wear for my engagement photos; however at last minute I decided to go with the beautiful dress from I Heart Houndstooth. I was secretly dreading wearing these for hours walking around Georgetown, as I was not sure how they were going to treat my feet. Like many a risky shoe purchase, I had to go up a half size in these heels.
I still haven’t worn them and probably won’t wear them for any instance where walking is on my itinerary for the day. I do not frequently experience buyer’s remorse, but every time I look at these I feel waves of guilt for purchasing an item that has sat in my closet. I know that every body is different and what doesn’t work for my body – slash – feet, may work for yours. J.Crew still carries the Elsie Pumps in alternate colorways and fabrics, although the Leopard is sold out. If you are loving the Leopard, check out this t-strap pump or ballet flat, both in the same fabric.
A note on the fabric: the shoe box calls out Elsie Suede Pumps. These are satin. I wish I had known that as I ordered these over the phone from a store in New York, while I was in my local J.Crew.
I wouldn’t call these an impulse purchase because I had been considering both the Heeled Ankle Boots in Snakeskin-Printed Leather and Side-zip Ankle Boots in Leopard Calf Hair, but I definitely bought these while watching the Electoral Votes roll in and after drinking a few glasses of red wine several weeks ago. Cut to being a bit confused when they arrived in the mail.
After showing my crazy purchase to my fiance, he encouraged me to reconsider keeping a pair of boots from which I would normally shy away. (Traditional aesthetic, remember?) I considered the different ways I could style them (vintage concert t-shirts! pair of black skinny jeans!). As I was walking around in them on the carpeted portion of our apartment, I thought about returning them and purchasing the tall knee-height version, but then realized how just how liberated my calves felt and wondered why I waited my entire life to purchase a pair of ankle boots.