Friday, October 20, 2017

Embroidery Boots Several Ways: Splurge, Affordable & Crazy Cheap

Great slow fashion DIY idea:
Update a pair of plain booties with embroidery patches!

While the stitchery trend has been growing for a few years (much to my delight,) it has fully bloomed  this fall.  The embroidery dresses and jackets are gorgeous, but not always practical for daily wear.  I don't know why professional business attire doesn't include dresses like this. (It would if I had any say about things.) But sadly, for most of us, we can't show up to work in gossamer netting.  

Embroidery or jacquard boots, however, can be easily combined with clean lines -- used as a kind of punchy accessory to a simple outfit.  A pair of embroidery boots is an enthusiastic exclamation point on an otherwise minimal fashion statement.   

My Dior boots are too wonderful.
A few years ago my husband bought me a long-coveted a pair of Christian Dior floral boots I had admired since their debut in the early 2000s.  He found me a never-worn pair on Tradesy for a fraction of the utterly impossible regular price.  I adore them!  

First of all, props to my hubby for knowing to look on Tradesy.  (I've taught him well.)  The boots were a wonderful gift, representing something of beauty and quality.  I love them dearly.  

The problem is: wearing a vintage pair of Dior boots feels like I am dragging a priceless Van Gogh painting across the pavement.  I don't want to damage fine art!!!

Needless to say, these lovely stiletto babies are for special occasions only.  (And for taking out of my closet and sighing over before putting them back into the box.)

If you can afford Valentino, go here.
This year, I couldn't resist getting a pair of floral embroidery block heels.  Block heels are my favorite stable, comfy heel to run around in.  I still wear a pair of silver block heel sandals from the last time they trended, which was somewhere around 2001.  This year, I was captivated by a gorgeous creation from Valentino.  If you can swing spending thousands on a pair of jacquard booties, go for it.  There is something to be said for investing in beautiful art that you'll love for a lifetime. (And be afraid to wear just like I'm afraid to wear my Dior boots...)

Lucky for me, I found a great pair of Vince Camuto jacquard floral booties that I like even better than the Valentinos.  The Camuto version has a lower block heel -- which is awesome for daily wear -- and costs a mere $109 on sale right now at HSN.  I still don't want them to get snagged or ruined, but the great price keeps me from hiding them in the back of my closet.   

My Vince Camuto Kassie boot.
Get yours at HSN here.
Remember when Carrie said "Hello Lover!" to a pair of Manolo Blahniks in Sex and the City?  That's kind of how I feel about my new Camutos.  

(Side note on Camuto designs: recent seasons' offerings still have Vince's actual touch, since many were in the works before his death in 2015, and most build on his former designs.  It will be interesting to see how the house of Camuto continues his legacy.)  

The Denny Floral Bootie rocks!
Get it at ShoeDazzle here
If you want a higher heel, check out the darling version at ShoeDazzle for a mere $39.95.  I saw these after I had purchased the Vince Camutos, and I actually prefer the higher top on these.  I still think the Camutos will be more comfortable, though. 

As far as ShoeDazzle is concerned, I've had great luck with my purchases in the past.  I've found all of their shoes to be well made and durable, which suits my slow fashion mindset of buying less and choosing statement pieces that will enhance my wardrobe for many years to come.  I'm still unable to find out exactly what kind of factory ShoeDazzle uses to manufacture their products, however.  I've found factory vetting in general to be a minefield of misinformation and half-truths anyway.  I'm never sure what to think of company statements about working conditions.  If I learn anything, I'll let my contrairistas know.  

How much do I love embroidery!?
Detail from a favorite jacket I got in 2014
So, with a choice of unattainably expensive designer pieces and potentially wasteful/exploitative fast fashion, how should a stylish, frugal and considerate person shop?  When I started to think about ethical fashion, I became overwhelmed with where to begin to make a difference.  I certainly haven't figured it all out, but I follow these rules:

1) I buy LESS.
2) I buy used.
3) I patronize sustainable fashion brands whenever possible.
4) I wear the clothes I have, repurpose them when possible and donate/trade instead of throwing anything out.
5) I COLLECT instead of consume.  My clothing is a reflection of me, not Vogue's seasonal directives.

Let me know your tips on how you shop ethically.  Or just leave a comment!

Be sure to watch the short DIY video at the top of this post for a brilliant idea on how to repurpose old boots to play along with the new embroidery shoe trend!