to shop / marc by marc jacobs flats

I love Marc by Marc Jacobs flats, but it’s hard to find good ones since many styles have too much hardware, just aren’t classic enough, or resemble mice. One surprising thing to note is that their sizing has changed as of Fall 2011. MBMJ flats used to run half a size small. Now they are true to size. I can’t speak for Marc Jacobs yet.

These are my newest MBMJs, style 615187 in red leather. I love the polka dot lining. MBMJs are also usually soled in rubber already so you can get some wear out of them before you have to visit the cobbler. Buy here.

The best sources of MBMJ and MJ(*) flats, on sale:

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to shop / lace, liberty, and eyelet

Everyone close to me knows that I looooove lace and eyelet. And prints by Orla Kiely, Marimekko, or Liberty of London. Some current faves:

(Clockwise from the top left. Photo credit: Saks.com, Urbanoutfitters.com, Aritzia.com, and Madewell.com.)

1. Marc by Marc Jacobs Edith Eyelet Top from the Spring 2011 collection. I had my eyes on this top for a long time and it took Saks long enough to add it to the markdowns. I strategically redeemed some American Express Membership Reward points in advance of the sale and snagged the last one, which happened to be in my size. (Tip: You can return gift cards and get your reward points rebanked. You can’t beat Amex service!) The eyelet is intricate and the construction is impeccable. I got a few eyelet tops made in Shanghai in 2007 and this is one of those items where you really need source the eyelet from the right place. The dress version is also gorgeous.

2. Urban Outfitters Staring at Stars Eyelet Blouse. Their product styling needs major help. I rarely scour Urban Outfitter and came across this top when I was going through their boutique, where it’s styled much more attractively. I love the neckline! I haven’t seen it in person yet, but the reviews are favorable. Not on sale yet.

3. Sessun Riverside Dress. Sessun is a great French label that can be lumped with A.P.C, Comptoir des Cotonniers, etc. Buried in the details is the Liberty fabric. I adore Liberty prints and fabrics, which have been made popular in recent years by J.Crew, Cacharel, and the Target collab. The prints are so cheerful. This dress is currently 50% off.
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to shop / new workhorse shoes

I’ve been spending more than I want on shoes lately. I live in flats and some have been dying slowly after 3+ years of abuse on New York City streets, so I’ve been searching high and low for suitable replacements. I learned my lesson with flip flops and regret not listening to my mother, not to mention the germs. Life is too short to spend in uncomfortable shoes. I’ve been living in:

  • Gap ballet flats (Spring 2010) that are knock-offs of Repetto, except with a sturdier rubber bottom. I was in Boston for work, wandered to a Gap, and discovered that I totally missed out of this gem because I’d been out of the country. To further complicate things, it was on sale. I went into a frenzy mode and promptly located 4 pairs and had them shipped (for free). I got a pair in black, poppy red (pictured below), and metallic blue. I sold the metallic blue (just not my color scheme) and a pair of the blacks that was masquerading as a half size smaller (a nasty, old Gap habit). They have yet to have another ballet flat as great as this one – their current foldable city flat has no arch support and I limit it to airplane use. Sadly, my poppy red ballet flats from Zara are not as comfy as these and I’m still debating whether I want to break the Gap cap toe flats in.
  • Butter nude patent bow flats. So comfy. I got them zipsoled at the cobbler when they were brand new. They should last a while.
  • Two pairs of Marc by Marc Jacob ballet flats. I pulled a Jackie O at a post-Christmas sale at a now-defunct e-tailer and bought the same pair in two colors – black and a peachy ballet pink. I love MBMJ ballet flats (minus the mouse styles that I will never comprehend). They run half a size small. Sadly, their more recent styles have been too hardware-friendly and these two pairs are dying. I don’t think I’ll ever find a ballet flat in this shade of pink again!

  • Repettos – I have one pair that got caught in a torrential downpour that needs some TLC and a few new pairs to mull over (it takes me months to decide whether to keep and sole or to eBay).

Contenders
Good shoes are not easy to find. I’m not afraid to buy/return or buy/eBay.

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to shop / more ballet flats

I haven’t spent much time in heels since I moved to NYC 3+ years ago. Comfortable shoes are a must, since walking is a necessity and I’m not a huge fan of the commuting sneaker look. I’m sharing additional research from my recent window shopping, covering Gap, Bloch, Sue London, Marc by Marc Jacobs, and Vera Wang Lavender Label.

1) Gap (http://www.gap.com)
Gap has been a hit and miss over the years. I think my last favorite years were 2004/2005 for clothing. I never batted an eye at their shoes until Spring 2010 when they came out with Repetto lookalikes. I bought them on sale, so they are cheap commuting/office shoes. I ran an office door over my foot the other day and scratched a pair. I’m glad I wasn’t wearing something better. It’s hard to get upset over cheap shoes!

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