When Maria Killam from Colour Me Happy recently posted about our two day shopping adventure, there were lots of questions about her new footwear – where it was from and how to wear it. Maria gave me permission to answer some of them here.

As a Colour Expert and Design Consultant who is on her feet most of the day, Maria’s footwear needs are similar to mine. Maria spends lots of time shopping with clients and traipsing through design warehouses for hours at a time. She is constantly bending over and reaching for things and like me, walks fast because there is no time to dilly-dally about! Comfortable shoes are essential. But they also have to look fabulous, or as Maria puts it, “look designer-y”. Because of my own fussy feet, comfortable shoes that look fab are my forté, so I was up for the challenge.

Apart from a pair of black riding boots from Paris which are still going strong, we were starting from scratch with Maria’s Autumn and Winter footwear collection. Maria is quite tall at 5ft 7 and has a calf circumference of 15 inches. Her feet are quite sensitive so no hard leather, no extra high heels and the option to fit in an orthotic is a plus. She lives in Vancouver, Canada so for the next six months her weather will be wet and cold. Not too much snow, but plenty of rain and ice. Maria was willing to invest in quality footwear because this is her dominant season AND because her feet need to be as happy as she is.

Here is the footwear we purchased together:

Two Pairs of Tall Boots

Franco Sarto Pacaya Chestnut knee-high boots: They run half a size big so you need to size down with these boots. The outside zipper placement is interesting and the rubberized sole ideal. The leather is soft, a little distressed and vintage looking which is right up Maria’s alley. Maria said: “It’s so great to have a non-black boot option. I would never have thought of chestnut boots”. These are perfect over jeans, leans or leggings. Maria wore them over her new Forever Skinny Gap Jeans on day two of our shopping excursion – that’s how comfortable they are.

Stuart Weitzman 50/50 over the knee boots: I bought these at this year’s Nordstrom Anniversary sale and wore them on our first shopping day with Gap leans, button down shirt, scarf and military blazer. Maria was impressed with my outfit and with how comfortable I was charging around town in these darlings. Buttery soft, these boots feel like slippers and are 12-hour shoes for my fussy feet. Maria tried them on over her skinny jeans and was instantly sold, despite the price. Yes, they cost a fortune. But a gal is allowed to splurge once in a while. Maria will have these boots for many years and so will I. I have worn mine frequently and Autumn has only just started. Cost per wear, ladies.

Two Pairs of Booties

Boutique 90 Rusty ankle boot: I popped these into the YLF store before my shopping time with Maria so was able to recommend their comfort and versatility without question. I also insisted that the taupe-y lilac colour was the way to go since they brighten up a dark Winter outfit and bookend Maria’s blonde hair.”It wouldn’t even occur to me to try boots this colour ” said Maria. She wore them while we shopped and was pleasantly surprised at how well they worked with items she fitted on. They look especially great with Maria’s new Gap Real Straight jeans since that style shows off some of the buckle detailing.

Naturalizer Bates bootie: Maria came home with two mod Winter dresses and they were amongst our favourite purchases. Maria was used to wearing dresses with pumps and tall boots, but wearing booties with frocks is where it’s at so enter these Naturalizers. They fit neatly around her ankle and look splendid matched with fun hose. The heel height is stable and the comfort level is pretty good too. Not as comfortable as the other boots but perfectly fab as 4-hour shoes. Great with slacks, skinnies, leggings and boot cut jeans too.

Two Pairs of Closed Shoes

Franco Sarto Nill Black pumps: The low heel and retro nature of these shoes stole Maria’s heart. Although they won’t get as much mileage as boots at this time of year, they are a great little all-year-round basic with hose (or with bare legs in warmer weather). They aren’t soft enough to be 8-hour shoes, but an easy 4-hours for sure.

Miz Mooz Histeric flat oxfords: I encouraged Maria to buy these because the cream and white colour blocking worked beautifully with her hair, AND because they are arty and fun – after all, Maria is a fun and creative person. She loved the concept and was sold as soon as she tried them on, but was still a little unsure about how to wear them. When we matched them up with her Gap straight leg jeans and new dresses, everything fell into place. They are going to be 8-hour shoes no problem.

An Early Spring Addition

Franco Sarto Mount ballet flats: It won’t be ballet flat weather for a while but Maria couldn’t leave these sweet little flats behind. The black and white animal print was appealing and the shoes actually stayed on her feet. The snip toe and buckle detailing is divine. They aren’t killer comfortable, but great for half a day of hard work.

As a colour expert, Maria has an assortment of pumps in various styles and colours so we didn’t need to address that footwear need.

Maria is putting this footwear through its paces and so far so good. After all that’s the REAL test. Every so often I receive encouraging email from Maria saying that she feels stylishly fab, ever so fashionable, not too trendy, and really comfortable in the items that we bought together. It’s music to  my ears.

The new footwear has also rejuvenated her existing Autumn and Winter wardrobe, which was one of the best parts of the deal. Oh, the power of fab footwear and accessories. There is no substitute.