Spotlight: Rothy’s

Rothy’s is a sustainable casual footwear and handbag brand that you probably know. I see their famous flats on the streets of Seattle fairly frequently, and some of my clients and our forum members wear them too. Their handbag assortment is a newer addition, and looks as casually fab and chic. Many of our forum members who have tried and tested Rothy’s merchandise are very satisfied with the results.

The Rothy’s approach:

We’re committed to constantly optimizing our sustainable efforts. From our innovative knit-to-shape methods to our planet-friendly materials, we consider sustainability every step of the way. And we’ve been that way since the very beginning.

When you have a moment, read their full story and watch the videos. They are compelling, transparent, and passionate. For example, that signature structured and robust Rothy’s fabric is knitted — not woven — and spun from recycled plastic marine water bottles and ethically sourced merino wool. This minimizes waste, and creates a product that’s easily washed, by hand or in the machine. The outsoles of the footwear are made of eco-friendly rubber or vegan leather. Rothy’s also offsets carbon emissions by partnering with a tropical forest conservation project.

Rothy’s footwear is manufactured in sustainable Rothy’s owned and operated factories in China. The supply chain is a completely vertical operation, which is hard to achieve in the footwear industry. From yarn production to final product, no one touches the shoes but the Rothy’s family. Impressive!

Rothy's Mary Jane

Rothy's Chelsea

Rothy's Lace Up

Rothy's Handbag

The integrity of the Rothy’s product is crisply casual with a sporty touch. I like the bold simplicity of the brand, and the quality looks great too. Footwear spans an inclusive range of sizes from a US5 to US13. There are no wide sizes, but the suggestion is to size up half a size for wider feet because the knitted fabric will mould over the contour of the foot. You probably need to size up for orthotics. The knitted fabric is robust and comfortable, and some footwear styles are more supportive than others. Prices are on the higher side.

I keep meaning to order a pair of Rothy’s to check them out, and will probably do so next year. I like their pointy flats best, and will go for a bright red pair. Rothy’s can make a great pair of at-home-only shoes too. If you have experience with the Rothy’s brand, please share your thoughts in the comments below.

Outfit Formula: Dresses with Tall Boots

Taller boots, from mid-calf and knee-high to over-the-knee heights, are particularly trendy this season. Many of the taller silhouettes look like timeless modern classics to me, especially when the boot fits are tailored and worn with dresses. So, for lack of a better description, I’m calling them Trendy Classics. 

It’s been short boot mania for a decade and, my word, they are awfully practical and much easier to fit than tall boots. Their popularity is understandable. That said, taller boots look fresh by comparison, so by all means dust them off if you kept yours but haven’t worn them in a while.

Here are four colder-weather dress looks with tall boots that look fabulous every season, and might inspire you to create a similar vibe.

1. Sweater Dress and Riding Boots

Combine a sweater dress at a midi or shorter length with casual knee-high flat riding boots. Add a bag, topper, and accessories and you’re done. These boots theoretically go over the knee if you click the link, so imagine that they are shorter and stop at the knee, which is a more common tall boot silhouette. The visual effect when you combine a knee-covering midi with knee-high and over-the-knee boots is the same. If you prefer not to showcase your legs, wearing a midi with tall boots is one way to go.

CHRISTIAN LOUBOUTIN Theophila 30 Stretch-leather Over-the-knee Boots

2. Boho Dress and Western Boots

Combine a bohemian style dress like this tiered boho-lite number here with tall western boots. The shorter hemline is great for Team Legs and showcases the boots, making them as much of a focal point as the dress. Add a bag, topper, and accessories to complete the look if you need layers.

Scotch & Soda Satin-feel Tiered Skirt Long Sleeve Midi Dress

3. Dressy Dress and Dressy Boots

Combine a dressier frock with a pair of dressier knee-high boots and Bob’s your uncle. Dressier boots are usually heeled, but the heels needn’t be high. Dressier tall boots can be the stretchy pull-on type that are usually a better fit for narrow calves. Here, the dress is midi length in that fab ‘70s way, but feel free to raise the hemline.

Boden Elise Pleated Midi Dress

4. Shorter Dress with Over-the-Knee Boots

Combining very tall boots with shorter hemlines makes the boots the star of the show, and draws attention to the legs. The hosiery here offsets the statement of the boots a bit because it accentuates the column of colour. If you want the boots to stand out more, create a higher contrast between your legs, boots and dress. The shirtdress has been belted, which is not essential. Wear it boxy if that’s your preference. Add jewellery, eyewear and watch as desired.

MaxMara Cashmere and Wool Flannel

I have a pair of dressier navy stretch suede boots from Peter Kaiser that I bought in London four years ago. They have one and a half inch heels, which is the highest heel height that I can manage. I’ve dusted them off so that they are ready to wear with some midi dresses the ‘70s way, which I posted on the forum. But first, you will need to get me out of my hi-tops.

Link Love: Good Sustainable & Ethical Fashion Reads

After our recent Link Love post on changing fashion consumption habits, I came across some more articles about sustainable and ethical fashion that I wanted to share:

Fab Links from Our Members

Theodora was pleased to see that awesome plus-size models stole the show at Versace.

Hudson’s Bay is partnering with Canadian designer platform Inland to support Canadian and BIPOC designers. Nuancedream says: “Bravo, Hudson’s Bay for walking the walk regarding diverse representation in fashion!”

Runcarla directs us to this fun article on the history of the blouse and early manufacturing.

Roundups

Hints of Fall

A list of top-pick sneakers, knitwear and toppers.

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Summer Sale Items

Here are some top pick sale items for hot days at home, working from home, or socially distancing out and about.

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Assorted Sale Items

An assortment of accessories and bottoms.

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Summery Items

This week’s top picks are Summery, versatile and fun.

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Spring and Summer Items

An assortment of tops, bottoms, and toppers for Spring and Summer.

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Classic and Comfortable

This week’s roundup is classically comfortable and fab.

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Assorted Fab Finds

Fall and Winter merchandise is finally hitting stores in the US with an even larger assortment online. Brick-and-mortar stores continue to struggle, which is awfully sad, but a sign of the times. Fashion chains that filed for bankruptcy earlier this year are showcasing new stock so they’re not closing shop just yet. It’s anyone’s guess how retail will look a year from now.

These items have been winners on a few of my clients and forum members recently. Some of the items earned a place in my wardrobe. Read the reviews to get an alternative opinion to mine, and browse the different size and colour options.

1. ECCO Motion 35 Boots

These boots have a vintage ‘90s appeal with Camper flair. A very comfortable, soft, supportive, and high-quality boot that can be worn with most looks. From leggings to cocktail wear and all that’s in between. The boot comes in two colours, and two heel heights. The platform tempers the height of the heel. Great if you wear a lot of black, or like black shoes.

2. Old Navy Textured V-Neck Sweater Tunic

This sweater is available from XS to 4XL, and comes in seven colours. It ALSO comes in Petite and Tall. It’s made of a natural cotton/rayon/viscose mix that feels lovely against the skin. I would not pop it in the tumble dryer, though. The V-neck looks lower than it is, so don’t let that put you off. It works well on curvy body types, wider hips, does not cling to the midsection, and covers the bottom. Especially flattering on curvy petites in a petite size.

3. Sam Edelman Faux Fur Trim Short Parka

Heavy, warm, a versatile length, and fun in the mustard. It’s a great grab-and-go for Winter, and looks special with the faux fur trim. It’s not shaped at the waist but it has princess seams that add vertical integrity to the silhouette. The style works well for straighter and apple-shaped body types. You might not like the boxy shape if you have a defined waist.

4. Dolce Vita Zonya Sneaker

I have the first pair in the collection, and LOVE them. It was rainy and chilly in Seattle recently and I wore them all week with nude-for-me knee-highs. I wore them with pants, jeans, dresses and skirts. To my eye they look super cute with midi dresses and skirts. They are warm, very comfy, soft, cushioning, and are easy to pull on and off with the zippers. They fit my low-volume feet perfectly without insoles so I don’t think they will work for wider feet unless you size up. They are long so my long toes have room. The fit around narrow ankles is great too. My version has a plush inner, but there are versions without the faux sherpa.

5. Ilse Jacobsen Twist-Front Dresses

These classic dresses are a magical silhouette because they define the body where it’s narrowest without cling, discomfort or fuss. Curvy, apple-shaped, rectangular, or narrow-hipped, this type of front-knot detailing is traditionally flattering, and especially if V-necks are your thing. The versions without the empire cut line are better on a larger bust. It’s a little short, but knee-covering if you’re petite. Very comfortable and easy to launder.

6. Boden Westmoreland Sweater

I bought this darling in turquoise to match my coat and corduroy pants, and it’s awfully pretty. It has a very neat mock turtle neck, and gentle lantern sleeves. The sleeves are three quarter in length, so watch for that if it’s not your thing. I haven’t found them tricky to layer under a topper. The fit is fluid yet structured in all the right places. Does not cling. Click the links to get a better look at the silhouette.

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Westmoreland Sweater
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Happy Feet: 16 Practical Tips

Many of my clients are picky about foot comfort. From bunions, hammer toes, blistering, plantar fasciitis, arch pain, burning on the balls of the feet, to Raynaud’s and ultra narrow heels that slip out of shoes. Some have extremely high insteps and arches that make footwear hard to fit. Some have pinky toes that slip out of sandals. Some need WWW sized footwear, and some need to fit custom-made orthotics into their shoes.

It’s tricky finding comfortable shoes, especially when our feet change as we age. Sometimes our shoes are comfortable one season, and uncomfortable the next. Count me in as someone who battles to find comfortable shoes. I walk almost everywhere, so unhappy feet ruin my day. That’s why I take extreme care with my feet and footwear making sure my shoes go the distance, and that my feet are well taken care of. Wearing comfortable footwear keeps my back happy too.

Over the years, I’ve learned how to keep my feet happy. My clientele, who have a range of foot challenges, have taught me some things too. Here’s a summary of the most important tips I know:

1. Right Size

Have your feet professionally measured at the shoe store. You might think you’re wearing the right size, but a slight adjustment in length and width makes a difference. Some of my clients battled with shoes that pinch their toes. That’s because they need to wear a W or WW size. For years I complained about my feet falling through the fronts of sandals. That’s because I need an N or 2A size in sandals.

2. Right Shape

Shoes will fit well and be the most comfortable when they follow the natural shape of your feet. For example, you might have wider feet and even length toes, making round and square-toed footwear your friend. I have long uneven toes that create a point at the end of my feet. They are also narrow, which is why pointier toed footwear is comfortable, and very round and square toe boxes are usually too short.

3. Right Heel Height

Choose heel heights that you can manage for short and long periods of time, and remember that half an inch makes a remarkable difference. If two inch heels are your sweet spot, pass on the two and half inch heels. I’ve learned that shoes with a thick one to one and a half inch stable block heel are my sweet spot. These days, anything higher than that is a disaster. But I can happily wear flat shoes and sneakers with a sturdy half inch heel because I have low arches and flatter feet. Clients with high arches tend to prefer shoes with a bit of a heel because their feet are naturally arched.

4. Foot Swelling

My own feet swell in very high heat making some shoes more comfortable than others. Sandals with soft leather that expand with your feet work well. Open shoes like thong sandals work well too. Or you might need to size up half a size for some Summer shoes.

5. Body Glide

If parts of your feet are prone to rubbing and blistering and especially in the heat, use an anti-chafing balm like Body Glide. Apply it liberally to the area just before putting on shoes, and experience the magic. Do not apply the balm to the underside of your feet because your feet will slip in the shoes.

6. Stretch Leather with Wet Feet

If the leather is soft, you can successfully stretch shoes that feel a little tight all over by walking around in them with bare wet feet. Do this a few times and the shoes will stretch. It’s a little squelchy at first, but the water dries quite fast. Also, this is better suited to Summer footwear so that you don’t feel cold.

7. At-Home Shoe Stretchers

You can successfully stretch footwear at home with fairly affordable footwear stretchers that are an easy online purchase. They stretch parts of the shoe, which might be your preference. Like the toe box but not the heels. And stretchers for bunions that stretch the area of the shoe that covers the bunion instead of the entire shoe.

8. Moleskin

A bit of strategically placed moleskin on the inside of a shoe can do the trick. Sometimes the inside seam of a shoe can rub, or there’s a rough edge somewhere that appears after a couple of wears. Or the tongue of the shoe is annoying your ankle. Place a patch of soft moleskin on the area, and the problem might go away. Just yesterday, the seams inside a new pair of sneakers were irritating my pinky toes. I placed moleskin on top of the seams, and the problem is solved. You can purchase moleskin at the drugstore.

9. Orthotics and Insoles

Custom-made orthotics that are inserted into shoes are life-changing. Storebought orthotics from Pedag and Superfeet can be an effective support as they change the shape of the shoe and align it to the contours of your feet. Orthotics do make shoe fits a little harder, and you can’t insert them into open shoes. Clients with orthotics often size up half or a full size, and/or take the existing footbed out of the shoe to make room for the orthotic. Not all shoes have removable footbeds, but brands like ECCO do.

I often need to doctor the shape of closed shoes because styles seldom come in narrow sizes. I add one or two foamy insoles to the footbed to take up some of the volume of the shoe, and I get cushioning comfort to boot.

10. Toenails

This sounds obvious, but keeping your toenails fairly short increases the comfort of closed shoes. Longer toenails, or nails with rough edges can catch on the threads of socks and hosiery, and the inside of shoes when you’re barefooted, and cause discomfort. A pedicure helps too.

11. Epoch Moisturizer

If you like to have soft, smooth and well-groomed feet that look polished without regular pedicures, apply Epoch Sole Solution Foot Treatment once or twice a day. It’s pricey but by far the most effective foot cream I’ve used. It lasts, and is fragrance-free.

12. Heel Lifts and Heel Grips

You might find that the backs of your heels rub up against the edges of shoes no matter what you do. Sometimes, adding a heel lift that is inserted on the inside of the shoe can help. It alters the position of the foot inside the shoe, which can prevent rubbing. It can also relieve pain caused by heel spurs and plantar fasciitis.

Heel grips work with varied results, but are worth a try. They help shoes stay on your feet when your heels slip out of them by closing the gap between the heel and shoe. Shoes with heel elastic like AGL flats keep flats on your feet, but the elastic can dig into your skin so watch for that too.

13. Supportive House Shoes

If your feet need more support than slippers, socks, flip-flops, footies and going barefoot at home can offer, wear supportive shoes that are for at-home only. These shoes do not go outside. One of the best style and footwear decisions I made this year was dedicating two pairs of brand new supportive fashion sneakers for at-home use only because wearing slippers too frequently was hurting my arches. The at-home-only sneakers make my WFH outfits look better too.

I chose sneakers because that’s my favourite type of shoe to wear these days. But you can choose flats, loafers, boots, Birkies, Fitflops, Vionics, or something else that tickles your fancy. I’m back to Camper slippers when I change into comfy loungewear in the evening.

14. Road-Test New Shoes

Do not take new shoes on vacation unless you’ve road-tested them beforehand and are happy with the results. I know it’s tempting to wear cute new shoes right out of the box on a trip, but it’s awfully risky. Take tried-and-tested footwear and road-test new shoes at home before you commit to them. After that, put them through their paces outside, and only when they pass with flying colours is it safe to pack them for a trip.

15. Re-evaluate Socks

Sometimes it’s the socks that cause footwear discomfort. Foot seams that rub, footies that don’t stay put, fabric that is too thick or thin, and versions that slide off as you stride. Check that your socks are doing a good job. Sometimes it’s better to go without socks. Or wear knee-highs and trouser socks.

16. See a Foot Doctor

If you continue to have challenges with your feet and footwear comfort, see a foot specialist. It’s time and money well spent, especially when you’re on your feet and walk a lot. Clients and friends have had good experiences going this route, and are especially thankful for custom-made orthotics. Some do daily foot exercises that make a difference too.

This list is by no means exhaustive. Feel free to add your own tips and thoughts in the comments section.