Weatherproofing Footwear

If you live in wet, icy and snowy Autumn and Winter weather, and you’re not wearing snow boots yet, you might like to weatherproof your leather and suede footwear. I do this by spraying new footwear thoroughly with weather proofing spray outside before I wear it. The spray does not change the colour of the leather and suede once it has dried an hour later. The odour is quite strong, so I leave the shoes outside to dry. I will respray old footwear once a year with the same spray. If you’re wearing footwear from brands like Aquatalia and Blondo, the footwear is weatherproofed already, and there is no need to use a spray.

The spray helps keep your feet dry (or drier), and your shoes looking pristine for longer. Scuffs and marks are minimized, especially if you wipe down the footwear regularly. The spray does not create a 100% waterproof shoe, so avoid walking into deep puddles like you would with rubber rain boots.

There are many, many types of weather proofing spray on the market, so go with what looks good to you. I use separate sprays for leather and suede because suede is quite delicate. But I’m not convinced there is a difference.

These are the most recent footwear additions to my wardrobe that I’ve effectively weatherproofed with spray. I live in rainy Seattle and I’m on foot most of the time. The shoes are barely scuffed because they are protected. I don’t usually spray my sneakers, but metallic leather scuffs very easily, so I’ve protected them too. I haven’t sprayed my assortment of leather hi-top sneakers, and Summer suede footwear, and wonder if I should do that too.

Monochromatic and Tonal Outfits Defined

A monochromatic outfit combines a single base hue and different tints, shades and tones of that hue. Remember that a hue is the pure colour, tints are achieved by adding white, shades by adding black, and tones by adding grey. 

For example, to create a tint, white is added to a red hue to make pink. Black is added to a red hue to create burgundy. Pink, red and burgundy create a monochromatic colour scheme. By combining lighter and darker versions of a colour, monochromatic combinations create visual depth and interest. The contrast between the lighter and darker combinations can be extreme or subtle. You can also simply choose ONE colour to wear head-to-toe, and not add variations of tint, shade or tone of that colour to the outfit.

Some people use the terms monochromatic and tonal outfits interchangeably. Others believe there is a slight difference. To them, tonal dressing means combining outfit items that fall within the same colour family. A colour family includes multiple base hues that are relatively close on the colour wheel. So to be pedantic, tonal outfits are made up of colour variations from a few closely related base hues, while monochromatic outfits are made up of colour variations from a single base hue.

For example, I am creating a TONAL outfit when I combine tomato red, Dutch orange, and shocking pink in an outfit. The brights are the same intensity and close together on the colour wheel. I am wearing a MONOCHROMATIC outfit when I wear a column of the same red separates, or tints, tones and shades of red.

It can be hard to differentiate between monochromatic and tonal outfits. I certainly mix up the two. It’s also fine to use the terms, interchangeably. Personally, I LOVE wearing monochromatic and tonal outfits in brighter and lighter colours. I like to do the look with dark blues too. How about you?

Link Love: Tights Weather

Harper’s Bazaar rounds up 14 pairs of tights that are “stretchy, silky, and most importantly, tear-proof.”

Finding good-quality tights can be tricky if you are plus-size, Refinery29 suggests these 7 options.

If sustainability is a factor when buying tights, then have a look at Hannah Rochell’s responsible guide to buying hosiery.

Fab Links from Our Members

17 Cute Halloween Costumes Your Pet Will Hate.” “Pet shaming at its finest! Happy Halloween!”, says suntiger.

Suntiger also wanted to share this Jezebel post about how the shacket trend is harder to pull off than it looks.

Nuancedream directs us to this article that looks at the considerable and harmful impact on the environment of free returns

Katerina thought “Bored of Your Wardrobe? Try Wearing One Colour at a Time” was interesting. She adds: “I am experimenting with colours a lot these days, shopping my closet and having fun. I am very drawn to tonal and monochromatic looks.”

Nikki likes that Vogue published an article on Native fashion for Indigenous Peoples’ Day.

Vildy is really enjoying BAMF Style, a website detailing iconic men’s style items as shown in the movies that feature them. 

UmmLila wanted to share this Wall Street Journal article about the return of the low-rise pant.

Recently The New York Public Library staged a pop-up exhibition about fashion in Harlem. Stagiaire Fash let’s us know that you can find quite a few resources related to the exhibit online, including photos and a video.


Simpler Items

This week's list of top picks list is about basic pieces.

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Assorted Items

Items for Summer, both in and out of air conditioning.

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Casual Summer Vibes

This week's top picks are good for a casual Summer vibe.

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Summery Earth Tones

These items are for those who like to wear casual earth tones in warm and hot weather.

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Hints of Spring

Some tried-and-tested winning items to refresh your style for Spring.

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Dressier Items

An assortment of dressier top picks might be just what the doctor ordered.

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Outfit Formula: Juicy Orange

Studies have shown that orange is the least liked colour in the world, (blue is the most liked). So I might be one of the few who bat for Team Orange as a colour. I also love it as a fruit, flavour, and scent. My favourite shade of red has a lot of orange in it, and as a Dutch citizen, orange is my national colour. I wear orange year round with white, cream, burgundy, shocking pink, bright red, yellow, mustard, navy, turquoise and denim blue. Yorkies Sam and Jo have bright orange collars, and hubs Greg has a pair of burnt orange AllBird sneakers.

Orange comes in many tonal variations and shades. Think orange like the fruit and you’re close to what I call Dutch orange. There are tones of pumpkin, and shades of burnt orange too. And some retailers have grouped cinnamon into the orange family.

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These outfit ideas are for Team Orange, and not in a subtle way.

1. Orange and Earth Tones

Remix tones of orange with brown earth tones like toffee, caramel, and chocolate. Here, an orange top and topper are paired with toffee bottoms. A skirt will work as well as the pants. Finish things off with brown footwear and bag. The brown footwear here looks a little dark to me, although it does work. I’d have preferred to see cognac or tan footwear, and some gold jewellery.

Orange and Earth Tones

2. Orange in a Sunset Pattern

Perhaps you’d like to wear orange in a pattern like it’s shown here, with shades of red, black, tans and taupes. A dress is an easy pull-on-and-go option but I can see the same type of pattern working in a top or skirt with solids to match. Here the belt and boots are black to pick up the black in the pattern. A shade of brown would work well too. I’m seeing a red or burgundy coat to top things off.

Orange in a Sunset Pattern

3. Orange, Cream and Burgundy

I LOVE this way of wearing orange. The burgundy enriches it. The blue denim cools it down. The cream adds a crisp, clean, soft and modern touch. Think of any way to combine these three colours in an outfit, and you’re good to go. Burgundy, tan or brown footwear and bag will work well as a substitute for the cream.

Orange, Cream and Burgundy

4. Shocking Orange and Fuchsia

This outfit is spectacular on the red-headed model. WOW. The patent cognac boots beautifully bookend the model’s hair, and complement the bright orange topper. The harmonious clash of the fuchsia and orange is delicious to my eye, and I’ve worn it often. I sometimes sub the fuchsia with shocking pink. The blue jeans act as the neutral that tones down the look. Add jewellery, eyewear, watch and headgear as desired.

Shocking Orange and Fuchsia

Here are my orange wardrobe items, and I hope to add a short orange puffer or long coat. I find orange yummy and versatile. Who else bats for Team Orange? Maybe cinnamon and cognac are your orange?

Fab Finds: Jackets, Skirts, Boots, Hoodies

Despite severe supply chain challenges caused by the global pandemic, online collections for Autumn and Winter are looking surprisingly good and well-stocked. Brick-and-mortar stores on the other hand, are quite bare. It’s very tough gauging how to stock retail these days, and I wish all retailers the very best. On that note, these items have been winners on some clients and forum members recently. Be sure to browse all the size and colour options.

1. Karen Kane Bias-Cut Midi Skirt

Bias-cut skirts can look sensational when they are long enough and have sufficient width. In other words, the manufacturers didn’t skimp on the fabric to cut costs. These bias-cuts skirts from Karen Kane are sustainably and ethically made in the USA, and drape like a dream because they have the right roomy cut and fit. They mould to the shape of the body, but do not cling.

2. Linea Paolo Patent Booties

These are gorgeous, very comfy, and with an on-trend snip toe. I bought the white pair last year, and LOVE them. They look chic and modern in a crisp and clean way. This year they came out with three options in patent leather that aren’t quite as soft as my white leather pair, but comfy all the same. Each pair has a different and unique colour-blocked stripe at the back. Click the links to see the variations. The style is good for long toes and lower volume feet.

3. Miz Mooz Leighton Booties

These are super comfy, soft, well-made, robust, and quite unique. They are a rare find in purple, green and teal. I’ve found Miz Mooz shoes to run a little short in the toe box so be careful when you have long toes. Some styles look a little steampunk, if that’s your cup of tea.

4. Michael Kors Hooded Stretch Packable Down Puffer

Do not underestimate the fabulous online selection at Macy’s. Prices are generally more affordable than other department stores, and their service has greatly improved. They have a wider range of sizes too. These Michael Kors short packable puffers are well-made, create a fab fit, and come in all sorts of colours. Some of the styles have back elastic detailing to give them more shape. Styles have either silver or gold hardware. Sizes range from XXS to 4XL and most items are on sale. I have my eye on some of the orange jackets.

5. Banana Republic Sweater Hoodie

I have this hoodie in cream and LOVE it, so much so that I am thinking about getting the blue. It’s very cosy and comfy, and looks more polished and dressy than a sweatshirt hoodie. I’ve worn it with my Hugo Boss suit, jeans, and a velvet bias-cut skirt. The neckline is awfully neat and tidy. Half of the hoodie is made of an Austrian fabric called EcoVero, which is a more sustainable viscose-based natural fibre made using sustainable wood from controlled sources. The production of EcoVero causes 50 percent less emissions and takes up half as much energy and water.