Black Patent Crazy

Black Patent go go
Black Patent go go
I am black patent crazy. Over the past year I've purchased 4 pairs of black patent boots to add to my collection bringing my total to 5. Why you ask? Black patent is one of the most versatile shoe materials ever. It adds a bit of shine to any daytime outfit and glamor to any evening or special occasion attire. It works well in all weather needing just a quick wipe down with a damp cloth and mild soap if necessary.  Scuffs and scratches can be removed with special purpose cleaners on the market. Over time, it may loose the high shine, but it will maintain an interesting rubbery look. This black patent go go, Cynira at ShoeDazzle is on point at about $39 for VIPs. True patent leather starts with a fine grain leather that is coated to create a glossy finish. Imitations are poromeric imitation leathers like Dupont's Corfam. Whether you choose real or imitation you can't go wrong with this addition to your wardrobe. Here is an excellent choice for Men:
Converse Men's Black Patent
Converse Men's Black Patent
As my friend Phil Silverstone says, "Just bought these amazing Converse high top black patent sneaks for an upcoming tux event and then to wear with my white Levi's in the summer..."     And some for Women:
Black Patent Chelsea
Black Patent Chelsea Vince Camuto $180ish on sale Worn at the Breeder's Cup
Punk Patent
Punk Patent Penny Loves Kenny $40ish
Black Patent & Perspex Chelsea boot
Black Patent & Perspex Chelsea boot Rachel Zoe $150ish on sale

David Bowie Shoes

David Bowie boots 1973
David Bowie boots 1973
RIP David Bowie, my favorite performer and a major influence on my life. David Bowie gave me the courage to be different and the confidence to continually transform on my terms throughout my life. He was brilliant till the very end and oh yeah, the shoes! Guess I got some of my fashion & shoe aesthetic from him too. These babies are dead on trend right now. Wish I could get a pair and wear them in memoriam.  

Warm Feet

Bear Paw Ankle Boots
Dog walking boot hoarding
In my part of the world we've had an early cold snap that's reminded me I need warm feet. Dipping close to freezing for a few mornings, I had to dig my sheepskin boots out to walk my dog. I'm a fan of the Bear Paw brand. They are good quality and usually available at good prices on the flash sale sites. I generally buy a couple of pairs at the end of season and keep them handy.
Wool Insole
Wool insole after little wear
My end of last season pair of black Bear Paw's came with a wool insole. It's the first time I've had a wool insole and I HATE them. Under very little wear the insole flattens, pill and fall apart. It's nasty. I'm a sheepskin insole girl.
Bear Paw Wedge
Good for dressy occasions.
I have always had a problem keeping my extremities warm in the winter. About 10 years ago I gave in to sheepskin boots and while I don't love the styles, I do love the toasty toes. I have several style of boots so I'm covered for super casual (basic Ugg like styles), casual (moto-boot) and dress (black wedges with fur fold over) occasions. This solution is workable, but not ideal. I need more range in my wardrobe.
Bear Paw Moto
Bear Paw Moto boot
By pure happenstance I found the answer. Several years ago I was perusing the duty-free in the Auckland New Zealand airport and I found sheepskin insoles! These babies are a lifesaver. From that day forward, I was able to wear ANY of my boots or booties ALL winter! The added bonus-you can take them out when you are inside.
sheepskin insole
New Zealand insole-5+ seasons
These insoles are the best investment in winter warmers I've ever made. The sheepskin is resilient and easy to care for. Whenever you need a refresh just immerse the insoles in mildly soapy, luke-warm water. Let them soak about 10 minutes. Agitate just a bit. Remove and rinse in cold water. Roll in an absorbent towel and air dry. When the drying is complete fluff the fur and you are ready to go again. I've had the same pair for about 5 years.
UGG replacement insole
Foam bottom UGG replacement insole
To my delight, I have found that I can buy new ones in the US. In fact, Amazon has several options. I'm waiting for a pair of Dr. Sheepskin's in grey today. (These will replace the wool insole.) Make sure you get the real ones with the sheepskin back. There are lots of insoles with the fur on a synthetic back-not nearly as quality as the real thing. Get yourself a pair and grab some for holiday gifts. Get them now if you are heading into winter. They are hard to find once the cold sets in.

The humble Wellie

Black Biker Wellies
High tide on the dock
After several days of torrential rain, I thought I'd say a few words about the humble Wellie. Available at a variety of price points and with some very fashionable styling, the wellie is an essential part of any shoe wardrobe. I have several pairs (well of course I do). The pair at the farm came in particularly handy this weekend. Stuck under a low pressure system coupled with a passing hurricane, tides were exceptionally high. Good thing it wasn't too high. These wellies are on their last legs and have a slice in the right vamp:( It's a good thing the farm settles next week or I'd have to buy another pair. Wellies are also an essential at the beach. They are the best for running the dog on sands and surf. (I'm feeling like I have Martha Stewart voice today...)
Black Chelsea Boot
Dead on equestrian.
Leopard Low Heel
Kitty's hate wet feet.
From a fashion standpoint they are an essential as well. As a public transportation commuter that needs to look fashionable at work, it is important to have fashion wellies in my repertoire. I have selected a low heeled leopard print and glossy black flat chelsea boot to pair with any rainy day outfit.
Keen, Waxed Suede
Battle the 3 Ds - Dark, Damp, Dreary
My final pair are suede, that's right sued. Who in their right mind would wear suede in the rain? Me, that's who. This pair of waxed suede beauties are just right for fall. From the great orange color to the rugged sole and warm lining, these fit the bill when it's dark, dreary and damp. My collection has cost from about $15-$100 per pair. They are well worth the investment.