Tag Archives: shoes

Kork-ease is back

I am a sucker for fashion from the late 1960s and early 1970s. I loved the revival of embroidered jeans, woven bags, and Frye boots.

What’s back this spring are Kork-Ease wedge sandals. These classics are among the 25 shoes chosen for the Landmark Shoe Collection at the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute.

Kork-Ease classic Ava sandals

I look at these and I am transported back to May, 1971, in Northern Virgina. I want to grab an underground newspaper and a falafel sandwich with tahini. I want to skip gym class and hang out down by the creek. (It won’t surprise you to hear that these shoes appear in a recent episode of Cougar Town.)

They come in two heel heights (3-1/4 inch and the saner 1-3/4 inch) and I definitely remember the pale natural leather (Vachetta leather that will rapidly “turn” to darker tan with time). Kork-Ease sandals also come in black and brown leather, and some bright colors.

Are these shoes still comfortable? Were they ever? Hell if I know. I have a vague memory of tripping along in the higher-heeled version wearing a split-front patched and embroidered denim maxi skirt. I won’t be doing that again!

But I am going to buy a pair of the lower-heeled classic Myrnas when I’m in Florida next month. In black — I live in Seattle now, not Northern Virginia.


>Bidder beware

>Confessions of an online shopper: A good portion of my wardrobe comes from eBay. These are mostly items like bras or shoes where I’ve purchased a particular item somewhere at full price, like it, and feel confident about getting a second item online. In most cases, I can get the item “new with tags” on eBay for less than half price. (In fact, because many brands discontinue styles after just a few months, eBay is often the only place I can get a second item.)

So, I’d been following a pair of Corso Como shoes that sell fairly reliably for $129 online and in stores. When the eBay bidding edged up past $60 (not including shipping) I thought, “Hey, hold on here…”

I then did a quick re-check at Amazon.com and found the shoes new, from Amazon itself (with free Prime shipping) for $59. I bought them.

A couple of hours later an email from eBay informed me that someone had purchased the eBay shoes for (ouch) $89.

Speaking of shoe deals, I won’t be able to make the Onlineshoes.com warehouse sale in Mukilteo tomorrow because I’m joining my neighbor Theresa having a yard sale. She has a whole garage full of furniture and kids’ stuff she is most anxious to unload. I’ve got mostly plants, planters, fountains, and some home decor.

We start at 10 a.m. Early birds will be shot and stuffed.

>Fashion: Best of 2007

>I’ve put together a list of some brands I thought were particularly impressive this year. Note that many of the links go to a retailer’s site rather than the manufacturer’s; that’s because most of the manufacturers have pretentious “branding” websites with vacuous Flash intros and lousy navigation. The retailers, by contrast, want to sell things so they have sites that actually work.

Corso Como. American-designed, Brazilian-made, these leather boots and shoes have a high-fashion look but quite a bit of comfort. High-quality materials put the prices in the $100 to $260 range. Look for them online at BarefootTess.com, Nordstrom.com, Piperlime.com, and Zappos. In Seattle, you’ll find them at local boutiques such as Nuovo Modo in downtown Seattle and the new Lambs Ear Shoes in Fremont. Note: You may want to size up a half size for these. And be sure to check for online sales.
Runners-up: Born (for comfort and quirky good looks) and Sofft (for a comfortable high heel; but be aware, you want to be sure to try on a pair half a size down…in the larger size, feet can tend to slide forward into the roomy toe box, leaving a gap at the heel).

Mandarina Duck. This Italian company’s patented fabrics are striking and unusual, with bags featuring a mix of leather and nylon-type materials. Even leather bags are likely to feature a mix of sueded and finished leathers, plus plenty of pockets, sturdy construction, and models that magically expand via snaps and zippers. All this styling comes at a price ($200 – $400). Do beware of the synthetic fabric bags which, while resembling backpacks, are neither waterproof nor stain-resistant.
Runners-up: Matt & Nat vegan bags (at Shoefly and Sole Food in Seattle) and Libaire (online) for sturdy bags in rich-looking pebble leather.

Wacoal. “Sure they fit great, but they’re so expensive,” you say. That’s no longer the case. You can find most styles of these $60 bras for $20-$25 (new with tags) on eBay—so try them on at Nordstrom, buy one, and get the rest online. (If you are someone who has long avoided underwires as being uncomfortable, a Wacoal can probably get you to reconsider.) To see Wacoal’s vastly expanded catalog of styles, for all styles and shapes, visit the major online lingerie sites like Bare Necessities and Fig Leaves, which have a better selection than Nordstrom. Fig Leaves has one fancy Wacoal model selling for just $15 this week.

Now that sheer pantyhose have been declared hopelessly out of style, grownups can enjoy wearing opaque tights. Unfortunately, my top picks are devilishly hard to find: The synthetic-blend tights from Hot Sox. Nordstrom carries only the metallic version, so check out local shoe boutiques (where I just ordered two pair).

This is all about nightgowns and loungers, like the gorgeous lightweight cotton knits at Soma. Look for the long, slim V-neck loungers, sometimes with matching robes. These are not big, baggy t-shirts. (Do, however, watch out for the Soma sleepware that isn’t machine washable; who wants to hand wash a bulky bathrobe?)

I tried quite a few styles and brands of jeans this year, and didn’t come up with any winners. I can, however, recommend Eddie Bauer‘s Classic Fit bootcut corduroys (the plain ones, not the fussy-looking embroidered ones). Eddie Bauer offers several fits in tall, regular and petite, including the contemporary Classic Fit with has a modern (slightly low) waistband. For those of you hunting for jeans, it’s always worth checking out the style advice (based on your measurements and preferences) at Zafu.com.

No nominees in this category, I’m afraid. I didn’t like the styling of The Territory Ahead three-button cashmere (too boxy). Macy’s Charter Club house brand cashmere seemed narrow and tube-like and bunched up on the shoulders (but better than nothing—I bought one). Eddie Bauer didn’t have a single Merino wool sweater for women (it had winter sweaters made of cotton, a real mountaineering faux pas!). I thought the Sundance Catalog and Garnet Hill cashmere sweaters were a bit overpriced (and the Garnet Hill v-neck had one of those low, low necklines). The styling on the L. L. Bean cashmeres made them look like sweatshirts. J. Jill had novelty rather than classic sweaters (mostly cotton, some in wools). So, I have to confess, I got all my sweaters this year on eBay and at consignment shops. I did, however, order a Red Moon brand gray cashmere jersey at the Amazon.com sale this week, so will report that later. Does anyone have any suggestions?