workstyle polyvore

Office Style Inspiration

Where do you work?

I work in the marketing department at a college.

What did you wear to work today?

I am wearing a black cotton t-shirt dress, a khaki jacket and wedges with gold chain detailing. No jewelry.

workstyle polyvoreHow would you describe your office style?

I would describe my office style as feminine and minimal. I love a simple, body-hugging t-shirt dress for everyday style, both in and out of the office, and I can’t stand to wear anything that is baggy or has frills and embellishments. This I attribute to my body shape; anything loose fitting looks like a smock on me. Out of the office, my style is the same but with a hint of teenage angst. I also love a great wedge heel for the office.

The fashion rule I always enforce is never look like I’m trying too hard: pick one standout piece and keep everything else to a minimal.

Go-to fashion rule or styling trick?

My mom taught me that you can wear red lipstick or heavy eye makeup, but never both simultaneously. The fashion rule I always enforce is never look like I’m trying too hard: pick one standout piece and keep everything else to a minimal. Outside of work, I love to wear a body-hugging t-shirt dress with Converse sneakers. It helps to tone-down the overall look; the Converse sneakers are essential because they help to balance the overall look. If I wear a form-fitting dress, it must be accompanied by flats or Converse sneakers; I will never pair a form-fitting dress with high heels. I’m not saying it’s wrong to do so, but it’s not my personal style.

Favorite part about your job?

I love anytime I get to write feature stories about our students. It’s always a learning experience for myself. Each of our students has their own story that defines how they ended up at our college. Working at a tech college brings a unique mix of students, and it’s always interesting to hear the situation that brought the student to our college. With graduation coming up, I’m working on a “Humans of New York” style Facebook campaign for our upcoming graduates. It will be interesting to hear their different stories.colorfulofficeinspo

Most challenging part of your job?

Working in marketing at a college, I have to be able to speak with an authority in 50+ different industries, everything from machine tools to architecture to nursing. Since I can’t possibly do that on my own, my job requires getting a lot of feedback from many different people, and trust me, everyone thinks they are a marketer. I do value their opinion because they know their student, but sometimes there is “too many cooks in the kitchen,” so to speak.

One thing in your closet you could not live without?

Fitted t-shirt dresses are life! I can throw one on and feel comfortable while looking put-together. Win-win! I also LOVE my scoop-back, ballet style fitted shirts. I wish I could find more of them.

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If you could choose any shoes from our Summer in the City collection, which one would it be?

I think the blush Nora d’orsay pumps are gorgeous. Low-key with simple lines is my jam.

plants

Indoor Gardening for Beginners: All you need to know to cultivate your green thumb

Some of us are born with it, but not all of us have harnessed the skill of being a plant parent. Babies and kids can scream or tell you when they need something, but I’m expected to just read my plant’s mind when it’s thirsty or isn’t getting enough sunlight? Please. Like with most things, practice makes perfect. In the case of cultivating a green thumb, it’s not something that I want to give up on because plants can make your life better. According to an article by Melissa Breyer on treehugger.com, “5 health benefits of indoor plants” (a source that might be a little biased), indoor plants transcend trends and should be considered a necessity. Treehugger.com goes on to say that in addition to helping us breathe, indoor plants:

  1. Help deter illnesses.

In the great outdoors, plant roots tap the groundwater table for water which then evaporates through its leaves in a process known as transpiration. Studies show that this accounts for about 10 percent of the moisture in the atmosphere! The same thing happens at home, which increases the humidity indoors. According to Bayer Advanced, studies at the Agricultural University of Norway document that using plants in interior spaces decreases the incidence of dry skin, colds, sore throats and dry coughs. And other research reveals that higher absolute humidity is conducive for decreased survival and transmission of the flu virus.

  1. Clean the air

NASA has spent a lot of time researching air quality in sealed environments, which makes sense. “Both plant leaves and roots are utilized in removing trace levels of toxic vapors from inside tightly sealed buildings. Low levels of chemicals such as carbon monoxide and formaldehyde can be removed from indoor environments by plant leaves alone.” When talking about the relationship between plants and space travelers, NASA notes that plants, “provide nourishment for the body when eaten as food, and they improve the quality of indoor air. The NASA researchers recommend one potted plant per 100 square feet of indoor space.

  1. Boost healing

Bringing flowers or a plant while visiting a hospital patient may be verging on cliché, but so effective are plants in helping surgery patients recover that one study recommends them as a “noninvasive, inexpensive, and effective complementary medicine for surgical patients.” The study, conducted at Kansas State University, found that viewing plants during recovery from surgery led to a significant improvement in physiologic responses as evidenced by lower systolic blood pressure, and lower ratings of pain, anxiety, and fatigue as compared to patients without plants in their rooms.

Another technique to decrease recovery time, as noted by Texas A&M University, is horticulture therapy in which patients are tasked with taking care of plants. The patients who physically interact with plants experience a significantly reduced recovery time after medical procedures.

  1. Increase productivity

A number of studies with both students and workers reveals that studying or working in the presence of plants can have a pretty dramatic effect. As with simply being in nature, being around plants improves concentration, memory and productivity. Being “under the influence of plants” can increase memory retention up to 20 percent, according to a University of Michigan study.

Meanwhile, two Norwegian studies found that worker productivity is greatly enhanced by the presence of plants in the office. “Keeping ornamental plants in the home and in the workplace increases memory retention and concentration,” notes Texas A&M. “Work performed under the natural influence of ornamental plants is normally of higher quality and completed with a much higher accuracy rate than work done in environments devoid of nature.”

A few must-know tips if your gardening knowledge is extremely limited

Us humans have a great relationship with plants, but how can you master the art of being a great plant parent? It’s all about developing daily habits to check on your plant’s health.

Water is Life

Earthlings are so notorious for being reliant on water. Ugh, so annoying! Some plants need to be watered more regularly than others, and until you find the sweet spot, monitor your plants daily. Oh yeah, you can also overwater your plants, and that’s generally the problem that most people have as new plant parents. Make sure the pot for your plant has at least one drainage hole in the bottom.

Proven Winners, the #1 plant brand®, put together these quick tips for watering your plant:

  • Be sure your pot has drainage holes
  • Water only when the top of the soil is dry
  • Water until water comes out of the drainage holes
  • Don’t allow your pot to sit in standing water

Potting soil is the new dirt

Opt for potting soil for your plants rather than dirt. Believe it or not, but plants do not like dirt very much. Dirt is dense and compact, and your plants never root in well. According to The Family Magazine, “Potting soil provides the proper balance of water, air and pH to allow a plant’s roots to grow deep and healthy. Potting soil doesn’t actually even have dirt in it. It consists of peat, bark, fertilizer and other materials that help disperse moisture evenly throughout the media and around the plant’s roots.”

For that an added dose of health, add fertilizer to your plant’s regimen. It doesn’t have to be too complicated. You can purchase fertilizer that can just be added to water so you get two birds with one stone.

That sweet sunshine

Make sure you understand your plant’s light requirements. This can easily be checked on the plant’s tag from the store. There are four different light requirements that can be listed on your plant’s tag. Guide to House Plants has this handy guide:

  • Sunny (direct) location:
    • Within two feet of a south or south-facing window
    • Window sills flooded with sunlight
    • A sun room
  • Bright (indirect sun) location
    • Within 4-5 feet of an east or west facing window
    • 3-5 feet from any window that faces south or southwest
    • Any place where the sun shines into a room for several hours
  • Partially shaded (low light) location
    • An east-facing window where the morning sun shines into the room for only a few hours. Morning sun is cooler than afternoon sun, so you don’t have to worry about overheating your plant
    • At least 3-5 feet away from a window that faces south or southwest
    • Directly in front of a north-facing window gives a plant low-to-medium light intensity
  • Shady location
    • More than 6 feet away from a south- or southwest-facing window
    • Hallways, staircases, and corners of rooms
    • Near windows that are shaded by trees

Okay, but how do you know definitively if your plant is getting too much or not enough light? Guide to House Plants says:succulents

How do you know when your houseplant is not getting enough light?

  • Growth is spindly, with long spaces between leaves
  • New leaves are smaller than existing ones
  • Lower leaves turn yellow and fall off
  • No growth or slow growth
  • Flowering plants fail to bloom or bloom poorly
  • Variegated leafy plants turn a solid green
  • New shoots reach out and grow toward the light

Here are some signs that your plant is getting too much light:

  • Brown scorched patches on leaves
  • Leaves look faded or washed out
  • Plant wilts at midday
  • Leaves become dry and fall off

Armed with the basic knowledge of plant parenting, head to the local greenhouse to find some healthy plants you can watch mature into adulthood. Maybe one day you’ll even be a plant grandparent.

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New Study Shows Hot Baths Equivalent to Exercise

In the age of the Internet, people will make any wild claim for a few clicks. We’ve had to learn the hard way that anything that sounds too good to be true, most likely is too good to be true. That’s why when we saw the headlines popping up that a hot bath could be equivalent to exercise, we weren’t too hopeful that there was any scientific backing to this “too good to be true” headline. Many of us rejoice to hear that your evening soak, a moment of relaxation, is actually burning calories. Before you cancel your gym membership, we dive into this newly released research and analyze the study to determine its validity.

The Study

Loughborough University conducted the study so elegantly titled, “The effect of passive heating on heat shock protein 70 and interleukin-6: A possible treatment for metabolic disease?”

Fourteen males volunteered to participate in the study and were split into two groups: lean and overweight. All participants were deemed healthy, non-smokers but were habitually inactive, defined as less than 1 ½ hours of structured physical activity per week. The volunteers were to visit the laboratory for three different sessions. A preliminary session consisted of initial measures including blood profile, body composition and oxygen uptake tests and visits two and three involving warm water immersion and 60 minutes of cycling at a fixed-rate of metabolic heat production. After the volunteer completed either the warm water immersion or the warm bath, the same measures were taken again immediately after and a third time, two hours after.

The Results

The results showed that taking an hour-long bath at a temperature of 104 degrees Fahrenheit will burn approximately 140 calories, yielding approximately the same results as a half-hour walk. Cycling resulted in more calories being burned compared with a hot bath, but bathing resulted in about as many calories being burned as a half-hour walk (around 140 calories).

The researchers measured blood sugar for the study participants for the next 24 hours and found the two groups both had improved ability to control blood sugar, an important measure of metabolic health. In fact, the bathers’ peak blood sugar levels after eating were about 10% lower than the peak blood sugar for the cyclists, which shows promise for using “passive heating” as a means of helping control metabolic disorders like type 2 diabetes. The bathers also experienced an anti-inflammatory response similar to the effect seen in people after they exercise, which is also promising, since people with chronic disease tend to have chronic inflammation.

The next time you’re soaking in a steaming hot bath with a glass of wine and some relaxing music, you can close your eyes and imagine the calories melt away.

“I love the magic of a hot bath, how time pauses and every grievance melts away.”

Have your cake and eat it too with this ultimate bath time experience

bath

According to the Integrative Longevity Institute of Virginia (ILIV), research supports the benefit of tea because of its many antioxidant and antimicrobial qualities.

According the ILIV website, “Since the skin is the largest organ in the body, a ‘tea bath’ allows the body to absorb the tea and its beneficial nutrients much quicker than you could obtain by drinking tea.”

Add about five or six packets of tea to your bath and you’ll be exercising and detoxifying as you relax. A true heaven on earth experience.

“The idea is to combine certain teas and/or herbs that can be simmered and steeped for about 15 minutes and then add these to your bath water. You can put your teas/herbs in a small bag, made from cheesecloth or you can put them directly in a pan with water but you will want to strain the tea leaves through cheesecloth before adding to the bathtub. Bring the tea to a boil and then cover and allow the tea to seep for about 15 minutes.”

 

Cinderella

A Scientific Breakdown of Cinderella’s Glass Slippers

Let’s talk (not too seriously) for a minute about Cinderella Shoes.

We do not really know the exact size and shape of the slippers that Cinderella wore, but we can assume they look something like the image to the left. cinderella-shoes

Let’s focus on comfort and failure, not about Cinderella’s failure to keep on her shoe, but about mechanical stress.

Keep in mind that every time we design something we perform multiple tests to ensure the product is strong enough and ready for production. Let’s apply these concepts to Cinderella’s heels, pretending they are made of glass (even though we know that they were probably not made of glass, but fur).

First test is about the compressive stress done by Cinderella’s weight. We can assume her weight is about 110 LBS. Will the shoes break under that pressure?

cinderella-shoes-forcesA rough estimate of her foot size and her foot area comes to be about A=0.015m2

And if we apply 110 lbs of weight uniformly on the area, the compressive stress developed in the material would be σ=F/A =mg/A ≈ 33KPa

Normal glass stress support is approximately 50MPa , which is way above what Cinderella weight will enforce on the shoes. In summar, this tells us that Cinderella’s shoes will not break under the stress of her weight. We can assume they are safe, but what about dancing and walking? That would put the shoes under different stress.

Let’s make some simplifying assumptions. Let’s assume her heels diameter is ϕ=2cm and a length of l=6.

We can model the heel as a simple cantilever beam of circular cross section.

For her to be safe dancing and walking, we need to take at least a safety factor of 2, and also assume the bending stress can go up to 75MPa. In simpler words her shoes must have a strength of at least 150MP.

cinderella-shoes-heel

Safety glass has a yield strength around 200MPa, that means she is safe if her glass slippers are made of safety glass.

And when she runs?, we can expect the impact force to be 3-5 times the impact of regular walk, but we should assume that Cinderella’s dress won’t let the take long strides, her running won’t be too fast and the impact force won’t be too high.

We can conclude that Cinderella’s shoes could be made of safety glass without breaking and causing major damage to her feet.

Comfort, on the other hand, is a different story. Girl was crazy for wearing stiff, glass shoes.:)

 

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How many pairs of shoes do you have?

I was reading a post on Glamour.com about how many shoes a women own here.
The original study has been conducted by gocompare.com who surveyed 3,000 women. The article has been reported also on Quora.

Let take a look at the summary… are you thrilled?

The average woman in her entire lifetime will buy 469 pairs of shoes and spend about $25,000 overall!!

In this statistic, not surprisingly, the average woman owns 19 pairs of shoes at any given time.

Let’s see the numbers:

  • three pairs with heels
  • six pairs of wedges, flip-flops, sandals or ballet pumps
  • three pairs of boots
  • four pairs of ‘foxy-style’ shoes for the nights.
  • two pairs of office shoes
  • one pair of other shoes

Concerning me, I have more heels and flats and less boots.

They survey says that girls buy their first pair of shoes at 14, I do not really remember but I’m sure I was in high school. After that every woman buys an average of 7 pairs of shoes a year for the rest of their life.

I think there is someone who buys 0, because I buy about 15 shoes a year!

Given those numbers, what do you think? do you have 19 shoes at this time?

I cannot advocate enough on quality vs quantity… shoes don’t have to be super expensive but please include in your wardrobe some good leather shoes!

beekeeper

The Fountain of Youth: crazy beauty treatments of past and present

There is a universal obsession to achieve cosmetic perfection and eternal youthfulness, which means that people are willing to try anything. While there are many cosmetic treatments that are widely accepted and embraced, such as braces, there are others that one might consider more “fringe.”

It might seem like beauty treatments are hitting an all-time level of weird, but if it’s any consolation, there have been weird beauty treatments since the beginning of time. These treatments can range from bizarre to downright barbaric.

On the extremely weird side:

  1. In ancient times, the Romans and Greeks who would bathe in freshly harvested crocodile feces.
  2. English women in the Victorian times would ingest tapeworms to take residence inside the body, which they believed would help shed weight.
  3. Married women in Japan would dye their teeth with black enamel. While similar to the sealants that are common today, dying one’s teeth black was thought to prevent tooth decay. This custom has been traced back to prehistoric times when

On the disturbing side:

  1. The creation of the “made-to-order” dimple. Yes, dimples were so highly desired that women would wear a spring-loaded knob on their face that pressed into their cheeks.
  2. One ancient Chinese custom referred to as “foot binding” required girls ages 4–7 to break all of their toes to prevent the feet from growing to normal size, which would improve her chances of getting married, for some reason.

Where there’s a weird beauty trend, you can usually find a celebrity who is at the forefront of it. Don’t get us wrong, we’re thankful that they’re willing to take these risks and report their findings to the public.

Exhibit A: Vampire Facial

Kim K. made this famous with her memorable Instagram selfie in 2013 featuring blood on her face. The procedure requires the patient to have blood drawn from their arm. Plasma is separated from the blood, combined with Restylane or Juvederm, and then injected into the face using multiple acupuncture-sized needles. The process is allegedly supposed to stimulate collagen and remove fine lines and acne scars. Doctors say that Kim’s procedure that was filmed for the Kardashian reality show was in no way the “reality” of the procedure. For one, since they just use plasma mixture for the procedure, Kim’s face should be yellow and not red.

Exhibit B: A Geisha Facial

Also known as the bird poop facial. The facial treatment originated in Japan, and it is making its way westward to high-end salons because of its alleged ability to brighten and heal skin. Most of us would consider our day ruined if we were pooped on by a bird, yet this procedure requires you to smear bird poop on your face, nightingale poop to be exact. The poop is collected from birdcages, sanitized and ground into a fine powder. Why nightingale poop, you ask? This specific feces has a high concentration of nitrogen-rich urea and guanine, an amino acid. These two ingredients are believed to retain moisture so that your skin is hydrated and healthy.

Exhibit C: Apitherapy

Apitherapy uses bee venom to help with myriad skin ailments. Although there is little science to say if the procedure dubbed “natural botox” works, celebs such as Gwyneth Paltrow and Kate Middleton have claimed to use the therapy to achieve flawless skin.

“It’s actually pretty incredible if you research it. But, man, it’s painful.”–Gwyneth Paltrow on apitherapy

How does apitherapy work? Application of the bee’s venom causes your body to think it was stung, so the body directs blood toward the sting location, which stimulates collagen. Obviously do not go out and try to get bee stings, this could result in anaphylactic shock or stroke.

While we like to think of ourselves as an evolved society, we still do some pretty ridiculous things to achieve eternal youth and beauty. Until the fountain of eternal youth is discovered, we can expect to witness more of these bizarre beauty trends throughout our lifetime. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have an appointment at my spa for a lion’s urine hair mask. Ta-ta!

 

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5 yoga moves for the office

Technology has a major impact on the ways that we work and the type of work we do. This has resulted in a society that is increasingly stagnant. A decade or more ago, studies showed that sitting too much can increase premature death. Serious stuff but there was an answer: enter the standing desk. Unfortunately, the standing desk was not the answer to all of our problems like we thought it would be because it’s actually just the stagnant part that’s terrible for our health. *slowly sits back down* We’re always looking for an easy fix, but it doesn’t look like there’s going to be one this time, friends.

According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health:

Physiologically, it has been suggested that the loss of local contractile stimulation induced through sitting leads to both the suppression of skeletal muscle lipoprotein lipase (LPL) activity (which is necessary for triglyceride uptake and HDL-cholesterol production) and reduced glucose uptake.”

Millions of us have jobs that require most of the work to be done on the computer, so what can you do? A primary solution to reduce your hours of inactivity could be to walk around once every hour. In addition to helping your mind and body, this could actually increase your productivity, as well. It’s easy to get caught up in your work, so it’s recommended that you set a timer to go off signaling when it’s time to get up for a short walk.

If, for some reason, you find that it’s not possible to take these frequent walks, we suggest adding a few yoga moves to practice without moving away from your desk. Add these cubicle yoga moves to your daily routine for a healthy and fit lifestyle. Reminder: do not force your body into anything it’s not ready for; ask your doctor if yoga is right for you.

Mountain pose: improves posture and strengthens.

mountainpose

Tree pose: strengthens, improves balance and calms the mind.

treepose

Standing half-forward bend: stretches and rejuvenates the spine and legs, and improves digestion.

halfforwardbend

Upward salute: awakens the body and provides a boost of energy, improves posture.

salute

Warrior II: enhances strength, stability and concentration

warriorpose

Yoga Asanas by Tiffany Berry is licensed under CC BY 2,0

timeless

Fashion That Never Goes out of Style

The ‘80s were not kind to most. The music, the hair, the make-up, the fashion are all looked upon now as a form of comedic relief. It’s easy to fall into the trap of trends and not realize the fashion crimes that are being committed (looking at you, patterned leggings). While certainly, there is no such thing as a look that will remain fashionable for all of eternity, there are pieces that will stay fashionable throughout your life. Avoid the trap of trends and opt for a timeless style that you will never look back at photographs in horror.

LBDLBD

Audrey Hepburn instantly comes to mind when picturing a Little
Black Dress. The dress she wore in Breakfast at Tiffany’s in 1961 still looks phenomenal to this day. It’s no wonder the LBD has become a quintessential piece for every closet. The LBD is typically a simply cut dress that can be dressed up or down depending on the occasion. Dare to splurge on a high-quality LBD that you will wear for years to come. Things to look for when shopping for the perfect LBD:

  • Try different styles to find the right shape for your body.The waist should sit precisely at your true waistline.
  • Be mindful of the material. If your goal is to wear the LBD for many different occasions, make sure the material is versatile.
  • A velvet material is gorgeous for a wedding, but it may not be what you want to wear to work.

Dark-wash jeansDenim

A no-frills pair of dark denim is a must-have. Once you find the right cut of jeans for your body type, they will be your best friend for life. The darker wash is key because lighter denim has a tendency to look nice now but will look dated in the future based on trends and cultural preferences (see: acid wash). A few things to look for when shopping for chic and timeless denim:

  • Are there embellishments? If yes, put the denim down and back slowly away.
  • Stitching should be minimal.
  • Butt pockets are necessary.

Wash inside out every six wears so that your denim can have a long and happy life.

Trench Coat

After recently purchasing my first trench coat ever, I can testify that the trench coat is a smaTrench Coatrt and stylish addition to any look. For most of my life, I associated trench coats with the Olsen Twins because of their detective series they did as kids. Although I was late to the party, I finally discovered the beauty that is the trench coat. The trench coat truly pulls together any look and is a great addition to the working woman’s wardrobe or a great piece to just throw on to run to the grocery store since it will hide what you’re wearing underneath (see: Off-duty Chic: It’s in the details). A few things to look for when shopping for a trench coat:

  • For a timeless trench coat, opt for neutral colors such as khaki, black or navy.
  • A double-breasted, belted trench coat will flatter every body type and is always stylish.
  • The standard trench coat length is two inches above the knee.

 

A classic black pump

Find a high-quality Italian heel and those babies will never let you down. Cheaper heels tend to be less comfortable because less attention is paid to the details of the shape (see: Why buy high-end shoes?). Paying a little more now for a heel that makes you feel comfortable and fiworkstylets your personality will pay off in the long run. Not only will your budget appreciate you for it, but a pair of Italian high heels will surely draw attention and compliments from those around you. A few things to look for when shopping for a classic black pump:

  • A common theme, but make sure you’re choosing a pair of heels that are right for your body Whether you want to elongate your legs, slim your calves or emphasize your curves, the right pair of heels for your body can make any of those happen. This will also add to their shelf life.
  • Find a height that makes you feel comfortable. No one ever looked chic in shoes they couldn’t walk in.
  • Look for high quality materials such as suede, leather and eco-leather, and thunit.

                                      wrap dressWrap Dress

In 1974, Diane von Furstenberg created the iconic wrap dress and the silhouette lives on to this day. A wrap dress is a dress with a front closure formed by wrapping one side across the other, and knotting the attached ties that wrap around the back at the waist or fastening buttons, typically in a jersey material. This forms a V-shaped neckline and hugs the wearer’s curves. The style is comfortable, breezy and flattering for every body type because it hugs and flows in all the right places. Much like the LBD in its versatility, the wrap dress can be styled up or down depending on the occasion. A few things to look for when shopping for a wrap dress:

  • Wrap dresses are available in multiple materials, but for utmost versatility and timelessness opt for a cotton or jersey knit.
  • Choose a wrap dress that has very little pattern because patterns can quickly become dated.
  • According to Ebay’s guide for choosing a flattering wrap dress:

    “When choosing a wrap dress, you need to pay most attention to the bust area, because the torso needs to be kept into proportion with the rest of the dress in order to look flattering. A wrap dress chosen in a size that fits perfectly can do wonders for bustier women, as it may enhance the bust while making the waist look slimmer and the stomach flatter. Slimmer women who wish to wear wrap dresses should opt for those with less fabric on top.”

 

 

 

highendshoes

Why buy high-end shoes?

Carrie Bradshaw, you’ve finally met your match. Known for her affinity for shoes, the fictional Sex and the City actress was always strutting in designer heels fresh off the runway. But would a three-million dollar price tag make her do a double take? The House of Harry Winston’s created the Ruby Shoes for the 50th anniversary of The Wizard of Oz and are the most expensive shoes in the universe to date boasting a mere $3,000,000 price tag. Just pocket change really.

While the majority of us don’t have the money to throw away on shoes that are worth more than a mortgage, it may help save money in the long-term to splurge a bit on an investment piece. When shopping for investment pieces, you should keep in mind what is trendy and what is timeless because the goal of the investment piece is to last for years without going out of style.

“You are either in your bed or your shoes, so it pays to invest in both.”
–John Wildsmith

So what are the benefits to paying a little more for shoes from a small shop rather than opting for $30 pair from some fast-fashion chain retailer?

  1. Ethics are stylish

Hello, green is so the new black. As conscientious consumers, we must consider the ethical impact of our purchasing decisions. Buying cheap fashion is supporting slave-like conditions for workers globally. The environmental impact of fast fashion is also cause for major concern. The environmental impacts of fast fashion range from chemicals used to produce textiles, which can pollute rivers and oceans, to high levels of both pesticide and energy use. Since most cheap clothing is made of polyester, this material can take up to 200 years to biodegrade. Lesser quality clothing items means more clothing in the landfills, Source: The Eco Guide

2. Quality that lasts

Shoesinitaly only sells the highest quality in Italian footwear made from materials such as suede, leather, eco-leather and thunit soles (see below for definitions). This higher quality guarantees that you will be able to slay in your elegant handcrafted shoes for years to come. Our shoe cobblers meticulously tend to every stitch and embellishment on your heels that will stand the test of time.

3. Timeless silhouettes

An investment piece means that you can spend more money on it because it is a quintessential item that never goes out of style. The combination of quality materials and timeless silhouettes ensures that you have an item you can relish in that never looks out of date. This brings us to our next point.

4. Polish your image

It’s surprising the difference a high-quality shoe makes in your overall appearance. A well-placed heel will pull together your look without calling too much attention to it. It’s a small detail that makes all the difference. Related story: I was wearing a pointed-toe kitten heel made from authentic snake skin and a car mechanic told me I had “cool shoes.” Now I call that a success!

Material Definitions

Thunit or tunit: While leather is always a classy choice, it can be a material that’s difficult to maintain. Thunit is a less high-maintenance replacement for leather while still maintaining its elegant appeal. Thunit is a synthetic material that is similar to leather in its appearance. Compared to leather and rubber, it is more resistant to abrasion and more durable.

Eco-leather: Eco-leather is made with natural fibers such as flax or cotton mixed with palm, corn, soybean and other plant oils that are laminated together in layers to create something that looks and feels as if it came from an animal. And unlike real leather, which requires tanning — a process that releases potentially toxic materials into the environment — the materials in eco-leather are sustainable and produce a low carbon footprint.

 

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Unique Engagement Rings for the Unique Bride

Whoever said that diamonds are a girl’s best friend obviously never tasted chocolate. Unfortunately, chocolate isn’t forever, so men had to present a glittering rock to their loved one as a symbol of their eternal commitment. While diamonds will always be a symbol of nobility, many are looking outside of the traditional engagement ring to find a gem that is more reflective of his or her personality. “Unearthly” and “ethereal” are adjectives that we would use to describe the following gemstones, which is how you should feel on your wedding day.

Moonstones

This gem has a history as mystical as its own unearthly sheen. The Romans admired moonstone, as they believed it was born from solidified rays of the moon. Why would anyone not want to hold the power of the moon’s rays on their ring finger?

We love the Moonstone Galaxy ring by Michellia Designs.

“Inspired by the mysterious night sky from above, this gorgeous moonstone galaxy ring is designed to remind us of the infinite possibilities in our incredible universe. The focal rainbow moonstone gem is surrounded by four pieces of genuine diamonds that will shine for as long as the stars in the night sky.”

Moonstone

Opals

The Gemological Institute of America describes the opal as, “Fireworks. Jellyfish. Galaxies. Lightning. Opal’s shifting play of kaleidoscopic colors is unlike any other gem.” The Romans believed that opal was the most precious and powerful of all, and the Bedouins believed that opals contained lightning and fell from the sky during thunderstorms. We like to believe that both are true.

We love how the opal and diamond ring by Aardvark Jewelry appears to hold the power of the universe.

opal

Ametrine

There is only one commercial source for this rare gem, an Anahi mine in Bolivia. Ametrine quartz is a combination of amethyst and citrine and is a rare gift of nature. Because of the unique blend between citrine and amethyst, every ametrine is unique, just like yourself.

We love the fleur de lis ametrine ring by RareEarth Jewelry in all of its glittering ombré glory.

ametrine

Alexandrite

Emerald by day, ruby by night. With magical, color-changing properties, Alexandrite is “nature’s magic trick.” The gem changes from green in sunlight to red in lamplight making it an extremely rare and valuable gemstone. It was first found in 1830 in Russia’s Ural Mountains and is now found in Sri Lanka, East Africa and Brazil.

We love the classic Italian Russian Alexandrite ring by Gorman Designs.

alexandrite

 

Source: Gemological Institute of America