A Hawaii Style Blog

Tag: shopping

Sweaters & Interesting Details

Hawaii is experiencing a cold spell. I really love colder weather here. I get the opportunity to wear sweaters and get bundled up. I completely adore sweaters with unexpected details; bow prints, polka dots, stripes or distressed details.

I have been watching a show on Netflix called Meteor Garden. I’m completely inspired by the fashion of the characters and all the different sweaters they use. I love all the different details from hooks, to distressing, to patterns, and interesting color combinations.

I have had this sweater in my collection for a while I love its distressed and unraveled sides, the soft yarn used, and the slouchy look. I paired it with dressy jogger pants and an asymmetric shirt.

What kind of details you like on your sweaters?

Thanks again for reading.

XOXO,

Michelle

P.S. My hair was braided by Tiffany from TBraids808Hawaii. Thank you for making my hair for amazing.

SWEATER forever21 (old)
T SHIRT all saints
PANTS uniqlo
SANDALS isabel marant “jeyka”
HAIR tbraids808hawaii

Unboxing Favorite Finds and YouTube

A few weeks ago… I decided to attempt a YouTube video unboxing and sharing a few of my favorite finds this month. Enjoy this and let me know what you think.

Take a view and let me know what you think.

XOXO,

Michelle

Secrets to Shopping for Christian Louboutin and Other Luxury Shoes

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I guess it’s about time I share my methods in acquiring the shoes that I have in my shoe collection. I’ve been an avid shoe collector since high school and I’m going to be candid with you about the things that I have learn throughout the years. I am one of those people that never shop outside of my means. Let’s keep this real, I do not make a ton of money to blog, the reality is this blog has been a work in progress and the market is flooded with people who have their own style and want to share it with the world. I have a REAL career and I have an affinity to wearing expensive shoes.  I know that this blog is called A Pair of Shoes for Everyday. I have a lot of shoes but I do not have a pair for every day of the year nor do I have room for them. The blog name alludes to the fact that I have pairs of shoes that are used a lot in my wardrobe and therefore they are worth the investment I put into them.

So how exactly do I go about purchasing these shoes. I make a shoe list of my favorite shoes styles on the runway that season. Next, I go through my shoe wardrobe first to find shoes that I already fit current trends.  I look for styles that will last a few seasons, have very classic silhouettes and fit my personal style for example spikes and industrial details.

I  visit stores and boutiques that carry the shoes that are on my wish list. I try on a few styles, checking for fit, noting the pitch, and the comfort of the shoe. This is important because you have to be relatively comfortable in the shoes that you are in. Some pairs of shoes no matter how sexy or gorgeous they maybe on other people may not be the pair for you.  Then the waiting game begins.

Shoe seasons are quarterly and shoe sales are bi-annual. Sales tend to be from June to August and from November to December. It’s important to get to know associates at the boutiques in your area and establish a rapport with them. These associates will give you a heads up on what styles will go on sale at the end of the season and when special events happen in store. Retailers like Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus and other luxury retail stores have the tendency to have sales during this time. And stores tend to drop prices the later you go, always fight the need to purchase at the beginning of the sale as prices drop often. If you wait long enough and if the shoe is still there, prices will drop to a price point that is easier on the pocketbook. I have found several pairs of shoes what went well over a $1000 and bought them for a fifth of that price but you have to be willing to wait it out.

Sometimes, I check online discount websites: The Outnet, Barney’s Warehouse, Off Saks 5th Avenue, etc. I also scour Ebay and consignment shops (The Real Real, Yoogi’s Closet, etc.)  on the styles that I would like to add to my collection. Always ask the seller questions and read up on the shoe brands and authenticity. There are great people out there who have created resources that you can use to figure out authenticity or ask about authenticity. I personally use the Purse Blog Purse Forum . When in doubt always find a second opinion, there are authentication places out there that can help you authenticate a shoe for a small fee. The great thing about shopping with consignment shops, they have an authenticity expert in house that check the items they sell.  silklace4a

On top of researching and doing some ground work, I also have a separate account for shoe purchases. The real goal is to get the shoe you want for a price that is reasonable for your budget. I always set a price point for shoes that I want to purchase. Truthfully,  I’ve have only bought one pair of designer shoes full price and they were for my wedding day. I do not shop for shoes impulsively, it’s too big of an investment and designer shoes will always go on sale or can always be found for less than market value if your are willing to wait.

Thanks so much for making it through this long blog post. I wanted to make sure I gave you enough tips on how to shop for luxury shoes. If you have any questions or additional tips please feel free to comment and let me know.

XOXO,

Michelle

 

 

 

 

Review: Hunter Rain Boots

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Hi Everyone,

I’ve been meaning to do a shoe review for a while now. I think the last shoe review I did was on the Mohop Bespoke Sandals that I know. I am hoping to do at least one review per month if my pocketbook will let me.

For a couple of years now, I have been looking at a pair Hunter Rain boots. It was definitely on my boot wish list. I read through a lot of reviews on the item before I decided to finally take the plunge and purchase myself a pair. Because of my petite frame. some things that I considered before purchasing was  fit and the height of the boot shalf.

I decided to buy my pair of Hunter Rain boots last December before heading out to Northern Michigan. There were two reasons for this purchase. One, the rain boots would come in handy in Hawaii for the rainy seasons. For the most part people here like to wear their flip flops (in Hawaii we call them slippers) or whatever shoes that they have. I personally do not like it when my feet gets wet in the rain unless I am dressed like I am going to the beach. The second reason is that I wanted to see if it really worked in the snowy weather. It was definitely worth a try.

Before taking the plunge and purchasing a pair. I read reviews about Hunter boots for a while and perused different opinions on petite friendly sizing. So while certain colors were on sale at Nordstrom and decided to go and  check them out. I was torn between the women’s size five in the regular and the women’s size five short. I know that a lot of petite women recommend trying the children’s Big Kid size 3. After trying out the adult sizes, I decided to try out the Big Kid boots for myself. I found myself in the kids section of Nordstrom. I left Nordstrom not purchasing one that day. I wanted to do more research before completely committing to a pair.  After some thought, i decided on purchasing the children’s version. Some things that helped me consider:

1. a children’s size 3 is the same as a women’s size 5.

2. The shaft for the children’s size 3 was a lot more fitting to my height and frame than the women’s size 5.

3. The boots are made with the same material and have the same use and the price difference was about $100. So I went with the more cost effective version.

4. They look a little different, child size shoes has reflectors while the women’s do not have reflectors. I personally do not mind the reflectors. The socks cover the reflectors at the top and the bottom reflectors are hardly noticeable.

5. Calve sizing on the children’s Big Kid size was a bit looser than the Women’s version. I have bigger calves so this was a welcomed feature.

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HUNTER BOOTS big kid size 3.5  (women’s version )

I initially bought socks to go with these hunter boots but have since returned them. I was given heated socks to use with mine for the cold Michigan winter. They actually worked better than the Hunter brand socks.

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After two months of owning a pair of Hunter  Rain Boots they have really come in handy. I wore the boots mainly in Michigan  in the snow. They manage to keep my feet dry and warm for the times I used them on the trip. They worked better than my Dr. Marten’s in keeping my toes and my feet insulated in the light snow that we got up there. It’s great for walking around in lightly dusted areas but it definitely is not for heavier snow mainly because I do not know if the bottom of the boots have the grip needed. Besides snow, I have used it in torrential Hawaii rain when the streets are a bit flooded. At this point in time, I am satisfied with the purchase. If you have any questions feel free to comment or send me an email.

XOXO,

Elle

An Update on the 2013 Wish List: Four Wishes Down, 5 More To Go

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Hi All,

Hope you are having an amazing week. Today, I thought I’d let you know the status of my 2013 Wishlist that I posted earlier last year. So here’s the update.

In January of last year, I got a Nordstrom gift card so I spent it on a Tory Burch “Reva” flats. I got my first one in the Gold Emblem and Napa leather, last month, I purchase my second with the pebbled leather embossing. So far I have been very happy with the “Reva” flats. They are extremely comfortable and my go to pair of black flats. They go with almost everything in my closet.

Stella and Dot discontinued the Sierra Bib earlier this year so I perused eBay looking for the necklace. I found it and won the bid. I got it for lower than it’s retail price and it came in it’s original packaging. It was definitely an AMAZING find.

Every March, Ala Moana Center, one of the biggest outside malls in Hawaii has an event called Shop A Le’a, which happens every Spring. I was able to purchase the Hamilton with gold hardware from the Michael Kors Boutique who participated in the event. It was great to get a discount on an item that never goes on sale. Again, it was a great find, for a great price.

Last but not the least, I have been swooning over the Very Prive Christian Louboutin pumps for about two years. It was on my wishlist for a long time. Last month, a designer cosignment and resale store in New York received one in my size. I emailed them about the item and they sent me additional pictures. I asked the ladies of the Purse Forum to help me authenticate the pair and the rest is history. I purchased the shoes for less than half of the cost of the shoe. Very doable on my budget.

Out of the nine items, I purchased the 4 either on sale, with a gift card, or consignment. Many of the luxury items I purchase, I never pay full price. Full price is definitely not in my budget. Of the five items I did not purchase (Stuart Weitzman 5050, Prada Flower Applique Mary Jane, Stella and Dot Pegasus Necklace, Balenciaga City Handbag, and the Balenciaga Glove Sandals) the hardest to obtain is the Prada Flower Applique Mary Janes which are no longer in season and very hard to find. I will have to keep searching for them. The most expensive and will not be purchased for a long time is the Balenciaga City Handbag. I am still in search for a Pegasus Necklace from Stella and Dot that is within the price point I would like to obtain it. As for the Stuart Weitzman 5050, I have tried it on several times, in a couple of different sizes. I am still debating over purchasing it since it’s harder to fit on bigger calves. In addition, I would love to obtain the Glove sandal from Balenciaga but I think I can still wait for the right color to come along.

Thank you again for reading. I’m planning to write a different post about bargain shopping for luxury items. Let me know what you would like me to cover.

XOXO,
Elle

The Skinnier Shoe Closet: Keeping, Returning, Expunging, and Donating

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One of my initials goals for this blog was to help me manage my ever growing collection of shoes. I started the collection when I was a teenager and it has since ballooned to a significant amount. In many ways the title and namesake of this blog was to celebrate my shoe collection. Initially, I thought about the name and what I really wanted to accomplish. I really deliberated on word usage and syntax before finalizing the name of the blog. If it was called A Pair of Shoes for Every Day, it meant that I had a pair of shoes for every day of the year which honestly I am glad I do not have. I chose to call the blog A Pair of Shoes for Everyday because I wanted to start to par down my collection to pairs of shoes that were wearable for everyday and for many occasions.

Last year, one of my major goals for myself was to par down my shoe collection and just keep the shoes that I love and cannot live without. I started with a large amount of footwear in the beginning of 2012. This number included flip flops, pumps, sneakers, boots and other footwear.  By the end of 2012, the collection got down to a manageable amount, the number did pendulum but nevertheless the amount was still a lot.

At the same time in 2012, I started to review my shoe collection and decided to expunge many of the pairs I no longer wore and no longer felt reflected my personal style. I started throwing away pairs of shoes that could not be saved by a cobbler.  I gave away new and barely worn shoes to friends that wanted them. In the next round of expunging, I set aside shoes that were resell-able. I donated several pairs of shoes at the locale Savers or for pick up by locale charitable organizations as well as posted others on eBay or on re-seller websites such as Poshmark. I also took a few pairs to my local Plato’s Closet to be resold and started to return the items that were fairly new, unused, and bought on a whim before their return deadline. For the pairs that remained, I brought them to my cobbler to be resoled and fixed.

So what are the results? It is now 2014 and my blog is reaching another anniversary in couple of months and my shoe closet has definitely lost some weight. I have learned many lessons throughout the process of maintaining my blog. First and foremost, I have learned to be mindful of my shopping habits. I now look at the quality and fit of each pair I purchase. The shoe reviews that I have been doing really helped me fine tune the art of scrutinizing footwear and becoming more critical of the purchases that I make. I now read shoe reviews and scroll through feedback on shoes to really see if the pair is worth the purchase. After each purchase, I allow the shoes to grow on me and if they do not, I return them. I have started to look at price per wear of each shoe and if it really fits into my wardrobe and lifestyle.

What is in store for this blog in 2014 in regards to shoes? Because I do not plan on purchasing many pairs of shoes this year, I made a short list of possible shoe additions. I have decided to do reviews on my purchases, at least once a month.

If you have any shoes that you would like me to review, please feel free to leave me an email or a comment below. What’s on your shoe wish list this year?

XOXO,

Elle

Review: Mohop Sandals/Shoes “Bespoke”

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Hi All,

Hope you are having a great holiday season. I have not done a shoe review in a while so I decided to revisit a couple of pairs of shoes that I have owned for a while.

For the past three and half years, I have been the proud owner of 2 pairs of “Bespoke” Mohop Sandals. I came across the company accidentally several years ago while perusing Etsy.com. I was initially attracted to the look of the shoe and was interested in its construction.  I searched for their website and read more about the company before deciding to purchase.  I really liked the company’s mission and vision and social consciousness. I like their focus on using sustainable and recycle-able materials as well as materials that are fair trade.

One of my reservations about buying the shoes at first was the fit and comfort of the shoe, I read several reviews and many of the reviews spoke about the wear-ability and comfort of the shoe. After taking some time, I emailed Annie Mohaupt, the owner of the company and asked all the questions I needed before ordering. I was really happy to know she answered all my questions and made me feel comfortable about my first customized  pair.

The smallest size they offered on the website was a size 5 and being a size 4.5, I was afraid the size 5 may be overwhelming on my foot. I was glad to know that they customized shoes based off a drawn outline of your feet. Sizing for Mohops are petite friendly. I say this because not every size 5 is a true size 5. Sizes range depending on the cut of the shoe. I was glad Mohops sandals are literally cut to your size.

When I first received the shoes, they came via priority mail. Annie emailed after they were done and told me it was on its way. It took about three weeks for the Mohop team to create. I could not wait to receive the shoes. When they arrived they were in a plastic foldable shoe box, packaged in an organza bag, tying instructions, 7 pairs of ribbons, and wooden rings in several sizes for styling purposes.

The first thing I examined was the craftsmanship of the shoes. The wood is sanded, polished, and finished with care. Because the Mohop team put great attention to detail, the shoes were clean and free of defects.

 

I tried the many ways of tying the shoes that were provided on the cards as well a perused online for other tying ideas. I liked some more than others but it is really based on personal preferences. I noticed that I favored cleaner finishes to ending the sandals, so I played with different ribbons, buckles, rings, and even added snaps and hook and eye closures to different ribbons to get the look that I wanted. The possibilities for tying and ending the ties for the shoe are limitless. I find new ways each time I play with mine. Honestly, it is really a shoe for every day if you are the creative type. It can be worn with many different outfits and you can definitely style the shoes according to the outfit and the occasion. Some drawbacks to the sandals, although they are easy to put on, I do not recommend using them if you need to remove your shoes frequently, they take some time to put back on.

I have been wearing mine for years now, these shoes are extremely comfortable to walk in. The platform and the pitch of the sandals balance each other so that it does not put pressure on your arches. The sandals comes in different heights. Both pairs that I own are about 3.5 to 4 inches in height but they never hurt my feet when I am in them for long periods of time.

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When I purchased my sandals, each of them were $150+ in 2010. The current price for the Bespoke Style runs about $500+. It may be a bit pricey for the style but the sandal can be styled in so many different ways, that you could literally have 500 different pairs of sandals for the price of one. And if you calculate price per wear, you can own a hundred pairs of shoes for a dollar each pair.  In addition, the company does offer other styles that are reasonably priced like their new Mokobo line which I have been eye-ing for the past couple of months.

At the moment Mohop is currently expanding to keep up with the demand for eco-friendly and vegan sandals. These shoes are completely manufactured in the United States and they are currently campaigning on Kickstarter.com. Here’s a link to their campaign as well as to purchase mohop shoes. The campaign ends on January 25.

Mohop Infinely Interchangeable Shoes

I hope this helps you decide if this is the sandal or shoe for you. I’m glad that I purchased them. They are really the only two pairs of sandals that I own and frequently use.

Hope you are having an amazing New Year’s Week. Take care.

XOXO,

Elle

Thank Yous and My 2014 Wish List

2014 Wish List

This made it to my wish list last year and it makes it again this year. It’s extremely hard to find  a red one in my size since many colors from Balenciaga is seasonal. Last week I found another option but we will see what the year brings.

I tried these at Nordstrom the other week and my calves do not seem to fit in this boot. I’m hoping to add it sometime in the future and perhaps stretch the boot to fit my calves better.

My All Time Favorite Bag. It is makes it on my wishlist again this year.

Kate Spade had a version of this but I really like the look of this cross body and work appropriate style. It’s classic, durable, and a great price.

I love high quality vintage items. I’ve been looking for one of these for a while, not to find it in the right color at the right price point.

I absolutely adore the layers of metal feathers. It is an amazing statement piece that I would love to have in my collection one day. It is also another wishlist item that is making it back on the list this year.

This piece is dainty and rugged at the same time. I love the balance of sparkle and spikes.
Last but not the least, a Celine Micro Luggage in a neutral color. It is a classic that I would like to have in my collection of handbags.

Hello All,
I hope you are having a wonderful week. I am a little early with next year’s wish list but I figured I will post it before I review this year’s wish list.  I am truly very grateful for an extremely amazing year for myself as well as this blog. I definitely would not have done this blog without everyone who has stopped by and read, left comments, and gave me advice. I have a couple of special Thank Yous I would love to send out. I want to thank Kelly from Alterations Needed  for giving me the most valuable advice about branding and blogging. Without her, I do not think I would have taken the step to own my own domain. I also want to thank Ashley from One Fine Day for all the blog advice and support. Many many thank yous also go out to Taryn Reid  Photography, Glenn Andaya Photo, and Adam Levine, my current photographer and marketing consultant for all their wonderful photography. I have truly learned so much from each of you. In addition, I want to thank everyone who has read this blog and took the time to share your lives with me through comments or even emails. Without you this blog would not be where it is today.  2013 was definite a year of surprises and big steps and I truly cannot wait to make more new friends in the blogging world. Thank you for a great 2013 and I’m hoping for an even better 2014.

I’ve definitely learned to appreciate Lists. I found this cool new strategy called Bullet Journals and it takes lists to a different level. I am using it at the moment to organize myself and to be as efficient as possible.  Last year, I created a Wish List of Luxury Fashion Items that I really wanted to add to my wardrobe. This year I am going to do the same. I have a few repeats and deletions from last year but again I am going to say that lists help people realize their goals and I’m going to see if it will work again this year.

What’s on your wishlist for 2014?

XOXO,
Elle

My Two Passions: Education and Fashion

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Hello All,

This post is very near and dear to my heart. I have two passions in life. The first is educating young minds to achieve their dreams, whatever those dreams may be. My real work is, allowing them to see their options for a future that they are only dreaming to achieve. Someone in my past gave me those options, it’s now my turn to allow others to see it. Being an educator has allowed me to see the most amazing things happen in the classroom, the light bulbs that light up when an epiphany is reached, the look of defeat after a long day, as well tears of joy when something amazing happens. I am a witness to this daily.

My other passion, that I devote time to is Fashion. It is something I loved dearly even as a child and this blog is the outlet for this other passion in my life.

Recently, I came across the brand, True Story Text Stiles, and instantly fell in love with this particular design in their collection. It speaks to educators and parents as well as students who have heard the phrase “Do Your Homework.”  I not only love the message that this particular shirt offers the reader but I love that it’s comical and whimsical and speaks to fond memories of being in the classroom, in schools, as well as conversations with parents and teachers.

What is your passion?

XOXO,

Elle

.:Outfit:.

TOP true story text stiles
BOTTOM zara
SHOES jeffrey campbell

Photo Credit: Adam Levine

Saturday Sparkle: Vintage Vibe

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Happy Saturday Everyone,

I’m currently in love with statement necklaces that sparkle. I love pieces that have a classic and vintage vibe. Some things never go out of style. I can’t wait to use these with future outfits.

XOXO,

Elle

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