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Friday, June 27, 2008

Petite Feet (No Binding Required)

We've had some new shoes in from LA-based Restricted and we're full of glee -- beaming, cackling shoe-glee. What we love about them is manifold:

(1) we've stocked a range of heel heights from 3-1/2" down to flats, which gives everyone a wide range of options.

(2) Texture mashing: snakeskin-stamped patent leather? Love. The syrupy gloss of the patent is chopped up by the stamped scales creating a lovely push and pull between skin and gloss, pattern and depth.

(3) (and most important!) They make your feet look smaller through some cobbly prestidigitation. Every shoe has a treatment near the very front of the toe box -- satin flowers, suede bows, patent double buckles -- that draws attention away from the length of the shoe and make the front of your foot appear shorter and more petite.

A perfect example of the is the Elite in black and red (pictured): the maryjane-inspired straps have been slid to the very front of the shoe, obscuring a rounded snub toe and making your feet appear more diminutive.

One of our absolute favorites is the Royalty, available in black and camel. It's a complex shoe that could easily fall into the realm of the overdone, but this one pulls up just shy. A silver footbed is swathed in black patent leather stamped with snakeskin.

Two subtle pleats both at the foot front and heel provide that signature Restricted distraction while echoing the 3-1/2" funnel heel.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Almost as Much Fun as Family Feud: Our Survey

OK, let's just get this out of the way first: we love Richard Dawson. No one ever insulted well-deserving game show contestants with such finesse as the Kissing Bandit. We've also never laughed so hard as when a gentleman of a certain age declared "Alligator" the answer to "An animal with three letters in its name." It was the only possible topper to his rival's "Frog." Imagine milk spurting out of our collective noses. Or, uh, hum; that's kind of gross ... just imagine us laughing really hard. Like, crying.

So this got us to thinking that what we needed over here at Lori's was a survey of our own. Since we can't see you, hear you or hide when you approach, we thought getting your opinion the only sensible alternative. We take our customer service very seriously, breezy and insouciant blogging aside.

We want to know how we can do what we do, but do it better. How does our website look? What shoes do you want us to carry? Who does it better? Are you even reading this?

Why, you venture to ask, do you want my opinion? Ah, Gentle Reader, the answer is that during one of our nefarious meetings in our dark, secret, evil (but pretty awesome) marketing lair we realized the key to global shoe retail domination lay in your hands. We know! We were shocked as well! Respect the customer? The marketers weren't happy and they sulked about in our lair until we tacked on an appeal to Mammon. That earned a hearty round of MWEW-HOO-HA-HA!s and everyone was happy.

The result is 10 questions (so easy!) and a $5 discount (free money!) that we hope you take more seriously than this posting. So please take a moment and help us improve our site and our selection. We look forward to your opinions.

Survey Says ...

Friday, June 20, 2008

Materials, Girl.

We're excited by a range of new materials hitting our jewelry shelves of late. We blogged a while back about natural wood and precious metal combinations like Blue Wild Indigo and Tashi.

Be-Je Designs has taken a different tack: enamel. There is something about the slick surface of enamel that is irresistibly touchable. It's tough, has great luster and, when coated selectively over a base metal like stainless steel, has a great play between the metallic sheen and enameled gloss.

With so many materials available this season, we thought we'd ask you what you prefer. Are you into off-beat woods and industrial-cum-chic surfaces like enamel? Or are you a more classic gold and silver gal? Embroidery? Something else? Take a vote and let us know!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Flip-Flopping on Sandals? A Lori's Primer.

The time (and weather) is ripe for a review of our favorite fair weather footwear: the humble flip-flop. The pawn on our chessboard of footwear, the flip-flop may seem lowly, but it has the power to make or break your outfit. It's so easy and so comfortable we often forget it is also quite versatile. Herewith, a primer on some of our favorite brands and where to wear them.

YELLOW BOX: The Quirky
The Gist: Yellow Box puts great emphasis on it's straps, be they silver thongs or woven fabric over platform foam. This keeps them fun, engaging and an active part of your outfit, so consider your co-ordination and let them do their job.

Our Pick: The Jewel in green. The foam cushion footbed supports a black upper bedecked with turquoise and aquamarine stones. It's quirky and beguiling.

Wear It To: Saturday's Mermaids on Parade.

FIT FLOPS: The Prep Sport
The Gist: Touted as a revolution in fitness footwear, the Fit Flop stakes its claims on a tripartite sole that works in reaction to your stride to tone muscles from the waist down. They made the cut for Oprah's Favorite Things for Summer and, fitness aside, they are incredibly comfortable. It's our choice for your athletic flip-flop.

Our Pick: The Walkstar II in bronze. A 1-1/2" platform footbed exercises your legs as you walk (in addition to the workout provided by, uh, the walking ... ) and, regardless, are ultra-comfy and have a prep-sport, René Lacoste-era styling.

Wear It To: The Four Seasons in Dallas or tennis in any tony part of town.

FABIO RUSCONI: The Sophisticate
The Gist: Like any good Italian dish, the simplicity of this shoe belies its sophistication. The result is a seemingly unassuming sandal that speaks volumes about your good taste.

Our Pick: The D567 in natural. A 1" cork sole supports a leather footbed and same-color straps with a hidden, patent leather underside. A graceful curve to the strap turns it 180 degrees from footbed to toe. The result is fluid movement in a sophisticated dye. It signals you know it's so easy only someone of discerning tastes would recognize it.

Wear It To: any High Street shopping session or an outdoor sporting event with blueblood pretensions.

JESSICA BENNETT: The Ageless Trend
The Gist: Jessica Bennett shoes have a savvy hook into current trends. The collection consistently weaves in and out of the current style, picking up bits and pieces and transforming them into a shoe that reflects the moment but lives in its own aesthetic.

Our Pick: The Jayleen in bronze. This slim leather flip with micro heel is dominated by a wide bronzed-and-bejeweled medallion at the front foot. It references '80s glam and gladiator trends without being completely either.

Wear It To: a trendy nightspot under dark jeans or a simple and sexy skirt or dress. Don't mix and match too much: these shoes will carry a lot on their own.

Lori's Warehouse Sale - Naperville

Lori's Naperville, IL store will be hosting a warehouse sale from Friday, June 20th through Saturday, June 21st. Doors open at 10am both days and all sales are cash-only and final. Look for deep discounts on items store-wide!

Comment on this post with any questions ... and good hunting.

Lori's Naperville

27 W Jefferson

Naperville, IL 60540


Friday, June 13, 2008

A Lori's Love: Agnes by Charles David

Charles David
declared that shoes are a love affair (talk about stating the obvious). True to his words, we're having a bit of a tryst with Agnes, the latest debutante from the Charles David collection.

How do we love Agnes? Well, in these ways: She looks simple, but she's quite a complex gal. The patent-wrapped wedge and T-strap play off the matte fabric stretch upper. This subtle texture tension draws attention across the shiny wedge to the contours of our (admittedly) beautiful feet. (Oh c'mon: we all have beautiful feets! Say it with us! Believe!)

Anyways, the varying width of the fabric bands help too: the thicker upper embraces the ankle and the slimmer lower the ball, leaving the best parts -- the sexy arch and toes -- exposed for admiring glances from co-workers and prospective beaux.

Speaking of which, Agnes's easy profile makes her ideal for work environments or nights on the town. We think the patent will dress up with a knee-length skirt and blouse for day yet carry their weight under jeans for your latest jeux de nuit.

Check out the Agnes; we bet you'll fall in love with this supremely easy and effortlessly chic summer wedge sandal.

Calvin Klein Parma Order Update

An update for our Calvin Klein Parma customers: We're happy to inform you that Calvin Klein has begun shipping the Parma pre-purchases from their warehouse. Shoes are expected to arrive over the next few weeks. We will begin shipping orders immediately as we receive product. All customers will receive a shipment notification once their order has left our store. Thanks for your patience and enthusiasm for the Parma.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Lori Recommends: The Messenger Bag

We've just received a new shipment of bags from High Fashion and they are ... haute (yuk, yuk). Seriously, what's great about them is their embracing of a decidely un-haute style that's creeping like kudzu into the upscale marketplace: the utilitarian, sometime-tragically-hip, messenger bag.

Now, while "messenger bag" and "haute" in the same sentence may give rise to images of Kevin Bacon bike dancing in Quicksilver, we can assure you that High Fashion's versions are legitimate chic fare. Venerated companies like Lanvin and Britain's Mulberry are all over this. (High Fashion just happens to be a fraction of the price.)

The difference comes in High Fashion's acknowledgment of the messenger's functionality filtered through an understanding of current trends. The result is a bag that has a sense of purpose and place. That purpose is looking great while holding your essentials (we say co-opt it as your new computer bag); that place is the center of everyone's attention.

High Fashion makes great use of functionality to make a fashion statement. Look at how this bag at left dresses up grommets, turn-tab closures and spring clips to highlight the bag's construction. The play between zip and flap pockets creates movement and eclectic style without ever leaving the realm of the pragmatic. Toss in soft patent leather and contrast stitching and you have a bag that does its job and looks great doing it.

There's a future-tech look to the bag that is softened by the choice of materials. The contrasting fabric of the matte black cloth strap is a fantastic final touch.

With a wide range of colors and textures to choose from, these messenger bags can serve you well as a commuting bag or casual-night-out hold-all. Either way the message you'll be sending is one of the posh labor of looking good.

Click on these bags for detailed images:

Friday, June 06, 2008

Trend Post: Ga-ga for Glasgow

Well, we weren't expecting it, that's for sure. Everyone told us 'Glasgow is ugly and industrial; go to beautiful Edinburgh just 40 miles away.' We heard this so many times we suspected a hidden motive and we were right. Glasgow is an amazing gem of a city brimming with fashion, art, nightlife and so much music you'd need a second set of ears to hear it all.

The view from the street was encouraging. As in London, the emphasis on personal style is huge here. Skinny skinny jeans are still quite popular throughout the UK from England to Wales to Scotland. Footwear styles as in England continue to be too diverse to pin them to one trend other than a core mandate of looking good without effort, which of course requires no small effort.

Sidebar: We popped into the Sutherland Sporting Company in Lairg on our way to the North Sea and we have to shill for them. This sportsman outfitters makes absolutely the most stunning tweeds, waxed jackets, caps and wet gear. A few weeks ago T: The New York Times Magazine had a fashion spread based on English sporting styles (think Norfolk jackets, plus-fours, tweeds, shotguns and pheasants). It's a shame they missed this place. (Which is easy to do being as it's on the forward edge of nowhere.)

With messenger bags so popular right now, we thought Sutherland's oiled leather cartridge bags and game bags were a special twist with more style. And the owners couldn't be nicer. It's not cheap, but things of quality rarely are.

So we'll finish with a short list of the week's faves:
Marks & Spencer (a department store ... AND a grocery!)
Sutherland Sporting Company (for everything tweed)
Glasgow Museum of Modern Art (GoMA)
Glasgow School of Art (designed by Charles Mackintosh)
Dornoch Golf Course (3rd oldest links course in the world)
Villages: Dornoch, Durness, Lairg, Fort Augustus
Loch Ness (23 miles long!)
and pretty much anything north of Hadrian's Wall

Sunday, June 01, 2008

Trend Post: England

Some of the Lori's staff took a holiday to England and sent along some footwear observations from across the pond. The consensus was that as a color gold was huge, being very prevalent from Paddington to the Tower Bridge. We saw it on everything from ballet slippers to pumps and boots.

The range of shoe styles and shapes was across the board. The eclectic look, personally defined by the wearer, was everywhere, which led us to refine a trend we like quite a bit: confidence. Wear what you like and wear it well is the message that came across in London.

For larger sizes, visit Barefoot Tess Barefoot Tess for larger sizes.