Conspicuous Consumption: Loafers at Last

When I was in college I had the most perfect pair of stacked heel suede loafers by Guess. And even though they ran me about $120 or so, a lot for me at the time considering I was living on a few out of pocket dollars a day, I made them my shoe of choice for the next few purchases. Sadly, Guess decided to get all tarty and started putting out hooker shoes and we parted ways for good. (I never was into Guess jeans or Guess anything, for that fact.)

But still I loved those shoes. I wore them with my slim black pants when I was forced by San Francisco weather to admit defeat, but otherwise it was bare legs, short skirts and simple tops. Oh, my metabolism, how I miss you too! But I think I've found their close, yet more grown-up approximation in these black suede loafers. (Sofft Talen Loafers in black suede, $100.95 at

The sister doesn't see the appeal and even told me not to get them because Ben would laugh at me. But I'm used to Ben's chuckles and almost immune from them at this point. Why do I, dare I type it?, LOVE these shoes? Because they have a purpose. A multi-purpose even. And just maybe they remind me of a time in my life when, well, I was hungry most of the time, working two jobs, hated every minute I spent in lecture, but I was wearing good shoes.

Since my days of short skirts with bare legs are over, I've put together a couple of looks to prove to the sister me buying them was not an act of silly nostalgia but me investing in my current life as a published author who is going places.

The Big Meeting:
I've never had a super-businessy type of job so I'm not at all into the skirt suit look, though wearing one would make my mom so happy. Almost as happy as getting knocked up with the granddaughter she's been asking for since I popped out the (male) kid. Anyway, as things are picking up--new publisher/same editor, new agency/same agent--it looks like I may have a reason to leave the house and do the meet and greet with industry types.

Since I want to be taken seriously and don't want to worry above shaving my legs above the knee, that means pants. I like Express pants. Why? They fit, I can toss them in the washer and dryer and they're under $100. They're almost like fancy sweats as far as I'm concerned. I also live in long sleeved Ts, but this cashmere version from J. Crew is not only more polished, it's cashmere. I've been coveting (strong but accurate word) most of Banana Republic's new line of bags and even though I'm not a fan of hardware, much less polished brass hardware, I'm smitten with their satchel version of the Greenwich bag. It just looks like a smart lady bag. As for the scarf, it's Hermes but elevates an otherwise super basic outfit with a little something. Also, it can be worn as a kerchief to ease the transition as my hair grows out, because, hell no, I'd never get extensions. The shell bracelet ties in the color pallet and is wonderfully organic in texture. (Hermes silk twill scarf, $325; Express Editor Original pants in a gray blue, $69.50; Banana Republic Greenwich Shoulder Satchel, in black leather, $228; Cost Plus World Market Multi-Colored Shell Bracelet, $9.99; J. Crew Long Sleeve Cashmere T, $138, Sofft Talen Loafers)

Real Life Application:
Even I can admit there's no point in buying a pair of shoes for, if I'm lucky, a handful of meetings. Hey, I got this one dress in an ivory raw silk that I've been looking for a reason to wear again for years now with no luck. I've learned my lesson, people. I've given my wonderful writer's group the impression I actually give a hoot about what I look like so I find myself putting a little (a lot) of extra care into what I wear when we can get together in person.

What's easier to wear to a meeting where you'll know there'll be plenty of laughing, eating, and, oh yeah, critiquing then jeans and a tank top? Since I'm trying to go for a more polished aura, I've been focusing on trouser cut jeans as I'm under the impression that people will take me more seriously when I'm in them. So far, no, but they'll go with my loafers. As for the top, why not live it up a little and do something graphic with feminine colors instead of a boring solid color cotton one? This one is special and a good compromise that keeps this outfit from being really boring. And a light jacket because I tend to get cold or last have a persistent fear of being chilly. I'm not the type of person to stuff things in my pockets so the bowler bag is for stashing pens, tissue and chapter printouts. And I'll wear this pretending to myself and others that I don't do the majority of my writing in workout I am now. And that's the whole point, right? (Anthropologie Rolling Hills silk and cotton tank, $198; Old Navy Sweetheart Trouser Jean in dark rinse, $34.50; Forever 21 Lyra Jacket in charcoal, $34.80; Target Issac Mizrahi white nylon with contrasting trim Satchel, $34.99; Sofft Talen Loafers)


the sister said...

I like the outfits. Just make sure the pants are long enough to cover those oogly shoes completely.

Margo Candela said...

That settles it! I'm wearing them to your wedding.

ben said...

The sister is flat out wrong! I can’t think of a better pair of dancing shoes for when you dust of that Bay City Rollers record. Although you’re going to have to hack those jeans off to Gaucho pant length if you’re going to get the full S-A-T-U-R-D-A-Y Night thing rolling.

P.S. Order that grey jacket now, because that’s a keeper.

Margo Candela said...

I own proper gauchos already, no need for any hacking on my part. My suspension from the rink due to unfounded doping rumors will keep the wheels off these feet for the near future at least. Jacket will be ordered via site since the local F21 is all out.