April 8, 2018

Who Wears the Pants?

Clearly, I do. And apparently, I need shoes to complete the look.

I'll be honest with you, I've been shopping a lot lately. Actually, not just shopping - I've been buying. Those closest to me know I may be a so-called fashionista, but I am certainly not a shopaholic. Thankfully, my recent purchases have been limited to pants and shoes, both of which are items in my wardrobe I can confidently say needed a refresh. I'm still wearing things I bought around 4-6 years ago, so yes, I think I can justify a few purchases. Besides, I've noticed considerable discounts popping up in the retail market lately. Now is the time to buy. And in my case, stock up for at least the next 4 years.

So brace yourselves. Here is what I bought:


The Gap 1969 True Skinny Jeans

The Gap has been having some incredible sales lately. My parents bought me this pair of burgundy jeans for only $10. While you can't see in this photo, the jeans come with a bright gold button and hardware, which I think complement the tone of the pants. I liked that these weren't Crayola red, and instead were deepened to a more sophisticated shade. As soon as I tried the jeans on, I knew I would be keeping them. I've finally found my denim soulmate in The Gap's True Skinny line (which has served me well in the past) - the cut fits me like a charm.

The Gap Favorite Leggings

Before I get started on these pants, let me say upfront I actually ended up returning them the next day. I was initially seduced by the $14 price tag and the prospect of being among the trendy ripped jeans crowd. I thought if I was to buy jeans that are intentionally torn, then they might as well be cheap and done in a more unique colour. The one lacking feature that made me go straight back to the store the next day with receipt in hand, however, was the fit. Although my legs did look great in a Size 25, the rip on the left leg gave the pants away as being too tight. The threads along the rip were pulled taut against my knee, making it look like a sausage wrapped in twine. I tried moving up to a Size 26, but then the jeans looked oddly roomy around my knees. So because of the particular way these jeans are cut (literally), I ended up floating in limbo between two sizes. Without having achieved perfection, I decided to give these pants up completely.

Old Navy Pixie Pants

After the slight let-down with the ripped jeans (only slight because I don't settle for less than perfection when it comes to pants nowadays), I uncovered gold. The thing is, I uncovered it in a very unexpected store: Old Navy. Ever since my junior high days, I have not seriously set foot in Old Navy. I had labelled it as a place with suburban style and poorly made wares. Yet forced into the store by my mom who wanted to look at a shirt, I came across this pair of shiny gold, brocade-printed pants for $8. Eight. Dollars. I briefly wondered if these pants would be too outré for the workplace, but heck, when was I ever one to balk at being bold? My goal is to get a reaction out of people, and sure enough, the first time I wore them out, I got attention. One memorable instance was when my coworker stopped me to ask if she could feel my pants. She thought they were made of silk from a luxury brand, possibly Louis Vuitton or Gucci. Oh boy. I was incredibly flattered and got an extra kick out of telling her they were $8 pants from Old Navy. Even if the gold print rubs off (though I've already committed to hand washing), these pants are worth it just for the fun.


I consider ankles one of the most fashionable erogenous zones, and as you will see, I went a little crazy with that notion. I've always thought my two bony joints were too skinny in proportion to the rest of my legs, which led me to feel comforted by ankle straps and their ability to create the illusion of more bulk. However, my closet contained not a single ankle strap, so when it came time to revamp my footwear, I was pretty dead set on getting strapped in.

Also, don't forget: pointed toealways.

Town Shoes Brooke T-Strap Flats
Four years ago, I finally bought a pair of black flats from Town Shoes for work. At the time, I had splurged $120 on them (a total act of desperation) so I could dress appropriately in the office. Now after four years of wearing those flats almost daily to work, at business functions, and casually on the weekends, they were barely holding up. I had a hole in the left sole, and the leather was worn and torn from confrontations with the rough pavement and days when rain unexpectedly poured from the sky. I once again found myself with a pressing need for black flats.

I knew I wanted either d'Orsay cutouts or ankle straps - or better yet, a pair with both. I browsed shoe stores multiple times a week looking for an affordable pair of genuine leather flats, and was about to start stressing out when I spotted this pair of t-strap flats in a Town Shoes outlet. Never have I considered getting t-strap flats in my life (although I realize now Valentino Rockstud cage flats are technically t-straps) and I was concerned they wouldn't look professional, but at a nicely discounted price of $38, I had to snag the last pair while I still could. Once I tried them on at home with some business pants, I was sold. I like the additional straps criss-crossing across the toes, the gold buckle, and of course, the beautifully pointed toe. Sure, there were some loose threads along the strap, but that was easily resolved with a snip of scissors. With the foot secured underneath the straps and not much else to scratch against my skin, these are actually wonderfully comfortable. Plus, d'Orsay flats come with the added benefit of lasting longer because they don't get bent as much when I walk. Score!

Coach Jameson Ankle Strap Flats

The thing with having bought the t-strap flats is it happened during a promotion Town Shoes was running: I was given a gift card for $20 off my next purchase. That's a decent amount to get off a pair of shoes, especially on one that is already discounted. You win, Town Shoes. You got me to buy another pair of shoes.

I went to Town Shoes multiple times a week again to find something worth using my gift card on, and was about to reach the expiry date on the card when I decided to revisit the outlet store. Okay, I get the appeal of outlet stores now. I've always thought they were dingy warehouses of B-stock clothing, but they actually do carry some current styles at cheaper prices compared to the regular stores. I came across this pair of Coach flats that had both d'Orsay cutouts and an ankle strap! I had actually seen these shoes advertised online a week ago and had thought they looked nice. It was fate I would meet them in real life. They aren't anything particularly special; even with the silver pebbled leather toe, it's a fairly conservative shoe. But I think these are bang on for work, and with all the discounts piled on, I ended up only paying $58 for them. Although there is more toe cleavage than I am accustomed to, the flats are clearly well-made and I appreciate the charm hanging from the ankle strap. Not a bad purchase considering these retailed for over $200.

ALDO Wiliwiel

Now this right here is a true success story. Last year, I fell for a pair of Zusien shoes from Aldo. I never ended up buying them, but shortly after, Aldo came out with a variation of the Zusien: the Wiliwiel. With a spattering of pearl-like embellishment on the heel, the Wiliwiel turned it up another notch on uptown style. However, having said that, I knew this shoe was of poorer quality: it was made of microfibre suede, had an unfinished seam on the end of the ankle strap, and already showed some discolouring on the embellishment. Despite being comfortable and classy, they were definitely not worth $70. I stopped monitoring the Wiliwiel for the next few months, until one day I noticed them on the sale rack for $35. By that time, the black version was no longer in stock - only the fuchsia and red were left. Since I didn't consider those colours to be as versatile, I decided to really push my luck and wait until they went below $30.

So I waited. And waited. And waited.

Until my mom ultimately convinced me to just buy them. I was disappointed at myself for breaking my discipline, but I made the trip out to an Aldo outlet one day to finally bite the bullet. I was already lucky enough they still had the fuchsia in my size, but then the sales associate rung up the shoes at the till and it came to...$18. What?! I got lucky after all. I had waited just long enough for the Wiliwiel to end up on the clearance rack. Cheapest pair of shoes I've ever bought! Yes, they're also not the highest quality pair shoes I've ever bought, but I think they look more expensive than they actually are. I'm so happy I now own shoes with a bit of a heel, and can't wait to highlight them come warmer weather with an all-black or all-white outfit.

Franco Sarto Brandy Booties

Tired of ankle straps yet? Here's an ankle boot for a change of pace. I purchased my go-to pair of ankle boots eons ago in high school, so I had been low-key on the look out for something to replace them. I decided I wanted a pair of cognac leather Chelsea boots after seeing how sleek they looked, but I had not yet found the perfect pair. What I didn't expect was my mom would beat me to it. In her own search for shoes, she found a pair of brown suede Franco Sarto ankle boots for $40. The defining feature is a silver chain sewn into the welt of the shoe. Although these boots aren't 100% my style - I wasn't fully keen on the button at the back and was hoping for a more traditional Chelsea boot in leather - I certainly don't mind sharing these with my mom. She is half a size bigger than me, but these boots fit great once I put my orthopedic insoles in. Well, that was easy. Guess my hunt for a pair of ankle boots is over!


I'm done shopping. I think. For now. I mean, I do kind of want some knee-high boots though...

Image Source: The GapOld NavyTown Shoes, The Style Spy, Aldo, Franco Sarto