Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Obsession Control

Jean's New Year's Resolution

Ob-ses-sion - noun:
- a state in which one thinks about someone or something constantly or frequently especially in a way that is not normal;
- a persistent disturbing preoccupation with an often unreasonable idea or feeling;
- a compelling motivation.

Do you or have you ever obsessed about an article of clothing? Jean sheepishly bleets: "Guilty as charged, your honor!  It's true. I am that shallow."

OK, 'fess up! How many of you succumbed to day-dreaming about winning those recent half-billion dollar Mega-Millions jackpots?  We sure did!  The first thing Jean would have purchased with her multi-million dollar paycheck? A farm upstate to convert into a feral cat sanctuary. The second thing? Black and white striped platform sandals, of course!  The fact that Jean has neither the bank account nor the beauty of foot necessary to carry off Marni's new RTW Spring-Summer 2014 collection of platform sandals did not deter her fantasies one iota. That she is already obsessed with high, striped platforms is a matter of public record. (See her Jeffrey Campbell B&W lace-up striped platform boots @

Although the embellishments are a bit much, the height and stripe on the platform of the first pair of sandals above are almost irresistible. The ones below are admittedly a close second.

Jean's shoe obsession confession last March about those fabulous Calvin Klein black patent platform sandals continues to haunt her and lick at the edges of her brain (like Sigourney Weaver's strange, dual repulsion-yearning for her homicidal mutant offspring in Alien: Resurrection!)

To check out that shoe obsession post, go to

But, we digress.  Back to the obsession-du-jour:  This pair of Marni sandals, a twin to the ones above (except for reversing the color in the platform) is also a contender for Jean's affection, if not for the introduction of the pastel pink on the edge of the straps.

In a completely shocking turn, in keeping with her proposed New Year's resolution for greater fiscal responsibility, Jean tried an entirely new hypothesis:  Why not exorcise her obsessions by posting about -- rather than purchasing -- them? The theory? Perhaps talking about them will help get them out of her system or at least tamp down the flames from bonfire to campfire intensity. We'll keep you posted on how that goes as 2014 progresses. (Hey, even if it works only 50% of the time, think of the positive impact on closet space and the wallet!)

OK, folks, since that theory only worked for about as long as it took to write the post and edit the pictures, Jean took matters into her own hands. In addition to "blog-therapy" (the online version of "talk therapy"), Jean decided to Do It Yourself (DIY) and spiff up her customized Dansko clogs.  We've been getting a few comments and questions about them, so here they are in close-up. Admittedly, they aren't Marni of-the-moment, but adding the broad white stripe between the previously added black platform and black ripple sole, did the trick. The touch of white brightens and changes the whole look.

Black & white shoes go so well with practically anything in her wardrobe!

The black stripe adds a 1/2 inch to her height.  The newly replaced ripple sole has a little less give than the original which had softened over time with daily pounding on New York City pavement, so it adds another 1/2 inch to her height -- always a plus! The ripple sole also provides terrific traction - another good thing on our seemingly endlessly snowy winter streets!

She even wore them during our recent photo shoot for Beacon's Closet with this fetching Tsumori Chisato black and white dress and black tube skirt.

Besides adding contrast, the white stripe adds an additional 1/2 inch -- and added cushion.  What's not to love, right? Of course her husband said that if she trips and breaks an ankle in those contraptions, she's on her own and will have to get herself to the ER!

Hope you like the new and improved clogs because it is a sure thing that they will continue to appear frequently in future postings.

But wait, what's that on the horizon?  Obsessions are like buses and subway trains.  If you miss one (or choose not to board), there will be another one along in a minute. Black and white shoes by Arche? These sandals by Robert Clergerie?

Who knows? Stay tuned ... more to come ...

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Unplanned Obsolescence

And since Jean is talking about shoes, Valerie would like to put her two feet - uh - two CENTS in.
Sorry, readers - Valerie's problem is soooo mundane. Sigh….
Some readers may be familiar with this pair of polka dots boots and matching umbrella.

Well, they are about to be gone, gone, and gone.

Not my idea, says Valerie, but facts are facts, and all of these have quit doing the job they were bought to do.

The umbrella, after a sinfully brief honeymoon period (less than one month), decided it only ever wanted to be open, like a friend with a case of TMI.  It has one of those spring action handles, and the spring has gone haywire.  So if it's not tightly straitjacketed in the red band you see around its middle, it's OPEN.   Valerie took it back to the retailer for repairs, but foolishly had neglected to keep the receipt (of course - never intending to return it), and her salesperson was off all that week.  By the time her schedule and the salesperson's matched, she worried she might be suspected of Being Up to No Good (i.e., of having misused the umbrella and of making a false claim), so she gave up on customer satisfaction, and only used the umbrella on rare occasions.

A few weeks ago, while out walking in the rain in her 101 dalmations boots, she noticed rather more moisture than could possibly get in at the calf even in a downpour.  Since the bunion area was particularly moist (you know where bunions are, right?), she stood under an awning to do an on-the-spot (pun intended) inspection, and discovered cracks in both boots right where the bunions would be.  Sharp-eyed readers can see both big-enough-to-drive-a-truck-through cracks in this photo.   These boots are five years old at most, which doesn't speak too well for the manufacturers.  After all, it's not like any toe dancing went on in these boots, bending what shouldn't have been bent.  So the boots and the umbrella will be deaccessioned, but not recycled, unfortunately.

A girl can't be without boots, especially now when it seems likely to rain or snow for the whole year, so Valerie bought the first pair of boots she found that weren't $100, didn't have cute drawings of puppies all over them, and weren't in pastel colors.  Thus, these humble wellies (which are slim enough to be worn at work if need be, unlike their predecessors).  It should be said that the black umbrella, with a Frank Lloyd Wright window inset and sold by the Museum of Modern Art, is about ten years old and still going strong. So hope springs eternal, even if umbrella springs fail.

The polka dot boots in happier days, foolishly thinking they were camouflaged by the flooring.


  1. I thoroughly enjoyed this post - I've always admired Jean's platforms, and her ability to strut the streets of the Big Apple while wearing them, without breaking her neck. The re-configured Danskos are genius!

    My condolences over the polka dot rain gear - I have worked my way through a number of umbrellas over the years, including a silver heavy duty vinyl one that I left on the city bus, never to be seen again. I've never had one last 10 years, so the FLW one must be extremely well made.

  2. Hi gals! I've seen you on Ari's blog, for quite a while. Just found your blog!

    Best of luck Jean, with the new venture.

    Oh and Jean, for my 77th Birthday (3/26) I finally got "your" glasses! I have been wanting round, black frames for so long. Living up in the "boonies" of NYS, I had to convinced my frames place, to finally get them for me. And-I-am-now a "Boonies Fashonista," myself. -gigggles-

    Carry on!


    1. Happy 77th Birthday, Tessa! Best wishes for many more. Congrats on acquiring your own le Corbusier look. Warning: it can be addictive. I auto-select round frames over any other type now. Cheers! Jean.

  3. Now that's a gal after my own heart!! Refashion your refashion!!! The clogs are superb, and I love them even more than (gulp) any incredible designer shoes. Sorry about the demise of the polka dots. You'll look more soigné in the replacements anyway, sour grapes be damned. XXOO