The Virtues of Camel-colored Sandals

As you have probably noticed, the Directrice’s preferred color for footwear is black. Approximately 80% of my winter shoes are black. But even I must recognize that in the summer, a lighter touch is needed — particularly with light shades of yellow, blue and red (i.e., pink).
I have conquered my phobia of white shoes . . . but white shoes are not always the right answer. White can look unduly stark. And while white clothes are often the height of chic, sophisticated white shoes are a more difficult endeavor. What to do? What to do?

I’ll tell you what to do!
Camel, tan, caramel colored shoes. Like so:
Do you remember this dress?
Do you remember this dress?

Who's so clever?
Who’s so clever?
I wish I could take full credit for this stroke of genius, but I can’t. The seed of this advice comes from A Guide to Elegance by Genevieve Antoine Dariaux.
But perhaps I’ve taken it to the next level?

Just want to make sure that you are taking in the mixed materials: camel colored suede, pale bronze metallic leather strap, wedge wrapped in white calf leather.
I'm so tall in these sandals
I am an awesome giant in these sandals

I usually wear this dress with flat orange or vachetta sandals. With these fancy wedge sandals and a delicate necklace, the dress becomes a little dressier.
I'm such a lady
Such a lady

Necklace, previewed here
Margo Morrison is much cleverer than The Directrice
I bought this necklace last winter and hadn’t worn it until last week, when I realized that it is perfect for summer.
The necklace is most ingenious. The pearls are strung on a thin, taupe-colored cord — an inspired choice. It’s neutral, but not bland, and sets off the pearls beautifully.
Come closer and see what I mean.

For those of you feeling ill-used because I am showing you an old dress, an old necklace, and some sandals that appeared in the last post . . . here is something new.
Technically, the dress isn’t new because I bought it a couple of years ago. But I haven’t shown it on this blog.
Look how splendidly these sandals elevate a rather girlish dress.
Clever, clever sandals
Clever, clever sandals

Every summer, I look for a new casual sundress at Anthropologie.
When I bought this one, I was worried that it was too youthful and that I might look a little sad wearing it. While I was dithering over whether to keep or return it, Michelle Obama was photographed wearing it. One could not ask for a clearer sign!

My fears were two-fold: first, that the silhouette was too girlish; second, that the eyelet was so sweet as to be saccharine.
But there were mitigating factors: the silhouette was flattering, the eyelet was pretty, the belt provided some boho/craft credibility and I figured that the right pair of shoes would make the whole thing work.
Blue and white set off with caramel colored belt

Bit of rough
The belt is a rough, woven fiber which adds a contrast in texture, as well as color, to the sweetness of the eyelet.

The dress did require some alteration. It came with a voluminous muslin and tulle petticoat, which was intended to hold the skirt out. It looked a little too like a square-dancing ensemble to me, so I had my tailor remove half of the tulle and re-attach the remainder to the hem of the lining, to add three inches in length. I think this length is far more graceful.
Tulle extender!
Tulle extender!

One final note about the sandals. Note that the footbed is also a caramel color. The color of the footbed can make such a difference; if these were white, I don’t think the sandals would be nearly as effective.
That’s all for now.
This year’s casual Anthropologie sundress will be revealed soon, but if you’d like to see it on a professional model, you can take a sneak peek.

Yellow dress: Vince; Necklace: Margo Morrison Freshwater Pearl Lariat; Blue dress: Anthropologie; Sandals: Giuliana Sandals from Sundance
Are you laughing at my characterization of the sandals as “effective”?

5 thoughts on “The Virtues of Camel-colored Sandals”

  1. The footwear is wonderful – and versatile. Way more than effective!

    I love these outfits Directrice. They are summery, romantic and perfect for a wedding… outdoors in Oregon.

  2. Such lovely dresses, and such a clever alteration! I agree that white sandals would be twee for these dresses, but sometimes white is just the right thing in summer. I was initially hesitant to buy white sandals, thinking that they’d soil easily, but now find myself with two pair. I’m not as careful of my shoes as the Directrice — I refer to the controversial post where it was suggested that we wipe down our shoes daily with rubbing alcohol — but have found that daily use of a baby wipe, and an occasional spot of polish does the trick.

  3. Camel edges towards “nude” and I think it’s more flattering than white sandals; I think they can make your feet look big.

    That dress with a square dance petticoat may have been a bit much. I think you did a good alternation, I like the color of the belt plus the ruffle. Ms. Obama is tall and in the spotlight. I think that lends itself to dresses with drama.

  4. Camel! Even better than nude. Love the metallic straps. And what a lovely necklace! I remember it from the winter and have been hoping to spot it again.


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