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Q. I read with great interest almost all of the shoe related questions on your site. While I did learn a lot, thank you, I could not find the answer to my question. We are going to my Niece’s wedding in mid-January. I found a lovely burgundy, sweetheart neckline, velvet skirt suit. I just love it. I have a pair of black velvet pumps, but they just don’t look right. I’ve seen some burgundy suede wedges that I like and also black patent leather mid-heel pumps. Could you please  share your expertise on  shoe  color and material(s) that would go best with that burgundy skirt suit? 
- Shoe Stressed Aunt in Michigan

A. Velvet and velvet is too much velvet. And don’t get yourself stuck trying to match burgundy colors, feel free to play up a different burgundy hue. My suggestion would be a black or bronze heel with a satin, suede or patent leather fabric or perhaps something in a pattern with an added detail on the front of the shoe. Skip the wedge, if you plan to dance, wedges don’t allow a person to really strut their stuff.

Q. I need help to figure out what type and color of shoes to wear as a bridesmaid for a beach wedding in Key West.  My dress is a tangerine color and is from JCrew.
-Tangerine Dream

A. Beach weddings are always tough in the sandal department. We all want to look our best and heels guarantee a good looking leg, but sand impedes that choice. The other way to look at it is you get to be more casual and dance barefoot. So before you kick off your sandals and go barefoot for the reception, choose a flat fancy sandal with a little gold embellishment.

Mystique 1919Nine West Rosmarie

1. Mystique 1919, $130 at
2. Nine West Rosmarie, $82.95 at

Q. I know that rain boots are in season right now, but is it okay to still wear them when it is NOT raining?
-No Puddles

A. All those colorful, printed, patterned rain boots were designed to make splashing through puddles more fun on a dreary day. To wear a rain boot when it’s not raining means choosing a boot that doesn’t scream "rain boot."  Look for boots that have minimal details that are stylish enough to pair with pieces in your wardrobe, while still blending with your outerwear. I dig these four styles for their fashionable to rugged looks. And remember in the winter months to wear a warmer sock since rubber doesn’t offer much insulation.

Plask W6628-471460-DLa Canadienne
DorinaAquatalia by Marvin K. Nasty

1. Tretorn Plask W, $129 at
2. Sporto Lani, $68.95 at
3. La Canadienne Dorina, $258.95 at
4. Aquatalia by Marvin K. Nasty, $370 at

Q. I’m 5’1" and have just recently bought 2 pairs of knee high boots online that I absolutely adore. But because of my petite build, I have the following problems: one boot is too loose at the very top of the boot around my knee so it mimicks rain galoshes; the second is so tall it reaches an inch above the bottom of my knee. The first boot is leather, the second is suede. I know you can take boots to the cobbler to have them stretched, but can u also have boots taken in and shortened? I would hate to return these shoes.
-Boot Strapped

A. I’m 5’5” and the boot gap around the calf is not just a petite problem. It seems women are evenly divided between their search for boots that fit slender calves and those for larger calves.  I always start my search early in the season lest boots go on sale and my options are significantly diminished if they don’t have my size. I quickly get fatigued and disappointed going from store to store so I search the internet. I am a huge fan of and for their detailed information on boots including height, circumference or diameter of the top opening. I measure the largest part of my calf and then go shopping.

For a dressy pair, I look for suede pull-on styles that have a bit of stretch so it hugs my calf better. For casual styles, I look for details that list the smallest top opening and of course I purchase several pairs from sites that offer free shipping and returns. Why trudge through the mall or around the city when options can be delivered to my door?

For help when you’ve bought the boots you love, but need a bit of tailoring, you need a shoe doctor - a shoe repair person who specializes in leather goods. This may be the same person who tends to leather coats and handbags. Ask your local shoe repair guy for a referral. He may be able to do the job, but be sure he knows what he’s doing and has done this kind of work before. Consider asking a few leather/shoe repair specialists before you hand over your new boots.

You’ll find these boots in my closet. I adore them both:

Aquatalia by Marvin K. RanchStuart Weitzman

1. I’m loving these boots for casual days with jeans or a skirt. Bonus: they’re waterproof. Aquatalia by Marvin K. Ranch, $375 at
2. Pricey, but I take care of them. Stuart Weitzman Diamondback, $499 at

Miss Dior Patent Peep Toe PumpQ. I love Ask Alison!  I have a question for you.  I recently saw a photo montage of Jessica Simpson wearing Miss Dior nude pumps ($515 at  They’re completely out of my budget.  Some additional options were offered, such as the Laboutin pumps, but they’re in the same price range.  Additionally, the Laboutin heels are almost 5".  Not something most of us can wear!  Do you have suggestions for some reasonably priced nude pumps with a 3" heel? 
-In the Nude

A. No need to fret! I found plenty of more affordable options that won’t put you in credit card debt. So slip into a pair of these sophisticated nude peep toes:

Bronx Cynthia PumpModa Spana UnaLifeStride AllieEnzo Angiolini Women's Jalene Platform Peep Toe PumpStuart Weitzman Sashay

1. Bronx Cynthia Pump, $54.99 at
2. Moda Spana Una, $88.95 at
3. LifeStride Allie, $48.95 at
4. Enzo Angiolini Women’s Jalene Platform Peep Toe Pump, $88.95 at
5. Stuart Weitzman Sashay, $280 at

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