14 In Getting Dressed/ Series

This Anatomy of an Outfit is Built from the Shoes Up

A blush Prada shoe inspires this outfit on Brenda Kinsel website

This outfit was inspired by Erin’s blush colored Prada platforms


My daughter Erin brought up a pair of shoes on July 4th when the family got together here in Sonoma. She wanted my opinion. She was worried they looked too “old” for her. She did her fashion show for me. I think I figured out how she was viewing them. They didn’t have actual heels, just a platform. (And they look like shoes I wear!)

She said, “You try them.” So I did. My shoe choices have gotten more and more narrow. I can’t get lift with heeled shoes. But I can from platforms. I can wear this style for hours.

She said, “Well, I’ll leave them with you until I decide.”


Prada blush patent platforms on Brenda Kinsel website

I heart Erin’s Prada blush patent platforms


Fancy Prada shoes for every day on Brenda Kinsel website

These shoes started the outfit combo


So last week I decided to give them a try. I’d walk a mile in them before rallying to adopt them on a permanent basis. In my heart of hearts I knew they were right for me. They’re patent leather. I love sheen, shine, or luster.


Starting with my shoes

Thursday morning I woke up knowing it was a no-bright, no high contrast day of dressing for me. I was in a quiet, soft, dusty sort of mood. Blush shoes were a good start.

I pulled out a linen wide leg pant. It’s kind of gray, kind of slate blue, kind of a mystery color. Perfect.

I added a silk sleeveless Theory top. Simple. Plain. Matte. Quiet. Buff.


Sticking with my quiet theme with this Theory top

Simple Theory layered silk top came next


Finding the right jacket

I searched through my closet for jackets or cardigans. It was slim pickings. I’ve been yearning for blush colored clothing pieces and that’s what I’d have reached for if I had it. I put on my Prada Chico’s jacket. (Sorry, I always think of it as my Prada jacket. The handiwork at the neckline seems so Prada to me.) I decided to snap it closed so the Theory top peeked out beyond the jacket’s edge. I liked that the longer top would cover my butt in the back.

Note: Russ said, “I love those pants on you. They make your butt look great.” I didn’t expect to get more butt comments than his. I felt assured my outfit was still on the down low.


Wearing a Chico's jacket on Brenda Kinsel website

My Prada/Chico’s jacket got picked for this quiet outfit


This jacket looks like a watercolor print (or tie-dye). It has sheen (woo hoo!) and the colors-cocoa brown, medium blue and white-aren’t bright. It was almost not quite quiet enough for me but I was willing to compromise. Besides, I didn’t have other choices that worked!


My quiet outfit on Brenda Kinsel website

Head to toe in a moderately quiet outfit


I added my leather strung silver “B” necklace and my newly gifted fab bracelet: a bangle in a soft ivory/blush color with blond wood detail. I wore a pearl and moonstone ring (quiet) and simple brushed silver earrings (no design, quiet). I added my cat eye glasses from Uber Optics.


I walked a mile in her shoes

So after walking a mile in Erin’s shoes while we worked with our client, she made a comment. “Maybe I should try them again–with my boot cut jeans.”

I decided to work some reverse psychology on her. “Sure, you should. If they don’t work for you, let me know, I might be interested,” I said in a very neutral voice.

It’s been over 72 hours. No word yet. I’m getting impatient.


Speaking rationally…

Come on. You want me to have these shoes, right? She should too! I birthed her…on an Easter Sunday. She was breach. It was a little tough. I gave her shelter and food for years and years…for free.

She should give me these shoes, shouldn’t she?

It’s only fair. Please vote for me, okay?

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  • Reply
    July 12, 2016 at 6:10 am

    Yes, Mom should have the shoes! I love “quiet” statement ensembles such as this. Finding a gem at Chicos is a rare occasion for me but I keep trying.
    Thanks for the reminder to keep looking and not give up. Humm, I have some shoes languishing….time to build outfits around them.
    You are the best, Brenda!
    a faithful fan,

    • Reply
      July 12, 2016 at 12:41 pm

      Thank you, Pat! I love the challenge of finding gems at Chico’s. And I don’t say that in a pejorative way. It’s just that they don’t have a lot for my style however I’m quite fortunate to have found some pants there that are great fitting on me. Do, do keep trying! And I love the idea that you’re heading into your closet soon to look up those shoes that are collecting dust instead of compliments. Good luck!

  • Reply
    Marjorie Sargent
    July 12, 2016 at 8:01 am

    It is a very quiet, dull and damp morning up here in Vancouver. The perfect time to read your “gentle” post. It goes without saying that those quiet shoes belong in your closet. Just saying…for oh so many reasons!
    Cheers, Marjorie

    • Reply
      July 12, 2016 at 12:39 pm

      I’m so glad I have your vote, Marjorie. Maybe it’s the vote that will swing it to my side. Love your word: gentle. It’s true, isn’t it, that we need gentle outfits somedays. Just necessary to have choices. Big hugs to you!

  • Reply
    jodie filogomo
    July 12, 2016 at 11:40 am

    The good and bad about having the same size feet, eh?
    But even if she decided to keep them, I bet we can find some replacements for you without much trouble: http://bit.ly/29Nt5KU or http://bit.ly/29u03Sx—-just sayin’.
    I definitely have styled an outfit around the shoes—especially when we’re walking or touring—that’s sometimes the most important factor!
    Love your jacket too!

    • Reply
      July 12, 2016 at 12:38 pm

      Thanks, Jodie, for being so willing in jump in in case she says no!!! I’ll check out your tips. Have a great day!

  • Reply
    Bess Nathan Rice
    July 12, 2016 at 8:06 pm

    That is such a beautiful outfit on you!

    • Reply
      November 5, 2016 at 12:48 pm

      Thanks, Bess!

  • Reply
    July 13, 2016 at 5:52 am

    I’m with you, mum! I too cannot wear heels because of neuromas on all toes(!!!!!). I tried my first (since the 1960s!!) platforms in a shoe shop when visiting my daughter in Brisbane,Australia (I’m from South Australia).
    I was soooo sceptical at first, but now I completely trust the shoe shop owner to choose what I try on 🙂

    After wearing the first pair when I got home, and LOVING them, next visit I bought another pair made on the same ‘platform’ (no pun intended) and wore them to a chic wedding last summer, feeling glamorous like all the other female guests in their heels, BUT, I was totally comfortable. I was even able to walk right down a long street to the reception when there was a hitch with our transport! Unbelievable before this…..

    AND, I ADORE your outfit!

    • Reply
      November 5, 2016 at 12:48 pm

      I love your success!!! I’m jumping up and down in my platforms in joy! Thanks for sharing and thanks for the compliment!

  • Reply
    November 5, 2016 at 10:10 am

    Just found your website….LOVE! Tell us: did you end up with these fab shoes?

    • Reply
      November 5, 2016 at 12:46 pm

      Thanks for asking!! Yes, they are in my closet!!

  • Reply
    March 27, 2017 at 4:22 pm

    Would love to see other outfit combinations with that jacket. What else do you wear it with?

    • Reply
      March 28, 2017 at 9:00 am

      I wear it with skinny rolled up jeans and oxfords. Who knows what I’ll do with it this year. This has been in my wardrobe a long time and every year I seem to get new ideas!

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