The Sole Of An Outfit
FDF Customer Maija of Benincasa Milano Shoes Takes Over The Blog
At Front Door Fashion we don’t sell footwear but we absolutely know the importance it plays in the look of every outfit we style. FDF Stylists include shoe suggestions in their written notes about each outfit. They utilize what we call a “seasonal shoe card” that features photos of on-trend footwear. This gives our clients a sense of what kind of shoe will complete the look of the outfit we’ve sent her. For a company that doesn’t sell shoes, we spend a lot of time thinking about what styles of shoes will work best with clothing items when buying our seasonal inventory.
In recognition of the symbiotic relationship of shoes and clothing when it comes to fashion, we spent time visiting with Maija Benincasa, the founder of Dallas-based and woman-owned shoe company called Benincasa Milano. We first met Maija’s sister Anne Stockstill, Head of Operations and Sales, when she came into our style lounge for in-person styling with a bag of Benincasa shoes in hand. Her goal was to buy clothes to go with her shoes. We understood that the shoes would dictate the styling direction for Anne!
Creating Outfits Around Your Shoes
Our blog this week is all about getting mileage from your shoes and it is written by Maija Benincasa. Maija studied footwear design and manufacturing in Milan before starting her own line of luxury heels made with custom insoles. If shoes drive your clothing purchases, we’re happy to style outfits for you based on your favorite shoes or boots. We can do this in person at Front Door Fashion in Dallas or you can email your FDF Stylist photos of your shoes and she’ll take it from there! Read on to enjoy this week’s blog written by FDF client and business owner Maija Benincasa!
You probably have a closet full of shoes made from various materials, colors and textures for various occasions. I spent several months interviewing women in their closets before starting my own line. Below is a collection of that information, including how to get the most mileage out of quality footwear.
One of the most important details to pay attention to when purchasing shoes are the “upper” or materials used in the visible exterior of the shoe. From my interviews, I learned that women get the most mileage, not surprisingly, from their black and nude shoes. This is because neutrals like black and nude pair easily with clothing without much thought. However, you can add more fun and visual interest to your wardrobe by choosing colors that are highly concentrated hues and balance a wide spectrum of colors. For example, we our known for our “flame” red-orange sandals that pair great with white, black, navy and many more combinations of colors and patterns. By choosing colors that complement, not compete with other neutrals, you can get a lot of wears from bright colored shoes. Other great options are cobalt blue and canary yellow.
Another way to get a ton of mileage from your shoes is to choose styles that can spread several, if not all, seasons. This can be achieved by sticking to neutral materials like black and nude, but grays and metallics are also great options. Look for a combination of neutral materials that add interest and texture without limiting you to fall/winter or spring/summer. Our Verona d’orsay pump combines nude suede and metallic gold art deco detail, adding interest without limiting you to one season. Another consideration is the type of leather or material. Suede is a great option for year-round and is totally acceptable to wear in warmer months. Leather is also always a safe option. Avoid textiles or highly embellished shoes. While they are beautiful, they will limit your wears.
Fit & Comfort
Of course, while we all have closets full of beautiful shoes, we are going to get the most wear from the shoes that we find to be comfortable. I studied comfort specifically before starting my own line and found that it is impacted by virtually every element of shoe construction- materials, heels, straps, outsoles, and even the “last” or mold that the shoes are made on. Choose shoes that are soft and flexible because they are less likely to cause blisters.
Additionally, one of the most important features is adjustability. Look for shoes with adjustable ankle straps that you can adjust as your feet swell. Choose shoes that offer support and hold your foot in place. Slides and sandals without ankle straps can be problematic. The Benincasa Amalfi sandal is an example of adjustable straps and front support that compliments a lot of looks from day to night. If you experience burning under the balls of your feet from standing in heels, our Benincasa line is available with custom insoles that specifically address this issue.