24, 04, 2017

15 Pairs of Shoes in 2 months & Lessons Learned

I’ve never considered myself much of a “shoe girl”. I like shoes-sure, who doesn’t? But I was never overly jazzed over shoe shopping, didn’t have shelves filled with every style you could think of and definitely opted for new clothing over shoes when given the hard choice. But starting my job as a Personal Stylist with Nordstrom changed something in me. Being surrounded by so many beautiful shoes and realizing my own repetition I just broke down and suddenly “needed (a ton of )shoes for work.”

15 pairs to be exact.

It wasn’t all at once- certainly not. It was a pair here, two pairs this day and another pair a couple days later. I was averaging more than one pair a week. Sure, some of you may be thinking to yourselves, “So what? 15 pairs is nothing!” But, when I say I never bought shoes, I mean it. So for me, this is highly excessive. Realizing the other day just how many shoes I had recently acquired got me thinking. Which of these am I actually wearing? Why am I wearing these and not some of the others as often? And the dreaded question, which of these could I have lived without? So I thought I would share my true “must haves” and why these shoes should be your first go-to’s when building a core shoe collection in a business casual setting!

I was shopping for work shoes that needed to be a few things:

  • Fashionable- Hello, I’m a Personal Stylist I can’t be walking around in one pair of “what are those” while insisting variety in your wardrobe. Different looks call for different styles of shoes, to truly compliment a range of styles you must have a range of footwear.
  • Comfortable- I’m on my feet all day long and not just standing there, I’m constantly on the move. Whether setting a room, pulling clothing for multiple appointments or shopping the store with a client; I’m on my feet and walking a lot. Averaging between 7-10 miles a day, according to my sports tracker. High heels were out of the question!
  • Appropriate for the season- The store opened September 30th, that’s the start of fall if you ask me! I wanted boots, booties, flats and menswear inspired everything-so oxfords. As well as rich colors, prints and fabrics.

Right off the bat I bought some what I believed to be essentials; the black two-tone loafer like flats were a “love at first site” buy and have been one of the most repeatedly worn shoes I’ve bought and have resulted in zero blisters. Making them well worth the $29 asking price!

The 2 inch mid-heel, cap toe shoe was so cute and I remember thinking to myself “A little heel is better than no heel.” I think I just need to break them in a bit more, I’ve only worn them once because they completely destroyed my feet within a few hours! They are a very stiff shoe. Because of how bad the they hurt my feet I’ve been really apprehensive about wearing them again-especially to work for such a long amount of time.

The pointy toe black flat is a necessity of course, but even more necessary is the importance of trying shoes on before buying, taking home and removing tags/receipt. I made the mistake of assuming I was my usual size at a store I’d never bought flats at and they ended up being way too big. Unfortunately, because of the return policy I was unable to return the shoes and had to eat that cost-never getting any use out of the shoes. Lesson learned, sort of-keep reading.

Next, I “needed” some new leopard print flats. I hadn’t had a good pair of leopard print flats since I was about 22 years old and I had had those for a solid three years (with constant use) before they were retired. I’m picky about the type of leopard print and I prefer calf hair styles. I saw and loved the Ivanka pair online and ordered them, again without trying on. These flats are only slightly big, I’d suggest ordering a half size down if you’re thinking of purchasing. With the right insoles these are fine, however, in the back there’s a little elastic strap detail that rubs like crazy-because of that I haven’t worn them as much as I thought I would, had they been the right size it wouldn’t bother me. I then came across the black pointy toe flats with the leopard detailing and *after trying them on brought them home where they have been worn over and over! The soles on these shoes are so padded, making them one of my most comfortable pairs of flats!

On a trip to Target to shop for Halloween decor I got sidetracked in the shoe department and that led me to these peep toe beauties. Comfortable and very chic-I love these shoes. At the end of the day though they weren’t able to take the spot of an actual ankle bootie, they only deepened my want for some.  Always a fan of a good sale I scored these BCBGeneration booties after they dropped by $60 to only $80, such a bargain! I wear these booties constantly and can last an entire shift in them-they are that comfortable! I then realized that I didn’t have a flat ankle bootie and soon remedied that problem with some pointed toe, patent leather cuties.

After realizing how frequently I was wearing my black loafer like flats I knew I needed more in this style. The patent is chic and the menswear aesthetic adds an extra bit of flair to my outfits so I ordered the same shoes in a deep burgundy color then found a similar style at H&M in an easy to wear nude. While I was in H&M I decided to grab another pair of black flats, a d’Orsay style.

Next came my OTK boots, I had one pair already-pictured here, and rarely wore them because the straps constantly come untied and I’m a very impatient person so stopping every few minutes to re-tie my shoes is just not going to happen. I knew I wanted some that were slimmer fitting, without the lace up detailing and hit the jackpot when I came across these classic black ones at the rack then three boxes over saw these grey beauties as well. I grabbed them both and called it a day.

A few days later I decided to break in my new boots at work and forgot to take a back up pair of flats for when they got unbearable. This led to an impromptu lunch run to Zara, my go-to for fun oxfords, and sure enough these royal blue velvet cuties were just calling my name and ended up relieving my feet.

The sparkly Louise et cie loafers were pure “MUST haves” I ordered them the moment I saw them-no hesitation. They spoke to me and I knew that the brand was one that I find to be very comfortable, they were an easy decision and a great one as I wear these shoes a couple times a week and get tons of compliments each time that I do!

After buying all of these shoes I can say without hesitation that the only ones I absolutely couldn’t go without are my black & burgundy oxfords, my ankle booties, black over the knee boots, black and leopard flats and sparkly oxfords. That’s right, I would’ve been fine with just these six pairs of shoes. These are the styles that I find myself reaching for day in and day out. Having the other options are great but definitely not imperative, for me at least. What each of these shoes have in common are comfortability-they allow me to feel chic without killing my feet!

Which are your favorite?
Xx Sylvia


04, 04, 2017

Buying off Season: Pros & Cons

Last month I went on a short vacation to Chicago. That’s right, Chicago in March-just days after that huge cold front that went through that area. From Texas… from warm 87 degree days to highs in the low 40’s, which is basically winter weather in Austin and this was just days into the start of Spring. Now I don’t know many people who don’t buy at least a few outfits for an upcoming trip and I’m no different but this time around the shopping experience was a little off. When I should be stocking up on the latest Spring items I instead was looking for puffer coats and chunky knit sweaters, it was depressing. The only saving grace was that I was in fact buying off season which meant the pieces I was looking at were on sale! Which got me rationalizing with myself and then thinking up this pro’s and con’s list of buying off season.


-Buying off season items typically come at a fraction of the price, sale prices. That’s the ultimate positive. Spending less money for the same amount of clothing.
-Your dollar goes further. Maybe you never buy designer because it’s out of your budget, well now it fits right in there.
-After the full season you know exactly what you’re lacking in your wardrobe and what spots to fill
-Because you won’t get many chances to wear season specific items until the next year you are a lot more meticulous with your choices.



-You aren’t going to get many chances to wear season specific items. If you buy something and it never gets worn, did you ever really go shopping?
-You run the risk of buying a trend that won’t be around the following season. That’s why I stick to true classic items.
-You’re allocating your shopping budget to pieces that are instantly getting stored whilst passing up on season appropriate pieces you may need


Sweater: Joe Fresh
Jeans: Shein
Heels: BCBGenerations
Bag: Rebecca Minkoff
Sunnies: Nordstrom
Watch: Marc Jacobs
Earrings: Nadri, similar here

Xx Sylvia 

31, 03, 2017

Victoria Beckham x Target Favorites

Who else is counting down the minutes to shop the Victoria Beckham x Target collection? This is seriously a dream come true! I’ve been in love with Victoria’s style for as far back as I can remember and I know, I know, who hasn’t? But you guys, we can all love her style ok? I obviously took the time to preview the collection and the price points which I’m happy to report were mostly under $40 with a few pieces ranging higher (very few and none included on this round up). If you haven’t checked out the collection and made notes of which items worth waiting outside of Target for, at least take a moment to take a gander at the above 18 items that I am beyond obsessing over!

Which are your favorites?
Xx Sylvia

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28, 03, 2017

Good Ombres: A Faux Fur Story

A faux fur vest, or real fur if you’re into that, is a key piece during colder months. It’s the chic girl’s puffer vest if you ask me; but it’s also a great saving grace for these Spring transitional months when there’s still a slight coolness in the air. When getting your first fur vest you automatically think having a black one is a no brainer and honestly it is, it’s what I started with and have worn for years. I’ve also picked up a white one too that I’ve found I get more wear out of than I would’ve ever guessed, but adding this ombre number has been one of my favorite additions. I had thought about adding a fun faux fur but wanted to stay away from super trendy colors or crazy loud patterns. I wanted something classic but still different and that’s what I found in this creamy, cozy vest. The color change is so subtle but fun, it’s been such an easy add on to chic night looks as well as a more casual look like how I paired it here

 The versatility of faux fur vests is what makes them a great investment piece in my eyes. You can wear it three seasons out of the year, dressed up or down and as long as you care for it properly and are a little selective when choosing your faux style you will have a piece that will last many seasons to come.


Vest: via Nordstrom
Silk Tank: via Nordstrom Rack
Jeans: Paige
Shoes: Steve Madden
Bucket Bag: Nordstrom
Aviators: Raybans
Watch: Marc by Marc Jacobs
Necklace: Nordstrom

Xx Sylvia

06, 03, 2017

My LA Diary: January 2017

I love any excuse to hop over to Los Angeles and my brother living in West Hollywood with a spare room has been all the reason I’ve needed over the last couple of years. It’s always so much better when visiting family means visiting a cool city with tons of things to see and do! My brother didn’t come home for Christmas last year so in January my boyfriend and I decided to take a little week vacation to visit and deliver our gifts in person. We, with our luck of course, chose the one week LA was super overcast, rainy and cold so we had to improvise. Instead of beach walks and outside everything we were literally trying to dodge raindrops the whole week…here’s a little recap of our rainy week in LA.

Booties: Nine West
Jeans: Paige
Jacket: Shein
Purse: Rebecca Minkoff

Our second stop, after dropping off our luggage, is always a coffee shop and this time we decided against the usual blogger stop at Alfred Coffee and Tea and opted instead for a very industrial feeling spot called The Pie Hole which came highly recommended by my brother’s girlfriend.

Jacket: BCBGeneration
Sweater: American Apparel
Jeans: Topshop
Tank: Uniqlo
Shoes: Nike
Purse: Rebecca Minkoff

The LACMA is always a destination for me, with equally as beautiful of installations outside as inside.

“Get on MY walls” is basically what I kept saying over and over throughout the museum, that or “hmm I could do that” followed by laughs from my brother and boyfriend.

Restaurant hopping is probably a good majority of what I do on vacation and this trip was no exception. We checked out a number of places including Cecconi’s, The Hudson, Gracias Madres, Nonna’s Empanadas, Saddle Ranch and a slew of coffee shops including Waffleshots, where they fill specialty cake cones dipped in chocolate and other decadent treats with espresso.

This view from lunch inspired a little post-food shopping trip at one of my favorites, Zara. A lot of times you want to check out completely local shops only but keep in mind that different regions carry different styles in major retailers too. I found so many pieces at Zara that I hadn’t seen at my local store just days before.

My boyfriend spent an entire three hours thrifting with me on Melrose. We hit up American Vintage where I found the perfect oversized denim jacket and Wasteland which was my absolute favorite spot for finding designer pieces.

Jacket: BCBGeneration
Jeans: Topshop Leigh cut
Boots: Zara
Purse: Rebecca Minkoff
Scarf: Zara

On our last night in LA we went to The Comedy Store and really lucked out with appearances by Chris D’elia, Rhys Darby, Margaret Cho and Joe Rogan to name a few. This was hands down my favorite night and Chris D’elia absolutely killed it!

& On our last day we went to Eggslut and it was E-P-I-C! An absolute must try if you’re in the area. I got the Sausage Egg and Cheese sandwich and my boyfriend got the Slut, a poached egg over potato puree. Pure goodness in a jar.

Oh LA, until next time…


Xx Sylvia

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...I'm Sylvia

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