All my Favourite Go-To Brands for Basics, Foundation Pieces and Style: Shoes and Other Great Brands
I’ve been asked for my favourite brands, and all my previous posts on all my favourite Go To Brands can be found here.
A BIT OF BODY HISTORY
I’m an inverted triangle, am usually a US 4 for fitted clothing, but with US 6 shoulders. I’m about 5’6″ and fairly slender. Barely any hips or bum or chest to speak of, but in the past year, I’ve noticed I have gotten a little curvier around the bum and hips (age? hormones? who knows), and I’ve embraced it, but no one can feel it but me… (and my partner 😉 ).
As of late, I have had very little patience wearing anything too tight or fitted, and now take everything in a US 6 if I find it is even an eensy bit too tight (not just tops or jackets for my shoulders, bottoms too).
For instance, I fit into Lululemon pants US 4, but prefer to buy US 6, and will even go up to a US 8 as they are tight. I’ll be sure to make size / style notes below as well.
GENERAL SHOPPING TIPS
A lot of what I do is shopping online, I even wrote a post: How to shop online. Sometimes I get some hits, sometimes they are misses, but after a few times, I get a good idea from just pictures, fabrication and description where it works or not.
- Go into the store first and try on all of their bras to know what size you actually are so shopping online is easier
- Sign up for an online coupon (a newsletter tends to always give a percentage off)
- Wait for days like Black Friday before buying anything — major sales abound!
- Buy a whole bunch at once if you can to save on shipping and duties — mostly for us Canadians
- BE SURE it is something you want/need before you hit “buy”, and do LOTS AND LOTS OF RESEARCH online
- Don’t be afraid of eBay either, I have found insanely good deals on there with New with Tags (NWT) items
M. GEMI SHOES
I love the brand M. Gemi for shoes, because I have their Bollas, their Tutas and their Stellatos. Their Bollas are real workhorses, and every time I wear them, I feel super comfortable (no blisters) and get many compliments.
They TAKE A BEATING. I walk in them all the time, I am not gentle, and they REALLY stand up to my stomping.
BANANA REPUBLIC ROBIN FLATS
Surprisingly comfortable. I put some moleskin foam-like heel grips in them and I have these shoes in all sorts of shades and colours.
KARL LAGERFELD DESTINE POINTED FLAT
If you can’t afford M. Gemi, surprisingly, Karl Lagerfeld has come up with some nice shoes. I really liked the feel of his Destine flat which is a lot like the M. Gemi Stellatos. It comes in bronze, but I have seen them in beige and in navy too.
KARL LAGERFELD LEROUX FLAT
He also made a ballet flat called the Leroux, but that shade of ballet pink only works on pale women, so go for the black pairs.
CLUB MONACO BROOKLYN BOOTIE
RAG AND BONE MOTO BOOTS
Scored secondhand, and I am in love with these Rag & Bone Moto Boots. They look great, and are comfortable. I suggest taking no more bigger than a full size up, as I have the 8.5 and they are SLIGHTLY too loose on me, as I am a US 7…
FRYE, AQUATALIA & TORY BURCH BOOTS:
Ultimate Autumn go-to boots from Frye. Don’t cheap out. They’re worth it.
I take a half to a full size up, and add Birkenstock half soles.
Amazingly comfy. Could go for miles in them.
If you want, I reviewed them against Tory Burch & Aquatalia as well.
Say what you want but Lululemon makes the most comfortable pants. I’ve tried Winners brands, Lolë, and all other workout gear and Lululemon wins on looks and for comfort.
I love their high waisted pants, and while I find the Luon so comfy like I’m wearing tights or nothing at all (LOL), it pills easily so keep that in mind.
I prefer the Full On (double) Luxtreme fabric, and buy it in high-rise only and on sale, in different styles and colours.
As for the tops, the Run On Tank is the only one with airflow for my back, and a high neck for coverage when I do Downward Dog.
I don’t love their bras, panties, headbands or ANY OTHER GEAR of theirs as you can find way better elsewhere.
FYI about workout bras
Workout bras are something I don’t do because I don’t have much to begin with, and I just use my bra and wash it weekly. *shrug* if I were muscled and did not have massive shoulders, side, arm, and back fat, with a 6-pack set of abs, I’d look great in their gorgeous workout bras and strappy tops. As it stands I do not have that kind of body and am far too lazy to work towards perfection so I just avoid what makes me feel and look as bad as an uncooked sausage trapped in a web of straps.
OTHER GREAT BRANDS…
SMALL WORLD DREAMS
Their bags are pretty, ethically made in Australia, and eco-conscious. How much better can you get?
This Scandinavian dotted line one I bought above gets me tons of compliments when I use it:
I am very curious about their Pinatex leather alternative bags.
I love their silk tops, but if you want a cheaper version that feels almost as good (BARELY noticeable), go for Grana below. I like their collared shirts, slightly slim fitted (not the oversized stuff), and it is great to wear unbuttoned over more casual items or over leather leggings.
My full review on Grana here, I love their silk tops the best, their cashmere is not bad either, just as long as you buy the lighter less-dyed shades.
MEL EN STEL
I love this independent brand but she doesn’t seem to make her lovely Kate jacket anymore which is a shawl cashmere coat of sorts that I snuggle up and love for autumn and winter. Check back though, I think her work is so pretty and original.
I have a cape/poncho of theirs which is very chic but their turtleneck was too short for my torso. Review on what I bought here from Cuyana.
I have yet to try anything else of theirs but their cotton turtleneck WAS very soft.
All my posts on all my favourite Go To Brands can be found here.