Posts tagged Shoes

fancy footwork: our favorite vegan shoes

In the realm of eco-friendly clothing, some items are more challenging to find than others —  shoes are the toughest. But amidst an oceans’ worth of hippie-mom clogs and straw flip flops, we’ve found a few brands of vegan shoes that are nice to the planet and nice-looking on your feet. Here are four that we love.

Stella McCartney

Stella’s an edgy designer, and champion of animals, a rarity in the mainstream fashion industry.  Her shoes combine synthetic materials with high-fashion design – a combination that makes us very happy.

Bourgeois Boheme


This UK brand lives up to their tagline, “Fashion with compassion,” by using high-quality materials that always promise to be “better than leather.”

Mink Shoes

Specializing in strappy sandals and cute flats, Mink Shoes is all about sexy kicks and green ethics.


Vegan Chic

This brand puts out a host of trendy silhouettes (gladiator sandals! wedges! oxfords!) in synthetic materials – and more are very budget-friendly. If you want to splurge, there’s the occasional designer collaboration, such as these booties by Olsen Haus.


walk it off: the best winter footwear

tartelettes, just a few years ago, I wouldn’t have been caught dead in anything even resembling practical winter footwear. My cold-weather strategy was to sport the same ballet flats and heels I wore the rest of the year, in which I would step gingerly down my front walk before dashing into the warmth of my car.

Then, I moved to New York. Bye-bye, car. Hello, hikes across town, capricious weather, and snowboots.

But, because this is the Big Apple — the nation’s capital of the stylish yet practical shoe — a city girl’s winter gear has to protect her from the elements while still looking fabulous. You never know who might be just around the corner, even in a snowstorm.

Over the past few years, I’ve discovered a few cold-weather footwear options that are equal parts cute and practical.


Faux leather boots are possibly the easiest way to maintain a chic aesthetic while staying comfy and warm. You can’t go wrong with  classic black or brown. Or, if you want to mix things up a little, opt for a pair of rock-and-roll-esque motorcycle boots. Brands like Diesel and Harley-Davidson  offer non-leather boots that’ll add a bit of sass to any look. Find them at a vintage store, and they’ll be all broken in for you. Regardless of the style, layer up with thick socks (bonus points if you try a pair of patterned knee-highs that peek out over the top).




Throw old-school fashion rules out the window by keeping heels high and hemlines short this winter — there’s no need to keep those gorgeous gams covered up. Go for a high-heeled version of your daytime boot. Or stay warm with stockings and some fun, leg-defining booties.  If it’s not wet out, sport your favorite peep-toe pumps with black tights. Even Rachel Zoe approves


On those rainy, cold days, rain boots with thick socks are the way to go. These aren’t the clunky rubber monstrosities of your youth; in recent years, shoe designers have begun churning out weather-proofed styles that are adorable and, above all, discreet. The best are those that look like boots you would wear anyways, rain or shine. My favorites are by Hunter, which have a slim shape and are super-durable. Classic black is a chic choice — but red and yellow are fun childhood throwbacks. Just try to resist stomping in puddles in these.




Of course, when it’s sleeting out, there are few other options than those dreaded snowboots. Never fear! Even these can be chic. I’m obsessed with this adorable style by Sorel — made with waxed canvas and detailed with faux fur — which I’d be hard-pressed not to wear, even on a clear day.




Manolo Blahnik’s Earth-Friendly New Collection


Good morning tartelettes!

Have you heard,  Manolo Blahnik’s gone green?! The infamous powerhouse has a new sustainable shoe collection, and it’s everything an eco-conscious fashionista could ask for and more! I love reading about these type of collaborations, especially when related to my most favorite accessory: shoes! Designer Marcia Patmos was asked to create an eco-friendly line for the label, and after spending a considerable amount of time researching sustainable material, came up with two incredible styles made out of tilapia skin (interestingly enough a byproduct from the food industry), cork and raffia. These beautiful shoes — an adorable open-toe flat and a sexy, strappy sandal — come in gorgeous color combinations: nude, yellow, black and electric blue.

These are the first earth-friendly designs to be released by Manolo Blahnik and I couldn’t be more thrilled to see the fashion heavyweight take up the green cause! Like we always say, luxury and sustainability are not mutually exclusive. What do you gals think of the latest eco-friendly creations?



Fall Fashion Must-Have: The Perfect Boot

Autumn is right around the corner, and we’re busy making room in our closets for our favorite fall fashions – including the undisputed staple of the season: the perfect pair of boots. Here are a few of my favorites styles for fall, styles that will be sure to have others following in your footsteps!

How are you keeping your feet warm and stylish this season?

tarte loves TOMS

Our office is obsessed with TOMS shoes. As an eco-friendly company, we truly appreciate brands that have a real mission, and TOMS does so much more than just sell shoes.

TOMS shoes are not only stylish and comfortable for gallivanting around the city, but every pair purchased buys a pair for a child in need: one for one. Blake Mycoskie the founder of TOMS, traveled to Argentina where he found children of this country had no shoes to protect their feet. So vastly taken by this issue, he created a company that would match every pair of shoes purchased with a pair of new shoes given to a child in need. I mean, how incredible is that?!

Many children all over the world grow up barefoot which puts them at risk of contracting diseases that can penetrate the skin through bare feet. Barefoot children also can’t attend school because shoes are a requirement. And the domino effect begins: If they don’t have shoes, then they don’t receive an education. These children don’t have the opportunity to excel to their highest potential. One small change can make a BIG difference.

So not only are these shoes eco-chic, but more importantly they are giving back to people in need.

What do you think of TOMS? Does a company’s mission matter to you when deciding on what product to purchase (shoes in this case)?



Comfort First

 I love teetering on a gorgeous pair of stilettos, but unfortunately New York City streets can do some irreparable damage to those designer heels I adore. Plus, they are absolutely not ideal for walking more than one city block (subway grates, sidewalk cracks…you get the picture). So as much as I love hitting the town in sky-high shoes, during the day I’ve traded them in for footwear with comfort and practicality—chic ballet flats.

Hollywood’s most stylish gals swear by their Lanvin flats, but with a hefty price tag and rarely any available sizes in stock, we all need alternatives. I’ve picked out some of this season’s best flats that can easily be added to any woman’s shoe wardrobe. You can’t go wrong with a solid black patent or metallic, but with so many options out there I suggest jazzing it up a little bit. Leopard, lace, velvet—I’m sold! From classic Kate Spade to the eclectic fashion mecca, TopShop, retailers are offering a plethora of eye-catching  pairs that are sure to spice up even the most basic outfit.  Unfortunately, flats offer zero support for your feet. Thankfully Dr. Scholl’s for Her sells hidden arch supports that will make all the difference. So go ahead ladies and treat your feet, because before you know it we will be trudging around in snow boots, yikes!

(clockwise above: TopShop Mystify, Corso Como festive flats, J.Crew lacey flat, House of Harlow velvet flat, Banana Republic samie leopard flats, Kate Spade Aeryn)



Subtle Citrus Kicks

Now that Fashion Week has wrapped, I have the itch to shop (surprise surprise). It’s all about finding the perfect accessories to punch up the preexisting items in my closet. While out on one of my many shopping adventures I couldn’t help but notice the surplus of orange patent and saddle leather shoe combos. I love it!! We already know that camel goes with just about everything. Not to mention that this favored color comes in an array of summer textures. The extra hint of this neon orange is the perfect burst of excitement—total happy feet! In this picture are edgy 4.5” BCBG architectural peep toes and K. Jacques casual patent thongs. With tarte’s glam gams and a pair of these stunners I promise to put my best foot forward this spring.

may 2006


~In three more days I will be in Lake George, camping for the first time…and I’m actually looking forward to it! I went all out and bought a big back pack, a tent, a sleeping bag, etc. Now I just need to get some camping clothes! I took this holiday weekend to go to The Westchester Mall and did some quality shopping – I mean really, what’s camping if you don’t have cute pink boots?! -maria


~So one thing I’ve kinda been pushing off is looking for shoes for my wedding. I think it’s mostly because I HATE bridal shoes—all that white satin and bows and chunky heels is so not me, and I know I’d never wear them again. So I think I’ve decided on gold shoes—that way I can always pair them with jeans or dresses after the fact. I like these Jimmy Choos a lot, but why does everything good have to be 4” high?? If anyone has suggestions for this never-ending quest, please advise!! -alexis


~My little brother Kenn (though he is 6 ‘2”) is graduating from Boston College on Monday! Woohoo—I’m a proud sis! But, shhhh—I’m not a very good one. The thing is I have yet to get him a gift!! On the contrary, it’s so hard buying gifts for guys that they’ll actually be excited to receive and/or use. That said I’m thinking I’ll get him clothes. Since he is starting a new job in July and will DEFINITELY need some dress clothes (I think he owns like 1 pair of dress pants and a hand me down suit). Hmm..I’ll have to hit up Brooks Brothers on Sunday!!! -candace


~Very excited for the Grey’s Anatomy season finale tonight. Last night they prepped us for it with a new, action-packed episode that left me in suspense until tonight’s show. It’s 2 hours and I can’t wait to see what happens! Will Burke die? Will Denny die? You know someone is going to die – so who is it, ahhhh!! At least they didn’t make us wait a week. The only problem is that it conflicts with Deal or No Deal which is a 2 hour special tonight. Oh well, I’ll bypass the game show this time… -heather

~I am so excited to get home tonight – season finale of Prison Break at 8! Seriously, it’s frightening how obsessed I’ve become. I’m sure tonight’s episode is going to be edge of your seat exciting (and I quite literally was on the edge of my seat last week so I’ll probably end up passing out this week, lol). One thing I’m not looking forward to is the inevitable cliff hanger they are going to end the show with – I don’t think I can wait 6 months to find out what happens! -maria

~May is the month of weddings (at least for me)! Two of my good friends from high school are getting married this month. Next weekend I’ll be traveling to Massachusetts for my friend Colleen’s wedding at The Georgetown Country Club and then Memorial Day Weekend I’ll be in Cape Cod to celebrate my friend Seth’s wedding! Um, yea, I’m already feeling teary-eyed!!! OK, I need to change the focus here—I’m on the hunt for dresses…. -candace

~Let’s ignore the fact that 9 times out of 10, my blogs are food-related—I promise I do not have a problem/obsession, I just happen to be a big foodie. However, despite my love of fancy cheeses and wines, I can go pretty low-brow too, which explains my current obsession with those Nabisco 100-Calorie packs. First of all, how smart was that idea?? The marketer in me just thinks it’s a totally genius concept. And of course, the prone-to-oversnacking girl in me is eternally grateful. Finally, a way for me to eat cheese balls and Oreos and know when to stop. If I lose any weight before the wedding, I owe a little something to the good people of Nabisco. -alexis


~We all had a festive weekend, Maureen’s baby shower was on Saturday and it happened to be a Cinco de Mayo theme. So there was lots of yummy food and even more margaritas and coronas! -erica



~ Heather and I were just sitting here talking about Trader Joe’s and I really needed to take a moment to praise this fine establishment. My love for Trader Joe’s knows no bounds (I even got a gift certificate there for my birthday!). They have the BEST spreads, dips, sauces, snacks (cinnamon sugar pita crisps?? So good)…to say nothing of their frozen food section. And you’ll go up to the register with like 10 items and it’ll only cost $25. How can you beat that? (For any newcomers, I recommend the artichoke tortellini…once you’ve tried that, there’s no turning back). -alexis

january 2006


~It’s official Greg (my bf) has a problem: he’s a sneaker addict. No lie. In the past month he’s bought at least 4 pairs of sneakers (most of which are Nike dunk lows). Just this past weekend, we scoured the city looking for the Air Jordan Defining Moments. And we found them (despite Nike only making 11,000 pairs in the U.S. and him paying almost double the price)!! While I can’t say I have a love for sneakers, I do enjoy my own shoe escapades!! He scored his sneaks and I bought my Tamara Henriques rain boots!! So cliché, but I guess that’s why we make a perfect pair! -candace


~My favorite hobby by far is baking, so I especially look forward to any/ all occasions and holidays so that I can bake away! For the Superbowl this Sunday I think I’ll whip up some ‘Sure Fire, No Fire S’mores’ because…well, because I just really like s’mores! For Valentine’s Day I plan on cooking a whole meal (most likely something revolving around filet mignon) but for dessert I’m still choosing between crème brûlée, mini chocolate soufflés or mini heart shaped ice cream desserts. If I do the brûlée or soufflé I get to buy these cute pink ramekins, but if I make the heart shaped ice cream I get to buy this cute pink heart mold (both from Williams-Sonoma). Oh decisions, decisions… -maria


~A shocking fact: for someone so makeup-savvy, I am strikingly hair-impaired. Like, I can’t even master putting my hair back into a decent high pony with the bangs teased and pulled back (Erica’s specialty) —seriously, it’s a wonder I can put my hair in a braid. So when I want my hair to look good, I usually just shell out for a blowout —although that can get expensive after a while. So I am incredibly proud (like, 4-year-old who learns to tie his shoe proud) that I gave myself my first decent-looking blowout the other night. And it only involved one hour, a blowdryer, a round brush, a straightening iron, and 5 products!! OK—so I have a ways to go—but seriously, when I sprayed my Elnett hairspray (illegal but amazing aerosol spray stealthily imported from my last trip to London) to finish off my lovely new do, it was a fine hour indeed. -alexis


~So I’ve been looking for a kickboxing type class forever, but I can’t seem to find one that I like or that fits my schedule. Feeling totally defeated, I attempted to find a class one last time yesterday on Craig’s List and (finally!) I think I found one. It’s called Ki-Bo and it’s a blend of cardio kickboxing, self defense and strength training using your own body weight. Plus the instructor is a woman – who looks from the website like she can kick some serious butt – so I feel really confident that I may have finally found what I’ve been looking for! I’ll be attending my first class next week, so wish me luck and I’ll give everyone an update after the class! -maria


~Well, I’m finally ready to get back into running outside. I’ve never been an outdoors runner but I miss it!! So I picked up some heavy duty outdoor running clothes this weekend – I got the super warm spandex pants – that’s right spandex! The ones only a hardcore runner can get away with (so I’ve got to pretend I’m one of them). I got a really cute blue windbreaker some special running gloves and a headband thing that keeps your ears warm. I’m legit now! All I have to do now is get out there – if only it would warm up just a little bit… -heather


~Phil & I went to the MoMA this weekend to check out the Pixar 20-year retrospective —it was so awesome. The museum was pretty chaotic and the exhibit was SO crowded, but honestly, it was worth it. You got to see all the steps they take when creating the characters for their movies—so much work goes into it, it’s absolutely insane. (The audio guide was great, too—really helped you understand what you’re looking at). Basically, we both came away from the exhibit thinking that Pixar is some kind of magical wonderland to work at. Also—the main highlight was the zoetrope (see pic) which defines as: An optical toy, in which figures made to revolve on the inside of a cylinder, and viewed through slits in its circumference, appear like a single figure passing through a series of natural motions as if animated or mechanically moved. (There’s no way I could improve on that explanation). Seriously one of the coolest things I’ve ever seen. -alexis


~Ok, enough with the rain already!! I know it’s only the start of winter here in NYC, but I’ve already had enough. I’m on the hunt for a good pair of rain boots. My one requirement is that they must have some sort of heel (I’m 5’2’’—I need all the height I can get). There are definitely some cute ones at the style bakery, though I’m really leaning towards these Tamara Henriques boots. Hmmm, or maybe the Pink Burberry ones at Neiman Marcus. Decisions, decisions… -candace

~I’m finally back after the long gone for my wedding and honeymoon! And finally we managed to move in our first place yesterday after 3 weeks weekend tough painting work! I can’t wait to go shopping for some new furniture and new appliance, I really want to buy a nice king size bed so I don’t need to flight for space with Terrence! -leonie



~I’m so happy to be all moved in to my new place. Now comes my favorite part..decorating! The bedding set I ordered from the pottery barn came in the other day and it’s so bright and colorful. It’s really going to look great in the room especially with the custom headboard I made. Tomorrow I’m going to make a trip out to Ikea to pick up a few more things and hopefully get some more ideas. I can’t wait to start all little projects I have planned!



~I’ve been on a major cooking kick lately—I think the Italian wife-to-be in me is definitely starting to kick in. I actually had some time to relax this past weekend, so I made a ton of stuff—but new favorite is gnudi. They’re basically the filling of ravioli minus the pasta—literally denuded ravioli, hehe. They’re very messy but fun to make if you do it all from scratch (I used fresh spinach & grated the parm myself instead of using the pre-grated kind…definitely makes a difference!). They’re so filling, but so so good. This recipe looks like the one I used except I made a sage butter sauce—either should be delish though. -alexis


~This Sunday Larry and I are going to the Museum of Natural History to see the Darwin exhibit. I’m having flashbacks to Freshmen biology class when I think about it. Survival of the Fittest…that’s what I remember the most. I haven’t been to the Museum in a while. Every time I go I need to see the dinosaur exhibit, it reminds me of being a kid. And if I’m lucky..we’ll see an Imax film, too!-nicole

~My boyfriend and I officially decided that we are going to Vegas this summer – you have no idea how happy this makes me because I love Vegas! I already started looking up flight and hotel info on Jet Blue and I found a really awesome deal for the Bellagio and the Venetian. Now if I could just lose a good 30 pounds by August…-maria


~I had such a nice, long relaxing weekend in Pennsylvania! It was my boyfriend’s bday (Greg) and we celebrated over sushi and drinks at the Dancing Fish. As for his gift, I bought him these sweet Camel Suede Ferragamo shoes. He LOVES them! I’m heading over his way again this weekend to watch the Syracuse vs. Villanova basketball game—go Orange! -candace


~I’m so excited, this weekend I’m moving into the city! One of my best friends, Marisa and I got a great apartment on the upper east side. The neighborhood is so nice and there are so many great things to do… plus Heathers my neighbor! Project Runway parties will be a must!-erica

~Yay, I’m so glad it’s Friday! For a change we actually have nothing to do this weekend, which means my favorite kind of days…lazy, fixing up the house, reading the paper, cooking, just hanging out. Except we are doing ONE thing on Sunday—we signed up for a 3-hr ballroom dancing crash course. We get to try foxtrot, salsa, waltz & swing—since I’ve never done any of the above, this should be interesting. I have a sneaky suspicion that Phil is going to be one to watch. Anyway, I’m very impressed with his willingness to miss NFL playoffs to go prance around for three hours. That’s why I’m marrying the guy! -alexis


~Tonight Larry and I are going to see Brian Stokes Mitchell perform. I’m so excited, we loved him in Man of La Mancha. He has the most amazing, deep, rich voice. I hope he sings some songs from the show!!!-nicole~So, now I’m addicted to Project Runway. I blame Erica and Alexis for talking about the show every thursday morning. Last night I turned on Bravo and was just in time for a PR marathon. That show is great! The designers are nutty but really talented – it all makes for great tv! Just what I needed, another show to watch!!-heather


~Hi all!!! I’m Candace and I just joined tarte last week!!! So fun and exciting! (and yes, I tend to overuse exclamation marks). The products are truly amazing and the girls are soooo sweet! You’ll most likely see me talking about random things, but hey, who doesn’t like random? For instance, I’m really craving rice pudding right now…this place; Rice to Riches near my apt is great!-candace


~Continuing on my theme of awesome Xmas gifts, I have to focus on an amazing one from Phil: The Muppet Show Season 1 DVDs. So far we’ve only watched the first 4 episodes but it’s so awesome (one of my favorite sketches so far? “Lydia the Tattooed Lady,”—so cute. There’s a “pop up” track you can turn on that gives you all kinds of little factoids about the episodes, the guests, and the Muppeteers. Since I’m a total Muppet freak, I’m addicted.-alexis

~What’s the worse thing you can do when you’re bored? Look through ebay…now I found about 3-4 pairs of shoes that I am obsessing over. But at around $599.99 each pair I just can’t afford it! I’m especially infatuated with a pair of Christian Louboutin jeweled stilettos. Must be strong… -maria


~This weekend is my friend’s baby shower (I hope she doesn’t read this or the surprise will be ruined!!). This is my first friend to have a baby in the area – I can’t believe it and I can’t wait until she has the baby! I’m dying to know if it’s a boy or a girl. I think it’s a girl, but we’ll see! Just when the bridal showers were slowing down… -heather

~Can’t wait for the weekend! No major plans. My friend Kara is having a housewarming party in East Rockaway. I look forward to seeing my college friends there and just hanging out. It’s been so gloomy in New York this past week, I hope to finally see the sun! -nicole


~I haven’t written in so long…I think the holidays have totally worn me out, because I still haven’t bounced back from exhaustion. In any case, I did get some AMAZING gifts this year—I feel very lucky—but one of the highlights came from my little Secret Santa Maria. Proving exactly how well she knows me, she got me a 2 month subscription to a Cheese of the Month Club! Seriously, this is like my dream gift. Not to sound like Steve Urkel or anything…it’s just that cheese is totally my favorite food group and brings me to new heights of food euphoria. In conclusion, Maria is the best.-alexis