Know Your Numbers!

Believe it or not, I don’t really enjoy shopping all that much.  Stores often feel crowded and doing a lot of trying on (especially without success) drains me.  One little tip that can make shopping in stores and online a little easier is to “know your numbers”!  Online, look in the product details for measurement information.  Admittedly some stores are better about providing this than others.  If the info isn’t there, a quick call to customer service can often solicit the details.  In stores, carry a small tape measure with you.  Testing the numbers on a piece before you try on greatly heightens the chances of success.

Key measurements that I like to keep stored on my phone include:

  • Rise.  Super important for jeans/trousers!  Find a pair that you love the fit of and measure both front and back rise.  The rise fit is probably the #1 indicator as to whether a new brand of jeans will be a hit or a miss in my closet.
  • Inseam.  As a fairly short girl, most things I buy will need to be hemmed but getting as close as possible to the correct fit often makes the job easier.  You may want to track several versions for this measurement: one for shorts, one for crop/ankle pants, one for jeans, one for work trousers or pants you wear with heels.
  • Skirt length.  Again, you may need a couple of these, one for your short skirt sweet spot and one for maxis.
  • Chest.  Important for tees and sweaters.  Again, measure the outside front/back of well-fitting tee or sweater right under the armhole seam and use this to gauge size on a new item when shopping.
  • Heel Height.  How many times have you bought a new pair of heels or boots, worn them a few times only to realize they were just out of your zone for comfortable walkability?  Over the years, I’ve finally learned that my max is 3-3.25″.  This translates to about 80 millimeters (the measurement most heel heights are given in) and I now know not to go over that height if I want to be happy with a new pair.

These are the areas that effect my fit and comfort most greatly. Yours may be different.  Often athletic girls have trouble with fit in the thighs whereas petites can have trouble with overall shirt length – maybe those are numbers you need to record.  In the end, I just hope that “knowing (and using) your numbers” will help you find a better fit more quickly as it has for me!

Caring for Your Investment Footwear

This past winter I decided to treat myself to a long-standing item on my Wardrobe Bucket List, a classic pair of Gucci horse-bit loafers.  When our Northeast Ohio snow finally melted I was eager…perhaps too eager…to start wearing them.  Worn twice, this is what they now look like:

Top View – Fine
Soles – Yikes!

My thoughts turned to proper protection for investment footwear.  Clearly I needed a refresher course.  Luckily it is not to late to get these beauties protected!

  • Waterproofing.  Living in NE Ohio where we get an abundant supply of wet weather, this is the first step I take with any new pair of shoes.  Cover the entire shoe (soles included and with special attention on the seams) twice prior to first wear.  Refresh at the start of each wearing season for as long as you keep the shoe and apply a mid-season coat if it has been particularly wet or slushy.  Periodic application of a leather conditioner is also a good idea.
  • Protection.  A good shoe repair company will be able to add color-matched rubber soles and heel/toe caps that will extend the life of your investment.  Do your homework and find someone reputable.  Yelp often has useful reviews.
  • Wear.  With closed-toe shoes it’s a good idea to wear some sort of ped or footie.  In wet climates, get a nice pair of Hunter wellies and wear them while in transit, slipping on your good shoes once at your event.  When traveling, pack and store them in their dust bag.
  • Storage.  Make sure shoes are completely dry before you store them. Rolled up brown paper inside the shoe while they dry will help retain the shape.  Before storing wipe the exterior with a soft cloth to remove dust.  Keep on top of any scuffs or damaged heels by taking them to your local shoe repair before they get too bad.  Use shoe trees or keep them lightly stuffed while not being worn so they will hold their shape.  Much like furniture or artwork, UV light is not a friend to fine footwear so keep them in your closet where they won’t be exposed to light.  If your shoes came with a dust bag, use it! 
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