What to Wear #42: My Red (Dancing) Shoes

Dancing in parentheses as they are not strictly dancing shoes, but the long ribbons attached to them that so conveniently lend themselves to wrapping around the ankle and tying up a bow make me remember my childhood fantasies about becoming a ballerina.

Hey, I have Russian roots, and most of us guard a soft spot for ballet in our hearts. Also most of us harbour some kind of attachment or at least a reaction to the colour red. Add the fact of being a woman on top, and fizzle fizzle sparkle sparkle.

The picture insistently popping up in my mind’s eye is an illustration in a beautiful book of fairy tales from my childhood library. I can’t remember what exactly the story was about, but I know it involved a poor and good young woman, and a cunning dwarf or leprechaun. The young woman was wearing a shining pair of red (possibly) satin ballet-esque slippers laced up her ankles with gorgeous red ribbons. I have done a bit of research, and The Red Shoes by Hans Christian Andersen is most definitely not the story from my childhood, as the terrifying plot would surely have stuck with me. So the story remains a mystery, but the shoes stayed. Ain’t that always the way?

The shoes are the strategically intended pop of colour in a slightly reserved outfit. Black-and-white rose or possibly peony patterned leggings are today’s choice of bottoms (yes), and since they are a little thinner, they are comfortable to wear in case the weather changes several times throughout the day. A long black tank top and loose navy blue jersey cardigan complete the look, along with pink lipgloss that catches what I think is a pinkish tone in the not 100 percent red shoes and two dainty long silver chains. These are among my favourite pendants and I’ve taken to wearing them together. The one with the Eiffel Tower has sentimental value, as during my first ever trip to Paris many years ago I bought a pair of earrings with Paris’ symbol, using my carefully saved pocket money. I joyfully wore them for years, until I lost one one evening when trying on a sweater. Moral: don’t wear long earrings when shopping. But I went to a jewelry-making store and they were very nice in helping me out, so I still have my keepsake.

One thing that stands out from today’s outfit choice is that I obviously don’t like ironing that much…but I keep hearing crinkled is the new smooth, so as far as I’m concerned, I’m not spending money on something I can achieve for free.

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What to Wear #7

Shoes come first once again! Dark-but-not-too-dark-red low-heeled Mary-Janes that make me think of Mary-Jane from the older Spider-Man movies (because of the shoe name, not the shoe itself). That’s how Spider-Man started (and ended) for me – I was so hooked on her and Peter’s love story. And devastated by the end of the very first movie, as my sister turned to me and strictly said, “That was right.”

Yes, what was coming were two more sequels, providing nerve-wracking viewing hours for all those of us invested in the romance of these long-suffering lovers.

As for the prominence that shoe choices play in my style life, I’m thinking back to the illustrations in the edition of the Russian version of Wizard of Oz that we had at home, and, surprise, surprise, the shoes are imprinted on my memory – silver-grey with light-gold bows. Combine that with reading and watching various versions of Cinderella and then the Wizard of Oz with Judy Garland – some of my interests and shopping patterns are not suprising anymore. I also have a theory that Russians are drawn to the color red, and this has been true for me too, despite being a cautious redhead. The Russian word for “red” is also linked linguistically to the word that means “beautiful”.

It’s going to be a longer day, and it’s also spring, so I want to be feeling both pretty and comfortable. The long thin dark-grey cardigan is perfect for the to be sure chillier evening, the long-pale blue tank top with a floral pattern echoes the playful note of the Mary-Janes and hopefully takes care of the “pretty” in this ensemble, concluded with blue jeggings, since those or leggings are my favorite combo with longer tops. I was tempted to wear another plaid shirt, but I do not repeat top patterns two days in a row. Thou shalt not.

The white flowers on the top make me pick out the dangly earrings with a small transparent sphere that has a white flower pattern painted on it. I’ll settle for the nude-or-dark-pink-depending-on-the-manufacturer lipgloss. Actually, I just discovered the label says the shade is called “Happiness in a bottle”. Wow. Who knew it was so easy. And I thought it was a tube?

Imagining a bottle of lipgloss…