Saturday, November 12, 2005

Meghan Cleary, The Perfect Fit

As a lover of all things shoes, I could not wait to get my hands on The Perfect Fit, What Your Shoes Say About You. In fact, I pestered Meghan Cleary for weeks until this little gem arrived in my mailbox. I immediately sat down and read it, desperate to find out what my shoes said about me. What kind of signal was I sending to the world in my embroidered clogs? When I slipped on my ballet flat, was I putting forth the image of a school girl instead of a funky fashionista?

The book begins with a quiz to find out what kind of shoe are you? I was Down to Earth but after reading this book, I believe I need to allow my inner stiletto to break out. The Perfect Fit is a perfect treasure of a book for all of us who love the shoes and what girl doesn’t?

Meghan Cleary is a shoe expert, a fashionista with a keen eye for trends, and has appeared on several talk shows. She has written for Marie Claire among other publications and maintains a cool blog that you can check out by clicking here. Miss Meghan took some time to answer a few questions for me about what else- shoes!

Miss Meghan, I would be remiss if I didn’t ask your opinion on the ever popular but always ugly Uggs. Truly, who can get away with wearing these beasts?

In my humble opinion, UGGS have contributed to more people thinking it is ok to dress so down it appears you may be in your pajamas. I do understand the wish for comfort, I would just suggest another style—a nice designer trainer? A cute knee high flat leather riding boot?

The sweater boot is truly horrid. Your thoughts?

Again, there is a hunger for comfort, and especially in NYC where us girls have to hoof it through all sorts of winter weather elements, there is a hunger also for warmth! So I definitely get it. It’s not my style, but I can’t say I don’t understand the girls who go there! (I stand corrected. I forget how cold other places are when I'm in southern California with my flip flops. I will no long look at Uggs and the sweater boot with distaste!)

Here is my dilemma. I am 5’7 tall and appear to be towering over everyone when I wear high heels. But I love the way my legs look in the highest heels. What is a woman to do- forgo the heels?

Absolutely not, I’m 5’9” and my fave stilettos often put me in 6 ft range! To be a woman and be in a Stiletto is embracing your feminine power! See my book The Perfect Fit for more on this!

I wear clogs with jeans all the time. I have three pairs of clogs, (not the plastic utilitarian gardening clogs but cute ones, really) What other footwear options can I explore for this season?

This Fall has so many great styles to choose from—from the flat riding boot, to the penny loafer pump, to the lace up Annie Hall style oxford—you shouldn’t have any trouble at all mixing it up. Try any one of these to put a punch in your wardrobe! Especially in a bright color like red or cool texture like python!

If money was not an issue, where would you buy your shoes? And if you were a girl who had a teeny tiny budget for darling shoes, where would one very fashion conscious chica buy her footwear?

I would shop at Christian Louboutin everyday if money were no issue, and Bergdorf Goodman second floor as well as Jeffrey and Chuckies on the Upper East side and Diavolina in Los Angeles. For fashionistas who need to keep it real—go vintage: Cobblestones in the East Village, and Salvations Armies in the Midwest as well as Squaresville in Los Angeles.

This season, what is a must- have shoe or boot ?

Flat, flat flat boot. Riding boot, or the flat pointy toe boot made out of an exotic skin!
I’ve been looking all over for a distressed leather, lace up, two inch heeled boot. Please help!
Hmm. I am going to send you to your local flea market—I think you have a good shot at this style there, espec distressed.

Who do you think is the best dressed celebrity- would it be Gwen Stefani with her unusual and funky style, or a more demure and classic Gwyneth Paltrow? What is your opinion?

I really like both of their styles—Gwen is fab because she just goes all the way out there and has no qualms with doing so, and she has had such success with LAMB. You have to hand it to her!

-and Gwyneth because I love her easy boho mom daytime look. She shows you how easy it is to put together the right pieces and look chic.

What was your very first memory of a shoe? I recall a pair of Buster Brown t-straps which had a leathery smell and a rubber sole.

Baby blue, wedge espadrille sandals with embroidery on them. Fierce!

What was the first item you ever splurged on? Was it a Jimmy Choo, a Manolo, a Prada slipper?

Jimmys. Three and a half inch mauve taffeta stilettos with a turquoise brooch. Mmmmm!

Do you wear perfume, do you have a signature scent?

I like to mix it up. This summer I was a Fresh SUGAR devotee, but this Fall I am exploring deeper more musky scents—recently got into Bond Street perfumes as they opened a shop up on my street and they encourage you to try many. I am in a Vanilla-Musk Sandalwood one right now.

Do you over-pack when you go away? I normally have one suitcase to accommodate all my footwear, this is true.

Always! My biggest fear is getting caught without that one thing I feel like wearing in the moment when I am away! Footwear is a problem—I have taken to buying more neutral looks that will work well with everything and then brining those key pairs with me. I always end up throwing in my Louboutins and Jimmys in last minute “just in case” though and I end up having to sit on my suitcase to get it zipped closed!

Which fashion magazines should I be reading for the best advice on clothes and shoes? I currently subscribe to Lucky magazine.

LUCKY is great—the way they present everything is so easy and well-edited. L’Officiele is also a great one for accessories. I have been loving Elle lately too.

Do you find yourself constantly checking out other peoples footwear?

Oh yes. And then they look at me like I am a giant freak!! I try to be subtle but it’s hard!

What is your next project?

I am shopping my shoe show treatment around, working on a second book (Miss Meghan’s Guide to Men) am I qualified to write that? We’ll find out!!


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