I’m off to New York tomorrow. So excited. I spent much of my 20s in Manhattan. I always love going back. But it feels a little bit like returning to a high school reunion. A slight frisson of, am I cool enough? Or, in my case, at all?
Sturdy Gals are not natively cool. Competent, yes. Loyal, yes. Cool, not so much. But we are learners. And I studied Manhattan for 5 straight years. I have a strategy, for the city I nominate as one of the 5 Top Coolest Cities In The Universe. It might be Number 1, except I’ve never been to Tokyo or Berlin. And some city somewhere in Australia is on the rise. But I digress.
Manhattan cool, for Sturdy Gals, means you go all the way to Grande Dame, or you stay Sturdy. Sturdy with an urban edge, that is. Artsy Cousins have more options, including dyeing their hair black and coloring their lips dark red. Sturdy Gals? We give it a shot with what we’ve got.
And remember, above all, 1) do not strike a false note with inconsistency of purpose or aesthetic 2) do not let on that you are trying.
Time to start packing. One thing I know about Manhattan is you can’t go wrong with black. Luckily, I am the queen of black shoes. As we have previously discussed, these Louboutins will come along. I’ll probably wear them for about 4 hours. 4, cool-as-I-can-manage, hours. Might involve drinks at a fancy hotel bar, and dessert at someplace downtown. And a little black dress. I’ll throw on a cheap black trench coat for diffidence. Perhaps some dangling gold antique Swedish earrings. As in, what, these old things?
I’ll also bring Manolo quilted ballet flats. And I’ll wear them for about 8 hours, all told. For Asian food and a little shopping. With flared dark 7 jeans, a plain white tee, small Chinatown 24K earrings, and a Chanel jacket. A very old Chanel jacket. I’d call it vintage, except really I just bought it myself in 1998, with the first bonus I ever got from Sun Microsystems.
Finally, my wildly glamorous Aerosoles will make the trip. These I will probably wear for about 16 hours. Maybe 20 or 24. Up and down the Avenues, to Riverside Drive, the Guggenheim, and that new High Line park which looks so gorgeous. I will wear them with Levis 501s boyfriend jeans, black tee, gray pearl and diamond studs, and a military jacket. Tough and sturdy. (What? Pearls are sturdy.)
The key thing about comfortable shoes is that you have to look like you wore them on purpose. For Manhattan cool, try to appear as though you are out on an adventure where you might encounter something with teeth.
Never, ever wear solid comfortable shoes with fancy pretty pants. But wear them somehow.
Because dreams of coolness are fabulous and all, but being able to walk through New York unhampered by miserable feet is even better. Sturdy Gals everywhere, represent.
*BTW, these Ann Taylor shoes do a pretty good job of capturing the Louboutin aesthetic for $99. If only they’d added the internal platform, I’d have been happy to do without the red soles. Via Corporette.
**For anyone wondering what on earth I mean by Sturdy Gals and Grandes Dames, click here. There is, I hope, some method to this madness.