Casual holiday party outfit with jeans - une femme d'un certain âge

Casual holiday party outfit & a new shoe brand

Most of our holiday gatherings are casual, so I rely on accessories to create “festive, not fussy” looks. Here, a casual holiday party outfit gets kicked up a notch with patent leather boots and sparkly gold necklaces…

A casual holiday party outfit with sweater & jeans

I’m all about keeping it simple and comfortable for the holidays. A sweater and jeans is my “not fussy” starting point; adding bright color, sparkle and shine provide the “festive.” (Sweater shown previously here, jeans here & here.)

Susan B. wears a red cashmere sweater, and short & long French Kande gold necklaces.

The long necklace can be worn two ways, either with the crystal facing out, or the gold “Dunkerque” medallion on the back side (as in top photo).

I have been on the hunt for literally YEARS for a pair of patent leather boots that are comfortable, chic, and not black. Why patent leather? They can dress up and add refinement to a simple outfit.

And the universe has finally rewarded my patience. One of the attendees of our Color Event a few weeks ago is a shoe designer! And she showed up wearing the cutest patent leather boots, her own design, of course.

Cute & comfortable shoes & boots, made in small batches locally

Keli Daniels, founder of gini & albert comfort shoes.
Keli in her studio

Meet Keli Daniels, founder of gini & albert los angeles. She designs beautiful & comfortable boots and shoes, which are produced in small batches here in Los Angeles. The company is named after her grandparents; her grandfather was a shoe maker who believed that you shouldn’t have to sacrifice comfort for style.

I was able to visit her studio on Monday to try on a few styles, and was so impressed! They are beautifully made, comfortable, and have a vintage-inspired but timeless look.

Choices, choices...trying on shoes & boots at gini & albert.

Keli makes all of her shoes with a generous cushion of memory foam under the ball of the foot and the heel. As I type this, I’ve been wearing these boots for several hours, and on my feet for most of it. And my feet are still happy! I found most of the styles I tried run true-to-size, though there is some variation between leathers, and some styles run a little larger or smaller.

You can see all of the current styles at her website, HERE. If you’re in the Los Angeles area, you can visit her studio by appointment. You can also follow on Instagram @giniandalbert

Did I have trouble deciding which pair to get? Oh, heck yes! I may have come home with more than one…😉

In case you missed it…

How to layer necklaces

Ringing in the cozy season

3 ways to style a striped sweater

Stay in touch.

Affiliate links in posts may generate commissions for See my complete disclosure policy here.


  1. Pat
    November 30, 2022 / 4:24 am

    Cute ,but way to pricey for my budget

  2. Julia
    November 30, 2022 / 4:35 am

    Fabulous look Susan and those boots are to die for! That shoe designer is going to get lots of orders!

  3. MPMP
    November 30, 2022 / 4:48 am

    Super cute boots and slingbacks. Now let’s talk about the price? Can you find similar in a better price range?

    • Susan Blakey
      November 30, 2022 / 6:05 am

      I haven’t so far. I understand these aren’t in everyone’s budget, but occasionally I like to feature something unique and special, that’s made here by a small woman-owned business rather than a corporation.

  4. No Fear of Fashion
    November 30, 2022 / 6:25 am

    It is a good thing, I don’t live near the shops where you buy your things, otherwise I would probably have copied you. Again.
    Those boots are so goooood. And so is the heel. Love your red sweater too.

    • Susan Blakey
      November 30, 2022 / 6:53 am

      Thanks very much, Greetje! I was thinking of you during our visit to the studio, and how much you’d love her shoes.

  5. sosusam
    November 30, 2022 / 6:38 am

    Your IG Story about your visit to Keli’s studio was delightful (including the cat massage) and those boots are SO GOOD. Decades ago I owned a pair of red boots that made me terribly happy, and yours remind me of those (tho yours are more fabulous in their patent glory). May they bear you through the holidays and beyond in comfort and style.

    • Susan Blakey
      November 30, 2022 / 6:53 am

      Thanks so much, sosusam!

  6. Mary
    November 30, 2022 / 6:48 am

    These are beautiful! I have bought La Canadienne boots in the past and they have a similar beautiful well made style. Really lovely! The red pair is so cute!!

    • Susan Blakey
      November 30, 2022 / 6:54 am

      Thanks very much, Mary!

  7. Rebecca
    November 30, 2022 / 7:53 am

    Fabulous shoes to dream about! Especially the green martini boots.

    • Susan Blakey
      November 30, 2022 / 8:03 am

      That olive color is AMAZING in patent leather!

  8. Rebecca
    November 30, 2022 / 7:56 am

    Dreamy shoes!

  9. Johanna
    November 30, 2022 / 8:32 am

    Love her outfit — the bright cabled sweater over the black and white shirt is fantastic.

  10. Bette
    November 30, 2022 / 8:46 am

    What beautiful shoes! There’s a pair of dark green patent leather loafer pumps on her site I now covet. Love!!

    PS. I can admire a Porsche without feeling compelled to liquidate my savings to purchase one. Please keep right on featuring more expensive, high quality, design-led items. We don’t have to buy everything you show us in order to appreciate how gorgeous they are. As far as these boots, specifically, I find them incredibly well-priced for such quality.

  11. Ms. Liz
    November 30, 2022 / 9:09 am

    I love patent leather ! Those boots are worth the splurge. And the colour is perfect!

  12. Penny J
    November 30, 2022 / 9:21 am

    The boots are absolutely gorgeous! The black ones may be calling my name. I have never been into fast fashion and definitely prefer saving up to buy one pair of quality shoes over many pairs that will not last. And at 66, my feet and I are picky. Love the whole outfit, Susan.

  13. Linda
    November 30, 2022 / 9:31 am

    beautiful foot wear. Well priced for the craftsmanship and being quinique. and a woman owned business. if I lived close I would be wearing a pair. thanks for the introduction. Your outfit is stunning.

  14. Mary
    November 30, 2022 / 9:37 am

    Love patent leather. If there were a lighter green for a summer, I would be sooo tempted. As it is, there is a loafer in deep navy that looks fabulous! Maybe there will be a 20% off sale some day! Meanwhile, I am with others to vote on keep showing us small businesses with quality offerings. Such fun! Thanks!

  15. Karen in Fort Worth
    November 30, 2022 / 2:22 pm

    Those boots are made for walkin’!

    Great choice Susan!

  16. Karen
    December 1, 2022 / 3:49 am

    Oh these boot!!! I’m seriously considering them in navy. you said they fit TTS, the website suggested adding 31 to our size, which would make me a 37. I’m a US 6, Italian 36. Can I assume the sizing is EU? Thanks. Totally understand if you don’t know

    • Susan Blakey
      December 1, 2022 / 5:39 am

      Hi Karen, yes, I think the sizing is EU. I’m usually a size 7 to 7.5 and took a 38 in the boots. If you’re still unsure, you could always try contacting Keli from the Contact page on the website, or send her a DM on Instagram.

  17. Jan Whichard
    December 1, 2022 / 8:36 am

    The boots look exactly like the Everlane Day boot. I wear Everlane for hours and hours over cobblestones and everything else. I have gold and black. I have the Aquatalia black patent boot. I agree with the commenter above about the price. If the boot was a unique style then maybe…but I will keep looking at her offerings!

    • Susan Blakey
      December 1, 2022 / 8:41 am

      I do think these are better quality than the Day Boot, though. There is more seaming and shaping (check around the heel), and the leather is softer. I found them more padded and comfortable. The heel is also just a little lower than the Day.

  18. Lisa
    December 1, 2022 / 11:04 am

    So gorgeous! And I think you do a service by featuring product for a bigger budget that don’t try to earn that high price with branding and marketing and logos etc, but instead focus on quality materials and small-business makers. Thank you!

    • Susan Blakey
      December 1, 2022 / 1:50 pm

      Thanks so much, Lisa!

  19. Shelley Eaton
    December 3, 2022 / 2:32 pm

    I just ordered a pair of the siracha!! I am so excited. I too, have been looking for a pair of comfortable boots in a fun color. Can’t wait to get them!!

  20. Tamara Kennedy
    December 5, 2022 / 1:17 pm

    I love the martini boot! The price point is perfectly acceptable for the quality of the workmanship of the product. Thank you for bringing us the goods!

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