Thursday Miscellany: Wedge Loafers & More

Susan B. of une femme d'un certain age wears Wonders wedge loafers in copper patent.

It’s been slow going, this process of updating my wardrobe. There’s not much in this season’s collections that falls within my Spring palette, other than some warm browns and camel. Most of the colors I’m seeing for this Fall/Winter tend toward cool and soft, or else are black-based.

And even when I do find “my” colors, the styles are often wrong. Too ruffly or oversized or fussy. So I’m hoping to get through the season with the pieces I’ve found so far, and hope for better choices in the Spring. And I can always rely on accessories…

Wedge Loafers For The Win…

Shoes, on the other hand…it’s been almost an embarrassment of riches. 😉 I’m kind of in love with these wedge loafers. They’re from a Spanish brand, Wonders. This style is fun, comfortable and light. The finish is a crinkled patent leather. (Also available in black.) I found them to be a little wide in the back, but a heel grip was all it took to make them fit securely.

More Wedge Loafers

Colorful Musings

Many thanks for all of your thoughtful comments on Tuesday’s post, (Learning To Speak) The Language Of Color. It seems this is a topic that resonates for many of us, so I’ll continue to share my thoughts along this journey.

One comment that mentioned “art school” prompted an epiphany of sorts about my affinity for wearing black. When I was growing up, the only people who regularly wore black were intellectuals, artists, and other creative types. These were the people I most admired, and wanted to emulate. So it makes sense that I would have strong positive associations with wearing black.

Book Report

Cover of The Testaments by Margaret Atwood. Details at une femme d'un certain age.

I’ve been eagerly awaiting Margaret Atwood’s sequel to The Handmaid’s Tale, “The Testaments.” It’s a fairly quick read, and quite engaging. I don’t want to give too much away, but will share my impressions. First, those who are hardcore Atwood fans may be disappointed, as it’s less cerebral and more fast-paced and suspenseful than many of her other works. (Someone I follow on Facebook described it as having the feel of a dystopian YA novel in parts, and I wouldn’t disagree.) That said, I found it entertaining and viscerally satisfying. If you keep up with the series on HULU, which moves far beyond the first book, you’ll notice she incorporates a plot point or two from the series. I thought the best part of the book was further fleshing out of the Aunt Lydia character, and providing more of not only her back story, but that of Gilead.

Tell us what you’ve read and enjoyed lately!

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  1. I just purchased the loafers. Love the wedge and the blush shade of leather. Thanks for the tip! I’d love to know how you completed your outfit. What bag? Top? Jacket? etc…

  2. Just read The Silent Patient, a real page turner, but it didn’t thrill me as much as my book club. However there is a real twist at the end, and that’s something to keep reading toward. I am reading Beloved in honor of Toni Morrison. Exquisite writing. I have to put it down for a while and then go back to it, it’s intense. I read that Margaret Atwood’s partner passed away. I have never read her, and feel like I am the only one who hasn’t!

    How about JJill for your wardrobe. They had a beautiful poppy shade in the summer.

    1. I haven’t read Margaret Atwood either. I tried but couldn’t hang in there. So there are at least two of us on this island. I haven’t watched the TV series either.

  3. I really like the wedge loafers you featured. An upcoming trip for me will involve a lot of sightseeing in Italy. Would you recommend any of hese wedge loafers for travel? Thanks

    1. Hi Linda, I find them quite comfortable. I like a thicker sole for my travel shoes generally, as they often provide more cushioning. Everyone’s feet are different though, so you may find one style or brand more comfortable than others. Some brands I’ve had good luck with for travel are Paul Green, Cole Haan, Aquatalia (esp. for weatherproof boots), and Mephisto.

    2. Linda, I’ve been wearing Wonders for years and I love them (I tried those loafers on 3 weeks ago) and have worn them to Europe. Another good brand, my go-to for holiday walking, is Hispanitas. That said, not all styles of shoes will fit all feet.

      1. Lea, thank you. I have been looking for comfortable stylish shoes for travel. I am glad to hear that you found the Wonders worked for you. Both the Wonders and Hispanitas brands are new to me.

  4. Ordered the Wonder shoes in black a couple of days ago for my trip to Rome. They popped up in a Nordstrom advert when I was browsing for comfortable shoes. Hope I have as good luck with them as you have. Shoe shopping for me lately has become a real chore. High arches and wide feet aren’t an easy mix.
    Try Anthropologie for tops. I was there the other day and they seemed to have lots of warm reds and golds.

  5. It seems like Texas women wore colors for years then decided we didn’t look as sophisticated as our East Coast and West Coast sisters! Now trying to incorporate color again and there seems to be good options out there and fun to look at different things. I love your column and look for it first every morning. A big Thank You!!

  6. I’m a big fan of Alexandra Fuller’s memoirs and just read her latest, Travel Light, Move Fast. I enjoyed it but not as much as her first two, Don’t Let’s Go to the Dogs Tonight: An African Childhood, and Cocktail Hour Under the Tree of Forgetfulness.

  7. HI Sue
    Just finished The Salt Path, a memoir of “wild camping” by a homeless couple in Great Britain. They decide to hike the Great Southwest Coastal Path along the southwest of Great Britain, 630 miles. A wonderful read–initially recommended by Materfamilias.
    I had a very hard time with The Handmaids Tale, as controlling women to the point of not allowing them to read was very difficult for me.
    As always great blog!

    1. Glad to hear you enjoyed this, Mary! It’s the book I’m most likely to give as a gift this year (my daughter-in-law asked me to recommend a book she could give my son for his birthday — he enjoyed it very much!)

      I recently read and enjoyed both Kate Atkinson’s Big Sky and Tommy Orange’s There There — for very different reasons. The latter deals with the painful legacy of colonization, but rewards the reader with great characters, an intriguing structure, much humour, good writing and engaging storytelling.

  8. What does your wardrobe consist of now that you have made changes following your Red Leopard experience? What pieces will you have for the immediate future and what colors are they? Your color adventure is so interesting and exciting!

    1. Hi Anita, my wardrobe currently consists of jeans, a couple of pairs of casual trousers, t-shirts (both long and short sleeves), a few jackets, a few sweaters, some sleeveless shells for layering (mostly kept from before the analysis) and a couple of printed blouses (also kept from before). What I’m still looking for are a) some lighter-weight patterned blouses, and b) trousers and tops that can be dressed up if needed.

  9. I can’t wait to get into Louise Penny’s latest Armand Gamache novel — A Better Man. For those who have not read these, please start at the beginning so that you get the full force of all of the character development. These books are not just mysteries! (Oh — and whenever possible, please buy your books from an independent book store so that we can have these wonderful community assets forever.)

    1. I agree with Anne. The Gamache series by Louise Penny is more than a mystery series. If at all possible, start from the beginning. Wish someone had given me that advice.

  10. Am loving wedge loafers – they really give an extra something to an outfit.

    Regarding colors – I contacted John Kitchener about a virtual appointment, sent pictures and never heard from him. I made he assumption that I’m just not attractive enough (the pictures were horrific) but if anyone has had experience with him doing virtual work, I’d love to hear about it.

    Reading Testament now – agree completely, Susan – Not as cerebral as her 1st novel, but really interesting and fun to read.

    1. Hi Beth, I’m sure that’s not the case re: JK. Have you tried contacting him again? Perhaps your email didn’t go through.

    2. Hi Beth,
      I contacted John Kitchener in early August and I just received his email and analysis a few days ago and am waiting to received the color palette notebook in the mail and then will schedule a follow-up call. I think it’s just that he is really busy-I thought he had forgot about me too! I love the picture of color palette he sent in the email-there were some surprising colors. Can’t wait for the actual color swatches!

  11. The Clarks leopard-suede loafer is available at a discounted price at Nordstrom Rack online–as well as in gray, blue, and black (many sizes, but medium width only). Search “Clarks Sharon.”

  12. Have you checked out the cashmere J. Crew sweaters? They seem to have a wide range of brighter colors this season. They are crew neck which you have mentioned you normally do not favor. I know v-neck tops look better on me but when I see a bright color I like, I often get it even if it’s crew neck.

  13. First time posting! I read “News of the World” by Paulette Jiles last month and couldn’t put it down! It’s relatively short, only about 200 pages or so, but the writing is exquisite. I don’t generally read very many novels, but this one was great. Quite a tale. As for clothes and shoes, I love seeing all your items and the comments. I had my colors done a long time ago and am a winter – dark hair, fair skin with freckles and blue eyes. But, the dark hair is gone as are most of the freckles. I still think most of the winter colors look best on me – reds, maroons, dark blues and greens. I love dark jade and have a sweater in that.

    1. Totally agree, Eileen. “News of the World” is a wonderful story exquisitely told. I’m now reading “Fly Already,” a new, terrific collection of very short stories by Etgar Keret. The title story of a father and his young son who see a man standing at the top edge of a tall building was riveting and layered. His understanding of human nature is extraordinary.
      As for colors, I’m a winter, but so far I’m still relying a lot of black, with a few jewel tone sweaters for a pop of brightness occasionally. I just feel more pulled together. Nothing makes me feel more confident than my favorite jeans and a nicely fitted black tee or cashmere v-neck sweater.

  14. Do you look at I have had good luck with delivery and returns using their website. The only con is that it takes a bit for the items to arrive and be credited when returned.

    I am following Red Leopard on social media now and I’m just fascinated. Who knew there was science behind color? Have a great day.

  15. These wedge loafers took me back to my childhood. Late 50’s or early 60’s. My mother bought me a pair of deep green shoes, I think that they were lace up, with big black wedge soles that were kind of zig zag on the bottom. Certainly not anything that any of my cute little girl friends were wearing. I hated them! I even remember the store we bought them in. I am not quite sure why she insisted I wear them. Usually she dressed us pretty nicely.
    Now I think these are kind of cute and I might try to get over my childhood trauma and buy a pair. Comfort with style is my #1 thing.
    Thanks for the memories, Susan. (I think!)

  16. I was recently on a European cruise and read your post about Pikolinos shoes. We spent a few days in Lisbon at the end and I spotted a Pikolinos shoe store and was thrilled to find 3 pair on sale. They are so incredibly soft and comfortable! What a great and practical souvenir!
    I liked “The Handmaid’s Tale” and love the Hulu series. I can’t wait to read “The Testiments.” Good Reads recently posted a great interview with Margaret Atwood and the book has been getting great reviews. It’s very thought provoking that she bases all her novels on events that have happened in the past.
    My book group is reading, “Educated.” It’s a true story about a woman raised by survivalists right here in the ol’ USA, wasn’t allowed to go to school, had very little contact with the outside world. and worked very hard to teach herself enough to be able to go to college. So don’t think these things don’t still happen to women all over the world.

  17. A practical question — what kind of shoe grips do you use?

    I’ve tried them in the past but most of them seem to be very temporary fixes… Would love any suggestions for a type that has more tenacity.

  18. I loved this book by Helen Simonson “The Summer Before the War: A Novel”. Not a “big book”, but a nice story, & lovely characters about a time so different and yet so similar to ours.

    1. One of my colleagues recommended The Summer Before the War to me (we are both librarians) and I thought it was wonderful! The status of women a century ago was an important theme and so was the dehumanizing effect of war. A lovely book. And if by any chance you have not read A Gentleman in Moscow, please don’t miss it. My favorite book of the millennium so far!


  19. I hear you on the color choices. You actually revived my determination to not settle, and it’s been great. For me, ivory and cream aren’t the best choices for whites, and I was settling, they are gone now. The more of us who buy what only works for us the better for the consumer market.
    I looked at a Pure Collection catalogue tonight ( They are British, and they have good sales and good quality clothes. The cropped length cashmeres would work for you I think, I’m petite and they work for me. I saw some colors that are calling your name.
    I work, and I love their pencil skirts, pretty colors and both solids and patterns. 100% lined wool, when does that happen in the States? Also, I was seeing a variety of cute wool pants.
    Thank you so much for

  20. Susan, have you checked out Boden for your new colors? They sell most items in petite sizes and often have rather unusual colors. I’ve heard good things about the quality. My wardrobe would be 90% Boden if they made plus sizes!

    1. Hi Wendy, thanks! I’ve actually been looking at their site for a few weeks, and have a couple of things on order to try.

      1. And, the nice thing about Boden is that Nordstrom also carries some of their line, which makes for easy shipping and free returns (if you’re worried about ordering from overseas)! I always check Nordstrom’s site if I find a Boden item I like and have lucked out a number of times.

  21. Thanks for the shoe recommendations – love them. Especially the leopard prints. I am reading Louise Penny’s “A Better Man” (cozy couch reading for fall) interspersed with more serious reads.

    I am seeing Margaret Atwood on Thursday night to talk about her new book – and re-read “The Handmaid’s Tale” (which has a new and very well-written forward) in preparation. The book really stands the test of time – read it back in university days – and as Margaret Atwood says, nothing in either “The Handmaid’s Tale” or the latest “The Testaments” is not taken from real life somewhere on the planet. Chilling thought.

    And yet, she remains hopeful.