News & Trends: Style and Comfort

By: Susan Berman Hammer

Newest Heights in Quest for Fashion & Comfort Shoes: “Two for One” Heels

One of the hottest new trends in shoe design is a line of fashionable shoes with removable heels, according to The Wall Street Journal. Yes, you read that correctly! As more female shoe designers enter the male-dominated shoe industry, they're creating more shoe options for real women. Their shoes solve our divergent needs for fashion, practicality, comfort, price and yes, the foot and back problems of aging Boomers.

One designer – Tanya Heath – has introduced an ingenious yet simple solution to the spiked-heel problem. She created a line of high-fashion shoes with removable heels designed for working women and others who typically change roles many times throughout a day. And, Ms. Heath offers her shoes in various heel heights and widths.

To test the reliability of her shoes, The Journal reporter pushed the button inside each Heath-designed shoe, slipped off the high heels and slid on the lower-heeled version, then clicked them in place. Next, the reporter tried out the replacement heels on the hectic streets of Manhattan where she was able to climb subway stairs, walk over a grate and hail a taxi with ease. Her assessment: the heel technology is solid and the prices are reasonable, considering the fact that the buyer gets a great deal – a two-for-one price! Watch the video documenting the reporter's test here...

Other shoe designers are fashioning shoes offered in three or four heel height options. However, you must purchase several different pairs of the same style shoe to achieve the heel heights of removable-heel shoes. Or, resort to visiting a shoe repair shop to have the heels cut down. (For her son's wedding, this writer's shoemaker cut down her heels about an inch, allowing her to dance the night away without pain!)

Many up-and-coming shoe designers such as Edgardo Osorio of the four-year-old brand, Aquazzura, have made versatility and comfort his calling cards, according to The Journal. The current collection offers seven different shoe styles in three heights and one in four.

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Underwear: Thongs vs. “Granny Briefs”

Another hot trend favoring comfort involves women's underwear! Have you recently read about this trend in which more women are forgoing their thongs for more comfortable, high-waisted “granny panties”?

Each to his (or her) own, as they say. But, we can only hope that wiser women will coin a new phrase to describe the more comfortable undergarments. Do you have any ideas? Hope you'll leave them in the comments section below.

When talking about comfortable underwear, does the term, “granny briefs,” evoke stereotypes in your mind or doesn't it bother you? Please answer yes or no in the comments section below and we'll report the results next week if we have a good reader sample.

Read about the underwear trend here....

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Sizzling June Sales and Freebies

Now that you've spent most, if not all, of your clothing budget replacing your shoes and your undergarments, are you looking for some deals and a few freebies to feed and entertain your family and possibly spruce up your house?

Well, here are some suggestions from MarketWatch:

  1. On Father's Day, entertain your family at the movies. Kids' tickets are $1 each or buy 10 for $5 at Cinemark, Regal and Harkin theaters.
  2. Take advantage of free admissions for Dads (and Grand Dads) on Father's Day at zoos, museums and amusement parks.
  3. Groceries are cheaper in June, too; it's National Dairy Month. Check out the prices of yogurt, ice-cream, cheese and other dairy products.
  4. Take advantage of paint sales even if you haven't selected your home re-decorating colors yet. You can buy non-tinted paint, but be sure to ask your retailer if you can have it tinted and shaken at a later date.
  5. Visit donut stores with your kids or grandkids on June 5-National Donut Day-when donuts will be free at many locations.

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