Being from Texas, I have heard a hundred times, “if you don’t like the weather, just an wait an hour and it’ll change“, and this is sooo true. In the last 2 months back home, it has been hot, cold, wet, sleet etc. Because of this I have come to appreciate the recent change of weather in the desert of Abu Dhabi, and as things began to consistently heat up, I am in search of some hot fashion to match.
When it comes to my close friends, family or heck anyone who has ever talked to me for more than five minutes in life, then they know that I love fashion. I mean loooooove fashion. Did I mention I love fashion? Cause I love fashion. You know like when you hear people say “fashion is my passion” and you’re like “OH MY GOSH- that’s so cliche”. Well hello, my name is Cliche and what’s yours? I genuinely have a strong passion for it- which I’m sure we will get into later, because I love discussing fashion especially discovering what’s new, fresh and personally inspires me. And for Spring- it has always been and will be color, color and moreeeeee color.
That’s what Sophia Webster gives for me. Not only are we close in age, which is awe-inspiring, but I just love how she is so novel in what she creates. The brand is just so playful, fun and gives me uber fab vacation vibes, with what- COLOR!
For example-Exhibit A. I have been stalking the Pastel Jade Platforms for over a year now. Peep the Insta receipts!
When I first stumbled upon these colorful cuties, they retailed for 2295 AED, which is the equivalent to $625 US. I stalked and stalked and stalked, and when they finally went on sale for a more budget-friendly price at 915 AED ($250 US) they were sold out in my size. Which, by the way, I wear a size EU 41/ US 10- if anyone wants to be a best friend. Birthday soon cometh. They even released a similar style but in a different print (Malibu Multi), and because the Jade Pastel was so popular its no surprise that the Malibu is also selling out for the current summer.
I recently took my Mom on a visit to Level Shoes in Dubai Mall, where they always have some of the coolest visuals and they had an entire showcase of Sophia Websters on display but alas no Jade platforms. I even ran across these beauties on her Insta- @sophiawebster
You know just a cool $650. Carlos will understand right? I mean don’t these just scream Spring flamenco queen meets old school jelly sandals circa 1996. Don’t look at me like that-you know you loved your jelly sandals. Anyhow, being that they are beautiful, that price says that they may not be in my immediate future but hey you never know. And while I love the Jumbos, I just can’t seem to jiggle the Jades out of my “just need them now” thoughts for a Spring/Summer wardrobe.
So in the interim of trying to get my splash of a Spring fun fix, I think I have found some things that could fit the bill. These are equally amazing pieces that I felt wouldn’t break me at bank. For instance, I have come to love Aldo and especially Steve Madden (well I have always loved Steve). So many people believe that when you move to places like Abu Dhabi, all of sudden Gucci, Prada, Tom (as in Ford) and Stella (as in McCartney) are the new next door neighbors in your wardrobe. That’s just not the reality.
For many of us ex-pats, we are trying to live a life of sustainability by understanding that this Abu Dhabi adventure may not last forever and savings is key. So I look to the moderately priced shops like Steve Madden and Aldo to always come through, especially with a sale. For years, I avoided Aldo in the US, because they always ran small and narrow, however I have found that the selection here is the complete opposite. Not to mention I can also order from them online AND they deliver- COD (cash on delivery). So no paper trail to the hubby. Can you say WINNING!
Currently, Aldo is featuring a Spring handbag collection that is giving me some serious Domenico and Stefano vibes (for non fashion heads- that would be the amazing duo of DOLCE & GABBANA). I can definitely see the inspiration with the amazing use of color, texture, print, pattern and tone. Aldo is scratching that spring itch I have for bright and bold color that I thought only the “Jades” or even the “Jumbo Lilicos” could bring.
So I thought if I can’t have my Jades, then why not an equally as fun and colorful bag. Like Exhibit B, their featured- Around the World collection. Note-this collection may only be exclusive to the UAE, as it is not currently offered online.
I mean is this bag not fun? What better way to drop a not so subtle hint to the hubby on where our next vacation HAS to be, then the “Take me to Marrakech” bag at Aldo? With colorful pompom details and even the tiny tassels attached to the camel keychain- this bag is just more than adorable. And to add insult to fashion injury- they had the nerve to make an equally cute Mykonos themed one as well.
I am crazy for novelty items especially at a great cost. Each bag retails for 429 AED and I am definitely leaning more towards the Marrakech. Morocco- here I come, at least in spirit and in handbag. Hey a girl can dream Casablancan dreams, can’t she?
Back to reality. As Mom and I continued walking through Dubai Mall, I decided to stop by Steve Madden just to see if there were any shoes that I hadn’t seen lately. Low and behold, on the very first shelf was the perfect shoe for me. Similar to the Jade Pastel in shape and the Jade Malibu in color, was the Mandy by Steve Madden.
I mean how perfect and only 380 AED, combined with the fact that my Mom said they made my feet look small and my legs look nice. Now you know any compliment from a Mom is as good as gold and when Moms say you look nice, you may ACTUALLY look nice. So I was sold. I think they may even make an appearance this weekend. I love the playful trim against the contrast of the black and white stripes, and the 4″ platform shaped heel gives great stability.
What I have always told friends is that when you want a designer look, but may not always have designer dollars, its always okay to look to moderate brands for accessible and affordable options. And while I still lust and long for my Jades- for now, the Mandys will do just fine.
Stay tuned for more deets on when my Mandys hit the streets and how I style them.
The No So Jaded Devereaux