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The Patent Shoe

Hello everyone, Alana here!!! I am SOO excited to be one of Jillian’s NEW contributors, so be sure to check back every other Tuesday to see what I create or check out my blog!

If you grew up in the 80’s like I did, patent leather shoes are tied to two distinct yet very different aesthetics: the shiny faux luxury of Julia Roberts in Pretty Women (pre-Richard Gere and boulevard makeover), and cutesy Mary Janes your mom dressed you in with a plaid jumper and pigtails.

I’ve largely avoided it since learning to dress myself, but in the last few years I’ve found myself starting to like the look. Patent leather is the Brussel sprouts of shoes: just because they were boring and gross when you were a kid, when you learn to roast them with truffle oil and black pepper, they taste good…okay, the metaphor is breaking down, but I think you get what I’m trying to say.

As a grown woman with a matured fashion palate, I have learned to love the glossy leather, and with the holidays right around the corner, patent leather is the perfect foundation of any festive look! Here are some of my favourite modern takes, to get that look that’s somewhere in between Vivian and Peggy Sue.

The Classic Pump
Patent leather makes the classic black pump current and fresh and is still versatile enough to wear with anything in your wardrobe. Try them with leather pants for extra texture, a pencil skirt when you mean business, or with ripped jeans to dress up a casual staple.


The Wingtip Brogue
Brogues are given some edge when finished with patent leather. Double down on the menswear theme by pairing them with a plaid suit or a overcoat, or go the other direction by pairing it with girly pieces like a floral midi skirt. They also look fantastic paired with boyfriend jeans and a leather jacket.


The Chelsea Boot
Straight out of Swinging London, the Chelsea boot looks fantastic in a shiny patent leather. Tip your hat to the rock and roll heritage of these boots by pairing it with a moto jacket and stiff brim fedora, or keep it casual with leggings and an oversized knit. ( I can totally see Jillian wearing this can’t you?!)


The Studded Kitten Heel
I’m calling these Valentino Rockstud-inspired kitten heels the perfect holiday shoe. They pair just as effortlessly with a tartan skirt as they do with rolled up jeans or those trendy tapered sweat pant. I’m adding them to my Christmas list!



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