Wednesday, May 19, 2021

Archived Leopard Shoe Flashback, Best Red Dress and Bella

Continuing in my quest to feel better through Colour Therapy, today I'm featuring my Best Red Dress. I know some of you were very sad when I chucked the last red dress (this one) into my giveaway pile, but when I mentioned I had another, better, red dress...this is the one I meant. 
I hope you will agree that this is a much better red dress! 

  • Dress - Little Moon, consignment; last worn here (2nd outfit) for a party in the park in July 2020
  • Shoes - Steve Madden, San Francisco, 2006; last seen way back here in November 2017!
  • Coat (below) - Cache, consignment; last worn here in April with my now-gone other red dress

I had planned on wearing my new-to-me leopard shoes (these ones) with this dress, but when I tried all of it on yesterday, they didn't work. I put them on with various pants, skirts and dresses, and just Did. Not. Like. Them. So off they go - to the giveaway pile. I'm not ashamed to admit when I made a shopping mistake. 
But I still wanted to wear my leopard bits! What to do? Then I remembered that I actually have my Best Leopard Pumps still, even though they live in my Closet Archives. 

They're way too high for work...but since it's dead in the office these days, I'm not running around in them at all. Doable! Now I can enjoy my red dress. 
This is the first time I've belted the dress, and I liked it. 

I love the row of ruffles running down each side. 
The centre of the skirt (front and back) is all pleated. 

The sleeves are see-through, but the body of the dress is lined. 
However, it's still on the sheer side, so I added another full vintage slip underneath.

Masked up - duh, of course, it's leopard.
Note that this dress has pockets! It's the perfect jammy dress. 

Outerwear - we're in for a hot and sunny weekend (yay!), but today was a mix, including a thunderstorm warning. 
I'd better add some accoutrements!

You know I had to wear my leopard coat! 
I am the Queen of Matchy-Town! All that leopard makes me so happy. Isn't that a great coat? 

Outerwear stuff: 
I can only wear this hat when it's not windy, or it blows off (it's just a smidge too big). It's great in the rain.

  • Hat - vintage, thrifted, Vancouver
  • Wool gloves - Roberta's Hats
  • Mask - Lazy Susan's

The stuff: 
Ooh, just looking at those shoes makes my feet hurt. I do love the shape of them, though. We'll have a Flashback on them (and we'll be going waaaaay back to 2008!) shortly.

Minimal bling: 
I kept it simple - the dress itself is so bold, I didn't need much. 

  • Belt - Talbots, thrifted
  • Earrings - Biko, consignment
  • Klimt ring - consignment
  • Ring - c. 1996

Flashback: Steve Madden Leopard Shoes

I bought these "pony hair" leopard pumps on a weekend vacation trip to San Francisco in October 2006, at DWS (Designer Shoe Warehouse), for around $70.00, which felt like a fortune at the time. I love buying clothing/shoes/jewelry when I'm on vacation. 
2006 was pre-blog, and I was mid-way through my weight-loss journey of 50+ pounds, so I didn't want to buy any clothes, but that's the nice thing about shoes. They fit no matter what size you are! 

I have had the Dr. Scholl's leopard insoles in them since I got them, as that's a four-inch heel. These are not comfy shoes, but they were much more doable for me 10+ years ago than they are now. 
They were one of my very first pairs of "good" shoes I'd ever owned, so have always been very special to me. Although I've looked at and owned many other pairs of leopard shoes, I haven't found a Best Leopard Shoe (yet!) to replace these altogether, so they live in my Archives (aka, the top shelf of my closet). 

This is the first time I wore them at my old job, in April 2008.
Low-waisted, pleated, wide-legged pants - who knew they'd come around again 13 years later! 

Another boring brown skirt in May 2008. 
That's my mom's green necklace that I still wear regularly. I only took one outfit picture per post back in 2008 - and I still hadn't quite gotten the hang of getting all of my outfit in the picture. I've nearly cut my own feet off! 

I had this apple green ruffled cotton blouse for years - it was Esprit, from when we had a store here. 
My dear Cat was new as a friend then - this was in June 2008 - she made that tiger-eye necklace for me (which I still have somewhere). 

I briefly toyed with fluffy hair (working with my hair's natural curl), here in September 2008. 
I noted that this got a "Whoa!" reaction from my colleagues - I wasn't sure if it was the red lipstick (not a usual thing for me then) or the yellow and black mix. 

This is in February 2009. As you can see, I've always been goofy. I can kick! 
Most of the clothes in these old pictures are long-gone - I had to replace my entire wardrobe (everything but socks) within a couple of months, and many of the pieces were bought because I needed to wear something to work, not because I really loved them. 

In March 2009 - this is the same red sweater as above (I've always been a fan of red + leopard). I still have that scarf, which is from 1999-2000.
I've cut my feet off again! I still have that black Gianfranco Ferre skirt, but it's in with my fall/winter stuff (I rested it last year while I got my stress-eating-chocolate weight back off). 

Another one of my since-upgraded Best Red Dresses, this one in July 2009.
I recall it was a bouncy t-shirt material. No pockets and I didn't like the wide sleeves - I'm very fussy about my clothes! 

If I look self-conscious here in March 2010, it's because this was the first time I'd worn skinny jeans in a LONG time. 
My friends talked me into them! Remember when skinny jeans were new and felt so tight and weird? So long ago! 

This is June 2010. My hair's a mess because I used to carry all my clothes to walk the 6 km each way to work every day, and then get dressed again when I got home at night for my pictures. 
I loved that marigold yellow cashmere sweater - that might have been the first cashmere anything I ever owned! I was shopping second hand regularly by this point. 

My coworkers at my old job called this "fancy" - oh, they should see me now, ha ha! This was in September 2010.
One of many velvet blazers I've owned over the years. 

I've always liked wider-leg trousers - this was in March 2011, just after I started my current job. 
I thought I was very adventurous, mixing plaid and leopard! 

A rare picture from my early blonde phase, in April 2013. 2012 was my year-long wardrobe challenge, and these shoes didn't make it into any of my capsules. 
I loved that dress so much! Unfortunately, the fabric was horrendously pill-y and looked awful after about a year. Sad, but I do have a current version of my Best Chartreuse Dress still (this one).  

This cream satin high-waisted skirt was a favourite for many years - this was in June 2013.
Back to red hair.

This yellow skirt - seen here in February 2014 - is still my wardrobe. 
As you might have noticed, I've had a couple of leopard belt over the years. 

This is my current leopard belt (which I paid a dollar for) worn over the same black stomacher as above with the chartreuse dress.
And that's Vizzini, being a nuisance. This is December 2014, and that's yet another one of my past versions of Best Red Dress (I didn't like the shoulders, it was a funny length and it didn't have pockets). 

I still have this ruffle-hem leather skirt, seen here in July 2015.
At one point during my purple hair period, I got rid of most of my clothes that clashed with it, including this mustard jacket. 

The same leather skirt in July 2016, worn with my Fendi belt. 
I wish I'd kept that 80s silk top. Ah, well, I can't hang onto everything! 

And this is the last time I wore these shoes, in November 2017. 
I still have both that glittery copper top and the skirt. The cashmere cardigan was worn around the house until it dissolved from being eaten by moths. 

Mathy stuff: Including today's outfit, I've worn these shoes 19 times over 15 years, which is $3.68 per wear. They were worn a lot more when I (and my feet) were younger, so they live in my Archives now, ready to spring into action if I need I did today. 

Do you consider leopard shoes a wardrobe essential? How are your feet with heels these days? Yes, no, or only short heels? 


One last thing to add. In the past couple of years, I've taken my coworker Zeudy's teen daughter Bella shopping multiple times. Bella and I get along great, and it's been fun shopping with her and helping her gain an appreciation for vintage/second-hand clothes, as well as teaching her how to find clothes that really suit her. 

Well, she just graduated high school and mom Zeudy sent me some pictures.
What a gorgeous dress! I love the colour. That's Zeudy on the right - also looking amazing! 

I encouraged Bella to wear Converse (her favourite shoes) for grad, and according to Zeudy, "She was so happy and comfortable, not worried about having to walk funny on high heels that she will never use again." 
Way to go, Bella! I'm so proud of you, and so glad I had a tiny part in your grad. 


  1. The red dress is stunning, I just love it! Also, it works so nicely with the leopard print, love the matching face mask. You are gorgeous!

  2. I’m not a leopard wearer but oh my gosh that doesn’t stop me from admiring it on others! The matching mask, belt and shoes plus the coat, oo la la! The red and the leopard play well together. :) I get a kick each time you do a flashback as it’s interesting to follow the evolution of your style plus each outfit gets me thinking about styling possibilities, kind of like taking a course on Style.

    Your shopping outings with Bella had me smiling. Congratulations to this confident radiant young woman on her graduation!

    1. You know I had to go full matchy, Laurie, ha ha! Thank you!

      I like these old Flashbacks, especially - it's fun to see how my style has changed, and there are some good ideas there!

      I was so proud to have been a small part of it!

  3. What a pretty design to this dress. And, in the back of my head, I always hear your voice, "Put a belt on it." :)

    1. Thanks, Ally! Ha ha, not always, but it's worth a short, for sure.

  4. That dress is a fantastic upgrade, I much perfer all the ruffles and pleats to her plainer predecessor. The red looks superb with leopord print which, by strange coincidence, I also wore on my feet today!
    I spy "our" pendant in the flashbacks.
    Bella looks wonderful and I'm so glad she wore her Converse rather than heels, much cooler! xxx

    1. Yup, I agree, Vix - I don't want all of my Best dresses to look the same, so I appreciate the interesting details of this one. I saw that! Who doesn't love leopard? I knew you'd spot "our" pendant!

      Isn't that awesome? Thanks!

  5. Leopard is not an essential for me ... and it's been well over 30 years since last I wore high heels. I tend to look at the feet of happy 90-year-old women, and emulate their choice of comfy shoes. Or go barefoot. Possible where I live for much of the year, not so much in your city.

    1. Fair enough, Lin! I don't wear heels this high anymore, but for the small amount I wore them, it was worth it so that I could do the Flashback.

      Good call, but consider they had poorer quality shoes than we often wear now. No, not much barefoot here!

  6. I'm fairly certain the first WHOA was prompted by how skinny you look. That skirt gives you the perfect look, long and lean.

    1. Thanks, Cha Cha! Nah, my coworkers at that office witnessed my weight loss, so they were all used to my former skinniness - however, they had not seen me dressing like this, so that was the Whoa!

  7. Definitely a much better dress in every way, Sheila! Some serious ruffling and pleating going on here. Loving the leopard bits with it, even if those heels look lethal to me. I had to walk away from an amazing pair of shoes today, and they were only half as high and a block heel!
    I gasped when I spotted your leopard coat, that's just perfect with your dress too.
    Bella looks fabulous in that magnificent gown, and I'm glad to hear she followed your advice and wore Converse. xxx

    1. Thanks, Ann! I love the details, and yup, those are lethal heels. I definitely can't have them in regular rotation, but I really wanted to give them a Flashback. You have to pass on shoes that hurt, good for you!

      Isn't it awesome? So much better than the cream fluffy one.

      I'm so proud of her!

  8. What a dreamy red dress! It looks perfect on you. I also love the vintage slip you wore underneath. Moreover, belting this red dress proved to be the right choice. It certainly looks chic. The leopard pumps are the icing on the cake. The leopard pumps and coat look so amazing with this dress. Very sexy styling. There is something very classical and feminine about the pairing of red and leopard.
    It was fun seeing all the way you wore those leopard pumps. You have had them for a while but they still look great. The short blond hairstyle was very nice btw. I think my fav flashback look is with the yellow pencil skirt. The leopard belt you wore with it matches the heels perfectly.

    I have one pair of heeeled leopard shoes, a block heel so it's quite comfy but a bit too high to be truly comfortable. So, I'm still looking for my perfect leopard shoes.

    1. Thanks so much, Ivana! I enjoy my collection of vintage slips and they are so useful. I like the dress without a belt too, but it's nice to have the option. I loved all the leopard!

      Yeah, that belt got worn out - the one I have now is better quality, even though it's not a perfect match. My search is still on!

  9. Love the red dress. Those shoes are killer!

    Congratulations to Bella on graduating She looked beautiful!

    1. Thanks, Nana! Yeah, the shoes are very high! My feet were tired.

      Doesn't she? So proud of her!

  10. I love that red dress, I can see why that's the one you kept, and it looks so good with all the leopard! They are such good shoes too, you wear them well.

    Congrats to Bella on her graduation - I'm glad she followed your wise advice and was comfortable in the Converse! :)

    1. I would love to find a version of these shoes with a 1-inch heel, Mica! Thanks so much - I love this dress.

      Isn't that awesome? I'm so happy to be an influence.

  11. That red dress is gorgeous, and I agree, it is much better than the other one. I love the addition of the leopard coat and accessories, such a fabulous outfit! It's fun to look back at old blog photos. My feet can't tolerate high heels now but I can't bear to part with any of my shoes! I think my daughter may claim some of them when her feet grow! Thanks for linking up, hope you have a great weekend!

    Emma xxx

    1. Thanks so much, Emma. The look with the leopard coat is my favourite. I enjoy looking back at the old pics with these, but I can't wear them on any kind of normal basis these days.

  12. The Converse shoes was a very good advice to Bella; nobody is seeing them anyway with that long fantastic dress above it.
    I agree, this red (colour) dress is way better than the one you gave away. It gets an A+ from me. Combining it with leopard high heeled shoes, really made my heart sing. I am such a high heeled lover, even though I know they are terrible to walk on.
    When I saw the picture of you in the red dress with the leopard coat on top, I drew my breath in appreciation. How good is that?
    I also liked you as in your early blonde phase, one for the blonde hair which I think looked great and two because of that gorgeous green dress.

    1. Right? I would have given myself that advice back then.

      Thank you - I really love it with the leopard. I love that picture with the coat too.

      Thank you! I loved that warm blonde and I do really miss that dress.

  13. Converse are an excellent shoe choice with fancy dresses! Red and leopard is a stellar pairing. I can't think of another colour that looks as good with a leopard print.

    1. I totally agree! Why be uncomfortable when no one can see your feet? I so agree - red and leopard are a classic combo.

  14. Huge congratulations to Bella!!! What a gorgeous, elegantly hued dress she opted for. Wonderful and very pragmatic footwear suggestion. If heels aren't one's thing or are going to be far more pain than their worth, why bother? After all, most people will only have one prom and who wants the standout memory from it to be aching feet?

    Autumn Zenith 🧡 Witchcrafted Life

  15. Sheila, this red dress really is fabulous! Those side ruffles are the best! And I always love red with leopard. Your leopard coat is equally fabulous! And how wonderful that Bella went for the Converse! She looks so beautiful! Converse or combat boots are always my choice of footwear with formal gowns. I find the gowns so uncomfortable that I have to wear comfortable shoes. No need for uncomfortable clothes and shoes at the same time!


    1. Thanks, Shelbee! I love the design of this dress, and it's even better with leopard. I know, so proud of Bella for being comfy and stylin' in her Cons!

  16. That red dress is a definite PHWOAR DRESS! It looks glorious on you and you've accessorized it perfectly. Although I'm not, as you know, a huge animal print fan, you always make it it look fabulous.
    I'm always in search of a 'best red dress'. I've still got a lovely short one which I wore the first time I danced with my husband before we got together. I have a great Orla Kiely one with teapots on which I love but I would like a flowing one like this!
    Love all the different iterations of the leopard items. I used to be awful with photos missing my feet too!

    1. I'm not 100% sure what "PHWOAR" is, but I get the gist! Ha ha, thanks so much, Kezzie! I'm always looking for the better or best version of my wardrobe classics. I can't see myself getting rid of this one unless I find something better (hard to imagine).

      Ha! Yes - I only took one picture too.

  17. Lovely outfit for a lovely Queen of Matchy-Town!, so fantastic red dress (I'm a huge fan of Red anyway, and totally love this Best Red Dress, fabulous ruffles!). And leopard and red make a fabulously sassy combo!.
    Lovely flashback, always amazing to see the style evolving, the hairstyle changing and trends coming back in fashion!

    1. Thank you, Monica! It's definitely one of the best red dresses I've seen. I know, isn't it funny? It all comes around.


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