News from the Tennessee Valley Living Today
TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 11, 2007
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Step into fall with shiny shoes, clockwise from top, gold-flecked ballet flat, metallic bronze stiletto, black peep-toe wedge, high-heel boot with western embellishments, chunky orange Mary Jane and short boot with metallic details. All styles are available at Shoe Gallery II in Athens.
Daily photo by John Godbey
Step into fall with shiny shoes, clockwise from top, gold-flecked ballet flat, metallic bronze stiletto, black peep-toe wedge, high-heel boot with western embellishments, chunky orange Mary Jane and short boot with metallic details. All styles are available at Shoe Gallery II in Athens.

Leave no shoe unturned
Shiny is in this fall with metallics, patent leather; Mary Janes, flats are here to stay

By Danielle Komis Palmer
dpalmer@decaturdaily.com 340-2447

With Labor Day and its smell of brats, burgers and beer behind us, stepping foot outside your house wearing white shoes would be like walking into a tractor pull and asking the drivers if they could please keep the noise down. Both are faux pas of the most serious order, and should certainly be avoided.

So be strong and pack away your white shoes and other summer shoes that suddenly scream "day at the pool" and prepare yourself for the annual switchover to fall's sleeker pumps, boots and ballet flats.

While in years past fall styles have sometimes induced more of a yawn than a shriek of excitement, the styles this year are refreshingly more pistachio almond than vanilla. And once the temperatures drop, maybe you'll be able to wear them without working up some foot sweat.

Not the last dance with Mary Jane

One fall trend that's quickly noticeable is the resurrection of the classic Mary Jane. Once reserved for schoolgirls, this season's stylish and versatile Mary Janes are for everyone. Whether in a dressy heel or an urban flat, chocolate brown or red, the shoes are back with a vengeance.

"They've just kind of jazzed them up a little bit," said Lauren Smith, owner of Shoe Gallery II in Athens.

Dressier Mary Janes pair well with a skirt to show off the buckle and details on the top of the shoe. However, the more casual Mary Janes are great to wear with pants.

Another popular style this fall is the ballet flat, which has officially crossed over from a shoe for the young and trendy to a staple for women of all ages. Fall's ballet flats are louder than their summer counterparts, with plenty of embellishments such as buckles and studding, said Carol Ralson, manager at Goody 2 Shoes in Decatur.

The fall version of the flats also features more texture and patterns than in the past, though standby black and brown are still available. Once only worn with leggings and a baby-doll top, the shoes are now often seen with skirts, jeans, or even worn in lieu of tennis shoes with a velour loungewear set.

Garner some attention

For the high-fashion set, the peep toe pump and the wedge heel are also popular this fall. The style is seen in classic fall colors such as black and brown as well as the bolder reds, greens and oranges that have become part of this fall's lineup. Patent leather also crossed over from a summer style into a fall style.

"You're starting to see a little bit brighter colors come out," Ralson said.

Animal print is again fashionable, she said.

"You can't have fashion without glitz and bling and a little animal print," she said. "It never completely goes out."

Gold standard

Metallic colors are also big this year, and are especially popular for nightwear shoes such as strappy stilettos. The style can be paired with skinny jeans and a cute top or with a skirt or dress, depending on the occasion.

Boot it up a notch

Fall wouldn't be fall without its necessary boot lineup. This year, tall, pointed boots are still stylish, though the addition of equestrian style embellishments, a fold-down top, or other detailing is especially in vogue right now, Smith said.

"It's not just the basic boot that everyone's had," she said.

Another chic boot this season is the short, ankle height boot that fashionistas advise pairing with skirts and fishnet or other patterned pantyhose. For the less daring crowd, however, the short boot can also be paired with trousers.

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