Heel to Toe
Best Mid-Priced Heel Brands

When shopping for high heels, it might not be best to break the bank. Who knows what drink spill, mud puddle or latte froth drop might be looming in your immediate future? Lucky for us there are plenty of mid-priced heel options for shoe lovers. The less a pair costs, the more you can buy, right? But you don't exactly want to be buying the cheapest off-brands, either. You just won't get the same life out of the cheapest shoe lines, and they're more likely to make your feet ache. Take a peek at the list below for some stylish mid-priced options and spend your leftover cash on a latte!

Jessica Simpson ($40 to $250)

Sweet, sexy, fun and cute can describe the Jessica Simpson line of shoes. The brand matches the women herself. Available in a wide range of fun colors and styles, this is a pick that is as easy on the wallet as it is on the eyes. Found almost everywhere from Department stores to TJ Maxx to online shoe shops, if you need a quick shoe fix try a pair of Jessica Simpsons.


Sam Edelman ($90 to $200)

If you’re not familiar with the Sam Edelman brand, you might recall a few of his previous incarnations such as Sam & Libby, Kenneth Cole and Esprit - all serious fashion powerhouses through the last three decades. The Sam Edelman brand is bent on bringing fashion forward style to women at a price point they can afford, for not only shoes but handbags, outerwear and jewelry, too.


Dolce Vita ($95 to $250)

Uncomplicated style that is naturally flirtatious, this Italian brand makes a splash without cleaning out your bank account. Attention to detail and lots of mixed metals and textures make this footwear a favorite among the fabulous. Whether you are going for edgy or graceful (or both), make life sweet for your feet with Dolce Vita.


Guess ($30 to $250)

Founded in 1981 by the Marciano brothers, the Guess label has been emblematic of young, sexy and adventurous style. Known for some of the hottest denim on the globe, those same qualities hold true with the extensive shoe line. Loads of fun prints, mixed with metal butterflies, fur and feathers with a healthy dose of sex appeal make this a favorite for sure.


L.A.M.B. ($150 to $495)

Prefer your footwear fresh and funky? Check out L.A.M.B the fashion line from artist Gwen Stefani. The daughter of seamstresses, Stefani has become a major fixture in the fashion world. The L.A.M.B acronym stands for Love Angel Music Baby, her first album, and draws from influences from around the world. Let your inner rock star shine and your fashion "voice" be heard in a pair of pumps from L.A.M.B!


Chinese Laundry ($40 to $150)

Born in the 1980's, Chinese Laundry are creators of groundbreaking styles for young women with outstanding quality and value to match. The company prides itself on heavy consumer research and creative insight, which they credit for keeping the brand a household name for decades.


ALDO ($80 to $150)

Founded by Aldo Bensadoun, ALDO shoes have a look that helps the user protrude the feeling of uniqueness, and they're reasonably priced. You can find ALDO shoes everywhere from your local mall to the web, and always be sure to check out their clearance sections. At these prices, you can get one of ALDO's diverse looks for every day of the week and not break the bank.


Fergie Footwear ($70 to $190)

What's not to love about Fergie? She has been a success in a band, as a solo artist, a mother, and now a fashion designer. Fergie Footwear is nothing short of "Fergalicious", and you might find the song stuck in your head as you strut down the street in a pair of her remarkably designed high heels. Check them out at a store on on her website.


Steve Madden ($80 to $170)

Steve Madden states “I get my inspiration from pounding the pavement all over the world.” A huge brand globally this fashion forward line is inspired by rock and roll, a sexy edge and a global grasp. Wherever your party is on 5th Avenue or the neighborhood bar, Steve Madden makes a pair of awesome shoes to wear to it. Plus, Steve Madden makes a slew of rainwear, watches, handbags and more.

This handy little guide just goes to show you that you don’t have to skimp on style when pinching pennies. There are plenty of beautiful shoes to fit every sized foot and every sized wallet. So leave the spenders guilt at home and hit the pavement for another pair or two!

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10 Ladies Night Themes That Don't Include Beads or Bars

If you have a handful of lady friends you know that it doesn't take a lot to have a great time together.  Two for one drinks and stale taquitos do have their merits however some aspects of the standard ladies night theme tends to get a little worn over time.  Here are ten ladies night themes that don’t include bars, beads or even serious shopping.

Spa Night

Get some friends together for facials, foot soaks, manicures and pedicures. There is no shortage of over-the-counter products or find an all-natural recipe on the internet and try your hand at whipping up a facial mask. Enjoy a night of nurturing and rejuvenation. Remember, ladies only, and hold the camera, no pictures please!

Champagne Flights

The French flight takes off at 7:00pm sharp! No passport required. What’s a more wonderful treat than some bubbly with friends? So many to taste and so little time! You could do tastes by region, pink champagnes, or sparkling wines, even non-alcoholic for those who do not imbibe. Let your imagination run wild.

Oscar Party

Films aside, this is really an excuse to dish on celebrities and discuss how they are dressed. Oscar parties are fun and all you need is a TV, some simple appetizers and your friends. Cast ballots and see how they match up with the real winners; those with the best picks get to go home with a little gold man.

Vinyasa & Vino

Most yoga studios will have information on private lessons in your home, or even a different location like an event space or park. You could also tune into a number of DVD’s or online resources to lead a yoga class for close friends. After your mind and body has unwound, unwind everything else with a nice glass of wine.

She's Crafty

You don’t have to be Martha Stewart to enjoy a simple craft with friends. You will be surprised at how fun and relaxing a creatively infused evening can be. Keep it simple. Try painting flower pots and plant paper white bulbs to enjoy a winter bloom indoors! Again, the internet is full of clever ideas for using recyclables or other household items that you can easily transform.

Plus One

Try this for a holiday party, book club, or really any gathering will suffice. Each attendee is required to bring one girlfriend. It’s really fun and a great way to meet new people and expand the social circle. Try a white elephant gift or other party game to encourage mingling. 

Clothing Swap

An event best spent with closer friends. Invite people to bring clothes they would otherwise donate and then swap amongst your friends! Easy and entertaining, brainstorm awards for the most 80’s ensemble or prom theme; the possibilities are endless and you might wind up with a new outfit or two!

Book Exchange

The concept is similar to the clothes swap but with fewer wardrobe changes. Attendees bring books that are ready for a new home and trade amongst themselves. Add a pot of soup, rustic bread and some warm drinks and this makes for a cozy evening.

Coordinated Dinner

Pick a dinner item -- pizza, burrito, salad or calzone -- and each attendee brings an ingredient. You can also assign a side, drinks or dessert and have a fun night creating your dinner! It’s an easy plan to commit to and people can take home the leftovers as a party favor. 

Movie Night

It doesn’t take a lot of supplies to have a blast watching chick-flicks with your girlfriends. Some healthy popcorn, nachos and a hunk of chocolate is all it takes. Try one of these 30 chick flicks or one of your personal favorites. 

Ladies night together doesn’t have to require a morning-after Advil or even a heavy hit to the wallet. A little creativity can go a long way and your friends will love you for it!

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Shoe Brands That Give Back

As women, we work hard and we play hard. And we care about how our feet look and feel while doing it. Our shoe fetish feels a lot more "right" knowing that many top shoe designers are highly regarded in the philanthropic world. Many of them raise awareness and donate millions to diverse causes from agricultural scholarships to rape centers. Here are just a few examples of shoe brands that give back. 


Miuccia Prada, granddaughter to the fashion empire’s founder Mario Prada, started a nonprofit organization in 1993 called Prada Arte Milano to support contemporary art and industrial building in Milan. It has been renamed to the Prada Foundation and has broadened focus to include photography, cinema, design and architecture.

Jimmy Choo

Jimmy Choo’s philanthropic efforts seem to be as dynamic and diverse as his shoe designs. He has partnered with The Elton John Foundation and has raised millions for a South African Rape Centre. He designed a one-of-a-kind line of shoes to raise funds and awareness for the disaster in Fukushima, Japan. He used local fabrics and silks as well as shoe making techniques with all proceeds donated to local organizations. Co-Founder Tamara Mellon has recently launched the Jimmy Choo Foundation which is focused on women’s empowerment.

Donna Karen

Donna Karen has been a distinguished philanthropist her entire career. She uses her company’s visibility and resources for a number of social causes including AIDS awareness and education, Ovarian Cancer Research Fund and - along with her husband - formed the Karan Weiss Foundation in 1999. In 2007, she began the Urban Zen Initiative, which works to advance wellness, preserve culture and empower children. She also works closely with the Clinton Global Initiative to support and develop Haitian Artists.

Manolo Blahnik

When sample shoes build up to a sizable supply for Manolo Blahnik, they are taken to a sample sale at Litchfield, Connecticut’s Arethusa Farm. The sale benefits the Arethusa Farm Scholarship Fund, which helps agriculture students pay for their education.

BCBG Max Azria

One of the most philanthropic couples in Las Angeles, Max Azria and Lubov Azria support an array of compelling causes. The American Cancer Society as well as Susan G. Koman for the Cure are just two. Their interests span into the art world and include NYC’s Whitney Museum and the Museum of Contemporary Art, or MOCA, Los Angeles.

This short list is really just the tip of the fashion iceberg as to what socially conscious designers do with their time and resources. As a consumer, we have the opportunity to make informed choices and choose where our money goes... right down to the shoes that we buy. It's just another way to feel good while looking good.

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How Have You Helped a Fellow Woman This Week?

The Chec-American Diplomat and Politician known for a long and distinguished career also knows of what she speaks. Her strongly worded quote, while perhaps not the most encouraging, can be used as a reminder that as women we have an obligation to help each other. There are so many facets to gender inequality that it can be absolutely dizzying, so a good way to refocus is to think of the small, everyday things that women have done for you that have made a difference in your life.

When has a women done something nice for you? Of course you remember what it was and what it meant to you, no matter how small. Do it for another woman, and then do it again.

Small Ways for Women to Help Women

  • Face-time, for real: Studies show that reaching out to a friend/relative/ acquaintance each day will make you happier, so make that person a female. That could be a phone call or spending some time together. Emails, texts and Facebook posts don’t count.
  • Notes: Flashback to middle school. What was it like to receive a note on that white paper with blue lines? Did you feel a sense of excitement and inclusion? If you hear about a woman you know or think of her during the day, write it on a note card and send it to her in the mail. It’s a small act, but one that goes miles, literally.
  • Volunteer with a women’s organization: Do a google search of women’s organizations in your area and you will hit the jack-pot. Depending on the mission of the organization, many prefer to work with female volunteers. You could become a mentor, aid in a micro-finance group, or simply grocery shop for a domestic violence shelter. Your time and efforts will be greatly appreciated.
  • Share a Memory: Do you have an old friend that you greatly cherish but have perhaps lost touch with? Reach out to your special friend to say a quick hello and share a memory that makes you smile. It's like #tbt, but in real life.
  • Hold the Door: Why does this always have to be one directional? We women should go out of our way to do little things like this.
  • Pay it Forward: In line for Starbucks or the dry cleaners? Pay for the female in line behind you. It will have lasting effects on their day.
  • Let's Do Lunch: Make way in your busy schedule to buy lunch for your friend or co-worker. Want to take it a step further? How about a ladies' night out?

Once you put your mind to it, you can brainstorm lots of examples of how you can help another woman. Many times it’s something we do almost unconsciously like a smile in passing or a door held ajar. Think about what a difference it has made in your life and how you can continue reaching out to other women. That sounds better than hell, doesn’t it? 


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What to Wear to the Office During the Summer

Our Top 5 Trends Keep you Professionally Cool When Temperatures Rise

Warmer weather is a perfect excuse to jazz up the work wear wardrobe. Now is the opportune time to mix in colors, prints and accessories that might look less than appropriate during the winter months. 

Look for inspiration everywhere. Allow music and art festivals to inspire your professional fashion spirit. Don’t forget that farmer's markets, outdoor concerts and other venues can be a wealth of outfit inspiration, and a treasure trove for that hard-to-find accessory you’ve been searching for.

1. Fitted, Detailed Dresses

These can be a fun day-to-night work option for the summer. Feel free to mix up the textures: leather and mesh, silk and metal, and a throw on a jacket and some accessories for an extra polished look.

2. Bright, Vintage-Inspired Prints

Who doesn’t feel lovely wearing bright floral patterns? Are fruits and flowers too much for the cubicle? Try a small purse or hand bag in a fun print.

3. Slick Jacket

A slick jacket is the working girl's go-to piece. Again, texture is fun, especially in the summer. Look for linens, soft suede and and juxtapositions in style/print like this floral bomber jacket or a sequined tuxedo.

4. Sequins

A few sparkles can really jazz up an outfit, but a word of caution; when incorporating sequins, a little goes a long way. Keep it to one sequined piece or accessory and pair with neutral tones.

5. Pencil Skirt

Look and feel pretty, and powerful! The pencil skirt is timeless, flattering and feminine, and can hold its own during a power lunch. Look for lightweight fabrics that offer some stretch and pair with a blouse.  

As a fashion conscious professional, use the summer to experiment with your professional look. Dabble in sequins and prints and, when in doubt, don a slick jacket. And don't forget some foxy shades. You're feeling cooler already!

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