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1950s pumps Were you one of those kids who would slide your feet into any pair of grown up shoes you could find? I was. And yet, among all the vintage things I’ve collected, I hadn’t considered owning someone else’s shoes until I saw these Mary Jane pumps from the 1950s.

These came from a now defunct department store, Schlesinger’s Style Shop of Dyersburg, Tennessee. They weren’t in perfect shape, but they were an 8.5 narrow—just my size. The soles were so dry I thought they might disintegrate the first time I wore them. But after consulting my local resource for shoe repair, The Shoe Fits, I thought they were worth a restoration attempt. She soaked them in something called Blackrock Leather ‘N Rich, a fantastic way to restore leather goods of any kind.

She also replaced the badly worn linings. (See the originals below. Yuck!) Twenty dollars later, and voilà, a pair of authentic 1950s pumps. Now, I’m literally walking in someone else’s shoes—if only I could learn to walk like a lady!

Schlesinger's

Steal the style

If you like the look, here’s a Soft Style – Cloie (Black Patent) – Footwear, available at Zappos for $59.

1994901-p-MULTIVIEW

Fashion food

What you wear every day matters, not just because it makes you feel good today, but because it creates something lasting in ways you can never quite predict when it mingles with experience.

Violet

To wit: My friend Violet has had this dress since the 1950s. She first wore it as a floor length dress (I think as an attendant in a wedding) and later had it hemmed to a shorter length. “I was very excited to wear it again when I ushered for a Liberace concert,” she says. As she fingers the dress, you can only imagine the memories it stirs.

Violet shared it last week at a beautiful luncheon she hosted. Notice the walls and chairs in Violet’s living room––a yummy color that’s obviously been a favorite for a very long time!

Every time I have tea, I think of Violet. I know why I love her, but not why she loves me. She makes every part of life seem more beautiful.

Tuesday Tea

I hope the things I’m doing today will prepare me to be someone’s Violet when I am in my 70s. What are you doing today to mentor younger women?

Life is short. Wear the good stuff.

***I’m sending a big hug to many friends in the Boston area–Maureen, Sujei, Catherine, April, and so many others who’ve become part of our Facebook community. Your grief is our grief.