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If you live long enough, you’ll plant a few seeds that become wonderful surprises much later in life. See what I mean: I met Olivia 12 years ago when her mother brought her to my house in an infant’s car seat. She slept and cooed there while we had lunch and worked on a project. As volunteers on the board of a professional association, our visits were always half business, half social affairs.

Fast-forward 12 years: through a mutual friend, I learned that my former colleague was searching for a resource to help on a work-related project. We quickly renewed our friendship over the work and I’m getting reacquainted with her family, including Olivia, an eighth-grader with a passion for all things vintage. A girl after my own heart!

She’s a serious student who does gymnastics and serves as the photo editor on her class yearbook, which might have something to do with the quality of these photos. I begged them out of her mother for your enjoyment. These chunky, red vintage shoes were a $5 Goodwill discovery! Way to go ladies.

I’m looking forward to meeting Olivia and her younger sister in 2013. Meanwhile, Olivia and her shoes are the inspiration for the second installment of Go Red or Go Home. I have a weakness for red, especially when it comes to shoes.

Growing up as a redhead, my mom pronounced red clothes as forbidden fruit. (I did once have a pair of red patent shoes.) She was forever choosing green, blue and rust instead. As proof, I offer exhibit A above–even at Christmas, I couldn’t find one red dress in my archives. Oh, well. It’s a little late to be rebelling against my mother. Red was her best color and now it’s my favorite. (My grandmother made the little vest I wore in the photo on the right.)

Here’s a daily dose of red for your consideration! If you are still shopping for holiday dresses and accessories, here are some ideas for you. (All photos link to the sites where you can buy.)

My favorite reds

Essie Red Nails
I love the fact that Essie polishes are toluene and formaldehyde-free. Tomato red, creamy classic red, or ruby red––Essie has a wonderful collection of color. You may have to experiment to find your most flattering shade of red.
Essie - Red Nail Polish Shades (Really Red) - Beauty

Lucchese Boots
I’ve been craving a pair of these every since I saw them on my friend Jennifer Shirk. She’s a clever stylist to say the very least!
Lucchese - N4525 5/4 (Red) - Footwear

Red shoes
Inspired by Olivia’s Mary Janes? Check these out:
Fitzwell - Lorelei Maryjane Pump (Red Patent) - Footwear

For special occasion shoes, I’m a sucker for Nina. Love these peep-toes.
Nina - Forbes (Red Rouge Luster Satin) - Footwear
The red purse
Leather or vegan faux-leather? Your choice. Both bags are from ModCloth.
Ted Baker - Kassady Crystal Bobble Matinee Purse (Red) - Bags and Luggage

Vermillion Reasons Bag

Ruby red dresses

Love this one from the 1950s drawing board!
Top of the Twirled Dress

Or this one with a retro-inspired shape. The ruching at the waist is flattering on so many figures.
Dance Floor Date Dress in Scarlet

Red lace for a party, perhaps?
When the Night Comes Dress in Red

Which one is your favorite? What was your favorite Christmas dress ever?

Life is short. Wear the good stuff.