Monday Musings: What Are Your Shoes Doing For You?

Monday Musings: What Are Your Shoes Doing For You?

Happy Monday ladies. Hanukkah is already here and we’re on the home stretch for Christmas. Mr. AWSL and I spent the weekend running errands and trying to get ready for the holidays. I did a little window shopping and a whole lot of people watching. What caught my eye was the number of women who were wearing clumpy, bulky, athletic shoes that destroyed the look of their outfits.

Trust me, I get it. I’m a woman with problem feet so shoes are always a struggle. But I am on a quest to find an alternative that is stylish and comfortable.

Ballet Flats

My feet have been giving me more problems than not these days. I’m not sure if it’s that snarky bunion I have been trying to ignore or if I’m spending too much time on my feet, but comfort has been alluding me. So when I ran across this new (to me) company that makes an affordable ballet flat that is highly rated for comfort, I had to order a pair. Then I ran across these which come in 9 colors, 3 widths, and have a 5mm foam insole. The reviews are so good, I ordered them too. You may see a theme here…I’m on the hunt for a cute ballet flat that is easy on the feet. I will keep you posted.

Workout Clothes

I mentioned these very briefly here and several of you expressed an interest in what’s new and stylish for working out. I need to update all my things so I’ll be motivated to put them on and go to the gym more often. The newest fabrics are moisture-wicking, super soft and a world apart from what I have been wearing. With the new year looming, now’s the time to get back on track to get the exercise my body needs. You can spend a small fortune on workout clothes but nice ones are available at all price points. I’m on the hunt for color and shapes that feel fun like these very highly rated bootleg workout pants.

Micellar Water

This multiuse cleansing water has been popular in France for many years. It’s made up of tiny micelles (oil molecules) suspended in soft water which cleanses and hydrates your skin without drying it out. And it works! I no longer use a makeup remover. I simply pour some Micellar water on a cotton pad and wipe my face clean. I use both sides to remove my eye makeup, then a fresh pad to swipe over my skin. You can use micellar water instead of a facial cleanser or before. It’s very gentle on my skin and leaves it feeling soft and fresh.

Cruelty-Free Micellar Water

Faux Leather Leggings/Pants

I avoided these for years because the only ones I saw were super shiny and skin tight. Then last year I bought these, which look more like actual pants and have a ponte knit back which makes them super comfy. This year when I ran across these, bought them and love them. I’m glad I kept an open mind about faux leather pants because these two pairs are getting a lot of wear this winter.Pearl embellished sweater from Ann Taylor with faux leather leggings on A Well Styled Life

Have you tried faux leather pants or leggings?

What do you wear them with?

This post may contain affiliate links which won’t change your price but will share some commission.


  1. Nancy
    December 24, 2019 / 7:44 am

    I would be one of those women with needy feet whose shoes ruin their outfit. But, sometimes we go to town for breakfast and end up walking 10 miles! Since starting the angry orthopod foot stretches, I am tremendously better off. I’m making a list of all these brands mentioned and am going to try to branch out from New Balance for 2020.

  2. Lois Williams
    December 23, 2019 / 10:26 pm

    I have very large, problem feet & now that I’m mostly retired, I wearTom’s vegan flats all the time. Extremely comfortable.

    • Lois Williams
      December 23, 2019 / 10:29 pm

      Of course, clunky, pricey athletic shoes with all sorts of outfits seem to be quite the rage in all the fashion posts I see.

      • Jennifer
        December 24, 2019 / 7:26 am

        It sure is common. I think you can get away with almost anything if you’re young, thin, and pretty 😉

  3. Lisa
    December 23, 2019 / 4:00 pm

    I thought I was too old for leather pants but they look fabulous on you. I think I might start looking for a pair…..not sure where I would wear them, though.

    • Jennifer
      December 24, 2019 / 7:25 am

      I thought the same thing before I bought them. They dress down easily and look cute with slip on sneakers as well as booties or heels.

  4. Rebecca
    December 23, 2019 / 2:04 pm

    For ballet flats, try Vionic. Very fashionable and comfy. I have plantar fasciitis and they have really helped me. Cute boots too. Thanks for sharing.

  5. Jill
    December 23, 2019 / 12:56 pm

    Hotters Shoes are my go to shoes and boots. They have good sales and come in different widths.
    Merry Christmas and thank you for your most informative blog.

  6. Renee
    December 23, 2019 / 12:26 pm

    Hi Jennifer, check out “Birdies” they are so cute and comfortable. The flagship store is located on Union Street in San Francisco. I love Union Street, so many cute shops, cafes and people watching….hmm, i think I’ll head there after Christmas 😉 Also, I really like Athelta workout clothes. I have taken advantage of some really great sales of theirs!
    Have a wonderful Christmas!

  7. Anne Woodyard (@MusicandMarkets)
    December 23, 2019 / 11:45 am

    And thank you for suggesting the Ann Taylor faux leather/ponte leggings last year – bought a pair in tall (they’re ALMOST long enough to please me ;)) and wear them all winter long! So much to love about them – really good looking, perfect weight and coverage, and best of all, they stay up. For some reason as I age, leggings and tights slip down on my 6 ft body, which is the MOST uncomfortable feeling! Guess these leggings are another thing (like the Me Too shoes I mention above) of which I should buy a backup pair!

  8. Anne Woodyard (@MusicandMarkets)
    December 23, 2019 / 11:40 am

    The best ballet-flats that are cute and stylish yet still work for miles of walking (even on cobblestones) are Me Too – love ’em, and buy back-up pairs of my favorite styles so I’ll have them when the company stops making the style!

  9. Linda V
    December 23, 2019 / 11:30 am

    So sad, I have never been able to wear ballet flats, first bunions, then orthotics, and also narrow heels. yuck1 Have a great Christmas!

  10. Bea
    December 23, 2019 / 10:35 am

    I have so many cute shoes that I almost never wear because they are not as comfortable as Sketchers! Over the last year I have bought many Go Sketchers (mostly slip ons like ballet slippers and loafer types) including a pair of booties that I love. I walk on the beach, in the snow, at the mall, and from bed to bath in Sketchers. Cannot believe how inexpensive and comfortable they are.

  11. Christine
    December 23, 2019 / 10:06 am

    I love the faux leather leggings and have had 2 or 3 pairs. My favourite ones now have a subtle snakeskin pattern. I wear them with low boots oe low heeled black shoes. Can’t wear flat shoes!

  12. Pris Hossick
    December 23, 2019 / 9:35 am

    Thank you for all your time and hard work throughout the year . I thoroughly enjoy your column . It is delightfully personal, highly informative very creative and topped of with
    wonderful photos (sometimes worldwide ?).
    May you have a blessed Christmas and a healthy , happy New Year.

    • Jennifer
      December 23, 2019 / 1:56 pm

      Thank you for reading, Pris. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

  13. Eve
    December 23, 2019 / 8:35 am

    I’ve decided I’m not the black leather pants type. I do love my black leather look jacket though. I don’t care for biker type things for me. I admire them on others. I’m more a country girl type with chambray and denim which I dearly love. I am always on the lookout for comfortable yet cute flats. Insoles are a godsend if shoes are a little large.

  14. MRBEN2
    December 23, 2019 / 8:17 am

    Definitely shall try the Marcel water cleanser (so thank you Jennifer). As for leather pants; personally prefer suede but do like it as a trim on garments. In respect to flats; my go-to shoe is Naturalizer as if ordering online, they do provide a measuring chart that one can print off to ensure the correct fit. (Just wish their dress snow boots had lower heels!) As for gym workout wear and speaking namely for myself, I much prefer those that have a fitted leg particularly when using the treadmill as have visions of one of my running shoes getting caught up in the opposite pant leg (if a boot cut) and going ‘ass over tea kettle’. -Brenda-
    P.S.: Mstr. Pug makes an adorable elf … ☺.

    • Jennifer
      December 23, 2019 / 1:58 pm

      Miss Honey Pug is priceless. Her facial expressions are hilarious

      • MRSBEN2
        December 23, 2019 / 5:42 pm

        Oops sorry Jennifer as I thought Miss was a Mstr. and she is definitely priceless. -Brenda-

  15. Linda Lennon
    December 23, 2019 / 7:41 am

    I have several ballet flats from Talbots that I slip an insert in to help support my high arches. Also have a pair from Naturlizer in neutral beige that are super comfy. Lately, though, I seem to grab those slip on sneakers quite a bit. Merry Christmas to you and your family!

    • Anne shannon
      December 23, 2019 / 7:50 am

      I have given up on ballet shoes due to high arches- always “walked out of them,” what brand of inserts do you use?

      • Joanna
        December 23, 2019 / 10:49 am

        I have the same problem – high arches & narrow feet. I love the look of ballet flats but they never work for me. Open to suggestions…

        I tried on faux leather pants but they were not flattering. I think you need skinny legs to wear them. Hard pass here!

  16. Deanne
    December 23, 2019 / 7:12 am

    Ditto on Zella workout wear at Nordstrom. One of my favorite pairs of leggings is over 4 years old and going strong. Comfortable durable and flattering – highly recommend.

  17. Jayne
    December 23, 2019 / 7:06 am

    I’m with Sandy about watching for information regarding comfortable flats. Like many of us, I need a small heel and some support in a flat. I’ve had some luck with Trotters. They have a few contemporary styles. My old pair of Raffini black flats are the best, but need replacing. I’ll look forward to your search results!

  18. Eileen
    December 23, 2019 / 7:03 am

    My favorite exercise tights are Zella from Nordstrom, they are long lasting and high waisted, can also be used as leggings, and are not see through. I get them at the NAS. I’m not a black leather type, a faux brown suede maybe, but, I find the synthetic pants too warm, the leggings wick.

  19. Linda
    December 23, 2019 / 6:59 am

    Need comfy flats …… following for the post.

  20. Tina Butler
    December 23, 2019 / 6:45 am

    Love your suggestion of the ballet flats, but because I have extremely high arches, I cannot keep flats on my feet. I walk right out of them!
    I did find an extremely comfortable walk-about, not athletic, tennis shoe that I think looks cute for everyday; the brand is Allbirds. The Tree Runner style works best for me, and I have four different colors.

    • Jennifer
      December 23, 2019 / 8:10 am

      I will check those out. These ballet flats are amazing and stay on no matter your arch. I’ve worn my pair right out and have a replacement on order. https://shopstyle.it/l/bb2bZ

  21. Pam
    December 23, 2019 / 5:19 am

    You look so pretty with soft pastel colors near you face. Wishing you and yours a Merry Christmas.

    • Jennifer
      December 23, 2019 / 7:37 am

      Thank you Pam. Very Merry Christmas to you and yours as well.

  22. Sandy
    December 23, 2019 / 4:44 am

    I’ll be waiting anxiously for your post regarding comfortable ballet flats. Merry Christmas!

    • Jennifer
      December 23, 2019 / 7:36 am

      Merry Christmas Sandy!

  23. Gail Schwartz
    December 23, 2019 / 4:41 am

    I switched to micellar water to clean off my make-up about a year ago. Guarnier makes a very inexpensive one widely available. They package it in small bottles ready for TSA too

  24. Lori
    December 23, 2019 / 3:56 am

    I have problem feet, too. I prefer the look of a low heel, but this fall I bought these flats in the burgundy suede and love them! They are so comfortable! Please keep posting your shoe finds! You look great in the leggings. Maybe when I drop a few pounds…..

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