There's really no clever way to say it anymore: This winter weather is wearing thin -- unlike the crusty, dirty layers of snow I'm staring at outside my window, which are anything but. And the sun isn't a consolation when my thermometer reads 10 degrees.
Everywhere I turn there's conversation of record- setting cold temperatures and too much snow for this time of year. And those conversations usually wind up, at least in fashion-friendly circles, as whine fests about how long we've waited to wear the warm-weather styles.
In my effort to lure thawing, here's a look at two fun trends for your feet. Consider this "Field of Dreams" for the fashion scene: If you buy shoes for breakup and spring, the seasons will come.
I know I've said it before: Rubber and plastic footwear is our weakness. So this is a case of "if you can't beat 'em, join 'em." Only I'm offering stylish synthetic choices, and there won't be any discussion of XtraTufs, Tevas or Crocs. And I think you know why.
Wellies, the feisty rubber rain boots that come in cute colors and bold patterns, haven't been a popular puddle-splashing choice up here yet, but they've been huge on the East Coast for at least two spring seasons. Yeah, sometimes we're late to latch onto a style, but I'm counting on you, Alaska! Because what we lack in timeliness we make up for in enthusiasm and volume.
Bring on a flood of Wellies, please!
So far, Nordstrom is the only local shop where Wellies have been spotted. Chookas ($50) come in polka dot, camouflage, leopard print and a variety of skull and cross-bone patterns.
For best selections hit the Internet. Zappos has a few picks, including Jeffrey Campbell's pointy-toed kitten-heel version ($69). Shoe designer Tamara Henriques' online boutique is my favorite spot. She offers a variety of fun patterns from antique floral prints to mod shapes; she's also got kitten heels, rubber cowboy boots and rain loafers and clogs. J.Crew has a few options in bright solid colors and original patterns ($60 to $65) that include cute critters.
Target online is a wide world of Wellies, with more than 50 styles in a multitude of floral, striped, solid or polka dot patterns for $20 each.
When it's time to lose the Wellies, slip on a jelly sandal in a retro '80s style.
Just the sight of those little plastic, peep-toe flats has me reminiscing. The straps would always snap and the plastic was always discolored a week into romping around the neighborhood. But I kept begging for them anyway.
Locally, Journeys carries five colors of Sweet brand peep-toe jellies for $10 at 5th Avenue mall and Dimond Center. Her Tern boutique has black Marc Jacobs jellies for $98, and this designer version is a little sturdier than what I remember.
Online picks include Stuart Weitzman's "Jellystone" shoe with Swarovski crystals and a leather bow at Bloomingdales for $115, or check out the Weitzman "Rubberband" Mary Jane-style jelly, also with crystals, at Zappos for $116.
Nordstrom carries N.Y.L.A.'s "Zasha" jelly sandal in translucent blue and red for $35. And Urban Outfitters has the cheapest and most authentic-looking jellies in lucid shades of turquoise and field green for $16.