am sorely tempted to start a blog about another kind of shoe that I have apparently become addicted to. Jeffrey Campbell first gave us a peek at this iconic design in the summer of 2010. And when it was unleashed on an eager market in the Fall/Winter fashion cycle that year, it became an instant hit spawning all manner of variations in hue and material and detailing to keep the design fresh and alive. So much so that now, nearly five years later, you can still find the basic models available from traditional retailers and JC himself is still pulling tried and true favorites out of the vault and releasing them on his own e-commerce site as well as coming up with a fresh spin or two along the way.
I'm writing, of course, about the hardy Lita platform bootie: five inches of chunky-heeled goodness and "put me up on a pedestal" platform delight, all wrapped up in an ankle high upper in more colors than you can shake a USB stick at. Don't believe me? Take a look at how many variations the now defunct website The Style Reporter had listed.
The mind boggles. But only as you try to figure out where you'll store them all.
I know they're not clogs. They're not slip-ons. There are no visible nail heads or studs. The only visible wooden part is the heel, and in some styles, that's not even made of wood. But something about this style just speaks to me. Shouts, actually. In an ecstatic voice. That says, "Lindsey, get over here and put me on!"
And you know, it's never a good thing to ignore a voice like that when it's calling you by name.
I'll never stop blogging about clogs, that's for sure. But now that I'm addicted to the funky rock and roll attitude of this distinctive shoe, I do think it would make sense to devote some web space to singing it's praises on a regular basis.
And what would I call this blog should I ever launch such a thing? I'm not completely sure, but I do like the sound of: Take Me to You Lita!
So how obsessed with Jeffrey Campbell's Lita am I? Let's take a look. When I'm honest, I admit that I really need a size 12. But since a lot of makers stop at a size 11, I frequently take a deep breath and plunge my foot inside and bear it for the day. Fortunately, most of the styles below are made of leather, and have tended to give a little and to mold themselves to my feet. While I'm not in agony wearing them, I will say they tend to fatigue my feet after several hours. But I finally took the leap and explored what it would be like to have a Lita in my actual size. And I can some it up in a single word: bliss!
Here I am in my size 12s in black leather after a dinner out with my fellow footwear fanatic Melissa. We got back to my condo, and I plopped on the floor and announced that I was going to start documenting my collection for the blog and immediately took this picture.
And here, for contrast, are my size 11 Litas in black leather. Can't tell much difference? My toes can!
More Litas from the shelves of The Wall of Infinite Pleasure. The pair on the right are a more vibrant hue of blue than this photo has captured. They were, I think, my second pair of Litas, so that explains why their laces are showing signs of wearing out. That and the fact that they were the pair I tended to wear more frequently.
The metallic red pair, on the other hand, just feels too showy for a regular day at work. They only surface around Christmas usually.
This pair came into my life when I was in shoe doldrums. No lucky finds on eBay. Nothing new in the e-shops. But then Yoox.com was having a sale on Jeffrey Campbell styles, and this pair was listed in my size. The size I make do with when I have to.
A couple of notes. The green is richer green than the photos convey. (Note to self: take pictures for blog when sun is still in the sky.) The heels are made of acrylic. And of all my Litas, this is the pair that's been in for a tune up. The heels started wobbling after only three or four wearings. I chalk it up to the fact that the heels are acrylic.
Because you can't wear black all the time.
That's right: they have no heel. Footwear architecture at its most inventive. They look torturous, but the Night Lita is quite easy to walk in.
I told you that I owned a bunch of size 11 Litas before I got my first size 12. Well, this is the pair that gave me taste of just how enjoyable enough toe room could be. If I had it to do over again, I might have just sat tight and waited for a plain black leather size 12 pair to show up. But then, it is good to know that you have a pair of statement shoes tucked away in your arsenal if you need 'em.
One caveat: there are spikes covering the entire surface of these shoes. The studs on the inner sides are actual flat and blunt so there's no danger of doing yourself damage when you wear them, but where there are spikes on the toe, heel, and outer surfaces, they are definitely pointed. Which makes taking this pair off a bit tricky. There's no easy place to grab hold and tug.
One additional caveat: as I said, there are spikes covering the entire surface of these shoes. And they stick out a bit. Which means your feet don't fit your accustomed spaces like they used to, and you're going to banging into a fair amount of items when you wear them. I've never done damage to another human being while wearing them or to any of the furniture in my home or office. But I have lost a couple spikes along the way.
Because I had just gotten a Katwise sweater that these matched perfectly so I couldn't resist. And what's more, they made for a fun day at the office. I've worn all these Litas to work at least once, and some of them a bunch of times. But this pair felt like the turning point for me. I realized that if I could make it through a workday with these on my feet without my co-workers running for the exits, I probably had developed a reputation for fashion freedom that everyone was ready to roll with.
For what it's worth, this was the first Lita I bought, a shiny and flocked fabric version in color named Black Coffee. I told myself that if I was going to jump on the bandwagon, I wouldn't do it with one of the standard designs. It only took me four years to rethink that and finally buy a black leather pair.
Jeffrey Campbell mutated his successful Lita style in countless ways. Here's one variation that I snapped up during its brief window of opportunity on the market. Yes, I've worn this one to work, too. Strangely, no one said a thing about thigh-high boots at all. Must have been after I wore the shag pair and fried everyone's fashion senses.