Summer Sandals, the GOAT of Totes and a Talented Friend!

I would not consider myself a flashy or formal dresser by any means.  Accessories are not my important thing either. I’m very basic.

Casuality is more the vibe that I dig.  And when it comes to summer footwear and bags, I tend to lean toward the super chill.

Summertime and the feet need a break from the winter confinement!

Don’t get me wrong. I love dressing for work. And when Bonaparte and I have a date night, or when the kids come to visit and we go out, I like to step the look up a bit.

But when it comes to travel, weekends, and “time off”, I love a no-fuss, simple look.

And with summer footwear, it’s sandals.

Ok. So these aren’t sandals–but they are somewhere between a bootie and sandal and these are the most comfortable shoes of all time.  I wouldn’t wear them in the dead of winter, but they can be worn from late spring into early fall. And, gray is a sort-of neutral–right???

These wedge sandals are by Crown Vintage. I love them but I do have issues wearing them. My foot is very narrow–and the strap was buckled on the third hole for the past two years. Due to stretch, the buckle is now in the fourth hole the one closest to my ankle  And due to my very high instep (pictured), I have a problem keeping these on. It’s a shame because I really love these but I cannot wear them often.  It’s really a beautiful wedge!

With bags, it’s a tote!  I lug a lot of “stuff” around in the summertime.  When traveling, I need a huge bag because it needs to go from pool or beach to touring to grocery shopping.  Even when not traveling, I like a tote-as-bag in the summer.  When out and about, you never know what you can pick up—and I like to carry my notebooks around too.  Totes offer more room.

In addition, I like to keep to a neutral color palette for the footwear and totes.  During these warm months, sandals are my footwear of choice.  I think a neutral color elongates the legs.  Along with a neutral tote, you don’t have to keep rotating bags.  I like routine.

My summer footwear and bag palette. I don’t stray far from my comfort zone!

This summer brings me pretty much set on footwear and bags. Although I did spot this beauty at Barnes and Noble on Saturday. Unfortunately, Bonaparte was with me—and that meant the spending police officer was accompanying me. And that meant I couldn’t sneak the purchase in.  But—she will be mine. Oh. Yes. She will be mine!

I dig this.  A lot.  And I’m still pissed off that Bonaparte had to police me from spending only $19.99 on this fun summer tote! I hope Barnes and Noble doesn’t sell out of this before next week!

Back to sandals.  I’m extremely brand loyal to Rondini. (click on the link to see the beautiful sandals they have to offer) I swear to you, I can’t wear any other sandals.  I look around, yes, I do. And the price point at Nordstrom and Bloomingdales, J. Crew, and other shops have me scratching my head in wonder at the unreasonable prices for goods that are mostly made in China.  For less than the cost of a pair of Tory Burch Miller Sandals, I can have a pair of sandals, custom fit and made for me within moments in the small shop of this wonderful and trustworthy family run business.  The notable thing is that you can order online from them and they will walk you all the way through your purchase.


This is the Tory Burch Miller sandal. It’s incredibly popular and at $195. I feel it is ridiculously overpriced. Look at the sole–it’s thin and rubbery!

Rondini Salome Vernis.  These were purchased two years ago.  This year they are priced at $140 euros–that’s $156.USD today.  This is the only pair I have that is out of my color palette and I need to wear these more often! Still less expensive than Tory Burch…

My very first pair of Rondini’s.  Sahariennes–they are now 130 euros. I wear these as beach flip-flops and running errands.  They are at least six years old and have been worn constantly.Rondini Tropeziennes. The sandal that started it all. See how my toes have made an imprint on the insole?  These have molded to my feet perfectly.  I was thrilled when the folks at Rondini were able to fix these sandals after Chippy snacked on one of the straps. You cannot tell there is a replacement strap on this pair! We were able to drop them off in the morning and they were ready after lunch!  Service is excellent!

 My beloved Bikini sandals. OMG. I love these so much. They can be dressed up or down.  I wanted to show you how they look from the back as well. (After contorting my body for this pic, I can tell you that I could perform with Cirque du Soleil!) I love these.  At 145 euros, they are still less than the mass-produced sandals in upscale department stores.  Ugh. I need to fake tan.  

And the construction is also remarkable…

The sandals are wrapped and placed in a nice storage bag.  I can’t wait to add another pair to my collection!

And then, there were Dr. Scholls!  These get a lot of love from me.  And have since I was in high school!

With the totes, it’s almost the same. I have many of the Longchamp Le Pliage nylon and leather bags. This brown one is my most-used and favorite. It comes to France with me every summer.  It’s so friggin’ old that I use it as a beach bag and after the beach, it is used as a catch-all tote—and I even put other totes inside of it for grocery shopping.  My Wythe Hotel bag gets housed inside this baby!

This well-worn, hot mess of a Longchamp bag is in constant use during the summer. Look at the photo on the bottom right. That’s French beach sand!  I know, I really should empty it out…

See what I mean?  The Wythe tote goes into the Longchamp.  I’m leaving the Scholl’s home this summer.  On second thought…..

I also like to use this well-worn French Market tote as a bag during the summer months as well. It’s beginning to look a bit raggy and I’m planning on buying one when we are in France—they are inexpensive as all get out. I think I paid the equivalent of $10 USD when I purchased this in Chartres.

Although usually kept in my car for grocery outings, I do like to use this as a tote during the summer!

My new and favorite tote is this monogrammed number. Is this not the greatest?  It was done by a childhood friend and schoolmate, Kathy Torre Innace.

I love everything about this tote.  The magnetized closure is handy and the length of the straps is perfect for staying on the shoulder.  Look at the monogram job Kathy did–this is absolutely perfect!

She has a business of her own these days.  Sew Spectacular—click on the name for the link to her FB page.   Her talent is remarkable—she embroidered this tote.  The second I saw it, I had to have it.  in my opinion, it is the G.O.A.T. (that’s Greatest Of All Time!) of totes!

Here’s Kathy!!  I love her glasses and she’s the best grandmother on earth!  She and I were just a couple of many girls who shared the same first name at St. Patrick’s Grammar School!

Trust me, if you order anything from her, you will be more than 100% satisfied.

Next on my list of things to buy from Kathy are her stemware coasters. The coasters fit over the bottom of the stemware. My wine glasses need this.  Have you ever seen anything this clever??  I haven’t!! Ugh. I wish I had a wedding shower to go to because this would be a great gift to give!  I’ll just have to gift myself!

I could drink wine all day with coasters like these.  They are designer shoes for wine glasses!!!

Well, my weight loss journey is moving along very slowly. I gained a pound and now lost a pound—so I’m steady at 144 but I really want to get down to 140. It’ll take a while but at least my clothing still fits.

Here’s a look at what I wore last week.  And I’ve made the transition from winter to summer fake hair!  In no particular order…

Well, I finally wore the “Heels on Fire” tee. I love it. And to add, I wore red heels and rel nails and a red watchband!  

Neon and navy. Not a bad combo!

I loved this look because it was feminine with an edge!

Maxi Dressing!  I didn’t shave my legs and this worked perfectly for those lazy days. I LOVE the cut in armholes on this dress. It is very flattering for all arms!!!

Friday’s look.  The unironed tee drove me nuts all day. But–I cannot begin to tell you how many compliments I received on the shorter bobbed wig!

Saturday’s look was my favorite. Completely basic.  $13 jeans.  $4.00 tee.  Hair at $19.99. What’s not to love?

One of my favorite summer songs of all time:  War’s “Summer”–it’s just so relaxing and chill and just reminds me of summer!

About Catherine

Far from perfect, but enjoying life as a non-perfect and flawed individual at 60 years young. I'm still wondering what I'll be when I grow up! The characters in my life's screenplay include my better half. He is a refined Frenchman who grew up in Paris and summered in St. Tropez. I grew up in Long Island and summered in Long Island. I am not refined. My three grown children are also a big part of my life. For their sake, they happily live where their careers have taken them! But I can still mother them from a distance! I write about the mundane. I write about deeply shallow issues. But whatever I write or muse about--it'll always be a bit on the humorous and positive side! It's all good!
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31 Responses to Summer Sandals, the GOAT of Totes and a Talented Friend!

  1. My LongChamp is by far one of my most used pieces in my closet! Love the open toed booties.

    • Catherine says:

      Hi Styled! Right??? lThose Longchamp bags are indestructible!! I’m especially fond of my leather ones too!! The booties are the most comfortable ones ever!!! XOXXOXO!!!

  2. Catherine, I envy your ability to wear sandals! I used to wear them all the time, but my legs are so bad with the varicose veins that I rarely don them now. Sometimes I’ll wear a pair when I have support hose one with a sandal toe or if I wear a maxi, where my feet (yes the veins are bad on those too) won’t show. I love your collection and your tote bags. I saw that one at B & N too and want it so bad, because it is so cute!! I wonder if there will be any left when they go down to 50% off. Ha, ha. Doubtful! Great post today lady and I love the bob wig! So adorable! – Amy

    • Catherine says:

      Hi Amy!!! Thank you!!! Oh, I don’t care how bad my feet or legs look, I need to be airy and comfy during the summer–LOL!!! But that tote. OMG! I’m hoping there are some left at the end of this week!!! XOXOXOXO!!!

  3. 3C Style says:

    Catherine, your monogrammed tote is fabulous! Your friend did a great job. Love the Heels on Fire tee too.

  4. mareymercy says:

    I actually bought a pair of those Tory Burch sandals years ago – how does ANYONE wear those things? that huge logo is so stiff, it dug into my feet something brutal. I do not get how anyone can tolerate them! And I love the short bob on you! So cute!

    • Catherine says:

      Cynthia. It took me over a year to break in the Reva flats from TB and about three years to break in the TB boots. Never again. I’m done with her stuff! I’m glad you like that short bob!!!! Thank you!!! XOXOxOxO!!!!

  5. Q.D says:

    Grey is absolutely a neutral! (Well charcoal is, and Churchill is grey!)

    Question to you and other commenters – Is Leopard Print a neutral everywhere in the world, or is that just an Australian thing???

  6. TURNER says:

    Urgh. I can relate so much to your non-shopping experience in Barnes & Noble. Never give up – bwahahahahaha!

  7. Peggy says:

    What is the name of the bootie? Could I really wear all day?

  8. Fiona says:

    I usually buy tan sandals as I think they are wearable with more outfits. The Rondinis look great on you but with my dreadful ‘oignons’ I need a more closed sandal as I am very conscious about them. I want that Longchamp bag ! I hope they still do that colourway. Xxx

    • Catherine says:

      Hi Fiona. Ugh. I have bunions but don’t even care anymore. I love those Rondinis–and the tan sandals go with everything!! That brown Longchamp bag is my most-worn summer bag. I love that dark brown!!!! XOXOXOXOXO!!!

  9. eveange33 says:

    Hi Catherine, sorry to interfere in your blog post but really I am a bit surprised, to say the least, by some comments from american ladies. On this blog, this post regarding the dress than Mrs Macron wore at the last meeting of G20 heads in Brussels. I did not see it as I don’t have TV and these kind of things are way above may (I short, i don’t care at all what X or Z is wearing, although it happens that I can make comments in my head).
    I could not help to leave a comment, although I do not know if it will be published. It not offensive but I felt very bad about some comments. Not the way some women talked about Mrs Macron, she’s not perfect and I am not a paramour, but the fact that several talked about the “women of a certain age, we ageing women…”. Shit (sorry not politically correct) i do not want to be part of these “ageing women” if it is to be offensive, hard to each other especially to other women. I do not know if it is an american thing where there are so much rules about proper/improper, appearance, what one should wear at the office whether you are admin or manager, or lawyer, or leaving in New York or in the south or not white before Labour Day…. the list is long phewww. Or being to dressed up or not so women end on wearing sweat pants because they are afraid of being … different. Sorry for this rant but really, as I am nearly 50, I do not want to be part of some of this. Again, to be honest, France and Europe are far from being perfect but even if rules do exist (many of course), we have, I think (or I may be dreaming) a little bit more leverage. You are like a breath of fresh air among all the US and even UK blogs I read and although none of us can change the place and the culture where we were born in, I wonder if a bit more openness from every part would do good. And yes I will go on showing my knees as long as I can and as long as I have the right skirt/dress to do so!

    • Catherine says:

      Eve. Your comment is on the site. In fact it is directly above mine. I am a huge fan of Mme. Macron and her husband. Brigitte is a beautiful woman. That dress wasn’t too short at all–and the biggest laugh is that Americans were bitching about the dress-when the American First Lady didn’t even WEAR clothing in her past modeling career. The hypocrisy is never-ending! Put them in their place my dear friend!!!! XOXOXOxO!!!

      • Fiona says:

        Hear hear!

      • eveange33 says:

        Thank you Catherine. As I wrote here late at night, I wonder afterwards (it’s always afterwards) if I was too much offensive and too critical. Now I have slept on it and though I am still a bit sorry about the comments on this other site, I would not be so ..;hard I think.

  10. So many cute ones to choose from! Love that it is finally sandal weather 🙂

    • Catherine says:

      Hi Courtney!! Oh me too! I’m itching for sandals on my feet. The past few days have been so rainy though. Tomorrow the sandals will be on!! XOXOXOXOXO!!!

  11. JulietC says:

    Loving the bob – it is fabulous, really gamine and chic, but then I always love your hair. And your choices of accessories are fabulous, I love bags (OK I love totes, large-ish bags for hauling home shopping and whatnot) and I really like the natural and relaxed look to shoes and bags, I am hopeless in heels and really admire those that manage them but I am a trainer (camper or mint velvet) or doc martin type or simple sandals female so I can walk – and figuring the right bag etc to go with shoes matters, really it does. And if it is handmade so much the better – for that reason I adore Etsy, the talent on there is astounding

    As for Madame Macron – she is utterly fabulous, I don’t care about her hem length, I look at a strong independent woman who has managed to dress herself exactly the way she wants, – why on earth should anyone care or comment, has anyone mentioned what Mr Macron is wearing or judged his clothing? That is probably a nope

    I hope Madame M NEVER hires a stylist

    • Catherine says:

      Juliet. AGREED!!! On all points!!! Madame Macron rocks. She is a stellar example of a beautiful mature woman. LOL. Totes are my new thing this year!!! OXOXOXOXO!!!!

  12. What fun! Thank you for giving us a glimpse of you great French sandals. I had to go to their website and think they all were great but if I had to choose one it would be Saint Pierre Box in orange. You are right about how named items (especially if it’s a hot name, i.e. Tory Burch is way out of line with the price which is why I buy those things at places like Poshmark. I know I’ve said this before, but I am so happy we found each other off Instagram-it’s such a one layer platform.

    • Catherine says:

      Terri! That’s so funny–I’m eyeing the St. Pierre in the dark red. I have to see how they look on me. I also like the Hindu model as well! I’m telling you for less money than a brand name, these will last me till I’m in my eighties!!! I’m thrilled that we found each other off IG!!! And I’m becoming a bit annoyed at IG lately because my favorite feeds are not coming through and tons of sponsored ads are!!! XOXOXOXO!!!

  13. HelloIm50ish says:

    Love that tee shirt!!
    I still own a pair of Dr. Scholl’s because my husband was sr. vp at Schering Plough back before all the mergers. Best shoe next to birkenstocks when my back hurts and I need to realign myself.

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