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June 01, 2012  | by: Lauren Kuhl

Summer shoes

It is a well-known fact that Sarah Jessica Parker’s character on “Sex and the City,” Carrie Bradshaw, had an affection for, or perhaps more fittingly, obsession, with shoes. It is often said that a woman’s choice of shoe can make (or break) an outfit, so perhaps Carrie was onto something. While her flare for footwear certainly made for many a stylish outfit during the course of the show’s six seasons (and two feature films), it quite literally broke the bank; Ms. Bradshaw, at least in the beginning of her days in the city, could not afford the Manolo’s and Jimmy’s her heart desired.That being said, the heel, ballet flat, and peep-toe-pump, as different pieces of the shoe puzzle, are also components of the puzzle to a woman’s heart. Shoes can embody a sense of confidence and fierce fabulousness. Just because Carrie’s passion for Manolo’s put her bank account into a tizzy, doesn’t mean your credit has to suffer. Following is a guide to navigating some of summer’s hottest shoes on a budget! 

- The Ballet Flat. A chic pair of ballet flats is a perfect summer alternative to sandals. A great complement to colored denim or dressy shorts, the ballet flat is versatile and adds a touch of class and casual cool to any outfit.

- The Peep-Toe-Pump. For those cocktail parties and more formal gatherings, nothing quite embodies “glamour with a twist” more than a classic peep-toe-pump. Perfect for showing off your pedicure, the peep-toe-pump is both classy and sexy. Taking it an extra step, nude peep-toe heels have a leg-lengthening effect. At just $80, these Aldo pumps are quite the steal.

Aldo Peep-Toe-Pump

"Hart of Dixie" star, Rachel Bilson

- The Wedge. One of summer’s biggest trends, the wedge is back for seconds after a successful run during the Summer 2011 season. Whether paired with denim cut-offs for a leggy look or as a complement to a summer frock, as shown by actress and style icon, Rachel Bilson, wedges are a summer must-have.

- The Gladiator Sandal. Warriors of the shoe frontier, gladiator sandals are innately fierce. Variations in the braiding style, strap width, material, and of course, color, all play an important role in determining the femininity of this stylish shoe. At $60, this pair from Free People can flatter many an outfit, as its subtle edginess toughens up any ensemble.




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