...because home doesn't happen overnight.

*THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED.*

Congrats to Carrie who is eyeing some ballet flats!

Post title runner-up: The One Where I Have a Midlife Shoe Crisis in Front of My Elderly Garage Door (I thought it was too wordy.)

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I don’t know why but I’ve had the urge to dress a bit edgier recently. It’s not so much about following a trend but has everything to do with the desire to try something different. It all started with a new pair of black jeggings. Once I discovered how comfortable and versatile they are, I’ve been wanting to wear them every day. (Luckily, our summer has been relatively mild. I’m one of those people who chills easily at the slightest breeze and in air-conditioned spaces so wearing jeans midsummer is completely reasonable to me.)

My only problem was that I didn’t own a pair of shoes that looked right with black jeans. I have mostly nude and saddle leather sandals for summer. I’m short and one trick I’ve learned to appear taller is to match my shoes to my bare legs / pants. That way my feet, ankles and legs are one continuous line of color which gives the illusion of longer legs. I needed black kicks!

That’s where ShoeMint comes in. The free, members-only website stays on top of what’s hot in the shoe arena so busy moms like me don’t have to. Inventory is updated monthly based on current trends. Whether you’re in need of something classic or runway-esque, you’re guaranteed to find high-end, high quality options. Refined materials – such as leather and suede – abound and shipping & returns are always free.

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I found the perfect black ankle boot for summer. It’s the Dahlia and it’s part of the exclusive collection designed by ShoeMint’s co-founders, Rachel Bilson & Nicole Chavez. The perforated suede allows for plenty of ventilation and gives the boot a sexy peekaboo vibe. Gold buckles round out the edgy look. A modest 2″ heel is enough to give my (lack of) height a boost but easily walkable. I have never in my life owned such provocative shoes. They are surprisingly comfortable and I genuinely LOVE them. Who knew switching up your footwear midlife could be so fun?!

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Another little trick I’ve learned to appear taller is to show some skin up top. (Not to be confused with going topless.) It doesn’t have to be a cleavage fest. Although, if you have it by all means flaunt it and I hate you. Just kidding – about the hate part not the flaunt part. For me, bare shoulders and a swooping neckline do the trick. I’m particularly fond of sleeveless tops with racerback detailing. Pulling my hair up into a high ponytail puts my shoulders front and center and keeps me cool, too.

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I also find it helpful to draw the eye up with a brightly colored / patterned top and an interesting necklace. I prefer flowy, loose-fitting tops that fall below my natural waistline. Ironically, the wood bead necklace I’m wearing here was a purchase from our current home’s estate sale.

In summary, I’m the Jon Stewart of DIY blogs. If you met me in real life, a warranted reaction would be “I thought you’d be taller.” In case you missed ’em, my tricks for dressing taller:

*Wear shoes similar in color to your bare legs / pants. This creates the illusion of longer legs.

*Get a boost with a little heel action. An additional one or two inches can make all the difference.

*Show some skin up top. (But keep your shirt on, folks.) Bare shoulders or a low-slung neckline visually lengthen short torsos and necks.

*Draw the eye up with interesting colors, patterns and / or jewelry. Keep your bottom half mostly solid in color then add a fun top and necklace to draw attention to your upper half.

And just like that you’re 6′ tall! Haha.

 

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But enough small talk. Whether you’re 5’2″ or 6’2″, ShoeMint is graciously offering up a new pair of kicks to one lucky reader. See entry details below.

PRIZE: one pair of shoes from ShoeMint (retail value $70-$150). The choice is yours!

RULES: You must be at least 18 years old and have a shipping address (no P.O. boxes please) within the U.S. or Canada. One entry per email address.

TO ENTER: Sign up for ShoeMint here. (It’s completely free and there’s no obligation to buy.) Browse the selection then leave a comment on this post sharing your favorite pair of ShoeMint shoes.

DEADLINE: Enter before Sunday, July 13th at 9:00 p.m. EST. One random winner will be announced Monday, July 14th.

BUT, WAIT!, THERE’S MORE: Score $40 off your first pair of shoes by clicking here. Enjoy!

This post is sponsored in part by ShoeMint. All content, clothing, short jokes and images are my own. I do NOT earn commission on purchases made via the links above. Thank you for supporting the brands that support this blog.

I’d love to hear any tips you have for dressing taller. I’ve tried dressing in a single, solid color from top to bottom but found it yawn-inducing. On a side note, the crumbling, weed-riddled driveway is getting ripped out this week. Ahhhhh!!!!!

UPDATE: Due to popular demand, sources for my entire outfit:

*racerback tank – Juniors Eyelash, Kohl’s

*hoop earrings – vintage

*wood bead necklace – vintage

*black jeggings – SO, Kohl’s

*mesh ankle boots – ShoeMint

images: Dana Miller for House*Tweaking

189 Comments

09.July.2014

LOVE this look on you – maybe I’m missing the link but can’t find a source for your top – love it – can you share a link? Racer back tops are soo cute.

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09.July.2014

Nice look! I love the Karina flats. Nothing like a pointy toe to dress up a pair of flats!

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09.July.2014

SAme here — that top! i love it! can you share a link!

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09.July.2014

ShoeMint has adorable shoes. I’ve yet to pull the trigger and buy any. This look is adorable on you!

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Even though it’s summer, I’m seriously crushing on the Simone bootie!

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09.July.2014

I love the Karina flats in black!

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09.July.2014

Great giveaway! Thank you! I like the Simone ankle boots a lot!

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09.July.2014

those Shutz Nadely’s are killer!!!

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09.July.2014

YAY! I love the simone ankle boots!

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09.July.2014

Love your tips- and seeing fun style posts on your blog. You always inspire me to be a little more adventurous than I might be on my own. As for ShoeMint, the Irene wedge has a classic summer look, but I love it in a bold coral/red!!

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09.July.2014

I like the Irene!

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09.July.2014

Browsed through the shoe site, some serious beauties!

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09.July.2014

Liz kind of took the air out of my sail, but I’d also pick the Karina flats in black — I am in NEED of some new flats for work this summer :)

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09.July.2014

Oooh. I like the Matiko Greta Wedge!

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09.July.2014

Love the Matiko Ursina Wedge!

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09.July.2014

I love the Alexandra boots, can’t choose a color!

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09.July.2014

There are so many that I like, it is hard to choose. I like the Evalyn sandal, the classic pump in the black and white leopard print, the Marissa in the yellow and tan, and those Mylie boots are exactly the kind of booties I was looking for last fall!

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09.July.2014

I like the Irene wedges!

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09.July.2014

I’m short too and I love your advice for dressing taller! DR. SCHOLL’S THE ALANA sandals would def help me out! I’m also crushing on the red MELISSA JEAN X JASON WU III FLAT… they look like a cross between crocs and those old school jelly shoes, comfortable but unlike crocs and jelly shoes they look chic.

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09.July.2014

I love your top, too!!! Love the shoes…really want the Simone ankle boots!!

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09.July.2014

I also LOVE the simone ankle boot!

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09.July.2014

I am liking the Violette and I too also love your top!

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09.July.2014

Love the Zandra sandals!

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09.July.2014

The shoes you picked are my favorite. A little heel, but not too much that I couldn’t do my job.
I also like the Jillian for a night out.

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09.July.2014

I am really liking the Blaire sandals, simple but pretty.

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09.July.2014

Would love any of the shoes from ShoeMint! http://www.shoemint.com/shoes/maryam?id=33194 those are cute for the summer months!

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09.July.2014

i love the isla bootie. in the suede gray…sweet!

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09.July.2014

I love the Analeigh!

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09.July.2014

I’ve grown to embrace my 5’4″ (well, almost) frame. I used to wear heals more often, but I stick mostly to flats now. I definitely agree that a nude sandal with shorts or skirt help elongate, but I usually just wear what I feel best in, and I love for my feet to breathe. You look fab (as always) in your black jeggings and booties! Try them with a flat, and I bet you’ll look and feel just as stylish.

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09.July.2014

So hard to choose! I love the Blaire sandal

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09.July.2014

I’m in love with the Pheobe. Gorgeous!

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09.July.2014

Love your top – source, please!

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09.July.2014

LOVE the entire outfit! What brand are the jeggings? Can you provide links for the top too? Totally loving the edgy Dahlia as well as the Phoebe!

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09.July.2014

I love the outfit. Who are the top and leggings by?

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09.July.2014

Loving the Alexandra boot (they have fall weekends written all over them) and the Yosi Samra perforated smoking slippers for summer-into-fall work shoes. Can you tell I’m looking forward to cooler weather?

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09.July.2014

ANALEIGH flat, strappy sandals that don’t go between my toes! I’ve been searching for these for a couple years.

I love everything about your outfit. It makes me so happy to see other SAHMs that haven’t given up in the style department.

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09.July.2014

I’m loving the ankle boots you’ve got on. I’ve always perused ShoeMint but never pulled the trigger. It might be time.

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09.July.2014

I would get the exact same boots you are wearing. The perforation is genius for summertime boots!
Love the whole look!

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09.July.2014

I love the classic pointed flat in black, they would go with everything!

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09.July.2014

Liking the Rhiannon (which the site recommended and are, of course, a fave) or the Hollie wedge.

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09.July.2014

I would love the Simone boots. Thank you for the giveaway and great outfit!

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09.July.2014

I like the Layla sandals!

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09.July.2014

Great giveaway. I love your shoes. Also love the Tobi!

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09.July.2014

its not normally my style, but i am so digging the Brianna heel. its so minimalist and feminine!

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09.July.2014

I like them all but I love the Dahlia boots you have!

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09.July.2014

I fell in love with the Karina flats! They would look good on my feet! :)

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You are smokin’! And I need to know where those jeggings are from!

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09.July.2014

This was a tough one. How sweet are those black Lacey sandals?!

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09.July.2014

It would have to be the Stacey or the Kayra, but I love shoes that are comfy, I can walk in, and are big enough for my feet!

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09.July.2014

I would also love to know the link for your top! So cute!

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replied on July 9th, 2014

Can’t find a link for it but I found it at Kohl’s. I have good luck there every once in a while.

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replied on July 9th, 2014

What’s the brand? I’ve really been loving a lot of the clothing from Kohl’s recently!

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