Tailgating 101: How to Choose the Perfect Outfit for Game Day

Football season is upon us again, and it is time to haul out the grills, coolers, and the portable outdoor games to keep everyone amused for the best part of the game – the tailgate! Whether you are a diehard fan or just out for the party, make the most of your tailgate by choosing the right outfit to keep yourself comfortable from the first hot dog to the last whistle. Continue reading

Happy Fall from Houser Shoes, Featuring the November 2016 Giveaway Shoes

Merrell Shoes at Lake Powhatan in Asheville NC

Fall is in the air and folks are hitting the great outdoors like never before. Our headquarters are based in Western North Carolina so we have quick access to many spots in Asheville, Hendersonville, and Brevard. And do you know about the leaves? The vibrant colors that come along with Fall here are simply breathtaking. Whether you are into hiking, biking, chasing waterfalls, or just love to get out and about; the Fall season is a great time to do it.

Merrell Shoes in the Mountains of Asheville NC

We took a quick hike around Lake Powhatan with a pair of Merrell Shoes, which is the type of shoe that is featured in our November 2016 giveaway. Stay tuned to the Houser Shoes Facebook Page for more info!

Merrell Shoes on a tree at Lake Powhatan in Asheville

Fall Fashion Spotlight: Sneak Peek at Boot Season

Ankle Boots for Fall

This fall, textures in shoes like leather, suede, and reptile patterns dominate the top designer collections all over the runways. By adding structural elements like buckles, laces, and sculptured heels, there is nothing boring about footwear this season.

Here is a look at the hottest trends this year for the boot season.

The Most Popular Boot Lengths

The Mid-Calf Boot

One of the absolute top trends this year is the mid-calf boot. It’s the right length if you’re looking for something higher than an ankle boot but not as high as a knee-length.

A popular style among designers, this is probably the most versatile boot size that you can adapt to a number of different occasions. You can wear them seamlessly with skinny jeans for a casual weekend look, or pair them with an above-the-knee dress for the office.

Ankle Boots

The Ankle Boot

This year, most of the collections showed their version of the ankle boot. Mixing textures and patterns, with stilettos or chunky heels, plain or decorated, ankle boots are quickly becoming the hit sensation of the season.

To stay up-to-date with the trends this year, match the neutral color of your ankle boots to what you’re wearing for a classic look, like the Soda Women’s Agenda Platform model. To push the limits a bit further, choose a model with dual textures and tones, too.

The Knee-Length Boot

In general, knee-length boots hit the runways in all their colorful, ruffled, sculptured glory this season. In real life, there is no need to be so theatrical. There are other ways to get the attention.

With the comfort of doubling as an extra layer in the colder months, the knee-length boot is a staple item. Usually, it’s said that this type of boot fits taller women best, but they can be used by women of all shapes and sizes. Simply learn how to dress for your body type and height.

The Off-the-Runway Looks and Styles

The Return of the Western Look

Western-style boots are not a thing of the past yet, and they’re making a comeback this season. Although they were seen all over the runways with some variations, the Ariat Women’s Heritage Brown model remains a classic comfortable option and just as stylish with the thick heels, the familiar stitching, and the pointy toe.

Trendy Masculine Looks

The Trendy Masculine Look

Although a mini-trend in shoes, this androgynous style is going to be a top trend in clothing this season. In footwear, this style really pops in laced-up boots, with rounded pointy toes, and a thicker sole, combining the masculine with the feminine.  It’s a style you can easily dress down from office attire to casual weekend.

Boots with Buckles

Large or small, buckles on footwear are a top trend for the Fall of 2016. The metallic element, in tones of gold or silver, was used by designers to add structure and detail to boots in all lengths.

Check this trend available in our store: the Earth Origins Women’s Paula Low Boot model adds balance with the modern touch of the trendy buckles.

The Laced-Up Models

Feminine and chic, laced-up boots are here to stay as an overall fall trend in 2016. These boots are all about feminine grace and versatility, especially if you choose an ankle length model. It transitions from office wear to night out seamlessly, without compromising on elegance.

Chunky Heels

The Heels

This season’s trend in heels has them coming in three versions: chunky, wooden, and square. They are surprisingly feminine and, really, a tribute to women who are not as much into vertiginous high heels. It seems that this season’s motto is more about being inclusive of all preferences, showing plenty of stylish options for all, rather than plain trend-setting.

Although these three types of heels on all kinds of shoes might not appeal to every woman, they work very well in boots.

The Must-Have Textures and Patterns

Classic Leather
When it comes to textures and patterns, leather is the top shoe trend of the 2016 Fall. Designers love it, and so do we. Coming in all shapes, colors, and sizes, leather boots remain a season classic and a must-have.

Feminine Suede
Suede boots are a favorite this season, mostly in the laced-up models. The colors of choice have been, usually, classic and timeless beige and camel. This texture adds a soft and feminine touch, especially if you use them with a masculine look.

Reptile Print
Since this season prints and textures seem to be in the spotlight, reptile prints don’t seem like a style choice bolder than usual.

Snake and lizard are the reptile skins of choice, with a close-to-natural look or just some added color with dark and rich tones.

 

Heavenly Heels for Fall Dresses

heavenly heels for fall

Fall is here, and it is time to break out the cool weather wardrobe. But that doesn’t mean you have to store away all of your cute shoes. Fall dresses can pair wonderfully with some, but probably not all, of the heels you already have in your closet.

Here are some heels you will want to have in your collection this fall.

Short Dress with Leggings or Tights

Tights and leggings are not to be worn as pants, but they sure look great under a short or mid-length dress! This is a great way to transition a favorite summer piece into fall: just add leggings and a sweater or wrap. The variety of colors and patterns available is absolutely astounding, so you’ll be able to match any outfit.

A dress paired with leggings is just as versatile when it comes to shoe choices. Tall boots or short boots, known as “booties,” are the go-to, fashionable look, and there are beautiful high heel options for both styles. If you’re especially daring, try a pair of over-the-knee boots, like this pair by Zigi Soho. Avoid wearing pumps, as they can leave your outfit looking a little unfinished. A boot or heel with an ankle strap anchors the look and helps tights stay put.

Model wearing heels

Long Sleeve Wrap Dress

Who doesn’t love this classic look, made iconic by Diane Von Furstenberg? The universally flattering style should be a staple in every woman’s closet. Throw it on with your favorite pair of pumps, and you’re out the door. These dresses also look wonderful with a pair of wedges. The casual feel of a wedge can dress down an otherwise formal style, so you have more opportunity to wear your favorite wrap. These wedges by Jessica Simpson would look perfect with a solid color or pattern dress and will be comfortable all day.

You can also dress up the look of a solid color dress by pairing it with a stylish, patterned pump. Find a pattern with your dress color as an accent to add interest, or choose a pattern with brighter, complementary colors to really give your outfit a punch! A higher heel will add more drama, but look for a lower heel style if you plan to be on your feet for any extended length of time.

Sweater Dress

The sweater dress is the coziest way to look completely fashion forward. These dresses come in lots of styles, so there is a look out there for everyone. They are also easy to accessorize with belts, tights, scarves, and jewelry. You can easily change the look and wear it all the time. If you’re stuck in a style rut, there is plenty of inspiration out there to find a fresh new way of wearing the same piece.

Sweater dresses look their best when paired with tall boots or booties. Wearing a pump or wedge can seem incongruous since the dress is a heavier, warmer look. Textured styles pair especially well with sweater dresses. Boots with rouched suede, contrast panels, or a stylish buckle look great on everyone. Styles with stacked heels, such as these by Franco Sarto, are just as comfortable and casual as a wedge.

boots for fall

Start with the Shoe

Have a new pair of shoes and want to show them off? It’s easy to choose the perfect outfit to flaunt your new heels. Here are some examples of fresh styles with the best dresses to pair them:

  • Cowboy-style boot or bootie: This style can be tricky to pull off with a dress. Don’t get paranoid about creating a Western-themed outfit – go with it! Choose a natural waist, knee-length dress with a full skirt and throw a denim jacket over it. With such a strong clothing statement, keep jewelry to a minimum.
  • Tall, stretch calf boot with stiletto heel: This sleek style is perfect for creating a classy-yet-sexy evening outfit. Pair these boots with a sleek, body-con sweater dress for maximum wow factor.
  • Lace-up suede bootie: It’s impossible to pair such a casual style with a dress, right? Of course not! Put on those booties with a casual, belted shirtdress or chunky knit sweater dress for comfort and style.
  • Black leather pump: You can pair nearly any dress with such a classic choice. Wear them with your formal dresses or put them on with a work dress to add a little polish. Try not to wear them with thick tights to avoid uncomfortable sliding and bunching.

Conclusion

Fall may be a cooler season, but there is no reason to stick only to flats with your dresses. Remember your safety, though. You don’t want to put on your heels and get a sprained ankle. If there are slick or icy conditions, it is a good idea to wear a shoe with a little more traction, and then change to your heels once you’re secure inside. Have fun pairing the new season of dresses to the new season of shoes.

 

 

Favorite Fall Activity: Camping Essentials

Camping Essentials

Whenever you go camping, you never know what the weather will be like. This in-between time, after summer and before winter, means it may be hot and dry one day, and cold and rainy – even snowy – the next.

You need to prepare for whatever the weather and conditions are by ensuring you have the right clothing and footwear. Packing the right boots, jackets, and other gear will make all the difference in enjoying a cozy and comfortable camping adventure or being miserable because you did not bring the proper wardrobe.

Boots and Shoes

Probably one of the most important items you need to pack is proper footwear. You will need some sturdy shoes that are suitable for the woods and hiking. You will need a pair of quality boots that will keep your feet warm and dry should the weather turn bad.

One good choice is the Sorel Ankeny Elk Stout boot for men. This footwear offers not only great protection when the weather turns cold, but it also looks great, too. The textile mesh lining will keep your feet dry and warm, while the removable molded EVA insert gives you terrific heel and arch support.

A practical yet stylish woman’s boot for camping is the b.o.c Women’s Saturn, with faux leather uppers and a plaid collar around the top. There is a rubber outsole, and the heel is about 1½ inches.

Some women prefer a mid-height boot. If you are one of them, try the b.o.c. Women’s Cybele that has chic straps and buckles, with a side zipper, that make them very easy to put on and take off. They are lightweight, too, and have a padded insole.

Hats for Outdoor Activites

Hats

If you want to stay warm, you need a hat. According to the U.S. Army field manual, you lose 40-45% of your body’s heat through your head. This makes bringing a hat along critical when you go on a camping trip. Hats also protect you from getting sunburn on your face or head.

Hats are small and easy to pack, so there is no reason why you can’t bring several with you on your trip. A ball cap is great for keeping you from getting sunburn.

When it is overcast and cold, an easy and stylish way to keep your head warm is wearing a beanie. For example, for women, the North Face Denali Thermal Beanie is a great fashion addition for camping or any cold fall day. It is lightweight and comes in pink, gray, white, or black. Reasonably priced, you can pick up a couple so that, no matter what you wear, your beanie will match it.

Gloves

Make sure that you bring a couple of pairs of gloves with you when you go camping. If it is late fall or you know that an early snow is possible, ensure you have a pair of warm, lined mittens that will keep your whole hand warm. You might want to consider something that is also waterproof.

For less harsh camping climate extremes, pack a pair of insulated suede or leather gloves. Remember, you will be camping, and you will need something that offers good protection to your hands while at the same time keeps them warm.

Fall Jackets

Sweaters and Jackets

Sweaters are very practical items to pack for any camping trip. Even in the summer, the weather can turn chilly at night. In the fall, on a nice day, a sweater will keep you warm but not encumber you while walking the trails.

You will need at least two jackets: one lightweight and one substantially heavier. During the day, you can layer your clothing, maybe a sweater and jacket, or even a hunting vest and jacket.

You need the heavier jacket for the brisker night air or for that frosty morning.

Rain Gear

Rain is part of camping. Be prepared by storing a poncho and or slicker, along with the rest of your camping gear.

Bring along a rain jacket, too, and make sure it has features such as a stow-away hood, adjustable cuffs, and drawcords to keep it snug if the wind is blowing.

Many are light enough that they can be folded when not in use.

Final Thoughts

While you may not scrimp on food or hiking gear, don’t make the mistake of forgetting to pack the right clothing. You never know when an extra pair of boots, a rain parka, a sweater, or gloves will come in handy.

 

Everything You Need for a Rainy Day

Essential Gear for Rainy Days

The alarm rings, and you grumpily hit snooze. Time to start your day, but you’re not ready to leave the warm comfort of your bed just yet. Finally, as you push yourself up and look out the window, you discover gray clouds showering your day with rain.

Those mornings aren’t always the most pleasant, but making sure you’re dressed for the weather can help your day run a lot smoother. And we’re not just talking about throwing on a poncho before leaving the house. Including essential, yet fashionable, rain gear for your wardrobe will help make every day like a warm, sun-shiny day in Florida.

The Trench Coat

This rainy day staple provides a classic look for men and women. Not only will the length protect you and your outfit from the harsh elements, but it will also elongate the figure. While trench coats come in a variety of styles and materials, not all can withstand the rain. The classic trench coat is double breasted. People with smaller frames can opt for single-breasted coats so as not to appear swallowed by the fabric.

Most trench coats impermeable to water are made from either wool gabardine or treated cotton. Wool gabardine is a densely woven material that is lightweight (more or less) and provides insulation. The cotton trench coats are much lighter; however, they must be treated or woven with water resistant materials and fibers.

Any material besides these will result in your outfit getting soaked by the downpour. And, of course, the longer the coat, the more protected you will be. Color-wise, neutrals provide a classic and sophisticated style, while boldly colored wool coats have also become trendy.

Pants

No matter the occasion (unless it’s a wedding), pants are always recommended for a gray, rainy day. Without a proper jacket or pair of shoes, a good pair of pants will always save the day. No pant material can repel water unless you’re big on coated nylon trousers. However, depending on your day, pretty much any other pant material will do. Thicker materials like denim, corduroy, and khaki become very heavy once wet. A lighter material, like knit, will dry faster.

Rain Boots

The Rain Boot

Wearing the rain boot casually is a common trend in cities with lots of rainfall. These rubber boots have evolved from your playground yellow booties to designer shoes with comfy insoles.

Great for women and men, rain boots have become a stylish and versatile clothing item necessary for all your spring showers.

The unique style of the rain boots allows them to stand on their own with any outfit. Slip these on to get to work, and pack away your leather shoes for when you arrive at the office. The best part is that, since gaining mainstream popularity in recent years, the boots now come in a variety of colors and shapes. Anyone can find the right boots for their unique style. These shoes are also great for protection from mud and snow.

Duck Boots

Umbrellas vs. Hats

No matter the kind of hair and how many products it is treated with, ‘do’s will turn into humidity frizz monsters in the rain. Here’s where head protection becomes key. Umbrellas are a rainy day staple, yet choosing the right one is a feat many of us have yet to win.

Generally, there are two types: collapsible and non-collapsible. The non-collapsible have larger canopies and, in turn, provide a larger area of protection. Meanwhile, the collapsible are meant to be compact and, therefore, have smaller canopies that provide less protection.

The sweet spot in between depends on the user and his or her needs. If it only drizzles here and there, a compact collapsible umbrella would be the better way to go. The best alternative is this wind-powered air umbrella being developed with an adjustable canopy.  

Hats, also, offer a fair amount of protection from the rain with style. Hats can also hide any unwanted frizz caused by the humidity. A wider brim, made from a dense wool material, offers more protection all around and is water resistant.

The Bubble Jacket

Once the horror of middle school on a rainy day, the bubble jacket has made a comeback in recent years. Usually made from water resistant material, like vinyl, the bubble jacket offers insulated protection for your upper body.

This diverse garment is great for men and women, either glam or sporty. The jackets are made with turtlenecks for hoods and offer extra protection for the neck and head. The higher quality insulation, like down, is warmer and better for colder weather with lots of wind.