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    SIP 'N SOCIAL

    Sneaker Script: PREDICTING A WHITE-HOT SUMMER

    Sneaker Script: PREDICTING A WHITE-HOT SUMMER

    I don’t know about you but I’m a huge fan of white on white; it’s my go-to summer look. I tend to gravitate toward tops because you can change your look completely by swapping out your tops and accessories while keeping your bottoms basic. I can get through the season relying almost exclusively on a pair of white silk pants, white jeans, and white cigarette pants . . . paired with The Occasion sneaker of course!

    I’ve put together a look from one of my favorites: Tuckernuck. This is an outfit I would wear to an afternoon party or evening out on the town. And it goes fabulously with a cocktail!

    Sneaker Script: MAKING SPACE

    Sneaker Script: MAKING SPACE

    As all of you, I have been practicing social distancing and trying to adjust to our new reality. There are hours to fill that were once packed with appointments, meetings, events, dinners and lunches. I find myself checking off those things on my list that always seem to get shoved to the bottom: organizing family photos, filing documents, rearranging my office, clearing out my closet, reading that epic novel. As I clear out everything that no longer serves me and organize what does, I feel a sense of optimism and hopefulness as I make space for something new to take its place. Over the next few weeks, I intend to be mindful of how I make space in my life.

    Making space for people

    There are so many health risks associated with loneliness, and with so many people isolated as they practice social distancing, it’s more important than ever to send that text or make that call to check in, or more importantly, pick up that call even if it’s the last person you want to chat with! I’m also making space for a houseguest, a student we know who is close to our family but stranded on the east coast and not able to return to his home, as well as our adult son who prefers to shelter-in-place with mom and dad. I will really cherish this time we have together without a million distractions! 

    Making space for slower routines & new rituals

    The upside of social distancing is that I have more time to enjoy the small things I usually overlook. Recently, I’ve been going to bed earlier and getting more sleep and waking up to enjoy a cup of coffee and the sunrise over Marblehead harbor. My morning walk, though now solitary, has been extended by another mile, and I’ve been introduced to the wonderful world of podcasts. Instead of a rushed lunch at my desk, John and I are enjoying all our meals together, and though I’m not the chef in our family (that’s John’s domain), I’ve stepped out of my comfort zone as the designated comfort food cook and started to try my hand at some more intricate (or intricate for me) recipes. The unread books piled on my nightstand from the book club I had to drop out of (never any time!) are being resurrected once again. These new routines and rituals might be hard to give up when things get back to normal, but I am savoring them while I can. 

    Making space for gratitude

    Everyone has their worries, especially in these times, but it is important to take a moment to be thankful for the fact that if you’re reading this, you’re probably among the most privileged people in the world and in human history. If you have access to food, shelter, adequate clothing, running water, healthcare, and are able to meet your basic needs, you are beyond blessed! A daily meditation on gratitude can reset your mood, how you feel, and how you affect others in your orbit. Positivity is contagious! 

    Making space for a cause

    Alexis de Tocqueville was impressed by the spirit of philanthropy and dedication to civic life that permeated the country and how we Americans would unite as a group to tackle any problem. As he wrote in Democracy in America, "In the United States, as soon as several inhabitants have taken an opinion or an idea they wish to promote in society, they seek each other out and unite together once they have made contact. From that moment, they are no longer isolated but have become a power seen from afar whose activities serve as an example and whose words are heeded.” Today, as ever, it is important for us to make space for the causes that we care about. Everything goes toward making things a bit better for us all! 

    Making space for new things while blessing others

    As I comb through my closet, I realize there are so many items that I just won’t realistically wear again. I’ve held on to some of these pieces for sentimental reasons, and others I have just been stuffed to the back of my closet and continually passed over. It’s time to let go and make space for something new to one day take its place. I feel so much lighter now that I have cleared these things away, and I encourage you to do the same. By donating your unwanted clothing to the Salvation Army or your local church or charity of your choice, your unwanted clothing can be put to use in someone else’s life. Hoarding goes beyond stashing toilet paper in your basement—it’s a mentality that’s grounded in a fear of starvation!

    At Cocktail Sneakers, we partner with Soles4Souls charity to collect unwanted shoes that are distributed around the world to people who are in dire need. Your unwanted shoes can make all the difference to someone who walks five miles to school on bare feet, or someone who works in an overcrowded city who has duct tape holding his/her worn-down shoes together, or a mother who steps on a rusty metal nail while gathering water for her family but has no access to a tetanus shot. You see, what we take for granted really is a gamechanger in someone else’s life and a gamechanger for the environment as many of us consciously try to move away from fast, disposable fashion toward a more sustainable model.

    With that said, at Cocktail Sneakers, we’re offering 20% off until April 30th and we’re donating 5% of all sales to our partner, Soles4Souls charity (promo code: MAKESPACE). If you are making space in your closet and have any unwanted, gently-worn shoes that you’d like to contribute to our shoe drive, please email us at info@cocktailsneakers.com for more information. If you’re not located in the greater Boston area, please print out a free shipping label or find a shoe drive drop-off location near you. We hope that you join us in supporting our cause!

    Stay safe, stay in, but never stop chasing the sun! 

     

    Sneaker Script: HOW DID YOU MEET THE ONE?

    Sneaker Script: HOW DID YOU MEET THE ONE?

    Last Valentine’s Day, our founder shared her personal story about how she met her wonderful husband, John. This year, we’ve asked some of our favorite ladies to share memories from their best dates, and here’s what they had to say: 

    "We met at a party through friends who were trying to set us up but I didn’t give it much thought. We had both married the wrong people in our twenties and we were both divorced. I wasn’t even thinking of getting involved with anyone, much less this 33-yr-old divorcee. He was young and successful, and didn’t have a hard time finding dates; you could say he was a bit of a hot shot. The following Monday, he had his secretary call me to schedule a dinner date. I told her kindly that if he wanted to take me to dinner, he’d better call himself. That was thirty-one years, two kids, beating breast cancer, and five dogs ago. . . and he’s the best thing that ever happened to me!" – Tracy M. 

    "We were hanging out in my dorm room when he casually asked if I wanted to go out to dinner that Saturday night. “You mean Valentine’s Day?” I blurted out with excitement. He acted as if he didn’t know that is was Valentine’s Day, but years later he confessed that he had known all along and had even made the reservation—at the most fabulous restaurant in town—a week before he asked me. He was a broke college kid, but he spent every dime he earned that week on dinner and flowers. To this day, he’s the most generous, kind-hearted person I know!" - Julie C.

    "It was the late 1970’s and I was home from college on summer vacation. My grandmother was having this huge party and my parents insisted that I go. I met a brainy, talkative young man who had big dreams. He talked all night so excitedly about his plans for the future that he forgot to ask me for my number (a landline in those days). He showed up on my grandmother’s doorstep by noon the next day with a dozen roses hoping that I’d be there or that he’d get my address. My grandmother thought the flowers were for her and he was too polite to correct the record. Later that afternoon, he showed up to the right house with another bouquet of roses. We’ve never looked back . . . and we still haven’t stopped talking!" – Karen B.  

    "It was during WW2 and I was engaged to a young man who was not my true love, but I thought I could grow to love him. It was different in those days, you see. There were so many young soldiers stationed in our small town, and one night I was out at a dance when in walked the most captivating man I’d ever seen. Somehow, we got together and danced all night. Within the month I broke off my other engagement and married him. The war separated us for a few years when he was in a Japanese prisoners of war camp. I didn’t know if he was dead or alive, but I kept waiting. The day he came home was the best day of my life, and I’m nearly 100 years old! Can you imagine? I have no regrets." – Mary W.

    "I was doing the online dating thing, but nothing really took. I was out having drinks downtown after work one summer evening when I met this guy through coworkers. He asked for my number. He seemed nice on paper, but I was a bit jaded from the Boston dating scene, so I didn’t have high expectations . . . or any expectations at all! But he called and we went out for drinks, then dinner, then dinner again, and for our fourth date, I invited him over for a home-cooked meal at my place. I was really starting to like hima lot! In my coat closet was my sister’s wedding gown, and he asked me why I had a wedding dress. I decided to mess with him a little and pretended that I was divorced and that it was my dress from my first marriage. He got quiet and actually seemed sad, so I kept the prank going and pressed him to tell me what was wrong. He said so despondently and sweetly that he wanted to be the first and only man to marry me. I was stunned and over-the-moon happy! We got engaged a few months later, and to this day, I still love playing little pranks on him!" – Elizabeth F.

    Sneaker Script: HOW SUSAN GETS READY FOR DATE NIGHT

    Sneaker Script: HOW SUSAN GETS READY FOR DATE NIGHT

    Romance is like a fire that you need to keep tending to or else it'll go out of a relationship. John and I cherish our date nights together. We have special places that we always like going back to when we’re traveling: Georges and Eddie V’s in Ja Jolla, Raouls and The Blue Ribbon Cafe in Soho, Straight Wharf Restaurant in Nantucket. Since we both love jazz, The Blue Note in NYC is a big hit with us. But since we travel so much, we love to stay in our beautiful hometown of Marblehead, Massachusetts whenever possible—whether it’s watching the sunset at the Corinthian Club, enjoying whatever Chef Barry serves up at Five Corners Kitchen, or just an evening sail around the harbor in the summer. You could say that we are very serious about our dates, so when it comes to getting ready for date night, I have a few tried and true rituals and tips to share with you:

    • Privacy please! You need a little mystery even if you’ve been together for almost 40 years as John and I have. I encourage you to get dressed in privacy, and when your whole look has come together, you’ll notice that his reaction is so much more than it would be if he saw your entire "getting-ready" process. Think of it as a sort of unveiling of the masterpiece—a tad dramatic but it’s all in the mystery and the drama, ladies!
    • Your outfit starts, well, before your outfit. My goal is to have my skin as smooth, exfoliated, moisturized, and glowing as possible. My absolute favorite moisturizer is La Mer, and I’m obsessed with Tata Harper's antioxidant body oil.
    • Proper undergarments are necessary for a slimming and smooth silhouette. You want to look your best in your outfit, and aside from diet and exercise, quality under garments are your body’s best friend. Trust me!
    • Change things up sometimes. You might always wear a signature hairstyle, outfit, or make-up look, but it adds an element of surprise when you change it up occasionally. I know an extra smoky eye or a loud lipstick takes me out of my comfort zone, but once in a while, my Rouge Louboutin Velvet Matte lipstick calls! 
    • I’ve fallen down the YouTube makeup tutorial rabbit hole lately. Have you? Warning: you’ll spend hours and hundreds of dollars on makeup! So, I’ve recently recreated Dominic Sasche’s smoky eye look for a wedding, and I’ve gotten some great everyday tips from Hindash’s makeup for mature skin tutorial. Go find what works for you.
    • The finishing touches. Before I walk out the door, I make sure I have the right jewelry on, I touch up my hair with hair spray, and spritz my signature perfume (which was also Princess Diana’s favorite): Quelques Fleurs l'Original by Houbigant Paris (I also recommend their luxurious body cream).
    • Lastly, harness your feminine energy. Sometimes it seems that women today are so caught up in beating men at being men that our femininity starts to fade. Nothing inspires chivalry and masculinity more than a feminine woman. If you take the time to honor your feminine spirit, you will literally shift the energy of every room you enter. Go on, try it! The male-female polarity is essential for chemistry, and that’s the first ingredient when it comes to romance.

    So, ladies, I’m wishing you a wonderful Valentine’s Day when it comes. I hope it’s filled with romance, good wine, and fine chocolate—if not, treating yourself to a great pair of Cocktail Sneakers will do the trick!

    XOXO!

    Sneaker Script: HOSTESS GIFTS & THANK YOU NOTES

    Sneaker Script: HOSTESS GIFTS & THANK YOU NOTES

    My aunt Edith was a prolific hostess. Her home saw many gatherings, from casual lunches to coat and tie soirées on the lawn. No matter the occasion, she was always in control. She was gracious and witty, and when it came to hostess gifts, we knew her philosophy: “If I can’t eat it, drink it, burn it, or watch it die, I don’t want it.”

    When it comes to giving the hostess a gift, I always follow Aunt Edith’s philosophy, especially when I don’t know the hostess very well.

    Eat it: Chocolates, petit fours, or any festive confection, really.

    Drink it: My go-to is champagne because nothing says “celebrate” like champagne.

    Burn it: Candles are lovely, and I’ve extended the rule to include my favorite potpourri crystals from Bastide.

    Watch it die: Cut flowers are always, always appreciated.  

    Thank You Know Who

    A hostess gift us not given in lieu of a thank you. As the deans of the Charleston Academy of Domestic Pursuits say, “Lavish us with your praise and a post-party wrap up . . . . A handwritten note, a phone call, a detailed text, or an e-mail are all acceptable. Silence is not.”

    Pro tip: never to begin a thank you letter with “Thank you.” Start with something more personal.

    I hope these tips will help you lavish love upon the ones who open their homes up for the holidays.

    Warmest wishes for the season!