Thursday Shoes – Spotlight on Monique Maestas-Gower!

Thursday Shoes – Spotlight on Monique Maestas-Gower!

If you’re hip to the BlogHer fashion scene, you’ll surely recognize my next interviewee, Monique Maestas-Gower.  She reigns as the first Events team member to grace the runway of our first-ever fashion show at BlogHer ’12, NY.  In case you missed it, here’s a glimpse of her rippin’ it up in a luscious Vivienne Westwood gown and Jessica Simpson heels.

I chose Monique as this week’s victim because she is a true fashionista and lives/eats/breathes style….seemingly effortlessly.  Though our styles are quite different, it’s pretty common for me to turn to her for advice before making any major fashion purchases. If I'm shopping solo I sometimes "consult" an invisible mini-Mo in my head: Would Monique like this?? With that said, I put together some questions and can’t wait to hear how she responds!

Enjoy the interview and please remember to share your Thursday footwear using hashtag #BlogHerLovesShoes!  Or via tumblr: BlogHerLovesShoes.

MRA:  We know you have quite a shoe collection.  What are your favorite go-to brands?  And yes, you may name more than 2, but less than 5 please.

MMG: Shoes are definitely a weakness of mine.  For sneakers, I can always count on Converse Chuck Taylors.  I even wore a pair of silver sequined Chuck Taylors at my wedding.  For heels, my go-to brands are Kors Michael Kors and Vera Wang.  They always fit like a glove and are the perfect combination of classic and trendy.  I also love Borne flats.  They are cute and supportive which comes in very handy when I am on my feet for 12+ hours a day during the BlogHer conferences.

MRA: How much money would you guess that you spend on shoes annually?  (Be honest!  I’m sure your husband will not be reading this post.)

MMG: Ha!  I don't even want to think about it.  To be honest I am a huge fan of stores like Nordstrom Rack, Last Call Nieman Marcus, and DSW  where you can get in-season shoes for lower prices. I also try to shop sales like buying boots in late winter/early spring.  I really hate paying full price unless it's a shoe that is TO DIE FOR which does happen on occaision.

MRA: I will now disclose to the masses that you have a fairly unusual shoe size of 5 ½!  With such petite feet, you experience challenges some of us more average folks do not.  Do you have favorite retailers that cater to your size and/or tips for others in your same smaller-size boat?

MMG: I do have really small feet and they are also very flat so there is the additional challenge to find shoes that are supportive and still cute.  I recently discovered that Nordstrom's Rack does occasional Small Sizes Sales for sizes 4-6.  They bring in additional inventory and sometimes offer discounts.  Double bonus!!  Online retailers are also a great option as most stores have a very small inventory of shoes that are under a size 6. 

MRA: You can rock some serious heels.  Please tell us the highest pair you own, as well as how many (or few) hours you can safely go in them.

MMG: I actually had to take out my measuring tape for this one and the results even surprised me!  I have a pair of wedges that are 5' with a 1 1/2' platform.  The majority of my heels/wedges are 4 1/2' with a 1'.  There is just a couple that measure in at a measly 4' with a 1' platform.  I can pretty confidently say that I can last an entire workday in the majority of my shoes. The key to lasting more than an hour in sky high heels are to wear shoes with a platform, thick heel, and make sure they are a good fit.  I completely avoid shoes with sky high, super skinny stiletto heels.  It's like walking in stilts and I'm not coordinated enough for that.

MRA:  And this is clearly a rhetorical question but I must ask - Do you ever find yourself visualizing or fantasizing about what you'll wear for the Thursday shoe shot a day or two (or even more) in advance?  

MMG: Of course!  That's a given.  I always have to make sure that I wear the best pair on Thursday otherwise Thursday Shoe Day wouldn't be so special.  I also have to think about the outfit.  For me, the shoes really inspire and anchor the entire look. 

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