A Day In Wilmington, North Carolina

I'm picky when it comes to footwear.

Aside from being pretty particular with my style, I find that my comfort level is directly tied with my confidence level. For someone who's all too familiar with insecurity (though aren't we all?) it means that being comfortable in my clothing is of the upmost importance if I'm going to feel and do my best. A real top priority item.

Despite a sharp 7th grade obsession with all things platform, I'm now firmly committed to the flat and love the freedom flat shoes give me – to walk, go down stairs, and move with ease without worrying about turning an ankle. It's the little things sometimes, isn't it?

We may have recently moved to a more car-centric landscape, but walking is still my favorite mode of transport. D and I walk both at home in Durham and as much as possible when we travel. It's my favorite way to see a city, and I believe the best way to truly immerse yourself anywhere. But my penchant for walking led me to realize, many moons ago, that quality, comfortable flats were in order.

Enter the Pikolinos Calabria. (Also known as my new go-to oxfords.)

After a coastal weekend spent in slides I was looking for a little more structure for a day in Wilmington, which we'd planned to swing by on the way home from the beach. While Wilmington is not exactly the big city, it is A City (the one where Dawson's Creek was filmed, mind you) and it called for a more stable shoe than my beach sandals.

sff4.jpg

Even though it's still hot as everything here in North Carolina, I can already tell that these oxfords will be one of my regulars as the weather transitions and becomes cooler. Aside from the fact that they're comfortable, accomodate my obsession with comfort, and wear well with just about anything, they're also made of a super soft leather that's been treated naturally and tanned in Spain, which means that they're high quality and just plain feel good to wear. You know when you buy a great leather bag or new belt or something and you can just feel the quality? That's these shoes. Their production process is also simplified, and everything is hand finished.

In other words this is a pair of shoes you can feel good in, and feel good about.

Pikolinos is also a socially-motivated company working with the Maasai in Kenya and Tanzania on several of their products, which is yet another reason to feel good.

Needless to say, the shoes served me well during our afternoon in Wilmington and overall it proved to be an enjoyable place. It's been so nice revisiting areas of the South that I haven't seen for years and noticing the change all over the state of North Carolina (mainly in the form of of cute farm to table restaurants, which I'm more than happy with). While there, we walked around the Historic District, had $3 (!) sangria at Beer Barrio, saw the farmers' market, strolled along the Cape Fear River, and talked for a long time about getting ice cream. All while feeling cool, calm, collected, and comfortable despite the craziness of the past few months.

Yep. So far, so good.

I received product and compensation from Shoes.com for this post, though note that I believe in and support the process and mission of Pikolinos. Thank you for supporting the businesses that support Second Floor Flat. Have questions? Let me know!

Photos by Derrick Watterson III


Chic + Really Cheap: Soludos x We Are Handsome

The new Soludos x We Are Handsome designer collaboration is blowing my mind.

Soludos x We Are Handsome // Second Floor Flat

Featuring four exclusive We Are Handsome prints and two Soludos shoe styles, the collection is an ode to "80's-inspired photo print design" and warm weather at the start of the coolest season of the year. 

Soludos x We Are Handsome // Second Floor Flat
Soludos x We Are Handsome // Second Floor Flat
Soludos x We Are Handsome // Second Floor Flat

The shoes range from $65 for the Original slip-on styles to $78 for the lace-ups, which means I'll be buying, like, all of them or at least heavily hinting about them to my friends and loved ones.

Soludos x We Are Handsome // Second Floor Flat
Soludos x We Are Handsome // Second Floor Flat
Soludos x We Are Handsome // Second Floor Flat
Soludos x We Are Handsome // Second Floor Flat
Soludos x We Are Handsome // Second Floor Flat
Soludos x We Are Handsome // Second Floor Flat

My dreamboat Soludos will be worn with these baggy leather trousers, this cropped wool sweater, and this fedora, all while eating a pale pink push-up for good, poppy-80's measure. Be still, my little beating heart.


Sneak-y Sneakers and Trainers

There's something about sneakers (trainers) that just seems so right, right about now.


Maybe it's the Emerson Fry pair that I'm obsessed with, or maybe it's all of the sneak-shots from all of the fashion weeks.

Sneak-y Sneakers and Trainers


The only sneakers that are in my shoe closet (read: dusty area under broken hanging rack) are actual running shoes that were very much discounted, purchased here, and are used 5-7 minute jogs around my neighborhood. They look very different from this...

Sneak-y Sneakers and Trainers


I'm still a little gun shy about wearing sneakers/trainers/whatever as actual, fashionable shoes but I figure if Susie Bubble can make them look this good, I may as well give it a shot.

Sneak-y Sneakers and Trainers


From here, here, here, here, here—oh, and here!