We're Not in Kansas Anymore, Toto

Blazer: Century Vintage, Tank Top: lotus, Skirt: Banana Republic, Purse: Off 5th, Shoes: Off Broadway, Watch: Michael Kors, Bracelet: Stella & Dot (contact: jackiespang@gmail.com), Earrings: Macy's, Necklace: Target, Ring: Street Vendor (photos: Carrie Hawkins Foust)
My grandfather (who I called Papa) loved the movie, “The Wizard of Oz”. It was the first movie that he ever saw in a theatre and the first time he ever saw a color picture (TV’s being B&W and all). He told me how blown away he was by the Technicolor scenes when Dorothy, the Tin Man, Cowardly Lion, and Scarecrow finally reached Oz. That movie and its story captured my grandpa’s heart for the rest of his life. Papa passed his love of “The Wizard of Oz” onto my brother, Joseph, who to this day can recite every single word of it. It was my brother Joe’s voice that I heard in my ear this morning as I was getting dressed….”What’s up, Dorothy, you hittin’ up Oz after work”? I could almost hear the sarcasm spill from his voice even though we live hundreds of miles away from each other. The connection to the movie of course being these bright red shoes (Ruby Slippers, if you will). I saw these shoes hanging out on the floor of my closet and I wanted to wear them…TO-DAY. Never mind that I was getting ready to go into my day job in the concrete jungle. I do realize that not everyone can get away with bright red pumps at work, but just a little over the line is riiiight where I like to stay. I mean, I didn’t pair it with a sequins for gosh sake…I do have boundaries. The red shoes are quite a statement in and of themselves so I threw on a black pencil skirt, my all-time FAVORITE B&W stripped tank top from lotus (that I wear with everything), and a black blazer. I piled on a bunch of silver and gunmetal jewelry (pearls, crystals, and gemstones….OH MY!) and was on my way to pick up my morning coffee when at the last second it hit me that I have this fabulous bright red blazer hanging out on the back of my closet door just screaming to be worn with these shoes! So….I succumbed to the cries coming from my closet, ditched the basic black and sported this obnoxiously bright red vintage treasure! Oh and on a side note, I bought these shoes a few years ago. A couple of months after that purchase I myself was in a movie theatre watching a modern cult classic, Sex and the City (Part 1) and watched as “Carrie” put a brand new pair of Manolo Blahnik’s in her recently redone closet (yes, the pair that Big later proposed with). It hit me right then and there that I had purchased shoes made to look just like the Manolo Blahnik “something blue” satin pumps ….KNOCK OFFS… I had NO idea! The shoes in the movie look almost identical to the ones I have (*please note that the shoes in the movie are blue and I had bought the same pair of these red gems in blue as well that day). As you may know (or want to throw up in your mouth when you find out), the Manolo Blahnik “something blue” pumps initially retailed for over $500. After the release of the movie the demand for those beauties skyrocketed, they began to retail for over $1,200! I paid $110 for mine…both pairs together that is; a figure that would still make (my penny-pinching) Papa and (nauseatingly frugal) brother Joe sick to their stomachs. And although I know that I would get teased relentlessly if I wore these shoes in front of any of my brothers (the ones who still live back in my hometown at least) I still couldn’t help but want to close my eyes today, click my heels 3 times and say…”there’s no place like home” to be magically transported back.  


  1. Hey Melissa, love your blog!!!!! Come see me I have some ideas for you.

  2. Thanks, T and Grey!!!! That means a lot coming from you two fabulous women! T, I will definitely come see you ASAP!

  3. So funny, I actually found your blog after I Googled "Grandfather saw Wizard of Oz in movie theater" as a shot in the dark looking for a special gift for him for his upcoming birthday. Like your Papa, my Grandpa has told me many times about the time his class took a trip in the Bronx to go see that movie. So I had to laugh when I saw that you too are an "updated" Deadhead (I prefer that to "reformed" or "former"). I was just telling my husband that in the winter I used to wear cute babydoll dresses with knit tights and Birks. I've come a long way and you look like you have too!!
    You look great!

  4. Dear Anonymous...

    That was the best little note I have ever received. Thank you SO much! What an awesome story about your Grandpa. I know his birthday has passed, but I hope you found the PERFECT gift! ;)

    Oh, and I love the term, "Updated Deadhead"!!!