Archive for January, 2009

WWMW (What Would Michelle Wear?)

Seeing the celebs’ sartorial choices during awards season is always fun, but I am much more excited for the inauguration.  Why, fair reader?  It is not for the bland colors and Hilary pantsuits to be sure. The answer lies in one word: MICHELLE.  I just love seeing what she comes up with – she experiments with colors, shapes, and styles, and it is a joy to watch.  I also appreciate how she works with her height and size — no easy task, as many readers know.  I am wondering what kind of footwear she will be wearing on Tuesday.  If my every wish were granted, she would wear Barefoot Tess shoes of course.  But what pair?  Help me decide!

A. A stylish black peeptoe with unique detailing – elegant and edgy, just like her.

B. A kickass boot to show she’s a woman to be reckoned with.

C. A demure kitten heel to complement her classic pearls and shifts.


January 19, 2009 at 12:30 AM 5 comments

Shoe-per Bowl Update: Semifinals here we come!!



Hi gang –

Thanks for all the ladies who sent picks for the Week 1 BFT Shoe-Per Bowl Playoffs!!  The winners are, drumroll please… 

Dolce Vita, Barefoot Tess, Corso Como and Blowfish (by a single vote in a nailbiter v Matt Bernson!!).  This means that the semifinal matchups will be :


Dolce Vita v Barefoot Tess

Corso Como v Blowfish

Remember, for each correct answer last week, we gave 1 pt. For each correct answer this week, we will give 3 points. So even if you didn’t play last round, get involved this week to win $500 dollars worth of shoes from the winning designer!!  Email guesses to!

January 12, 2009 at 4:53 PM Leave a comment

BFT and the Stars

After scouring the internet for Golden Globes coverage, I decided it was high-time to have a celeb fashion run-down for BFT.  It looks like our shoes have been spotted on everyone from Kinsgston Rossdale (Australia Loves!) to Ashley Tisdale.  If any of you have seen other sightings, let me know! I love keeping track of growing roster.

wenn5231599   Amanda Seyfried in Matt Bernson’s Love Sandalmail1





Jessica Alba in Australia Love

January 12, 2009 at 4:29 PM Leave a comment

Ice Queen (by Tess)

Hello faithful readers! It gives me great pleasure to inform you that, after toiling in obscurity for the past semester as leading lady in the off-off-off-off-Broadway show titled “Tess Does College,”  I’ll be dusting off my metaphorical tap shoes and reprising my blogging duties for a limited monthlong run. (Incidentally, I’ve been looking to get a great pair of tap shoes made in sizes 11 and up for Barefoot Tess, but that’s a post for another day.)

Fear not — I’m still a happy and healthy full-time student, and am, in fact, returning to Vermont this afternoon. During this all too brief vacation, I’ve been asked countless times by fellow Marylanders how I can possibly stand the winters “up there,” but truth be told, there’s a lot to recommend the cold season at Middlebury. Because we take only one course during our January mini-mester, otherwise known as J-term, there’s ample time left not just to blog, but also to party and ski.

Now, I’m no Picabo Street, but I did grow up hitting the slopes at least a few times every winter, so I’m no snow bunny either. Suffice it to say that if you put me at the top of anything, I can pretty much get down it, though I can’t make any promises about how graceful I’ll look doing so. And yet it’s precisely because I harbor no inflated illusions about my skiing prowess that I’m content to focus my energies on the aspect of the sport which interests me the most: the fashion.


I’m not saying you should go overboard. Striking the ideal balance between fashion and function in the sporting world is difficult, and I’m willing to bet that leather chaps and Chanel suspenders is one those looks (of which there are many) that only Posh can pull off. Being tall adds to the challenge, as traditional ski clothes tend to be cut in the hemline and crotch for women of average height. Thankfully, female snowboarders wear their pants extra long to achieve the desired slouch in the ankles — I’ve been a devotee of Burton’s Guard style for several years, and right now they look fresh in a winter white.

But first, to back up a little ways, you’ll need a really great under layer. If you’re dead set on finding long johns that are actually long, you’ll probably want to look in the men’s department. Personally, my lower body is so narrow that I tend to buy small women’s bottoms and just wear extra high socks, but you can mix and match according to your own formula at Patagonia. I prefer the Capilene 3 weight, which is a bit pricier than the basic stuff but always delivers the perfect levels of warmth and comfort, whether you’re wearing them on the mountain or under your skinny jeans on a subzero day. I’ll be ordering a new set in that gorgeous Shoreline Blue color for this upcoming winter.

Next step is ditching the tattered old Land’s End crewneck you inherited from your brother in favor of something more stylish. Cashmere is a no brainer, and I love this effortless flag sweater from 291, which looks like a much cuter version of your favorite vintage sweatshirt. The piece de resistance of your outfit, though, should be a really fabulous (and fabulously warm) jacket. If you ski at least a few times a winter, it’s worth investing in something top quality that you’ll wear for years, like this gorgeous chocolate puffer from the legendary European outfitter Moncler. I own a similar-looking NILS style, and the chairlift operator at our Snow Bowl always remembers my distinctive fur hood so I don’t have to use my cold and begloved hands to fish out my season pass before each run. North Face makes another great version for under $200.

If you want to inject your ensemble with a little bit of girlie flair, look no further than the Heiress goggles from Smith. The name says it all — choose from more than 30 colors (I like the lavender with platinum lenses on the third row, because they match my purple and white skis). Lastly, enjoy your hard-earned hot chocolate in style by adding a couple key apres-ski elements to your outfit. A fur headband is a luxe and surprisingly affordable bet: The Fur Source offers a gorgeous selection in a veritable rainbow of colors. The finishing touch? A pair of Australia Love comfy shearling boots that will truly allow you to take a load off.

January 4, 2009 at 9:34 AM 1 comment

Take that, men.

January, sigh.  The holidays are over, and you’re left with the side effects of too much shopping and too much eating. New resolutions are already making you feel guilty.  What to do? For men, the NFL cleverly put the Super Bowl in January for them to look forward to. But what about us women? Barefoot Tess to the rescue! We are proud to announce the FIRST ANNUAL BAREFOOT TESS SHOE-PER BOWL!

 The winner of this high stakes game will walk away with $500 of free shoes made by the winning designer.  Just pick which of our shoes is voted the favorite designer by our customers — and you win!  And it doesn’t cost you a penny.  Here’s how to play.
First, you need to be on our mailing list to enter– if you aren’t, sign up here (   Once you’re on the list, you’re ready to play!
To Play:
Go through our list of designers (on our home page  – and pick which designer is your favorite.  Next, look at the schedules below for each of the 3 weekends of the Shoe-per Bowl playoffs:  January 10/11 weekend, January 18 weekend, and the Shoeper Bowl Feb 1 weekend.  These are the same weekends as the NFL football playoffs.
For each weekend, we will list matches where two of our more popular designers go head to head.  Pick which designer you think will get the most votes as the favorite Barefoot Tess shoe. (Remember, when you vote for the winner of each match choose the designer you think most people will list as their favorite….not necessarily what YOUR favorite is.)   We will put these winners – in other words, which designer in each match of each of the January 10/11 weekend gets the most votes – in the matches for January 18.  We will do the same thing again for the February 1 Shoe-per Bowl weekend.
All winning designers will be announced at the end of each respective weekend on our website.
  Note that you don’t have to vote for each match or for each weekend, since we give more points for later matches.  But, the more matches and weekends you vote, the better your chances are of winning.   You can only vote once for each match, and send your votes to us by email at
The winner will be the customer that accumulates the most points.  If there’s a tie, all the finalist names will be put in a hat.
My Favorite Designer in the Barefoot Tess lineup of designers is: _______________________
Each correct guess worth 1 point
Match One:  My Pick as the winner: ____________________________
Dolce Vita
Match Two:  My Pick as the winner: ____________________________
Barefoot Tess
All Black
Match Three:  My Pick as the winner: ____________________________
Corso Como
Chie Mahara
Match Four:  My Pick as the winner: ____________________________
Matt Bernson
Each correct guess worth 3 points
Match One:   My Pick as the winner: ____________________________
Designer #1 to be determined
Designer #2 to be determined
Match Two:  My Pick as the winner: ____________________________
Designer #3 to be determined
Designer #4 to be determined
Correct guess worth 7 points
Designer #1 to be determined
Designer #2 to be determined
My Pick as the winner: ____________________________ 

January 3, 2009 at 8:04 PM 3 comments

"Barefoot" Tess blogs about life, fashion, footwear, and the perks and pains of being model-tall.


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