EVEN IF it would seem that summer's come early this year, it's not quite time to dive headfirst into sandals territory. There's nothing quite so unattractive as over-eagerness, after all, and besides: There are too many good spring shoes of the closed-toe variety popping up in boutiques all over the city.
I've long been a proponent of the summer boot, and persistent staples like clogs (a trend that by most standards should have expired, but that is having yet another moment in wedge form, as well as a renewed warming toward classic, '70s-in-Laurel-Canyon-esque low heels), sneaks, and breathable flats will serve you well into the warmer months... and the autumnal beyond.
Another reason you might be tempted to add to your shoe wardrobe in the near future is a particular resurgence of color. Rather than saturated bombast, the best hues at the moment are matte, and popping up unexpectedly in sturdy leather go-to styles like flat ankle boots—territory where only black, brown, and the odd gray typically dare to tread (pun intended). Instead I'm seeing subtle blues and an array of shades on the red-to-rose spectrum, which blend surprisingly well into a palette of neutrals.
Another bit of inspiration: Portland has a new addition to its relatively small pool of dedicated shoe options. Fortress of Inca has recently set up shop on E Burnside, and you'll be glad to know that their Peruvian-made styles for men and women—which range from the basics you shit-kick your way through the year in to splashier models—retail at a more approachable price point than many of the city's other boutique options.
1) Isabel Marant at Odessa. 410 SW 13th, odessaportland.com
2) Sydney Brown at Stand Up Comedy. 511 SW Broadway, standupcomedytoo.com
3) Chippewa at the Annex. 4018 N Mississippi, animaltrafficpdx.com
4) Osborne Shoes at North of West. 203 SW 9th, shopnorthofwest.com
5 & 6) Fortress of Inca. 729 E Burnside #105, fortressofinca.com
7) Danner. 1022 W Burnside, danner.com
8) Nike at Compound. 107 NW 5th, compoundgallery.com
9) Bosabo at Halo Shoes. 938 NW Everett, haloshoes.com
• Grayling Jewelry is teaming up with designer re-sellers Phase Two for a spring shopping party that should be easy-ish on your wallet (unless that free wine has its way). Grayling Jewelry, 3115 NE Sandy, Thurs March 12, 5-8 pm
• No discussion of Italian contributions to fashion is complete without addressing the importance of craftsmanship. That's why the Portland Art Museum's programming in conjunction with the Italian Style: Fashion Since 1945 exhibit includes a showcase of some of Portland's own design talent, demonstrating and discussing their techniques live in the gallery space every Saturday. This week the guests are the Lady Jessica and Adelheid Bergin. Crafting Fashion at Portland Art Museum's Object Stories gallery, 1219 SW Park, Sat 1-5 pm through April 25, included with $20 admission
• The new, bigger second Löyly location is having its grand opening this week, with healthy party favors like cleansing tea, body salts, juice samples, and a raffle. Löyly, 3525 NE MLK, Sun March 15, noon-3 pm