Put some spring in your step


March 27, 2005|By Tanika White | By Tanika White,SUN STAFF

This little piggy wants a ballerina shoe. This little piggy wants a wedge heel.

So many choices for spring shoes -- metallics, flats, espadrilles, wedges, printed leathers, cherry motifs, bright and vibrant colors. What's a girl to do for her demanding little piggies?

We went to Hampden's Ma Petite Shoe to ask fashion-forward owner Susanna Siger how best to satisfy your various shoe needs this spring.

As is usually the case with her off-the-beaten-path taste, Siger gave us her best advice for following the trends, by still including your own fresh and funky take.

"We try to be outside of the mainstream in whatever interpretation of what's hot this season," Siger said. "And people in Baltimore expect that. They don't want to see what they can find anywhere else."

That's why many of Siger's shoes have unexpected designs or details -- wedges have screened Oriental prints; metallics are distressed; patent leathers are textured; flats have sporty laces, elasticized backs or square toes.

"Everybody's going flat," she said. "This is sort of turning the whole ballet flat thing on its head."

Bold colors are in for spring, but Siger's favorite is the classic symbol of grass-growing, bud-emerging spring.

"I think green is probably the significant color across all of the trends," Siger said. "We have green metallic, green retro prints, green ballet shoes. Green is fresh. Green is optimistic."

Whatever the color or style you choose, the one rule this spring is to break free from the confines of your black and brown winter shoes and make a fun, springtime statement.

"The fun thing about shoes is you can be really flirty and fun with your shoes," Siger said. "Whether you're in Condoleezza power heels or sweet ballet flats, it [shoes] literally sets your stride, how you're gonna walk, how you present yourself. It sets the tone for the day."

Ma Petite Shoe, 832 W. 36 St., is open Sunday and Monday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Tuesday-Thursday, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.; and Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. 410-235-3442

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