Monday, July 29, 2013

The Right Shoes



Give a girl the right shoes, and she can conquer the world.

Marilyn Monroe
 
 
Ah but here's the thing: I suspect that when Marilyn said this, she was probably talking about the shoes in this shot from Some Like it Hot:
 
source
or these from Seven Year Itch:
 
Source
 
(BTW - before I go on, if you have NOT seen either of these movies, you are in for a treat - they are funny, funny, funny - and The Seven Year Itch is the original Home Alone movie and perfect for a hot summer night!)
 
As Jane Austen would say, it is a truth universally acknowledged that the only truly sexy shoe is the shoe that has a high heel.  Or so it would seem from all of the ads, the movies, and the teetering starlets and pop stars who mince around in 5" heels...
 
In the fashion world, the flat is the shoe of the gamine in skinny pants:
 
source
 
 or the French:
 
Source
 
As you know, I have vowed to leave the high heels to the younger, less flat-footed than I, women.  But I would like to think that I have a little je ne sais quoi left in me, so as I look around at the fall shoe offerings, I search for the shoe that is both comfortable and sexy.  And by the way, if you want to read an absolutely top-knotch post about whether older women can look sexy, run, don't walk to Jennifer's most recent post in her always-wonderful blog A Well-Styled Life!
 
Oh - and did I mention I am on a budget and would prefer not to pay an arm and a leg?  But of course,  I can hold out for a sale!
 
So far, the only shoes that have caught my fancy are actually from J Crew:
 
Mirror metallic oxfordsLeather oxfordsCollection Kiki calf hair ballet flats
 
Can an oxford or ballet be sexy?  I think so...
 
But I search on.

So I visited Net-A-Porter, which seems to demonstrate to me that the current thinking is that flat shoes are FUN shoes:
 
Christian Louboutin Sakouette printed cotton-sateen loafers Charlotte Olympia Taurus suede slippersMarc by Marc Jacobs Shorty leather-appliquéd suede slippers
 
And the Valentinos I see EVERYWHERE on the fashion blogs are still for sale (wish I had bought stock in those! or NOT, when they are suddenly as common as the cold):
 
Valentino Studded patent-leather flatsValentino Studded patent-leather flats
 
 
A lovely pair of Miu Mius caught my eye there, but they are not what I would describe as fall shoes:
 
Miu Miu Bow-embellished patent-leather loafers
 
Giorgio Armani has kind of a sexy little flat shoe, the chain-trimmed suede d'Orsay flats:
 
Giorgio Armani Chain-Trimmed Suede d'Orsay Flats
..but the price is way too rich for my blood.
 
 Other sites that I visit leave me equally uninspired!

This year, with the closing of my local go-to shoe shop, I am forced to either leave my city and shop elsewhere or order online, which is kind of sad, not to mention difficult with shoes. 

If you recall, I did pick up these little beaded loafers in the going-out-of business sale:


What I am really looking for is a simple, sexy flat that I can wear with dresses or skirts. 

So I turn to you all: what lovely, comfortable, sexy flat shoes would YOU recommend?

I believe that flat can be sexy, now I want to believe that sexy flat can be affordable!

How about you?  Anyone else on the flat shoe search or bandwagon?  Would love to know.  Anyone else starting to think about fall shoes?

Have a great Monday and stay safe out there!
 
 


57 comments:

  1. I am on the hunt for navy heels, under 3", and navy loafers. I wear more pants so loafers it is. I am quite enamored with these for the flats http://www.berenshoes.com/robert-zur-petra-driver/p/RZ0001_NVY_NP/

    and for the heels http://www.berenshoes.com/ron-white-all-day-heels-katee-pump-navy-texture-suede/p/AH0023_NVY_TS/

    I will likely get the flats and wait on the heels to hopefully go to sale...I still have those damn Monas so very hard to justify.

    Why not stick with the Kiki's from j Crew? They seem to work for you and am sure come in a variety of colors and textures, or will eventually. The deep eggplant is a beautiful color for fall.

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    1. HI BB - never heard of Beren shoes! Off to take a look. I like the kikis and they are a lovely shoe, but I think I would like something sometime in the fall that is a bit dressier. I did order the black kikis on sale to replace a pair of black ballets I tossed, but not sure...

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  2. Shoes are totally my nemesis these days! I have also sworn off my heels (only kept a few pairs during my last closet clean) and would like to find a stylish, comfortable, leather lined, good quality flat preferrably with arch support! I have a few pairs of flat in my closet that I wear, but I need a couple more since my soles are wearing thin (and so is my patience to find something!) You know what is one of the hardest things to find? A nice black flat or black wedge! I'm going to be checking back in to see what these stylish ladies suggest!

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    1. I am thinking that black would be the way to go - universally flattering, if we can find the right one!

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  3. I am into comfort first when it comes to shoes so I mostly have ballet flats. I can only wear heels up to 2 inches at most and am partial to kitten heels. I love D'orsay style but it looks better with some height. I am still searching for one that is not too high. I am in awe of women I see taking the subway and walking in high stilettos. They look great and powerful. Yet, I see some in towering platforms but they could barely walk. So painful to look at. I saw some tweed loafers from UGG that looks interesting for fall.

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    1. UGG tweed loafers? WIll have to check those out! Of course, they would likely not fit into the dressy, sexy, shoe category, but I do love tweed and I do love UGG...

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  4. What makes a flat shoe "sexy"? A pointed toe? Embellishments? Patent leather? I think some of the Salvatore Ferragamo shoes are sexy. They come in flat and small heeled versions. They are also "classic" and withstand the test of time. Saks Fifth Avenue has some good ones on their website. Not sure how often they go on sale though. They wear well and are worth the investment. They look fabulous with dresses and skirts or dressy pants.

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    1. Hi Anon - great questions - I tend to think of the first two of your questions - pointed and embellishments as sexier than just patent leather (thinking here of my patent leather cole haan loafers, which while lovely, are decidedly SENSIBLE!

      Will have to check our Ferragamo!

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  5. I can't wait to see the colors J Crew rolls out for Fall in the KIKI! Because of you and Dani, I bought 2 pairs and have worn them to death! They are the first and only plats I ever treid that fit and look great. I wimper when I put regular heels on now (but that does happen every summer...). I'd like the Kiki's in a darker medium brown and navy. I had my shoe cobbler add a smidge of height to the heel on my red ones and cream / navy cap toe one, so they're just under an inch, and they are PERFECT!

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    1. I see the cognac colour is on there - not sure if it is brown enough for you? I wish they would do navy as well. I cannot believe how comfortable those shoes are. I am wearing my red ones constantly and have the black ones on route....

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  6. ...first and only PAIRS I've TRIED. Sorry. It's early over here for me...

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  7. I'm at a loss, because I can't wear flats! I know that sounds counter-intuitive, but that has been the advice of the orthopod, and it has been a true life-saver. Even my most casual sandals or slip-ons have a small heel - between 1-1/2 and 2-1/2 inches - or a wedge. On the other hand, my face looks more pleasant when my feet don't hurt. And please note that I don't wear pumps with 4-inch heels at all. Even with denim shorts ;)

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    1. Oh Fred, you have disabused me of my fantasy! I guess by flats I mean anything under 1 1/2", and completely comfortable, so you probably have those. Completely flat shoes are lovely (thinking of capri sandals for instance) but too flat for walking and cocktailing for long periods of time, even for me!

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    2. WFF, I am starting to conclude the same. Less pain if I have a .5 to 1" heel, it seems.

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  8. WMM, I like Tory Burch shoes- not the Reva, but the ones with out the big logo. They are so comfortable. I also think some of the glittery fun Sperry Topsiders and Tom's shoes are funfor the fall- and not too costly either. Not sexy, but fresh- probably more for pants, but worth a look. YOu should wear the heck out of your fun periwinkle rhinestone t strap shoes- I forget the name. Build your fall wardrobe around them. They are adorable. Have the shoemaker spray them to keep them clean.

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    1. Good plan - I am currently stretching them a bit - they are a bit tight! I will check out Tory's ideas!

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  9. Ah Wendy, the search for the perfect shoe! A post after my own heart!
    I shall search the interwebs tomorrow and get back to you, as it's nearly 11pm here and bed calls. I'm thinking perhaps Roger Vivier low heeled pumps, or Ferragamos. My only fear with the Ferragamos is that they can look a touch matronly with their square toes.
    I shall return e turn tomorrow

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    1. Oh and then you can get Tabs going on the Viver's, which I think she thinks is puritan like! :-) Thanks for all advice! Loved your new shoes!

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  10. I, too, am looking for comfortable low heeled shoes and have the Ferragamo Vara on my radar for fall, as well as the calf hair Kiki's. Hoping these will fit my slightly wide problem feet!

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    1. If they have Nora's in the calf hair, you might do really well - they are very wide!

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  11. Not everyone finds the same things sexy. High Heels are often considered sexy but if you cannot walk in them properly you will just look silly. Some thoughts that have gone through my mind (I would never say them out loud) when watching women walk in high heels are:
    "Oooh, it looks like your feet are killing you."
    "Is that posture how you seed a dowager's hump?"
    "Where did you leave your horse?"

    Rather than dressing to look sexy, I dress to look GOOD. That means flattering clothing appropriate to my figure and lifestyle, that fits properly. If it conforms to a norm that is fine but also fine if it doesn't.

    Nice to Ines in her Roger Viviers. I just got the suede ballets with tortoise buckle. I love these shoes, they are just incredible in how they look and feel on the feet. I have a review planned for later this week, time permitting.

    An all black patent leather ballet flat is classic too, but I think the suede ones will do for now.

    I agree that the rockstud shoes are at the saturation point. There are a lot of other studded shoes out there now as well and it's a very dated look already. Not at all classic IMO.

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    1. Hey xoxo - will be interested to see your Vivier review! And I agree - anything more than 2 1/5 inches and I simply look silly....

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    2. I have to agree with xoxo, I have been salivating over the Valentino shoes for awhile and I think they look great but it's at the point where everyone has them, they are not really one-of-a-kind anymore.

      Many women have no clue how to walk in heels, the stomping on a bug stride has never done anyone any favours!

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    3. Good one LR, I forgot about the bug stomper, or ant killer as we used to call it. LOL

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    4. It is funny to me - sometimes it good to not have all the money...

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  12. I like flat shoes, but I don't think they're sexy. I think if you want flat and sexy, I think a pointed toe shoe is your best bet.

    I don't need to hunt for shoes, they hunt for me lol.

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    1. Cate - that is the line of the day!

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  13. Also, I think that cut-out chain-link d'Orsay pair of shoes is kind of sexy because of the cut-out instep (I'm sure there is a name for that but I can't think of it)(vamp?). I have a pair of J. Crew Valentinas like that and I really like that look. Those are a bit higher than you want, but you've found the look in that one pair you posted. I'd look for that if you are going for flat or no heels, plus the pointy toe.

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    1. I think xoxo found a pair like that overseas last year - maybe ACNE or I may be confused - but I hear what you are saying!

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    2. I remember those shoes of xoxo's, yep! The pair you posted a picture of remind me of them.

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    3. Oh yes, those are Acne's Julie pump and they are great shoes. You can see my blog post on them HERE. The heel is only 1.5" so they feel like flats really, at least to me.

      I agree with cate, the pointy toe is sexier, especially on a flat.

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    4. Oh I love them - wish they weren't sold out. That is one of the nicest shoes ever - so simple!

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  14. We don't get much of a summer, so spring summer shoes last for yonks! No gaps autumn/winter wise either. Now new pretty thermals - those are on my my must buy list.

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    1. That is why I love you - I just picture you at home with the nice stuff, the bottle of bourbon and the thermal underwear! I actually need new thermals, too!

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  15. I have given up on the quest for sexy comfortable shoes - I don't think they exist, at least not in the current fashion age, which dictates that the shoe must be pointy and high heeled. Have you tried looking for a pointy toed shoe with a low heel, such as favoured by Michelle Obama? I think hers are Jimmy Choos, but not 100% sure. There's also the Roger Vivier pumps that Ines is wearing in the photo above but those are more "elegant" than "sexy".

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    1. Hi Louise - hope all is well. I think you are right - I may have to stick to my pliner raye's as my sexy (ish) shoe and move on to elegant...

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  16. Ahh, shoes...I love shoes. One can NEVER have enough shoes. I love your picks, esp the J. Crew Oxfords in metallic. I have the Biellas in the metallic. I love them! The silver/metallic color goes with everything; just like a nude shoe. Very versatile. Now you have me tempted to stalk the Oxfords. I think it's a great little 'twist on a classic'.

    I'm married to a man who loves shoes just as much as I do. He has a handmade pair coming next month and has been eyeing the Aldens which are made from shell cordovans (aka a horse's behind)! What makes Alden shoes so sought after is that the same piece of leather is used to make these beautiful shoes vs. different pieces from a different animal. Alden shoes are uniform in grains and color.

    Hope you do find another pair of shoes to buy very soon.

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    1. I do like those metallic ones, too - I love my Allie sands in the mirror finish - always smile when I see them!!! Shell Cordovans - oh gosh not sure I wanted to know that, heehee! Although I do think it is important that if we are going to wear leather that we don't pretend it is something else! Thanks Wendy!

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  17. I love shoe posts, they are just fun to read, aren't they? I'd say that my first inclination for a sexy flat are pointed. I've personally been completely in love with the Madewell Sidewalk Skimmers. They are comfy from the get-go (soft leather, no breaking-in) and come in fun prints, as well as plain. I've basically just stocked up on those and gotten rid of a lot of others that don't feel as good.

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    1. M - have never tried those - are they tts? I am going to have to go take a look! I did pip up a pair of silver Marc Fisher pointed toe flats and I like them quite well - they were a steal for $30!

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    2. I go up to a 9, so I'd say they seem to run slightly small, a la J.Crew. I find they just fit my feet perfectly and can wear them all day with Mary a pinch. If they ship to you, perhaps it's with a shot? They ate pretty reasonably priced.

      The silver flats sound fab, live a silver flat!

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    3. Thanks! Will check those out!

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  18. I'd like to find some oxfords I like; I know they are not sexy, but I like them. I wear flats with small 1/2-1 inch heels and arch support much of the time ( when I'm not in my Topsiders). MLane does not like heels-- yay!

    Haven't tried the Kikis yet, but likely will. I got navy loafers on sale at Brooks Bros, but they are a bit too flat.

    It's hard being us...

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    1. Lane: you, my dear, have said a mouthful...

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  19. I must throw in my recommendation for Cole Haan wedges. They have all different names based on their decoration...Air Tali, Air Milly, Air Monica (which are in the Nordstrom's sale currently going on), but they are all wonderful for my super picky, rather flat, size 11 feet. I love them so much that I have 5 pairs, and I find them perfectly comfortable for a day at work where I'm standing and walking around a lot. Probably not as sexy as you had in mind, but they look good with pants or skirts/dresses and have about a 2" heel that is stable due to the wedge if you (like me) find yourself balance-challenged in heels. Some reviews say they run a bit small and on the narrow side, but I haven't had trouble. I have found that over time the leather stretches out in the heel, but that is fixed with those grippy things you can get at any store. I haven't tried J.Crew shoes because when I see them in the store they always seem so flat and hard, so I can't compare, but I love these for a versatile, comfy shoe.

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    1. Hi WA Shopper - excellent point! I have a lovely pair of Air Tali, which until you mentioned, I had completely forgotten about! They are indeed very comfy! As you know, I just bought cole haan loafers and a purse and am a huge fan of the company - s this is an excellent and well-deserved shout-out to them...

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  20. SHOE IN Well WMM, as much as I love and wear heels, my job and commute requires practical flats for any but rarer desk & meeting only days. Can you tell we gels love shoes? Lotsa top comments today! Am a fan of Pilner, Capezio (the ballet shoe peeps, sell several other brands www.capezioshoes.ca but fall not out yet); Sam Edelman, have had some luck with Madewell shoes as well (think most would be a TTS 6.5 for you.)

    I am probably not person to talk to right now, since always seriously love oxfords (including those metallic JC ones and anything Clergerie) and this fall I am genuinely contemplating a pair of EF booties. Not the "prettiest" shoes at all, and pricey, but will give me a sometime way to avoid the boot/shoe swap, a daily pain.

    (PS Know studs are so done, but still digging your sale rocker slippers. And since you "have" to buy online, I would recommend ShopBop for the free ship, easy return.)

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    1. And since we know we like Cole Haan, keep meaning to ask if you have ever tried Geox? Most is sporty, but do some fancier pairs too, well made for the price.

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    2. Those are beads not studs, how could eye?!

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    3. Hey GF - have never found a geox pair for me - never say never, but not yet. And my god, I do love those Valentinos, even if they are everywhere!!!

      I may just wait for the metallic oxfords to hit sale! They are quite divine in my eyes, but then my eyes are jaundiced by bling and shine and sensible heel!

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    4. Is Geox Cole Haan? I got a good black leather bag for my computer from CH this year, very nice.

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  21. Aha! I knew I had seen Ines' shoes somewhere! Undoubtedly, hers are expensive, leather lined and quite possibly custom made, but Seychelles has a good dupe:
    http://www.amazon.com/Seychelles-Womens-Birch-Flat-Black/dp/B007IOFFII/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1375151886&sr=8-1&keywords=seychelles+birch
    I have had moderate luck with Seychelles shoes. They are not a high quality shoe, but often comfortable and with a reasonable amount of support. I too sing praises to Cole Haan but have yet to find one of their plain wedges in stock!

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    1. Hey AB - thanks for the link!! I think Ines must be wearing Vivier - she is their spokemodel, but those Seychelles are a good homage to them!!!

      I had to get my local shop to order in the cole haan wedges early in the season a couple of years ago - they always sell out so quickly!

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  22. Hi Wendy,
    A late comment, as I am trying to catch up around the web. I have ditched more than half of my shoes, and there are more on the list to leave. Yes I think it is essential to find comfortable AND sexy shoes, but I find this so hard! I think that heels should be saved for exceptional events and for a short time as it is now known and admitted that they are not very good for our feet... I have found Cole Haan ballet flat very comfortable and recently during my last trip to London, I have found some lovely Ecco shoes, also flat, equally comfortable... I have invested also in two pairs of shoes from AIGLE (a French brand) which are extremely comfortable.
    I hope you will keep us updated.
    Take Care
    Steph

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  23. Depending on the type of foot you have you cna probably have luck looking on a site called comfortoneshoes dot com. However, if you need REALLY supportive shoes (to the point where it is better to try them on than to risk running into a "pathetic" returns policy and being stuck with something unwearable) I would reccomend going into the store and trying out the machine they have that uses some form of heat sensory graphing (similar to that used for the Dr. Schol's foot mapping center's, but more intense and in-depth) to get a truer analysis of you "problem" areas and more accurate reading of your arch, size, etc. and thus giving you the most accurate fit! I do NOT know if they are an international chain nor if they have very many stores (if any) outside of the DC/Maryland/Virginia area. Also, like most I have been depressed with the selection I can find for my feet! I am a woman at 5'1 1/2 with my mom's high arches, dad's flat feet and at 23 mom's genetic arthritis who can NOT wear ANYTHING but extremely supportive sneakers OR those extremely supportive "dress shoes" that are typically an ugly brown color and look like something out of the back of a catalog for bowling shoes! My feet are a depressing 6.5 extra wide to a 6.5 double wide and due to my support issues I prefer to try in person! I do have some slightly cute sandals that have decent support I got a few years back and were European imports (the size has rubbed off with wear) and are decent in design, but not "over the top" in-terms of having a million bobbles hanging off of them and are more elegant! Sadly though, I do NOT have as much to wear them with these days as I have lost some weight and all of my "fancy" stuff has been sent to donation!

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  24. I hear you - not fun at all, is it?????

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