Thursday, July 24, 2014

If the Shoe Doesn't Fit

When I got pregnant everyone kept telling me how it was going to change my feet. How my feet would get bigger, or flatter, or both.

Once in a while a little ray of light would come through and some woman would tell me that her feet didn’t change at all. Everything was the same as it always was and all her shoes fit even better than before she was pregnant. (Yeah, I made that last bit up).

My new shoes need to be even bigger.
I’ve decided the women who didn’t have any foot changes are either lying or were those horrid people who gain like 10 pounds and have that perfect, round, little bump that looks like the fake belly women wear in maternity catalogs.

Being pregnant with twins I gained almost 50 pounds, my feet swelled, and my bump was more of a giant belly mound that expanded forward, up, down and sideways, threatening to crush me at every turn. Luckily, as soon as I gave birth I lost all but 5 pounds (muscle mass is a different story), my feet slowly stopped being all swollen, and my stomach went back to some semblance of normal. Unfortunately, my feet are also bigger.

How much bigger remains some kind of mystery. I have gone up a half to a whole size at times, yet still have shoes in my own closet that fit. Others have turned into some kind of cruel joke.

Last week I got two pair of shoes I ordered, including this amazing red, black and white pair from Gwen Stefani’s gx line. I went up half a size from my pre-pregnancy size since I has been wearing my old shoes all week.

Well, it must have been some kind of joke. There I was in the living room trying to jam my
I couldn't even jam my giant feet past the black strap.
previously size 7 foot into these heels, looking like I’m reenacting the role of Cinderella’s evil step-sister. My husband sat by staring, probably afraid to ask anything as I was cussing and getting that lip tremble that says I may start crying because I still randomly cry at things vaguely related to babies or my pregnancy. Finally he timidly says, “Maybe they run small.”

Good husband. Thank you for not pointing out my previously creepy, small feet are now vaguely human size, which is great for things like walking, but renders thousands of dollars of shoes that we had a whole closet built for totally useless.

Now I’m sending my giant box of shoes back in hopes a half size up fits. If not, then I will blame the shoes for being a bad cut and move on with my life after a good cry. With all the other changes that have been going on and the new life I’m adapting to, going up more than a whole shoe size is simply unacceptable.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

The Next Steps in New Shoes

Since having the twins four months ago I’ve been busy. I’d love to blame that on why I haven’t blogged a lot too, but the truth is that since they were born I have struggled with my blog identity.

How is Cat in Heels still the same Cat when she can’t go out anymore. What kind of adventures do my shoes have now? I go to work, and come home, and then play with babies (and by play I mean breastfeed with a little playing) until they go to bed. Then I say a prayer no one wakes up in the middle of the night so I can actually sleep and stay up too late watching movies with the husband.

New shoes to fit my new, bigger feet.
From where I was sitting the glamor of what was probably a pretty boring life to begin with, was gone.  Now I’m a woman with twin babies, who works full time, doesn’t sleep and has no clothes because I refuse to shop for my current post-postpartum body. Finally I came to the conclusion that you, dear reader, are here not necessarily because I talked about shoes, but because of my life, my adventures, and yes, my shoes.  And while the person I am has changed, that doesn’t change my obsession with shoes, fashion, workaholicness (that’s not even a word) or alcohol (thank god I can drink again).

So hang on for the new adventures of Cat. These will now sometimes involve a double stroller, a few more workouts, and probably be a little messier than before (literally; someone spit up on my purse).  I’ll be in flats once in a while, and other times I’ll teeter around in platform sandals, drink in hand, handing off babies to grandparents as my family gathers in for a BBQ. (Yes Mom, I know that made you nervous).  Sometimes we’ll focus on trends, shoes and fashion, and other times I will just vent about the dumb-ass things people say to me when I’m out with my girls (because twins are apparently like a circus sideshow).

We can all start with the closet cleaning project I’m currently working on because none of my shoes fit since I had the babes.  You can buy them, including some I never really got around to wearing, from my closet on Tradesy. I will be buying new ones a half size larger.

Join me on this crazy journey into the next chapter of life. From these platforms the view is pretty nice.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Fighting with Fashion

Gladiator sandals are still in style, and I am back to traveling for work. This means that I get to see all the fashion atrocities that people across the country (or world depending on the airport terminal) commit, including that of gladiator sandals.

I am quickly coming to the conclusion that you should take a styling class before wearing them.

Last week I sat at Midway Airport in Chicago for an extra two hours while my flight was delayed because of the weather, previously delayed planes, or some kind of star alignment. (You never do know about those things).  In an effort to not think about the fact that I just walked away from my three month old babies for three days, I decided to instead focus on people watching (and talking in one unfortunate case when I got trapped listening to a lady tell me all about her delays and how her adult kids travel).

The conclusion I came to while wandering around the airport (I was looking for a nursery or place to pump, which Midway does not have), was that 1. My boobs were going to start leaking and it’s a good thing I have a sweater to cover that up; and 2. People do not know how to wear gladiator sandals.

Everyone apparently has gladiators this year. It’s the hot sandal for summer. I would think with all of the pictures of the sandals in magazines and online people would figure out how to wear them, but after a day at the airport, I assure you that is not the case.

If you follow me on Facebook or Instagram then you saw a picture of the skinny jeans with the gladiator sandals over them. I would explain why this is a bad thing, but I really feel it just speaks for itself. Loudly.

Then there’s gladiator sandals and capri pants. Capri’s are an iffy pant to begin with, and can cut women off at just the wrong spot (especially if you’re short). Adding a sandal that has buckles halfway up the calf until it meets the bottom of the pant only chops your lower half up more. This same rule can be applied to knee high gladiators and shorts that are any length other than ass-cheek. This also means you need great legs to pull this off, and if they’re really, really long, that helps too.

Curvy girls, just walk away from that one unless your sandals have a lift, you are free of jiggle and somehow do it without looking like a stripper.

Gladiator sandals work well with skirts, most shorts (even ones longer than your ass), and are super comfy for the summer. I had a pair with two ankle straps I wore so much the last few years the straps literally fell apart. Still, I can’t help but think they’re not the ideal sandal to wear to the airport in most cases due to that whole taking your shoes off part. Remember, everyone hates the person who holds up the whole line taking their shoes off or because they forgot to take their laptop out of the bag. Don’t be that person.

Or make sure you buy a pair that have a zipper. Then you don’t have to mess with all those buckles.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

A Totally Imperfect Pitch

For some reason I’m obsessed with peep toe booties, and yet, so picky about the way they look I didn’t own any. Finally I found a pair from Sophia & Lee that I did like.

Black, peep toe with a sling-back (so they don’t look too blocky), lacing and a subtle texture to the shoe. They would look amazing with a pair of cropped cigarette pants, and give a little oomph to a fun summer dress (assuming I ever own such a thing).

They were the first shoes I ordered after I gave birth to the twins and my feet were back to a normal size (although not my previous size). Then it turns out I didn’t leave the house for weeks on end because I had two newborns at home, so they basically sat in my room collecting dust. Then I went back to work.

I love these shoes, but they suck,
The first day I tried them on at work, I was so unstable I actually took them off and wore a different black shoe from my shoe drawer at the office. The heel didn’t look so high I couldn’t walk in it, but that was the problem I was having. But I cut myself a break. Twins did some really, really horrid things to my core muscles. Maybe I just wasn’t ready for that yet.

So I gave it a few weeks (and a bunch of yoga classes), and it was time to revisit the fabulous and perfect booties. Except a second wearing also felt off. After a stroll around the office I came to the conclusion that the problem isn’t me and my still lacking core strength, the problem is the shoe.

A five inch heel and basically no platform created an unwearably steep pitch to the shoe. So much so, than even when standing upright, it felt like I was bending my knees or leaning in some way. All of the weight was straight into the ball of my foot. It’s like I was in dance class again, but the heel was there to try and make me trip.

It was how I imagine Barbie feels all the time with her impossibly pitched feet.

Of course I wore them all day anyway, as if breaking them in will somehow change the construction of the shoe. It didn’t, but at least I can say I tried.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Farewell to the Dark Genius

The art world lost a great artist this week with the passing of Swiss surrealist H.R. Giger. The man who created art from our dreams and nightmares, was perhaps best known for creating the horrific aliens for the beloved sci-fi horror franchise.

McQueen shoes and a model of the original alien.
I almost feel it can go without saying that my household is a huge fan of his work. So much so we have "Spell 1," a limited edition resin sculpture, hanging in a bedroom. 

One of the things that always impressed me about Giger’s work was his ability to inspire others. His work was emulated, but also taken by artists and interpreted for their own work, citing him as the obvious influence.

This is perhaps best (and most obviously) illustrated with Alexander McQueen’s Alien shoes from his 2010 line. With Giger’s approval Polish fashion designer Malgorzata Dudek created a line of clothing with Giger prints on it.
Dudek's Alien inspired line.
In 2013 Georgia Hardinge created a line of sculptural dresses inspired by the dark art, Danzig featured a woman in a Giger costume in the "How the Gods Kill" video, and even Beyonce has worn costumes inspired by his brilliant vision.

Within the traditional art world I have no doubt Giger influenced countless artists in various mediums, including film. I’m not sure many other artists can claim that kind of influence over so different mediums.

Let’s hope we continue to see fashion and other works inspired by him for many years to come so his legacy and influence on art and fashion may live on. 

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

The Postman Rings Incessantly

Oh the things I do for shoes.... 

The other day I opted to take advantage of a massive ShoeDazzle sale and ordered a new pair of shoes. After agonizing over the size (because pregnancy was not nice to my feet), I opted for a half size larger and places the order. I then promptly forgot about them in the chaos that is being home with six week old twins. 

This morning I got up, made phone calls, answered emails, all while nursing babies and bantering with Husband, who is endlessly bringing me glasses of water, and he expressed the desire for me to take 10 minutes to myself and shower. Although the actual request involved something about me smelling like a barnyard animal and how it can't be good for the babies or humanity in general. 

Daily showers are a luxury, which all my mom friends told me and I didn't really understand/believe. 

After wrapping up all calls and emails, and getting both babies to sleep, Husband busied himself and I ran upstairs to shower. Just after I put my contacts in, and was about to start the water, standing in my bra and panties, the doorbell rang. That promptly set off the dog. 

I scrambled to figure out where I had flung my pajama pants, and the bell rang again, the dog kept barking, and I instead grabbed Husbands bath robe and went flying down the stairs as the bell rang again. 

Seriously, this person is really, really impatient. 

As I threw open the door to find the world's most bell happy mail lady I heard the first snuffles that I knew would lead to cries. 

She silently shoved the box into my hands, staring at the oversize bathrobe I had wrapped myself in and walked away as the first wail started. I then got so wrapped up in getting everyone quiet again that I didn't even get to open the box for like an hour. 

Finally, I got some quiet, and before running off to the shower, I took a moment to open my shoes. Peep toe, lace up, sling back peep toe booties with perforation detail on the vamp from Sophia & Lee. Black of course. 

Perfect with slim fit pants, work or play, and fabulously walkable. Good thing I'm going back to work soon and I may actually wear them. 

The best part is that they fit. Partially because they were final sale, and in other part so that i now know roughly what size I wear. Now it's time for closet cleaning and massive shoe shopping. 

Oh, and I did finally get that shower. Maybe another day I'll get enough time to include a pedicure too. 

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Bringing it Down a Notch

Heel heights that are in vogue change yearly. For the last few years heels have been sky-high stilettos
Denelle by Sole Society.
with massive platforms. Some of them got so high they bordered on vulgar, being a height and design once only reserved for dancing when you can support yourself with a pole.

This year heels have gotten a little thicker (more on that in a different post) and in doing so they have gotten a little lower. Once the standard, the newly named "mid-heel" is all over the place this year, and is much easier to walk in, and a little less scandalous than it's higher counterpart, even when in stilettos. 

The mid-heel is the perfect shoe for the office, and can go seamlessly from day to night. Another bonus is that they don't have your feet pitched at an insane angle, so you can actually walk in them, and stand in them for more than an hour. 

The mid-heel is also popping up on sandals for summer. From gladiators to strappy summer sandals, it's
Betty Bow Heels by Pinup Girl Clothing
 all about being able to walk for miles in fashion. 

Or am I the only one who walks for miles in their heels? Seriously, it's a great workout. As long as you're staying out of the grass. Any kind of heel in grass is bad and should be avoided. 

I also have to admit that now with two babies, there's also an obvious advantage for me (and all other mothers) with the mid-heels as well. Carrying squirmy babies while wearing towering platforms isn't the most practical thing, and I'm not ready to hang it up and be in all flats all the time. 

Halogen Marissa 
Comfortable and foot friendly, I have to admit that I'm personally excited heels are taking a step down. After spending the last few years of my life somewhere just shy of six feet tall and walking slow as hell, it's nice to be a little closer to the earth and able to speed up the walking just a touch.