Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Working the Boot

Boots, winter and the office. That can be a tricky game to play.

IMO this is pushing it.




Boots are the perfect shoe to wear in the winter (assuming the ground isn’t covered in ice) and they can be paired with skirts and pants, and can make an otherwise boring outfit somewhat office chic. They can also totally derail an otherwise professional look, turning you into some kind of corporate America dress code nightmare.

When it comes to boots of any height and work, stay away from heavy hardware. A buckle detail or exposed contrasting zipper is fine, but stop there. Unless you’re in a very fashion forward office, don’t wear things with chain embellishments, studs or both. This goes double when said boot is knee high.

Speaking of height, be careful. An over the knee boot can be great with pants or skirts, but you want to make sure the skirt isn’t too short, and that the boot heel isn’t too high. I personally just stay away from over the knee boots because I’m short and curvy and lose either way. If it’s flat I suddenly look like a child playing dress up or an extra from Lord of the Rings. If it’s got a heel and/or platform I look like I’m trying to dress provocatively, which is a whole separate problem. When given the choice between Frodo or Pretty Woman, I just pick a different shoe.

My personal favorites when it comes to boots are an ankle high slouch boot with a stiletto heel, or a black knee high boot with ribbon lacing and a taller, but wider heel (I also have this boot in red).
Knee high in red and black.

The ribbon laces give the boot that something “extra” a lot of people are looking for, and it provides the versatility (and added width in the calf if that’s a need).

My ankle boots are by far the most worn of the two, and they can be slouched or folded (which I never bother to do), worn with pants or skirts, and with no platform and a walkable heel, these are even great weekend boots when I’m running errands with the twins.  I got mine last season, but I still see things like it all over, so it should be hard to find.

If you have that coveted fashion job, a workplace with a progressive dress code, work for yourself, or just don’t give a fuck, then rock out with the studded, chain boots that come over your knee. I either have that stuff or wish I could wear it (over the knee boots I love you), and it’s a regular wardrobe staple when I’m not at work. But when it comes to dressing professionally, err on the side of a little less when it comes to boots. They can be a big statement in a stuffy, corporate world.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Getting Back to Yourself

Anyone who has ever had a baby knows that it takes some time to get back to “normal.” And by time I mean I’m not entirely sure this is ever actually going to happen.

Aside from the part where your body is pushed to physical limits you didn’t know were possible, there’s that whole weight gain thing. 

If you’re one of those horrid women who bounced back in like a week without any changes, then screw you. Stop reading now and go somewhere and gloat. We are not friends. For the rest of you who are still with me on this quest to yoga my ass back in shape (seriously, what happened to my ass?) then welcome. You get it.

In my total insolence and hatred of my new post-baby body I have been refusing to buy new clothes. I don’t like this new size and am determined to not stay here forever, therefore there’s no point in investing in clothes. As a result I am wearing the same 6 outfits all the time, none of which are quite my pre-pregnancy style.

Luckily, I have my shoes.

The magic heels.
After spending money on getting some basics back in the closet (black, nude, red) I could focus on something a little more fun. One day while out buying new rain boots, the day after a really rainy week, I found the shoes that made me smile.

Leopard pony-hair with a red patent heel cap. As soon as I saw them sitting on the end of the DSW aisle I knew it was meant to be. I grabbed them and ran to the front of the store, rationalizing the purchase by telling myself leopard is a neutral (but that red patent is not).

A few days later I wore them to the office with a pair of cigarette pants and a sweater and it was magic. Boom. I was myself again. I think just wearing those shoes caused me to shift around some weight in my hips and bring my ass back to normal. Suddenly I felt stylish and like the old me. Not like the me who had twins and was constantly reminded by wearing something that I didn't really like.

I always knew leopard print was amazing and magical.

Now I just need to find the heels that make my stomach flat again. 

Check out my closet on Tradesy for some amazing size 7 shoes, maternity clothes that I will never need again, and some really fabulous dresses and sweaters that just aren't getting the love they deserve.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Where Everybody Knows Your Name

When I was in my 20s (and early 30s) there were always places I could go where everyone knew me. And by everyone I mean the bartenders, bouncers and the cast of regulars. I had my Cheers.

Sure it was a heavy metal/punk rock bar that always smelled of cigarettes (even after the smoking ban in Chicago) and drunk-person sweat, but that was my scene and I loved it.  Now we’ve all moved on (thank you for keeping me updated Facebook), and it’s a very different place where people don't know me, but they do know my daughters.

DSW.

I bet you thought I was going to say something like the playground or Gymboree, Carters, or some baby music class. No, it’s DSW. I have gone in there so many times with my infant daughters they recognize me. I am being asked how to style difficult shoes. I’m told about promotions that aren’t advertised yet and about new shoes that came out. (The boot section is bananas right now for fall).
Not my store, but close.

Still, while I’m the one with the credit card, replenishing my now deceased shoe collection due to those little cherubs changing my shoe size during pregnancy, it’s not my name the sales people know. It’s my girls.

Granted, I’m not quite as cute, and I don’t put my foot in my mouth in public (I can but seriously, why would you want to?), but still…I’m the one buying the shoes. They don’t even wear shoes, but at the shoe store they’re the ones getting all the attention!

As a “grown up” DSW has become my new Cheers and I’m playing second string to a couple of infant girls.  That store is just counting down the days until those little girls start walking and need their own shoes.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to have a cocktail and cry over the shoes that no longer fit while the twinkies nap.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Turning Babies into Goblins



Tuesday was David Bowie Day in Chicago. A new holiday we have bestowed upon the great man in honor of the new exhibit “David Bowie Is” at the Museum of Contemporary Art.  The show is a retrospective of his work in music and in film.

While I wasn’t able to attend the gala that opened the show (because it was $3,000 a ticket), I did manage to find something I have been searching for. Red and white stripe onesies with feet.

Baby goblin in the making.


If I have to explain why this is so exciting to you, then you need to immediately put down the computer and drag your shameful self over to the television and watch Labyrinth on repeat until you
understand why I bought two of them.

My twins have one piece of art hanging in their room and it’s the Labyrinth movie poster. That’s it. No clever quotes about growing up strong or pictures of the family. Hell, I haven’t even managed to get pro shots of the little rugrats taken yet. But there is Bowie. The Goblin King stares at them while they sleep. So of course I did what any loving, doting, vaguely psychotic mother who is obsessed with the Labyrinth and in love with Bowie would do. I bought them onesies that look just like Toby’s.

These kids have about a snowball’s chance in hell of being normal.
He watches over them as they sleep.


Sure, they’re probably actually Christmas onesies, but I’m really hoping to arrange some kind of photo shoot with Jareth and my girls in their Toby outfits. I may even see if I can find a small saddle for the dog, or at least toss him in as a goblin. He’s kind of goblin looking. 

If anyone is up for helping me with this nightmare dream, let me know. 

When I was younger I always thought being the Goblin Queen would be pretty amazing. You get a castle, that crying baby brother would be gone (I would have traded my little sister in a minute for that opportunity), and you get to wear pretty dresses and hang out with Jareth, his amazing hair and codpiece all day. Presumably singing and dancing.

Turns out life isn’t quite that easy, and Labyrinth may not actually be Bowie’s best movie, but there’s something magical about being able to share the thing you loved as a child with your own children. Even if it is just in the form of playing dress-up and they don't quite understand what you're doing to them yet.

Now if only I can find that white ball gown...

******

If you're in the Chicago area I encourage you to check out the exhibit at the MCA. They're also having a David Bowie film fest October 18-19. Or just stay home and Netflix them all.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

How My Shoes Made it to Fashion Week Before Me

"Your boots had a pretty incredible time at NYFW!" 

Fashion Week is kind of a dream among bloggers.  There’s a bunch who go and sit in the shows and give their opinion on the clothes, and ones who stalk around New York hoping to get a pic snapped so they can be on some street style blog.

Yay for all of them. I have a full time career and twins. I have a daily routine that involves not getting spit-up on my work clothes. Apparently Fashion Week and I are not going to meet any time soon.

On the other hand, my shoes have now made it to Fashion Week.

Since going back to work and getting some semblance of a normal body back, I have been cleaning out my closet, much of which can be found on Tradsey (more going up all the time). My friend and hairstylist (and the reason for my Alterna addiction) texted me one day freaking out because she had the opportunity to go and do hair for a couple runway shows for Fashion Week. Of course she jumped at the chance and was desperately trying to get her wardrobe together.

As you can imagine, as a hairstylist shoes are important. Not that the necessarily look good (although that’s a HUGE plus), but that they are comfortable. You can’t be running around for 8+ hours on your feet doing hair in shitty, uncomfortable shoes. She needed shoes. Black shoes to be specific. I have a closetful in just about her size.

I hooked her up with a pair of perfectly broken in Vince Camuto moto boots with studs and buckles. They took her through two fashion shows, an after-party and a couple trips through the airport. She was kind enough to send me pictures of my shoes at Fashion Week.

Nice to know my now too small boots have found a good home. Probably a better home than I gave them. I wore them around the city for a year and to the Christkindle Market, abandoning them when my pregnant belly made it so I couldn’t pull them on anymore. She brought them to Fashion Week.

Enjoy your new home boots. You win. I'm going to start shopping for their replacement right now.


Friday, September 5, 2014

Gilt Loves Glamour and Shoes

A new shoe collaboration has been unleashed, and you better act fast because it's only here for a little bit.

Haydee Oxford
Gilt.com and Glamour magazine teamed up to bring a new capsule collection, Gilt Hearts Glamour.

The 9-piece collection is affordably priced from $79-$129, and has everything from pumps to flats and booties available in a variety of colors and textures.

"We wanted to translate the key fall trends in a way that was both stylish and wearable," said Christina Perez, Glamour's fashion development editor. "We worked with a variety of shapes, materials and colors to ensure there was something chic for everyone-no matter their style personality. That was important to us since so many different types of women read Glamour. We felt the synergies between the Gilt customer and the Glamour reader made
Fabiola platform pump
Gilt and ideal partner for this project."
Gail Snake Embossed pump

Personally I love the snake embossed pump and the calf hair and leather oxford is a fantastic flat. Ultimately though this collection is so great there isn't one shoe that wouldn't be a great addition to anyones collection.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Coupons and Self Control

As soon as something is discounted I buy it. Seriously. If you ever want me to buy something then send me a gift certificate or coupon for some amount of money off that is a multiple of $5.

The best month for this for everyone, is of course birthday month. Well, August just happens to be
Duckie's creepers. I need to find these.
mine, and while I am a year older (and a hell of a year that was) I have not gained any self-control when it comes to the topic of spending money because I get to save money. Just ask Ulta about the damage I did last night because I was promised discounts and a free birthday mascara (which they were out of).

DSW is one of the many places that sends me a gift certificate for my birthday, knowing they’ll lure me in with $5 or $10 off. So of course I packed up the twins and went shoe shopping.

One thing that you all need to know about me shoe shopping (as if you don’t already know) is that logic and wearability has very little to do with why I buy shoes. Instead I buy shoes like animals hunt. Totally on instinct and without logic or forethought. So as I wandered around I was not considering what kind of shoes I should be getting. Especially with the new shoe size the twins gave me, you would think I would have some kind of plan.

Nope. I just buy whatever all willy nilly, which explains why I have a pair of red pumps, black and white heels, and black, laser cut peep toes.  So of course this trip involved buying a pair of shoes simply because the reminded me of the shoes Duckie wears in Pretty in Pink.

By the way, they’re nothing like the creepers Duckie wore (which are seriously awesome).
Nothing like creepers, but I kind of love them.

These are black…shoes. Seriously, I don’t know what they are. They are open but aren’t sandals, they have an ankle strap with buckles, they don’t have a heel… They’re not creepers and they’re not heels. But they’re also flat enough I can wear them out with the twins. (You try carrying 2 carries or babies in heels). 

Once I got them home I also figured out that they would look awesome with harem pants. Unfortunately, I would not look awesome in harem pants (does anyone?) and was at a loss of what to wear them with. Finally I threw them on with a black cotton skirt, graphic t-shirt and giant sunglasses and called it my new summer uniform.

All because DSW knows just how to get me. Speaking of which, I just got another $5 emailed to me. Guess where I'm going this weekend.