Tuesday, April 27, 2010

High stakes and high heels

The wedding is approaching faster than I anticipated. At least it seems that way. People keep asking me if I'm done with everything.

"Of course I am. It's in November. Sure, what the hell. It's done."

Then I panic because I remember that I haven't booked an officiant, picked out flowers (or even met with the florist), sent money to the caterer, picked out linens, there are still bridesmaids who have to order dresses, and people keep asking me about my veil.

For those of you who don't know me (if there are any), I'm not a traditional person. I'm not worried about veils, and won't have your classic cathedral length veil with blusher. In fact, I don't know what I'm going to have. I guess I better work on that.

What I have been trying to find though, is the perfect shoes. It's going to be one of the most important days of my life, and I better have some damn good shoes. It doesn't matter that people probably won't see them because my dress is long. As I was standing in the dressing room, wearing the dream dress, and my mom looked at me with that teary mother-daughter look, and my sisters agreed that I had found my dress, the next question Mom asked was, "What kind of shoes are you going to wear?"


The stakes are that high people. There are a million questions Mom could have asked and she comes up with that one. She has even called me at work to discuss what shoes I may wear, and what Michelle at her work is wearing in her wedding, which is also this Fall. (For the record, Michelle is wearing Christian Louboutin).

I had originally fallen in love with a pair of fuchsia, sequin, peep toe Christian Louboutin shoes, and then I realized that the sequins will get caught in the tulle. Further searches turn up nothing quite as fabulous as these, and if you Google "bride shoes", 90% of the choices make you want to vomit. Everything is white, pristine, and generally boring. Why would I want to wear something dull and white for my wedding? I've got enough issues with an ivory dress (although it is amazing). My shoes should really continue a  reflection of who I am. And who I am not is someone who wears white shoes.

So the search continues. Hopefully for something that won't get caught up on my clothes and make me trip on my own dress and make an ass of myself in front of 150 of my family and friends (as I've already almost done). So basically, I can't dress like a total maniac on my wedding day.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Shoes and conferences don't mix

You would think that as someone who has worked and planned events for a number of years, I would have at some point given in to comfortable shoes.

Well, I haven't. I kind of tried it once with a low, chunky heeled loafer for a conference, but my feet hurt anyway, so I got rid of them (or they're rotting in my closet, I forget). I don't care what anyone says; running around hotels, or other sites in any shoes, tall or flat, for eighteen hours a day for three to five days straight makes your feet hurt no matter what. The trick I've learned is to wear different shoes every day. This serves two purposes:
1. Creates more luggage than seems necessary because there's a whole separate bag of shoes.
2. It changes the angle of your foot daily so the pressure is redistributed and your feet hurt less.

Since it's once again conference season, friends of mine are breaking out the rarely used suits, digging up "conference shoes" and bracing for days or weeks of foot pain, while griping about dry cleaning bills, figuring out how you can not get everything wrinkled in the suitcase, and trading tips on how to still look human on day four of the conference when your face is frozen into a smile, and you haven't slept well because you keep panicking over details, and you've been eating like crap for days. As if that's not bad enough, a friend recently sent me this picture.

Dear God, what the hell are those?!

They're her conference shoes. For her conference uniform.

Apparently her job hates her and all the other people who work their conference, and they make the staff wear those things with their "conference uniform" (which is a shame because she owns some kick ass suits). Sure, they're probably approved by some podiatrists' association, but that can't make up for the fact that they're the ugliest damn shoes I've seen in a while. They're made by a company called Grasshoppers, and I'm pretty sure they're the most unattractive shoes in their catalog.

Last weekend I worked a meeting at a hotel for my job, and just trekking all over the massive hotel in and out of meeting rooms, standing and sitting, running in heels to get copies made ASAP, made my feet hurt. Then again, I chose especially poorly, figuring (incorrectly) that since the meeting was in only two rooms there wouldn't be a lot of walking. So by Friday night my feet hurt, and I had worn stupid shoes, but at least I looked good.

Sure Deb may get a a tax write off, but no amount of tax write-off can make having to own these (let alone wear them) any better.

I'll take red slingbacks and sore feet over those any day.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Comfort is not really comfortable.

Why is it that whenever I try to wear "sensible" shoes they end up being aggravating in a totally new and different way that my sky-scraper heels are not.

Today I knew I was going to be running around like a maniac at the office in preparation for a large event coming up. Up and down stairs and all over the three floors is not easy or particularly fast in certain shoes, and time is of the essence at this point. Plus I knew there would be lots of standing today, which was another reason to wear something sensible.

So I opted for a wedge. Blue suede, peep toe. By far not my favorite shoes, but some of the more sensible ones I have, since the platform is minimal and the wedge is wide, so you're not trying to balance on something that's the width of glass.

If I had flats (which I don't) I would have considered wearing them today, except that my pants would have been dragging on the ground, ruining my pants, and making me short, which is really more trouble than it's worth. So I tried to do the "sensible" thing, and am pretty sure my shoes are punishing me.

Now, at the end of the day, my feet are sweaty (so gross), the top of the shoe is digging into the top of my foot, and these really aren't that tall, so I feel like a Hobbit. Which means I'm pretty sure I've decided that I hate these shoes.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Socks and shoes

First, I want to admit that I don't really like wearing tights. They're itchy, they never fit right, the waist band pulls up to your chest, the seam cuts your toe. I'm sure everyone who has ever worn a pair can add to that list. I feel the same way about socks. I wear them with boots and in the winter because I have to. Otherwise, I generally avoid it. When I'm wearing sandals and peep toes...that's not the time to bust out the socks.

Now I realize that this is a trend. Socks and heels are back a la Madonna "Lucky Star," and I can accept, and even embrace it. But with sandals or peep toes? Barf. No exceptions. InStyle and Lucky currently disagree with me, but remember how behind Lucky is on shoe trends?

Same rules with peep toes and stockings. Why in the hell would you wear a shoe that shows off your toes if you're just going to obscure them in some opaque, seamed monstrosity? That's a total waste of a pedicure.

Some people can rock the fishnets with open toes, and it looks good. I am not one of those people, and I realize that, but this new trend of pairing socks with heels I just don't get.

Some fashion trends you just shouldn't give in to, and this is one. You want to be fashion forward, get a pedicure and don't let your feet look like that picture. And no, those ARE NOT my shoes, or my legs for that matter.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Caught in sequins

I love anything that sparkles. Always have. As a child my dad used to call me a magpie because I would literally run off down the street to catch anything that shimmered in the sun. Sometimes the treasure was change, a piece of tinsel, glass on the sidewalk, and every so often it would be sequins.

Maybe I loved them because they were on all my dance costumes and made me beautiful. Or maybe it was because it was the 1980s and Dynasty and Falcon crest were all the rage, so every store you went into had dresses covered sequins. Whatever the reason, it's still something I love, and I never miss a chance to sparkle.

Currently I have only one pair of sequin shoes, which seems unacceptable. They're black peep toes and were bought to wear to a friend's wedding. Her only direction regarding shoes, was that they be black. This of course launched a months long search for the perfect shoes that would probably never be seen under our floor length dresses. Daily I sent her texts asking about bows, crocodile prints, platforms, stilettos, and finally, sequins.By the time she said yes (probably to shut me up), they were as good as bought.

That night the only reason people saw them is because the bridal party took pictures showing off our shoes, and I'm pretty sure I was the one who prompted that. Since them I have worn them twice, and I have learned a valuable lesson, that I must also remember: sequins catch.

How a girl that has been wearing sequins her whole life constantly forgets this is beyond me, but I did. So this week I almost fell on my face at the office because my sequin heels were catching on the hem of my pants. Then I remembered that I spent the whole night of my friend's wedding getting the tulle un-caught from the sequins of my shoes, trying not to fall, and worried I was going to rip a patch of sequins off the shoes and create a bald spot.

This sequin issue creates a whole host of issues regarding future outfits, and when the best time to wear those shoes is. The only reason I dared to wear them into corporate America was because they were toned down by the pants. If they were on full display, highlighted by my white legs and red toes peeping out, it is inevitable that they would be noticed, and I'm trying to avoid being talked to about my clothes at work (again).

Perhaps they're best left to weekend brunches, trips to the grocery store, vacuuming and the like. It seems that corporate America is really the only place that sequins aren't welcome.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Studded with envy

It's rare that I'm jealous of other people's shoes. Not because I'm a total snob (maybe just a little), but because I generally have the shoe or a variation of the shoe that someone has that I love, or it's super cute, but not something I would wear, as in the case of flats.

Props to Melissa who has now for some time taunted me with the object of my envy. This time it was at her 30th birthday celebration where she rocked them with her black pedicured toes.

Gladiator style sandals with silver studs and rhinestones from Bebe.

I love them. I think there's actually a picture of me cuddling with them at a bar one night she wore them (I'm pretty sure alcohol was involved). I have nothing like it, and in my travels have not found anything that is quite this cool. They have set the bar for rhinestone studded sandals so high that everything is a failure in comparison. I can't even go by them because they don't carry them anymore.

So the hunt continues. One day I'll find something this insanely impractical, yet beautiful.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

But I wore my most responsible shoes!

Maybe not my most responsible in terms of heel height, but they're pretty conservative as far as my shoes go.

Today I had the challenge of wearing something to work that was business casual, but professional, as there were people to impress in the office today, and something that was fun and funky, yet professional, for a meeting tonight with a decorator.

And the shoes had to be able to traipse around the city in our suddenly frigid Spring weather on and off the Blue Line from the Loop to Logan Square and back home again.

It's hard to find something that easily fits so many occasions.

Enter blue patent leather shoes from Delicious: They are professional and look great with the blue pinstripe pants. Paired with a cashmere sweater we're classy and professional while still exhibiting personal style.The heel and platform are understated, and the heel is wider, allowing for more walking and less teetering. The fringe and tassels are reminiscent of the loafers my dad used to wear to work in the 1980s, so they make me feel very grown up and corporate. 

Then my meeting in Logan Square got rescheduled for Monday (although for a good reason), and the whole shoe thing went straight to hell. Now I'm wearing my sensible, professional, almost walking shoes, with no where to walk to, and the added dilemma of finding another pair of sensible walking shoes for Monday.

And to answer your question, no, I can't wear these again because that's a lot of shoe repeating in one week. Enough people have commented on these shoes today that they can't come out again for at least two weeks, as everyone will remember them; and I only have one thing that matches these shoes, which I'm currently wearing.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Blue leopards don't count

I have a complete lack of self control.

After abstaining from buying the leopard print shoes with the red ruffle, and being all proud of myself, I have caved. And it was not to zebra. And it is not, in the truest sense of the word, leopard.

OK, it's leopard. I bought new leopard shoes (by Iron Fist). But they were on mad sale, and they're peep toe...

And they're BLUE!!!!

Blue leopards totally don't count as leopard, and it makes sense because I don't have blue shoes.

Wait, I do have blue shoes, but one pair is a suede, wedge, peep toe and another one is navy patent leather loafer (with a heel) that's very corporate-chic.

Blue leopard is not corporate. I will inevitably wear them to work though, with the one outfit I have that goes with them.

In an effort to not totally waste them on work, I immediately wore them to Easter dinner at my sister's with a black dress and a peek of a blue shell underneath. Easter is apparently very hip at my family's house. Mom and Dad gave my sisters and I scarves in lieu of candy in our baskets, which were of course functional baskets (not the kind with a handle), so blue leopard print peep toes are not only acceptable, and expected, but complimented.

Now I need to go out and buy more blue and black clothes so I can wear them occasionally.

*A special thanks to Natalie who remembered she had these sitting on the sale rack in her store.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

The price of comfort is ugly

As the weather warms up people start to bust out smaller clothes and shoes that bare a little more. Boots give way to sandals, slingbacks, peep toes, and everyone gets pedicures and has pretty feet (hopefully).

Summer also brings some not-so-great fashions too, one of which I will never understand: Crocs

I'm sure that plastic shoes are amazing if your gardening (which I don't) or happen to need to be able to clean your shoes in the sink, but as a fashion statement these are an amazing and instant failure. Really, has anyone actually looked at these and what they do to your feet. It's like Mickey Mouse feet in technicolor. And I bet they make your feet sweat. So now your feet are ugly, sweaty, and by default stinky.

Comfort is no excuse for the litany of issues these shoes create.

And now, to solidify their place in fashion forever, they have heels and wedges available. I have no doubt these will start cropping up around the office with business casual, as people go on and on about the comfort of their sweat-filled foam shoes, and I start walking around, staring at the sky, hoping that the ugly doesn't find its way to my eyes and sear them out faster than the sun.

It's one thing if you have them for walking the dog, bumming around the house, or picking up the kids, but wearing them out as part of an outfit is wholly unacceptable.

Another issue with these shoes (and there are so many) is that they're not even cheap! Oh, cheaply made, sure. Really, how long will foamy plastic last scuffing along the streets of the city? But the price is abhorrent! $30 for something that's hideous and going to give you swamp foot? I'm no stranger to cheap or plastic shoes, but you bet I didn't ever spend $30 on ugly.

Granted, I may have issues with my feet because of heels, and I bet people with Crocs on can bedazzle their shoes with plastic crap like plastic jewels and Hello Kitty heads more than I can, and I only have one pair of shoes with holes on them, and they're pink leather sandals, but I would rather teeter around the city in sky-high fabulousness than be caught looking like a Disney character any day.