Tuesday, June 29, 2010

The cost of fashion

The Daily Express in the UK ran an article about what women spend on shoes in their lifetime. They said it was about $20,000 and assumes that the average woman has 16 pairs of shoes.

I think that may mean that I'll spend about $50,000 in my lifetime, if not more, based on the fact that I have way more than 16 pair of shoes.

That figure is in no way based on real math, so it could be more over the course of my life. Couple that with the more than seven pairs a year my significant other buys, and he and I will have spent enough in a lifetime to buy a small island.

The article goes on to say that women own an average of six pairs of flip flops and ballet flats (I have 2 flip flops and 0 ballet flats), three pair of boots (I don't really have time to dig those out and count), two pairs of "work shoes (what the hell is a work shoe?), four pairs of "foxy shoes" for going out (shouldn't all shoes be foxy?), and a random pair (like clown shoes?).

I'm not sure how things go in the UK, but when I was there (years and years ago) I bought like six pairs of shoes. I also remember people being rather fashionable, mostly because they don't wear gym shoes all the time like people do in the states, so they got props for that. 

I guess I'm just more of a pro than some of the "average" shoe shoppers out there, and maybe it's something that I should seek therapy for, but I have to admit, knowing that I'll spend more than $20,000 in a lifetime on shoes doesn't really bother me. Instead it makes me feel accomplished. Like I should buy more shoes and really throw the average all to hell.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Love me and my epic fail

Happy National Pink Day! Now let's all pause in horror at what a failure I am for having completely not known about it. Instead I wore purple and black today, and left all my beautiful pink shoes home with the dog.

I bet they're crying right now.

Some say pink day is for breast cancer awareness, some just say it's for fun. Regardless, it should be celebrated because it's a great color. Betsey Johnson celebrated by making her whole store pink. Or that could have just been a random photo. She's generally pretty pink.

In other news, this little Cat has been quite busy and now has a Twitter account, and a Facebook page. So be sure to follow me and like me, and follow the blog in two different places, and really just make your cyber life revolve around Cat in Heels. And send it to your friends so they can read my snarky comments about people's footwear and judge me and my sanity.

Besides, Twitter has been being a total bitch to work with, and some woman in England who hasn't updated her status since January has the name I wanted, so I need some kind of validation to make it feel like all that aggravation was worth it.

And just to make them feel better, I added a picture of my pink shoes so they get some love today.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Fighting defeat

Saturday I donned pinstripe Gaultier hotpants with a sequin top and matching vest for my younger sister's birthday party. The unofficial theme for the party was Glitter and Doom, so naturally I had to dress like a maniac, which means the only acceptable shoe for this was obviously the pinstripe, two strap, platform with patent leather accents from Bordello that I bought on an impulse about a month ago.

Aside from the amazing box they come in (pink and black with a bow) these shoes are awe inspiring. As I teetered around the kitchen, trying to get used to being almost six feet tall, I wondered if I could really handle a whole night in the shoes.

The trip down three flights of stairs was precarious at best, and as I stood with my fiance and friend, I wondered if I would make the whole night in these shoes.

Sure, they looked amazing, but the toes on my right foot were going numb and I had a cramp in the arch of my left foot. I felt like I was in pointe shoes again, and forgot the lambswool in the toe.

At one point the pain got to the point where I actually considered running back upstairs and changing my shoes.

"But you've never worn those," my fiance said, "So you're defeated by your shoes?"

What? Defeated? No way. There's not a heel high enough to totally defeat me. I always say that a few hours of pain is a small price to pay for looking good, and oh, did those shoes look good.

So I stood tall, and took very small steps all night, and by the time we got to the bar my shoes were broken in enough that the no longer hurt. Around the time everyone's feet started hurting, I had enough cocktails to make sure they no longer hurt. 

By the end of the night I was still walking tall (as if I had a choice), but the pace had slowed down to a snail's pace and I'm pretty sure that my feet were starting to fuse with the shoes. Even after I took the shoes off my feet stayed pointed at an awkward and somewhat painful angle, and I flopped into bed with a sigh of pain and relief.

My feet may have hurt for two days afterward, and they did nothing for my pedicure, but they looked good, and Saturday night I knew what it was like to be tall and leggy, even if it was just a pinstriped facade.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Doll Parts

When I was a kid I loved Barbie. Big surprise, right? The girl obsessed with fashion and heels loves the doll who has more clothes than anyone and feet that are eternally ready for skyscraper heels. 

As I grew older I didn't really grow out of Barbie and much as I grew up with her. She can do anything. Astronaut, president, teacher, rock star, and finally (in the form of the Mad Men dolls) they release Marketing Barbie. To which all of my friends respond, "I thought you already were Marketing Barbie."

I can only dream, and they mock me. 

My personal collection of Barbie dolls is actually lacking, despite my love of the doll. I occasionally stalk the Barbie Collector website and make mental notes of dolls I want, and may never obtain, and continue to envy Barbie's fashion and her relationship with designers such as Bob Mackie, Chanel, Jonathan Adler (even her furniture is designer) and now, Christian Louboutin.

Never have I wanted to transform into Barbie more than I do right now. She even comes with extra shoes from this amazing and iconic designer, who I feel should comprise a majority of my shoe collection. (The only thing I actually collect).

Louboutin's designs may not be as blatantly artistic as Alexander McQueen or as bizarrely wearable as John Fleuvog, but they reflect a classic look that refuses to go out of style, truly making them an investment for a lifetime.

Which, ironically, is precisely why I don't own a pair, because my lifetime investments (which are pathetic) are tied up in 401Ks and other "responsible" ventures.

Oh Barbie...you continue to torment me with your fashion, height, and now your shoes.

The one place I had a leg up, and the plastic bitch beats me again.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

A flater shade of red

My fiance wears suits every day to work, and last night he was looking at suits online to kill time while I was getting ready to go out.

I'm fixing my eyes while he's asking about shades of gray. I'm putting on lipstick while he discusses the appropriate length coat for his frame.

On the way out the door I jokingly asked, "Why weren't you shopping for me?"

"What do you need?" he asked.

"New red shoes. But not metallic red because I already have those. And not sandals because I have those too. And I have patent leather red that fades into black, so not patent. I would prefer a peep toe because that's the shoe that's dying right now. I don't really care if it's a slingback or not, just a basic red shoe."

By this time we were outside and walking down the street.

"Flat?"

"WHAT?!" I shrieked almost teetering off the curb. "Have you met me?"

"I meant a flat red color. I realize you don't want a flat shoe. That would be pretty funny though."

Right funny. Put the short girl who writes about heels in a pair of flats. That would quickly become the worst money ever spent.

Now if you'll continue to hold my hand, you may need to make sure I don't fall off my shoes tonight after a couple cocktails.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Cheap does not have to equal ugly

I am the queen of bargin hunting. Actually, my whole family is. Shopping is not something we have to do, it's something we need to do. Like breathe. May father said it's a sport for my sisters and I.

We each have a different style, and in the end we all buy lots and lots of stuff. As one may have guessed, I can find a good deal on some amazing shoes that rival the best fashion buyers. I go everywhere. Stores, online, department stores, places that don't normally sell shoes, and stores that some people never even bother to go in. Generally speaking I spend less than $100 on each pair, with some going over and some massively under. So you can imagine my excitement when I saw an article titled "16 summer fashion ideas Under $50."

That's my kind of fashion.

Ok, maybe not. Everything was ugly. Flip through images, see something kinda not hideous, wince because Chucks count as fashion ideas (haven't they been in style since like 1950?) and then I gag.

"If a gladiator sandal and a jazz shoe had a baby, we think it might turn out like a BC Footwear SO," The caption reads, and this is staring at me. 

Now I've had jazz shoes, and I currently own gladiator sandals, and if that's what comes out when they have a baby, I better keep those shoes in separate rooms. All the shoes in Chicago and I have never seen anything like this.

BC Footwear has cute shoes. Really. These aren't them, but it's not all bad. I just don't understand why summer fashion is apparently heinous if it's under $50.  It doesn't have to be, and if someone is trying to put together a list of shoes in Chicago for under $50, and want something that doesn't make people spit out their coffee, then they can call me. I have no doubt I can find something better than this pink monstrosity for under $50.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Taping the answers

"Do you walk in those?"

This is asked of me as I'm standing and heating up my lunch in the kitchen at work.

A blank stare followed the question.

"They're crazy. They're cute, but do you actually walk in them?"

I got to the lunchroom, didn't I? And really, they're not that crazy. Clown shoes are crazy. And the heel isn't that high.

I refrain from making all these comments, and simply respond that yes, I do walk in them, no my feet don't hurt, and no they're not hard to walk in.

I should have this on tape so I can play it when people ask all of those questions, which happens a lot. My shoes have always gotten these questions, and generally I think they're pretty dumb, and self explanatory.

If I couldn't walk in my shoes I would have fallen over, and I'll admit that it's happened, but not on a weekday. Yes, my feet sometimes hurt in crazy heels, and Chucks gave me blisters, so flat shoes can suck it because they're no better. And if they're really honest to goodness hard to walk in, chances are I won't be wearing them to the office where I am inevitably forced to walk around.

I had no idea that fashion, or shoes that break the mold were so scary to people until I started really expanding my shoe collection. So no, red metallic sandals don't go with everything, and I don't wear them to run marathons, but let's at least give me credit for some common sense.

Monday, June 7, 2010

The princess and the shoes

This weekend I spent some time with my niece. We let her parents go shopping, and I, who have been dubbed "Fairy Godmother" came over to hang out, play with toys, eat, feed the floor, and generally see what kind of trouble can be found.

As soon as I walked in she was drawn to my shoes. They were my sequin flip flops (no heels for chasing baby), and she picked them up immediately. I let her play for a while, and then we moved on to playing with a stuffed dog, throwing pizza on the floor, and taking a walk to the park.

Then today I got an email from my sister with a photo, "What did you teach her about shoes when you were here?"

She's started pulling out all the shoes and playing with them, which apparently only happened since Saturday. And to my own amusement, according to the photo, the ones she keeps playing with are the Clarks. She's already developing higher-end taste. She probably didn't find any sequin covered shoes in there, but I know for a fact that Baby Girl rocks some pretty cool gold shoes when she goes out.

Sure, she can't walk yet, but she knows the importance of a good pair of shoes, and knows just how amusing they can be. 

By the time she's five, she'll have a separate shoe closet.

Friday, June 4, 2010

In need of rain boots

The weather in Chicago has decided to match my mood, and it has started spontaneously starting and stopping raining, with thunderstorms imminent.

In a great twist of irony, I wore my sunniest shoes ever today. Literally, they're yellow. And I have approximately one item of clothing that matches these shoes.

Yellow, patent leather, open toe wedges from Delicious. I can't be mad about the fact that they only match one thing because they were on massive sale. Such a sale, that they're existence to wear with one shirt (which I got post shoe purchase) was totally justifiable.

They also have an open white wedge, so it's kind of like wearable art. Sunny, wearable art.

Unfortunately the lack of platform, open toe and patent leather-ness of the shoe is going to make my walk home a real bitch, because I'm sure the skies will open and I'll be sliding all over in my shoes, afraid of taking them off and stepping on a piece of glass, a needle, rusty nail, big rock....

My sister keeps telling me to buy rain boots. I look, and just shrug off every pair I see. They're all so fisherman-like. They're made of rubber, and kind of ugly. Some of them have this weird, powdery appearance, and none of them have heels. (actually some do, but that's a separate set of atrocities). 

So tonight, I probably going to get caught in another sunny rainstorm (already happened once today) and will slip and slide in my sunny, yellow wedges, and all around me hipsters in their Hunter boots will be secretly laughing at me as they go puddle stomping.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Funerals and unique shoes

Today I said goodbye to my Godmother Kathy. She was an amazing woman, and died suddenly, and unexpectedly late last week.

Recently I spent some time with her at her daughter's wedding, and we talked for quite some time. She was quite a fan of Cat in Heels, and loved seeing all my different shoes, and reading about what I've been doing in my shoes. She loved shoes, frequented DSW, always had something to say about what I was wearing, and was always supportive of my writing. Kathy loved reading newspaper articles I wrote, blogs, and was always giving me journals, asking me when I was going to join my father as a published author.

As I was getting ready this morning I realized that I should wear some good shoes for Kathy. Steve Madden heels were paired with a black dress and a lot of Kleenex. I knew she would like them because they're different, just like me. And different just like her.

They didn't keep me from sinking into the grass, and they didn't make me feel better, or not miss her, or not bawl my eyes out, but they were something she would have liked, and today, that was the best tribute I could think of.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

BBQ Shoes

I attended a Memorial Day barbecue this weekend, and as usual obsessed over what to wear. It was like 3,000 degrees in Chicago that day, and summer clothes, let alone casual clothes are not my strong suit. I finally settle on a plaid halter sundress and a pair of black patent sandals I picked up in Las Vegas.

Sundress, sandals. Seems pretty casual to me.

So imagine my surprise when I walked in and someone looked at me and asked, "Do you ever not dress up?"

Ummm....yeah. Now. I'm not dressed up. There's no sequins, no feathers, nothing is tight, inappropriate, or paired with a suit jacket.I'm wearing sandals. Sure, they're super cute, have a platform wedge, and didn't come out of the flip flop discount bin at Old Navy, but they're hardly fit for the office, let alone a night at the opera.

Apparently in some worlds any dress is dressed up. At least I have my also over dressed fiance there with me, rocking his own inappropriate BBQ shoes and a button down. We're quite a pair.