Friday, September 24, 2010

Obvious statements and no pants

The other day a girl I never saw before came strolling into my office and said she was told to look at my shoes.

Purple shoes and the great disappointment
I kind of stared blankly at her for a moment. "You were told to see my shoes today?" I asked.

"Yes, I was told you have fabulous shoes."

"Ummm. OK. Today is a little dull though. Just brown crocodile peep toes. I'm pretty sure they meant another day. I have shoes way more interesting than these," I explained while swiveling around in my chair and letting her look at my shoes.

She looked a bit crestfallen. As if I was was supposed to be wearing the most amazing shoes ever. The kind of shoes you think about and obsess over for weeks after seeing them. The kind that you look for forever and can't find.

A couple days later she stepped in front of me in the hall and pointed a finger at me.

"Oh my God, your shoes are purple!" she exclaimed.

I just stared at her. I know my shoes are purple. I put them on.

"And they match your top perfectly. That's fantastic."

Yeah...I planned that. It's called coordination. But I didn't say that because I don't really know this girl (like what her name is or what department she works in), so I said thank you and moved on. I'm sure it's only a matter of time before she points out another article of clothing I'm wearing as if I am totally unaware of what I put on my body every day. If she saw me wearing them with the skirt that matches her head may have exploded.

I'm sure I'm not alone in having people point out the obvious when it comes to clothes. I've seen it happen to others, and yet is remains endlessly fascinating. Probably because people only do it when you're wearing something they would consider "daring" or unusual. So in this case, apparently purple shoes that match a shirt is quite novel.

The irony of course being that the more unique or outrageous the outfit or accessory, the more aware you are of it's presence. No one goes out wearing a large hat or an elephant costume without being conscious of what they are wearing. But that is the exact time complete strangers will walk up to you and point out that you're  wearing a large hat or an elephant costume. Yet, if you see someone who has their skirt tucked into their pantyhose or is trailing toilet paper on their shoe, some hesitate because they don't want to embarrass the person.

I wonder what would happen if they saw someone not wearing pants? Point it out because they obviously forgot to put them on, or just assume the person knows their butt is showing. Anyone willing to try that?

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Pirates v. Military- Fashion Battles

I recently finished a book of essays and articles by Chuck Klosterman and was reminded of a day long forgotten. The annual unofficial holiday of Talk Like a Pirate Day, which is an international holiday celebrated every September 19 by those who really love pirates. They even suggest those who really love pirates have pirate themed parties, buy books about pirates and download official songs.

Klosterman was discussing the day in relation to society's obsession with pirates, which we seem to still have. Unfortunately the recent bout of actual pirates (as recently as earlier this month) seem to have made the whole notion a bit less romantic. It seems none of them look like Johnny Depp, and they tend to take over ships and kill (as opposed to fight the undead and crack one liners while looking like a hotter version of Keith Richards).

Regardless, the point that pirates continue to influence society, and our fashion, still stands. This year I've seen more and more boots that have been described as "pirate boots." even those that don't have the description have elements of our romanticized version of the high seas. Buckles, scrunching and fold over tops are all in style this season, and all reek of piracy.

Ironically, military fashion is also back in style. So much so that mainstream stores are advertising their "military style" clothes on prime time commercials. What once was only found in surplus stores and army bases is now so common you can get it at the mall.

I guess the good thing is that with all these clothes in the same place, you can choose your side.

Pirates v. Military. Who will you be? (Assuming pirates aren't toothless, smelly, uncouth men and military involves walking around looking fabulous and requires zero discipline).

At least when the fights break out in the streets a la "Gangs of New York" they'll all be fashionable. Just be sure not to mix and match.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Bird legs and cement shoes

I'm really glad I don't have bird legs.

Or cankles. I'm not really sure how to spell that, but you know what I mean. When your calf and ankle meld together into one giant, soft, fleshy, undefined mess. Gag.

In reality I don't have amazing legs. They're not bad, they're just legs and they work just fine. They're not really long (or short). My thighs have never been as tight as I want, or as small as I want, and thanks to some freakish German genetics, years and years of dancing (and being in heels constantly), my calves are larger and more defined than some other ladies.

Thankfully though I have never had those under-defined, straight up and down, calf the same size as your thigh, bird legs that currently dominate runways. As I've been watching the new styles rolling out from fashion week I realized that none of the shoes look good on those women because they have no definition to their legs.

This season shoes have gotten chunkier. They're giant clogs and lace up boots, large heels, wedges, and other styles reminiscent of things I owned in the mid to late '90s. And quite frankly, if you have the aforementioned bird legs, they look like shit. 

I feel like having womanly (ie: shapely) legs allows me more fashion choices. Sure it may be difficult to find knee high boots that fit correctly because of the combination of a tiny foot and German man-calves, but at least I can wear any shoe from the dainty to the chunky, and not look like my foot is encased in cement. Unless I manage to get my hands on a pair of McQueen lobster shoes, at which point that look is totally OK.

The ultimate irony (to me) is that these women modeling shoes with their teeny-tiny twig legs, are also like 9 feet tall, so they wear like a size 14 drag queen shoe. So what you really have is something that looks like a styled, scuba flipper on teeny little twigs.

So maybe it's time to pull out my shoes from high school (because I've worn the same size shoe since 5th grade and never throw anything away), and start to rock the lace-up boots, chunky heels, combat and military styled anything, and for other people to wear clogs (because I won't), and rock those shoes like it's 1998, and be happy knowing that this is the one style where my legs look better in pictures than the models.

So go ride a bike, dance, or do something else to keep your legs from atrophying and embrace the shapely curves of calves and thighs. Your shoes will look better. 

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Something sweet

This weekend I finally got my pink glittery shoes.

Actually it was only one shoe. And it was a wedge instead of a heel. But it was edible.

My ever creative mother had a shoe cake made for me for my birthday celebration with the family. And in true mom fashion she went all out and had it made pink and sparkly.

The cake was a great wedge sandal, complete with ankle straps (that were not edible), with butterfly cookies on the side. In fact it kind of looked like the wedges I wore over there (because even dinner with the family requires a little lift).

So we ate and drank. The joke of the night being the Raging Bitch ale that Dad brought home from the store. I'm pretty sure there are pictures of everyone modeling one of these beers, though it was only my brother-in-law who was brave enough to make the inevitable raging bitch joke about his wife. 

Did he want a Raging Bitch?
No thanks, he came with one.

It was a few sweet hours of relaxation. No wedding plans, no housework, no work, no cell phone (I had it, I just left it in my purse), and made all the sweeter by finally getting my pink sparkly shoes. Maybe I can't wear them on my feet, but I'm pretty sure a piece of the cake is currently residing somewhere on my hips, so either way, I'm wearing them.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Cow walking

I am a woman of many talents. I can bake, write, wear thing other people only dream about, do 50 things at one time, throw one hell of a party, and walk in just about any kind of shoe while doing any of the aforementioned activities.

Those who lack the ability to walk in heels often do what my snarky friends and I have deemed the "cow walk." They lumber forward, their upper body at a slant forward or backwards as if they're about to tip over, knees bent, stomping one foot in front of the other, as if punishing the shoes.

It's sort of like watching the Jolly Green Giant in drag.

In all honesty I'm not sure what's so hard about walking in heels. I've been doing it since I could scuffle around my parent's room in my mom's shoes. Once I started buying them for myself I started small, and gradually built on height. I'm not sure when I started wearing things that only have platforms, and 4-5 inch heels became the norm, but that's exactly what happened.

Only once have I blanched the the height of a heel, and it was so out of control I felt like I was on stilts. The shoes were probably meant for something, but walking was definitely not it.

The trick to walking in heels is to walk like you're wearing a flat shoe. Heel to toe, roll through the foot, switch legs, repeat, and pretty soon you're walking. Add a little wiggle to the walk and paired with the right outfit, you can rule the world.

Other times heels can be nasty if you've been on your feet all day. Couple that with an indulgence in some adult beverages it can get a little tricky, but then at least if you eat shit on the concrete in front of a bunch of people you can blame the sky high shoes and a crack in the sidewalk and not the five gin martinis you just polished off for dinner.

No one is going to judge you for not wearing heels that make your legs look nine feet long and instead opting for shoes that are more sensible, while still being fashionable. But even after all those martinis, people will still judge if you're doing the cow walk. Especially if it's in a pair of animal print shoes.