Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Basic Silver

I decided this winter I needed silver shoes. That makes sense, right? I didn't have any, I just bought this great gray-silver silk button down, and the whole look would be perfect for the holidays.

It's also freakishly easy to find metallic heels around the holidays.

But I procrastinated. I saw shoes I liked, and put it off. Then they were out of stock on my size. I saw other shoes that were great, but open toe, and I wanted a closed toe. Others were amazing but out of my price range. Too sparkly, not sparkly enough, too dark, too shiny. I want something that looks like I have mirrors on my feet, now I want something subtle that I can wear to work.

My totally basic silver pumps
On and on this stupid mind game went until I saw a pair on massive sale, bit the bullet and ordered some classic silver pumps with a closed toe, platform, and 5 inch heel.

Unfortunatly I also waited so long that they didn't get to me in time for Christmas.

So yesterday I walked in and my husband pointed to a box. "You got shoes."

"Yeah, they're my boring silver heels and I don't want them anymore because it's after Christmas and they're too dull."

I should have bought these instead. 
He raised and eyebrow and I opened the box. I slipped them on and did a lap around the dining room. Then the dog licked one for good luck.

I could tell by the look on his face he didn't know what the problem was (my husband, not the dog).

They're just not as exciting as I wanted my silver shoes to be, I explained. They're pumps. Basic, classic pumps.

Sure, basic can be good, but I don't do basic well. I don't have basic anything. Or maybe I do, but I don't wear it a lot. Or I make it all stupid and complicated and un-basic.

I'm also probably one of the only people on the planet who would consider a pair of metallic silver pumps to be a basic, let alone somewhat boring. But silver on a car is basic and boring, so why can't I also consider it to be dull on my shoes?

The one good thing about getting a basic piece is that it now means I get to find another pair of something silver to obsess over. This one obviously more ostentatious and less basic.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Sparkle Beyond the Holidays


It’s the holidays. To most people that means an additional 10 pounds and the excuse to dress like that crazy aunt from your childhood who always wore too much perfume and was never at a holiday party without head to toe sparkles and velvet on.

Right now, I am telling you that is no longer going to fly (and I'm pretty sure I'm becoming that crazy aunt).

These Louboutin's are not just for Christmas
Now it's time to embrace the crazy, sparkly side of yourself. Right now, raise your right hand and swear to me that you are not going to buy some dress or shoes make of sequins and glitter just for Christmas and New Year’s, only to then abandon it in all it's glittery glory to collect dust somewhere in the recesses of your closet, right next to the collection of clothes that you can't return because you can't figure out where they came from.

If you have the balls to wear glitter, sequins, and otherwise channel the Times Square ball at the holidays, you have to do it all year round. If you can’t then hang up your sequins and put your sweater-dress and pearls back on.

I have a lot of shiny stuff. Skirts, tops, sweaters, a headband I never wore, scarves, a pair of gloves I managed to lose, coats and, of course, shoes. The difference is my glitter and sparkle is a year-round thing. The likelihood that you will find one or more body parts adorned in something metallic is equally good on any of the 365 days of the year. Sequins are just as likely to show up on Easter as it is on Christmas for me. Remember, bunnies like sparkles as much as Baby Jesus (hint: neither one gives a shit).

Today, I am wearing a gold and black tweed skirt at the office. Not because it’s the holidays, but because I really like this skirt. I can't even remember where I got it, but it's awesome. It will also be making post-holiday appearances, hopefully with a new pair of black heels with a gold platform (Fergie Footwear sent me a link to a great pair on my Facebook page).

So embrace your inner magpie and don’t waste money on a sequin dress just for New Years Eve, or gold shoes that are only for Christmas. Bust out the glittery dress again for your cousin’s wedding this spring and switch up the accessories. Wear the gold shoes with a black suit, and give your office something to talk about other than the crappy bonuses everyone got this year.

The holidays are a time of year, not a fashion excuse. Either embrace the sparkle in your personality or let it shimmer out, because it’s just not fair to keep sequins and metallic hidden in the closet.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Comfy in Heels?

I love being told about comfy shoes.

Believe it or not this happens to me a lot; as in a couple times a week. It's usually led up to with someone saying, "Oh my god. I love those shoes but I could never walk in those. How do you walk in those? Don't your feet hurt? My feet hurt just looking at your feet in those shoes."

Well, sorry that your feet are so damn sensitive that they hurt just looking at my shoes, but seriously, grow a pair. They're my shoes, not yours. I didn't walk up to you and ask how you could possibly show your face in public while wearing Crocs, and those are way more offensive than the highest heel I own.

I wear these because they match my pants. 
After I explain that yes, my feet feel pain, and yes, I am insane enough to choose the way I look over comfort, and yes, I realize that may not always be the case but I am not ready to give into something "comfy" I get a look like I'm insane and obviously don't know what I'm talking about or what I'm doing to my feet.

Let's just clear all that up right now. I totally know what I'm doing to my feet. Lucky for me I was given small feet and small toes, so they squish up well into shoes.

I also used to dance (like in a company, not on a pole). If you think heels are rough on feet you should see the torture some of my instructors would subject us to. At the end of the day my feet aren't bleeding when I pull off my heels, which means they're not that badly beat up. I can't say the same for ballet shoes. As for bunions, I've just been lucky so far. Some girls are.

I also love my heels. I have visions of me prancing across the street in slow-motion like Sarah Jessica Parker in the Sex and the City intros. Walking that clacking power-walk of stilettos through the halls of my office, signifying my arrival. Hiking me up an extra few inches so that the world can't tell I'm actually pretty short....

Does this mean I don't own any "comfy" shoes at all? Maybe, maybe not. I know I've let it slip that I own a pair of Dr. Martens, and I'll also let you know that I have slippers, but they never ever leave the house. I'm just not that kind of girl.

So next time you want to wear heels out, do it. Screw comfy. And if your feet hurt, stop to get a drink. Booze totally helps wash the pain away.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Surgery Shoes

Dental work is never fun. Well, maybe it's fun for some people, but not for me. So I can't say I got real dressed up this last Friday when I had to be at the periodontist for gum surgery when I normally would be going to work.

So there I am, shaking and terrified. Fumbling with my iPod, which is some kind of crappy attempt to not hear the work going on inside my own mouth, and suddenly the dental assistant scoots her chair in front of me and looks me straight in the eyes. 

Let's talk about your shoes. 
"I love those shoes."

Ummm...thanks? It's 9:00 am, and I'm almost in tears waiting for you and your masochist doctor to put me into more pain than my mouth has ever been in, I look like crap, am not wearing makeup, and you want to talk about my shoes. 

That would happen to me. 

Forty-five minutes later I walked out of the office, feeling my jaw steadily swelling, and fearing the pain that would smack me in the face the second my Novocaine wore off. My husband stood up when he saw me walk into the waiting room and gave me a tentative smile. 

"How'd it go?" he asked.

"The assistant liked my shoes," I said and started towards the car. 

I'm pretty sure he was talking about the procedure, but I couldn't comment yet because I couldn't feel anything. My final feelings on that came an hour later as I was holding ice on my swollen jaw and crying for painkillers. 

At least I have cute shoes. Even in pain and tears, I have cute shoes. That has to be worth something. 


Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Neon Dreams

I was never this cool.
Neon really tears me apart.

It brings mental images of braces, tall fried-out bangs, Aqua Net and my awkward phase. Neon is my reminder of that time in life they make crappy tween shows about, except I was WAY less glamorous.

At the same time, neon is Jem, The Misfits (Jem's rival not the real punk band) and Barbie and the Rockers, Cyndi Lauper and everything that was (and probably still is) so much cooler than me. 

So far I have avoided the neon revival, fearing that the second I place a piece on my body the gap in my teeth will magically appear, my bathroom will fill with Paul Mitchell and Aqua Net products, my hair will no longer be awesome, and my tits will get smaller.

They come in multiple colors
The other side of me wants to embrace it and add the neon pieces to my wardrobe, and live out some kind of Barbie and the Rockers fantasy where I look great in everything no matter how asinine it may be, all my friends are equally as cool, and yellow doesn't make me look like I have jaundice. 

In my searches for neon that will make me look neither sick or pre-teen again, I ran across these great neon heels from Fergie Footwear. They're basic, simple, and neon. They can punch up any outfit, and yet can remain understated. 

As understated as neon is capable of being anyway. 

They also come in multiple colors, which means just like Jem and Barbie dolls, I can collect them all. I think I'll stop short of teasing my hair this time, but I can't make any promises about drag-queen makeup. 

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

The Business of Traveling Shoes

In case you haven't been following my tweets over the last week, I've been traveling. A lot. As in less than 72 hours at home this weekend before I went back to the office and then to the airport. Now I'm in a hotel in San Francisco and my husband and dog are forgetting who I am.

Just high enough to keep my hem from dragging.
And before you start thinking this is all glamorous, let me tell you, it's not. I do not get to see the city I am in. I don't have time to shop, or visit (assuming I know anyone in the city which is rare). My days start before the sun comes up and end after it goes down. None of which makes any difference because I rarely get to see a window and actually bear witness to the fact that the sun came out.

Hell, it may not have come out at all. Makes little to no difference to me.
All the traveling causes shoe issues. What does one wear when you're going to be tearing around airports and standing for hours at a time? Something professional and comfortable but cute. It also needs to match everything I packed (so we're going all black).

I travel with only one carry-on and a luggage size purse that holds all my stuff, a book, laptop, my pencil case full of lipstick, and chargers for various things (laptop, iPhone, camera).
What my two week travel bonanza has taught me is that apparently Nine West is my go-to travel shoe. Last week it was the two-strap Mary Jane. This week it's the stack heel loafer (far less interesting, but this trip involves more walking).
I originally bought the loafer a few jobs ago when I was in event planning and would spend weeks running around giant hotels, and seven days in stilettos were not something that was an option month after month. The problem I had (and still have) is that I don't love them. They're nice, but they're just too logical and sensible looking with their no platform and chunky, moderate heel.

Does work travel and cute shoes go hand in hand? I'm not the type that wears gym shoes to the airport (though I do travel with them so I can workout) and I'm generally in business clothes, which don't have the most comfortable shoes.

Does such a thing as cute and comfortable, while still being walkable as I traipse through (a limited part of) strange cities even exist? My new mission is to find it, because I'm pretty sure I'm over these loafers.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Wedging Into Fashion

Sarah Nicole Prickett has said that wedges are the most feminist of all heels.

Probably. They're easy to walk in (generally) and give good height and lift, without the ball-bearing pain of stillettos. You always have a full foot on the ground, and they're generally too thick to slip into sidewalk cracks and sewer grates, so you're less likely to stumble into a face first meeting with the concrete.

Who's about to look like Frankenstein?
They're also a tricky design that can go very, very wrong very easily, and not all shoe manufactureers have been successful at pulling off this increasingly popular, and feminist heel.

Currently a popular way to give boots a little lift, I have seen as many people wear this well, as I have seen women channeling the old Frankenstein monster in both styling and walk.

You can always spot a crappy wedge boot when it looks like the wearer's feet have been encased in blocks. No shape or texture to the wedge, and no change in material between the shoe and the wedge create a block look that's not good on anyone.

They're not known for their footwear.
It's even worse when monotone, block wedge boots are paired with skinny jeans. It creates an imbalance that makes girls look like some kind of jacked up Playmobile person.

Let's not forget about the walk either. Wedges can be really freaking tall. When I can hit six feet tall and not teeter on the edge of falling into oblivion at the first crack in the sidewalk, those are some sturdy shoes. You can walk or run in wedges (although this is not recommended), but if you're going to do either one, for the love of all things holy, please walk like a regular person.

Nina Ricci does wedges right.
Heel to toe. Repeat on the other side. One foot in front of the other. Please don't walk like you are actually wearing cement blocks on your feet. It's called walking, not marching, and you look like an ass marching around unless you're in full military gear, at which point you're not wearing wedges. And if you are, we need to have a different discussion about footwear and what's appropriate.

So be careful with your wedges, don't buy shitty block-looking boots, and remember how to walk like a human who's still alive. And remember some of them are still razor thin and can send you tumbling from your stilted tower.

Happens to me more than I like to admit.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Black Friday and No Shoes

This year's Black Friday shopping adventure really wasn't that exciting.

It was exciting because there were great deals, and I got to spend the day with my sister, niece and mom, but there weren't any crazed shoppers pushing people out of the way, pulling hair and hitting one another with display heels in an effort to get the last size medium dress.

Same boots, different day
Instead we shopped our way through the mall grabbing great deals, and finding some really nice stuff for Christmas gifts. My two-year-old niece waved at Santa (the highlight of her day), danced to music in every store, and pointed out all the shoes she thought were "So cute."

For being two, she has great taste in shoes.

Surprisingly, I didn't buy any shoes today. Or maybe that's not surprising because I was actually Christmas shopping, and for once not focusing on myself. At least not the whole time.

I also learned that my Kensie boots look awesome, but are not the best mall marathon shoes. Hours and hours of walking in those left my feet hurting. Though I was pretty on-trend with my red jeans and black top. Even if my red jeans are like five years old.

Like I said, I'm always ahead of the curve.

I also resisted getting my third furry vest, although I think I'm regretting it at this point. But I guess there's always after Christmas.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Glitter Celebrations

One year ago, on November 20, 2010 I got married and I wore these amazing shoes that I was convinced I would wear again. It's how I justified the expense mere days before the wedding.

It turns out glitter heels aren't my most versatile shoes, and they're not really work appropriate, so they haven't been worn in the last 12 months.
Sparkles at least once a year.
Finally tonight I pulled them out again and wore them to our anniversary dinner.

I paired them with a red and purple skirt and purple top, and braved the November wind with bare legs and a leopard faux fur coat, and the hubby and I went out to dinner at the original Morton's Steakhouse for an amazing anniversary dinner.

Once home we ate a piece of the now-defrosted cake top (for luck), drank a bottle of ice wine, hung out with the dog, and watched the American Music Awards, and realized that in one year our life hasn't changed much.

Twelve months ago to the day were were partying our butts off with our family and friends, and now it's a good dinner and back to real life.

At least I still have the sparkle and the shoes. Even if I can't wear them all the time.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

The Higher the Poorer?

According to some economists, fashion can predict the rise and fall of the economy. There's the skirt theory that when skirts are shorter, the economy is doing better. Supposedly this is something that's been proven over time.

I never thought this made any damn sense, because you'd think that the worse the economy the shorter the skirt, because short skirts use less fabric, and would therefore be cheaper.

Love these heels, but 6" doesn't work for the office.
Now just to make this extra brain-busting, IBM Global Business Services did some kind of study and decided that heels height is also an economic indicator.

The higher the heel the worse the economy.

So apparently when the economy is down we all hide our towering heels under maxi dresses, but when we're flush we bust out the mini skirts and flats.

I'm going out on a limb here and say that economists aren't always the most fashionable people, and it's probably a male dominated industry. I say this because usually people don't wear flats with minis. Or at least I don't. It makes me look all Hobbity and fat. And I don't wear flats.

As far as heels getting higher as the economy goes in the shitter, it's got some precedence behind it. Heels were popular in the 1930s, 1970s and again recently. But I remember wearing heels in the '90s when we were all rolling around in easy credit and low unemployment. And the recent heel heights have gotten so high, there's no where to go but down.

Having recently reached 6" and 7" with platforms, heights once reserved only for strippers, if they got any higher women would need help walking.

I think fashion reflects the economy before the economy reflects fashion. And some things just don't make any damn sense. Like wearing mini skirts and flats, or maxi dresses. I will never understand those, no matter what kind of economy we have.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Very British imports

Every year I wait until the last minute to go Christmas shopping. I’m one of those people who doesn’t even think about it until Black Friday, then spends hundreds of dollars over the next few weeks, praying that I have money left over for the light bill.

Buying myself little gifts in there probably doesn’t help.

And I don’t even need to explain the amazingness that is online shopping. What isn’t done the weekend before Christmas is done on lunch hours from my desk.

This year there’s yet another option added to the long list of online retailers, but this one is different. Mostly because it’s a well established British brand, and their stuff is very cool.

Very.com is launching in the U.S. and brings a bit of British style to our computers, and eventually our closets. A part of the Shop Direct Group, the UK's largest online retaileer, they have everything from clothes to shoes and accessories for men and women, and prices to fit any budget.

Firetrap Fire Form- As good as bought.
 The first place I went to was the shoes, and some of them are absolutely fabulous. The guys shoes are great too, and the brands include popular British brands like Love Labels and Goodsouls, as well as brands like G-Star RAW.

If shoes aren’t your thing (then I wonder why you read this) there’s lingerie, accessories, maternity clothes, plus sizes, sports wear (never thought that would be on my blog), and a bunch of other stuff to buy there as well.

But seriously, let’s talk about the shoes and how much I love these Firetrap Fire Form Platform heels and how they’re all Beetlejuice, and I need them right now?

If you want in on this British import, Cat in Heels readers are being offered 20% off Very.com from Black Friday to Cyber Monday, and all you have to do is put your email into the signup box below.

And please note, they did contact me and ask me to spread the word and are sponsoring this post, but I'd never offer my readers something I didn't think was truly cool.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Waiting for Glitter

Almost one year ago to the day I bought a pair of pinkish-red glitter heels from Bakers to wear on what is probably one of the most important (and definitely the most expensive) days of my life.

My wedding.

Thanks for not having these
a year ago Bebe.
As soon as the bridesmaids were in hot pink, and I got my now-husband's OK to go all Punk Barbie-on-Acid with the dresses and colors, I knew I had to have hot pink shoes, and glitter was (of course) ideal. It was also (of course) nowhere to be found (unless I bought Louboutins, which I couldn't afford).

I had settled on a pair of hot pink satin ruffled heels, and then found the glitter ones, fell in love, bought them, got married, and moved on with my life.

My wedding shoes,
which were perfect in their own way
Now, one week shy of my 1st wedding anniversary and I swear that pink glitter shoes are practically attacking me. Probably out of spite.

Pink glitter boots, wedges, heels...you name it and some asshole somewhere has created the shoe I spent months looking for and never found (except for the aforementioned Louboutin.

Now I can't decide if I should run out and buy all the pink glitter shoes I can find as some sort of compensation, or if I should swear them off and never wear pink glitter since it wasn't there for me on my special day.

This is exactly why I should just design my own shoes. Because whatever I want is apparently all the rage six months to a year later.

Who wants to know today's obsessions? If you can find them (or make them) you'll totally be in style next Fall.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Uphill in the Rain

I walk uphill to work in heels. This morning it was also pouring rain, which managed to find its way into my shoes and my purse, so I started the day with wet feet, a wet wallet and a crappy disposition.

In Chicago we consider this a hill.
As I sat at my desk, seriously considering rain boots for the millionth time, I got an email from Piperlime. 20% off all day because it's their birthday or some shit.

Excited (as excited as you can be about rain boots), I decided to bite the bullet and join the Hunter cult. I looked at a million pairs of boots, and finally decided on short (my man-calves are too big for the knee high), plain black. Leopard print wooly inserts to come later.

But it turns out the coupon code wasn't good on Hunter boots. Probably because they're hideous and expensive, but apparently practical so people spend ass-tons of cash on them.

My sister/cult member told me to get over it and pointed out that they're good in rain and snow and we live in Chicago, and we have four seasons so we need to be ready for anything (sometimes all in the same week). They'll last forever, Scotland will fix them if they ever crack or tear, and how many pairs of boots have you gone through in the past few years? Blah, blah, blah, practicality.
So much more fun than rain boots.

Actually I've never owned snow boots or rain boots since moving downtown years ago and simply consider it a miracle that I haven't lost a toe to the cold. She called me ridiculous and probably gave up. I then sent her a link to the neon pink leopard boots I'd rather buy with a couple hundred dollars.

Going home my feet were wet again. But at least this time it was downhill.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Madonna's Truth or Dare

Madonna in Dior
Celebrities are generally looked to as being trend setters or shining examples of what not to wear. Few have managed to land on both of these lists (sometimes simultaneously) than Madonna.

Her empire reaches far and wide, and she's now joining the long list of celebs who are calling themselves shoe designers. Madonna already has the successful Material Girl collection, but she's branching into adults accessories, fragrance, lingerie and shoes with Truth or Dare, which will again be available at Macy's

I will shamelessly admit I have already mentally committed to getting this collection, and I'm not sure they've even started designing yet.

Performing in Louboutin.
Some have said that this jump makes no sense, but I beg to differ. Madonna's shoes and accessories have been making lists and magazines for years. The Chanel gun-heel shoes are only one such example. And as for lingerie, we all remember the famous Gaultier cone bras from the Blonde Ambition tour. (And if you don't, please Google it and don't point out my age is showing).

I can't wait to see what kind of stuff she comes up with for Truth or Dare, and I have no doubt it will be amazing. If Perez Hilton can design a charity shoe for Kim Kardashian's shoe club, and Stuart Weitzman can tap Scarlett Johansson and Olivia Palermo to design shoes, there's no reason Madonna can't take it to the next level (like she does everything) and design and sell shoes under her own label.

Previews of the shoes aren't available yet, but we can only hope something starts to leak out soon. I can only imagine what kind of amazingness Madonna will grace us with in this endeavor. She's even said she will be the face of Truth or Dare (saving us from another Taylor Momsen). But if she does want someone to help model shoes for her, or street test a few pair, I'm available.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Horror in Heels

When I was in college I went to a haunted house. I also went to one in high school and one when I was in third grade. The whole experience was generally terrifying, and despite my love of horror movies and all things Halloween, I vowed to never go again.

This year my husband tricked me into going in the name of family fun, and promised that if I survived we could go see the original Nightmare on Elm Street (Johnny Depp in a half shirt), which was showing at a recently restored theater in the city.

To my absolute horror I found out we weren’t going to some small little haunted house either. It was Dream Reapers, A big, scary haunted house with Yelp reviews and more actors than animatronics. The kind where people chase you through the parking lot because they think it’s funny to hear you scream and watch you run. The kind I had successfully spent years avoiding.

Where's Freddy when you need him?
When we got to the haunted house we stood in line, and I looked down at my shoes. I had very appropriately decided to wear my Nightmare heels from Iron Fist (hoping to find a rogue Freddy for the perfect photo op), and was suddenly standing in line in the cold, then standing in line inside. Then jumping out of the way when a not actually fake werewolf moved, pushing me towards a panic attack and the sudden realization I had to pee.

Now there was a big line with monsters jumping around in it, strobe lights, almost no actual light, people pushing, small, frightened children, and I came to the realization that if a heart attack didn’t kill me, then I’d probably trip on my heels in the dark and be eaten by whatever horrors were behind the carefully guarded door (or trampled by small, frightened children).

Did I mention there were over 20 rooms of my nightmare to get through without panicking, passing out, being killed or tripping? And in the event someone started chasing me, I planned on just throwing up my arms and letting them axe me. Why ruin a pair of good shoes and die in terror?

As I steered my husband through each room, with a firm grip on his coat I almost fell and died about 400 time. Between ramps, stuff on the floor, people jumping at you from all sides, strobe lights, a room that moved, an elevator that moved, more jumping, and one guy who asked if he could cut off my legs and keep them (probably for my shoes), it’s a miracle I made it out alive.

Then at the theater no one was dressed like Freddy Krueger, so I didn’t even get my perfect photo op.

Maybe I’ll have to go back to the haunted house next year and take pictures of my shoes with all the monsters and demons. I’ve survived once, so I can probably get through again.

Monday, October 24, 2011

High Maintenance in Heels

Generally I am not a magazine person. I used to be, but that's when I was in high school and the Internet was all slow and dial up, and it took 20 minutes to load a page.

Somehow I ended up on a mailing list for a couple magazines though. One about destination weddings (which I didn't have), one fitness magazine (I us it as a coaster for my vodka) and one fashion magazine.

Believe it or not, I actually read the fitness and the fashion magazine, as if I'll somehow get prettier and have better abs through osmosis. Of course, then I run into an article that reminds me why I don't read fashion magazines.

An article on the secret messages your outfit is sending men, sent me into a tizzy this weekend. Mostly because I don't give a shit what message my outfit sends (I dress for me, not some dude) and the advice therein was beyond stupid.

Among the brilliant tidbits:

  • Logos on your clothes mean you shop a lot (I always thought it meant you're totally uninspired)
  • Shapeless clothes mean you think you're fat (Ummmm...this is so dumb I don't know what to say)
  • Skimpy clothes mean you'll wear hot pants to a funeral (this relationship is moving fast)
  • And my favorite: High heels means you're high maintenance. 

I would like to take a moment right now to tell the male writer of this idiotic article to fuck off.

Don't analyze my heels, just admire them. 
I disagree with every point he makes, from logos to frump and the bullshit about the funeral in between. But especially about the shoes.

High heels do not mean you're high maintenance. They mean you're wearing high heels. Maybe you're short or they match the outfit. Maybe they're new. Maybe you had a business meeting or simply look like a stupid little hobbit in flats.

Maybe it's so douche bags like this guy don't talk to you.

Can high maintenance women wear high heels? Of course, but they can also wear gym shoes, ballet flats and Crocs (although I actually find this last option to be least likely). I've been wearing heels for years, and I don't consider myself to be high maintenance at all. I'm snobby, aggressive, swear too much, work too much, drink too much, talk too loud, and a variety of other independent and unladylike things, and if there's any maintaining that needs to be done I can do it my damn self.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

European shoe successes and failures

I wanted new shoes for a wedding I had to attend. New shoes to go with a new dress.

I had the perfect shoe in mind to go with my scarlet, one shoulder cocktail dress. Black, closed toe, t-strap, moderate heel. And apparently not something that's been in style since the 1950s.

My husband also needed shoes, so we went out and started hitting store after store around the city looking for my t-straps and his new dress shoes. He was being all picky about the dress shoes though, and basic black just wasn't what he wanted.

His new shoes and my old ones. 
Almost at the end of our search and resigning ourselves to wearing shoes we already owned, I coaxed my hubby into one more place. Figaro European Shoes, tucked just off the main road with sky high heels in the front window.

He rolled his eyes as he walked in,  and then those eyes went wide. More than half the store was men's shoes, and they were unique. Super unique and ostentatious, loud as hell and totally his style. As he ran around collecting shoes, waving various dress shoes at me ("These have horses on them!") I wandered through the store and realized they didn't have my t-straps, turned around and my husband was sitting, surrounded by shoes talking to the shop owner.

Twenty minutes later we walked out of the store and my husband was toting bags with two new pairs of shoes in them. I had nothing. He had patent leather and pony hair, and I had nothing. He had blood red and white stitching and I was wearing old shoes.

When I started whining on the way home about how he got two new pairs of shoes and I got nothing he turned to me and said, "Your shoes are nice and no one has seen them. Mine were cruddy looking and I need nice shoes since my wife is the shoe queen, I can't be seen with cruddy shoes."

You win this round hubs. But next time we go shopping, it's all about me and finding those t-straps.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

The pain of beautiful shoes

Today an article about model's feet hit the Internet and made people all over want to gag. 

What happens when models are in runway shows day after day, tromping around in heels, acting as human coat hangers for the newest fashions? Their feet look damaged, and probably hurt like hell. 

My initial reaction was that it was awful, but once I thought about it a little, I decided it's really not that bad. Especially once you take all the various factors into account. 

For one, models don't always get to wear shoes that fit. Sometimes they jam their feet into shoes that are too small, and sometimes they have to strap on shoes that are too big. In both cases they then have to walk like there's no problem. 

Lucky for them those runways are usually pretty short. 

Photo courtesy of Fashionista.com
So really, what are the big problems that heels cause when you spend Fashion Week walking runways?

Runaway pinkie toes in strappy sandals, blisters, scratches, bruises. I honestly don't see what the big deal is. 

I spend my days in heels, and probably walk around in them just as much as models (if not more). Sure, my shoes fit because I buy them, but I'm not on a smooth runway either. 

Instead my 5'4" non-model frame and doll size feet glide around the city, skipping over sidewalk cracks, teetering through construction zones, jumping over those damn orange nubby things at crosswalks, and running all over the office, and I've managed to not have all kinds of crazy bruising and scratches. Maybe I'm just more resilient than the models are. Probably because I eat. 

Whatever. Beauty is pain. By the end of the series of Fashion Week in Paris, the runway models are showing off not only clothes, but the pain that goes along with looking so good. 

Right now I hope they're all getting foot rubs and eating cheese burgers. 

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Who owns this bag?

I hate airport security. Not only is it inconvenient, and you have to take your shoes off, but I'm terrified of being searched.

Which, given my frequent traveling and carry on luggage, periodically happens.

The suspicious bags and coat.


Today I get to thank LaGuardia for running my giant, hot pink bag through the x-ray machine so many times I think it may have cancer, and unpacking my carry on twice.

Because the first time they weren't satisfied that my makeup bag was the offending object. Convinced there was still something hidden in the one compartment carry-on, they pulled out blazers, shoes, knee highs, panties, hair brushes and shoes twice.

Of course this attracts attention, because everyone wants to know what kind of contraband the girl in the ruffled designer trench coat with a giant ruffled purse is carrying in her enormous, loud, pink bag.

Turns out contact solution may have been the problem. Or a shoe, which security kept telling me she loved. At one point I was afraid she was going to confiscate my heels.

Regardless, LGA got a hell of a show. Especially the guy who stood at the doorway to watch them unpack my bag twice, probably trying to get a glimpse of panty.

Creep.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Nike and the art of running

My bio notes that I own a pair of gym shoes, which I do. I'll admit to it. I even wear them sometimes, like when I workout.

I don't like to discuss working out because it's generally gross, sweaty and leaves you an unattractive mess, but if you want to teeter around in giant freaking heels, you've got to lace up those sneakers and go for a damn run. Strong legs don't just show up and maintain themselves.

Nike Chicago LunarGlide+3 a.k.a. my new motivation
The problem I always run into (pun intended) is that I need some kind of motivation (aside from calorie burning), which is when I turn to shopping. Because a new pair of workout clothes that haven't been marred by sweat and hate can get your ass out on the pavement or in the gym.

This weekend I was lucky enough to have motivation slap me in the face when I attended the launch of Nike's new shoe, the Chicago LunarGlide+3 shoe at Akin. Chicago artist Tara D designed the Chicago version of the shoe, which launched just in time for the Bank of America Chicago Marathon (which I will not be running).

Nike was generous enough to gift me a pair of the Chicago LunarGlide+3 shoes, which I'm really excited about because it's about time for some new motivation. The best part about this shoe is that it isn't hideous. It's highly functional, artistic and looks different than most other running shoes in their blazing white and neon colors. Sure, some will wear this shoe as a fashion statement, but mine will only be paired with workout clothes, and will pound pavement, treadmills, elliptical, and probably end up on a multitude of bike rides.

The design and color even extends to the sole.
At the event Tara D discussed her motivation in designing the shoe, and that she talked to runners to find inspiration for the design. DJ Marky Boy was spinning music at the event, which also had food and drinks (for adults and kids), and I got to see the Back to the Future II shoes in person.

Is working out glam? No, but it's totally necessary, even if you just focus on the narcissistic side and forget all the health benefits. And when you're wearing giant heels, you need to make sure you're not going to have a knee or ankle give out because you don't like being sweaty. Running probably isn't when I look my best, but it's definitely better than being sprawled out on the floor because my legs aren't strong enough to support my heels. Although, the story to go along with that would probably be priceless.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

A Cat brings heels to the aristocrats

Heels are actually functional. They're not just for fashion or for making your legs look long, they're actually for your horse.

Big collars and tall shoes.
She was all the rage. 
Oh, you don't have a horse? Me either, but that's totally what they were made for. That way your feet don't slide off the stirrups while you're riding. Luckily a woman who shares my name decided that heels were a brilliant idea and brought them into fashion.

Catherine 'de Medici, queen of France, had two inch heels put on her wedding shoes.  Or, more likely, she had someone else do it for her. This is arguably the first instance of heels being used for fashion instead of function. Suddenly men and women were wearing heels to show their status in this world, because apparently only peasants wear flats. Louis XIV of France even went so far as to outlaw anyone other than aristocrats from wearing flats.

Inspired by Marie Antoinette who
lost her head in 2 inch heels.
Hence the term "well heeled."

So while the French were wearing heels, making amazing shoes, and European women were binding their feet like the Chinese (because who needs to be able to walk?), the Puritans in the new world went ahead and ruined fashion like everything else and decided that women who wear heels are witches. Predictably, they burned women bold enough to wear the accursed shoe.

So wearing heels means you're a high-born spell caster who cavorts with the devil, and stands above the "commoners" in their flats? And it was all started by a woman named Catherine.

No wonder I love them so much.




Monday, September 26, 2011

Over the top is just enough

Getting dressed for a wedding is really stressful. You have to find something cute, but appropriate. Attractive, but not so attractive that you look better than the bridesmaids or, God forbid, the bride. And you can't ever match the bridesmaids.

All this is one of the many reasons there is open bar at a wedding.

So what happens when you're at a wedding in another state, there's no bar at the reception (cash or otherwise) and the girl seated next to you is wearing an eerily similar dress and the bride is swishing her lacy white dress all over the dance floor to gangster rap?

You start texting your sister all the snarky things you're thinking and shouldn't say.

This weekend I wasn't the snarky one. I was the sister.

As the texts came rolling in, bitching about the lack of booze, the music, the absence of vegetarian menu options and the fact that Nirvana was turned into classical music for dinner, it was the girl unfortunately seated ext to her that was also wearing a leopard dress.
My sister's shoes are better than yours

Really, what are the chances there are two girls who have enough balls to wear a fitted leopard dress to a wedding? Luckily, my wedding saved my sister because her shoes were better.

Of course they were. They were the shoes she wore for my wedding, where the bridesmaids' shoes were as important as the dresses.

Black patent peep toes with a giant bow. Really there's no way to go wrong with that, and few people who have the balls to pull it off. Especially when paired with leopard.

Sure, she was a little reticent at first. Leopard dress, patent shoes with an enormous bow, and a black rose with feathers in her hair. I assured her it wasn't too much.

Or maybe it was, but at least she stood out from the other girl in a leopard dress. And she sure as hell didn't dance to gangster rap in her glam getup.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Ruffled zebras in the rain

Rainy days destroy me. I never know what to wear, I don't own rain boots, always get water in my shoes, I'm short enough that my pants drag on the ground and get muddy and wet, and my hair goes flat.

Rain and I are not good friends at all.

This weekend I had a kid's birthday party to attend. Party in the park with yelling children hopped up on pizza, caffeinated pop and cake frosting (because none of them eat the cake part), and then they run off to play on equipment that can't give them splinters or tetanus like playgrounds of yore. This leaves the adults alone to sip beer out of coffee cups (because park rules frown on drinking outside at noon), and talk about adult things like the economy, work, how much they both suck, and of course, shoes.

I was standing around, drinking my beer and nodding about some economic story or discussing work, hoping no one bloodied a nose on the playground, and wondering how bad my hair looked because of the on again, off again rain, and suddenly a Steve Madden box was shoved into my hands.
These are going to go with everything (except rain).

"Here, if these fit you and you like them, they're yours."

I opened the box and saw a pair of zebra print heels with a red patent heel and red ruffle staring up at me. The same heels I had almost bought half a dozen times, and suddenly they're being handed to me in the middle of a birthday party.

So what's the catch? Why would someone give up a perfectly good pair of zebra print Madden Girl heels that had obviously never been worn?

"I can't walk in them," the gift giver explained. "Seriously, I put them on, tried to walk across the room and was crippled. There's no way that was going to happen. But I love them, and I know you love heels, and they're your size, so take them."

I stared in awe of my new shoes, suddenly having something that I have been intermittently lusting after for years, and profusely thanked her for the gift.

And no, I assured everyone, I don't have anything like them (which some seemed hard to believe). In fact, I don't even own anything in a zebra print. Which really seems almost criminal. Good thing that's been fixed. Now I can obsess over something in a giraffe print, because I'm pretty sure I don't have that either.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Filing shoes

A few days ago I couldn't find the shoes I was looking for in the closet.

There I am, rushing around, getting ready for work, probably brushing my teeth while trying not to trip on a shoe and end up bleeding to death on the floor of my closet with a stiletto in my temple, and I couldn't find my damn navy blue heeled loafers. Finally I gave up, grabbed a different pair and ran off to work.

Once I got to the office all my suspicions were confirmed. The missing shoes were sitting in a drawer. Yep, a drawer.

Some people own less shoes than I keep at work.
I have managed to create a shoe drawer at work in one of my file cabinets. It's rare that I travel to work in certain shoes, especially when it's raining or snowing. Sure, cheap shoes put up with crap weather, but rain ruins suede and tweed, sidewalk construction can rid the patent off a pair of covered heels, and snow...I don't even feel the need to explain myself.

As a result of big city living, I often change my shoes when I get to work, change for the trip home, and end up leaving my shoes in a large drawer of my file cabinet that also contains my gym bag, yoga mat, and copies of a few client proposals that got lost down there during it's transition to a shoe drawer.

Now I'm pretty sure the drawer is turning into a full blown corporate shoe closet since it contains shoes rarely worn outside the office. There's also the "work version" of shoes that also have the "home version."

Cork platform sandals (patent for the office), black pumps (sensible heel stays at the office), gray patent shoes which only match work clothes, purple tweed (too preppy for my real life), and a pair of ankle boots I forgot about and don't particularly like. There's also a black cardigan I forgot I ever even brought to work that I'm pretty sure I never use, and has a footprint on it from a heel carelessly tossed into the drawer.

I think I have a problem. Yesterday I even found myself bringing an extra pair of shoes to work in case I decided I didn't like the ones I was wearing. At the end of the day both stayed in the drawer and I wore a different pair home.

Maybe tonight when I pack up my gym bag and bring it home for the weekend I should pack up my work closet. Then I can get at least half of my drawer back for actual files.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Nike saves lives and ruins my eyes

There is really very little I hate more in this world than gym shoes. At least as far as footwear goes, and we all know I have a lot of hate for varying kinds of footwear.

The really unfortunate thing about gym shoes is that they’re actually functional in their hideousness. Yes, they are easier to exercise in than heels, and make kickboxing way less dangerous. Probably everyone owns one pair. Most people own more than one pair.

Gag.

There’s no reason to buy more than one pair of hideous shoes, even if they are functional. If you have to wear a uniform to work do you buy extras so you can hang out in it later? As if the UPS guy goes home and puts on another pair of brown pants. Probably not. So what’s the obsession with gym shoes? The massive sales of such awful footwear make the fact that the U.S. is obese even more horrifying. That means people are wearing them for fashion.

Jump in your DeLorean, you can now forget how to tie shoes
Spreading even further into fashion, Nike has now brought their ugly-ass designs of fiction into the real world, creating 1,500 of the “Back to the Future II” self-lacing Nikes. They could have made a hoverboard, or sponsored the opening of a CafĂ© ‘80s chain, but no, they had to find the ugliest thing in the whole damn film and create it.

At least they did it all in the name of charity.

The Nike’s are currently selling for over $2,000 a pair on eBay, which is a horrid disaster, but at least it goes to a good cause. Proceeds benefit the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research.

Maybe for their next trick they can create a gym shoe that doesn’t make me not want to work out.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Cat's night out for fashion

What kind of shoes do you wear to Fashion's Night out when it's drizzling and you're in a suit? Iron Fist Nightmare heels. They matched my red jacket and black pants, and provided a bit of flair for Fashion's Night Out and the opening of Topshop Chicago.

The evening started with me getting stuck at the office. Isn't that always the way things go? By the time I got out and got to Topshop my sister was lost in the bowels of the packed store.

Bunnies in Bloomie's
Twenty minutes and four failed phone calls later, we finally met up among seas of oddly dressed people staring at furry vests and took advantage of the hairstylists on hand to fix my now wet hair and we headed over to the 900 N. Shops.

Scads of rich people roamed through the high end mall, cocktails in hand, toting bags from Karen Millen and Gucci. We shopped more within our budget at Banana Republic and coveted half the collection at Charles David, including a pair of black patent and pony hair heels that I am still fantasizing about.

Playboy Bunnies from the upcoming show wandered around Bloomingdale's along with actors from other shows I hadn't heard of. Somewhere Brad Goreski from Bravo held court with VIPs who spent $1,000 or more at the mall that evening.

My sister and I drank cocktails, had makeup done by Estee Lauder and cursed our shoes through the multiple floors of the mall. Finally we took our leave by way of Michael Kors, sending loving looks at handbags and a pair of $800 shoes before wandering back into the drizzle and packed streets of Michigan Avenue, bags in hand. None of them which contained shoes.

I can't decide if that means the evening was a success or failure. Maybe I'll just go back and get those heels to call it a draw.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

History of soles



The human obsession with shoes dates back to the first time some cave man strapped pieces of dead animal to his foot and tied it on, forever changing the human foot. Sure, the first shoes probably weren't very pretty, but neither are gym shoes and people wear the heck out of those. 

I came across a link to a National Geographic article called "The Joy of Shoes" that DNA Footwear linked to. This amazing article chronicles the history of a few different kinds of shoes, interviews the master of shoes, Manolo Blahnik, and shows that shoes really can be a window into the soul (sole?) of humanity. 

A chopine required having servants help you walk.
Shoes are everything. From identifying social status to bronzed baby shoes of the deceased and the war that brought us floor ruining stilettos, shoes define us and can define a generation or culture. No wonder women are so obsessed with them. Not only are shoes wearable art, they are wearable history. You are actually walking through life, making history in something that is identified as a piece of history. 

My only criticism is that I wish the article were longer. I wish there were more pictures. I wish I could sit down and have a martini with Manolo and discuss why I love his mink rosettes and talk with fetish boot maker Natasha Marro about what exactly defines a fetish boot (as opposed to just a hot looking boot) and have a coffee with June Swann, keeper of the Boot and shoe collection at the Northampton Museum in England. 

I also need to go to Northampton and see the Boot and Shoe Collection.  Shoes are art. Shoes are history. Shoes are a way to define ourselves and our lives. Maybe that means I can turn my closet into a museum. 

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Peeping at tights


The debate about tights and open toed shoes has raged long and hard within fashion.

I am adamantly against tights and open toed shoes in any capacity. It just isn’t a look that works on anyone, regardless of what kind of clever tight/shoe color combination you put together.

Fishnet tights and peep toes are passable in my opinion, but I still am not an ardent supporter. Either find new shoes or polish those toes and go bare legged. And no, I don’t give a shit if it’s winter, there’s a foot of snow on the ground and the wind chill is -80. Look good or change your outfit.

A friend of mine was texting me this weekend asking about my feelings on tights and open toe shoes, trying to get my blessing, which I just refused to give. She gave me all kinds of excuses.

Good shoes made bad.

  • Her friend from LA did it and it looked cute
  • She had it on right now and looked good
  • It’s not as bad as I think
  • Cosmo totally had it featured in a recent issue

The last one is my favorite because I recall years ago an article in Cosmopolitan that said to manipulate your hand in the same motion as opening a jar when fondling the neither regions of your man. Because every guy loves the idea of having his junk wrenched around in your fist like a pickle jar.

Cosmo is so full of shit. About tights and shoes and “sexy” little hand-job tips. If we all take our cues from there we’d be walking around in mismatched bullshit clothing that we can’t afford, with tights sticking out of our peep-toe heels, wearing drugstore makeup and batting our false-lashed smoky eyes at every dude we see so we can find out if those 100 hot tips really work.

No, my opinion hasn’t changed. Yes, I see tights and open toes on runways, red carpets, magazines and blogs, and every time I do I cringe. It looks dumb and there’s no excuse for it. So shave your legs, toss on some moisturizer and accept the fact that it’s cold out and you have to wear those new shoes to dinner tonight because nothing else will work with your sexy little dress, and be a woman.

Fashion and beauty are pain. Start suffering.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Shopping, drinking and shopping

I've finally dried the vodka and gin out of my system and moved into the next year of my life. It was marked by shopping and drinking and shopping. Surprisingly, I managed to make it all the way through all that shopping without buying shoes.

I bought a dress, a skirt, sweater, panties, a bra and a satin Betsey Johnson trench with a giant ruffle down the front.

I couldn't pass it up.

I'm totally getting drunk to shop for a matching outfit
Sure, there were shoes. I tried them on, walked around with them, coveted them, and ultimately decided not to get them. I even had a pair of black peep toes in my hand at one point. I really need plain black peep toes. I decided against these though because they had a drag queen height platform on them, which is awesome, but totally not appropriate for the office. And I already have drag queen height black shoes for the days that I need to be almost six feet and walk like a geisha.

Luckily my sister saved me from my shoe drought, and gave me a pair of blue patent leather Jeffrey Campbell knee high boots to celebrate the fact that I'm an air breather.

Best sister ever.

With a softly squared toe and a snakeskin texture they're amazing. I have nothing to go with them, but they're amazing.

What does one wear with midnight blue knee high boots?

I think this is going to require more shopping and drinking.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Birthday shoes

It’s my birthday this month. Actually, it’s this week, in the next couple days. You can guess which one.

I totally haven't worn these except to take this picture. 
In hearing that news you’re probably already more excited about it than I am. Not because I’m all bah humbug about being a year older. I don’t actually care about being a year older. Armed with wrinkle creams, cases of makeup, yoga, hair dye, and a great hair stylist I’m not really afraid of age. (And when the time comes I won’t be afraid of Botox either).

I just never really get excited about birthdays. I stopped having birthday parties sometime in high school and never looked back. I don’t take the day off, or declare a whole week or month for myself when I expect to be treated special or given nice things simply because I managed to be born (which really wasn’t up to me) and not get myself killed up to this point.

But the day cannot go totally unrecognized, so the one thing I do every year for myself; shop.

Shocking, right?

I wore these once. They're festive. 
I think in years past I’ve bought shoes, but this year I am determined to buy clothes. Mostly because I need some of the new fall fashions and have two pairs of shoes in the closet I haven’t worn yet. Though the chances are still good that I’ll end up buying shoes in addition to whatever else I find.

My birthday also means I have to wear a cool pair of “birthday shoes.” They don’t necessarily need to be new, but I do like to dress up, and what better excuse than that. In discussing which shoes should be birthday shoes, a co-worker came up with the amazingly brilliant idea bringing a few different pairs of shoes and changing them every couple of hours.

Sounds like I need to find a suitcase to bring to work.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Office tested and Cat approved

I have a tendecy to become obsessed with the idea of something and then not resting until I get it. Then I find out it's not nearly as fantastic and amazing as I had hoped and it gets totally shelved.

Gray patent leather shoes, red pants, curduroy anything, that gold and black skirt that doesn't actually look good with my gold boots, various earrings and necklaces, and pretty much any dress I've ever bought fall into this category.

Why would cork shoes be any different?

I have blogged about my fascination since first seeing them at Stewart Weitzamn. Then I loved the height of Sam Edelman. I even posted them in the "Shoes I dream about" album on Facebook.

It's just as wonderful as I hoped. 
Thanks to DNA Footwear they're down now, and a photo of the real thing is moving over to the "My Shoes" album. And thanks to the fact that they really are as fabulous as I hoped, they're something I'll actually wear on a semi-regular basis.

Cork can act as neutral, which is really how I planned on wearing them. At least that's what I'm telling myself. I've also played dress up with them and decided they're bad with tan pants, good with skirts, and good with dark colors. They are also perfect for a variety of things I don't own, such as navy pants or skirt, a striped skirt I saw somewhere this summer and didn't buy and they probably also look nice with green, as well as a varety of patterns that my closet also lacks.

I really should start to focus more on clothes and less on shoes for a little while.

The other upside to these versatile shoes that go better in someone else's wardrobe; they're insanely comfortable.

Seriously. That sounds dumb but they are. They're also easy to walk in.

I wore them to work to test them out, which sounds easy because I sit at a desk, but my office is actually a rather perilious place to test stilletos.

First, it's a high rise, and I'm on the top floor. So there's an ear-popping elevator ride at 100 mph in heels, and then the walk up (and inevitably down) a set of slick marble stairs (because elevators stop one floor shy of the top floor), and carpet which is inexplicably lumpy and catches even people in flats, and tile, which is textured because apparently the office's designer and architect was male, and possibly an idiot.

The first day I wore them the whole day was wildly uneventful with the exception of the fact that I was unhappy with my choice of pants. The second day was a marathon of stairs, elevator rides, phone calls, yelling and running around. In heels, in a skirt.

I could have died. Instead I did just fine and didn't have any foot pain, tripping, sliding, falling or other shoe-related catastrophe. The only thing about them tht slowed me down was saying "thank you" to the compliments thrown my way by people as I passed them in the hall balancing stacks of papers and answering emails on my phone.

So they still have to go through the real world test, but if they can survive a day like that at the office without becoming a problem, they can definitly get me through dinner and a night on the town.