Thursday, March 31, 2011

Shoe box Jenga

I've mentioned my hate of shoe boxes before. Sure they look nice and keep your shoes from getting all jacked up and stabbing one another with their knife-like heels, marring leather, smashing bows and so on, but I really prefer racks.

Racks allow the shoes to sit out and look beautiful. They can breathe and be admired by anyone who may peek in my freakishly-large Chicago closet (which may or may not actually be a pantry) in order to feel bad about their own shoe collection and lack of closet space.
This game sucks.

Unfortunately I have run out of built in shelves, and my racks are full, and I haven't yet gotten to The Container Store to buy more (I love their wire stackable racks) so I've started storing the shoes in boxes and playing Shoe Box Jenga.

You know, the delightful game where you're totally running late in the morning, and of course need to shoes in the box that has made it's way to the bottom of the pile, and instead of taking all the boxes off and stacking them next to you, you try to save time and slide the bottom box out carefully.

That would probably totally work except that you're late, so everything has to go to hell. So instead of being all stealthy and ninja-like, the boxes all topple on you, shoes fly everywhere, you get hit by at least one heel, trip over a purse, step on the heel of another shoe that didn't get put away, and use a string of words that could make a sailor blush.

Or is that just me?

Moral of the story; shoe boxes suck and I have to get my ass to buy some more shoe racks. There's still a good eight feet to the ceiling.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

I am an overachiever

A new study said that 14% of women hide some of their shoe purchases. 

Really? Only 14%. That seems kind of low. Then again this is from the Today Show, and they're probably full of crap. I mean how do they even come up with this data anyway? They sure as hell didn't call me. Not that I'm hiding shoes again, but if he doesn't ask or doesn't notice it's really not my fault.

Part of the reason I don't mention every blasted purchase I make, shoes or otherwise, is that my husband doesn't really give a shit what I spend my money on. Still, sometimes you just feel bad for bringing home another pair of shoes so you leave them in the hall under a pile of coats for a few hours until you can successfully sneak them into the closet (not that I've ever done this). Especially after you said you don't have money to go to the eye doctor or something "important." Ironically it's usually because I bought some outrageous new pair of shoes I had to have. 

This is why I need a walk in closet.
The article goes on to say that the average woman has 17 pairs of shoes, which means I am also an overachiever. Big time.

I think I bought more than 17 pair of shoes this calendar year. Again, who are they calling about this?!

In fact, I just walked into my closet, looked around and counted 50 pairs I could see. So that doesn't count the shoes in the storage bins, shoe racks, other rooms, the office, ones facing the wrong direction, buried under other stuff, my husband's shoes, or the new pair of shoes that were delivered today and not put in the closet yet.

I'm kind of proud right now, and yet worried that maybe I'm a little sick. But at least I've managed to shop myself out of being average.

Monday, March 21, 2011

What to wear to a book signing

Last Friday my sister, Figgy, and I decided to take advantage of some of the free, silly things to do in the city while spending time together and went to a local bookstore (there are still a few) and walked into the signing of What to Wear Where, by the girls of "Who What Wear."

For those of you living under a fashion rock, or who don't care about celeb's clothes, this is an online magazine that always shows celebrities clothes and talks about how amazing they are and where you can buy each and every one of their horrid, hideous, overpriced pieces that were put together by a colorblind child who seems to have an affinity for floral print, ill fitting pants, jewelry from my garage sale, and something my Grandma wore in the 1980s. And not in a cool retro way.

New line from Just Fabulous
So I already knew I would hate their clothes, think the book (chock full of "fashion" advice for every situation) was stupid, and not buy anything, but it was free, they were previewing their new shoe line with Just Fabulous, and it was next to a bar. So I stepped into my Halston's and teetered out in red, black and hot pink, with my six foot, blond, Amazonian sister in tow.

When we got to the bookstore the pre-signing speech had already started and we tried to make ourselves inconspicuous by the door, because that works awesome when you're in a hot pink trench coat and five inch boots. We then proceeded to scan the room, judge everyone in it, send snarky Tweets, and left after the Q&A to go get drunk. All without buying a book.

I may have considered purchasing the book and having it signed if the two writers (as if they really wrote it) seemed vaguely human, and gave better advice than "wear something you're comfortable in."

What? Don't tell people that! What if they're comfortable in something that looks like shit? Or if they don't own a mirror (lots of that going around), or they're really comfy in that hideous floral dress...oh, you're the writer? Sorry. But P.S.; your dress is uggos.

The shoes were fine, but nothing to write home about. Classic pumps, a boot or two and some peep toes. And there may have been a flat. I forget. Hardly worthy of a parade.

And I know that I may not be the most fashionable person in the world, and I wear clothes that are too loud and not necessarily off the runway, but I'm happy with my choices. And no, I'm not comfortable, because looking good is not comfy. Not being able to sit is not comfort, push up bras, control top pantyhose, chandelier earrings, and five inch heels are not comfort, but damnit, they look good, and really, what's more important?

Thursday, March 17, 2011

'Sole Sisters' films an obsession

I love film. Not because of anything shoe related, but on it's own. Movies are great. I don't watch TV, but I will sit down with a film every night. From dramas to foreign films, action and horror, I have found my niches and love them.

A few months ago I was made aware of a film project that I have now been obsessively following via various social networks, and can't wait for it to come out. It's a documentary by Cynthia Salzman Mondell, an award winning independent filmmaker, and she is tackling the topic of shoes. Sole Sisters is the name of the project, and Mondell is talking to women about their shoes. The clever tagline reads "Every shoe has a story. Every woman has both."

I cannot think of a more true statement, or a more fascinating topic. Mondell has been gathering women's stories about their shoes. What they mean. Why. Where they're from. She's collecting women's stories and creating a film.

It's sort of like the non-narcissistic, self-centered version of this blog.


Tell your story, have it told in a film, and eat a shoe.
 It's true though, and so many people pass over women's love of shoes as "a girl thing." And while that may be the case, it's also something that we share, and each pair has a story. Some of them are accomplishments, some are regrets. I remember the shoes I wore to my godmother's funeral, and the ones I wore when my husband proposed. I have bought shoes as a reward to myself, a consolation prize, a goal....

Apparently I am not the only one who does this. The website is full of stories of women's shoes and what they meant to them. Some have memories of their mothers shoes, some bought shoes to remember a friend, to be in a parade, for their mother to wear when she was well.

Currently "Sole Sisters" is looking for additional story submissions, and giving away a chocolate shoe (does it get any better?). You may not be able to wear it, but it will be a beautiful addition to any shoe collection, and it can be eaten on a night in.

Click here to submit your story, and read some of the amazing stories of shoes that women have already submitted.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Walking around superstitions

I'll admit to being rather superstitious. Not to the point of being afraid of black cats and staying in bed all day on Friday the 13th, but I'll take a few steps to avoid walking under a ladder, don't like to open gifts before Christmas, and have more than a couple evil eyes hung in inconspicuous places in my home to ward off evil.

These are totally on a table.
Last week my new gray heels were delivered, and I got home and the box was sitting on the table. I opened them and set them on the table as if they were a centerpiece. My husband looked at me and said,"Get the shoes off the table. You know that's bad luck."

What? Why the hell would I know that, and who ever said that? Crap. I put shoes on the table all the time. For photos, when they come out of the box, while I'm packing my bags. It probably happens once a week.

I looked it up, worried now that this was like the broken mirror thing and I had somehow accumulated 487 years of bad luck, but the good news is that it seems that shoes on a table just mean bad luck for the day (that may explain a lot), but it also means you're going to argue with your spouse. The real bad thing? New shoes on a table are the symbol that someone has died.

Crap. Well, I'm not dead, and if I argued with the hubby I don't remember, but why chance it? From now on shoes stay off the table. Especially new shoes. I don't want to get hit by a bus or anything because of my shoes.

And while I'm at it, I better clean my closet out and straighten up because it's also bad luck to leave shoes upside down.

Suddenly my closet full of beautiful shoes is also a den of possible bad luck.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Texting consultation in shades of gray

I get a lot of people asking me for shoe consultations. Personal emails, questions through Formspring, and questions on Facebook, I can solve all the shoe problems in the world.

Budget constraints, design problems, walking problems, matching problems...I can tackle anything, and come up with a good answer that doesn't make 98% of people cry.

Every so often though I have my own issues that need to be dealt with, at which point I text my friends. Recently they've been getting texts about the caramel boots (what the hell matches them), and then this week there was another one that started with my hairdresser innocently asking me when I'm coming in to get my awful roots fixed.

Cat: OK, neutral gray pump or black and white with yellow piping? 

Hairdresser: Hmmm...Gray

Cat: I think you're right. It's a medium gray patent, so very neutral. The others are awesome, but the yellow makes them less versatile. 


These totally aren't them, but close.
Hairdresser: Very true. We don't need another caramel issue. 

Cat: Ugh! But they were such a good deal!

Hairdresser: I know. 

Cat: And the sweater dress is really cute, it's just too short for work because of my butt. 

Right, did I mention that dress I got to go with the boots is awesome, but too short for the office? At least my office. And every other office I've ever worked in.

Hopefully these gray heels will be a little more versatile. Probably because they weren't on super sale. Plus I actually own gray.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Carmel colored karma

I make fun of people. I'll admit it. I'm snotty and totally call people out for looking like idiots. And in case you missed it I spent my whole last post making fun of a woman who couldn't zip her boots over her calves.

Shortly thereafter I was delivered a giant box of karma straight from Steve Madden.

Carmel colored boots.

These boots hate me.
They are amazing. So amazing that as soon as I ordered them, I ordered this great oatmeal colored sweaterdress to go with them. Then I found a matching belt.

Christ, this was going to be the cutest outfit ever.

Then the boots arrived.

I slid my feet into them, feeling the buttery leather and smelling that new shoe smell, packing materials all over the table. I was feeling smug since I read the description, and knew the boots were 14 inches around at the top. Same as my calves. I measured them before I ordered the boots.

So why weren't they fitting?

Sure, I got my foot in just fine, but as I tried to slide the boot up my leg it stopped. It really didn't want to go.

I hollered cuss words strung together so creatively my husband came running. "What's wrong?"

"My fucking boots don't fit! And I don't understand why because they're 14 inches around and my calf is 14 inches and I got them at the sale of the century and can't return or exchange them and it's bullshit!" (Yep, I'm like a trucker).

"If your calf is 14 inches then the boots need to be 15 to get over them."

I shot him a look that probably would have killed a houseplant (say I hadn't killed them all already). "Well where the hell were you with that little nugget of math when I was ordering them?"

"Didn't you order those at work?"

Oh. I did. So now the new plan is to try and make my calves smaller. Please send ideas and exercises. If that fails I guess I can always turn the boots into a planter and try my hand at houseplants again.