Saturday, April 30, 2011

Massive shoe fail

Thursday evening Figgy and I finally went on the hunt for the elusive Lita boots by Jeffrey Campbell. We thought they were elusive because we couldn't find time to get together, but it turns out time wasn't even a factor.

After work I headed into the subways of Chicago to fight rush hour traffic on trains, only to get off at one of the most crowded and college-student saturated parts of the city. As we pushed through the fog and throngs of pseudo-intellectuals, we finally made it to our destination. Akira.

Oh wait, it was just the clothing store. Please pause while we try on 100 outfits and buy nothing. (Still totally regretting not buying the leopard print strapless dress).

We walked out dejected about the lack of shoes, and I begrudgingly followed her into Urban Outfitters, which gives me a rash because their clothes are all really hideous and nothing fits right. Luckily that was a short trip (because it was all ugly).

As we sighed the sigh of defeat, we spotted Akira shoes across the street. That's where our boots live. Delighted we skipped across the street, burst in the doors and scoured the whole place in 12 seconds for the boots.

"They only carry those at our Bucktown location," the sales girl informed us.

We drink shoe-themed wine while bitching about shoes
Oh. Shit. Bucktown traffic sucks. There's no parking, and it's aggravatingly close to my house, to the point where I can walk, so driving is extra stupid. But apparently still undeterred we went back to the car, down North Ave. and into the heart of Hipsterville...where we spent 30 minutes looking for a place to park the frigging car.

Walking into the Bucktown location we were now hungry, had bad hair from the constant drizzle, and were feeling sad (total white whines). Once inside we went straight to the sales girl who said, "Oh, we are sold out. We only got a few colors and they're gone."

I believe I actually swore at her, then complimented a drag queen on her choice of blue cage heels.

Fine. Then since I'm here and you have Hunter boots on sale, and I need rain boots, let's see those in a size 7. Oh, you only have Kermit the Frog Green. Whatever, I'll try them on then. Oh, you don't have those? Fuck. Fine, I'll try something else on....

Those drag queens and I probably tried on every shoe in that store, and I'm pretty sure we all walked out empty handed. Not because they didn't have anything I liked, but they didn't have anything I loved.

Back at my place we ordered a pizza, cracked open a bottle of shoe themed wine and scoured the internet for Litas. Apparently it's the shoe du jour right now.

Whatever. I'll own some soon. Thank God for the internet and wine. Now I just need to decide on a color and go back to get the leopard dress, because they'd look great together.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Missing Jeffrey

I get a lot of emails about shoes. Emails from my sisters, friends, from stores, from people posting stuff on Facebook, my name it, someone is sending me pictures of shoes. (Like I can wear a picture).

Today my younger sister, Figgy, sent me an email. "I've found the perfect bootie (for me anyway). Google Jeffrey Campbell's Lita shoe. Obviously in Black."

I wanted to throw one of my size 7 dagger heels at her.

They're all so beautiful...

For the past week we have trying to make plans to meet up to go to Akira. My sole purpose of going was for these shoes. That's it. They're my obsession recently. It's unhealthy. I've Googled them every day and looked at every color and texture, prioritizing which ones I need vs. which ones I want. Weighing the practicality of each color and scanning my wardrobe to see what they would match.

A friend in New York was posting photos of them to Cat in Heels on Facebook, taunting me with multicolored glitter. The perfect boot version of my wedding shoe.

So we penciled in Thursday, then she canceled to go watch sports and drink beer or some such horseshit. Sports trumped shopping? I call bullshit. She doesn't even know what sports are played right now. I know I don't. 

I love pet-able shoes.
So instead of creeping out the sales people at Akira by cuddling with their shoes and taking pictures of my feet to decide which looks best, I stayed home (because the weather sucked), and I pouted, and probably drank (what else is new?), and I sure as hell didn't watch sports.

Then today she has the audacity to tell me about my perfect boots (also her perfect boots) that her sudden interest in sports and Chicago's ridiculously in climate weather are preventing me from getting.

This week I'll just get drunk enough to not care that I have wet-rat hair from all the rain and traipse through this swamp that used to be the city to get those boots on my own. Then I can sit home and admire them. It'll sure beat the hell out of watching sports.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Taking stock

I have an inventory problem. I apparently have absolutely no idea how many shoes I have or what colors I own them in.

All my brown heels
A couple weeks ago I decided to order a pair of nice, but dull, brown Michael Antonio heels with an open toe and some '70s inspired rivets. They're great, but they're brown and practical. I really wanted the burgundy and yellow shoes, but didn't order those because I don't own anything yellow (except a different pair of shoes) and I needed brown shoes.


Yeah. I didn't have brown peep toes or brown sandals. I may not even have brown heels. Yep. now that I think of it my closet is totally devoid of brown shoes. What a travesty. This must immediately be fixed, so I ordered the cute, but sensible brown heels so I have some summer shoes.

They showed up the night before I went on a business trip and I opened them, tried them on and tossed them on the top of the shoe box pile in my closet. I don't even think I tweeted about them. (Seriously, that's how dull these shoes are).

Yesterday I was in my closet putting shoes away, trying not to trip and impale myself on a heel all horror movie style, and I picked up a brown pump.  Closed toe, small platform and a strap. I bought them at Nordstrom a few years ago.

Totally forgot about them (which is dumb because I wore them last week).

These are the shoes I don't own. Boo.
I walked over to the shoe rack to put them away and was staring at a pair of brown patent peep toe faux crocodile pumps a friend bought for me from his boutique years ago.

I totally forgot about those too.

So now I'm going to have to go through my summer shoes too, because apparently I didn't need brown shoes. I guess I have some. Sure they're different than my new purchase, but I still own them.

All that really means though is that I should have bought the burgundy and yellow shoes instead.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Loafing around

Every few years the classic loafer (this season it's called a spectator) makes it's way back into the stores and hearts of the world. There's something about that round shape, too much stitching, tassels and/or fringe that doesn't move, that people gravitate towards at least once a decade. 

My heeled loafers and spectators
A few years ago a friend of mine managed to find me a pair of blue patent leather loafers that had fringe, tassels, a bow, and a wood stacked 4 inch heel. He bought them without even asking. He knew I'd love them.

 Around the same time I bought a pair of loafers/spectators (with a heel) from Steve Madden. I saw them and loved them. The color combination paired with the narrow toe and wooden heel made the shoe look a little 1930s and a lot corporate chic. This season spectators and their monotone brother, loafers, seem to be everywhere. Unfortunately, they're all flat.

Kenneth Cole and Cole Haan boast beautiful spectators in various fun, candy colors for men and women. Steve Madden has some great one-color women's spectators sans heel, but none of them seem to have the same fun tassels and fringe that my navy patent ones boast.

Prada knows loafers
That would be the same navy patent loafers that are falling apart. That I need to replace, and no matter where I look I can't find exactly what I want.

 Prada and Balenciaga both made some for Fall 2010 (so look for them to be really big this fall). Unfortunately my job doesn't see fit to pay me enough to keep me in Prada loafers and indoors simultaneously, so I have to continue my search. Etsy offers a vintage pair from the 1970s in a size 9 (not my size), and plenty of places offer them with some sad-ass excuse of a heel or some kind of hideous unconstructed toe that makes your loafer look more like a slipper (barf).

Maybe I'll work extra this summer and buy the Stuart Weitzman loafers so I can get something amazing that I actually like, or maybe I can find a couple pairs that are adequate but not perfect. Any pair will do so long as they're not flat.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Choosing your fit

Today I posted a link to an article about what stores are trying to do to make people have a better shopping experience, up to and including, using "slimming mirrors." Stupid idea, right? So someone responds to me on Twitter that at least shoes always fit, no matter how fat or thin you are, and I started thinking about it and realized that's really a lot of horse shit.
Don't bother trying Ms. Cankles

Shoes do not always look good on anyone no matter the size.

Sure, we like to say they do, and yes, they're generally kinder than pants (which I loathe shopping for), but in reality you can certainly be too skinny, too fat, or simply have the wrong type of body (man calves anyone?) for certain shoes.

Take ankle straps for example. If you have skinny, tiny bird ankles that look like they may snap at any second, chances are ankle straps aren't your thing. They won't fit, don't support, and look like ass just dangling around the ankle like a defective anklet. Conversely if you have giant cankles and have to cut off circulation to get that buckle around what others call an ankle, those probably aren't your best bet.

These can make me look like a bell.
Women who are six feet tall probably look stupid if they were to wear a pair of my six inch heels, just like I look like a fat little hobbit if I try to pair ballet flats with anything (mostly because my pants drag on the ground and I look like I have no feet).

So shoes may be more forgiving than pants, skirts, and pretty much anything sold at Forever 21, but, just like pants, that doesn't mean everyone gets a free pass to wear whatever shoes come in their size. Make sure you're wearing something that flatters your body shape (actually important), that doesn't create "foot fat" or unsightly bulges, and most important, make sure you can walk in them.

The best pair of heels go totally to waste when someone is doing the cow walk in them.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Cover the crack

This weekend I went on a much needed shopping trip, and of course visited the obligatory shoe stores. I was sad to find that both the Steve Madden and Nine West stores had closed (thank god for the Internet), and I was "only" left with Bakers, Aldo and Nordstrom.

Her feet look smashy.
Nordstrom was wildly uninspiring, Bakers seemed to be having some kind of sizing problem where a 7 was too small and a 7 1/2 was too big (really?), which left Aldo, where a salesgirl (who was not the one helping me) tried her damnedest to sell me on the idea of "toe cleavage."

Salesgirl: "Those are amazing on you."
Me: "I don't like them. The toe is too narrow, there's no platform, and it shoes the cracks of all my toes so my feet look fat."
Salesgirl: "That's the way people are wearing them right now."
Me (still being polite and trying on a different pair): "I prefer to wear my shoes so you can't see the cracks of my toes at the top of the shoe."
Salesgirl: "But really, that's very big this season. It's how everyone is wearing their shoes. You should get those."
Me (now annoyed): "Toe cleavage is like butt crack, it shouldn't be seen unless you're wearing a thong, and even then it's not always attractive. Plus, there are plenty of shoes I like better than these that don't make my feet look fat.

And this is not hot.
My sister, Figgy, was trying to keep a straight face at this point, and was either going to crawl under the bench and die of humiliation, or bust out laughing. Either way, the sales girl who couldn't walk in her shoes got the idea and teetered away to go badger some other customer with her shitty and unsolicited fashion advice.

Interestingly, the topic of toe cleavage was also texted to me in a question last Friday by my hairdresser girlfriend, who had a client who was talking about how it's all the rage.

Maybe it is. Toe crack could be the new black pump for this season. Every shoe that comes out could be cut low enough to show the top crack of each fat little piggy, but I stand firm on my feelings. It makes my feet look fat and I will not participate in stupid, unflattering fads simply because someone with longer, more attractive toes than me can make it look good.

I maintain that toe cleavage is really no more than the shoe equivalent of wearing ill fitting, low rise pants. And you may have some sexy feet, or a nice ass, but no one wants to see it straining and bulging to peek out of anything.