Sunday, May 29, 2011

Changing seasons and forgotten sandals

Chicago has finally started to decide to act like spring, and assuming it ever stops raining at random intervals, it's going to be sandal season soon.

Changing seasons means that I break open the blue bin of forgotten shoes and rediscover all the shoes that I didn't take out last year, the shoes I forgot I owned, don't like and don't know why I own, and everything in between.

Some of the forgotten shoes
Last night I got a sudden burst of energy and curiosity, coupled with the annoyance of not being able to get through my closet, and I busted open the blue bin to put away the boots and break out the sandals. And I'm pretty sure that I didn't go through this thing in like two years, because there were shoes in there I totally forgot I owned.

Zebra kitten heel sandals by Kenneth Cole, silk dragon print heels from Aldo, Prada mules, another pair of Kenneth Cole sandals, red sandals, black Nine West sandals, my beloved Bakers wedges that go with everything, a bunch of kitten heels (I don't even remember buying them), and some heeled loafers I think I wore once...maybe.

I almost went out this weekend and bought half these shoes over again, considering them essentials. I really need to pay more attention to shoes I have and don't have.

Instead I made piles of shoes to sell, shoes to keep, shoes to keep and try to wear, and stuff that was totally new to me again, that I had to figure out how to wear all the time.

Really, how cool are dragon print heels and how do I forget I own such a thing? I think I'll just wear them around the house for a few days to make up for lost time. As for the rest of them? Now that I have the essential sandals and wedges, I can sell a few and make some room in the closet for some new stuff.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Velcro is for dummies

A few weeks ago I was asked by a friend when the appropriate time in life to stop wearing Velcro shoes is.

I'm pretty sure the correct answer is, "When you were five." Do they even make Velcro shoes for people who have gone through puberty?

Well, apparently they do, and there she was, face to face with a Velcro shoe wearing, suit clad adult on the Orange Line.

I missed the wonder that was Velcro. As a child of the 1980s one automatically assumes that I had Velcro shoes. Those wonderful shoes that go on and off with such ease. No stopping to bother with tying laces that would come undone. No broken laces or being tripped over because you knelt down to tie your shoe in the middle of a kickball game. No untied laces that are soaked from being dragged through puddles because you didn't want to stop and tie them (probably because of that asshole kid who can't see where he's going and trips over you).

These shoes are for children...and idiots.
Then again, what the hell would I know about Velcro shoes? The only thing I knew is that everyone in the entire world had them except me.

Seriously. When I was five and lobbying for a new pair of Velcro shoes I polled the whole world, or at least my neighborhood. I was in fact the only child who didn't have any. And do you want to know why?

Because if I had Velcro shoes people would think I was stupid.

Honest to God, that's the reason I was given. Apparently if I had Velcro shoes people would assume I couldn't tie my shoes (which I could), and therefore think I was dumb, and my parents weren't having any dumb children, so no Velcro for me.

Now all these years later and I'm faced with the question of the appropriate age to stop wearing Velcro, and the only thing I can think of is, "That guy must be dumb."

Apparently not everything my parents said went in one ear and out the other. I totally remember everything they taught me about judging people by their shoes and how to spot a dummy. (Totally the one in Velcro).

True to their word, I never did own Velcro shoes. Instead I got a pair of Reebok high tops with Barbie and the Rockers on them. They tied (parents happy) and had Velcro (I was happy). It was also my first pair of silver and pink shoes, and they were the best things in the world for like a week.

Now I wear heels. All the time, everywhere. You know why? Because I'm a grown-up and wear grown-up shoes. So put on your big kid pants, bend your ass over and tie your fucking shoes. Or buy a nice pair of slip on shoes, dress shoes, boots, something with a zipper..... Anything but Velcro.

What are you, stupid?

Monday, May 23, 2011

Puppy fits and empty threats

Anyone who has a dog has probably lost a pair of shoes to the dog. Or at least part of a pair of shoes.

My dog, Thor, chewed the strap off a Fluevog when he was a puppy after I drunkenly left it lying on the floor all night. Thank God they were able to fix it and restore my shoe to it's previous fabulousness.

My freak out must have left quite an impression on my little blonde chihuahua though, because now he knows how to press my buttons.

See, Thor hates it when you leave. Not all the time, but sometimes. There are days that you can come and go 50 times without him bothering to do anything other than get off the counch and wag at you. Then there are the days he freaks out and raises holy hell, running around whining, standing in the hall, not going back in the door, meeping and biting at your pants while crying real tears (I swear it).

Those days I know I'm coming home to some kind of mess.

Usually he'll just throw all the pillows off the couch, or pull the stuffing from an already torn up toy, showing me what a destructive little asshole he is.

Thor and his threats.
Then there's the shoe days.

Once he's thrown pillows, pulled out stuffing, and cried all his doggy tears, if he's still pissed, Thor goes for the shoes.

Little bastard knows how to hurt me.

He doesn't chew them. He doesn't toss them in the toilet or his water dish. He won't hide them or pee on them. Instead he leaves them in the middle of the hall, just outside the closet.

They're a warning.

"Do it again, and the shoes get it."

Recently he's even taken to finding matching shoes, so he's threatening with the destruction of a whole pair.

My dog really is kind of an asshole.

He's also spoiled beyond all compare, which is probably why he throws temper tantrums, has run of the house and can access my closet.

Still, I have faith that he won't chew again. He knows that if he ticks me off enough I may just trade him in for another pair of Fluevogs.

Well, maybe two pair.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

A tale of two purples

My purple shoes were dying. The straps are almost torn off, the elastic is dead, the soles are worn through, there's scuffs all over the toe, and the leather is torn. The inside of the shoe is in awful shape, having passed comfort long ago and going straight into nasty.

I've posted on Facebook about it all before. Every time I wear them (which is pretty frequently), bitching and moaning about my poor purple shoes and the fact that I couldn't find anything I liked enough to replace them.

Two shades of purple matches everything
Last week I finally saw a pair that would suffice as some kind of sad ass replacement. Purple patent leather, slingback, peep toe with a 1" platform and a 4" heel.

I got all caught up on the shinyness of the leather how cute the peep toe was, and ordered them. Today they arrived in their little box, all stuffed with paper and those little packets of poision that repeatedly tell you not to eat them. I slid them on and pranced around the dining room like a prom queen.

My husband looked over and remarked how nice they were.

"Thanks. They're replacing my other purple shoes. But these only have one shade of purple in them, and the others have two, so I'm still one purple pair of shoes short," I explained.

"Do you even own any purple clothes?
"Yes. Lots."
"What? When the hell did you become Prince and the Revolution?"

This sent me into peals of laughter, and I went to get the old heels so he could see the different purples.

New, one color, inferior heels
"Yeah, I get it," he said, "I just missed when you got all these purple clothes and turned into the Clown Prince of Crime. But whatever. They're cute and if you can walk in them, who gives a shit."

As if there's a shoe I can't walk in. I then proceeded to explain were I got each purple item and what shade it was (none of which he remembered or cared).

This is one of the innate differences between men and women. We see shades of purple. Lilac, eggplant, purple, light purple, deep purple. They see the Joker and Prince.

I guess there's worse things than dressing like Prince. Actually, that could be kind of cool.

So the quest for purple shoes continues. The ones I got today may fill the light purple range, but there's still a whole realm of deep purple and eggplant that my wardrobe is missing, plus I'll need a closed toe for winter. Or maybe I can find a nice boot in an eggplant color.

I'll just keep ordering purple shoes in various styles and shapes and see if Prince has space for me on his tour. I come with costumes already included.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Doctor, Doctor!

Shoes wear out. I realize that, and am totally OK with it.

Sometimes I can get them fixed. A new heel cap or sole does wonders to breathe life into a new pair of shoes. Then other times shoes are damaged in a way that makes you want to cry. (Like when my puppy chewed the strap off a Fluevog). Or today when I saw a tear in a pair of Steve Madden shoes that are near and dear to me.

From this angle it's hard to see the tear.
These are affectionately known as my "Grandma" shoes, because she would have loved them. That means their either old lady shoes, or my grandma had awesome taste in footwear. Hint: It was totally the latter.

So you can imagine my horror today when I saw a tear in the side of my white and black snakeskin shoes. A tear in the middle of the shoe, near the seam, that was a folded piece that created a little pocket. A little pocket of terror. A pocket with a tear that is threatening to become something larger and ultimately destroy my shoe.

How does something like this happen? My shoes are cared for. Kept on racks, never stacked or tossed. They're never worn in the snow or mud, and that naughty little puppy grew up a little and no longer chews. So really? How?

It really threw me for a loop, and was probably more upsetting than it should have been.

Thanks to the Facebook followers who gave me advice. I will be taking these to the shoe doctor. My Grandma shoes. The shoes I wore to my Godmother's funeral. Heels that have been to endless family events. Baby and bridal showers, and worn to meetings. Shoes people stop me on the street to compliment. The shoes that make me feel grown up and youthful at the same time. Shoes so unique I haven't seen something similar since I bought them.

Please doctor. Fix my beloved shoes.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Tailoring the look- a lesson on pants and shoes

Last night I met a friend after work, chatted, ate and drank, then went our separate ways. While I was waiting for the bus, she texted me about a homeless person who apparently recently crapped themselves, and was sitting in her train car.

Classy. Gotta love big cities.

After suggesting she change cars, she followed up with, "Also, blog post on appropriate pant length given your shoes."

Grainy cell phone photo
Not only was she offended by Stinky McPants-Shitter, but she was also appalled by a woman who obviously didn't know how to pair her pant length with the appropriate footwear.

Two grainy camera phone photos followed to show me the offender.

Yep. Pants too short for the shoes. Fashion fail.

I don't have long legs, and I don't wear flats, so this is never really an issue with me. All my pants are too long, and require at least a three inch heel to get them off the floor. Really, that's part of the reason I only wear heels. Because if I didn't then all my pants would drag on the ground and get all gross and torn up, and pick up garbage from the sidewalks of the city (dirt, mud, rats, never know).

Sure, I could buy short length pants and wear flats, but then I would have to admit to how short I really am, and then I couldn't wear any of my heels.

Why can't I wear heels with ankle length pants?

As exemplified in the photo, because you look like an ass. A fact that my tall, long legged friend who struggles to fit her gazelle-like legs into long length pants, fully understands.

Don't be this guy.
That's not to say you can't wear heels with capri pants, because you can. And you can wear flats with them too, but so long as you're wearing regular pants, make sure that your pant hem touches the top of your shoe.

Ask any tailor, this is how long pants should be. The end. No negotiations. Men, women, children. All pants should touch the top of the shoe. If the pant is dragging all over the ground, go get it hemmed or put on a taller shoe. If it's hanging out at your ankle bone and you can see sock between the shoe and pant while your standing up, buy new pants, go to the tailor. Something!

Sure you can break this fashion rule. Forge your own style and go for the Michael Jackson "Thriller" era floods, but know that everyone will make fun of you, and it's possible some shit-tastic cell phone photo of your disgraced feet and pants will end up on some bitch's blog.

Kinda like that lady. I almost feel bad for her. Almost.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

I want Kandee

Writing about shoes is an exercise in masochism for me.  I write and research different fads, trends, and designers, torturing myself with pictures of shoes and information about shoes that cost more than my first car (which was a piece of shit).

The information gets emailed to me in droves. Daily emails of shoe sales and new designer lines, new trends, new things I must have to stay at the forefront of shoedom. Wonderful, beautiful things that I write about, link to and obsess over that I don't own (like Swarovski encrusted Louboutins).

Various Kandee shoes
 Then there are the ones that actually come within the budget, and then you want the whole line and the budget is shot to hell.

Enter my new obsession: Kandee shoes.

A small UK designer has put together all the best trends into any kind of shoe you can think of and sweetened them up with names like "Tang," "Space Sherbet," "Peanut Crunch" and "Blue Raspberry Slushy."

Zero calories, and bound to look good on almost anyone. I love how far they take the "Candy Land" joke on their website. The branding is great, and it's fun, with little stories on the website about Princess Kandee and a wallpaper of colorful dime store candy that only taste good to the taste buds of a child. 

Kandee's spiky sweet "Mash'A'Mallow" heel was recently posted on my Facebook page and I spent days answering Twitter requests and emails on where to order it. Hopefully by the time I get around to ordering them there are still a few left in my size. Others are full of sparkle, colors (and the hot color blocking), sky high heels, killer platforms, and yes there are flats (although I generally ignore those).

I think in the coming months we'll continue to see Kandee grow, and maybe even come over to the stores in the states. (They do ship worldwide). This company is one celebrity red carpet photo from being as well known as Willy Wonka.

Once Kandee is a common name and found alongside their funky shoe counterparts, there's still room to grow. One online article I read even posted rumors of an eventual men's line, which makes sense. Who doesn't like candy?