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.