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. 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 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, 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.