Monday, December 31, 2012

Tips for New Years Shoes

Today I read that what you do on New Years is indicative of how you will spend the rest of the year. For most of the people I know that means they'll spend the whole year drunk, or spend it at home. Or both.

Totally predictable but you can't go wrong
Regardless of whether you're  going to a house party or a night out on the town, New Years gives way to outfits that people plan for all year and the perfect shoes are really important. Not ending up looking like an ass in your perfect shoes is even more important.

Glitter sparkles and rhinestones are always the perfect thing to ring in the New Year. They're also perfectly obvious.

Another suggestion I got via Twitter was that as long as you're wearing your highest heels, nothing else matters.

I'm not even sure what my highest heels are. I guess I could measure all my heels and figure it out, but then I'd have to plan outfits around the heels, and transportation. Depending on what you're doing in the evening it's possible that the highest heels are not a good idea.

Then again I've never been much of one for logic.

Don't wear these and carelessly swing your legs.
Spikes are always a good idea too, and I don't mean spike heels, I mean heels with spikes. Just be careful if you're dancing, or if you fall, or if you're drunkenly swinging your legs around large groups of people.

If you're going to spend the evening dancing, a little baby powder in your shoes before you slide them on for the evening will help absorb the sweat and eliminate chafing and blusters.

Finally, be careful when you're walking and don't fall off your heels. I've totally done it before and broke the strap on my shoe and had to walk like an asshole the rest of the night. Other horrible things can happen as well, including breaking a heel, or breaking you ankle.

Good luck tonight, and have fun no matter what you do. Just remember not to accidentally stab anyone with your heel and don't break anything. All other stupid circumstances are still on the table though. I'm expecting some great stories and would like to see pics of some fabulous shoes.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Charlotte Olympia does Christmas

Christmas is right around the corner (like a matter of hours now) and as we all start to get ready for the various holiday parties we have to go to, whether good or bad, there is inevitably a lot of stressing out about what to wear.

Christmas stuff I would love to wear! 
My immediate family sits in the living room and gorges themselves on food for hour after hour, and we still dress up. As if my mom, dad and sisters haven't seen me at my worst, yet on Christmas we all dress up.

I'm not much of one for holiday clothes either. The day you see me in a reindeer sweater is the day Hell has frozen over or I lost a very large bet.

Shoes, on the other hand can be a different story, especially when they're like the ones done by the always brilliant Charlotte Olympia.

An entire line of Christmas shoes and accessories, includes heels, flats and handbags, and they're all to die for.

The Holly flat
The Jingle Bell Dolly is my personal favorite in red velvet with the island platform and jingle bell ankle strap. Sure, it may be loud, but they look amazing. And if you want to get a little use out of them after the holidays you can remove the jingle bell strap and just have a fab pair of red velvet pumps.

There's also the super cute Kiss Me Dolly with the mistletoe on the toe. This is one that can get you into all kinds of trouble.

If you're into flats there's two different colors of her famous kitty flats, appropriately named the Glitter Kitty.  And if you want a Christmas specific pair of flats, Holly is the way to go.

Charlotte Olympia has you covered with handbags too. The amazing Pandora has been redesigned just for Christmas with a mistletoe or gold ribbon clasp, and comes with three different color inserts so you have three Christmas colors to choose from (and a way to match any outfit). There's also the adorable Christmas Pudding Pouch and Frostie (the snowman, duh).

How cute and perfect are these for the holidays?!
Top it all off with a pair of Charlotte Olympia stockings in her signature spider web print (goth and literary) with a crystal spider at the top. Perfect for those cold nights that need a little added heat.


Pandora
With shoes and accessories this sexy and adorable, donning a little Christmas spirit suddenly doesn't look so bad. 

Friday, December 21, 2012

Shoes for the Apocalypse

Today I had a rare day off, and I found it somewhat fitting that today (the 21st) is also the end of the world.

At least according to some people who decided that they know what the ancient Mayans were thinking.

So as I got ready to leave the house, I wasn't sure what kind of shoes I should wear for the end of the world. I mean, if they had explained how it would end that would be helpful, but they didn't so what;s a girl to do?

Ready for the zombie apocalypse. 
I mean is this going to be a Walking Dead zombie style end of the world? Are we talking Mad Max where I have to wear leather and chain mail and fight? Or will everything just explode and that will be the end of it.

All of these scenarios involve very different footwear needs.

I asked my Facebook and Twitter peeps what they thought would be appropriate footwear for the end of the world, and the responses were amazing (and varied).

My mom's suggestion was that I wear something I could run in. But that may have been aimed at the comment about going to the dentist today. I'm pretty sure she is more afraid of the dentist than the end of the world.

My sister responded that I should wear my favorite heels. But really, that's like choosing my favorite child. I could do it, but I wouldn't be happy about it. (Obviously I don't have kids).

Other responses included anything by Iron Fist (so covered for any kind of apocalypse), matte black six inch heels, anything worthy of Thunderdome, and a very specific pair of silver studded heels from Nordstrom.

I like any and all of those options.

I don't know what kind of shoes they're wearing, but I
love the feather shoulder pads. 
I didn't really believe it was the end of the world though, and I hate carrying groceries in stilettos, so I settled on my studded Vince Camuto Motorcycle boots and a pair of jeans. Luckily, the world didn't end, so what kind of shoes I was wearing mattered for nothing other than my personal comfort.

Then again, I guess there's still a couple hours left in my time zone, so I guess the world still could end, but I'm going to go ahead and assume that tomorrow I can pick another pair of shoes, and move right past where the Mayans stopped writing their calendar.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Self Control and Christmas Shopping

The holidays are the best and worst time to go shopping.

This is why I shop online - too many people. 
Sales are in abundance, new product has been released just for the holiday season, and you get the chance to see it all with the perfect excuse to roam the mall endlessly. 

It's also the time of year you're supposed to shop for everyone except yourself. 

Suck. 

Sure, you can play the one-for-you one-for-me game, but suddenly you're eating Ramen for 2 weeks and negotiating with the electric company to keep your lights on. Or you can have a little self control and only buy yourself one thing per shopping trip. This isn't really that bad a plan, until you realize you're buying a scented candle for your favorite aunt because you had to buy that amazing coat on sale at Banana.

If this dress is still available, I'm getting it.
And I'll wear better shoes and jewlery.
I really can't say I'm that much better. I have forced myself to do most of my shopping online so I'm not tempted. I create strict lists and only go in certain stores, which helps. Gap Kids is awesome for my niece and nephew, and they don't have anything in my size.

Total win.

I also make a list of stuff I want for after the holidays. So when that payout of my vacation days comes in (and only taking a few days off this year pays off), I'm totally buying that orange sweater dress from Loft. And probably a pair of shoes. Maybe shoes to go with that dress. 


Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Wearing Barbie's Shoes

People send me shoe things all the time. Pictures, links, art, and most recently, jewelry.

I am obsessed with this necklace
Yep shoe jewelry. And the best part  - the jewelry is made of Barbie shoes. And I love Barbie.

The artist's name is Sara Gallo, and she makes necklaces, earrings and bracelets from doll shoes. And it's amazing.

Sara Gallo doesn't just string a couple pairs of plastic shoes onto a piece of jewelry wire, she turns them into wearable art. She twists and turns the shoes into intricate designs, adding jeweled and beaded accents and creating really unique jewelry.

With these shoes aren't just for your feet. 
Necklaces contain up to 500 tiny little doll shoes, and they come in a full rainbow of colors, and all different style of heels.

Pointed toes, open toe sandals, heels with little bows on them, strappy sandals. It's like being able to wear Barbie's shoe closet.

Of course the other jewelry by Sara Gallo is fantastic and artful. Gorgeous pieces any woman would be happy to add to her collection, but it's the doll shoes that are truly unique and like nothing I have seen before.

Plus there's something fun about the idea of being able to bridge the gap between my childhood love and my adult obsession in a wearable piece of art.



Saturday, December 8, 2012

Jimmy Choo Victims to Vandals and Thieves

A couple days ago my brother-in-law texted me and asked where I was at 2:00 that morning.

I replied that I had just gotten into bed around then because my flight got in late, and why was he asking.

Broken glass and a lone flat at Jimmy Choo after the break-in.
Because the Jimmy Choo store on Oak Street in Chicago's high-end Gold Coast neighborhood was robbed and $20,000 in merchandise was stolen.

He joked that I was his first suspect.

I would love a pair of Jimmy Choo's but I'll save my money and buy them honestly.

In reality it was three men. Two to bust open the door and one to drive the getaway car.

I haven't read any news reports that noted exactly what was stolen, but since shoes start at around $300 and can go over $3,000, they got a good amount of stuff. Handbags also range into the thousands of dollars.

So today my condolences go out to the Jimmy Choo store in Chicago. At least no one was hurt, and I'm sure the store has insurance that will cover the losses. And hopefully Chicago can manage to find the dirt-bags who broke into the store, because vandals don't deserve something as amazing as Jimmy Choo.



Thursday, December 6, 2012

Shopping in San Fran - Part 2

I just got back from a business trip to San Francisco that culminated in a shopping spree of epic proportions. I wrote about the beginning in Shopping in San Fran - Part 1. Now the story continues....

As Esther and I headed out we both had that adrenaline rush that can only come from knowing you're going to find something amazing. That rush when you're determined to find something amazing.

We burst into Ross and headed straight for the shoes. Within in a matter of minutes Esther's arms were full of heels and we had to hunt down a basket.

Every aisle we went into held a new and more wonderful heeled surprise. Vince Camuto, Jessica Simpson, Chinese Laundry, Sam Edelman, Dollhouse, Carlos, Dolce Vita, and the list goes on. When we were done looking in her size we looked in mine, and back to hers, and back to mine, and then into handbags and dresses.

A basket full of heels
"How many pairs of shoes do you think we have in here?" Esther asked as the basket overflowed with treasures.

Her guess was ten, mine was less. As we checked out and sorted wants and needs and we had nine pairs in the basket, eight of which were purchased between the two of us. Plus there was the one pair I bought myself, and the Steve Madden's bought for Esther. Then there were also a couple of handbags and a dress.

From there we went to Macy's, which just happened to be having a shoe sale. We tore through the racks, trying on different shoes. Esther finally settled on another three or four pair (I lost count by then) and I found a great pair of hot pink pony hair heels by I.N.C.

We finally checked out and brought our haul back to the hotel, where we laid everything out in my room and surveyed the damage.

In total we had gotten two handbags, fifteen pairs of shoes (most of which weren't mine), and one dress in a span of two hours.

Not too bad for a day's work.

I was totally jealous of this find.
The next morning Esther had to run out again to buy a second suitcase to fit all her new treasures so she could get them back home. I somehow managed to fit all of my purchases, which included some Christmas gifts, into the suitcase I brought, and considering I travel with a briefcase and a carry on, that was one hell of a trick.

For once I was out-shopped and out-shoed, but the bargains we found were pretty freaking amazing. So we celebrated in the best way we knew how.  Drinks.

Because there's no better way to unwind after a shopping spree than a few vodka drinks, fresh seafood, and a few more drinks.
This is what two girls can do in two hours. 


Shopping in San Fran - Part 1

Sometimes when I'm out shopping I see something that triggers a memory of a conversation I had with someone or makes me think of a friend or family member. Sometimes that feeling is so great I'll snap a photo and send it to them.

This week I escaped the confines of the hotel in San Francisco long enough to wander out into Union Square and find Ross, a discount superstore akin to TJ Maxx and Marshalls (which I love). As I wandered through the shoe section (because where else would I start) I saw a pair of black glitter with black spikes, Steve Madden Andiie heels, that made me think of my friend Esther (who was at the conference with me) and a conversation we had over sushi that day at lunch.

It can be summed up by this: We both love spikes on shoes.


The rack of perfect shoes.
Since I have an insane number of shoes (with and without spikes), I sent Esther a photo of the shoes, letting her know that she obviously needed them, and what size should I pick up.

She replied a 9 1/2, and I stared at the rack of shoes, quickly realizing we have a problem. They didn't have her size.

How is that even possible, the perfect shoe, and they don't have her size?! But they did have a 10. A half size larger. Which can work. Sometimes. And sometimes it's a disaster.

I grabbed the half size up and asked her about them. She said agreed that it could work. Or not.

I scoured the racks, every size to see if a 9 1/2 had somehow been misplaced in one of the other sizes. After about 20 minutes of searching I gave up and headed back to the hotel, shoes in hand (literally because they charge for bags in San Fran), and called her when I arrived at my room.

She came bursting in a few minutes later, and we both held our breath as she slid the heels on.

They fit.

She literally started jumping and shrieking because they were so amazing, and they fit. And that was a hell of a feat because they have a five inch heel with a platform and probably weigh five pounds because of the glitter and spikes.

Who need ankle weights when you wear platforms?

We took pictures, fawned over the shoes a little more, and then came up with a brilliant idea. Let's both go to Ross and review the shoes again, and see what else they have in her size.

There's no way that can go wrong, right?

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Head to Toe - With Drinks in Between

There's really nothing better than fashion and cocktails, and when it comes to fashion the accessories are really what can make or break an outfit.

That's probably why I love shoes.

The evening's purchases
Another amazing, and often ignored accessory is hats, which I love (almost as much as shoes). When I was in New Orleans this summer I fell in love with Goorin Brothers hats, so I was delighted when I found that there were a couple shops in Chicago, and even more excited when Chicago Blogger Network chose one of the Goorin Bros. stores to host a holiday party.

I brought my husband along for this one since the event was open to the public, and he loves hats.

Death's Door Spirits was there making some amazing cocktails and there were appetizers spread throughout the store. Sarah was our amazing sales associate who helped me pick out hats that I fell in love with. One after the other.

A burgundy fedora from the Peekaboo collection, black 1920s style hat with a blue stone on the band, and an amazing short top hat, appropriately called "White Rabbit."

Pretty sure I need them all. Usually I only fall in love with multiple items in a shoe store.

After a couple cocktails and a lot of conversation with my husband about which one looked cutest, I settled on the '20s style hat that I can wear almost every day well into the winter.

My dear husband, who already has a hell of a hat collection decided to forego another fedora or pork pie, and instead got a tongue in cheek trucker hat. A high-end trucker hat.

Yeah. He's mine.

Now between shoes and the hats at Goorin Bros. I've got a couple of expensive obsessions. Luckily I've got a head start on the shoes, which were admired throughout the night.

Even when I'm shopping for hats, everyone loves my shoes.

If you would like your own amazing Goorin Bros. hat head over to their website at www.goorin.com and use the code CHIBLOGNET to get 15% off. Or if you're more into shopping in the store, mention the code at the register to recieve your 15% off. The code is good until December 24th.


Kate Spade on Gilt - Just in Time for the Holidays

If you're looking for a fab gift for your mom or sister, want to give a not-so-subtle hint to your significant other, or want to treat yourself, there's a hell of a Kate Spade sale on Gilt today starting at 11:00 am. 

Everyone needs a new bag
Dresses, jewelry, bags, and (of course) shoes, all hundreds of dollars off their original price. 
Hundreds. As in save three digits. How can you pass that up? 

I'm personally already obsessing over a couple bags. The Chambers Street Carlyle Satchel - $169 (original $368) and the Mansfilled Liv Satchel - $239 (original $428).

When it comes to shoes, I'm drooling over the leopard print Devon Satin Pump -$135 (original $298).

Shoes galore
The dresses and jewelry are to die for too. Even if you're not the biggest Kate Spade fan in the world, but there's something here for everyone. Some of the items are even hand-picked by Deborah Loyd, president and creative director of Kate Spade.

So set the alarms on your phones, add an appointment to your calendar, and move around your meetings, because this sale starts at 11 and won't last long. 

Go to www.gilt.com/katespade to start shopping the sale, or click here if you still need to become a member of Gilt.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Are Platforms Over?

Manolo Blahnik has never made his dislike of platforms a secret. He has called them "suspicious" and said they're the wrong shape for a woman's leg.

Lucky for Manolo (and the rest of us, in his opinion), it looks like shoes may be getting a little shorter as "zero sole" shoes have started to pop up all over.

Kandee Shoes takes off the platform.
I love platforms. I was married in platforms, I wear them to work, to bars dinner, family functions...really there's nothing that platforms aren't perfect for.

Except maybe walking.

When I first started wearing heels the zero platforms were in style, and it's what I fell in love with. Since zero platform shoes have started to pop up in stores again I have been buying them up like crazy because I have to admit that I still love them.

Easier to walk in than platform heels, they do create a good look for the leg and are easier to balance in.  For me they also conjure up images of women in power suits and seem like the ultimate in sexy and powerful shoes.

But that's just me.

Sam Edelman asked me what I thought of
the zero platform. I love them.  
Despite the growing popularity of zero platform heels, I don't think platforms are going anywhere. On the contrary, I think them and their towering heights are here to stay, which is a good thing. For one, because I have a closet full of them and if they were suddenly all out of style I'd be screwed. But for two, because there are certain types of shoes that just look better with a platform of any height. Peep toes, for example. Imagine walking on a zero platform peep toe and all the crap that would get into the toe.

Ick.

The two type of heels will just have to learn to coexist, which is like doubling your heel options.

Another good thing is that heels with no platform bring you back down to normal heights. Suddenly you're not taller than all the men (though I never have this problem), and walking is a little easier. Legs look long and lean, and you can add that hip sway without worrying about losing your balance. And in the event you do fall, at least there's not as far to go.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Metallic Shoes as Neutrals

Sparkles always become a big thing around the holidays, but this fall metallics have been seeping into heels for everyday wear.

Giuseppe Zanotti perfection
I love metallic heels, and think that gold or silver can easily be worn as an everyday shoe. Treat them as  neutrals, only with a little more pizazz.

Silver heels can be incorporated into anything with a gray base very easily. After all, silver is just gray with some shine. You can also cap off a great pair of white pants or a dress with silver shoes, or put them with anything black to dress it up a little.

Gold can also be paired with black, and you can tie it all together with some amazing accessories. It can also tie together a brown/black combo if you don't have a tortoiseshell option, or are simply looking for something different.

Of course either of these choices are seamlessly paired with flashy holiday sweaters that have gold or silver threaded through them or have metallic accents.
All my metallic shoes. I think. 

If you're tired of gold or silver and want your metallic a little more colorful there are colored metallic options. If you like your blues or reds a little more shiny, then there are metallic colors available in what's essentially lame.

It's classier than it sounds. I promise.

If you're not into all the shine of a metallic shoe, then get one with just a touch of shine. There are some amazing cap toe heels available with gold or silver toes, and some island platforms have just metallic platforms. I have a great pair of black heels with a gold platform from Fergie Footwear that are absolutely fantastic and dress up just about anything.

If you're still obsessed with metallic shoes, but can't seem to find the right outfit, then just default to a pair of jeans. Boot cut or skinny, it's all up to you. Take your pick and step out with a little bit of shiny.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Pinup Shoes

Since Mad Men hit the airwaves a few years ago the pinup look has had a massive resurgence and is still a look women aspire to again.

Pinup can be a great look, and can be really classy. There are some great clothes available too by retro-inspired brands like Pinup Girl Clothing. One of the best parts of these retro looks is that pencil skirts, button down tops, circle skirts and sweaters can be dressed up for a night out or made perfectly work appropriate.

The platform gives this an updated look.
I'm always looking for things I can wear in multiple parts of my life, and try not to always look like I'm at work (even though I'm always at work).

The thing that really can make or break the look though, (in my opinion) is the shoes. I know that really shocks you, this being a shoe blog and all.

But really, a pair of shoes can complete a look or send everything to hell, and when you're trying to create a specific look it's even more important.

If you're trying to look like an extra in Mad Men, one safe shoe will always be the peep toe. The classic peep with red polished toes is a can't lose, and can be paired with anything from skirts to pants and look amazing.

When choosing heels, if you're going for an authentic look then choose something without a platform and with a low to moderate heel. I don't mean kitten heel, but the six inch heels aren't necessarily historically accurate.

I actually think I own all three of these shoes. 
That's not to say that you can't update the classic look with a more daring and modern shoe. I love the look of a towering platform stiletto with a pencil skirt or pair of cigarette pants. It's something you have to be careful with though because it can look a little vampy. That's awesome if you're on a dinner date, but not as awesome if you're in the boardroom.

Wedges are also an option, but need to be exercised with a little more caution. A pair of fun wedges can look great with some capris, but with a circle skirt it can make your lower leg look a little bigger than it really is and creates a blocky look at the bottom of your leg.

Looking like you're wearing cement blocks on your feet is never good.

Pinup is an easy look, it's a good look, and it fits girls with almost any body type (but please buy clothes in your real size- fitted not tight), and you can wear so many different type of shoes. As long as it's something sleek, and heeled, anything else goes. Color, print, vamp, pitch, pick what you like because it's all fair game. Just remember to sway your hips a little when you walk. A little hip sway can go a long way no matter what you're wearing.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Hurricane Sales and the Classy Companies


Over the last week Hurricane Sandy tore into the East Coast and totally ravaged her way through the Caribbean and into New York and New Jersey.

I was traveling to the West Coast on business when the hurricane hit, and I watched closely, keeping in contact with friends in New York and New Jersey for as long as they had a cell phone battery. Twitter and Facebook also kept me updated on what was going on as residents posted pics and updates. It also gave me the opportunity to see marketing at its best and worst.

I’m in marketing and business development. It’s what I do for a living, and I’m pretty good at it. I also don’t think that you need to be good at it to know that a natural disaster is NOT the thing to try and capitalize on to drive sales.

These people aren't worried about shopping. 
I watched in horror Monday as “Sandy Sales” popped up all over the web. 20% off for people stuck inside shopping, and special discounts for people on the East Coast. Because I bet they had nothing better to do than shop for new a new top. 

There were even some fitness companies giving some workout tips for those people stuck inside during the hurricane. Because when the Hudson River is approaching your door, you want to make sure your abs are tight. 


People sometimes lack class. Whenever there's a disaster there are people who make inappropriate jokes, but people are not companies, and I feel like companies should be held to a higher standard than the individual. 

For a company to make crass jokes, offer sales with inappropriate names, or otherwise use a disaster to promote their products and services is in poor taste, and companies should really hold themselves to a higher standard. The fact that some of the companies are apparel companies and New York is the fashion capital of the Unites States seems even worse. 

Subway trains don't run in this.
It's like kicking your enemy when they're down. 

Plenty of other companies dealt with the hurricane with class. I received numerous emails from companies who were sending well wishes to those affected by the hurricane, giving updates as to the status of their stores, warehouses and employees.

You can’t bitch about not getting your wrap dress when the people who work in the shipping department can’t get to work because the subway flooded.

Disasters are a time when people tend to show their true colors. Some people pull together and make the best of it, and others prey on the weak. Companies are no different. The thing you need to know though is what kind of company you’re buying from. Not all of them are all good, and none of them are all bad, but with social media and the scrutiny of the world, you must tread lightly when it comes to these things. Disasters can create all kinds of opportunity; just make sure that as a company you’re not marginalizing what people are going through in the name of profits. 

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Digging Though Gilt

Like my closet, but bigger.

Last night I got an advance sneak peek into the Gilt City Raid the Warehouse sale in Chicago, and it was overwhelming.

That's putting it mildly.

I was escorted into the Museum of Contemporary Art Warehouse by a gentleman in a suit, and after walking up a ramp was suddenly standing in line. There's always a line.


After checking my coat and bag I walked up a very warehouse set of concrete steps, and into a room filled with Vita Coco, champagne, Popchips, Benefit Cosmetics and other vendors. After getting a glass of champagne I turned the corner and was faced with tables and tables of shoes.

Pretty sure I heard angels singing.

I headed straight for the size 7 section and started digging through boxes and boxes of shoes. Around me women were in a frenzy, pulling on Hunters, Ted Baker boots, and heels galore. I started sifting through boxes and found a few things I liked. One was a pair of cork heels (until I already realized I have some), and then there were those amazing Brian Atwood pumps (which were still out of my price range at $300). Finally I found a pair of blush Dolce Vita heels with a bow on the back. Super cute and I don't own any blush heels.

Hordes of people are in those aisles.
As I moved away from the shoes I saw the rest of the warehouse was in even more of a frenzy. Women were digging through racks with wild abandon, not paying attention to anything including size (some of that stuff was never going to fit).

I started sifting though racks and found a couple things that were actually worthy of trying on, including an amazing 1960s inspired blue Tahari dress, which ended up fitting in all the wrong places. (Dear Tahari, women have different waist and hip measurements).

The handbags were another story. Amazing and expensive. I'm going to assume that everything affordable was snatched up before I got there, because all that was left was a bunch of stuff that was $400 and over and this great envelope clutch that had a very unfortunate (i.e. hideous) jeweled seashell clasp.

I wish I had taken a picture of it. I've never seen anything like it.

This was my haul for the evening.
After being generally disappointed in the clothing side of the warehouse, I went back to shoes to try and find something else. I finally found the most amazing black pumps (I forget by who), and they were half a size too big. I almost cried.

Finally I decided to make my way out, picked up a Coco Cafe on my way out, and purchased my Dolce Vita pumps. $29 for a pair of $88 shoes. Not too bad, not too amazing, but they're mine.

At least I got a drink, my coconut water and caffeine and a new pair of heels in a color that I don't already have. At least I don't think I have anything in that color...

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

A Lesson on Boots


Mid-calf Louboutins
Fall and winter means boot season. There's nothing better than slipping on a pair of well worn boots with a pair of jeans on the weekend, or jumping puddles in the city in a skirt and pair of heeled boots.

When it comes to boots I apparently start to think I live in some kind of commercial.

Boots are kind of a tricky one though. With so many different heights, heels, toe shapes, and sillouetes, how are you supposed to know what works and what doesn't before you make the investment?

The sometimes daring over the knee boot is a great look, but only if you're tall and skinny. They can look great with a pair of jeans or leggings, or a fabulous mini skirt for a night out. My preference for over the knee boots is always something with a heel and small platform. It creates that enviable legs for days look. There are flats out there, but one wrong piece of clothing a suddenly you look like an extra from Robin Hood. And I mean that in the worst way possible.

Knee high boots are way more forgiving and easy to wear than the over the knee style. Pair them with anything from jeans to skirts, dresses, leggings. The possibilities are endless. Knee high also comes in an endless variety of styles.

Don't wear these. Ever. 
A motorcycle or riding boot is a great casual option that's perfect with jeans. The heel provides a little lift but is really comfortable. It's also a look anyone can wear pretty easily.

When it comes to knee high flats the rules change a little. If you're under 5'7" purchase with care. A flat shoe does nothing for your legs, and can actually accentuate a shorter leg, cutting you off at the knee and creating a gnomey look.

I say this all in the nicest way possible. As someone who is 5'4" I am well aware of my inability to flat boots. The fact that I'm curvy doesn't help either, because it makes me look like a hobbit. Good for Halloween if that's your costume. Bad for everything else.
Charles David haunts me.

If you're not a fan of knee high boots, a mid-calf boot looks great on all body types and can be easily paired with skirts and still look nice. Charles David has a great pair that's available at 6pm.com with a platform and slender stiletto heel. I'm still kicking myself for not picking those up.

Embrace boot season, and don't hesitate to make a purchase (like I did). Go for something daring, classic, comfy or whatever other kind of style and height floats your boat. Just make it your own. And please, make sure your own look isn't something from a medieval or fantasy show. Unless you're going to the Renaissance Fair, then it's probably OK.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Meeting Sam Edelman

No joke. I got to meet the legendary designer and his son Jesse Friday at the Nordstrom on Michigan Avenue where Sam was talking to fans, signing shoe boxes and being generally fabulous.

I wish I could wear spikes to the office. 
As I wandered around and drooled over the new line Circus by Sam Edelman, and sipped an Izzie drink brought to me by waiters, I couldn't help but notice the frenzy around me. Women were clamoring for shoes. Sales people were in short supply as they brought out piles of the green and black boxes and women tore through the wrapping like kids at Christmas.

Sam Edelman is also the Sam behind Sam and Libby, the footwear company that came to fame in the 1980s with their ballet flat. Now on to something different, Sam Edelman is still designing shoes that make women drool, and the shoe business is still a family affair.

I had the chance to speak with Sam's son Jesse for a bit about their new line Circus. A little more flash, a little higher platform, and a slightly lower price point, Circus is aimed at a slightly younger demographic, but maintains the quality and design Sam Edelman is known for. The shoes on display were everything from basic platform pumps in fun candy colors to embellished sandals, to my favorite) boots with spike ankle cuffs.

Sam Edelman signing my shoebox.
I also had the amazing opportunity to speak with Sam, get my photos taken, and have him sign my shoebox. Before he signed them he took them out to look at them, and after signing the box top he started to repack the shoes.

Inside I was freaking out. Should I let him do that? Isn't he above stuffing tissue paper into the toe of my new tortoise shell Danielle's? But he did it with such care, professionalism and speed that before I could even do anything, they were all packed up and slid back into the Nordstrom bag.

We chatted for a few moments about the blog, his shoes, and how much I love them (I happened to be wearing my gold Sam Edelman pumps), how many I own (I could run marathons in the Novato pump), and then he was off, helping another longtime fan who was looking for something trendy, with a low heel that was "appropriate for a middle age woman."

I have never seen a designer who was so attentive to fans. He wasn't just sitting behind a table, signing his name. He was up and about, running around the floor, helping with shoe selections, consulting on fits and looks, and taking pictures galore.

Thanks to Nordstrom and Sam Edelman!
That evening was the highlight of my entire week. I got to meet a shoe icon, have my photo taken with him, and got a new pair of amazing heels. I even got a Sam Edelman cookie.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Oxblood and the Color of the Season


Oxblood is the “it” color of the season. Or maybe it’s red. How about crimson? Or Rouge? Or….

Or who really gives a shit? The important thing is that red shoes are finally easy to find again.

Emerson Fry dream heels
Seriously, this was once an issue. I had one pair of red shoes. They were a pointed toe pump with a double strap from Chinese Laundry and I wore them to death. Their death anyway. I wore them until the leather straps threatened to snap and the soles were wearing thin. I even bought red shoe polish so I could cover the scuffs on them.

When they finally died, I mourned and spent years looking for the right red shoes. Finally I found a couple pair, though nothing that quite took the place of that original pair.

This week my sister decided to ask for my assistance in finding a pair of oxblood pumps. She fell in love with a pair from Emerson Fry, and was looking for something comparable that’s a little less than $200.

Lucky for her this is the season of oxblood/red/crimson/rouge/burgundy shades of red. Immediately I started googling “oxblood pumps” and saw an amazing pair at DSW that were perfect for her. They were also a pair of $600 Prada heels, so there went that whole saving money thing. She was totally better off before I started “helping.”

In love with H by Halston
There are lots of options out there for those who want to get in on the red trend for Fall. DSW has a huge selection of pumps and loafers, Charles David has an amazing pump (which I own) in “fig” which combines patent leather and suede to a beautiful shoe. Bakers offers a couple great options in dark red, including a high platform t-strap pump from H by Halston and the Naomi Classic pump with a more moderate heel and pointed toe

Naomi Classic
Perhaps the best thing about red or crimson shoes though is how much you will actually wear them. I find them to be a staple of my wardrobe, and have a couple different shades for a few different seasons. Even my Doctor Marten combat boots are in the classic oxblood shade.

A shade of red can add a splash of color to any outfit, and when it’s a deep red it’s a subtle, sensual shade, that can go with anything from black to blue to gray, and seamlessly take you from fall, through winter and well into spring. The only question left them is that of budget and material, and regardless of what exactly you’re looking for (in both those areas) the possibilities are almost endless.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Gilt City Chicago Warehouse Sale Tickets on Sale

Anyone who is a true shopaholic knows about Gilt, and if you’re one of the lucky few to have Gilt City, you know about that as well.




Well, Chicago is lucky because the Gilt City Warehouse Sale is returning to Chicago, always has all kinds of fabulous finds, and tickets went on sale today.

Be sure to get your tickets as soon as possible and get in on great men's and women's fashion, kids clothes and home decor at the amazing Gilt City prices.

If you're not yet a member of Gilt City you can join now, and get tickets for this great event. Ticket prices vary by date. 

Friday, October 26 - 9:30 pm - 11:30 pm - Tickets are $20
Saturday, October 27 - 10:00 am - 12:00 pm - Tickets are $15
Saturday, October 27 - 12:00 pm - 2:00 pm - Tickets are $10
Saturday, October 27 - 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm - Tickets are $5
Saturday, October 27 - 4:00 pm - 6:00 pm - Tickets are $5

The sale is being held at the Museum of Contemporary Art Warehouse at 1747 W. Hubbard St. And as you're shopping the event, post pictures of your purchases on Instagram and Twitter with the hashtag #RaidtheWarehouse and you will be entered to win a $200 credit to the Gilt Group.

Awesome finds and an awesome  contest. Be sure to get your tickets now. This is an event not to be missed. 

If you're in a city other than Chicago, you can still join Gilt and see if there's a Gilt City near you. 


Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Pink Shoes for Boobs

October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, which accounts for all the pink.

I think I need these Charles David heels.

Ribbons at the airports, pink tops of buildings, and pink pins on clothes all bring awareness to and assist in raising money for horrible cancer that we have yet to find a cure for, and has a ton of brave survivors.

People and companies all find different ways to wear pink, raise money and raise awareness. One of the best ideas I have heard all month though is to wear pink shoes.

Sure, it's not as philanthropic as running a marathon, doing a walk or listening to a survivor's story, but if you're short on time and want to help, it's just one more way to show support.

Plus, seeing as how I have a random abundance of pink heels, this works well for me. But if you're like most people and don't have an entire section of closet that looks like it may belong to Barbie, there are plenty of heels out there. The best part is that not only are they awesome looking, they also raise money for a good cause.

Charles David has Virtue, a pink, gold and purple heel that donates 20% of the sale to the Breast Cancer Charities of America.
ShoeDazzle goes unbasic black.

ShoeDazzle went beyond just the shoe and offers a whole Pink Shop that donates 10% of the same to Bright Pink for Breast Cancer Awareness. Right now you can also save 25% on items in the Pink Shop. The featured shoe for the month only sports a bright pink inside, and the outside is a black with silver studs, but if it;s pink shoes you're looking for they have flats, heels and boots, all in October's signature color. You can even get wallets, purses and accessories, all benefitting breast cancer research.


Ellie offers a sexy pair of heels for good.
A nude heel is also an option through Ellie. The high platform and double ankle straps are a sexy way to raise awareness of breast cancer. I kind of feel like these should be paired with something that requires a push-up bra. They're just an amazing pair of heels. But in case you're not into the platform, you can also get a shorter, peep toe, slingback version of the heels.

If gym shoes are more your thing, Nike, New Balance and Under Armour all have athletic shoes that benefit breast cancer charities.

Regardless of how you decide to raise awareness, donate money, or otherwise get involved, pink and shoes are definitely the way to go. At least for me. That way I get to do something for a great cause while also adding to my shoe collection.

If there are other brands that have a special shoe to raise money for breast cancer research, let me know in the comments below or send me a message on Facebook.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Purple Toes and Flats

For those of us who live in heels (and don’t own a lot of flats), an injury to a leg or foot can be a problem. I mean, it’s a problem for anyone, but if you don’t have the right shoes to when then it’s an even bigger problem.

Christ, I sound so shallow sometimes.

My mom pointed out my toenail polish matches.
Anyway, problems aside, I found myself in a funny (as in odd) predicament the other day when at kickboxing I turned my foot the wrong way, jammed my big toe into the bag, and managed to hurt myself to that point where I was having trouble breathing.

Not wanting to look like a wuss, I shook it off, finished the class, went home, whined at my husband, and went about my day. Which included my grandfather’s 90th birthday, complete with pencil skirt, Fluevog boots and standing all evening catching up with relatives. As I finished the night and was walking from the car I was thinking how much my foot hurt, but figured it was just from standing and wearing tights or something equally lame.

Turns out my foot hurt because my whole big toe had turned purple and swollen to twice its normal size. After texting my mom photos of my toe and asking her if it was broken (she’s a nurse), and her responding that she can’t tell anything from 150 miles away (where she was spending the weekend with girlfriends), I decided that it was most definitely not broken, because broken toes means no heels. And there’s the added issue that I don’t really have any non-heels.
How I kick it when my toe is busted.

I spent Sunday in my Vince Camuto motorcycle boots (so comfy) and then this morning slipped the heels back on when I reached the office. Luckily, the day turned out OK and my toe is closer to a normal size and color, and I’m pretty sure I didn’t aggravate it. Which is good because tomorrow I have to go to New York on business, and I am not trying to get those motorcycle boots on and off in the security line at the airport. After those (which aren’t really flat), I only own one other pair of flat shoes, plus some gym shoes, and that’s just not going to happen.

I've also decided that I should buy myself a new pair of heels in New York so that when my foot feels better I have a little present for myself.