Wednesday, March 27, 2013

The Last Word on Wedge Sneakers

I have a really hard time being casual. Mostly because being casual doesn’t generally involve heels, and I lack casual clothes, so I’m always excited when I see something casual that seems to fit my lifestyle. So you can imagine my excitement when I saw wedge sneakers.
Or maybe it was trepidation. Disgust? Confusion? Fascination?
It was all those things. It was one of those times when my brain was screaming no and yet there was a part of me saying, “But they’re wedges.”
Why did this ever seem like a good idea?
Yeah. They’re also sneakers, and ones that are totally non-functional at the one thing I think sneakers should be used for; working out.
Most of them also have Velcro, which put me off (see previously mentioned feelings on Velcro) enough so I didn’t run out and buy them, figuring I’d probably look stupid and awkward in them, just like I look stupid and awkward in anything casual.
Sure, this sounds paranoid, but it’s also totally true. You should see me in shorts. It’s weird. Not because of my legs. I actually don’t have bad legs. It’s because you pair shorts with t-shirts or tank tops. Generally ones without sequins. Because a t-shirt and a full face of makeup are not things that go together. And I always do my hair because I look like an ass if I pull it up, and refuse to let it air dry. This means I also look weird in jeans and a t-shirt, or hoodies, sweatshirts, and anything made out of flannel. You will also never see me in any of those things.
Then there was the one day I ran out in my kickboxing gear after class to get my eyebrows done and I ran into my sister and her friend.
Never again.
But I digress…
You will not look this effortlessly cool. 
So the jury was out on wedge sneakers and I decided the best thing to do was not buy them because I know I would never wear them. Then I saw them in person.
Never have I been happier I did not buy a shoe. I saw them on multiple people (real ones, not models) and saw them paired with everything from skinny jeans, to regular jeans and dresses, and it was all bad. Every time, regardless of what they were paired with they looked stupid.  I have no freaking idea how stylists made them not look asinine in photos so they could sell these things, but be warned, in reality they have no redeeming qualities.
So the final word on wedge sneakers: Skip them. Seriously, even if you’re the queen of casual, these hybrid nightmares will look ridiculous. Some things are better left alone.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Cheeky Chicago Fashion Show

I love fashion and fashion shows, and Cheeky Chicago put on a great one with the Real People of Style event Thursday night at the 900 North Shops.
I met my husband downtown after work and we headed over together, which involved pushing through tourists and him explaining his outfit choice to me, and pointing out he was wearing his reheeled pony hair shoes.
These were the shoe winners for the night.
I assured him that as long as he had good shoes on, I didn’t really care.
We did some people watching before going in, which is always amusing for those who live in the city. Dear Husband was a lifelong South Sider up until we got married and he moved North (and if you don’t live in Chicago that means nothing to you). Either way, if you live in the city you never go downtown unless you work there or you’re shopping (and even then it’s a last resort).
As we wandered through the 900 North Shops and dear husband told me how wonderful I would look in pretty much everything he saw (oblivious to the prices), we got ready for the show, wandered in, and suddenly it was Hubby’s First Fashion Show.
Honest to God, I thought he would be bored, but he loved it.
We wandered around and sipped Peroni beer and EFFEN cocktails. We tasted apps from Siena Tavern (which were amazing) and he took the camera from me and decided that he was going to be the photographer.
As he chased people around for photos, and stalked shoes, he commented on clothing, outfits, and watched the models, commenting insightfully on each look, I realized that I had a new fashion show companion.
My favorite look of the evening was a dress by Karen Millen. I didn’t get a chance to see the shoes, but I heard Charles David mentioned more than once, so I have no doubt they’re fabulous.
Models included Kelly Ryan O’Brien of the Chicago Blogger Network (of which I am a member), David Barton of David Barton Gym, Emma Arnold of Tres Awesome, designer Agga B, and other local names.
By the time the runway show was over the EFFEN cocktails were more EFFEN than mixer, people were changing shoes, and it was time to head out.
A full play by play of the event can be found on Twitter, including #ShitMyHusbandSays, and event photos can be found on Cat in Heels facebook page at

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Real People of Style and Real Fashion Shows

When I was five years old I was in a spring/summer fashion show and walked the runway in a rainbow striped romper with pink ties at the shoulder.  In high school I walked the runway twice in prom gowns despite the fact that I never went to prom.

Now I just sit in the audience of fashion shows and marvel at the fabulousness. So of course I couldn’t pass up Cheeky’s Real People of Style fashion show, which came with a plus one.

Runway fashion shows and shopping. 
I asked my husband if he wanted to go with, and he agreed because I “always get dragged to stuff” by him. I told him to justify it however he wanted, and we’d have fun. Then I asked the wrong question. “Have you ever been to a fashion show?”

“Oh sure,” he answered. “They use to have ‘fashion shows’ at this bar my dad hung out in. The servers would wear lingerie, and I’d stop in and get a coke and change from him to play at the arcade. Pretty sure you could get a lap dance for a fin.”

Ummmm….I’ve never even heard of such a thing.

I assured him that this was NOT at all like that, and instead it would be a real runway show with real clothes from the 900 North stores, and professional hair and makeup (by Mario Tricoci). It’s even possible there won’t be any lingerie, and there most certainly will not be lap dances or video games.

Not only will the show feature 10 of Chicago’s fashionable tastemakers strutting the latest spring trends curated by adoptedSTYLE and The View from 5’2”, there will be bites from Siena Tavern, a Smartwater VIP Lounge, DJ AT, and (of course) libations. From EFFEN, Apothic Wines and Peroni. 

EFFEN cocktails and fashion? It’s like my dream come true. Or like a more civilized and public version of when I try to clean my closet.

The only problem is that now Dear Husband and I are both stressing about what to wear, because it has to be fabulous (and in my case also work appropriate). So while I may not be able to pull out all the stops because of the day job, there will be fabulous shoes (because they’re all fabulous).

If you would like to join me at the event, you can save $10 on tickets with discount code CHEEKYCBN.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Gladiator Sandals: Timeless style and new imagining

Every summer for the past few years there is the same sandal announcement.

Gladiator sandals are all the rage!

The new gladiator sandal
Thanks. Good to know that the ones I had last year I can still wear. Because I know we’re all worried about how in style our sandals are.

The summer of 2013 doesn’t appear to be any different, in that the strappy, buckled, stand-by can still be worn with your maxi dress (also still in style), but when you look for the gladiator sandal on the runways, red carpet and in the fashion magazines, it’s become a little more…aggressive.

Once happy with their two or three ankle straps, the new form of gladiator sandal looks like something Xena would rock in some teenager’s wet dream. The new imagining have stiletto heels and lace or buckle all the way up to the knee.

Then there are also the flat ones that make you look like you may actually be an extra for the movie Gladiator 2. And I mean that in the worst way possible. 

If you have calf fat or cankles, don’t even bother looking at these. Hell, if you have muscular calves don’t bother looking at these.

Jennifer Connelley rocks these
Balenciaga gladiator heels. 
While I love the look, I can only imagine that the buckles around my overly-developed man-calves would make them look even larger (assuming they buckled at all).

Instead you have to have the legs of a Grecian goddess (or Heidi Klum) to pull off this look. It also goes without saying that these dominatrix gladiator sandals also have to be worn with a dress that is cut all the way to your nether regions, or is flowy and has a slit up to your belly-button.

Underwear is necessary, and yet potentially difficult.

There’s also the added frustration of getting these things on and off. I have a hard enough time with one buckle on a pair of heels. Especially after a couple cocktails. I’m pretty sure I slept with my shoes on more than once in my early 20s. With buckles all the way to the knee, forget it. I would probably just leave them on until I had to shower or someone took them off me.

Don't go flat and tall. Ick.
Still they are undeniably amazing, and I would love to own a pair, even if I never wear them (which I probably wouldn’t because my conservative corporate day job probably frowns upon knee high gladiator heels).

So I’ll stick with my wedge gladiator sandals that got me through a summer of street fests, a vacation to New Orleans and various other adventures. And if this summer doesn’t kill them, chances are pretty good that they’ll be in style again next summer as well.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Mornings with Target, Prabal Gurung and Baby Stuff

I always thought it was a special kind of person who got up at the crack of dawn to go to the store. My mom used to go grocery shopping at midnight to avoid the crowds, and that made sense to me. Waking up to get to the store when it opens didn't.

Until now.

Now I know these insane freaking people outside Target at 8:00 on a Sunday morning are all one thing. Overworked adults.

Sunday morning, there I was, pulling into the Target lot, already thinking about my Starbucks order, and thanking whatever genius it was that combined Target and coffee. My whole day was mapped out.
These will go with everything. 

  • Shop for baby shower gift
  • Go home and paint my nails
  • Try on outfits and have a leisurely morning until said baby shower

My life can never be so simple. And it's almost all because of shoes.

As I wandered aimlessly through Target, clutching my coffee and trying to focus my eyes, I realized I was out of nai lpolish remover. And cotton balls. Oooh...there's new clothes. I should look at coffee makers for my new kitchen. What was that DVD my hubby wanted? Where the hell is the baby aisle (oh, there it is)?

Oh, dear god, those Prabal Gurung for Target heels are exactly what I need in my life. Who knew you could find shoes so early in the morning?

Really, what kind of asshole put the baby aisle next to the shoes?

Suddenly it wasn't about shopping for my friend and her little bundle of joy. It was about those watercolor satin heels and how amazingly they would go with my orange Ann Taylor dress. The one that I haven't worn yet because it has no sleeves.
The pirate octopus in his new home

But if I get those shoes then I can wear it today, so it totally makes sense.

And into the cart they go.

Now what the hell was I here for?

A handful of baby things and a stuffed pirate-octopus later my shoes and I were in line, and I was still justifying their purchase. They're multi-colored and go with anything, and it's spring.

By the time I got home it was like an hour after I planned (because Target is a time suck) and I slapped on some polish, which got totally jacked up (because I'm that girl), I tried on 100 different outfits, and didn't wear the shoes afterall. Because it was raining and they're satin. And it was cold and they look silly with black tights. But at least I have them for later.

In the meantime they'll sit with my other unworn heels and be revered as the shoes I bought before 10:00 am on a Sunday.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Castaner Espadrille Capsule Collection on Gilt

When it comes to spring and summer, there isn't any better shoe than the espadrille. Often imitated (never duplicated), the original shoe is made by Castaner, a family that started making the shoes and selling them at a market in Spain. The versatile shoe caught the eye of Yves Saint Laurent (who makes killer shoes), and the rest is history.

Now Castaner has teamed up with Gilt for an exclusive capsule collection, available Wednesday, March 6 at 9:00 pm EST.

Most often seen in its wedge form with the ballet ties, this versatile wedge has been worn by everyone from Penelope Cruz to Grace Kelly, and the flat versions have even been worn by men, including Salvador Dahli.

Recently Pictured in Vogue
Gilt caught up with Isabela Castaner and talked to her about the capsule collection, the original Castaner espadrilles, how it has become a family business, what to wear espadrilles with and her favorite vacation spot.

The capsule collection, designed for Gilt, is a great way to get the ultimate spring/summer shoe that will never go out of style. Available in every style from flats to wedges to heels, you can get in on the perfect summer shoe no matter what your personal style.

Plus it gives you a shoe to look forward to and something to wear when all the snow finally melts.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Business Travel, Impulse Buying and Wine

I travel for work, and sometimes I go to places that aren't really all that glamorous. Even the largest cities in the world have those areas that are all business, and that's usually where I end up.

This last trip was no exception.

Charles David Define. I got them in black.
By night three I was bored, lonely, overworked and running on lack of sleep. So after a twelve hour day and a workout, I did the only thing I could think of. I ordered room service and wine.  And after more wine, and some web surfing, I decided that what I really needed to make myself feel better was a new pair of shoes.

Lucky for me I found a pair of Charles David Mary Jane pumps on sale. In beige or black. I decided that black was a necessity. Mostly because my black pumps aren't really that comfy, and they're scuffed. And I think I don't have any other black heels. Aside from those NSFW Mary Jane pumps I have from Aldo.

I'm also pretty sure that I forgot about those because I was half drunk.

The next morning, as I was eagerly awaiting a shipment notification on my new heels, I got an email from my sister. "Charles David heels on sale on Groupon."

Seriously? How could I pass this up? The link brought me to the site where I could order them for $45. Charles David Cosmo pumps for $45. I practically had to order them just based on price.

Cosmo heel was a must own. 
I just had to decide on a color combination, and hope they had my size. Which they didn't.

Ginger made the most sense because I don't have anything that color, but it was sold out in my size. And I just bought black pumps (from the same designer), and I have gray pumps, and I have nude pumps with black on them.

Maybe I don't need them after all. Or maybe I should buy the nude and black because I have a scuff on my beige and black heels from Banana Republic. Yes. That's it. The scuff. Obviously I should buy the beige and black because of the scuff.

So I entered all my information into Groupon, and ordered them. From my phone.

Pretty sure that's a real addiction.

Now I'm home from my business trip, and am eagerly awaiting two pairs of heels that serve as my souvenir from that business trip.

It might be cheaper if I just start collecting spoons.