Monday, April 29, 2013

We Can't All Wear Heels All the Time

Some people (myself included) sit on their ass all day in an office in front of a computer. Our shoes are irrelevant with the exception of those times we're running around the office, and 90% of that is either 50 feet to the copier or an elevator is used.

Then there are those who actually stand all day and have to care about their feet. The teachers, hairdressers, chefs and servers of the world who spend their days on their feet, and have to give a crap
Clarks wedges aren't awful
about whether or not their toes are pinched and if they can stand all day in their shoes.

For these people towering heels are not an option.

I have many friends and family who fall into the category of people who can't wear heels to work because it's simply impractical. Unfortunately, there are even larger problems that can come from standing all day than just not being able to wear heels or "cute shoes."

Bunions and planter fasciitis are probably the two most common ailments. Bunions can be caused by being in heels all the time (I don't have any
Clarks flats cute and functional
yet), but the other is the collapsing of the arch, and from what I understand, it sucks.

Recently I was asked what kind of cute shoes are out there that have great arch support. Good question, and I have looked.

Searching high and low, there was very little I came up with. Clarks makes a few cute shoes, and then there's Dansko, which are supposed to be great, but they're a little orthopedic looking. So what is the solution?

There isn't one. You're all fucked and have to wear ugly shoes.

Kidding. Kind of.

The real solution is actually to visit a chiropractor or podiatrist and have them do a gait test. From there they can send the computer images to a lab and have a pair of custom-made orthotics created just for you and your arch.

In some cases insurance pays for this too.

Once you get your inserts, put them into any pair of shoes and suddenly the cutest shoes have turned into a pair of comfy shoes that don't hurt your feet.

The drawback is that in many cases you have to go up half a size in your shoe to accommodate the inserts. In the long run though that can be totally worth it. After a while all your shoes will be sized to fit the orthotics, and your feet will be saved from a literal lifetime of pain.

Plus it's an excuse to buy lots of new shoes.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Head Wounds and Heels

Strange things happen to me on a semi-regular basis, but it’s usually not bizarre enough for me to even notice until someone else points out the weirdness. This weekend was so damn strange though that even I took pause at one point. It was the point that involved my shoes.


It was Darling Husband’s birthday on Saturday, and after getting together with the family earlier in the day, we met some friends and went out for some drinks at night. We chose the bar we almost always go to (and where we met), are friends with the bartender, and can relax. It’s kind of like our punk/metal version of Cheers.

Of course the universe had other plans.
As the evening was hitting its stride, drinks were flowing, people were loosening up, dancing, talking and having a good time, I was suddenly pulled outside because one of my friend’s had fallen and hit his head, and he was bleeding.

That’s never what you want to hear while you’re half in the bag.

I joined the group of people examining the gash (which was wide, but not deep) and got a clean towel and some ice on it. My friend was a trooper, probably because he didn’t realize quite how much it hurt, or just how much blood there was all over him and his coat.


The attention getting heels

If you’ve ever heard that heads bleed a lot, it’s true. You wouldn’t believe the amount of blood there was. Normally I’m not one who can look at that, but apparently vodka can turn me into Florence Nightingale, assuming she was a drunk teetering around in heels, bedecked in sequins, and wearing a leopard faux-fur coat.

So I’m standing there in a crowd of people, holding an ice-packed towel to my friend’s gashed and bloody noggin, trying to convince him he needs to sit down (because he was sure he was fine), and stranger and his friends walk straight up to me, and say, “I love your shoes.”

Ummmm...thanks?

Never mind the fact that I’m standing in a fur coat in April that has blood all over one sleeve and am yelling at a guy who is so blood-drenched he looks like a horror movie, or that I have a bloody ice-pack in my hands, and am surrounded by people.

Obviously I’m not busy. Let’s talk fashion. It’s always the perfect time to discuss the merits of the metallic shoe and why I prefer shiny metallic to dull.

Or I’m yelling at a bloody guy and maybe, just maybe I’m a little busy.

Too bad I didn’t have my business cards with me, I could have tossed one to him and we could have discussed my heels at a more opportune time. Like one that doesn’t involve bloody head wounds.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Finding the Shoe that Pops

Sometimes I get requests to find the perfect shoe, and I love searching until the ultimate heel is found.

After posting my chartreuse peep toe heels today I got a question on where to find some good yellow heels. Shades and styles were discussed and it was eventually narrowed down to "neon."

Truth or Dare
Not exactly the most difficult challenge, but wow can this be fun. So here's some options in a variety of price ranges, and if you have additional suggestions, feel free to post them. You can also post photos of your own favorite shoe finds, because we all love shoes here.

Nasty Gal
Madonna offers up a great pair of neon yellow peep toes in her Truth or Dare line. Unembellished and classic these can add a pop of color to any outfit.

If you're looking for something totally different in your neon, a pair of Nasty Gal heel-less wedges with matching neon spikes can fill that void.

Tying multiple trends into one shoe is also possible with the Qupid Potion 44 transparent pointy cap toe heels. With clear sides and a neon cap toe, these heels definitely tie all the top trends of the season together. They even have an ankle strap for maximum trendiness.

If you're not ready to commit to full-on neon yellow, you can get heels that include just a spot of neon. I like the black peep toes with the yellow neon platform and heel. The color blocking is fun and keeps the neon muted.

These will not actually transform
There's also this amazing pair of snakeskin heels with the neon yellow heel. Just the heel.

Talk about a pop of color.

Finally, there's the black and yellow heels that remind me of Bumblebee - The Transformer, not the insect. Don't ask. It's just how my head works. I don't think they transform into anything, but they're pretty awesome and can totally make that boring outfit not suck.

Really, you just need to find the one heel (or multiple heels) that work for you. And with this many options, you can get a traditional heel and one that's a little more out there, because when it comes to shoes there is always room for one more pair.

Click here to see a collection of neon shoes you can shop that I put together just for you, dear readers.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Sparkles, Dinner and Fashion


There’s very little in this world more fabulous than things that sparkle. Such a simple little thing, but it can bring a smile in a second just with a little twinkle.

That being said, you can imagine my excitement at being invited to an in-store event at Swarovski to unveil their new window, designed by the graduate students of the School of
Just a piece of the window

the Art Institute Chicago (SAIC) in celebration of Fashion 2013 and THE WALK 2013, the SAIC’s annual runway show and benefit gala to support the Fashion Design students. 
For the third year in a row Swarovski is a sponsor of the event, and they donate jewelry and crystals for students to include in their designs for the runway.

The window is the collaborative work of 13 students, including Yufan Gao, Xue Jiang, Youngeun Kwun, Joseph Leamanczyk, Jieru Li, Hao Liu, Sisi Liu, Melvin Marckwardt, Fei Nie, Carmine Ro, Fu Hsueh Tsao, Lindsey Whittle and Man Yuan, from the Master of Design: Fashion, Body and Garment program within the Department of Fashion Design at SAIC. The window honors Swarovski’s year-long “Passport to Sparkle” campaign, and the window is a series of colorful and intricate windmills adorned with jewelry pieces from Swarovski’s Spring/Summer 2013 “Tropical Paradise” collection, as well as complimenting crystals, to signify traveling and personal journeys.

During the event I had the chance to walk around and see the pieces in the Passport to Sparkle campaign, as well as other collections, including classic Swarovski pieces such as pendants and rings, their Atelier collection, featuring designers such as Nicholas Kirkwood and Vanessa Seward, sunglasses (I need a pair) and non-wearable pieces such as martini glasses (obsessed) and picture frames.

Everything was as fabulous as you would expect from Swarovski.

Love this simple but
giant pendant.
After the in-store event I got the opportunity to attend dinner at RM Champagne Salon, an intimate little restaurant with a fireplace, d├ęcor that made me feel as if I was in an old French restaurant, and food that I will dream about for months to come.

If you are in Chicago you should check out the amazing window on Michigan Avenue, and of course look at the Passport to Sparkle Campaign, which goes a different place every month. You can also purchase tickets to attend the upcoming Fashion 2013 runway show on May 3. There are shows at 9:00 am, noon and 3:00 pm and tickets are available now online via saicfashion.org and available at the door on Friday, May 3.

If you're not in Chicago then just shop online. You can also view a full album of the event on Facebook

Friday, April 5, 2013

Shopping for Charity


Shopping is awesome, but shopping for a cause. That’s just an all around win.

Love this necklace, and can you spy the
matching bracelet?
Cela Creations, a chic boutique in the suburbs of Chicago, hosted an evening of shopping and Ronald McDonald House. Never one to shy away from a great cause, coupled with a chance to see friends (I know the owner/designer) and have a glass of wine and shop, I promised to make the trek out to the suburban boutique.

After battling traffic and getting stuck by a train, I traipsed in, later than advertised, and found the place mobbed.

Apparently I’m not the only one who thinks that her jewelry is fabulous.

After making my way through the throngs of people, and getting a glass of wine, I took up valuable real estate in front of the tops and caught up with friends while browsing. Weddings, kids, houses…we’re apparently all grown up now.

After helping one girlfriend pick out a pair of earrings that will go amazingly with the wedding dress she’ll be wearing in a few short months, I decided it was time to buckle down and shop for myself. After all, this was a charity event, with 10% of all sales benefitting Ronald McDonald.
Baubles galore.

Based on the way that register was ringing all night, there was somer serious shopping, and some amazing fundraising going on. 

With renewed focus on shopping, I decided to go for a Cela Creations original piece. Everything she makes is made by hand and a one-of-a-kind piece. Every crystal is painstakingly chosen, and some beads are even made by hand. And there's a huge selection of jewelry to choose from. 

After much deliberating I finally settled on an "ID" bracelet with a pave crystal bar across the top. Exactly how I want people to ID me. By sparkle. 

My only problem was color. Black or dove gray. Sure black goes with everything, but gray is a neutral and also goes with everything. But I have lots of black, and also lots of gray. And back and forth I went until my friend finally just made me pick a hand. 

Gray. 

Perfect. Neutral, will go with everything, and is anything but boring.

I need one in every color. 
The biggest problem I have now is figuring out a time to go back, because this bracelet is begging for a few friends...and maybe a matching ring or necklace. 


Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Flowers are Popping Up for Spring

Spring brings another round of trends, and with warmer weather on the horizon (keep your fingers crossed Chicago), we're actually going to put away the dark colors, start to show a little skin, and bring some happy, brightness into daily outfits.

These Brian Atwood heels bring floral
to a new level
If you're anything like me though, you really don't own a lot of color, and if you do it's dark. I have dark hair and pale skin with pink undertones, so neon makes me look extra pale, pastels are touch and go, and yellow makes me look like I have jaundice.

Really the only "happy color" I can wear is blue because it matches my eyes.

Luckily, shoes come to the rescue, and you can add a touch of spring and summer, as well as a dash of color with florals.

Big last year, they'er even bigger this year. Sometimes literally as 3-D flowers have been popping up on
the front, back sides, and sometimes even the heels of shoes.

If you're not quite ready for your shoes to look like you're wearing part of the garden, there are plenty of more subdued prints available, and heels of all different heights and styles.

You can also take your pick on the base color. From pinks and reds to blues and greens, floral prints can offer a splash of just about any color you're looking to incorporate.

Dolce Vita offers a touch of floral
to happy heels.
I have a great pair from last year that have a studded heel. Sure, I've only worn them once, but I blame that on the ostentatious heel making them NSFW.

In an effort to keep with the trend (and because I have no self-control), I actually just ordered a new pair of floral heels today. This time red and white, which is awesome because I don't have any red and white heels. I'm waiting to post pictures of those so you all have something to look forward to.

In the meantime, feel free to shop a small collection of floral heels I put together for you. Even if you already have a pair, there are so many different prints, colors and heel styles the combinations are endless.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Easter Baskets of Shoes and Booze


I pride myself on being logical, but when it comes to things of the domestic sort I kind of fall apart and become a giant failure. I’m the kind of person who forgets to buy candles for kid’s birthday cakes and doesn’t send cards to my niece and nephew every holiday, even though I swear I’m going to.

Then there was what happened during the worst Easter Basket shopping trip ever.

The husband and I ran out last week to Target to buy things for Easter baskets. That was it. Some clothes, a couple bags of candy and we were going to call it a successful trip to Target.

This dress is great on an hourglass figure.
Of course, anyone who has ever even walked past a Target in their life knows that there’s actually no possible way of going in and coming out, and getting only what you went in for.

So we went in, and bought stuff for baskets…and since we were in the girl’s section, I figured it made sense to swing over to the clearance section, where Prabal Gurung for Target happened to be on sale. Oh dear. And I mean on sale. Like marked down a couple times to the point where I felt like I had to buy the dress just because it was so damn cheap.

After trying on a couple dresses and settling on a great black and white floral print with white panels, I started to walk over to my husband who was picking out a shirt for the boy child, and I had to walk past shoes. It was then that I saw they also have matching shoes – on sale.

Now I’m not much of one for matchy-matchy clothing, but there is something so amazingly cool about being able to have shoes in the exact same print as your dress. Plus it’s black and white, so the shoes would go with everything. (Never mind my sister just bought the same pair last week).

I wandered over to my husband to tell him of the great deals, and was trying to figure out how to justify this purchase to him, and instead he did it for me.

“Oh, that’ll be great for your blog.”

This is why I married him.

After picking out a shirt for the boy, we decided to go look

These go with so much more than the dress. 
at the grocery section. And by groceries, I mean booze. Sometimes Target has great sales on stuff, and we won, finding a bottle of Stoli jalapeno vodka on sale (Bloody Mary’s anyone?) and a bottle of Tres Leches liquor, which we hadn’t tried, but figured it couldn’t be bad (and it's amazing).

So my trip to Target for stuff for the Easter baskets ended up netting me two bottles of booze, a pair of Prabal Gurung shoes with a matching dress, and a couple DVDs. Oh, and the Easter baskets.  That’s either the biggest parental win or biggest parental fail ever. I really can’t decide.

I guess the kids got their baskets, and I got shoes and booze, so really, everyone won.