Thursday, February 23, 2006

Liesl, 7N

I want to know who the first woman was who thought it was ok to wear stockings with sandals. Who is this woman of very bad judgment? Did she think she was fooling everyone? Hey look! my tan extends down to my toes which are oddly fused together! Seam? What seam? No, just NO.

I think this stockings with sandals epidemic has reached new heights of wrongness lately. What makes me state that? The fact that they now make stockings with toes that are cut out so that you can wear them with sandals without looking like it. Again, who is this fooling? The only women who have perfectly smooth, tanned legs and feet are models in magazines. Want to know why? Do you? Because they're air brushed! No, just NO.

If you are going to wear a fabulous pair of sandals why would you ruin the effect with a $2 pair of stockings? Liberate your toes, ladies! Oh, and don't forget to get a pedicure before venturing into sandaland.

Today's favorite shoe:
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Nicole Miller Fedora

Suz, 10N

Pantyhose with open toe shoes and sandals. The HORROR!

I was out with two old friends last night, and naturally, the conversation turned to shoes, and particularly, poor shoe wearing habits. The general consensus was one should never, ever wear pantyhose with sandals OR open-toed shoes.

Why, why why do women persist in doing this? It looks horrible. It's almost like the flesh colored sock figure skaters wear over their skates sometimes. It just makes your feet look weird and alien. Even worse is when the pantyhose have a seamed toe. And sometimes the pantyhose make your feet smell - especially in the summer. Not to mention, they defeat the purpose of wearing sandals in the first place.

If you feel you must wear hose, at least wear this kind:!stmenu_template.main

Bare feet in sandals leads to another conversation about good grooming, but I'll save that for another day.

Today's shoe:

John Fluevog 'Mandalay'

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Suz, 10N

Olympic Figure Skating - Flesh Colored Skates or White?

As I've watched the Olympic figure skating competitions, I was struck by two things. One, the costumes are DREADFUL. Two, flesh colored skates make the skater's feet look like chunks of beige cement hanging off a stump. I think the problem lies with the odd flesh-toned sock that is often placed over the skate, rather than wearing a beige leather boot. Nonetheless, it looks odd. Are they trying to pretend they are skating in bare feet? That's a neat trick. Everyone knows you can't skate in bare feet. It will ruin your pedicure.

The white skates look much more elegant. They imbue the skater with grace and style points. Skaters wearing white skates always look more graceful than those who do not.

I didn't realize I was such a traditionalist about figure skating, but there you go.

Today's shoe:

GAM 3 Esprit Ladies Figure Skates

Liesl, 7N

I admit it, I love figure skating. I tell my husband that figure skating is to me what the Broncos are to him; if he hears me screaming in the other room he knows I am watching competitive figure skating. I can't skate at all, though. When I was a little girl I would get out on the ice and sort of shuffle my feet around the rink. I looked ridiculous! Oh, I looked ridiculous except for one thing: I had some damn cute skates.

It boils down to the footwear every time, doesn't it? I had gotten skates for Christmas because I had happened upon a movie with Sonja Henie on TV. She looked so cute with her tippy toe moves and her twirls and her blond curls. I wanted to be just like her! So, as usual, my mom bought me a nice pair of white skates. I wanted white ones because that was what Sonja Henie had in her movies. However, when I got to the rink the next day I noticed a few girls who had flesh colored skates! Oh! those were unique! I wanted those instead. Gone were my dreams of Sonja Henie tippy toe moves and in were my dreams of streamlined fashion.

In watching the Olympic figure skating I find myself still drawn to the flesh colored skates. I like to think of my ice dancers as having the natural ability to glide along the ice on their bare feet. Yes, that is the impression flesh colored skates give. Their flesh colored tights extend right down to their flesh colored skates as if that is what a normal person would look like if they didn't have to wear skates. Every now and then a moment of reality sets in and I imagine their feet falling off from frostbite (black skates?), but those moments of reality are few and far between. I usually only see some interesting looking feet gliding across the ice, and oops, falling every now and then.

I wonder whatever happened to my skates?

Today's favorite shoe:
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Charles by Charles David Aloof

Friday, February 17, 2006

Liesl, 7N

I grew up going to the opera and I was so excited when B bought Suz tickets to the opera for Christmas. He chose La Traviata, one of my favorites and one that is usually sumptuously costumed. I love that the audience members in the orchestra seats are on the same level as the shoes onstage.

I was once hanging out in the wardrobe room before a performance of Les Contes d'hoffmann (my favorite opera) when someone asked the wardrobe lady why they chose such beautifully ornate shoes no one would see under the long dresses; the wardrobe lady replied: "Because they will sing more passionately when they know even their feet are beautiful." That made perfect sense to me then and it makes sense to me now. Do we do things with more panache when we know we are covered in pretty from head to foot? I wonder.

Oh, I love the opera!

Today's favorite shoe:
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Gina Pearl

Suz, 10N

A Night at the Opera

My fabulous husband B took me to my first opera last night. La Traviata at the Met. The first performance I've ever seen in Lincoln Center. Quite possibly the most amazing evening out I've experienced in my life. B, I love you.

What has this to do with shoes, you ask? Think about it. People dress for the opera. Well, some people. Some don't. During the intermissions, I was out in the lobby checking out shoes. Woman in black cocktail dress with red satin slingbacks. Fashion do. Woman in sequinned dress and brown leather ankle boots. Fashion don't. Ladies - never, ever wear ankle boots with a dress. Especially a formal one. There were many women wearing all sorts of variations on black strappy sandals. all looked lovely, yet they all faded into each other. I am guilty of falling into the black evening shoe habit. It's easy, and always appropriate. I have learned a lesson. Color in your evening shoes is fun. In fact, I believe it may be a requirement. Because out of all the shoes I checked out last night, the ones I remember are the red satin slingbacks.

RSVP 'Sabine'

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Suz, 10N

You may wonder how my spouse feels about my love of shoes. Probably the way I feel about his love for Madden Football for the Xbox.

B is quite indulgent of my shoe love. He knows how hard a time I have finding ones I like that fit, so he doesn't bat an eye when I come home with a new pair. This might be different if I had an average size foot and could walk into any store, pick out my size in a cute shoe and buy it. If we are out and about, and pass a shoe store, and he catches me looking longingly into the window - he simply says "do you really want to do that to yourself?" He knows that if I go in, I will quickly become angry and distraught because the store doesn't carry my size.

He is also very good about praising my shoe purchases. He always compliments my choice. Then again, he's pretty free with the compliments anyway. I'm a lucky girl!

Today's shoe:
Vaneli 'Yazz' Sandal

Liesl, 7N

I have a very understanding husband. He agreed to marry me knowing that I have this odd shoe fascination and that I stalk shoe stores. Really, he's a saint.

I was in a funk a couple of weeks ago and decided to go to a movie with a friend of mine; on the way out the door MFP (husband) told me to take my time and, get this!, go shopping! Of course I took that to mean, go shoe shopping. I thought he had temporarily lost his mind since he knows what I can do in a shoe store. He knows! But no, he was serious and he was just trying to cheer me up. Is he not the best husband in the world? He indulges my passion for shoes and doesn't judge me for it! Oh, however did I get so lucky?

I came home with 4 pairs of shoes only to find that not only had he encouraged me to go shopping but he had cleaned the house while I was gone. This was almost too much to bear. However, it did present a weird problem: as soon as I got in I wanted to rip those shoes out of their boxes and show MFP just how cute my feet looked in my new pretties. He, on the other hand, wanted to show me all he had done in the house. Guess which one won? Did I mention that he's a saint?

Now, if I can just get him to see the wisdom of Kenneth Cole loafers for men.

Today's favorite shoe:

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Brian Atwood Asymmetrical

Monday, February 13, 2006

Liesl, 7N

I live in Dallas where there isn't much call for boots, snow boots or otherwise. However, I do have a fabulous pair of boots. I did recently see them in the "what never to wear" in some magazine, but I think they are wrong.

I bought these boots (see below) at Bloomingdales in Manhattan for all of the long, snowy Montana days and nights. We lived in Montana at the time, in case you couldn't deduce that from the previous sentence. Anyway, I bought these boots and envisioned myself looking so snow bunny-ish as I pranced down the street walking Zelda in these boots. I would have on my perfect little pants and my perfect coat with my perfectly coifed hair and my perfect little earmuffs and my perfect afghan hound looking boots. Can you see me? Can you see how cute I looked?

Yeah, um, no. The first time I wore those boots and pretended to have the coquettish snow bunny thing down I got them so dirty they became unwearable thereafter. The instructions said to wash them like you would your hair, so I tried that. Yeah, um, no. Instead of looking like dirty afghan hounds they now looked like matted, dirty, homeless afghan hounds. Where are they now? In their box under our bed.

And I never once pulled off the snow bunny thing.

Today's Favorite Shoe:

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Uggs Fluff Momma Boots

Suz, 10N


There are two kinds. Practical and fashionable. In my experience, they rarely mix. This is ok. When there is 2 feet of snow outside, I don't care what my feet look like. I care that they get me safely through the 6" puddles of slush and over the 4' mounds of snow at the corners. Not to mention the icy sidewalks. I laugh at the people who are tiptoeing around trying not to ruin their shoes, or worse yet, fall down.

Today is a good day for my snow boots. It would be a bad day for my 3 1/2" stiletto boots. I would post a picture, but I bought them a year ago, and can't find one. But they have very pointy toes. Strangely, they fit like a glove. Nine West sometimes runs narrow, though.

Having said that, I must confess my love for my snow boots. I adore them. I've had them for at least 6 years. I spent over $100 on them (for me, that's a lot).

Here they are - the shoe of the day:

La Canadienne "Gaby" Collection

Mine are the ones on the left.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Suz 10N

I am hard on my shoes. Very hard. Since I have such a hard time finding shoes that fit, I tend to hang on to my favorites long past their prime. You know what I'm talking about.

I always think I'm going to get them reheeled, or resoled, but I never get around to it. Yet I can't just get rid of them. They are perfectly good shoes. Only in need of minor repair. For example, the metal thingy in the heels showing through, causing a little "click click click" when you walk (otherwise known as VLS: Very Loud Shoes). Why not just take them to the cobbler and let him stick on new little plastic heels? How hard and time consuming can that be?

Where should shoes go when they die? Mine migrate to hidden corners of my closet. Twice a year or so, I get the urge to clean it out, and I find them. Usually one or two pairs will be thrown in the trash before I can allow myself to even think of keeping them. The rest? Into a little pile that's meant for repair. 6 months later, I find them hiding in the corners again, and maybe another pair hits the trash. I just can't bear to throw them away unless they are truly disgusting and beyond hope.

Maybe I need some sort of intervention.

Today's shoe is Vaneli's Bena. I posted 2 pictures, because I like both colors a lot.

Liesl, 7N

I wear my shoes into the ground. I have worn shoes with holes in the soles because I loved them so much. I have worn shoes that no longer fit because I loved them so much. I admit it, I can't let go of my shoes.

When a pair of shoes has clearly seen better days most people, I would think, are able to throw them away. I, on the other hand, cannot do such a thing. I see them sitting in the trash with the cans of cat food and remains of dinner and they just look so forlorn, so lost. Those sweet shoes didn't deserve that kind of end! If I don't put them in the trash and then put trash on top of them I will take them out of the trash sooner or later. It's really, well, pathetic.

I think someone should provide a shoe cremation service. I could save all of the ashes of my shoes and have them mixed in with my ashes when I die so that we can all be together for eternity. We can all be made into a ball and placed in a reef that needs repair; or shot into space; or dumped in the ocean ceremoniously. Either way, we could be together forever as I intended when I bought them.

Today's Favorite Shoe:

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Vigotti R1950

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Suz 10N

So where to buy shoes? I'm lucky - I have all of NYC at my disposal. Yet - believe it or not - for a girl with narrow feet, the choices are limited. Wait. Allow me to clarify. For a girl with narrow feet on a budget, the choices are limited.

Now that I've cleared that up, let's discuss. When I shop in the city for shoes, I have a few favorite haunts. The first being Filene's Basement on 6th Ave & 18th St. Hit or miss, but they have loads of shoes, in tons of styles, and they won't break the bank. Looking for shoes that will fit me is like a treasure hunt, but the thrill of the catch is incredible! When I see that magical 10N on the bottom of a sweet pair of shoes, my day is made.

Another haunt is TJ Maxx - at the same location. I can't forget Burlington Coat Factory on the corner of 23rd & 6th. They've got a Marty's Shoes in there where I have excellent luck.

Next, I like to go to Medici on 23rd St between 5th & 6th and Shoegasm which is just up the street from there. They don't always carry narrow shoes, but they have a big selection, and some of the shoes run narrow, so I luck out. Besides that, how can you not shop at a store called Shoegasm?

Online, my favorites are Nordstrom, Zappos and Naturalizer.

Happy Shopping! Remember - comfort does not equal ugly!

Today's shoe:

Hollwould Velvet D'Orsay Pump

Liesl, 7N

When I walk into a shoe store I inhale deeply. The smell of the shoes gives me a euphoric feeling like nothing else on earth. It smells so, so... what? luxurious? No, that's not quite right. I think it smells like me. When I say me, I mean, it smells like something I love deep down in my very soul. Maybe I am a bit dramatic but have I mentioned? I love shoes.

I prefer to go to stand alone shoe stores mostly for the smell factor. When you browse shoes in a department store the smell dissipates into the lingerie or jewelry or better clothes section and it isn't as pure. Stand alone stores also tend to be less crowded into a tiny space in a larger area so there is more room to stroll among the shoes and lovingly stroke them.

I went to Designer Shoe Warehouse the other day and walked out with 4 pairs of shoes in about half an hour. I am pretty quick when it comes to spotting what I want; there isn't a lot of equivocation on shoes with me. Since that day I've been back to DSW twice. Once to make my mom buy a pair of the Tommy Bahamas posted recently and once more to find something else. I would drag my butt out of a hospital bed if someone mentioned shoe shopping. I'm not kidding.

So the moral of the story is, stand alone shoe stores smell like happiness.

Today's Favorite Shoe:

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Anne Klein Bahia

Monday, February 06, 2006

Liesl, 7N

As I stated previously, I have tiny feet. They are the average size in length but they are so narrow that they almost look like half of a foot. Finding shoes that fit is damn near impossible. Suz has trouble with her large narrow feet, I have trouble with my small narrow feet. Why don't manufacturers make shoes for all foot types?

I wonder about this drive for sameness in fashion and society. We are all supposed to have the body of a 12 year old boy (flat stomach, no hips) with the boobs of a Barbie doll. This carries over into shoe sizes; we, as a society of women, will always have cankles and swollen feet and wide feet and narrow feet. Our feet will not all be an elegant size 7 with the right proportion of width. Oh, would it were so!

You would think that shoe manufacturers would understand that the more styles they make in wearable sizes, the more money they will make. Do you have "normal" sized feet? Does Stuart Weitzman design shoes with your feet in mind? Didn't think so.

Raise your hand if you have ever had the skin rubbed off of places on your feet. Raise your hand if you've ever had to shove things in shoes to make them fit. Raise your hand if you've ever walked in shoes that pinch like a mutha. Raise your hand if you are tired of ill fitting shoes.

Now, write your congressman. Oh, wait... write your favorite shoe manufacturer? Excuse me, I must hobble on away in my too small Kenneth Cole slingbacks.

Today's Favorite Shoe:

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Kenneth Cole Dress Around Slingbacks

Suz, 10N

Hard to Fit Feet!

As I was riding along on the subway this morning on my way to work, I pondered yet again upon the shoe manufacturers' blindness towards women who have hard to fit feet.

Why is it that so few manufacturers actually make beautiful, affordable shoes for women who, through no fault of their own, wear sizes outside the norm? Do they think that there aren't very many of these women? They are wrong. Do they think we all want to wear orthopedic shoes? They are wrong. Do they think we only want to wear serviceable shoes? They are wrong.

I am grateful to Nordstrom's. They stock nice shoes in a wide variety of sizes and price points. Yet, even there, the choices available to women with hard to fit feet is inferior to what is available to those with "average" sizes. I also have pretty good luck with Not the stores, but the website. Still - while they do have a pretty good selection for me, I often see shoes that I want, only to find they don't make them in my size. Imagine all the money they're losing! Worse yet, I think their narrows run a little wide. So if I were to go to a size 10S, there is almost NOTHING available at the site that I would be caught dead in. I often end up wearing shoes that don't fit just right, because otherwise, I'd have no shoes at all.

So shoe manufacturers, WAKE UP! You are missing out on a whole lot of profit from a whole lot of women are desperate for pretty shoes for their hard to fit feet. Somebody step up to the plate, for God's sake!

Today's favorite shoe:

Sofft 'Napoli' Sandal

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Liesl, 7N

Not all shoes have to hurt our feet. There are certain shoes I think many of us would suffer for because they are just that special. But let's be honest for a moment and admit that we don't all wear 4-inch Manolos everywhere we go. The problem I see with the generation of comfortable shoes is that many women seem to think that shoes have to be ugly to be comfortable. I am here to proclaim quite vociferously that this is not the case!

I have tiny feet. Tiny. I've had people swear my parents must have bound my feet as a child to make them that small. No, I'm just lucky. Yeah. I have suffered for beautiful shoes for years and I will never stop suffering for them. However, I do think we should acknolwedge that there are some pretty shoes that are comfortable. I recently bought the Tommy Bahama shoes below and they are incredibly comfortable and not so bad on the eyes.

I realize there are more pretty shoes that hurt, but doesn't that mirror life? How many of us have been hurt by a beautiful person? Beautiful food causes cellulite, you know. Beautiful art is painful on the purse. Beautiful music can kill! OK, maybe I've gone too far with that one. The point is, beauty is desirable partially because it is so unattainable. Having beautiful shoes is a small step in the direction of the prettification of our worlds. Take that step with me; you know you want to.

Today's Favorite Shoe:

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Tommy Bahama Bayamo

Comfort does not equal ugly, people!

In discussions with friends about shoes, I have found many of them labor under the myth that only ugly shoes are comfortable. This is not true! Ugly shoes are just that. Ugly. Ladies, you must expand your footwear choices. Live a little. Take a risk. Try on a fabulous pair of driving mocs. Or loafers. You will be surprised at how comfortable they can be.

Step away from the cement block sandals, please.


Today's favorite shoe:

Amalfi "Deck" Flat

Saturday, February 04, 2006

Welcome Sisters!

I'm Suz, one half of the Shoegirls. I have loved shoes since I popped out of the womb wearing a darling pair of Jimmy Choos. It was an uncomfortable birth for my mother, poor thing. Stilettos and vaginas don't mix.

Ok, maybe I wasn't really born wearing a pair of Jimmy Choos, but I have loved shoes for as long as I can remember. It's both a blessing and a curse. A blessing because, well, beautiful shoes are always a blessing. A curse because I wear a size 10N, and am not rich.

We all have our crosses to bear.

Today's favorite shoe is:

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Via Spiga Swann

Shoes are life!

Suz and I created this blog to indulge in our love for shoes and to share that love with all of the ugly shoe wearers around the world. It is time to just say no to function over form!

My name is Liesl and I have loved shoes since I was a child. I well remember the smell of patent leather Mary Janes with crisp white socks as a child. Every year my mother would take me to the shoe store to buy a new pair and I would look forward to that day for weeks beforehand. I still love Mary Janes... Manolo Mary Janes!

I have indulged in my passion for shoes for probably 33 years, now. During the 80s and my teenage years it was all about the low heeled pump and the L.L. Bean Duck Boots. In the early 90s and my twenties, it was all about classic high heeled pumps. By the time I moved to L.A. in the mid-90s it was all about Steve Madden open toed mules. I had three pair and kept them until our dogs chewed them up a month ago. I still have one pair left.

Now? I just love them all. Except Crocs. And Birks.

Today's Favorite Shoe:

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Manolo Blahnik Mary Janes.