Let's talk about discount shoes, specifically Payless Shoe Stores. When I was a kid Payless was the place the poor people went and not a place I was allowed to go. By the time I got to college and understood that I was no longer going to be buying my shoes at Neiman's, Payless seemed like an OK alternative. However, they never really had shoes I would consider wearing.
My, how things change! Payless now has near copies of all of the popular styles for prices that fit almost any budget. So, I have to ask myself: can I get over my shoe snobbery and shop at Payless? I have no problem admitting it: NO. It's not that I think I am better than Payless shoes (though I do), but more that I am very particular about what I put on my feet. It has been my experience that you get what you pay for in life and my feet deserve better than cheap shoes. Would I price shop when looking for a plastic surgeon? Of course not! Why would I do the same when looking for the little pieces of fabulous we call shoes?
The bottom line is, I value shoes too much to wear cheap shoes. If the shoe wasn't designed by a master shoe designer it isn't worth my dainty foot stepping one toe into its cheap smelling cheapness. I mean, have you ever noticed that Payless doesn't smell like other shoe stores? And honey! you can't mask the smell of cheap shoes. If they don't smell like happiness then your feet are too good for them.
Oh, and don't try to pass off cheap Payless shoes in stripper pictures as couture. Chances are good that if you need to sell naked pictures of yourself on the internet you are not going to be doing it in Manolos. Leave the joy of nice shoes to the people with class.
Today's Favorite Shoe:
Stuart Weitzman Sensual
Sunday, April 23, 2006
Cheap Shoes Look Cheap. Sometimes.
Shoes can be expensive. Even if you're not looking to buy a pair of Choos, you can still easily spend upwards of $100 for a decent shoe. Which means the low-budget shoe chains, like Payless and Parade of Shoes are very, very tempting for some people.
I am torn about these stores. I don't shop in them because they don't carry my size. They seem to cater to people with average or wide feet. I do go in on occasion though. I can see why people shop there. They have knock offs of designer styles, for under $30. I think that if you're looking for a really trendy shoe, these stores just might be the place. It's hard to justify paying much more than $30 for a shoe that's only going to be in style this year. I'm not really a trendy shoe girl myself, so this isn't a problem for me.
Yet amongst the trendy shoes, I see some of the most horrific examples of shoe design known to man. Blocky heels, fake leather, plastic. I mean, I guess you get what you pay for. I try to imagine what one would wear these shoes with, and I can't. The mental images of these shoes being worn makes me want to poke my mind's eye out with a sharp stick.
I suppose there is a place for these stores. People need shoes. Not everyone can afford to spend even $50 on a pair. It's hard for me to look down my nose at people who shop there, because I don't know their circumstances.
Beware, however, those of you who think to pass off your cheap knockoffs as the real deal. I'm no fool, and I can spot you a mile away.
Just because your shoe says it's Isaak Mizrahi, honey, doesn't make it designer.
'British' by Valentina
Tuesday, April 18, 2006
We've all fallen prey to fads and what we put on our feet is not excluded from this indiscretion. Personally, I don't like wedges and I don't think you will see many of them in a season or two. I think there are always those styles that are destined for Goodwill rather than the vintage shop around the corner. And that's the difference: timelessness or folly.
I think my worst fad transgression must be L.L. Bean Duck boots. They were IT when I was in high school. But you couldn't just wear them with the laces tied like a normal person; no, no, you had to wear them with the laces undone and some thick socks peeking out. We wore them with skirts, too. Oy. You have to know that when a shoe is unisex it probably isn't going to be haute couture. Of course, I did see some duck boot heels a few years ago at Neiman's. It made me shudder. Anyway, I think it's usually obvious which shoes will be vintage and which will be Goodwill, so the question remains: To fad or not to fad?
My gut feeling on this is that, if you have the money and the inclination, why not? As long as you know that the shoe you are buying is probably not destined to be worn for long and you're OK with that, I think it's OK to fad. You know how I feel about my shoes and my inability to let them go, so I cannot fad. However, not all hot shoes are fads. For example, the bejeweled sandals we're seeing everywhere right now; some of them are too faddish to last but many of them have classic enough lines and understated enough bling to last us for years to come. I suppose it's all about the pretty factor. Mama like her pretty!
The moral of the story is this: Duck boots should stay in 1985.
Today's Favorite Shoe:
Saturday, April 15, 2006
I spend a fair amount of time looking at shoes online. I usually say something like, "Oh! I like that!" or "Oh! pretty!" when I see a pair of shoes I really like. Every now and then, however, I see a pair of shoes that makes me groan with desire. Ladies and gentlemen, it is time to talk about the shoegasm.
When I opened the link for the Betsey Johnson shoes below I found myself groaning over the pinky prettyness and thinking about what they would look like on my feet. My excitement rose as I imagined a foot sliding into the shoe and wrapping the straps around my delicate ankle. As I imagined standing up in the shoes I almost couldn't take the desire for them anymore. The only release I truly see would be the purchase of those shoes: Shoegasm completus.
I don't recommend groaning over shoes in public. I do tend to lovingly fondle shoes at Neiman's and Nordstrom's but I find that if I stay too long or make my shoegasm eyes too obvious they will start to look at me funny. And then? well, I clearly need to buy several pairs of shoes to prove that I am not some freak who only likes to fondle the pretties. No, no, I need to take them home to fondle them.
Shoegasms can replace all kinds of bodily needs; they fill a void, you know.
Today's Favorite Shoe:
Betsey Johnson Carissa
I'm Going to Say Something Naughty
There. I said it. Shoegasm. Shoegasm. Shoegasm. My breathing is getting heavy just thinking about it. Who needs Anais Nin when you have shoes?
Come on. Be honest. You've had a shoegasm at least once in your life. You know what it is. When you walk by a store window, and there, prominently displayed, is The Shoe. You stop dead in your tracks. The person walking behind you crashes into you. They curse you. You don't hear it. You are mesmerized by The Shoe.
You gaze at it in awe for several minutes. You imagine it on your foot. You imagine how lovely your foot is going to look in it. You imagine the envious stares of all who see you striding down the street in The Shoe. You feel a little tingle of joy. You do some quick math in your head.
You enter the store, and ask to try on The Shoe. The salesperson brings it out. They unwrap the tissue paper cushioning it. They remove The Shoe from the box and show it to you. Meanwhile, you have prepared your foot to receive The Shoe. Old shoes off, you stretch your toes, roll your ankles, and allow the salesperson to place The Shoe on your foot. You extend your leg to look at how beautifully The Shoe enhances the line of your leg. You allow the salesperson to place The Shoe's mate on your other foot. You stand, and do the walk. Over and over. Staring at your feet in those mirrors on the floor.
The Shoe must be yours. You must have it. You gently remove them and wrap them safely back in the tissue paper. The salesperson brings them up to the register. You put on your old shoes again. You sit for a moment, breathing deeply. Then, you go to the register, whip out the plastic, and make those babies yours.
You walk out of the store with The Shoe safely wrapped and contained in its shopping bag. The day seems brighter. The world friendlier. You are satisfied.
Manolo Blahnik 'Grommet' Pump
Monday, April 10, 2006
Ladies, it is pedicure time. I know it's been awhile since you needed to have your feet in sandal condition and I hope some of you had the foresight to start getting pedicures months ago in preparation for nice weather. For the rest of my shoe sisters, it is time. Grab your favorite polish and head to your local nail salon. Pay no mind to the scare tactics of the nightly news and their bacteria at nail salon stories. They just don't have pretty sandals and they're jealous!
There is a time in a woman's life when she needs to embrace power tools. No, I do not mean that you need to hunt through your garage and whip out your power screwdriver. (mind out of the gutter, ladies) The power tool we all need to embrace is the Dremel tool used with such loving care on your winter calluses at your local nail salon. I think it might be possible to measure your hibernation by the amount of skin dust floating around after your heels have been Dremeled into presentable sandal wearing heels. Please, let them Dremel your calluses; I do not want to see big cliffs of skin hanging off the end of someone's strappy Choos.
I would also like to point out that a French manicure looks ridiculous on toes. You don't grow your toenails out so that the bed is pink and the outgrown nail is white, right? So why would you mimic that look on your toenails? The French manicure mimics nature and what our nails would look like if they were totally healthy and clean all the time. Seriously, the thought of someone growing out their toenails to mimic their fingernails is just gross. Don't do it.
What color are your toenails today? Leave comments and tell me! Mine are pale blue.
Today's Favorite Shoe:
The Importance of Good Grooming
First, in an earlier post, I said that I thought sandals should not be worn until leaves are on the trees. Probably May. I forgot that in NYC, some of the trees have their leaves already. So, I am going to revise my opinion. If it's 70 degrees or warmer in April, sandals are ok.
Which leads to today's topic. Good grooming. Especially when it comes to your feet.
Ladies (and gents), under no circumstances should your toes make an appearance in public without first having received a pedicure. I don't care if you do one at home, or go to a salon, but you must have those feet in shape. There is very little more revolting than to look at someone's feet in their sandals, and see ragged toenails, dry skin, and cracked heels. Not to mention toe cheese. My first question is how can you stand your own feet looking like that, and second, how dare you subject the rest of us to them?
So, take care of those tootsies. I recommend a salon pedicure to at least get you started. For maintenance, a pumice stone at the end of your shower does the trick. Apply some moisturizer (not too much) when you get out of the shower, and you're good to go. If you apply too much, you will slide around in your shoes, which can lead to serious injury. Trust me. I know. I broke my foot once because my foot slid off a pair of Easy Spirit slides. Imagine my horror. June, and I had to have a cast up to my knee. But you know what? I kept getting pedicures on my good foot. And the nail tech would file and repolish my toes peeking out of the cast. I have also never worn Easy Spirits again.
Speaking of polish - it is not required to have well-groomed feet. It is a personal preference. As long as your feet are neat and clean, you are good to go. However - if you polish - you must maintain! No chipped and peeling polish on your toes, please! It's almost as bad as scaly toes.
If you have the misfortunate of having hairy toes, you should shave them. Or wax them. Or Nair them. Ladies should not have hairy toes. Gents, I'm not into your hairy toes either, but I guess I have to live with them.
Take care of your feet. Treat yourself to a pedicure. They feel so good, and you deserve a little pampering. As does the rest of the public who have to see your feet in sandals.
Emilio Pucci '763947' Sandal
Thursday, April 06, 2006
Crocs are what is wrong with this country. When the people of this country think it is OK to wear brightly colored plastic shoes in public we know we've got a serious epidemic going on; I name this epidemic: Don'tCareHowILookFascitis.
Darlings! is there a reason you think that plastic shoes that make your feet smell like ass are a good idea? I know that comfortable shoes are a good thing and we can't always wear our most fabulous Manolos; however, there is a difference between sacrificing comfort for fabulous and having comfortable shoes that borrowed a bit of fabulous from their 4-inch Charles David sisters.
Look at our country today: Hawaiian shirt production is up and it has never been made illegal to wear socks with sandals. When it's possible to still buy a visor with the latest Nascar logo splashed across its bill then you know this country has some serious issues. Perhaps if we banned such things as tube socks and gold lame we'd have a happier, prettier world. More people would say hello and smile at you if you were wearing something fabulous. Politics would be populated by people who truly knew what was important: fashion. Stray dog populations would be down due to the need to have something to walk while showing off your fabulous shoes. Let's face it, life would be that much sweeter if bad fashion were illegal.
All of you reading this blog, stand up! Stand up now and go to your windows and doors and open them! Open them wide and yell: "I'm mad at Crocs and I'm not gonna wear them anymore!" Now throw those Crocs in the trash and say hello to a better tomorrow.
Today's Favorite Shoe:
Stuart Weitzman Mystery
More on Ugly Shoes
Liesl and I were chatting the other day. We came to a conclusion. Crocs are what is wrong with America. Crocs exemplify the lack of care and general apathy of the middle class towards everything, even personal appearance.
"But Suz, they're so comfortable" I don't give a rats' ass. I have comfortable shoes that aren't made out of plastic and look like something my car threw up on the street. I care about how I look. That includes my shoes. I don't like to look sloppy. I like to look like I take pride in my person.
I think Crocs are lazy. I think it's easier to just go along with the crowd and buy them. Then you don't have to consider anything. Just be told what to do, and you save yourself so much aggravation!
"But Suz, aren't you and Liesl telling us what to wear?"
No. No we are not. We are asking you to think about fashion, and your appearance and the beautiful shoes that are available. We want you to appreciate the beauty and art of good design. We want you to believe that you deserve to have such things in your life.
"But Suz, I don't care what other people think! I like them, they're comfortable, and that's good enough for me."
Sorry - what people think does matter. Like it or not, people judge you by your appearance. The impression given is that if you can't be bothered to take the time to look your best, you're not going to be bothered to take the time to do anything else well either. That applies to everything in life, not just work. You may be the nicest person in the world, but if you look like hell, it's going to color people's perceptions of you.
So friends - take a good look in the mirror before you go out. Honestly appraise the impression you are making on the rest of the world. Take some pride and care in your appearance. You deserve to look good. You deserve to have nice things. Stop dumbing down your wardrobe.
You are all beautiful - show it off!
Clark's 'Poe' Mule