Archive for February, 2008


Many Shoes, One Sole for Quick Change Travel

Punctuality isn’t one of my virtues. So it shouldn’t surprise anyone to hear that on our return layover through Atlanta on December 26th, my husband and I started our Christmas cards. We reduced ourselves to a puddle of giggles by scribbling nonsense on the backs of our bizarre photo greetings and sticking Star Wars stamps on the envelopes. Then, I meandered down the mismatched marble walkway of terminal D to find a Post Office drop box.

In my absentmindedness, I almost missed Friedman’s shoes. Though I knew our plane was about to begin boarding, a voice in my head begged, “Just see what they are hawking to harried holiday travelers.”

I wandered to the wall of mostly non-descript wedges, sighed and turned to…


What were those? There. Over on the counter in the center. Were those snaps on the side?

Upon closer inspection, I determined that they were indeed industrial strength snaps similar to the ones on the Jon Wye belt that I just bought Jason for Christmas. How odd! How ingenious! They allowed a gal to switch the tops off so she could flip her flops to fit any occasion.

Whoa, packing plenty of footwear to match multiple ensembles could be a cinch now.

Onesoles by Quick Change Artist offered an array of eleven different sole styles ranging from flats to 3-inch heels that can be interchanged with any of the flexible uppers. Each set of soles comes with a choice of three optional snap-on mates.

But guessing that I didn’t have time to try anything on, I wrote down the website, and headed back to gate D36.

Somewhere around gate D30, I heard Jason shout my name. Like a poodle on painkillers, I slowly surveyed my surroundings.
“Karen,” Jason pleaded. “Run.”

As I started sprinting, random strangers began cheering, “ Go Karen,” in between bursts of laughter. My embarrassment only increased as I reached the gate and realized that I had no idea where I had stuck my boarding pass.

“Just get on the plane,” our unamused airline attendant ordered. “I’ve paged you several times so I know that you are booked on this flight,” she explained.

I guess it is a good thing that I didn’t try to get photos of the crocs with the Mickey Mouse shaped holes for you.


The Quest for a Real Sole Mate

Finding a soul mate is a lifelong quest for some, yet a random act of the universe for others. It’s the plot of many a romance novel, the theme of a too-sappy chick flick, and the mantra of the poets among us.

Since I’m beginning to give up on the notion of true love in my future, I’ve settled for my own version of love and affection – in the form of shoes. Blahnik, Prada, and Gucci are more frequently penciled into my Covey planner than any date these days.

Only the shoe-obsessed can truly understand the process of coveting, the thrill of discovering a new love, and the satisfaction of acquiring the latest interest that appeals to the soul.
My quest fills my void, it’s my raison d’etre that rarely disappoints. Instead of wallowing in any pain of singledom, I’ve turned my facts of life into the ever-so-constructive quest of finding the perfect shoes – every week – each one a step closer to finding a real sole mate. The One I will cherish forever, the One that I will always reminisce about the day we met. We’ll go on great adventures, my sole mate and I, off to see the world.
Until that Big Day, I’m willing to continue on with my search – enjoying my weekly thrills that begin on mundane Mondays where I’m usually trolling shoe catalogs online and avoiding work meetings. And reaching their climax by Friday afternoons as I count down to the 5 o’clock hour and am set loose on the field, armed with credit card in hand.

Looking for love in all the right places in my red-heeled Tapeet wedges, of course. The platforms that help me reach the top racks of any boutique shelf for hidden gems, complete with a glossy black patent leather band for ultimate comfort – they easily slip into my Marc Jacobs tote I carry along to work on Fridays, ready for the occasion.
Hard work, preparation, and dedication to the quest for the ideal – it will all pay off someday.

Until then, it’s just me and my Tapeets


From $1300 to $16.99…. what price style?

Last week I realized I could no longer see into most of my closet, so I blocked off some of my precious free time and did some early spring cleaning.

Near the back I found a pair of black boots. They were worn, but perfect. Mid-calf height, soft but still shiny and high enough to give some lift without making me totter. I loved those boots. I could wear them with anything, my favorite turquoise wrap dress, work pants, jeans and of course with anything black.

They even found their way into a sexy Halloween costume once. Sadly, their time had come. So with my credit card and laptop in hand I went in search of a new black boot.

My first stop was research, Jimmy Choo, of course. I found a great pair, Beach, that I absolutely loved. I was sold on then until I saw the $1300 price tag. I love you Jimmy, but not a mortgage payments worth. At least now I knew what I was looking for.
Next I turned my mouse towards Bloomingdale’s in search of something equally as lust worthy without the budget busting. There were plenty of options, the only thing suitable was the Pulsar by Stuart Weitzman, but for $535 it better be love. A quick check of my bank account reveals that it was going to be more of a budget shoe month.
So, over to the Payless site I went. I found the Sampson boot which was shiny like Choo’s but I didn’t buy them. Instead my eye was drawn to the more demure, and less shiny Tara boot.

At $16.99 the price was right and the look is great. They came in two days, and while they aren’t what I set out to buy but they’re a more grown up pair, and still 100% sexy. My closet is once again complete.


Style Discovery on Cape Cod

I was in desperate need of some classic, short and comfy heels for my new job.

Now, Cape Cod is lovely in the summer, and you can get your absolute fill of tourist shops, ice cream stands, and clam shacks, but in Osterville, if you’re looking for great shoes, you’d better bring a magnifying glass.

Not to say that there aren’t some little corners of sophistication in my quaint Cape Cod town. We’ve A Soho-style restaurant, and a unique gourmet grocery. And, as I discovered on a recent stroll through the center while waiting for an art gallery to open, wedged between the bank and a clothing store on main street is a little slice of shoe designer heaven called… The Shoe Salon.

Now you might be thinking, what is the big deal with a shoe store? Well, the thing is that Cape Cod has no department stores besides Macy’s and definitely doesn’t have the type of shoe stores that Boston or New York can offer. Finding anything “designer” is out of the question, and you can forget about finding a sale. You see, the Island shuts down in the winter, housing only 230,000-year round, residents. So you can understand why most businesses wouldn’t take a risk in an area with such few locals.

This is why—as you can imagine—I was beyond excited to gaze through the window and see a gleaming pair of black Stuart Weitzman pumps. Actual designer shoes in my little town? I decided to go in for a look-see.

Inside, nicely placed on a pedestal and gallery-like shelving were the glamorous works of Tayrn Rose, Cole Haan, Kate Spade and my buddy Stuart W., to name a few.

I asked the nice older woman if I could try on the pair of Cole Haan ½ inch heels.

They were exactly what I was looking for and at a reasonable price! So, I bought the fabulous black “Fiona” pumps for $275.00 and I can promise that they are—to date—the most comfortable shoes that I own.

I wear them confidently and comfortably all six blocks from my car to my office building, on an uneven brick walkway. Oh and because they are black, they conveniently match all my business wear! What is great about the Shoe Salon is that they are a small store that not too many people know about, so they always have my size and amazing sales.

If I had not ventured—in my own little town—I might not have discovered this little shoe heaven.

I now look forward to finding unique shoe stores around the Cape. Islanders can be shoe lovers too, right?


The Long and Tall of It … Is It All About Sex?

A couple of weeks ago, the hosts of Good Morning America, compared their leg lengths after airing a segment on a new Polish study that finds the longer the leg, the sexier the person, whether man or woman.


After all the jockeying for snaps over which of their legs are longer–we now know that Chris Cuomo thinks himself the alpha male compared to Sam Campion, and that Robin Roberts is 5’10 and, in her own words, “worth the climb” — I had to wonder, gentle readers…. where were the shoes???

The talking heads did give one prop to Leonardo DaVinci, since he apparently invented the first high heels. (He WAS a genius, wasn’t he?)

But…the real story is that smart women have always known that size matters…. and that the higher the heel, the longer the looks. What do you think Mona Lisa is smiling about? She’s wearing the world’s first spectator pumps.

Why the heck else would Christian Louboutin vertiginous flashy red heels be such icons if they weren’t providing the lift many women want?

Maybe Donny Deutsch actually has it right in his book, Often Wrong, Never in Doubt that everything we buy and sell comes down to sexuality.

I didn’t think he was right at first, I mean, does Ovaltine really rely on sex to sell?

But, then again, nowadays it seems that even bathroom fixtures are sexed up like Carmen Elektra.

Maybe DD is onto something. A whole new economic policy based on shoes.

They say that the deeper an economy is in recession, the longer hem lines drop.

But I say, the deeper the dent in the bottom line, the higher our heels should go!

In the McKnightian economic recovery plan, aka the spike heel-driven economy, Louboutin, Jimmy Choo, Manolo, and the rest will be the rising tide that lifts all boats… and ladies… several inches closer to heaven.

But back to hard science:

The Polish study found that legs t 1.4 times longer than a person’s upper body are sexiest., because down in our man’s primordial Flinstones brain, they signal excellent health… better chances for lots of little Bam-Bams down the road.

Okay, so deductive reasoning leads me to surmise that a five-inch heel makes you look healthier, too. And is guaranteed to drive any Armani-wearing caveman wild, scientifically.

(What’s that? The phone is for me? It’s The National Institutes of Health calling because I am so smart? Tell them I have to finish this blog post first…)

Finally, the finishing touch on your long, tall sexy is the ultimate accessory: someone like, say, my gloriously tall, six foot four husband. You’ll have to find your own, though. He’s taken.

When the band starts playing, even with your skyscrapers on, you’ll be dancing eye to eye.


Dawn Steel Was A Shoe Lady

Anybody read the book “They Can Kill You But They Can’t Eat You” by the late, great female film executive Dawn Steel? Well, if you haven’t, I highly suggest it.

It’s an empowering book that tells about her life and how she became a studio exec – she was the first woman to run a major Hollywood studio when she stepped into the head slot at Columbia. She did a bang-up job of producing films as well, having put the special “Dawn touch” to smash-hit Hollywood flicks like Flashdance, Top Gun, Fatal Attraction and City of Angels.

She’d have wowed us all today, but brain cancer took her at a very young 51.

Now, the reason I mention Dawn and her book is that shoes changed her life.

Yes, they did.

Dawn was a genuine shoe lover who conveyed that special love as part of her biography

As a matter of fact, shoes were the impetus for her getting to Hollywood from Great Neck, Long Island.

Seems that Dawn was enamored with a certain pair of Pappagallo flats with flowers on them.

Not floral print…no there was a big, pretty leather flower on the toe of each shoe.

And they came in a rainbow assortment of colors. Dawn credits the high price of these ‘must-have’ shoes to her getting into business selling mail order plants, which was the foundation of her life.

Try as I might, I can’t find a picture of these shoes anywhere. And yes, I have looked high and low, tech-wise. Zip. Perhaps one of you would be more successful? Or does anyone have a similar tale of shoe inspiration? I know our blogger Stephanie Simons wrote about a similar “aha’ moment when she saw Candace Bushnell speak (check out “Operation Authoress.”) There must be more of us out there…. Tell me a tale… what shoes changed your life?

Dawn Steel proved that, when you follow your dream and that dream involves sexy, fun, fashion footwear, it’s all good.


Very Hot Lattes, and the Man Who Serves Them

The local coffee shop isn’t usually where I flaunt my latest shoe find, but when a girl’s trying to impress the barista (a.k.a. New Crush #5), it’s time to pull out the heavy artillery.

Also known as the brown Givenchy peep toe pumps.
These shoes were meant for walking and then some, the perfect height, the perfect arch, and just enough space in front to show off the latest overpriced pedicure.

The gorgeous brown canvas pair is an ideal match for the tan miniskirt I’m sporting as I venture off for my latte fix.

And so I trot on over to the counter, catching a few glances from fellow coffee lovers who stop sipping their soy-mocha-no-whip-with-hazelnut for a few seconds to marvel at my 4 ½” heel balancing act, and place my skim vanilla latte order with the dreamboat barista. I’d describe him, but then you might know where to find him. Like a hot shoe sale, i’m keeping him to myself for the moment.

He flashes a smile, I flirt back, it’s the perfect boy-meets-girl moment.

“Cute shoes,” he so rightly remarks, and I give myself a mental high five for braving that slick and shiny coffee shop floor.
I scoop up the latte he’s lovingly prepared for me, preparing for a long sip so I can approve of his amazing espresso-making skills and – the misplaced lid slides right off the cup to spill the fine latte across that gleaming floor.

And you know the first thing that crosses my mind?

Save the shoes! Who cares about the potential burn from that hot drink, save the shoes!!
Thankfully, my ninja-like reactions when it comes to all things shoe come into play, and as I quickly jump to the side before the spill can ruin my prized pair.

The café crew scrambles to clean up the mess, and I assure them that I’m just fine – as long as the shoes survive, my job is done.

The barista whips up another latte for me, and hands it over with his number scribbled onto the sleeve.
“Call me?” he asks as he hands over the latte – checking it twice to secure the lid.
“Maybe,” I reply coyly, flashing one final smile and sashay my way out of the coffee shop to show off my shoes one last time.
The shoes have done their job…and I have a new date to look forward to.


Steppin’ Out in my Blue Suede Shoes

I’m indescribably drawn to impractical shoes.

Leopard pumps, red patent leather flats, boots that match next to nothing. If a shoe begs the question “Is there even one thing in my closet that goes with this?” I’m more than likely to buy it in every color.

And that’s just what happened when I spotted a pair of Nine West blue suede pumps while browsing around the Copley shops over the weekend.
I know. Blue suede shoes sound about as cool as a white bedazzled Elvis jumpsuit. But these have a round toe, a four-inch cone-shaped heel, and a sapphire shade of blue that make them much more appropriate for strutting down city sidewalks than doing the jailhouse rock.

*ed. note: check out more colorful pumps in motion in the Shop til you drop Miami videos, Nine West pt 1 and Nine West pt 2.

And as hesitant as I am to admit this, I have to say that the lyrics to “Blue Suede Shoes” might just be my personal theme song. Case-in-point: “You can do anything you want to do honey, but lay off my shoes.” Maybe Elvis is eluding to something deeper than I’m interpreting, but I like to think he was just a total shoe fanatic.

So now that I have the shoes, here comes the real challenge: What do I wear with a cute little cobalt pump without looking like I’m trying to channel my inner blueberry?

Another shopping trip is definitely in order.


The L.A. Native’s Guide to Fashion: How to Feed Your Taste For Marc Jacobs on a DSW Budget

There’s a misconception in L.A. that when it comes to fashion, our version of “couture” includes a pink velour tracksuit and a small dog on our arm. After all, we’re far too busy getting our boobs done and our hair bleached to worry about Balenciaga’s fall ready-to-wear line—right? Wrong! Contrary to popular opinion, there are some of us who know how to dress, and know how to do it without going broke.

Take my friend Ruth for example. At 5’10 and 120 pounds, Ruth looks good in just about anything she puts on. We’ve been best friends for most of our lives, growing up together in a tiny beach community called Pacific Palisades. Ruth’s ashy blond hair and blue eyes are the epitome of California beauty. But underneath that Abercrombie exterior, she’s a true label whore.
This season, it’s all about the comeback of the flat heel. From Lanvin’s uber popular Ballerina flat, to Chloe’s new ankle strap Mary Jane, Ruth believes the major designers did her and all tall, heel loving girls a personal service when they eliminated their fear of appearing seven feet tall in their favorite shoes.

Ruth is the kind of girl who looks like she shops at Maxfield’s. In reality, she finds most of her designer wear at H&M, Loehman’s and DSW. Ruth is a pro at snaking designer stuff from trendy discount stores. For her it’s all about finding the ‘un-gettable’ get, at a very ‘gettable’ price.

My one claim to fame happens to be a pair of camel suede Marc Jacobs riding boots. I bought them for 75 percent off one unremarkable Tuesday afternoon. Although the mark down still cost me almost two hundred dollars, anyone who has ever shopped for boots knows that’s a steal. The way I found them was by pure chance. My friend Jeff lived conveniently across an alleyway from the Marc Jacobs store in West Hollywood. The quickest way to get to his apartment was to cut through the store. When Ruth heard about my purchase, she was convinced I had a nose for sniffing out a sale. She dragged me on a few of her fashion field trips, and soon I was learning to satisfy my taste for high fashion on a truly bargain budget.
Let me say, however, that shopping at these trendy discount stores is an acquired talent.

Not everyone has the stamina to outlast a discount shopper. This type of shopper takes no prisoners. They are willing to piece through every skirt, trouser and flip flop until they find what it is they’re looking for.

I admit, sometimes I’d rather pay full price for something I know I want, than sift through stacks of clothing hoping to hit the jackpot. I

f you’ve ever been to a Barney’s warehouse sale, you know what I’m talking about. Picture hundreds of people lined up at 6am, tiptoeing in place like speed-induced racehorses at the starting gate. Then, Bam! The gun sounds and they’re off, in a kind of anarchic stampede.

But if you are up to the challenge, there’s no doubt you can find incredible designer duds at these stores for a price you can cope with–even after the high of swiping your credit card wears off.


Bows on the Toes

Bows on the toes shoes. I have ALWAYS loved them. It must have stemmed from the time I saw those enticing ruby slippers on the feet of Kansas girl Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz.

They’re elegant. They’re feminine. They dress up a simple outfit and soften a business ensemble. They’re sexy, fun, flirty and it’s just too much fun to look down at your own feet and see bows on the toes.

At every opportunity, I’ve sought out these gems and bought them. I have owned bows on the toes shoes in most every color you can imagine, my personal favorite being a hot pink pair from Pappagallo purchased with money earned in my first full-time out of college job.

I had wanted that particular pair for a whole year, and never could swing what I considered the outrageous price, which in today’s dollars is what I’m paying at TJ Maxx, but I digress.

When I put those shoes on, the hot pinkness radiated throughout my very soul and made me feel like I was the most fashion forward young thing in all of Dallas, Texas.

Years later, on the day I gave them to the Junior League Rummage Sale, it was like losing a best friend. Those well-worn flats will always live in my memory. My husband at the time did not comprehend my feelings about those shoes, which I had worn on our honeymoon.

I still miss those hot pink bows. Him I divorced, and never give a second thought.

It’s just that way with bows on the toes shoes, which, btw, are way back in style and which are on my feet even as we speak, thanks to the fine folks at Kate Spade and their clearance sale.

Shoetube on Twitter

February 2008