Posts Tagged ‘katie rhames


Help! Will Date for Shoes!

Shopping for shoes is a lot like Speed Dating. The average shoe-lover can enter a store, size up the merchandise and select or eliminate what she wants in minutes—the same time it roughly takes her to form an opinion about a man.

I signed myself up for one of those “tried and true” dating sites once during a dry spell. I answered all the questions, got my profile set up and waited to see who the people behind the dating curtain paired me up with. I experienced a strange sense of both curiosity and loss of control. What if I had no matches?

Soon enough, my curiosity was satisfied. The computer sent me match after match. The problem was, every time I got the nerve to check out one of these potential sole mates, I was disheartened by the clear mismatch I felt at my end.
Then I realized, dating and shoe-shopping have one thing in common. They’d both be so much easier if our happiness depended on their exteriors. Sounds cliché, I know, but think about it—how many times have we girls had our eyes and hearts set on a shoe and when we finally have the money to buy it, we try it on and it either looks or feels all wrong?

The same can be said for dating. Most of the men I’ve gone out with have been “good on paper”—in other words, they looked good, they seemed normal, but underneath the swarthy charm and designer duds they were nothing more than giant duds themselves. Strike 1,2,3,4 etc.

That said, how many of us have a tried and true pair of inexpensive heels stowed away in the back of our closet that—even though we’ll never admit it—get more wear than the fancy Louboutins or Blahniks because, well, they’re just more comfortable?
For me, it’s a pair of black suede peep toe wedge heels by Kors. They’re tall, but the wedge allows me to wear them standing for long periods at a time. They’re beat up and the threading along the seams sometimes comes out and gets a bit tangled. But without fail, when I need a shoe that makes my legs look good and keeps my ankles from buckling (despite the questionable number of drinks I may pour down my gut) I know where to turn.

So guys and gals, go take a peep through your closets. Turn the light on, crane your necks, and look waaay in the back. You know where they are. Pull out those “old reliables” dust them off and give credit where credit is due! I guarantee you, you won’t be sorry!

P.S. Will get back to you on the dating front… I’m still figuring that one out!


An L.A. Native’s Guide to Summer ‘No-Nos’: No Heels at the Beach!

The first hot weekend in L.A.–And I’m talking about when it’s 85 degrees by 9 a.m., the air is stagnant and those who continue to excercise outside are just showoffs–usually sends the local masses migrating to the beach.
There are two distinct categories of “Summer Girls”: Those that wear flip flops,and those that wear high heels to the beach. Having grown up at the beach myself, I firmly believe that heels have no place near sand or slippery surfaces.
I hate to say it, because it sounds a bit snobby, but you can tell the flip-flop girls from the high heel girls from a mile away. The flip flop girls wear string bikinis and Reefs and let their hair air dry in the sun. The high-heel wearing girls wear the designer stuff that look amazing on the pages of Vogue but, sadly, odd and potentially deadly on the sand.

When I lived in Manhattan Beach, my new roomie startled me one afternoon by emerging from her room wearing a white one-piece suit with diamond shaped pieces cut from both her sides, and two giant pieces cut out from each side of her rear. She paired this with a smattering of gold bangles, some giant Bono-sized sunglasses and sky-high Christian Louboutin wedge heels. Wow. I normally bow down to the girl who owns anything by Christian Louboutin, but that day, as we walked side by side down to watch the professional volleyball players sweat and flex their muscles, she in her ass-chapping white get-up and I in my faded cotton triangle top and cut off shorts, I have to say I felt a little bit like the odd couple. Where were we? Vegas?

At any rate, the poor thing tripped and leaped forward several times trying to balance those Louboutin wedges in the hot sand. Oh, did I mention she also had one of those gigantic fold-up beach chairs strapped to her back? She looked like a stripper on a camping trip. I traipsed after her from a safe distance. She finally got the hint that she wasn’t going to be able to walk in her shoes and, untying them, slipped them off. This was also a bad decision, because no sooner had she done this then the pink skin of her feet met with the blistering heat of the sand. Still wearing the fold-up chair, she began gyrating back and forth, doing what athletes and trainers like to call “High Knees”, trying her best to stay calm but looking like she was having an epileptic fit. Of course I jumped to attention and gave her my towel to stand on and that was the pinnacle of our day at the beach. We decided to set up camp right there and avoid any more unwanted attention.
My point with all of this is that this summer when you go to the beach, or the pool or wherever you go to stay cool,of course you must preserve all that is your individual sense of style. But take it from me when I say, there really is something to that saying, “When in Rome..”


Knockoffs vs. The Real Thing: Does it Matter?

My friend Jill can’t understand my shoe budget. When I debuted my new Lanvin ballerina flats one weekend at the movies, she launched a full scale offensive about my frivolous spending habits, making sure to point out that the shoes she was wearing (which had heels, mind you) had come from The Gap and had been purchased for a mere $29.95.
It got me thinking. Was I a fool for spending $480 on a beautiful pair of flats when I could have bought a similar pair for hundreds less at The Gap? I sat there in the theater, Jill crunching popcorn in the seat next to me, enduring those ridiculous commercials they play now before the movie starts, and stared down at my beautiful satin shoes, almost willing them to reassure me: “Don’t worry Katie! We’re worth the money! She doesn’t know what she’s talking about–we’re Lanvin!”

A week later I was at the Beverly Center in L.A., shopping with my best friend, Teo, when we found ourselves within credit-card charging distance of the shoe department at Bloomingdales. A little shoe birdie had alerted me that the new gold gladiator sandal by Giuseppe Zanotti was blinking away, just feet from where we stood. Teo saw my eyes fixate on the shoe display and said, “Come on, let’s go to DSW, they have all of those shoes and they look just as cute, they’re just not as expensive.”

The needle on my little mental record player screeched to a stop. I looked at Teo. Was she serious? “Come on, give it a try, we can always come back,” she said. Oh boy, she was on a roll. Maybe she saw the doubt in my eyes, maybe it was Jill’s lecture the week before… “Ok,” I said, and allowed myself to be led away from the light, towards the mean, nasty shoe discount store, that I’m sure had to be somewhere in the bowels of the Beverly Center.
When we got there, I perused the aisles of discount shoes. I could have been suffering from Stockholm Syndrome, but I did see some cute possibilities. Teo convinced me to buy a pair of gladiator sandals by a designer I’d never heard of. This is what I’ll say about them: They had the look of the Giuseppe Zanotti sandals, I wouldn’t say they were as cute, but they were a very affordable $39.95.
Skip to two weeks later. I’m totally depressed, the DSW sandals I bought broke the third day I wore them. So much for $39.95. If I multiplied that price by the money I’d have to spend replacing those shoes after 3 wears, would I get the price equivalent of my original Giuseppe Zanotti sandals? Who knows?
After a bit of a think on the subject, I came up with this: Perhaps $480.00 is a lot of dough to spend on a pair of flats, but if you work hard for your money and spending it on shoes makes you happy, why not go for it?
It’s like that Sex and the City episode where Samantha and Carrie drive to “The Valley” to get their hands on a cheap knockoff designer bag. It’s a good idea in theory, and it may fool your friends, but in the end, won’t you still be one that knows you bought a fake? I’d rather invest in something that is the real deal, because let’s face it, people around you may not know your shoes or your bag is a knockoff….but you will, and where’s the thrill in that?


The L.A. Native’s ‘Must Have’ For Spring: The Havaiana Sandal

I know it’s not quite spring yet….but the warm weather we’ve been having in L.A. is making me giddy and delirious with


There’s a simple beauty about Los Angeles in the spring. The city’s still coming out of the rainy season, so the air is crisp and clean. The sunshine is warm, not hot. The roses start to come back, green and leafy with new life. A passing breeze blows the scent of jasmine through your window. I love stepping outside and feeling the hot pavement under my bare feet.

I know this is about as far as I can go before the rest of the country (currently still enduring freezing temps) blasts me for being… just plain mean.

So before you leave this little blog, let me tell you why I’m so excited. Maybe it’s all the vitamin D, but I’ve discovered an amazing spring ‘Must Have’ that I have to share with you now, even if you still have to wait a few more months to wear them. Let me introduce the Havaiana sandal.

The Havaiana is not a new shoe. It’s been around for a couple years. At first glance it looks like your average rubber flip flop. But don’t be fooled! It’s the most comfortable sandal I’ve ever worn. And, they have a cool web site in English, Spanish, and Portugese, too, for all you Brazilian beach girls out there.

Here’s what caught this Californian’s attention.

Growing up in Pacific Palisades, I am what you might call, a beach girl. And in the Palisades and, I think it’s safe to say, across Southern California, beach girls have always worn Reefs. The Reef sandal is part of a brilliantly bohemian ensemble called “surfer chic.” The sole is black rubber, and the thong is made of multi-colored braided cloth; paired with right string bikini, the combo is unstoppable. I’ve never strayed from this fashion belief–until now.

Yesterday I decided to get out of my house and walk–yes people–walk up town. Is that bad? Is it an L.A. thing? Anyway, can I just ask the question: what is it about warm weather that boosts the serotonin levels in our brains and makes us want to shop? And even more astonishing — exercise??

Larchmont Boulevard in L.A. is an amazing three blocks of boutiques, coffee shops and restaurants. Now, I don’ t know if it was my freshly pedicured toes (Essie’s Pink Ribbon), the warm weather, or a random need to buy a pair of flip flops, but when i popped into my favorite boutique and spotted the Havaianas in the corner, my heart did a little flip-flop of its own.

Like a crazed person I searched through the bin, picked out a pair of black ones, (size 9) and bought them without even trying them on. When I got home, I kicked off my old Reefs, threw them into the closet where they couldn’t see, and slipped on my new Havaiana.



Seriously folks, allow my insanely good mood to influence you here for a moment. Despite being comfortable and easy to walk in, these shoes are the first pair of rubber thongs I have ever owned that did not give my feet the usual break-in blisters.

Personally, I prefer the solid colors, and there is literally a rainbow of them to choose from.

But for those of you who love a little ‘bling’, they also make sparkly, jeweled ones!

I’m telling you, I’m in love. I’m having an affair with my Havaianas and I just don’t have the heart to tell my Reefs.

So there’s my tale. I’ll still keep my Reefs around. After all, classic shoes never go out of style. We’ll always be friends.

But for the time being I’m subscribing to the Haviana fan club– and as we head into the summer season, I highly suggest you do too!


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.


The L.A. Native’s Guide to What NOT to wear: skinny jeans and ankle boots

Last season saw the triumphant comeback of the skinny jean and its trusty sidekick–the round toed ankle bootie. Yet another fashion disaster.

I’m just bitter because I’m a victim myself.

Two decades after Aqua Net, rubber neon bracelets and belted t-shirts, these delightful pieces began multiplying like gremlins, escaping the trashy vintage stores on Melrose and off the bodies of those still sporting mullets on Hollywood Boulevard. Suddenly, Barneys, Saks, Neimans–you name it, they all had ’em–skinny jeans and ankle booties.

And even more annoying, you now had to pay the same high price for half the shoe and let’s face it–half the jean.

Let’s forget for a moment that these things were horrid the first time around, that they look good on probably one percent of the population and so pose bleak potential for actually making a profit, and focus instead on the way they infiltrated the system.

Blame the celebrities! Gwyneth Paltrow loves her Balenciaga booties, Lindsay, Kate Moss and Sienna Miller wear theirs with leggings. How is the general population supposed to avoid falling into this marketing trap when its favorite fashion pin-ups are the first ones flinging themselves down the rabbit hole?

When ankle boots and the tapered jean first appeared in W Magazine as “the new trend”, I thought the editors were off their rockers.

In L.A. the only people who dressed like that were the sad souls still wearing their Motley Crue t-shirts and stalking the Sunset Strip.

It’s funny how you tend to forget that once Barneys starts advertising Chloe’s new ankle bootie in the window facing Rodeo Drive. I didn’t even realize I’d succumbed to the campaign.

All I knew was that I had to have the same pair of Chloe ankle booties–in black–that I’d seen Gwyneth wearing (with skinny jeans) on a street in London. Who cared if they made my legs look like tree stumps, or if the skinny jeans I’d squeezed myself into gave me “cankles”? It’s funny what an intelligent girl will do for fashion.

But soon I found the oh-so-trendy bootie really only worked with ONE look–the skinny jean.

And I also, just as quickly discovered that, to model this dynamic duo, I had to stay SKINNY–which is, of course, was why Kate Moss, Sienna Miller and Gwyneth were the celebrities wearing them.

After the holidays, trying to stretch those skinny jeans over my calves was a project I just didn’t want to undertake. And, since I always wore my booties with the jeans, before long, both were collecting dust in the back of my closet.

And so, as we now head into a new season advertising the opposite extreme–wide leg trousers–I give you my cautionary tale.

While I’m not sure if eliminating the female figure entirely with a shapeless denim pant is the answer to the skinny jean, we at least now have another option to pair with our ankle booties. Because, after all, when you pay $500 bucks for a pair of shoes, you want to wear those suckers down! At least I do.

Besides, in my new wide legged jeans, no one can actually see my cankles! They just see the fabulous shoe. And that’s cause for celebration right there.

Shoetube on Twitter

June 2020