Monday, May 30, 2011

'dem jes stoo-pid...

My daughters most loved shoes.
As you may know, I like to people watch.
I’m a people watcher from way back. Some of the things I see amuse me. Others stun me. Some have even disgusted me. But I enjoy every bit of it.

It’s my nature to see details. I work in an industry that requires me to see details that maybe someone else does not. Some details I find in said sport of people watching is almost painful to behold. But I hold my tongue and hope that someone, somewhere might share with these poor souls that they appear the fool.

I’ve always found fashion to be a quirky thing. My own personal style leans to the far right classic, with a twist of dishevelment. My casual wardrobe consists of distressed jeans and exposed seams. I like buying new clothes that look as though they have been in my closet for my lifetime. It’s comfortable for me. Like a favorite pair of worn in blue jeans.

I had a pair of splotted cargo pants. Uber comfy to the nth degree, I loved these things. Each time I wore them someone would say, “Have you been painting?” I’d look down at my pants and think ‘Ummm, no. I bought them like this.’ Actually, had I been painting they wouldn’t look like that. I’m a very neat painter and have never gotten paint on myself…ever. Really.

If I’m dressing up? I usually don a blazer. I’ve got many.22 black ones to be exact with a few white, tans and grays thrown in. But I’ve been breaking the norm lately and buying some things that are a bit outside my comfort zone. And I have to admit, it’s been a bit fun to experiment.

I wore spring green silk basketweave blazer the other day. I felt a little uncomfortable at first wearing so much color…for me.
Nancy?” one of my co-workers asked, “Is that you? Isn’t that….color?”

“Why yes. Yes, it is.”

“It looks…GREAT!”

And I felt pretty good in it too. Of course, I paired it with a basic white T and my distressed jeans, but hey…baby steps people. Baby steps.

But some fashion is just that. Fashion.
It’s meant for runways, and shows, and theatrics. Not for people to put into their everyday wardrobe. And yet, I see it. Everywhere.

The worst of the offenses are usually with shoes. I have a few rules about fashion and function when it comes to shoes. My first rule of thumb: If you can’t walk in them or look stupid walking in them…don’t buy them.

How many times I’ve seen someone who is clomping about in shoes that obviously hurt, or worse, she just can’t walk in them. Why? 5” heels (or more) should really be left to Lady Gaga. She’s got handlers (sic: The View when she wore 14” platform shoes with two guys helping her to the couch.) that will get her from point A to point B.

Secondly: Wear appropriate shoes. Nothing is more painful (or humorous) than seeing someone at Cedar Point for the day with high heel thong sandals. Hello? Miles and miles of concrete? Yeah, those are shoes that should be reserved for summer weddings and back yard barbeques. Or the gal I saw this winter trying to navigate an icy sidewalk in a pair of open toe high heel booties. And they were just going IN the Pub. If she failed rule #1, she was obviously going to miserably fail #3 (see below). Her boyfriend was trying to help her, but as I watched I silently was willing her to fall. That might teach her a lesson. It’s Cleveland! It’s winter! Why do you have on those open toed high heel shoes? Can’t you see there is a foot of snow on the ground? Silly, silly, silly.

And my last rule and maybe the most important one: If you can’t walk in them sober, what’s going to happen when you’ve had two martinis?

Nuff said with that.

Today it was an absolutely beautiful day. After soooooo much rain, everyone was out to enjoy the reprieve of precipitation and see what that glowing ball of light in the sky was. I rode my bike down to the park to sit and well…people watch. I was amazed at how many girls there were out trying to walk around in these horrendous shoes. Just because they are in the Victoria’s Secret catalog does not make them sexy. Many are…well, just fugly. Ummm…park? Perhaps some flip-flops or sandals or tennies? NOT uber high platforms.

I saw one girl actually take a spill in the soft turf due to balance issues. Even better, her boyfriend reprimanded her for her shoe choice. “Why you got ‘dose tangs on?” he said as he was trying to help her up.” I hate ‘dose damn tangs. You can’t walk in ‘em and dey look stoo-ped.”

Well said, my friend. Well said.

I DO own a few pair of wedges myself. Not the sky high ones, but I actually prefer them to regular heels because normally they are more manageable to maneuver in and still wear heels. I like them. They make me feel kindof…sexy. But of course, they have to pass all three of my rules before ever wearing them out in public.

Years ago I remember I talked my mother into buying me a pair of wedge heels. Straight from Sears Robuck catalog, these were the hottest thing going. My best friend Kic had her mom buy her a pair too. We both thought we were very, very cool. We were in 7th grade with these 5” cork heel wedge platforms. We towered over everyone at school. We were amazons. Supermodels. Unstopable. Until Kic fell.

She broke her ankle and ended up in a cast for the remainder of the summer.
I put my shoes away and never wore them again. As I peruse the aisles at DSW I chuckle to myself as I see many variations of the same shoes that I had way back then. I wish I still had those, I could sell them on ebay as vintage. But anytime I am tempted to buy anyting similar, I think back to that full leg cast of Kic’s and I steer in another direction.

There was a blurp I read on Yahoo the other day where a staffer had her boyfriend dress her, head to toe, accessories and all for an entire week. She then posted the photos and gave her input to the choices he made. This was a dare after she stood in front of her closet and deemed that there was nothing to wear. He didn’t do too badly, but overall it was apparent that he didn’t care about accessories. Particularly the shoes. He even commented that he didn’t understand all the nuances between the shoes. She asked him, “But don’t you like these better? Don’t they make me look more attractive?” His answer? No.

Oh sure, there are some men that do appreciate fashion. But most of the over-the-top stuff does not impress the guys. If it looks too unnatural, it’s not a turn on. I have a friend who shared with me a story about a girl he picked up one night while out. He thought she was quite a knock-out. More fashionable than his usual tastes, but he liked her appearance. He asked for her number. She gave it to him. They spent the rest of the night canoodlaling. She invited him in when he drove her home. He went in. And found out that she had on fake nails, fake eyelashes, gel inserts for her bra and she was wearing a wig.

He didn’t call her again. He said he was too confused.  

Just the other day I had a discussion about fashion with a guy I've been seeing. I confessed to him how undecided I was when choosing what to wear for our first meeting. I thought, should I wear a dress? No, too formal. A skirt? It’s a warm day, shorts? No, too much leg. Don't want to give off the wrong impression in case I don't like him. Ugh. Decisions! Decisions! Everyone (magazines) says that for a first date you should wear a dress. But I’m not that comfortable in dresses. I have a few, but I’m more the trouser type. I changed clothes 8 times before making my final decision. And after all that, I wore the first outfit I had chosen.

I ended up with my favorite jeans, white linen shirt and flats. Simple sterling cuff and earrings and I was ready. I figured…this is who I am. If he likes dresses with ruffles and frills, well…that just ain’t me.

I’ve always had my own sense of style. I know what I like, what works for me and what I’m comfortable in. Being comfortable = confidence. And people are drawn to those with confidence. And no, that doesn’t give you the go ahead to show up to a first date in your sweat pants. Unless, of course, your first date is conprised of yard work. And that doesn't sound like a date at all.

He told me about some of his past 'firsts' that never made it to a 'second' because he just couldn’t get beyond that they had on too much perfume, wore too much make-up, had too much jewelry on or just looked downright uncomfortable in their chosen ensemble. Do you know what the number one turn-off for him? Women who played with their hair.

Which is funny, because the very same magazine that says you should wear a colorful dress for a first date is the same one that says playing with your hair silently tells a man that you are interested in him.

So we’ll add another rule to my list of do’s and don’ts.
Don’t pay attention to the magazines.
Pay attention to yourself.

So, did I pass his test?
Let’s just say it went well. Very well.

He likes the way I dress.
He likes my sense of style.
He likes that I’m open.
He likes…me. Just the way I am.

Cool. Which is just the way it should be. It's nice to feel appreciated for just being me.
Oh. And as a bonus, he hates all those shoes too.


  1. Of the four things you say he liked, I would say you hit the jackpot!!! Yay for you!!!

    Guess what my taste in shoes happens to be??? ;o)


  2. A fabulous post. My housemate and I differ drastically in our approach to shoes. She believes that the more dramatic the better.

    I work on the theory that they'll only grace my wardrobe if I can walk and drive in them. I don't understand why you would need shoes just for driving in. You could end up having about four pairs of shoes per day.

    On a different note, it sounds like you and he are off to a good start. Hope that continues.

  3. Dress comfortably and be yourself--perfect advice in my book! Sounds like you two had a good start. I, also, hope things continue to go well. Have fun people watching! :):)

  4. @ Red Shoes - Hmmm....let me think. Blue? :-)
    I'm not sure about hitting the 'jackpot', but it's nice just to hang out and be APPRECIATED. We'll see. No pressure. I'm ust enjoying life.

    @ light208 - Hey, thanks for your comment! I too had a roomate with such a drasticly different style than me. Upside? They won't borrow your stuff. :-)

    @ Rita - My thought, it's never out of style to be yourself! Thanks my friend for stopping by! (and for your well wishes....) As I said to Red-I'm just having fun. I'm not going to settle, and I don't NEED a guy around. But gathering compliments is now my favorite past time sport.


  5. Excauuuuuuuuuuuuuuuse moi!! A mere 28 paragraphs, 116 lines or 1277 words and we hear "a guy I've been seeing"
    That just fell swoooped all the shoes off the page and almost gave my eyes whiplash!
    Details please...who how when where???!!!!

  6. As a guy I like simple. It's enuff to know if you look great in casual attire that you would be fabulous dolled up.

  7. I agree that being comfortable=confidence. It doesn't matter if you are wearing a dress, or faded jeans, if you are uncomfortable, you won't look good. And if you are, you'll look good in just about anything.

    I'm looking forward to hearing more about this guy- I hope it continues to go well! :)

  8. I love me some Cons. And a woman that wears Cons.

    Good luck with the guy.

  9. I could tell by your writing that you are a classy lady. Seriously. I could have all the money in the world and STILL not have any idea how to dress. I'd have to PAY someone to tell me. Yeah. But YOU, my friend, exude class. Glad things are going your way with the new beau!

  10. It always comes down to just being yoursself doesn't it?

    GREAT post. I'm still smiling.

  11. Always be yourslef and own it! Thoughts to live by! And we at TCBOTB just wanted to let you know that we hvae some reaaly cute backgrounds that we think you might like, check them out and let us know what you think! :)

    The cutest blog on the block

  12. Always be yourslef and own it! Thoughts to live by! And we at TCBOTB just wanted to let you know that we hvae some reaaly cute backgrounds that we think you might like, check them out and let us know what you think! :)

    The cutest blog on the block

  13. Congrats on a successful date! Be yourself, because it's what you have the most practice doing.

    I remember when Japanese girls started wearing platform heels a few years ago, causing a spate of ER visits with broken ankles and legs. But they won't stop wearing them. Sigh.

  14. I am having issues with comments but don't know why. I had written something else but to summarize.

    I love color and colorful heels! Not in inappropriate weather or places but I do love my heels. Be you, magazines are full of bs.

  15. Lots of wisdom and truth here, as usual! Glad the date went so well you had to use italics! What a good sign... Yes, being yourself is the way to go. Cheers!

  16. I'm so glad I'm a guy. You women put a lot of work into maintaining yourselves. Shaving your legs. Makeup. The shoes. Jewelry. All of that stuff just sounds like way too much work to me.

    Congrats on the successful first date! Hope there are many more to follow.

  17. Speaking as a guy - there is a LOT of sex appeal in a plain white blouse.

    :) And wearing "idiot shoes" should only attract idiots (in a perfect world).

  18. Down with sky high shoes! I love your fashion sense... maybe because it's similar to mine. Give me well worn jeans and either a turtleneck in winter or a scoop neck tee in summer and I'm a happy camper.

  19. Liking you "just the way you are" is the best compliment. Ever.

    Yeah you!

  20. I'm most comfy in jeans!
    Sounds like you have a great guy there!

  21. Hey Nancy! I'm one of the fellas who DOES pay attention to choices, but amen to the sane footwear choices. Never fails to tickle me to see a woman walking backwards down a slope because she can't do it front ways because of her shoes. That's not to say I don't like the shoes, just that there's smarter (and funner) places to wear them. Indigo x

  22. And yes, congrats on finding a decent fella! I'm still trying to find a lady over here to wants one!

  23. Sounds like you're off to a great start! Nothing better than being able to be yourself and appreciated for it!

  24. Your first date outfit sounds just like something I would wear. When I was a teenager I have a kind of punk thing going, but now that I'm a mom I would say my style is classic with a touch of bohemian in the accessories. I read that women of a certain age should stop wearing black because it ages them, and we should begin introducing colour into our wardrobes. If I look in my closet, it's mainly navy blue, black and white. I've begun to wear colourful t-shirts, though. As you say, 'baby steps'. I enjoyed this reality chick fashion post, and all the anecdotes about silly fashion mis-steps. (pun intended)
    I can't get over what some of the high school girls here wear!

  25. less is more, definitively! and being honest is the best accesory. I have to admit: I do love shoes and purses....funny you mentioned Gaga - I just posted about her!! she is everywhere! I am happy your date went fantastic - way to go!!
    OJ Gonzalez from Casta Zero (it is not letting me post but as anonymous)

  26. I agree with possum! More details about "guy I've been seeing" , please.

    No matter what you wear, if the guy can't see beyond the clothes to who you are, then it is his loss. That said, I'm glad the first date went very well. : )

  27. I've been maintaining for a long time now that fashion is a conspiracy to make people (well, women) look as ridiculous as possible. Thank heavens men still seem to have some common sense left when it comes to clothing!

    On a different note, I'm keeping my fingers crossed for the man who likes you just the way you are! :o)

  28. You're the answers to my prayers. Thanks for providing this blog for all of us.

  29. *sits here all alone and wonders where the fabulous blog writer has gone....*

  30. I didn't know that watching people can be enjoying! I gotta go and try it for myself!

  31. 'He didn't call her again He said he was too confused' that line, and oh so true

  32. Simple man outside is a simple man inside. Simplicity is the key!


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