Tag Archives: shoes

The Short Stack, February 21

Every Friday, I share  the pop culture, fashion, lit and random blips that crossed my radar during the week. Enjoy! Or don’t. Your choice.

Well, well, well, hipsters… look what mainstream culture has done to your precious  totem.

macys long sleve shirt with bikes on it

That’s right. It’s a knit top with bikes all over it, sold at Macy’s. Next month, they’re coming out with a penny farthing version for soccer moms to wear during the Susan G. Komen 3-Day this summer. I’m sure the men’s department is selling suspenders to wear with Calvin Klein boxer briefs.

I needed some shoes this week. In fact, I would categorize it as a bit of a shoe emergency. So I went to the one place I thought I’d be in greatest shoe saturation – Mall of America. However, I forgot to calculate in the retail industry’s capriciousness. Although the Midwest has been locked in sub-zero temperatures tempered only by days of snow storms, retailers have decided it’s time to move on. That’s right, time to stick your frozen feet into some open-toed booties or platform sandals with wool socks.

Even DSW, which has the word “warehouse” in its name, was stripped of most weather-appropriate shoes, devoting entire rows to glorified flip flops. One row was stripped bare, as if DSW had thrown up its hands in disgust. “We will stock nothing! We will sell air! You can have Fit Flops or nothing!”

Look, I know what you’re thinking. The stores are selling for spring break (what fashion snobs call “resort season.”) Spring break? Entire stores are making their inventory choices based on the fact that a few of us might go to Orlando for a couple of days? Meanwhile, if you need something to put on your feet while you go to your job, that thing that sort of helps fuel the economy… too bad?

But, like that wise character played by Morgan Freeman in that one movie says, “Get busy living or get busy dying,” so I took to the Internet. Hooray! Lots of closed-toed shoes there. But also a lot of shoe pathos. So much analysis and strangeness that I sat there and read reviews and never bought any shoes. Here’s a sample of what I found:

“I love these shoes, they are so comfortable and edgy.” [the shoes in question could be comfortable but were certainly far from edgy]

“They jingle like you’re wearing spurs.”

“This was the first pair of Pikolinos I ever purchased, and they came out of the box reeking of a minty smell. This was so bad that both of my cats got up and left the room! I held my breath to try them on. They are insanely comfortable, but the style (which I called “prairie” and my husband called “medieval”) just wasn’t me, so I sent them back.”

“If the price dropped, I would consider it again and definitely accept it as a gift.”

“Made in Spain…and you know, Europeans are used to wear better quality shoes than we do. So they produce much better shoes than Chinese or American brands.”

“Unless you have the thinnest, flattest feet around, do not order these shoes.”

So… could Yakky Doodle wear them?

yakky doodle

Lock-ins for middle aged women called Change Your Life Lock-ins. I haven’t worked out exactly what happens during the lock-in (starting on Friday night at 8 pm and ending on Saturday morning at 10 am with a pancake breakfast) but it has elements of a boot camp for wayward teens, The Crying Game, the Hunger Games, The Breakfast Club and that annual episode of Oprah where she gave away her favorite things to the audience.

Captain Phillips was stinky. I don’t get why it took the Navy Seals like five days to do anything. Plus, Tom Hanks has very, very strange man nipples that pretty much took over the final scene. Can they be nominated for Best Supporting Actor?

Sunset Boulevard is streaming on Netflix.

The Pajama Game is worth watching, by all accounts, and is next on my musical list. Cuz I have that list. In my purse. Just in case I’m out somewhere and hear about a hot musical.

Cutie and the Boxer is heartbreaking and uplifting in unexpected ways. Right now it has my vote for the Academy Award, although I’ve seen none of the other nominated docs. Somehow I’m never in the mood to watch The Act of Killing after a long day when I could be watching dudes wipe out at the end of their ski cross run at the Olympics.

The Group by Mary McCarthy. Excellent pessary drama!

The Hare with the Amber Eyes keeps coming up for me over and over again. Does that ever happen to you with a book? You keep seeing it, keep reading about it, keep hearing other people recommend until finally you say, “Fine! Give it here.” Also, related to that, the novel The Exiles Return.

Did you know it’s the 50th anniversary of Harriet the Spy? What the hell? How is that possible?? A special edition is being released on Tuesday, Feb. 25. So, you know, put that shit on your Amazon Wish List and all (to borrow an elegant phrase from Zappos: “I would consider it again and definitely accept it as a gift.”) Here’s a factoid about author Louise Fitzhugh:  she attended three different colleges but never obtained a degree. I’m not sure why that is so very special to me.

New York Magazine called my attention to the fact that “Disco Dresses” are a major theme for spring. Did someone say disco dresses?? Let me push my way to the front of the crowd. I’ve been waiting for disco dresses to have a renaissance since I was six and jealous of the slinky, one-armed sequin dresses my Barbie got to wear. Yes, Lanvin, Reem Acra, Gucci and  Versace are pumping out metallic, slinky goodness. But really, why pay thousands when you can get that shit for a few dollars at the thrift? Get down there right now and start snapping up the lamé. Has Macklemore taught us nothing?

A hot mess of disco dresses ready for spring
A hot mess of disco dresses from New York Magazine.

There’s a snow storm raging outside, there’s women’s long program figure skating on TV and it’s time to call it. But before I go, here’s an Olympic memory… Remember Surya Bonaly? Yeah, that back flip. Ah, the 90s.


The Evil of Comfort

The ubiquitous Croc shoe, made of plastic, a sure sign someone has given up on life.

“You’re abandoning a lot of ideas when you are too into comfort. ‘Comfy’ – that’s one of the worst words! I just picture a woman feeling bad, with a big bottle of alcohol, really puffy. It’s really depressing, but she likes her life because she has comfortable clogs.”

– Christian Louboutin, The New Yorker, March 28, 2011