Wednesday, July 14, 2010

The Heels are Alive...

One of the reasons why I thought of starting this blog was after seeing so many women having this issue: badly walking in heels. After countless times seeing a woman walk in front of me with her ankles twisting, I feel like I have to say something about the topic of heels.

Height of the Heel
Heel height is often debated. Is there really a limit? Well, for work, maybe. Generally speaking, a shoe that has a heel of more than 3” will have a tendency to draw weird looks from other women. Is that really an issue? Well, that all depends on how you want to portray yourself at work. In my opinion, 3” is pretty much the max that one should go with for work.

Walking in Heels
Next thing of importance, again in my opinion, is whether you can walk in those heels or not. Not everyone can walk in high heels. It’s no big deal. You really don’t have to. But if you do wear them, make sure that they are not hurting your ankles. Seriously, seeing the wobbly ankles twisting with each step makes me cringe. And consider trying them out while at home and walking in them for a bit if they are on the wobbly side so that you can hopefully get used to them and lessen the wobbliness.

If you aspire to wear higher heels but feel that you can’t, there’s hope, by the way. It’s really a habit to get into. You could buy a coveted pair of heels and wear them at home and get in the hang of walking in them. Or you can purchase increasingly higher heels.

One thing to keep in mind: we all generally still walk heel-toe in our heels because that’s how we walk in flats. However, if your step is wobbly in doing that or if you are encountering uneven grounds, consider switching to walking toe-heel instead. This will give you more surface on which you are putting weight, especially if the heel is rather thin.

Thickness of the Heel
Speaking of the thinness of the heel… One thing that thoroughly helps is having a chunkier heel, the higher it is. For example, a kitten heel for something 1” or lower versus a thicker heel for something that is right around 3”. Another example is the pair of sandals that I just bought (depicted just above). The heel is a total of 3” and with a 0.5” platform so that means that the raise of my foot is about 2.5”. The heel is chunky enough that I can walk in them without any wobbliness in my feet.

Shopping tips
Here are a few shopping tips to keep in mind:
  • Since our feet generally swell during the day, shopping for shoes after 4 pm is a great idea! Your feet will have swollen to some extent and if the shoe fits well, it will pretty much any time. Or if you move your shoe shopping towards the end of your shopping time, that will work too.When we’re at work, we often carry stuff with us while walking.

  • Depending on your job and your job situation, you will carry more or less weight with you. (For example, most people nowadays where I work have to carry their laptops with them everywhere; they generally do that with a rolling bag.) So do try carrying weight while trying on shoes. Most women’s purses will be heavy enough for this but you may want to add more weight by carrying an extra bag or two. You may notice that this will change the way that you walk with the shoes… so make sure that they’re still comfortable even with the added weight.

  • Walk enough when trying on the shoes. Don’t take just one or two steps to see the look in the mirror. Walk a bit more. The clerk won’t mind. Pay close attention to where there might be some unwanted rubbing on your feet. For example, my feet are extremely sensitive and, with sandals specifically, I have to pay extra attention to where the skin might get pinched or if there are cutesy decorations around the toe area as they might rub on the skin of my toes.

Comfy yet Stylish
There are a number of shoe resources that now provide very comfortable yet very stylish shoes. Generally, these are companies that, previously, you wouldn’t want to try on until you were well into your 50s. They seem to have finally figured out that, if they provide the same comfort yet in nicer looking shoes, they will get more profits… or something… Here are my favorites:

  • Indigo by Clarks: They are very trendy yet extremely comfortable. The leather is generally higher quality and the design is well thought out.

  • Artisan line by Clarks: Not as trendy as the Indigo line but still stylish. They generally are VERY corporate-friendly and are also made out of higher quality leather.

  • Aerosoles: The leather is not as high quality as the Clarks shoes but they are somewhat more affordable. (Clarks shoes are about 100$ whereas Aerosoles are between 50-80$.)

  • Sofft: Very trendy and European-looking. Well, the company is European so no surprise. They are not exactly as comfortable as the Clarks or Aerosoles ones but they’re trendier.

  • Fluevog: Those are really unique-looking shoes… and artisan-made… and very expensive (200-300$). But they are extremely comfortable. Because of the unique look, it may not work for everyone in the corporate world but if you pair them with classic pieces, these could be your fashionista accent.

Less is More
Reading the price ranges, you may be thinking that it’s too much for shoes. To my husband’s greatest pleasure, I found that, if I purchase extremely comfortable shoes, I tend to buy less shoes overall. After all, if I don’t need to change shoes every day due to comfort issues, then I need slightly less shoes options. (I did say slightly… that’s the operating word… the one that my husband doesn’t like so much.) Seriously, though, we are using our feet so much that we need to be kind to them. It starts with comfortable shoes… and they don’t have to be boring! You just may need to be more choosy about what you purchase!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Welcome! - And Tim Gunn Advice


A number of assorted reasons (that shall be addressed in future blog posts) led me to create this blog. If you know me, you know that I work for a corporation and, as the title implies, I'll be sharing my thoughts on style for the corporate world. Now, don't get me wrong: I don't think in any way that I'm the end all be all of corporate style... but I do have some thoughts on the subject. ;) So, welcome everyone, and I hope that my tips and tricks will be helpful!


Another aspect of the title is also a nod to Tim Gunn. I really loooooooooove the guy. For about two seasons, he had his own show on Bravo (not sure how many people knew about this) and I thought that it was fabulous. It was a mix of What Not To Wear (WNTW) but nicer. What Not To Wear has *some* valuable input but, in the end, everyone ends up looking like a suburban mom... whereas Tim Gunn was all about keeping the person's personal style relatively intact... just modernized. As part of the show, they also would take a picture of the person getting the makeover and then they had this software that enabled Tim to show different clothing option on that person's very body and he could also draw to show where lines were supposed to hit. It was very enlightening.

Another thing that they did differently than WNTW was that, instead of making people get rid of the whole wardrobe, he made the lady go through the closet and make 3 piles: keep, mend/tailor, and throw. He would provide advice and guidance (and so would whoever was his co-hostess for that season) but, ultimately, the decision was up to the person. I thought that it was a nice touch.

You can find episodes from that series on Hulu and on .

I recently got a new job within my company (back in March) and went through my closet and analyzed what I wanted to keep, mend/tailor, and throw. That was highly enlightening. There were items that I had kept in there for assorted reasons and, really, it was time to part ways. I strongly encourage you to do this from time to time... once a year is a good idea.

One rule that I also add to the closet cleaning is: if I haven't worn the item for 2 years, it's time to part ways. Now, if the item is too hard to part with, there is the possibility of a 'probation' period... where I tell myself that, if I wear the item within the next 6-12 months, I can keep it... if not, we will part ways at the next closet cleaning.

Another Tim Gunn advice is to read his book titled A Guide to Quality, Taste and Style. It has lots of great advice... and if you're a Tim Gunn fan, he talks about his early years at Parson's and other tidbits of Tim Gunn history. It's very much written in a way that you could hear him talk like that. Many libraries have the book if you don't want to invest in it. There's a list of 10 items that he feels every woman should have in her wardrobe. It's good advice there... his point with the list of items is that, if you have those, then you can pretty much go wherever the occasion calls for. You can find the list at this link if you don't want to look up the book:

Also as part of the Guide to Style series, the first co-hostess, had some advice on the site... and there's one in particular that I heed now. It is very simple and basic and we all should have that in the back of our heads but we sometimes forget: have a plan BEFORE you go shopping. Her point was that, if you don't have a plan, then you'll end up spending your money on stuff that you don't need so, unless you have money to burn (who does, really?), have a list of items that you need to purchase. And she did advise so have a list... because, as we all know, if you go shopping with the sole intent of finding pants, you won't find any you like but you'll fall madly in love with a dress that you really don't need... so if you know that you need like pants, a shirt, and/or a dress that should have about XX specs, then it will make your shopping easier... 'cause you'll steer away from the frou frou dresses. ;)