Thursday, October 25, 2007

REI is not the place to build your work wardrobe.


Dear Seattle-ite,

North Face doesn't really go with your weird, cheap unlined work trousers and your chunky-heeled shoes. I know you want to stay warm on this windy fall day as you go to your job as a file clerk at your law firm, but your zip-up fleece jacket is not the answer.

Your answer is a smart pea coat, or maybe a belted wool car coat. These options can be had for under $150 virtually anywhere, and you will have them for years.

Also, while we are on it, you walk funny and the heels on the outsides of your dated chunky shoes are wearing down. Now, if you want to look dated, that's fine, but can you please try to look polished? Take your shoes to a cobbler and have them repaired. Take care of them. You look like a mess and your shoes say so much about you. Don't you remember what style maven Hannibal Lecter told Clarice Starling/Jodie Foster years ago? "You know what you look like to me, with your good bag and your cheap shoes? You look like a rube." Exactly! Coco Chanel couldn't have said it any better. So take a tip from the cannibal and make sure your shoes are as good as your handbag.



Maybe we need to talk more about shoes since we do live in rainy Seattle. I know it's hard to get your shoe game plan together because there are so many things to consider: rain, hills, walk-ability.... it's a jungle out there. I know. But still, clunky shoes are NOT the answer. A large handbag is. Here's the deal... there are heels and there are flats. There should be nothing in between. That weird moderate loafer you have from 6 years ago? Stop it. You need a chic flat to get around in (that is, if you are totally opposed to learning how to rock heels like a real woman). So buy a pair you love, get a nice little felt shoe bag, and keep them in your purse. You can then presto-chango to and from work.

In your bag should be the workhorse heels - something you love - so spend a little money on them, dammit. These don't have to be sky high, but at least 2 3/4 inches. Remember when you were little and you wanted to be a glamorous woman and wear heels when you were all grown up? Pssst. That time is now. Take off the fleece, put on the heels, pull yourself together.

Looking like a lady is one of the great pleasures in a woman's life. Enjoy it.

28 comments:

Forever Chic said...

Oh God. At my office, we get women who drive less than a mile to work because they don't understand they can swap walking shoes with work shoes. I want to shoot them.

I also see a lot of women here in SD stumbling around in sky-high heels they can't seem to walk in. The shoes might be beautiful, but if they make you walk like a drunk baby giraffe (and risk breaking your ankle), then maybe you should try a pair that agrees with you a little more. :)

Sara said...

Amen, sister. Same thing goes for you ladies in Chicago. You know who you are.

decorno.blogspot.com said...

OMG, "Drunk Baby Giraffe" is my next fake band name. Love it.

Iheartfashion said...

Amen! I hate seeing women in fleece over business attire. It's almost as offensive as the white Reeboks-over-black-stockings-and-business suit commuter look.

Anonymous said...

OK, was Dr. Lechter gay? Because I have never known a straight man to use the phrase "cheap shoes."

This is one reason "Silence of the Lambs" made me snicker all the way through: Anthony Hopkins' delivery reminded me of Paul Lynde on "Hollywood Squares."

Anonymous said...

LOVE IT!!!! Damn, you nailed it. Pssst, we have those types here in the Bay Area as well.

JJ said...

I just spied a lady in my law firm accounting office in black stockings and black Crocs. sigh.

Anonymous said...

I know it's not a popular opinion, but I don't think Hopkins is a great actor. His Lechter didn't scare me a bit. If his career had been contemporaneous with the far superior Rex Harrison's and Richard Burton's, people would have a better sense of Hopkins' limitations.

(And PS: Getting back to Hannibal--What straight man can tell a "good bag" from a bad one?)

Suzy said...

Yes, sara said it for me already. Amen sister.

Pieter said...

BTW. This straight man can tell the difference between a "good" bag and a "bad" one. My mother sat me down when I was about six and taught me the finer details of wardrobe coordination. I knew how to match my shoes to the rest of my outfit before I knew where babies came from.

I'm not making this shit up - for real!

fashiongirl said...

Decorno - Could you please come to Northern California and do an intervention on flip flops at work? I'm not kidding when I tell you that Cali's rock the havaianas year round. Ugh!

p.s. Those Louboutins are drool worthy, but for a less pricey alternative try Lela Rose for Payless.

Haydee said...

What about platform flip-flops? What is that?

decorno.blogspot.com said...

Fashiongirl... sadly, once you go Louboutin, you can't go back. :) No Payless for me. When you put a Louboutin, Costume National, or Zanotti on your foot, the fit is just life-changing. :)

But yes - I would love to stage the flip-flop intervention. Sign me up!

erin said...

northface isn't as bad as the vancouver obsession with mountain equipment co-op. i think dressing that way is synonymous with being a huge fan of the dave matthews band.

and crocs! good lord, why would anyone wear those?! this summer while in oregon i actually saw some that had been bedazzled. up until labour day, i didn't know crocs would get worse. by the way, whenever i see someone wearing these things i assume they have toe nail fungus.

decorno.blogspot.com said...

Erin, you crack me up...

believe it or not, Crocs is about to launch a clothing line.

Be afraid. Be very afriad.

erin said...

well at least now all those people wearing crocs won't be forced to limit their horrendous taste, and slovenly style to their feet. now they'll be able to look lazy and tacky all over.

Anonymous said...

I'll wear my ugly crocs when I can, and you wear your louboutins all day. Enjoy the foot surgery you'll soon need.

Forever Chic said...

Hahaha. Joke's on you, Anonymous, because Crocs have no arch support and aren't actually designed to be healthy for your feet. Not to mention that having holes in your shoes is a great way to get a staph infection.

alyson. said...

ok. there are plenty of fabulous "comfort" shoes that support your feet while keeping them from aching, ie Clarks, Corso Como, Softspots, Born. you don't have to totally give up on luxury and head for the Crocs and clogs, when you can still get style with comfort.

great post, btw. I'm new to Oregon, originally from Florida. I actually just bought my first fleece, but I wear it hiking. not to work.

decorno.blogspot.com said...

Well, I hear you... there are options. But I don't think of Clarks as "fabulous." I think it's ok to be into comfort shoes, but some of the business professionals I see need to step up their game.

I really like some Indigo by Clarks shoes... not for me to wear because I like a more feminine shoe, but I think that brand is a good option.

Cole Haan also makes really comfortable pumps with Nike Air technology, but I personally do not think one can shop at a comfort shoe store and buy work-appropriate shoes (white collar work, that is). Just not possible.

alyson. said...

yes, agreed. but you didn't get my point. I'm simply saying that there are lots of "fabulous" shoes out there that are comfortable, and won't leave you walking around like a "drunk baby giraffe".

look at corso como. they have some of the most comfortable shoes I have put on in a long time. especially the capri, genna, and candy.
or these by Kenneth Cole. and even some Borns .

decorno.blogspot.com said...

I did get your point. I just don't agree that the brands you named are fabulous. I just think this is a matter of having different taste in shoes, that's all. No biggie.

decorno.blogspot.com said...

Hmm... ok, you might have convinced me on the Corso Como Capri. That's a nice boot. Carl is cute, too. The Zanotti-ish heel is cute.

alyson. said...

:) they have the most amazing footbed. it's almost like tempur-pedic on your feet.

ok...I have to admit, before doing a lot of walking around in a city where walking is possible, I never thought too much about my feet. I only thought about the look of them. but I just can't walk around in 3" heels and expect to make it further than two blocks. thus, I began the hunt for fashionably comfortable shoes. but you'll never find me wearing clogs.

alyson. said...

p.s. your blog is more than fabulous. I love the humor and I love even more that "Martha Stewart will never sponsor Decorno because I like to say "fuck" and I write about the unsexiness of zydeco"

that's fabulous.

decorno.blogspot.com said...

Aw shucks... :)

I do hear you on the walking thing. I am from Portland (and obsessed with the damn place...) and I know what you mean, you do need a walking shoe there precisely because it's such a pedestrian-friendly city and such a pleasure to leave the car at home. My problem at the office here in is that EVERYONE who works here pretty much sits all day, so what better time to rock your pretty "sitting" shoes that at the office? And then, you know, when you're walking around Seattle or Portland, for that matter, a hip girl can choose and ALL BLACK low wedge or Lanvin flats (or Nine West ballet flats for all I care) or a hip Corso Como boot. I think you and I agree on this completely.

I think Martha might actually like my blog *because* of the f-bombs and sexy zydeco talk... I suppose she's just smart enough to not confess to everyone her low-brow tastes. You KNOW when she visits her daughter's apartment she grubs on cheese from a can and Chicken in a Biscuit crackers. Fo sho.

I would pay really good money to drive cross country with her eating nothing but Whoppers and McNuggets and getting her high on whippets and asking her to flash her hot stuff to truck drivers and then stopping at dive bars and watching her flirt with and man handle the most common American men.

These are my sick fantasies.

Oh, Martha.

But I digress.

alyson. said...

seriously, you had me laughing out loud at picturing Martha woofing down McNuggets.

S. said...

On the shoe front -- Sofft makes some great comfy HEELS. Many of these shoes have cone-shaped heels, which is particularly nice if the skinny heel shoes hurt you or make you feel fat. They're also spiffy if you spend most of your workday standing up and don't want to wear flats because you're already short.