Monday, September 30, 2013

Slipping Into Fall...

Oh, Fall. You snuck up on me again this year. 

I was enjoying the warm long days of summer, fresh fruit, cutoff denim shorts and any excuse to eat outside. But, you are now upon us...leaves are changing, pumpkins are out and the candy has abruptly appeared at every isle in the candy store. 

Don't get me wrong, I love fall...the leaves changing (ok, I live in San Diego so this doesn't really happen), the cool crisp air and smell of cider. And, one of my favorite things to do is put on my warmest slippers, grab a warm tea or red wine and sit on the couch and snuggle up to a book, a tv show or the fall fashion 10 pound magazines.

So, what are the best new slippers for this? Read ahead to find out.

These shoes (see them here) were photographed this week at Paris Fashion Week and were my inspiration for today's blog.

Koolaburra knee highs will keep you warm all winter long (find them here).

If you like to be fancy at home, slip on these feather and leopard flats (find them here).

Patricia Green is one of my favorite slipper designers. You can't go wrong with pale pink and wool (find them here).

What the fox say?? (find them here)

No seriously, what the fox say??

These are classic Minnetonka booties at a great price (find them here).

These fun knee high knitted boots from Target (find them here)

And, to top it off with a fun pair, try these out. 
Definitely a pair that will get ALL the dogs attention.

So, go forth and slip into fall...

In the World of...Cha Cha Shoes

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Investing in Shoes - Part II

Investing in shoes can be quite stressful. What to buy, how much to spend and then the big question..."Will I wear these shoes enough to justify an investment?"

Some cultures don't wear shoes at all. In the Ancient Olympic Games, athletes participated barefoot (oh, and naked).

In a previous blog (read it here) I go through the Shoe Investment Calculator (SIC). Today's blog will take you through an analysis of the investment potential of shoes. Yesterday, I was faced with the exact predicament the SIC was created for.

Take these beautiful Prada loafers:
"Size 38.5 Prada Wing tipped tassel loafers," (find them here) I ask sweetly. I then proceeded to sink into the oh too comfortable couch at Neiman Marcus with the perfect lighting showing all angles of my foot. The shoes were slipped on so softly, and I saunter around the sales floor. I am conveniently handed a cold bottle of water as several sales people oohh and ahhh. Yes, I should get these.

Oh, one small detail, "the price please," I ask. The sales person quietly responds, "$690." And all of the sudden I am snapped back into reality. I think through the SIC.

I come up with a score of 10. I think back to my range:

Ugh...a hold. Damn.

The sales person looks at me longingly...."they look so great on you. There are so places you could wear thooo..."

"No," I say. I must leave these for another women with a higher SIC. I must go.

So, what about those other shoes from the previous blog? Again, there are some factors that are based upon individual preference. But, how did the shoes score?

I compared a the zoo shoes, a pair of Nasty Gal brand tennis shoes, a splurge vs steal blue suede high heel and a pair of Isabel Marant booties. Here is what I found:

Zoo Shoes: BUY
Sneakers: WALK
Payless Blue: HOLD
Manolo Blue: BUY
Isabel Marant: BUY

So go forth, buy shoes (SIC approved)...and continue living in the World of Cha Cha Shoes...

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Shoe Shame

Have you ever been shoe shamed? You know, judged for your love or purchase of shoes?

This is real

It can happen in a couple of formats.

The old school go to a brick and mortar store, and buy a bunch of shoes resulting in toting multiple bags. Yes, you try and hide one bag into another to lessen the optics of the financial purchase you have just made - but shoe boxes are not easy to hide..

And, the new school shame...UPS boxes in the mail.

The UPS/Fed Ex guy/gal is usually not as judgmental, as this online purchasing contributes to the lifeblood of their company.

But, why the need for judgement while buying shoes? Better yet, why do we, as shoe buyers allow for shoe shame? Everyone has glorious leather bound shoes that hug your arch need be the scapegoat?

Obviously, the Shoe Investment Calculator (SIC) can be a good method to perform a non-biased investment calculation. So, next blog...I deliver the tool to judge the shoe purchases you make. (Note, this type of judgement is ok).

So, when the question is posed, "did you really pay that much for a pair of shoes?" can answer about the cost per wear, the SIC score, the annual wear per year, etc. Or, you can grab your bags, boxes and shoes, and know the following:

1. Shoes are worn on your feet. That means, they get you places, help you climb higher and protect your feet as you progress forward. So, when deciding on an investment for your body, I choose shoes.

More later this week...from the World of Cha Cha Shoes.

Monday, September 23, 2013

We have a winner....

First shoe to arrive...and the winner is...

Remember the blog (haven't read it, click here) where I tested out multiple online shoe stores? Last Thursday, I purchased shoes from seven of my favorite shoe shopping sites. I listed several factors to judge: ease of website use, price of shoes, shipping time and cost, packaging, and ease of return.

While I won't be able to judge for another couple of weeks (given the time for other shoe arrivals and returns), I can give you a status update. The first pair of shoes, has arrived.

Yes, Zappos does it again - Delivering Happiness is not just a book title, but they actually deliver on their promises. 

One of the most impressive shoe companies I have used, their shoes arrived on Monday afternoon (2 business days).

The rest of the shoes will arrive shortly. And, while Zappos has won the speed of shipping category, stay tuned for all of the ratings on online shoe companies.

From the World of Cha Cha Shoes...

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Investing in Shoes

In today's economy, knowing what to invest in can be complicated, overwhelming, and downright confusing. When given the choice between a 2030, 2040 and 2050 mutual fund, what to choose? First of all, what is a mutual fund? (I know I didn't see that in the fall trends catalog.) 

According to my 401K provider, "Funds, also called target date funds, are all-in-one investment strategies that can help take the guesswork out of building and maintaining an age-based retirement portfolio." 

Ok, that makes sense. So, pick the freedom fund targeted at the date you would like to retire. If given a choice, I would choose to retire tomorrow. But, since that won't happen, I guess I will wait another 30 years. Sigh.

Ok, let's get back to shoes, and making smart investment choices. Can shoes be as effective an investment as stocks or bonds? Lets take a look at the following new fall Fendi shoes.

Ok, these shoes are $1,700 at (For those of you who have fallen out of your chair at the thought of that price, pull yourself back up to the table.) After you have pulled yourself up off the floor, you are probably still asking the question, "why on earth would you spend nearly two grand on a pair of shoes that look like they belong in the zoo?" Well, that's a good question.

Have you ever read Investing for Dummies?

Well, neither have I - but the answer is less complicated than you think. Let me introduce you to the "Shoe Investment Calculator" - otherwise known as SIC. SIC is an amazing tool (developed by me) to help determine if a shoe is really worth the investment. It works for any shoe, at any price and is customized for your shoe wearing preferences. Let's take a look at the calculator:

Shoe Investment Calculator (SIC)

So, the SIC takes into account several factors above, and assigns different values to each factor. The formula is complicated, but trust me, it always gives accurate, non-biased results. One caveat is that when you are inputting your information,  be realistic about how often you believe you will wear these shoes, and the life of the shoes. Those are critical factors when determining whether to sell, hold or buy.

The next blog will take a look at the following shoes, and go through each equation to determine the fall season investment strategy for your closet. I profile a splurge and steal pair of blue heels, a trendy high top tennis shoe, a fabulous Isabel Marant boot and my zoo shoes.

Stayed the World of Cha Cha Shoes

Isabel Marant Crisi Boot

Payless Blue Pump
Manolo Blahnik Blue Pump

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Online Shoe Shopping = Heaven

One of my absolute favorite topics...ever. Online shopping.

Seriously. Give me any site that you may have shopped on before, and I have been there. I have perused, bought, lusted after and anything else that happens with shoes on the Internet (no judgement, please).

The question is...what site is best for online shoe purchases? Thankfully, shoe sizes don't change much with weight gain, so your size is fairly consistent from brand to brand. But, the question remains...where to buy? I decided to test out some of my favorite online shoe stores, buy a similar shoe at the same time, and compare shipping costs, timing, packaging and overall customers service.

Yes, after 7 online shoe purchases, I have already heard from my credit card company assuming my card has been stolen by some young shoe hungry criminal. Wait, that's me.

Shoe crime in progress

So, after I confirmed my purchases, this is what I ended up purchasing online. All shoes are similar in style (I was going for a closed toe black shoe that can be worn in fall with pants or skirts). All purchases were done within 20 minutes, and I tried to use generic shopping options for all items. Shoe costs were kept under $130, so please focus on the cost of shipping, time of arrival and customer service.

I will post results once the final pair of shoes has arrived. In anticipation of my boxes (you are welcome, my fedex man). Here are the shoes that will soon arrive...results posted in one week:

Subject 1: Piperlime
Shoes: Nine West, Savvy
Shoes purchased: Thursday, September 19
Date of arrival: TBD
Packaging Quality: TBD
Retail Price: $74.99
Shipping Price: FREE  (woot woot)
Shipping Return Price: FREE

Subject 2: Zara
Shoes purchased: Thursday, September 19
Date of arrival: TBD
Packaging Quality: TBD
Retail Price: $119
Shipping Price: FREE (woot woot)
Return Price: TBD

Subject 3: Zappos
Shoes: Nine West: Callen
Shoes purchased: Thursday, September 19
Date of arrival: TBD
Packaging Quality: TBD
Retail Price: $59.99
Shipping Price: FREE (woot woot)
Return Price:

Subject 4: Shopbop
Shoes: Steven Whisp Pump
Purchase date: Thursday, September 19
Date of arrival: TBD
Packaging Quality: TBD
Retail Price: $119
Shipping Price: FREE (woot woot)
Return Price: FREE

Subject 5: Macys
Shoes: Mia Shoes, Dietrich
Shoes purchased: Thursday, September 19
Date of arrival: TBD
Packaging Quality: TBD
Retail Price: $51.75
Shipping Price: FREE (woot woot)
Return Price: $6.95, free in store

Subject 6: Amazon
Shoes: Calvin Klein Women's Brayann SS Pump
Shoes purchased: Thursday, September 19
Date of arrival: TBD
Packaging Quality: TBD
Retail Price: $109
Shipping Price: FREE (woot woot...and Amazon prime member)
Shipping Return: FREE

Subject 7: Net a Porter
Shoes: Valentino Heaven Shoes - T Strap
Shoes purchased: Thursday, September 19
Date of arrival: TBD
Packaging Quality: TBD
Retail Price: $Not going to tell will judge.
Shipping Price: FREE (woot woot)
Return Price: FREE

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Shoe Selfies

It's hard to tweet, 'gram or facebook any more without seeing selfies. In fact, just this morning (while trying to get actual news on tv) I was forced to watch the cast of the today show take their own selfies. Will the over-use of selfies lead to the demise of their existence?? If it means selfies of shoes...I hope not.

What is a selfie?? According to the Oxford dictionary, a selfie is a noun, and is defined as:
"a photograph that one has taken of oneself, typically one taken with a smartphone or webcam and uploaded to a social media website."

Shoe selfies (I call them "shelfies") are one of the few types of selfies that I truly enjoy. Sure, I can look at shoes online any day, but give me a real life shoe in action, and I am headed straight to to try and find that shoe. There are several websites devoted to how to take the best selfie of you, but where are the sites devoted to taking the proper "shelfie"? Well, don't fret, I am about to teach the basics of shelfies.

Step 1
Make sure you have a fresh pedicure.

Step 2
Ensure a good background so the shoes pop. Even if you have to deal with airport carpet (see above), instagram will be your best friend in altering color.

Step 3
Get a good angle. I find that rotating the camera and facing the toes towards one another can add to the interest of the picture.

Mirrors can add length and give dimension to shoes.

Step 4
Make sure the shoes are front and center.

I call these my Monday morning pick me ups

Step 5
Make sure you get the right angle on your calves. If you get too much bare leg, it can be a most unflattering picture and give you monster calves.

Too much shin, not enough shoe

Looks like an ankle twist about to happen

Getting better...but too much standing has enhanced the veins.
At least we know blood is moving through the feet while wearing 4" heels.
Step 6
If possible, lift your shoes a 2-3 feet off of the ground. That allows you to lean back and really get the full shoe in the pic. Note...this requires an ab workout somewhat like "boat pose." Hopefully you have a fast camera.

Step 7
SHARE!! It's about time that shoes get the rightful place with celebrities puckering up to the camera.


So, keep taking those shelfies...and, invite your friends to share. the World of Cha Cha Shoes
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