Monday, November 25, 2013

To Shop...or Not...That is the Question

Black Friday. Oh how I await your arrival, yet dread the actual day.

I LOVE a good deal. Free dog reindeer antlers, yes please. 60% off at your favorite clothing store (mens bottoms only) - yes, I will do that too. But, there is something about Black Friday that I just cannot do. The crowds...the intrusion on the actual day of Thanksgiving...I just refuse to shop on Black Friday.

With one caveat. Online shopping. Again, in your home (or your in-laws) with a coffee/wine and/or turkey sandwich - there is no place I would rather be than using my fingers to out-shop someone via the internet, versus actually in the store.

I recently asked a good guy friend of mine how much of a discount on any item it would take to allure him into a store on this Friday. "Nothing. Nothing at all," he replied.

Really...I asked...nothing...what about a big screen TV at 90% off? 
"No, never. Never ever," he replied. "Football," he added, "do the math."

I did the did seem like a good discount. But, alas, the elbowing and not sleeping after a large turkey dinner turned me off. (and, the good shoe discounts don't come until later in the year)

But, what happens when you discount Manolo Blahnik and Christian Louboutin shoes? Remember that shoe debacle that happened in 2011 at Saks in New York City? If you don't, check it out here.

For those of you that are hard core, and making the trip, I thought this Consumer Reports Article on "Black Friday Shopping Tips" was very good. And, for those of you that are skilled at online shopping, almost every site has a coupon that you can leverage. Sign up for their mailing lists, or check out sites like for additional coupons.

If you do dare to venture our this week...good luck...and happy shoe shopping!

Cha Cha Shoes

Saturday, November 23, 2013

It's Raining, It's Snowing

As the weather cools off, many of us are experiencing rain or snow. And, no one wants to ruin their pretty little Manolo's in the rain. So, how to stay fashionable in inclement weather? Your answer is here, as I review the best shoes for rainy or snowy weather.

These Sorel Boots are warm, fashionable, and can take you into the coldest of temperatures.

Feeling a bit British? Take these Hunter Boots for a stroll. 

These Sorel boots mix fashion and function. The tall lace up bootie would be cute with leggings or a dress and tights, and the gripped sole allows you to take on snow or rain.

Can you say..."ahhhhhhhh." Matt Bernson boots are comfortable, and cozy at the same time.

A great find from Target...cute and affordable at $34.99.

I feel like I could traverse Antarctica in these amazing lace up boots.

(United Nude: find them here)

So, get your cute boots, and stay warm out the World of Cha Cha Shoes

Monday, November 18, 2013

Clearly, It's a Trend

Clear shoes....done well, stunning. Done poorly, your feet look cheap. And if your feet look cheap...

So how much clear is enough? And what is that clear stuff even made of?

Is it a similar material to those jelly's you wore when you were young, made of PVC plastic? Or, even worse...the material they use to make Crocs??

No, these beautiful shoes I am about to show you are much more elegant, and delicate on the foot. Most of the shoes you see below have acrylic or vinyl panels...basically different forms of plastic.

So, why go clear? One of the main reasons is the optical illusions that it creates on your foot. Follow me through some of my favorite shoes...and you can clearly see why it's a trend that is here to stay.

These Sophia Webster shoes are amazing. 
With the pop of color at the toe and the heel, these are sure to turn heads.

Jimmy Choo...I love you.

These Schultz are a cool dichotomy between delicate clear on the toe, and rough studs on the heel.

These Jeffrey Campbell are a great price, and called a "Supermodel Heel" for a reason...

These Sophia Webster pumps have bold splatter on the heel, and coolly go clear towards the toe.

And last, but not least, these clear throwback  heels. 
I had to list these...because these look exactly like a pair my mom had when I was younger.

If you decide to go clear, there are many options out there, at multiple price points. But, always keep in mind with clear shoes...less is sometimes more. If you choose a clear upper, no need to do a clear 5" heel. If you choose a 5" heel, maybe just a peek of clear vinyl.Clear shoes were "in" 40 years ago...and continue to stay relevant today. 

So, go forth and shoe the World of Cha Cha Shoes

Friday, November 15, 2013

The Classics

The and white. Movies,

I remember once at an early age in school where we had to name our favorite color. I listed black, naturally. A friend looked over at my paper and insisted I couldn't choose black - "that's not a color," she would say.

Ok, I thought, I'll choose white. 

"No, white is not a color either...pick something like purple or green," she chided.

And at an early age, my fashion DNA was being tested. I knew I should like magenta or tangerine like my crayons suggested, but I loved black and white - and still do until this day.

Don't get me wrong - I love a pair of red, green or blue shoes. My closet is literally a rainbow of colors and designers. 

But, there is something so sharp and sophisticated about a black and white shoe. And, as we head into colder days with a nip in the air, and holiday parties around corner, these black and white shoes will make a great addition in your closet. And, if you are still using my shoe calculator, these classics will be around for years to come.

I adore YSL. My first pair of fancy shoes were YSL...good memories 
(and I still have those shoes 11 years later!!)

Picked up the new holiday Nordstroms catalog??? If so, you have been ogling after these shoes ever since. Great price point, as well.

Tom Ford. I <3 you.

I have been watching these shoes all on sale!

This is just a snippet of what's out there right now....go forth and shoe shop...

In the World of Cha Cha Shoes 

Monday, November 11, 2013

The Big Leagues - eBay Shopping

Warning.....this post is not for amateurs. This post is for those that want to take shoe shopping to the next level...the eBay level.

If you are still here, then you must be the adventurous type. The type that is willing to do a little extra searching and work for those perfect pair of shoes, at a discounted price.

I fondly remember one of my first eBay shoe purchases. I had no money, but had found a way to use less of my college food budget, and pile it into my "shoe budget." So, no more meals out - and more interesting uses of mac 'n cheese and (fill in the blank).

But, I was bound and determined to get this pair of Marc, by Marc Jacobs pink peep toe shoes. I couldn't find the originals, but a similar pair is seen here:

I had no idea about power sellers, ratings, shipping costs or ninja bidding. Somehow, my instincts still kicked in, and while at the school library I closed down the computer lab waiting for the last minute to expire and bid on my shoes. The thrill of bidding out several strangers and getting a pair of sought after, but reasonably priced shoes was amazing. A week later, my pink heels arrived, and so had I.

Over the next 10 years, I learned more about shoes, and eBay. I have found several tricks to shopping on eBay, and sometimes it's all about being in the right place (online) at the right time.

eBay gives their guide to shopping here. I also found this article about how to "Shop Like a Ninja on ebay" entertaining.

Here are my DO's and DON'Ts of eBay shopping:

DO - have your list in hand...what are you looking for?

DON'T - get sidetracked looking at a Monique Lhuillier wedding dresses.

DO - focus on pre-worn shoes. Some of the best online deals are those gently worn items.

DON'T - overlook bad feedback. ALWAYS check the seller's feedback. If they have anything less than a 95% positive rating, step away. Also, go after sellers that have a long history, and a high amount of ratings. 

DO - read the description. Good buyers are specific if there are any tears, scuffs and other dings. Look at the pictures, particularly those of the bottom of the shoe. They can be a great indicator of how many times they have been worn.

DON'T - buy something that seems too good to be true. You can always Google the shoe online, and see what it is generally being sold for. If you find a pair of Christian Louboutins for under $100 - they are likely fake.

DO - check the seller's return policy. Some sellers have strict NO RETURN policies. Be aware when buying.

DON'T - bid too early. There is a watch button that you can use to keep an eye on them as the bidding time progresses. If you are a serious bidder, swoop in at the end bidding higher than the current price, with the ability to go up to your highest amount.

DO - review the seller's background. I can't stress this enough. If you read through recent feedback, you can get a good idea of what buyers have thought of their product. You can also check to see what else the seller is selling, and get an idea of their inventory.

Armed with that information, you are ready to go out and conquer eBay. Remember - this isn't for the faint of heart. It can be risky at times...but equally rewarding when your research and those learned ninja shoe skills pay off. Here are a couple of my favorites on eBay this week, and all are currently under $100:

Love me some Jimmy Choo Mary Janes

I have these Prada's in a snakeskin comfortable!!

I love Miu Miu. Nothing more to say for these beautiful shoes.

A classic Manolo throwback...

And, don't forget that once you find a favorite seller online, you can always follow them, and watch for updated inventory.

Good luck, my friends.
I see discounted fabulous shoes in your in the World of Cha Cha Shoes...

Thursday, November 7, 2013

How High?

During a recent work trip, I pondered the high is too high for shoes?

For several years, I pushed the boundaries on shoe height, and always got comments from other fellow high heeled wearers - sometimes men.

"Wow, you are tall."

"How can you walk in those?"

"You are not going to be able to walk someday because of those torture devices you call shoes."

"You're going to kill yourself walking in those shoes."

and my favorite...

"I hope you didn't pay a lot for those shoes to look that uncomfortable."

Most of the time, I brush the comments off, as many of my favorite shoes are quite tall. I have my heel limits, tending to stay 4" or below. But sometimes a shoe calls your name...and you MUST answer the call.

Then you answer...and then you fall...on a busy street sidewalk...end up with a scuffed knee like a 3 year old...and THEN, and only then do you ask yourself, how high is too high?

For example, take these amazing shoes from Gucci. Beautiful design, and a sleek patent leather outer.

But, if you buy these, you commit to a 5" heel, and limited walking. Sure, you can model shoes from a chair, but these are not city shoes...and your feet will be confined to special dinners out or long seated event.

Or, take these amazing Giuseppe Zanottis.
Again, a wonderful architecturally designed sandal, with a 5" heel. I actually think you could get around in these a bit easier, but you would have to avoid any sidewalk or tile flooring while walking. City streets and grates are heel damaging culprits.

And lastly, one of the more interesting non-heel (yet still high) options out there.

Sporting a 6 1/2" heel height and a 1 3/4" platform, these are some of the highest heels I have seen. Given the distribution of wedge and lack of heel, these could provide a major balancing challenge. You build strength and balance doing "tree pose" at yoga....but I am not sure these provide the same benefit.

In the end, choosing "how high" you go is a personal decision. One of my favorite sayings is: "the higher the heel, the closer to god." My other favorite and recently experienced saying is: "the higher the heel, the harder the fall."

Happy high (or not) heel shoe shopping to you....from the World of Cha Cha Shoes

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