Columns and Shoes02 May 2009 03:29 pm


My grandma washes her hair once a week. I now understand why.

I am recovering from a bouffant.

My mother-in-law turned 50 on Saturday. In celebration, we held her a ’50s-theme party, complete with an inflatable juke box, retro record decorations and sloppy joes from Barbecue Bob’s (yeah, I wasn’t quite sure how that fit in either, but no one complained – except me when I sloppy joed on my white apron. Yes, apron. Read on).

In typical overboard Heckel manner, my mom and I decided to get our hair professionally “did” at a Loveland salon, Serenity Hair Designs.

Four hours later, we fox-trotted out with flippy ends and roots ratted toward the heavens. My bouffant incorporated a thick headband. My mom’s: a droopy white bow. She rocked the bobby socks and canvas shoes, a swing skirt, pearls and a pink polka-dot scarf.

I accented my blue eye shadow with a pleated, June Cleaver button-up dress and square-toed buckle shoes. I added a white apron for the funny factor (I don’t know how to serve cookies even if they come straight from the Safeway bakery).

I thought my costume was totally the cat’s pajamas.

Until several days later – still scraping the hairspray out of my locks – I stumbled upon and learned my look was entirely ’60s. The fifties were soft, feminine and curly. No blow dryers and tangle towers.

Golly, if I’d known that then, maybe I could comb through my hair today.

I blame the inspiration for pouf-head on my gramma, who to this day sleeps in a satin cap as to not disturb her stiff hair-cocoon. She gets her tresses washed and formed at the parlor every Saturday. (By Friday afternoons, she’s usually reaching for a fork or candle snuffer to itch her scalp without disturbing the ‘fro.)

And after hours of cooking under the astronaut-helmet hair-dryer, I don’t blame her for trimming her beauty routine to a weekly affair.

Of course, unlike mine did, my gramma’s ‘do looks timelessly stunning. I can’t imagine her with any other style. It’d throw my world off axis, like when your teacher gets a bad haircut or when my dad shaved off his beard after 21 years.

Some styles should never change. And could it be that everything comes back in style if you just wait long enough?

Tell that to the poor kid at McDonald’s who was too confused to give me my soda on Saturday.

My husband was supposed to pick me and my mom up from the hair place, but he couldn’t find it. I sucked down a Diet Coke in about 8 seconds and therefore needed another one, so we told him to meet us under the nearby big yellow arch.

By how he scowled at me, I’d say the cash-register kid didn’t appreciate my ensemble. I wanted to grab him by the ears and ask him if his mama didn’t teach him no manners. That lil’ whippersnapper looked about 10 years old, anyway. Don’t know what they’re doing hiring toddlers. And the only straws left were too short for my cup. I almost asked for my 79 cents back.

Oh, heavens. My gramma’s hair has gone to my head.

You don’t have to go so overboard that you freak out fast-food employees. Here are some ways to incorporate old-school cool in your modern wardrobe. This season, try:

A thick belt tight on your waist is as hip today as it was back in Elvis’s days.

Classic, simple pumps.

A form-fitting jacket with a full skirt.

Pearls with anything and everything forevermore.

A pencil skirt. Pair it with an ’80s-style T-shirt and really confuse Cash-Register Kid.

Shoes09 Sep 2008 02:15 pm

If I want to know how to build a house, I will ask a carpenter. If I want to know how to bake a great cookie, I’ll talk to the chefs at Old C’s.
So obviously, if you want to know about good boots, you gotta go to the most esteemed expert: A Brit.
Ah yes, London. How many times have I cursed that frigid air because I attempted to wear heels? I have decided that even in summer, the only shoe suitable for England is the boot.
So when my British pal, Catherine, sent me this e-mail tip the other day, I knew it was legit. Not to mention, I love how British people write. Tea!   

“Check out They are a company based in Bath who make simply the best long/mid-calf boots in lots of different width fittings. I’ve had a pair that have made it through three winters of ‘I want to wear a dress but it’s cold and wet,’ have been resoled and reheeled and still survive. They are brilliant and the more people who know about them the better the range will become, so I thought you’d like them, too! I have to say that I’m starting to think on this rainy Sunday that I should buy these:

Jesolo boots, Textured metallic patent leather boots with leather covered platform sole and heel.
So I’m going to have a cup of tea.”

I love the idea of patent leather boots. And tea.
Check out more of these great boots here:

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Shoes01 Aug 2008 01:55 pm

As if we need another reason.

I love these patent red Oxford pumps from none other than Target, $29.99.

Can you say sexy babydoll? They look a little painful, but no pain, no gain… to my chiropractor and massage therapist, that is.

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Shoes30 Jul 2008 11:42 am

My latest obsession: the interesting-print heels by none other than Carlos Santana.
I’m not a big fan of celeb clothing lines. There’s just something poser-ish about saying you’re wearing J-Lo pants or trying to smell like Britney Spears in a jar.
Regardless, these shoes are smooth… just like the ocean under the moon.
Oh yes I di-id just say that.

Seen at Macy’s






Note: Don’t the shoes above somehow resemble Santana in this picture? Like if a dude could be a heel somehow… something… whatever. Forget I even brought it up.  





Aqua leopard heels, $88. Two of the coolest color combos: aqua blue and leopard print. I like how the seeming clashing patterns actually work together beautifully.






Pink leopard, $88. A pinky version of the aqua heels.





Lilac Holo print, $110 – an edgy twist on old-school Mary Janes.

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Shoes07 Dec 2007 12:22 pm

All I want for Christmas is robot shoes.
$80, one-of-a-kind, handmade and they will definitely help with your dance moves, Mr. Roboto.

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Shoes04 Dec 2007 03:44 pm

Crocs are sexy, in comparison to the latest sin committed by none other than Manolo Blahnik. How can it be?
These. Are. For. MEN.
Prepare to get beat up, dudes of the Man-olos. If not by other dudes with better style, by yours truly.
You sick creatures.
The leopard-print sandal thong would look just fantastic paired with a leopard-print man undergarment thong. Men should never under any circumstances ever even consider considering wearing something that involves the word “thong.”

I am not even telling you when these will supposedly be released or where to find them because that would be contributing to the decay of society.

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Shoes28 Nov 2007 01:38 pm

From my new obsession,, a marketplace for all handmade stuff.

$80, one-of-a-kind, handmade and sexy as hell.

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Shoes05 Nov 2007 11:10 am

Here are a few tips to keep your boots kickin’. Courtesy of Boulder stylist, Rachael Donaldson.  

* Use waterproof spray.
* Use equestrian straps to keep jeans tucked tightly into boots.
* Service your boots every year.
* Store them with boot forms so they don’t get a crease (get a good boot form at the Container Store).

As seen... and Fashion and Shoes29 Oct 2007 04:21 pm

It is that time of year again: too hot and too cold.
It’s too hot to wear winter jackets and jeans, yet too cold to wear flip-flops and open-toed shoes.
That leads to something I call The Great Boots Dilemma. Women pair various types of boots (because it is cold) with skirts or shorts (because it is warm). I understand this idea. But beware, it can be done very wrong.
Here are some recent Great Boots Dilemma sightings on the Pearl Street Mall.
I have solicited advice from the experts that I will share below.

Flat red boots with a black skirt.

Stylist Rachael Donaldson: “The Ugg look is schlumpy and over-done, but they are practical here in Boulder and a nice break from heels. Points for them being red.”
Stylist Marian Rothschild: “This girl has great legs for boots of this height. Very shapely.”
Fashion blogger Ken Izawa:

* * *Boots over jeans and boots with a sundress.

Donaldson: “OK on the jeans girl (but can we talk about her ill-fitting jeans?). Use equestrian straps to keep your jeans tucked tightly into your boots. Short dress with lots of print and those boots break this woman into too many parts making her look a square (literally) and they don’t pay off the lightweight flounce in her dress. Pretty much a don’t.”
Rothschild: “Never wear winter boots with a sundress! You’ve just crashed two opposite seasons together. Don’t do it! And if your jeans bag around the top of the boot as they do in this photo, that means you shouldn’t be wearing those jeans inside the boot. Therefore, only wear skinny jeans inside a boot.”

* * *Boots and printed socks and skirt.

Donaldson: “I like it. It works because the boots are fairly simple, allowing the wearer to play a bit with the socks, and there’s a break between her socks and the skirt so she doesn’t look like she has on crazy tights.”
Rothschild:This girl needs an honest friend or a full-length mirror. So many fashion don’ts in one picture.  She’s wearing winter boots with a summer skirt and a summer bag. But the worst is the argyle socks. I’m just shakin’ my head. No, No, No!”

* * *  Fringe boots with a pattern skirt.

Donaldson: “The dress is too busy to allow for a shoe that is also busy. Makes the wearer look messy and unsophisticated.”
Rothschild:Hopefully she has new shoes in that bag because those ’70s moccasins need to go bye-bye.”

* * *Black slunchy boots over black pants.

Donaldson: “Works. The slouch in the boot balances the sleekness of the pants.”
Rothschild:These boots are fine with these leggings, but a dress would look much better than these layered shirts; they’re too short and very ’80s looking.”

* * *Short-shorts with bulky boots.

Donaldson: “Shorts are a tough ‘fashion’ item to wear, so once you get past that… Um, I can’t, they’re just too short on her… OK, shorts = a wedge or summer shoes, not the has-been Ugg look. Screams ‘tragic.’”
Rothschild: “Again: Don’t mix summer and winter fashions together.”

* * *
Boots and a dress on a street musician.

Donaldson: “Nice look for the length and shape of her skirt.”
Rothschild: She’s got the right idea, but these boots have seen better days; they need to be replaced.”

* * *Western-style boots with feminine dress.

Donaldson: “Another nice combo. It really works here: color, shape, fit, everything.”
Rothschild:These boots look great. The heel is a wonderful height: high enough to give the foot and leg shape, but low enough to be comfortable. The height of the boot is great, too. They hit the calf in a nice place which flatters this gal’s curves. Curves are good.”

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As seen... and Shoes29 Oct 2007 09:53 am

I like kangaroos, yet I do. I like Kangaroos, how ’bout you?

I rarely wear anything other than heels, but if I feel flat-footed (i.e. when my arches ache too much), Pumas and Kangaroos are my favorite sneaks. Here are two I recently spotted in great colors and styles.

Pink is a good way to put some femininity into tennis shoes.

Metallic silver and red makes these kicks stand out.

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