Friday, September 7, 2007

Let Me Fall Out of the Window With Confetti in My Hair

I have a deep need to be slinky.

It has always been my fondest desire to be a slinky, sinuous femme fatale. I'm a Leo, for goodness sake, and my Chinese zodiac sign is the Snake. I should be feline and serpentine and... well, slinky.

Alas, I am not. Style Spy is far too pear-shaped to ever qualify as a good slink material, for which is necessary the wearing of the bias-cut satin dress

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(Jean Harlow. Dang, huh?)

which, trust me, I should never do. My slink runneth over, and will not be contained by the bias-cut. Also crucial to slinkiness is the smoldering look

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(Gene Tierney. Who smoldered like nobody's business.)

but when I attempt to smolder I mostly just look like I've eaten some bad sushi and need to get home quick.

So I shall have to content myself with cultivating a slinky aura, a personality steeped in slink, and I took a step in that direction this week by enrolling in a beginning tango class.

I love to dance. I'm a fairly experienced swing dancer, I studied ballet as a child, I have been known to embarrass myself pretty thoroughly to tunes sung by His Purple Majesty. I've always wanted to tango, and it happens there's a class going on that fits into my schedule.

Another fun thing about tango is -- it requires shoes!! (Surely you could see where this was going, right?)

Well, yes, of course, now that you mention it, I do already have lots of shoes.

But you can't tango in just any shoes. There are requirements for shoes you are going to wear when you're doing something like the tango. First off, they need to have a heel, but not a tremendously high heel -- I think between 2 and 3 inches is about perfect. They need to not have a non-skid sole, because you have to be able to slide around and pivot on your foot when you dance. They can't be a platform -- you need to be in touch with the floor. Probably most importantly, they have to stay on your foot -- as a follow in tango you're going to mostly be moving backwards, and you can't wear a shoe you're going to step out of. No slides or slingbacks -- the shoe has to have a t-strap or quarter-strap or some combination thereof. Even a full-on high ankle strap isn't that useful, because you need something that is going to keep your foot in the bed of the shoe. Like this:
(Actual dance shoe. Not actual size.)

So believe it or not, when I factored all these things together, I didn't have a pair of shoes that fit the bill, at least not any I was willing to put in the position of suffering ignominious treatment at the hands of (at the feet of) some lead-footed lunkhead. Because the thing about a beginning-level dance class is that all the students are beginning-level and you know what that means -- much treading upon the toes. Call me selfish, but I decided that I'd rather not subject a pair of the ol' Manolos to such potential insults, so I was looking for nice, inexpensive-but-goodlooking pair of shoes to wear to my class.

As I cast about looking for the right shoe, it occurred to me that I was finding some good all-purpose dress shoes that a person could easily wear to the office or out to dinner as well as to
execute a few ochos, and that I might as well share my research with the general public (I believe in open-source retail). So here you are. Click on any photo for a link.

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Also available in black -- I think the heel on these is interesting, & love the strappiness around the back.

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I like the texture on these a lot and again, nifty heel. They come in some other colors, but quite honestly, they're kinda heinous. Stick with the black.

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Straps galore! Also available in brown with gold trim.
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From Naturalizer, believe it or not. Also comes in black, but who could resist the pink? Slingbacks, two quarter straps, AND a t-strap! Your foot's not going anywhere in these bad boys.

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Hot-cha! You feel slinkier just looking at those shoes, don't you? Also in black and silver, available in sizes 5.5 - 11 and again -- from Naturalizer!

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¡Fantastico! ¡Yo quiero bailar ahora mismo! They come in black, brown and dark purple patent. I don't wear a lot of purple, but these are enough to make me re-think that. How gorgeous would those be with a camel-colored suit?

And finally, a note about the title of today's post, which will seem complete nonsense to anyone who isn't a rabid fan (as I am) of a certain American musician. So let's make it into a contest: first person who posts a comment with the name of the artist and the title of the song gets a prize! I've got a brand new pair of Apara Steppies and a tube of Johnson & Johnson Blister Block waiting for the winner -- treats to make your feet feel good enough to tango!


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tmp00 said...

I often thought that Capezio missed the mark in not marketing a jazz pump with a steel toe as an insurance policy against two-left-footed dance partners.

Even a steel reinforced open toe mesh...

Mo said...

That wonderful song is "Tango Til They're Sore" by Tom Waits. Love!

Red said...

Tom Waits: Tango Till They're Sore.

I knew all those Tom Waits albums the boyfriend made me listen to would come in handy one day.

Great shoes; thanks for sharing! I LOVE the dark purple.

lauren said...

Tom Waits-Tango 'til They're Sore!

Lucy said...

It's Tom Waits. Could've Googled the song title but that would have been cheating, so no prize for me!

StyleSpy said...

Congratulations, Mo! I must say, I'm impressed by my readers' musical knowledge! Mo, send me an e-mail with your name & snail mail address and I'll get the goodies off to you on Monday!

Anonymous said...

Those Joan & David patent t-straps also come in a nice medium grey patent at Nordstroms. :)

StyleSpy said...

Ooh -- thank you, eagle-eyed anonymous! Go here to see the pretty gray ones: