06 February 2008

A quick post from your desperate Editrix in between lap dances

"I think it is stupid to wear stiletos to work, unless you are working as a *umm* professional dancer. For those in government, private industry, law, sales, and so on, I think it looks out of place and a little desperate. JMHO"

Normally, reader comments don't get to me.

Even the really spiteful, personal attacks that might've brought me to tears or anger months ago don't really pack a punch anymore.

But this one, excerpted above, in response to yesterday's very tongue in cheek analysis of the 'heels and sex' research has me about as riled up as I've been in months. So much so that I abandoned my half-written A-line skirt follow-up to address not so much the author -because frankly, I bet her beliefs have quite the following in DC- but more the meat of what she's actually asserting.

Now, it's unclear to me whether Ms. Anonymous used hyperbole in her comment for comedic effect or because she actually believes stilettos in "serious" offices smack of lap-dancing and desperation. Either way, what is clear is her gross generalization that all stilettos are five inches high and propped up by a translucent plastic platform and her assumption that all women who wear these shoes do so only for the effect they'll have on the men in the workplace -- at least that's how I interpreted the "desperate" bit.

I'll have Ms. Anonymous know that today, on this beautiful 70+ degree day, I'm rocking a stem-skinny four-inch grey suede stiletto peep-toe, and not once have I had the inclination to wrap myself around a chubby, depressed businessman nursing an overpriced gin and tonic or felt a desire to flaunt my lengthened legs in front of my male colleagues.

For most of us who step into stilettos day in and day out during the work week, not only do we have the common sense to select something elegant -not to mention temper our clothing, as appropriate- but the motivation behind our choice of footwear is a whole lot less complicated than you think: we just like looking thinner and feeling taller.

Unlike these women, who I think we can all agree stand before us as head-shakingly embarrassing examples of how not to dress if you want to be respected:

Sophia "Will Strip for Singles" Bush outside the Ports 1961 show

Ali "Built for the Pole" LarterAngie "Handjobs for Smack" Harmon at Carolina HerreraMandy "Whore" Moore outside the tents at Peter Som
Some skank model at the Vera Wang Lavender Label show

47 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hilarious! The captions to the pictures are priceless.

"E is for Easy" Elle said...

Mandy "Whore" Moore - hahaha! Ironic. But has nothing to do with her amazing Loubis.

m said...

You're too funny. But seriously, I have muscular calves, and low heels make my legs look stumpy. I guess the stumpy look is the professional choice? Ridiculous.

I absolutely love Mandy Moore's shoes. Louboutin? Sigh.

Maxie said...

haha, this is exactly what I needed today to cheer me up :-)

i loved "handjobs for smack." hilarious.

Anonymous said...

Handjobs for Smack!

This actually made me laugh out loud.

Anonymous said...

I think it's stupid to not know how to spell stilettos, and to not know that you use "an" instead of "a" when preceding a word that begins with a vowel. JMHO.

Johanna said...

I can't really take credit for "handjobs for smack"...

http://youtube.com/watch?v=YfU5MKfttDk

Lurker No Longer said...

Ok, I am a huge fan and have never posted...but can you please write a how-to-walk-in-heels post? I have narrow feet/heels and find that after a few wearings, the shoe stretches out and my heel pops out, leading to spilling coffee and glasses of wine and being shoe-less in the middle of the crosswalk. Any ideas on what to put in our heels to make them comfy and easy to walk in?? I have fabulous patent 3.5" oval toe pumps and the heel has stretched significantly, and I've had a few tumbles. Thanks!

bff in chicago said...

so *that's* why my male co workers are always putting dollar bills on my desk! because of my stilettos - mystery solved!

katya said...

Love love loved your post. I have muscular athletic legs, the higher the better for me. I am happy to say that my whole office of WOMEN feels the same way about heels. The balance here is 80%women/20 men. Heels are worn here for confidence and polish. I'm sorry but that naysayer probably can't muster up the coordination to walk in heels.

sycophants and haters etc. said...

"Ok, I am a huge fan and have never posted...but can you please write a how-to-walk-in-heels post? I have narrow feet/heels and find that after a few wearings, the shoe stretches out and my heel pops out, leading to spilling coffee and glasses of wine and being shoe-less in the middle of the crosswalk."

I know you were asking J, but as someone who has the same problem, I thought I'd chime in. What has worked for me is buying heels in a half-size smaller than flat shoes. They might be a bit tight around the toes, but unless you're wearing bottom-of-the-barrel cheapies, they'll give a bit after a couple wears.

DL said...

This post is great! I work in the U.S. Senate and still manage to wear heels and look classy. Many other "serious" women such as lobbyists even take the time to chat with me about my footwear! Its all about looking polished as Katya said. Well done!

legallyheidi.com said...

I love wearing heels. Nothing makes me feel more feminine than wearing a cute pair of shoes and a nice skirt. I have bad knees so i don't do the 4"ers but the 3"ers i can do :) I prefer low heels but i think unless you're wearing platform heels with little plastic fish in the clear heels then you definitely don't look like a whore!

love your blog!!

CDP said...

I don't have an opinion one way or another about heels, but that made me laugh my head off.

Anonymous said...

Hah! I don't have a strong opinion on heels, but this did make me laugh.

Out of curiosity - what's your prognosis for stylish footwear for those ladies who perhaps are already quite tall enough and don't want to feel any taller?

I do love the lengthening/slimming effect heels have on me, so I wear 'em with skinny jeans. But I'm already 5'10" and relatively thin.

There is something about being an assistant/analyst and towering 5-8" above your C-Suite clients for that feels... weird and uncomfortable.

Consultant's POV said...

I work for a large consulting firm. It is typical to see women from analyst to senior executive in classy heels all year round here.

Maybe the commenter accidentally wore her stilettos up her... Well. You get the point.

Anonymous said...

You like heels.
Garfield hates Mondays.
You like heels.
Paris Hilton is "hot."
You like heels.
Mr. T pities the fool.
You like heels.
Urkel loves Laura.

We. get. it.

olivia said...

This post wasn't about Johanna professing her love for heels, it was her making a point that wearing heels doesn't make women look trashy.

So actually, even though most everyone else got it, it doesn't seem that you did, anon 3:02.

Candid Cool said...

love it!

globalchameleon said...

Well done! If you're accessorizing the heels with a professional suit or dress (as opposed to, say tassels or the Naughty Schoolgirl ensemble) then the tramp label should not apply

lila m. said...

that last caption made me spit out my coffee. you're a funny girl!

mary said...

Seconds! on the narrow heel question, mine are always popping out unless I have ancle straps which... aren't always the best look.

On an unrelated note- I would kill for Angie Harmon's hair. Sooo pretty.

dc lawyer said...

I like that you didn't take any cheap shots like correct her spelling or grammar. You took her idea head on, not the way she delivered it, and that's what makes your argument so compelling. Not that making an argument against her inane idea was that difficult of course.

Anonymous said...

to Lurker No Longer:

i have the same problem with heels stretching out after a few wears. if you go to CVS, they have these great little pads that you stick inside the back of the heel. they take up a little space plus they are somewhat "grabby" (for lack of a better word) to prevent your heel from popping out. they work wonders and only cost about $4.

Teek said...

Have you also tried narrow width shoes and see if they stretch to a comfortable fit? I mean, maybe I'm stating the obvious, but it's worth a shot.

Or the goodies at http://www.footpetals.com/ work wonders.

TammyTooTall said...

anon 2:32- I too am a fellow Amazonian, and I refuse to give up my 4 inch + beauties. I personally am comfortable towering above others and if you do not mind then you shouldn’t give up your heels! If others are put off by your height it is a result of their own insecurity and you should not sacrifice for them. Men usually don’t give me the strange looks, it is more often then not the women I see in the commute wearing sneakers/crocs that I get the WTF is that tall sasquach thinking?

knew you as hannie, too said...

brilliant retort, words and pictures, all of it. brilliant.

Lady Tiara said...

i guess i must be "desperate," since i wear 3 or 4 inch heels most days. as long as there's no lucite or rhinestones involved, what's the problem.

Anonymous said...

i think that the anon person J responded too is going on the assumption that men see stilettos on a woman they think of sex, or wanting to have sex with that woman.

i think though having high heeled shoes is a far cry from uber cleavage showing, bootie exposing, barely covering anything uniform that Dave Chappelle refer's too as the whore's uniform.

Anonymous said...

Hi - I am a fan and want to know your comment on why Project Beltway got ranked #3 in DC blogs rnakings by DC Modern Luxury.

Anonymous said...

i just read anon's full comment and got the full context of it.

person just doesnt agree with a need to wear stilettos at work. it didnt sound like anti-heels or pro-ugly shoes.

they even said stilettos were great in the evenings.

and while the pictures of these women are great, they are mostly celebrities attending events and not going to corporate jobs.

let me take a stab at it said...

since I doubt J will comment on these rankings, I will.

Project Beltway is a blog that had a good idea (secondhand from countless others across the globe but still, for DC, a good idea) but whose creator couldn't pull it off. It's haphazard, very poorly written, inconsistently updated, and nowhere near the caliber of wit, style, or creativity of ASJiNE. I stopped checking PB on a regular basis months ago in part because I can't tell if its creator even cares about the blog. With J that passion comes through day after day and it's so much fun to watch.

DC Modern Style & Luxury just lost a lot of credibility with me if they actually know the fashion blog scene in this city and chose PB as one of the 'best' of anything. My guess is someone who knew someone who worked with someone raised their hand in a meeting and said, "Hey I know a fashion blog, let's put it on the list."

I'm no sycophant, I'm just a fan of good, entertaining, smart writing and perspective.

Johanna said...

Anonymous 9:42-

I picked these celeb/model looks specifically because they could easily be work looks. I recognize that the commenter said stilettos look "great in the evening," but that doesn't cancel out her earlier statement.

best,
J

sick of the PB haters said...

project beltway is so much better than this site. at least rachel is nice to people and thinks women of all shapes and colors are beautiful. she has such good taste and you could only wish to be as successful as her. you're jsut jealous and you have your friends write comments to slam her to make you look better.

go rach! congratulations on yet another acolade!

Hailey said...

With all of the terrible style mishaps we see in the workplace every day (and which Johanna documents in this fabulous blog), I think stilettos are less an inappropriate distraction than ill-fitting clothing, crocs, outlandish coifs and the like. I wear tall heels to work to feel more confident, walk taller and be stylish, and I think seeing coworkers go the extra inch is inspiring.

Just the way this blog inspires me to step it up on a daily basis :)

Anonymous said...

those rankings are an embarrassment to every blogger in DC.

Anonymous said...

It was the Best of the City issue and it noted that PB isn't just a fashion blog but a blog committed to commenting on people, places, shopping events,etc.

makes little sense said...

Saying "doesn't it just work?" and taking photographs of the same people at the same tired house parties wearing the same preppy outfits hardly counts as worthwhile commentary. I'm with anon 10:05.

Johanna said...

hey guys, can we keep the PB bashing off my comments? I don't delete anything, but I also don't want Rachel to come here and see a string of hurtful attacks.

stick to the content, please!

Anonymous said...

I totally agree. The difference is Rachel is too busy to sit around and read other blogs - that may be why your readers find problems with her site.

gemma g. said...

I could say SO many things on the other topic, but since Jo has rightly scolded those who've gone off track, I'll just say that Sophia Bush looks lovely in that gray dress.

in manila said...

your sense of humor is delicious!

san fran fan said...

love. this. blog.

p.s. will you still post the a-line skirt follow up?

michelle said...

You're making me giggle...good comeback!

DC Govt Attorney said...

Will you post some "comfortable" heels? Or how "to find comfort in heels"? I love heels but everytime I wear stilettos, I find myself praying to God to just let me make the next 100 steps to the Metro or to just grant me mercy to get to my desk. I have to walk, as you do, from metro to office each morning and evening and, as much as I love to look stylish, I need too to not feel like I'm about to slap somebody b/c I'm in so much pain trying to get to my destination. What's your secret? Shoe inserts? A certain shoe brand? Do you walk a certain way? Buy your shoe a size bigger? Or do you just grin and bear it? Help, I would love to not wear the frumpy 2 inch heel, but I'm really limited in my shoe choices because my feet hurt when I try stilettos for work b/c of all the walking. I have so many shoes I don't get a chance to wear as a result. I know you don't approve of wearing flats from the Metro to my desk and then changing. Soooooo . . . what do I do? Please help!

bgo said...

i work at a private school, and most of us girls here all wear stilettos to work....its the only way to go.

Anonymous said...

"I know you don't approve of wearing flats from the Metro to my desk and then changing. Soooooo . . . what do I do? Please help!"

So what? Is J your mother?
If wearing flats during your walk is what works for you, do it.
Your heels don't wear out as quickly that way anyway.