On Shoes and Self-Doubt

Blogging Lifestyle

Several weeks ago, cabi reached out and asked if I'd like to attend The Scoop.  A twice-annual conference for cabi stylists, The Scoop offers trainings, an awards ceremony, and a fashion show to introduce the new season’s collection. A week after I agreed, they asked me if I’d like to be their featured influencer for the event, which would include filming a video to introduce the video of the fashion show on their website and on Instagram. Oh my goodness would I; what an honor! I’ve been a fan of cabi for many years; not only do I like the style of their clothing I like the concept behind the business and all the good they do (read more about cabi in this blog post).

The two looks I ordered from the Fall 2017 cabi Collection.

So a few days before my trip last week, I receive a big box from cabi with clothes to wear to the event. One outfit from their spring collection to wear to the fashion show, but also one brand new fall look to wear for the video shoot. Since the Fall 2017 Collection wasn’t yet online, I made my clothing selections based off a scanned lookbook of a few outfits. I wasn’t sure how things would fit so I asked for two outfits and a shipping label to mail back what didn’t work. My past two weeks at work have been so busy and had so many high-pressure and priority events I didn’t have time to open the box and try the clothes on until Wednesday night, the night before I was flying out. One outfit was just too big; the other one fit but it was far more fall of a look and needed fall shoes and hosiery. All my tights were in the attic, and none of my shoes looked quite right. I decided to just do black pumps and suck it up. There just wasn’t time.

Thursday I worked from home until noon, and then only had two hours before I had to leave for the airport. I frantically shoved all the cabi clothes I owned and a variety of shoes in a suitcase, freaking out about what to wear to the airport. Then at 12:15 packages arrived on my doorstep from the mail woman: part of my purchases from the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale (reviewed in this post), and a box from Aerosoles. Aerosoles liked my post where I featured their wedge sandals and reached out and offered to send me some shoes. In the box on my doorstep were a couple pairs including these low-heeled pumps in purple.

I put the purple suede shoes on with the Lydia Blouse and Standout Skirt and Karl walked in the bedroom and said, “Yes, those are the shoes.” They were fall feeling, but looked okay with bare legs. They were a pop of color, but not so much it looked comical. The style was conservative but not frumpy, a good balance for the mix of wild patterns.

But not only that, they looked great with the travel outfit I had put together, really making the scarf pop. I had already packed my suitcase, so I switched out my travel shoes for these new Aerosoles shoes so I’d have them in Tennessee for the video shoot. As I waited for my Uber to take me to the airport, Karl captured a few photos and you can see these purple shoes in this outfit post.

By time I reached my gate at the airport, I was hobbling. While my toes and the bottom of my feet were happy and comfortable, the backs of my heels had rubbed against the shoes and left me with monster blisters. I went to a Hudson News and bought a tiny overpriced tube of cortisone and a pack of Band-Aids and went to work. Three Band-Aids on each heel made the shoes wearable all the way to my hotel room, but there was no way I could wear any shoes that touched that part of my heel for the rest of the weekend.  Rookie mistake, I should have broken in the shoes while wearing socks. But I’m no rookie. I was just in such a rush and worried too much about what other people would think of my style that I forgot my style skills.

The next morning, dressed in Spring cabi with my fall outfit in a bag, I headed to the location for the shoot. I wore my Naturalizer sandals which were a fun pop of color with the navy suit I donned and one of the two pairs of shoes I brought that didn’t cause pain. I just kept them on when I switched to the fall look. They said don’t worry, they wouldn’t film my feet. I had my hair and makeup done, and went out to do the video shoot. They all said the shoes actually looked cute, and may do a full body look for the video. I was so nervous I was happy to get such reassurances and we filmed my two video spots. I then immediately went back and changed out of the fall clothes so they’d remain a surprise until after the fashion show.

I got home Saturday late afternoon, after a flight delay and a bit of a panic trying to find someone to let me in my house (I forgot my house keys and Karl and Emerson were at a birthday party).  A couple hours later, the videos came out and with the one for the website (above), full body shots showing my shoes. Sigh. I wish I had sucked it up and wore the purple flats even if it made my heels bleed. I wish I ordered a different outfit that worked with shoes already in my closet. Ugh, strangers are going to wonder why cabi chose a blogger who can’t even pick a decent pair of shoes. Not only is she chubby and old she has no style.

Like so many of us do, I missed the good aspects of the experience and focused on the negative.

While I went to bed Saturday night thinking about my shoes, I woke with a fresh perspective.

The difference between bloggers and models is we are the whole package. We’re the model, the buyer, the stylist, the hair and makeup crew (though for this event I had help), and the marketing team. For our blogs, we’re the photo and video editors, the graphic designers, the copy editors, the social media gurus, the business development team, the contracts department. While doing all this, we’re often wearing other hats – mother, employee at a day job, side hustle selling something or creating something or helping others achieve their entrepreneurial dreams. We’re scheduling photo shoots between conference calls, editing posts when we should be sleeping (or doing laundry, or cooking dinner), scheduling social media while having our one free moment alone in the bathroom.

I woke up thinking how incredible it is I survived this past week. I kicked ass and took some names and the only scar is on the backs of my ankles. I did great at the day job, and great with the blog. I do well under pressure, and this was a week of pressure but it was exhilarating and pushed me past my comfort zones. And if the only thing I regret is my shoes? Well damn girl, that’s pretty impressive!

We’re always our worst critic. As a blogger, it’s super hard because we open ourselves to criticism from strangers across the globe without a staff to protect us and boost us up when we’re down. But as Kimberly Inskeep, the President and Chief Culture Officer of cabi said at the Scoop fashion show, what could we accomplish if we didn’t worry what other people thought?  The theme of The Scoop was Be Fearless; Inskeep's inspiring speech discuss fear – her fears, other cabi staff's fears, and how to overcome them.  And a big fear discussed was worrying about what others think.

When we release the weight of other people’s opinions is only when we can truly fly.

I learned a lot from my experience at The Scoop, and it was far more than just about the cabi Fall 2017 Collection.  Sometimes life hands you little lessons to give you perspective and get back on track.

20 Comments

  • What I Wore: Penny Lane Lovely [Sponsored] - Wardrobe Oxygen September 29, 2017

    […] When I attended cabi Scoop, I saw a preview of their New Arrivals collection Penny Lane Lovely and could not WAIT for it to arrive. While I loved many pieces from it I immediately fell for this sweater. I loved the camel and black combination, and could see how it would work so well with orange, red, green, plum, mustard, and all the autumnal colors that are hot this season. I loved the ruffle detail on the wrist and how the cuffs have thumb holes so I can pull down the sleeves and keep my hands warm in winter. Like all cabi clothing, it was so smartly designed for wear, but also for coordinating with previous seasons of cabi. […]

  • Jax August 3, 2017

    I feel like those sandals worked anyway, because their color and suede are fall-ish. Maybe that’s because I’m from California, where many wear sandals into fall. 🙂

  • Nancy Bagshaw-Reasoner July 31, 2017

    Just so you know. Last week, I purchased my first Cabi piece- the band jacket- and I told my “stylist” that it was because of you and Wardrobe Oxygen. You give me the confidence to try new things. Keep being you!

  • N July 28, 2017

    I think you look so cute in the video, and I love the shoes- they look very cute and quirky! I am sure you did Cabi proud- you come across as so enthusiastic, youthful, and your style showcases their pieces in a way that is not as buttoned-up and conservative as are my usual associations with the brand. Great job 😀

    • Allie at Wardrobe Oxygen August 1, 2017

      Thank you so much! I feel proud for doing this, it was completely outside my comfort zone and I think it turned out well!

  • Lindsay July 28, 2017

    I actually think I prefer the red shoes to the purple….the red shoes accented your nails and lip color (and even the little red gemstones on the bracelet)! That’s just my opinion though. I love when little accents like that coordinate. 🙂 I totally get it though, we are always our own worst critics.

  • Cheri Krause Wagner July 28, 2017

    It’s so nice to know you’re real and imperfect just like the rest of us! Kimberly’s speech resonated with me more than any other she’s given in my 12 seasons with cabi. I am determined to fear less and not let other’s opinions of me get in my way. I’ve lived my life worrying about what people think of me, and it’s time to let that go and let the real me shine through!

  • Lisa D July 28, 2017

    I’m now obsessed with those purple shoes! I had a pair of purple suede shoes from Bandolino a few years back that I miss dearly. The Aerosoles might be my new favorite pop of color shoes this year.

    As a side note, I’m going to a concert this weekend with a friend and instead of googling, “what do 40 somethings wear to a concert?” I’m using all your great resources.

    Thanks for all the great insight and info you provide!

  • Michelle Van Ellis July 28, 2017

    The shoes looked fine! I love the look of their collection, just not my size unfortunately. I saw about 4 things right away that I would buy.

  • Jo July 28, 2017

    Your presentation is spot on! Your voice is perfectly modulated to project professional enthusiasm. You look stylish and well groomed. Cabi should be thrilled they asked you. I wouldn’t have focused on your shoes had you not pointed them out. My mind briefly red them as rust, which does go with your outfit. Let it go….

  • Lorena Lorena July 28, 2017

    Truth is what we seek…
    I have to say that I would have never in a million years thought you had doubts on your shoes I think they work perfect with the outfit. And yes, we are often our worst critics, I know I am, always looking at what is wrong and not enjoying the things that have been done well.
    I am happy that you realised that and also that you gave yourself credit for a job well done. Go Ally!

  • Nancydrew July 28, 2017

    First of all, I just watched the video for the first time, and it was bizarre to hear your voice!! I honestly liked the red shoes with that outfit.
    This post was awesome. To know that even you have those moments of doubt and concern of what people think is such a comfort! Personally I have let fearfulness get in the way of too many opportunities. This was a great reminder to let that go!!

    • Allie at Wardrobe Oxygen August 1, 2017

      Oh that’s funny that it’s the first time you heard my voice, I never think about that but I don’t do video often!

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