The Ultimate Man Shoe…

While most of my friends tend to joke that it’s my womanly hobby and my wife can’t stand the fact that every room in our house has a pair of shoes hiding in some corner, I pride myself on my taste for shoes (and I have a shit ton). Shoes are one of the best ways a male can accessorize his ensemble.  Besides, wearing the same old shoes every day is just boring.  While I do have quite a collection of wing tips and chukkas, my focus today is on the ultimate man shoe.

After transitioning from the frigid Wisconsin winter to whatever the hell you call this Cincinnati weather, I have found myself in search of a niche, manly shoe to serve a specific role…do anything and everything I need outside.  While my large and chunky winter space boots with Gortex lining might keep your toes from falling off in the Alaskan wilderness, they don’t necessarily jive with the moderate temps this wonderful part of the world gets.

I really needed something that I could slip on in rain, snow, mud, slush, leaves, sewage backup…you know, manly stuff.  Then I remembered my childhood and the awesome L.L. Bean boots my mom bought me! Turns out they still make them and market them towards men.  At first I was a little skeptical, but after reading some of the reviews from life-long Beanies, I bought a pair.  These things are awesome!

Men’s Bean Boots by L.L.Bean®, 8″ Thinsulate

They have served all of my needs thus far, though I haven’t had to deal with the sewage backup yet.  As an added plus, they are stylish enough to wear outside the yard if the weather calls for it.  They come in two basic colors, brown or tan and a variety of ankle heights.  You can also buy them with Thinsulate for an added cost.  My extra plug for the shoes: The full rubber sole is super easy to clean if you happen to step in dog crap.  Not sure you can top that.  Until next time…

Remember, style is choice so make yours,


What Billy Beane, Brad Pitt, & Arianna Huffington Have In Common – Plus, Get 10% Off Smart Talk Women Tickets to See/Hear Arianna Huffington This Wednesday!

It’s not everyday you can take a deep thought provoking message from a Brad Pitt movie. Not that Benjamin Button didn’t leave your mind wandering. Like, why is that baby old? Anyhow, the point I’m trying to make is that after staying up late last night to celebrate our presidents (or watch Moneyball), I was struck by an epiphany. For those who are still Oprah fans left searching for the OWN channel, let’s just call this my ‘Aha’ moment.

Billy Beane (Brad Pitt’s character) changed the way baseball was played. Rather than using a majority of his budget to replace one player who happened to get traded to the Yankees and/or some other wealthy team after a successful season, he relied on statistics to buy cheaper players with certain strengths that could add up to the replacement of one all star player within his small budget. Long story short, he did the “Steve Jobs of baseball” and began to “think different.”

Now you might be wondering why I feel the need to spill the details about a random sports movie I recently watched. Well, this Wednesday I have the opportunity to meet the “Steve Jobs of blogs”, Arianna Huffington, which in turn has nothing to do with meeting Brad Pitt or playing baseball. Honestly though, I am more excited to meet Ms. Huffington than Mr. Pitt who happens to be making an appearance in Cincinnati this upcoming Wednesday the 22nd.  She, similarly to Billy Beane, took the “think different” approach back in the day when she founded a little think known as The Huffington Post. While politics were tied into her beginnings, she still changed the way media operated and the way we received it. Lets just say she re-branded the blogger in the basement to the blogger in the high rise. Alright, so maybe it’s more like the blogger in the cubicle. Either way, she took the blogger out of the basement, gave him or her money for clothes other than pajamas (so I’d like to think), and made them a legit news source.

The Huffington Post who recently got bought out by AOL for $315 million isn’t exactly a small liberal blog with one objective anymore. Instead, it scales beyond politics into style, women in tech, and topics you probably didn’t even know existed. Disrupting a market whether that be in fashion or in baseball can change the social landscape in which we interact today. Can you remember the first time you read a blog? What about the first time you got an ipod? It’s unlikely you thought about anything other than the content you were reading or the song you were listening to, but in reality you were changing the way things had been done & will be done for future generations. So the next time you order take-out, buy shoes online, or read Reality Chic on your ipad think about the action you’re taking and person behind the idea. Then be inspired to “Think Different.”

For those wanting to hear Arianna Huffington speak at the Aronoff Center downtown Cincinnati, click on this link for 10% off single tickets! 


Fashion Week on a Budget! (From Cincinnati to New York City)

fashion week 2012 003

After attending fashion week for the third year in a row, I’m still a bit taken aback by the whole scenario. Fashion is to New York like Skyline Chili is to Cincinnati. Both look good, but only one leaves you with indigestion.

We’ve all watched the scenes from Sex and the City and clicked on the front row photos featured on The difference in Carrie Bradshaw attending fashion week to Erin Flynn (yes, I’m speaking in third person) may be more than just a pair of Manolo Blahniks. While Carrie may have returned to her luxury apartment on the Upper East Side, those of us traveling from Cincinnati, Ohio, prefer to keep it “classy.” Listen, I’m not Carrie Bradshaw, but I did stay at a Holiday Inn last night.

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We’re documenting everything from the H&M blazers to the hottest runway shows to the Isaac Mizrahi blouse my sister wore and recovered from the Salvation Army. There is clearly a wide range of topics here. Keep checking over the next week to find out what it’s like to go to “Fashion Week on a Budget!”

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Fashion Week on a Budget:  Day 1

Blazer: H&M

Black Tank: H&M

Black Coated Pants: H&M

Grudge Booties: DSW

Skinny Watch: Vintage

Bracelet: Gorjana

Saltine Cracker Necklace: Emily Elizabeth Jewelry

Bag: Target

fashion week 2012 627


(Here’s my sister wearing something way more realistic for this time of year in New York City while posing in a completely unrealistic manner. She is also slightly proud of her $2 vintage Isaac Mizrahi for Target find.)

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(A pre-fashion week meal at the local diner!)

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(Taking a photo of Lincoln Center before our last show for the night.)

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(Note: I just bought this blazer last night.)

And the Winner of the Ultimate Accessory (a.k.a Acer Aspire S3) Is…. Jbfoster4!!

Congrats to Jbfoster4! You won the Reality Chic/Windows Giveaway, a new PC:  Acer Aspire S3!! You have until 4pm tomorrow (Saturday) to e-mail us.

Please send me an e-mail at: to redeem your prize!!

Thanks so much to everyone who participated and showed just how fashionable tech can actually be. It was an unbelievable turn out, and we’re looking forward to having some more kick a** giveaways in the near future! Meanwhile, keep up with Reality Chic on Twitter @realitychicblog, Facebook, or right here all this week in New York City for New York Fashion Week.

For those curious as to how this so called “fashion week” goes down or how two Midwestern girls wearing Target standout, we’ll be reporting all the behind the scenes goods via  “Fashion Week On a Budget”“Occupy Fashion Week, What the 1% Wears”, & “Behind the Runway”.


**I am a part of the Windows Champions blogger program. As part of this partnership, I have been loaned a Windows 7 PC for an entire year and have the opportunity to learn about Windows and Microsoft products. I’m looking forward to sharing the inside scoop with fellow 20 somethings & fashion bloggers.**

What to Wear Wednesdays? Glasses That Are Nerdy But Chic and Slightly French (Glasses USA)

You know the age old excuse “My dog ate my homework?” It went sort of like that except instead of my homework, my glasses were the ultimate victim. Apparently Mr. Pug was going for a more sophisticated look to match his rather formal name and stoutly appearance–probably just before he indulged in a baguette and puffed on his afternoon cigar (We like to think he’s French). Unfortunately, Mr. Pug’s avant-garde mishap was on my dollar.

mr pug

One day later, I ironically received a delightful e-mail from those over at Glasses USA asking if I’d like to try out their services. It couldn’t have come at a better time if I had planned it myself. While I was little hesitant to buy glasses online, I had absolutely nothing to lose since my only pair of glasses were engraved with teeth marks.


My Overall Review:

On a professional note, I was incredibly pleased with Glasses USA. They had an insane amount of glasses to choose from that were surprisingly affordable. They also allowed you to choose from multiple types of glasses (sunglasses, fashion, prescription, etc…). I personally needed a pair of prescription glasses. So after calling up my eye doctor, I simply filled in the numbers and completed my order. If you’re confused by the negative numbers on your prescription, I suggest sending them an e-mail with the scanned paper from your doctor. They’ll actually take the time to figure it out for you.

antique doorway 1

Things To Watch For:

  • Frame Size – There is a S, M, L at the bottom of the image. Pay attention to how large you’d like your frame size to be.
  • Measurements – Ask your doctor for the measurements from your previous glasses. Take a look at the measurements provided for each pair of glasses and stay fairly close within those guidelines.
  • Rim Material – The options are plentiful. Don’t make your decision solely off the picture. Find out if the rim is made of metal, plastic, etc…
  • Extra Costs – There can be added costs for bifocals, specific prescription needs, etc… Take this into consideration before choosing a $99 pair of glasses with $60 of added costs.

Antique doorway 2

How to Wear: Black Geeky Glasses

Dress: GAP Outlet

Sweater: Forever 21

Belt: Kohl’s

Scarf: ??

Prescription Glasses: Glasses USA

Boots: Old Navy

Bracelet: 31 Bits

Khaki Bracelet: H&M


I used Windows Live Writer to create this photo collage…it rocks my socks off!


**I am a part of the Windows Champions blogger program. As part of this partnership, I have been loaned a Windows 7 PC for an entire year and have the opportunity to learn about Windows and Microsoft products. I’m looking forward to sharing the inside scoop with fellow 20 something’s & fashion bloggers.**

What to Wear Wednesdays? Outfit Idea: Maxed Out & Tim Gunn Worthy (Maxi Dress)


Last Saturday, I had the opportunity to meet Project Runway’s Tim Gunn downtown Cincinnati via the SmartTalk Women’s Series. Naturally, I debated, and at times panicked, about what to wear.

It wasn’t just a celebrity but a celebrity who has made his living off of literally knowing the ins and outs of the fashion industry. So leave it to me to stump the fashion mentor with a designer he’s never heard of… Olde Nave’.

Who am I kidding?

Old Navy, yes people, my outfit was from Old Navy. The one owned by GAP and known for its insanely cheap clothes, oh, and those ridiculous commercials sporting Kim Kardashian look-a-likes. Yep, that one!

The next panic point in the night was trying to figure out what someone says to Tim Gunn. After being up most of the night due to Startup Weekend it didn’t look promising for me or my brain. It’s not like I’m an aspiring designer wanting to discuss the details on Project Runway or how to get into the Parson’s School of Design. I’m just a big fan (big gushing fan) one that literally could not come up with any intellectual words. And when I turned to my smart intelligent husband asking for some much-needed advice on what to say. He looked at me (in all seriousness) and said, “Ask him about his flight.” Note: he had been up all night as well.

On the account of me not looking like a total fool, I decided to skip my darling husbands advice and ignore the three words I’m sure he gets all the time, “Make it work.” Instead I said the next best thing, and by this I mean the only thing that I could think of, “It’s sooo… nice to meet you.” (emphasis on the “so…”)

Don’t worry, I know what you’re thinking. “It’s so nice to meet you. That’s the only thing you could come up with?” And to answer your inner or outer thoughts…  Apparently, yes.

Meanwhile, I’m prepping and planning to redeem myself for the next meet up with Arianna Huffington on February 22nd same place, same time. On the downside, if I run into Nick Lachey at the local Starbucks we can all just assume, “It’s sooo.. nice to meet you.” will be my go to line.


How to Wear: An Old Navy Maxi Sweater Dress When You Meet Project Runway’s Tim Gunn

Maxi Dress: Old Navy

Elephant Necklace: LC Lauren Conrad Kohl’s

Giraffe Necklace: Accessorize

Feather Necklace: Target

Belt: Urban Outfitters



I used Windows Live Writer to create this photo rocks my socks off!   **I am a part of the Windows Champions blogger program. As part of this partnership, I have been loaned a Windows 7 PC for an entire year and have the opportunity to learn about Windows and Microsoft products. I’m looking forward to sharing the inside scoop with fellow 20 something’s & fashion bloggers.**

Startup Weekend, Entrepreneurship, & A New Fashion Democracy – Righting Style! Go Ahead… Start Exposing Yourself

The dictionary’s definition of an entrepreneur is: a person who organizes and manages any enterprise, especially a business, usually with considerable initiative and risk.

(In other words, we think we can fly hot air balloons across the country.)


What this definition fails to mention is the fact that entrepreneurship is more than managing an enterprise and facing a risk, but that it’s a full on diagnosable disease. At times, it needs to be treated, but there’s no cure. It’s contagious, but people continue to exchange business cards, and if there ever was a definition for bipolar, a startup hoodied, head-phoned eared 20 something’s photo would be smack dab next to it in complete Merriam-Webster style.  

Wondering if you’ve caught it yet? No worries, here’s a list of some of the systems which could include:

  • Extreme highs (superb meetings, kick a** e-mails, extra funding)
  • Really low lows (sucky meetings, depressing e-mails, lack of funding)
  • Weeks of socialization (meet-ups, conferences, travel)
  • Followed by weeks of complete solitude (coding, financials, coding, turkey sandwiches)
  • Stress over location (New York, no…wait Silicon Vally, no wait…Cincinnati?)

Sound appealing? Did I mention it’s contagious…

Since I’m currently experiencing one of those so-called “highs” after our idea was chosen as one of the winners at Startup Weekend in Northern Kentucky outside of Cincinnati. And no, Ashton Kutcher was not the judge though I did carry my Nikon 1… close enough, right? I thought it was only appropriate to share and finally announce what the heck I’ve been doing behind the scenes via Reality Chic since, well… July.

(Griffin Hall, Northern Kentucky University & the Giant Screen!)


(Startup Boxes)

startup weekend5

(Prepping for my pitch)

startupweekend 2 

Along with two other Irish (alright, so we’re related) co-founders, I have been working on launching a fashion democracy startup called Righting Style!

Righting Style image

Righting Style is an online fashion democracy developed to connect brands with influential and relevant bloggers while helping bloggers expose their content and maintain their integrity.

Think of us as the Klout for content.Whereas Klout measures the overall influence of a person, we measure the overall influence of a post.

Posts are written, the community “votes” for & shares the best content, then the results dictate who is rewarded as a trending fashion leader.

With top content chosen by the community, Righting Style encourages everyone to “Expose Yourself”.  


Wondering why the heck I would try and create such a thing?? Well… after starting my own fashion blog, I found a few loyal readers, better known as my sister and mom.

Sister & Mom

I struggled increasing my readership, meeting other bloggers in my local region, and staying a motivated fashion blogger. Now that I’ve grown my readership, I see the constant struggle PR firms and brands have when it comes to connecting with bloggers in a successful manner.

Need some more details… E-mail me: or Tweet me: @realitychicblog

Excited to announce that our landing page is officially up!

And if you feel like “exposing yourself” (in a non creepy sort of way) sign up at Righting Style, follow us on twitter, our blog, or facebook.

What to Wear Wednesdays? Outfit Idea: Killer Red Pants!

red pants photo

How to Wear: Trendy Red Pants!


Red Pants: Old Navy

Sweater: H&M

Chambray Shirt: Madewell1937

Saltine Cracker Necklace: Emily Elizabeth Jewelry

Elephant Necklace: LC Lauren Conrad Kohl’s

Skinny Watch: Vintage (Thrift Shop)

Bracelet: Italian Murano Glass (Store in Italy)

Hair twist: (I can’t live with out it)

Shoes: Target Mossimo


antique red pants

I used Windows Live Writer to create this photo rocks my socks off!


**I am a part of the Windows Champions blogger program. As part of this partnership, I have been loaned a Windows 7 PC for an entire year and have the opportunity to learn about Windows and Microsoft products. I’m looking forward to sharing the inside scoop with fellow 20 somethings & fashion bloggers.**

This SATURDAY Project Runway’s Tim Gunn is Coming to Cincinnati & We’re Giving Away Two Tickets to Meet Him!

If your DVR is recording The Bachelor tonight, like mine (don’t judge, I’m too far in to quit), it’s likely you already know who Tim Gunn is. It’s not because he is or was a contestant on The Bachelor. In fact, it’s probably one of his Golden Rules not to be, but that he’s another reality star on a reality show with just as much drama yet a little less hot tub action, Project Runway.

Tim Gunn has “made it work” outside of just being a designer mentor. He’s a New York Times best-selling author, the Chief Creative Officer of Liz Claiborne, Inc, and a host on a new daily show premiering next Monday on ABC called “The Revolution”.  I’m already fretting about what to wear to meet Tim Gunn, and it would be nice if at least one other person could relate to my wardrobe panic.  So…

Starting tomorrow (Tuesday) on Reality Chic’s Facebook page we are running a contest to win two series tickets which include listening to Tim Gunn speak and a VIP pass to meet him at the Aronoff Center in Cincinnati this Saturday, January 14th @7:30 p.m. The winner will be announced on Thursday @4pm!


The SmartTalk Women’s series (men included) is bringing 4 other BIG names once a month to speak in Cincinnati! Don’t miss more upcoming speakers…

Arianna Huffington

On Becoming Fearless in Love, Work and Life
Wed, Feb 22/7:30pm

Kara DioGuardi

Surviving Life, Love and American Idol
Thu, Mar 22/7:30pm

Vy Higginsen

Seeing No Limitations
Tue, Apr 17/7:30pm

Andie MacDowell

Acting as a Way of Life
Thu, May 24/7:30pm

Win Tickets to Meet & Hear Tim Gunn & Arianna Huffington Speak!!!

Santa is coming into town, and for those in Cincinnati so are 5 other speakers (reindeer excluded). Since it’s Monday I thought I’d do us all a favor and spread some much needed holiday cheer to highly caffeniated people hanging around the water cooler thanks to those over at the SmartTalk Women series.

SmartTalk is getting ready for their upcoming events downtown Cincinnati at the Aronoff center, where Tim Gunn (Project Runway mentor), Arianna Huffington (founder of the Huffington Post), Kara Dioguardi (songwriter and former American Idol host), Vy Higginsen (first female black writer, producer, & director of the longest running Off Broadway show), and Andie MacDowell (actress in films such as “Groundhog Day” & “Four Weddings and a Funeral”) will all be sharing their inspiring stories throughout the course of 5 months with one speaker each month.

I must be honest and tell you that when I first heard about SmartTalk I assumed it was a typical women’s series in which a so-called celebrity would show up in a Hilary Clinton pink pastel suit explaining that she once appeared in Days of our Lives to hundreds of middle-aged women wearing name tags in the audience. That is until I saw the line up where two of my uber crushes (platonic, of course) were included! We can count on the brilliant and now fabulously rich Arianna Huffington who recently sold the Huffington Post for over $315 million and Tim Gunn who literally “makes it work” on Project Runway every week, just to name a few.

I’ll be covering the ins and outs of the event such as what to wear on your night out & whether or not the speakers have yet to indulge in some Cincinnati chili (doubtful, but worth asking). So if you’re a 20 something girl dying to “make it work” in fashion, 30 something social media junkie who hearts the HuffPo, or 40 something male eager to be 2 degrees away from Heidi Klum don’t be jealous of Reality Chic’s excessive tweeting about SmartTalk, and instead join the conversation downtown Cincinnati.

Over the next 5 weeks Reality Chic has teamed up with SmartTalk to giveaway TWO TICKETS & VIP PASSES to ONE WINNER EVERY WEEK via Facebook and/or Twitter along with other occasional surprises to be announced…

(Hint: There may be something to talk about on Wednesday via Facebook!)

Who: Tim Gunn, Arianna Huffington, Kara Dioguardi, Vy Higginsen, & Andie MacDowell

When: January 14th, Febuary 22nd, March 22nd, April 17th, May 24th

Busy one of these days? Purchase the series, 3 pak, or a single ticket

Where: The Aronoff Center for the Arts, Procter & Gamble Hall

How: Check Reality Chic for weekly giveaways, discounts, or order here!


Did I mention you can receive 20% off of the entire series by using the promo code (SANTA)?