~ SHOES THAT ARE HEIGHTENING BUT NOT FRIGHTENING ~
There is nothing worse than watching someone struggle down the street in their heels. You can be wearing the coolest outfit in the world but if you walk as if you are attempting to traverse down white powdery slopes of the Swiss Alps – knees bent and ankles all of a tremble – you may as well be wearing cargo pants (the ones you can unzip to turn into shorts) and an Ed Hardy t-shirt.
The longer I live, the shorter the height of my heels become. Walking is how I exercise (my kermit arms don’t like the gym). And it’s how I get to work every day – so I need to assimilate walkable shoes into my daily wardrobe. Sure, I still own six inch stilettos but they are getting less and less wear as the years wane on and are stepped into only when I have cab money at the ready and a seat waiting patiently for me at my destination.
Today, if I had to choose, I would opt for practical over ‘pretty’, for comfortable over couture. The thing is: I don’t want to compromise – I want both! I get my kicks from a beautifully crafted shoe as much as the next person. At five foot small I still want to maintain the illusion of an additional inch or two whenever possible but I’m not going to border on masochism to get it.
Luckily I don’t have to choose. As testament to this, I’ve selected a sample of shoes from my wardrobe which ‘stand tall’ in the functionality department, without lacking in form – while still acting as a podiatric booster seat. I opted for a cross-section of footwear deemed suitable for work, night and day.
GUCCI COMBAT BOOTS
These are the sort of boots that so are stunningly detailed even the sole has soul [see image below]! Furthermore, if you find yourself in some sort of post-apocalyptic situation these shoes could deliver a pretty decent blow to an attacker: living or living dead – all to the tune of Nancy Sinatra’s ‘These Boots are Made for Walking‘ (I watch far too many zombie shows…). In a nutshell, these boots are practical, aesthetically pleasing, height enhancing AND kick-arse – a quadruple threat! They also come with black laces, for a more streamlined look, and a removable ‘Sylvie’ strap.
Ever since I was a child I’ve always had at least one pair of chunky boots in my possession – From DMs (Doctor Martens)* to DBs (Desert Boots) to Chelsea boots. I even wore a pair of beige, canvas Timberland-esque type shoes to my First Holy Communion (much to the dismay of many of the more conservative parents). These types of shoes are versatile, comfortable, durable and give you the best type of height: sneaky height.
My Gucci boots work best for me paired with feminine dresses or skirts, much like donning a leather jacket to toughen a softer look. They can also help to dress-down an outfit, which is a common predilection of mine.
*Fun Fact: my Docs my dad bought me, at age 11, still fit me.
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TOPSHOP ‘MOJITO’ SOCK BOOTS
Kitten-heeled sock booties are just as sleek as their stiletto peers but without the taxing pain. This flattering, ankle-hugging style isn’t new (think back to Dior’s sensational PVC bootie in late 2015) but Demna Gvasalia more recently brought them to the very forefront of fashion via Vetements and Balenciaga. Now everyone has taken a slice of the sock bootie pie with more affordable labels like Zara and Topshop doing their own versions. Mine are Topshop and cost only forty quid (I bought mine online, from the UK, but you can get the pink pair from The Iconic, if you’re in Australia).
In winter, sock booties paired with cropped trousers act like a warm hug for your ankles. In summer, if it gets too hot, swap out your booties for some sling-backs – they’re everywhere at the moment (and are pretty great!). Whatever season, kitten heels have you covered – literally and figuratively.
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CAREL ‘KINA’ MARY JANES
Carel’s version of the Mary Jane is not only beautifully crafted but also comfortable to wear. My red pair add a zap of colour and fun. Like a bull to a red flag, people seem drawn to these shoes and I receive compliments on them almost every time I take them out for a spin. My boyfriend thinks my shoes are only admired by women who are old enough to receive the pension, but I fervently disagree! Kicked around by fashion-veterans such as Alexa Chung and artist Chloe Wise, you’ll be in good company. They are also a staple of the brand so something you can save up for without fear of them selling out (although some colours can be seasonal).
The name ‘Mary Jane’, to denote the type of shoe, was named after a cartoon character of the same moniker. Mary Jane was Buster’s sister in the ‘Buster Brown’ comic strip, by R F Outcault, first published in the New York Herald in the early twentieth century.
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DENIM COMPANY FLATFORM ESPADRILLES
With recent rumours that The Spice Girls were reforming it wouldn’t be right not to have a resurgence of chunky flatforms. And it’s not just sneakers that are getting ‘elevated’ back up to their former cool status, almost every type of shoe is getting a sole-lift with designers all the way up the fashion chain getting involved (including Prada, Miu Miu and Moschino). Espadrilles are on that list and did I mention they are basically summer in a shoe?
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