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Your lifestyle, your quirk
We’ve all bemoaned the catch-22 stilettos present. They’re so uncomfortable, give us blisters, leave us swearing that we’ll never again squeeze our size 8 feet into a pair of 6 1/2s again, no matter how adorable. But they lengthen our legs, pair ever so well with staid work outfits and exciting cocktail dresses alike, and represent an air of femininity that cannot be captured quite so wholly by any other single accessory.
But maybe there’s a better way. First introduced in the late 1950s as an alternative for adolescent girls not yet old enough for the provocative nature of sky-high footwear, kitten heels are shorter heels that typically don’t rise past two inches. They broke into ensembles of the older set after being worn frequently by actress and style icon Audrey Hepburn.
While Audrey’s silver screen days have long passed, the impact of her impeccable taste has not. Though fluctuating in popularity over the past few decades, the smaller heels are trending again, as even high-end designer Manolo Blahnik has chosen to include kitten heels in his collections of stilettos that have been “often copied” in order to introduce a fresh new perspective on shoe height.
To all burgeoning professionals who hate heels: I agree. There are days when no amount of Dr. Scholls magic can make me forget that I feel like I’m constantly walking down the side of a mountain. But despite all personal reservations associated with heels, I have to admit that they usually command attention in a positive way. When I see a woman emerge in heels from anywhere, be it an office, boardroom, or the grocery store, I tend to think, “This woman can be authoritative and in charge. She obviously gets things done.” So to me, a kitten heel is the best of both worlds; get respect and still have five relatively unscathed toes at the end of the day.
For instance, this heel from online shoe purveyor LuLu’s is on my wishlist for Christmas already. It combines color blocking with animal friendly faux patent to create a gorgeous peep toe that won’t sacrifice comfort for style.
This black pair with a great bow embellishment can be worn from the office out to for an evening on the town.
Regardless of your style preference, I have only one cautionary piece of advice: people are in awe of a woman with heel height – provided she can walk in them. Don’t buy heels, whether they’re half an inch off the ground or half a foot, and expect that stomping around clumsily will get you the same kind of reaction as a graceful glide. Practice at home if you can’t tell the difference.