High heels are not a modern invention. Rather, they enjoy a rich and varied history, for both men and women.
Although high heeled shoes are depicted in ancient Egyptian murals on tombs and temples, the earliest recorded instance of men or women wearing an elevated shoe comes from ancient Persian riders.
It has been commonly stated that the first instance of the wear of high heels involved the 1533 marriage between Catherine de’ Medici with the Duke of Orleans. She wore heels made in Florence for her wedding, and as a result, Italian high heels became the norm for ladies of the Duke’s court in France. Unfortunately, this reference may be apocryphal, as the development of heels did not begin to come about until the late 1580s, based on iconographic evidence and extant pieces.
The higher your heel is, the sheerer your stockings should be and the lower the denier number needs to be. A high denier equals a thick pair of tights and should be worn with flat shoes.
Don’t fall for the emu trap. If you have very thin legs wearing very high stilettos with a wide pair of three quarter trousers can make you look too heavy.
No matter how expensive the shoe never wears it if it is scuffed or the heel is torn. It will instantly downgrade your look.
Watch where you walk in stilettos. Gravel roads grates or iron steps can mean the end of your leather heels if you aren’t careful.
Embrace your size. Short women who wear thick platform shoes to appear taller actually do the opposite. Heavy shoes become the focal point of the outfit.
Make sure you can walk in heels. High heels look great but only as long as you can walk in them. Tottering precariously on your heels makes you look like a young girl in her mums shoes. Own your walk and walk comfortably in what you are wearing.
Match your ankle shape to your shoe. Women with thick ankles will only make their legs look heavier wearing fine stilettos.
Chunky heels will make your ankles and legs look chunky. For over weights a chunky heel will make your lower leg look heavy and clumsy.
Now I’m not suggesting you totter around on staggeringly high stilettos but a slimmer heel will do wonders for your shape. As the foot lifts off the floor it will elongate the leg and make it look longer and slimmer.
A slim heel makes your ankle appear slimmer and your legs sexier. On the other hand, a thin heel on thick legs will do the opposite you will end up accentuating the thickness of your ankle and legs. In this instance nothing thinner than a medium heel will do your legs any justice.
Even when you are wearing pants a small heel is mandatory. Save your runners for the weekend social occasions and going to and from work if you are a walker.
The stiletto unfortunately is bit too whimsical and flirtatious for business dressing. Keep your heels between 4-6 centimeters with skirts and dresses and with pants you can go as low as 2 centimeters. A flat shoe will never set you apart.
THE WRITER IS A FASHION DESIGNER AND CHOREOGRAPHER AND CAN BE CONTACTED AT [email protected] and www.prasanttghosh.org