Why should I have to choose between ‘tart’ or ‘vicar’ when it comes to shoes?

I detest shopping. In an ideal world, I’d employ a team of dextrous sewing elves who’d be able to stitch garments meeting my specific requirements at the crack of a tiny little whip. As it stands, however, I am elf-less. This means that once every six months I have to hit the hive of retail rage that is Oxford Street.

The sub-genre of shopping that is most likely to give me a twitchy Eye of Fury is that of the shoe. Last week I was forced to get reacquainted with my tiny temper on a hunt for heels to wear to a wedding in India.

My first error was being friends with a couple who had the audacity to get married in a hot country in the middle of British winter – a time when pretty strappy shoes have gone into hibernation. My second error was thinking that I could find a pair of shoes that didn’t force me to choose between looking like either a tart or a vicar.

Without wanting to sound like my mother, can someone please tell me when the only shoe options became stripper heels or brogues? I love brogues, but they can hardly be considered party shoes. This leaves me only with tart stilts to contend with.

The particular vertiginous shoe-style-du-jour was modelled by Victoria Beckham at the royal wedding earlier this year. Her Christian Louboutin Daffodils have a 6.5 inch heel, with a 2.5 inch concealed platform. The design (and variations thereof) has since extended its spidery limbs through the fashion echelons and taken its place as a firm fixture on the high street.

There are a number of reasons why I can’t tolerate these shoes, the first being that I am tall. At around 5’10”, wearing heels makes me tower above my friends already; six inches would send me squarely into giraffe territory.

Linked to my height is the fact that – unlike some of my more dainty friends – I haven’t had years of moulding my feet into little hooves, contorting the ancillary calf muscles and ligaments to support the elegant sashay of a seasoned heel-wearer; I look like Bambi at best and dad-does-drag at worst.

Thirdly, I don’t want to look like a stripper. I know one of Paris Hilton’s puppies dies every time someone utters this, but I want my legs to be elongated without looking like I will show you one of my boobs for a fiver and a line of coke.

It’s not as though I didn’t look hard enough. I tried the usual suspects that fall into my price range – Topshop, Office, Schuh, Faith, Aldo, New Look, Dorothy Perkins – and was greeted with the same “pole dancer or prude” dichotomy. For the sake of my sore floor-paws, I found myself darting, head-bowed into Clarks – a shop I hadn’t visited since the late 1980s, when my mum refused to buy me the Magic Steps shoes with the key embedded in one of the soles– in the hope of finding something more “sensible”, while avoiding the borderline orthopaedic footwear. And sensible shoes I did find. However, the price I had to pay (over and above the £49.99 for the shoes) was being forced to buy a suitably large item in Urban Outfitters that would warrant a bag big enough to conceal the fact that I was a Clarks customer.

All I’m asking is for high street fashion retailers to re-establish a stock of mid-height heels so that lofty ladies like me can clip-clop about with some dignity.

This article first appeared on MyDaily.co.uk


Categories: Fashion

Author:Olivia Solon

Freelance writer and editor specialising in new technologies, culture, media and marketing, design and animal-themed t-shirts.


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