Did you know the first shoe was made over 4,000 years ago and was constructed of rawhide? And until 1818, there was no difference between the left shoe and the right shoe. Additionally, all shoes were universal – acceptable for either sex. High heels were invented in the Middle East to prevent the women’s legs from touching the scorching hot sand.
My, how we have progressed!
Now, there is an overwhelming amount of options when it comes to choosing the perfect pair of shoes. How is a girl to know which shoe to wear when?
Unfortunately, there isn’t an exact science to shoe fashion. However, this is a good place to start. Ask yourself these three questions:
1. What surface will you be walking on?
Will you be spending a lot of time outside? It is unwise to wear heels if you’ll be traversing large expanses of grass or cobblestone sidewalks. Likewise, wearing high heels on a slippery marble floor is asking for disaster.
2. What type of event will you be attending?
Being over or under dressed is probably one of the biggest fashion fears. It is easy to make either of these mistakes when venturing out into the unknown. For example, your boyfriend invites you to family dinner for the first time or the night unexpectedly leads you to a dance club.
However, if you have a good idea of where you will be going and what other people are wearing, there really is no excuse. For example, why wear 6-inch heels to a baseball game? The vast majority of people sitting around you won’t think you look fashionable – they’ll think you look foolish. Alternately, the fancy, black-tie wedding you were invited to is not the time to wear flats.
3. What type of look do you want to convey?
Shoes might just be an accessory, but they do a lot of talking. Do you want them to help you look sleek and put together? Edgy and fashionable? Or powerful and professional?
An important meeting with your boss is not the right time to pull out your multi-colored heels. Your boss is more interested in your ability to look professional; he or she won’t care if you look fashionable – unless you work in the fashion industry, of course.
If you are still unsure of which shoes to wear, take these factors into consideration:
- Slingbacks are usually a safe option. They are flattering for nearly every body type and are appropriate for almost any occasion.
- Heels are usually mandatory for formal appearances. If you aren’t fond of walking in heels, let this be a reassurance – your calves, ankles, and rear will have a more shapely appearance.
- Mules look great with pants and skirts.
- Unless you have long, skinny legs, avoid any shoe with an ankle strap. These straps break up the visual appearance of the leg in the worst place, making your legs look short and wide.
- Of course, there is an exception to any rule. Straps are ok if they are on a strappy sandal. In fact, this type of shoe disguises a bigger ankle. When in doubt, reach for a pair of ancient Greek sandals.
While this decision won’t be a life altering one, it is still pretty important. Put some thought into where you are going, what you will be doing, and how you want to look. Then, put your best foot – and shoe – forward.