Are high heels dead?

It’s the sort of question that 2017 Carrie Bradshaw might ask in her column… are high heels dead?

After decades of towering stilettos, flatforms, and even armadillo heels (thank you McQueen…), we are trading in couture for comfort. Yep – flats are finally ‘in’. At least according to Harling Ross at Man Repeller.

Are high heels dead?

“I blame the sneaker craze of 2014,” says Ross. “Well actually, “blame” is the wrong word. “Credit” is better, because I’m grateful the craze occurred. To recap: Sometime around 2014, street-style stars and high-end brands magically colluded (a.k.a. it was a chicken-and-egg situation — I’m not quite sure who had the idea first, although Isabel Marant’s wedge sneakers might very well have been the embryo) to enforce the concept of wearing gym sneakers with non-athletic attire. All of a sudden, sneakers were not only acceptable every-occasion footwear, but they were also COOL.

“Up until then, fashionable footwear and comfort were treated as mutually exclusive, so it makes perfect sense why the trend caught on so quickly and so universally. The comfort was addicting. Walking ten blocks didn’t feel like an experiment in pain tolerance. Bunions were no longer de rigeur.

“The sneaker trend had a good run (pun intended), but it maxed out after a couple of years. It was inevitable, given how homogeneous it became. The habituated comfort of forgoing high heels, however, was seared permanently into our psyches. How could it not be? It felt so good!!

“Other high heel-less shoe trends trotted in to fill sneakers’ place. Slides have been a predominant contender of late, but loafers, ballet flats and espadrille wedges form a solid supporting cast of comfortable footwear options.

“We’re fortunate to live in a time when designers are producing an abundance of cool shoes that don’t have high heels — casual ones, fancy ones, in-between ones — leaving us with comfortable and attractive options for almost any circumstance, from leading a board meeting to going out to a fancy dinner. They’re responding to a consistent, consumer-driven demand, no doubt — because now that we’ve tasted the sweet, smooth, buttercream frosting of shoes that not only get you from point A to point B pain-free but also look great simultaneously, why would we ever go back to fondant?”

So should you ditch your Manolos?

Ross makes a good point, but here at A Perfect Look, it will take a lot more than a pretty ballet shoe to wean us off our heels. However, there is no denying the fact that women deserve to have more choice when it comes to our footwear. After all, even Carrie broke the odd heel while running for a cab…

Choose the right shoes to wear with a jumpsuit

Love them or hate them, jumpsuits have entered the mainstream. But do you know the right shoes to wear with a jumpsuit?

Whether you are dressing to impress at a fancy wedding, or nailing the smart casual look at the office, it is crucial that you choose the right footwear. So read on for our guide to jumpsuits and shoes.

With work clothes…

If you are wearing a jumpsuit to work, it’s probably going to be either tailored and chic, or loose and modern.

Tailored jumpsuits look great with simple court shoes or stilettos. For wide-leg jumpsuits, block heels work best. Alternatively, hide a comfy flat shoe underneath a swishy hem a la Sam Taylor-Johnson.

At a wedding…

A jumpsuit is a great choice for a wedding. It’s different enough to stand out from the sea of floral dresses, but smart enough to suit the most formal dress code.

At a summer wedding, show off your pedi in the most OTT strappy sandals you can find. And in winter, go for sparkly, embellished or quirky heels that will help you light up the dancefloor.

At the bar…

There is an endless selection of club-ready jumpsuits on the high street at the moment. Think jumpsuits with ruffles, Bardot necklines, lace inserts, and sheer panelling – sometimes all at once! A loud jumpsuit needs minimal accessories. Invest in a pair of nude or black heels that you know you can walk in.

At the park…

It’s easy to dress up a jumpsuit, but not so easy to dress them down. However, the rising popularity of dungarees and pinafore trousers has made it more acceptable than ever to rock a jumpsuit at the park (or on the school run, or wherever you usually wear joggers or jeans!).

Choose a relaxed fit and pair with statement sneakers such as Adidas Superstar or Converse.

The ultimate investment shoes

Great shoes are a woman’s best friend. They lift any outfit, they make you feel taller, and best of all – if they fit you once they’ll fit you for life. The best shoes – designer shoes – can be prohibitively expensive. But choose the right pair and they will more than earn their worth. That’s why we like to call them ‘investment shoes’.

Here are five iconic pairs that you won’t regret investing in.

1. Gucci Jordaan loafers

You’ll likely be familiar with Gucci’s iconic Horsebit loafer. But Alessandro Michele’s arrival at the helm of Gucci in January 2015 signalled a renaissance for the style. Reworked with a slimmer shape to create the Jordaan style (pictured above), the horsebit-adorned loafer is once again a must-have.

Whether you go for the classic loafer or the ever-popular backless version, it’s a buy you will never regret.

From £410.

2. Chanel two-tone slingbacks

First created by Coco Chanel in 1957, there’s more to Chanel’s two-tone slingbacks than meets the eye; the nude upper lengthens the leg, while the black toe shortens the foot. Genius.

If you can’t find a pair for love nor money, Chanel’s two-tone flat ballet pumps are just as iconic and the colour-way has the exact same effect, even without a heel.

From £540.

3. Christian Louboutin Pigalle pumps

With it’s pointed toe and pencil-straight 120mm heel, the shoe is loved for it’s posture-correcting and leg-lengthening abilities. Kate Moss has countless pairs, and you’ll rarely see her on the red carpet wearing any other shoe.

Black patent is the signature fabrication but due to their popularity they are available in a plethora of fabrics and treatments.

From £475.

4. Chloé Susanna boots

These studded ankle boots, featuring three buckles and a subtle floral motif, captured the zeitgeist with their rock and roll vibe. Eight years after their launch, they still sell like proverbial hot cakes, and they are available in a range pf luxurious fabrics such as calf skin and suede.

Approx. £850.

5. Manolo Blahnik Hangisi pumps

When Carrie Bradshaw chose Manolo Blahnik’s jewel blue Hangisi pumps as her ‘something blue’ when she (finally) married Big in the first Sex and The City film, she unwittingly (or perhaps not) bestowed icon status upon the shoe.

Satin-covered with a 105mm heel, the Hangisi was inspired Napoleon I, Josephine and Pauline Bonaparte. The signature Swarovski-embellished buckle on the toe, meanwhile, was inspired by a vintage piece found by Blahnik, a lover of accessories, in Italy.

From £745.

OK, so just one pair of these shoes might be the equivalent of your whole year’s fashion budget, but that’s why you have to treat them as an investment. Investment shoes are shoes that have already proven their fashion kudos, and they are made to last. Spend a few hundred pounds and you will feel like a million dollars every time you wear them. Now that’s just good maths…