One often becomes more active starting in the Spring. There are more outdoors events and activities, such as St. Patrick’s Day parades, church picnics, Easter Morning egg hunts, flower-gazing national park walks, and new museum exhibitions to stroll through. And Shopping Girls of course will be shopping!
Spring is not a time when you want to feel slower, overly encumbered by anything, but light, free, released…. Wearing high heels for Spring-time activities just doesn’t feel as fun or as fluid as reclaiming a renewed, youthful feeling, the spirit of the Spring season, in flat shoes.
Many women have difficulty finding truly pretty or fun flats that are not only comfortable and practical, but that work properly in proportion with their outfits and dressing style. It doesn’t have to be this way, however. It’s just a matter of recognizing your core sense of style, and then working with the balance between the different apparel items you incorporate into your wardrobe. Flats don’t have to equate with short, dumpy looking legs. Whatever your body type and style–feminine, sporty, empowered, classic, eclectic—your personality and the activities you embrace can incorporate flats that look great and function well.
One basic tip that is especially helpful when wearing flats is to design your outfit in thirds. For example, divide your look from head-to-toe into three equal parts. Then go with an equal division of three, or two-thirds on the top or bottom.
For example, one of the reasons that a solid color, knee-length dress look great on everyone is because it gives you a two-thirds on top/one-third on bottom division to your look. You probably understand this proportion balance instinctively and through experience with choosing your wardrobe. However, when you switch heel heights, you may not be adjusting your clothes to maintain this basic proportion, hence the impression that flats may make your legs seem dumpy by comparison. (And yes, granted, heels of course create a longer-looking leg by artificially angling most of the foot into the line of the leg.)
Another trick is to coordinate the color of the shoe with your leg’s skin tone or, if you are wearing hosiery, such as socks or tights, matching to that color. For Spring 2018, transparent segments built into shoes is a hot trend, and this has a similar effect. This is also a convenient and money-saving approach if you don’t wish to have a large shoe wardrobe. You can wear neutral colored shoes matching your skin tone with any color outfit. Note that, as is the case with a lot of fashion and cosmetics products, finding a realistic range of skintone neutral colors isn’t always so easy. To the manufacturers: Shopping Girls have money to spend on fashion, so branch out with the skintone options already.
Keep in mind, however, that absolutely any style of shoe, or any type of apparel, can be made to look stylish by someone. Indeed, this approach is often how trends are started. One individual works something unexpected with such flair that the trend takes off. Sometimes it’s just a matter of taking a new perspective–and Spring is the perfect time for that….
It reminds us that our assumptions about what does or doesn’t look “right” or “nice” is heavily influenced by opinions outside of ourselves. Our culture is riddled with marketing and cultural propaganda that has been hammering each of us since we were children. Combined with family and community norms, we can end up being a bit constricted in our thinking about what does or does not look good on us, what we should like versus what we actually might enjoy and even prefer. Such influences play into many women’s impressions of footwear. Don’t feel tied down by assumptions, especially about something as essentially unimportant as fashion. A Shopping Girl finds joy in playing with fashion, and playfulness is good for the spirit and an expression of a life-affirming attitude.
So, if you always wear classic pumps, try a sexy sandal flat.
Or, if you have never been seen near a pair of impractical, girly high heels, maybe give a pretty, intensely feminine flat a chance.
How about a boyish punk flat to dress up a jeans-and-sweater look?
Are you a fan of a particular designer? They make awesome flats.
Don’t want to invest a lot of money in flats, because you change up your style so often? Not a problem, inexpensive but still comfortable and cute flats are everywhere.
Are you a Shopping Girl with wide feet and struggle to find cute shoes? Flats can be particularly difficult to find for wide feet, because you probably have high arches, and flats sometimes don’t provide a lot of room in that dimension, even if the soles are wide. This doesn’t need to hold you back though, because now there are a number of stores that cater to those with wider feet.
If you need to be a quick-change artist in your life activities, flats are a great option, since they simply take up less room than heels in your bag, and can cover more events and activities than heels can.
In closing….Not to be paranoid, but let’s face it: Your feet are your main means of getting around. Few women can flee a raging Tyrannosaurus rex in heels like Claire in Jurassic World.
Every woman should have some back-up flats. Keep a pair next to your bed, in the event of an emergency. For example, if you live in earthquake country, have you realized that you might have to traverse broken glass all over your floor?
Keep a pair of flats in your car, in case a break-down confronts you with a long walk.
You need a pair at your work site. Evacuating down 30 flights of stairs in heels is not fun and the panicked people behind you might knock you down. Even if you aren’t in a high-rise, many work environments have less than ideal flooring surfaces or conditions–slick tiles or waxed laminate, grease and oil, cluttered stuff you have to navigate–you need your game on, on your feet, if you have to move fast.
Really, anytime you are out and wearing high heels, you are intentionally placing yourself in a somewhat vulnerable, crippled condition. So if possible, carry a pair of flats in your bag. If you break a heel, sprain your ankle, or suddenly have to bail from a public venue, you’ll be glad you took the precaution.
And finally, a general comment on insuring that your shoes fit well. Don’t forget about cobblers. There are many talented people who have all kinds of tricks and techniques that can customize your shoes for better fit, longevity and performance. The cost is usually reasonable, and the difference this can make in your comfort and happiness makes it worth doing. So if you are unhappy with a pair of shoes but for whatever reason you do not or cannot return them, talk to your cobbler about your options.