Thursday, May 17, 2012

The Art of Classy Dress; Classy Shoes

I believe I've touched on the topic of shoes and the issue of class and sophistication (or lack thereof) in my piece on that particular pair of red suede boots, but in this episode (yes, like a bipolar episode, hence the blog title) I will be touching (very seductively) on the topic of how to look classy, without looking trashy. Indeed, this seems to be the antithesis of our time.

A while ago I read an article in Vogue which proclaimed the death of the platform heel following the platform-less courts seen at Prada (amongst others). I had just bought a pair of red-soled (read: SOULED) platform courts from Plum and I was mortified at the thought of having to donate them to a deserving prostitute, or alternatively, a home-wrecker.

Thing is, fashion commentary should never be considered as revelation. Some trends die, and others are more difficult to kill off (like harem pants and nerdy specs).

But shoes...ah, what an intricate art form, one inch off and you won't be a fashionista, one shade lighter and you'll be labelled a disgrace, one heel tip and you could be known forever more as a slob of note. Be afraid ladies, for your shoes are what separates you from being a whore or a style icon.

Let's see a few examples:

Red Suede Boots (with platform)- unless you're wearing a granny cardigan, band tee and reggae beanie, TRASHY.

Red Pointed Courts (no platform)- teamed with a pencil skirt, TRASHY. worn with a shift dress in a neutral colour, MAYBE.

My point here is that maybe you should stay away from red. Because scuffed red shoes are never good for
an image. Ever. If, however, you disagree, do send me a picture of how you made it work (thealteregofashionista@gmail.com). I will mention you in my next post AND maybe remunerate you if you live in South Africa.

OK, here are a few pointers:

1. If the platforms on your heels are more than 5 inches, your hemline had better be just above, or below your knee. PS: this rule also applies to shorts in public but excludes tailored shorts.

2. When choosing a heel, consider the wear-and-tear that will affect it. For eg. suede can work if looked after, leather can be polished, but patent can wrinkle, rip and look like a varnished dust bin bag.

3. Consider the material the actual heel of the shoe is made of an how that will translate with your wardrobe. If it's a platform heel of over 5 inches and the heel is made of cork. DROP IT. In fact, avoid cork at all costs, because they only really work with jumpsuits (which should be burnt) and bootlegs (which will make you look like a country singer).

So if after reading this you feel unsafe in your platforms, you may revert back to wearing Mary Janes and gladiators. But if you're willing to take the risk, throw on those platform heels, but remember that the line between class and "back of classroom" is blurred by the inches on your feet and the tightness of your clothing.

Be afraid Ladies. Be very Afraid.

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