There are so many styles of shoes but why is it that high heels are still seen as the “appropriate” special occasion shoe?
When you get invited to somewhere fancy, whether it is a wedding or some other event that is worthy of sending a paper invitation in the mail, there is an expectation that you’re going to wear something dressy and appropriate for the occasion. When it comes to footwear, and you’re a woman, high heels are still widely considered the most acceptable option.
This was recently proven with the Cannes flat controversy. The film festival didn’t consider flats to be dressy enough. It didn’t matter how many sequins they had or how shiny they were; it was high heels or nothing. It’s doubtful that you’re going to get turned away at a formal family event for choosing a pair of beaded flat sandals instead of heels, but there will probably be some comments about your “interesting” choice of footwear. It’s the same thing if you opt for a jumpsuit or a tailored trouser suit instead of a dress. (That’s a whole different discussion.)
Some heel lovers don’t even consider kitten heels or block heels to be as formal as 3″ or more heels, and wedges are up for debate. What is it about that spike that makes those heels so much more formal than other shoes? Is it the idea that to get dressed up, you have to wear something uncomfortable to look fancy?
There are many reasons why people like wearing high heels. If you’re short, they add a few extra inches so you can save a trip to the tailor to get your maxi dress hemmed. Heels can make you feel sexy and ready to kick butt. However, they aren’t the only formal option, and we need to stop thinking they are.
When you dust on a bit of glitter, add some lace or a metallic finish. Any shoe can become dressy enough. There are flats, boots, sandals, flatforms, brogues (yes, brogues!), and countless other styles that are just as fancy as your high heels. Not having a spike on the heel doesn’t make them any less dressy.
If you start opening up your mind to trying different shoe styles, you’ll have more options to go with your outfit. You’ll also realize that there are shoes you can wear for the entire duration of the event without getting a burning pain in the ball of your foot or having to ditch your heels after 10 minutes of dancing. Which leads me to this thought: If we don’t consider flats or low heels to be formal enough, how come we don’t seem to have a problem with people dancing barefoot in their fancy party clothes? Where does that fit into the dress code?