I work right next to a DSW shoe store and have been eyeing this cute pair of Zigi-Soho flats that have a pretty jeweled pattern on the toe. I thought they would make a really nice addition to my shoe collection for the holidays.

I’m not usually a formal flat wearer, I’m 5 feet tall, so I take “dressing up” in a very literal sense and wear heels. I’ve always reserved flats for casual situations and as back up shoes (the ones you carry in your bag for when you can’t walk another step in your heels).

A couple of days ago I decided that I would go in and actually try the shoes on after I got off work and I was pretty certain I would take them home with me, but when I got into the store, the flats lots all of their appeal when I laid eyes on a beautiful pair of 2-inch, champagne pink, satin, peep-toe Guess heels. I forgot all about the Zigi-Soho flats, didn’t even try them on, and instead marveled over my luck in finding the delicate, feminine, Guess heels on sale.

I’m a sucker for Guess heels… I’m not crazy about their clothes, but for the money, their bags and shoes are good quality and I have a lot of both. Guess shoes just fit well and they’re comfortable. My trusty black heels that go with everything are Guess heels and I can wear them for hours.

Anyway, I’d gone into the store thinking that flats are the new stiletto, they can be dressed up or down, they can be comfy cute, or sexy, it made sense when I walked into the store. But when I walked out of the store it was with a pair of heels, because somehow, they still win.

While I was thinking about why the heel has so much more power and appeal than the flat, I stumbled upon this great site, http://www.randomhistory.com, and found the history of the high heeled shoe. If you have spare time and are curious, I definitely recommend that you check out the article because I’m not going to try to paraphrase it here (http://www.randomhistory.com/1-50/036heels.html).

I have to say, though, that the story of how the heel was formally introduced into fashion resonated with me and that portion of the story I will quote.

The formal invention of high heels as fashion is typically attributed to the rather short-statured Catherine de Medici (1519-1589). At the age of 14, Catherine de Medici was engaged to the powerful Duke of Orleans, later the King of France. She was small (not quite five feet) relative to the Duke and hardly considered a beauty. She felt insecure in the arranged marriage knowing she would be the Queen of the French Court and in competition with the Duke’s favorite (and significantly taller) mistress, Diane de Poitiers. Looking for a way to dazzle the French nation and compensate for her perceived lack of aesthetic appeal, she donned heels two inches high that gave her a more towering physique and an alluring sway when she walked. Her heels were a wild success and soon high heels were associated with privilege. Mary Tudor, or “Bloody Mary,” another monarch seeking to appear larger than life, wore heels as high possible (McDowell 1989). By 1580, fashionable heels were popular for both sexes, and a person who had authority or wealth was often referred to as “well-heeled.”

With this in mind, I think I’ll stick to my heels. =)

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