Recently, I gave up wearing anything over a 4-inch heel. And with good reason. Said reason (or reasons) are aptly demonstrated by Melissa McCarthy in the opening monologue for this past week’s Saturday Night Live…..
Never has a man worn a velvet suit quite like Ryan Gosling for the New York premiere of The Place Beyond the Pines
It’s not just Ryan’s absolutely gorgeous Blond God-ness, but a few things about the suit that could make it work on any Man of Style. First, the color is great: subdued black. A not-too-thin tie (a thin tie, or bow tie would have pushed it into the kitsch-y category.) A basic white button-down, and simple black Oxford shoes. Basically, Ryan’s followed the same advice given to women when we want to wear something that’s usually considered tres gauche: make the accessories classic and tailored, not trendy.
If you get too trendy, you could end up like this:
One more very important thing about Ryan’s suit: it’s expertly tailored. Granted, it is a custom-made Gucci suit, but a good tailor can customize any suit–even a velvet one, if that’s what you want to go for. It’s the tailored suit that sets apart the Man of Style from the…um….Man of Mystery…..
Poor Lena Dunham! By now, *everyone* knows she can’t walk in high heels. The story of her inability was just about the biggest thing anyone said about her appearance at the Golden Globe awards. Except maybe that they didn’t like her Zac Posen dress either.
She even took off her high heels at the Glamour Woman of the Year Awards banquet!
Oh the humanity!
The thing is, not every woman wants to, nor can, wear high-heeled shoes. Sure, some of us are born and immediately ask for a pair of patent leather D’Orsay pumps with a 3.5 inch heel, but, hey, we’re the outliers, the ones who adore unnatural footwear and find them to be in some cases, the most expressive part of our wardrobes. Yet even for us, wearing high heels–especially those gargantuan 6 inch stripper heels–take the practiced skills that make her something of a modern-day American geisha.
Not every woman has that particular aspiration.
Why should she anyway? What difference does it make if Lena Dunham can strut in a pair of Louboutons like Megan Fox? Yes, they’re the big status shoe, and having a pair shows that you’re now a real Woman of Style. But what if there are other things that are more important in your life than practicing, for hours, how to walk in the things without killing yourself (or at least risking serious bodily injury?)
Being a consummate high-heel obsessive–I’m so obsessive that I actually take pictures of my feet in my favorite shoes (don’t ask me why)–I know that when one is young, it’s easier to learn to walk in high heels than when one is older. Much to my Mother’s dismay, I asked for my first pair of platform shoes when I was 13, and wore her down enough to get them. IMO, if Lena really desired high heels, she would have started wearing them a lot sooner, and she’d have no problem walking in them at her age.
She’d also do what she could to keep wearing them till the day she died..
The other thing that causes women other than Dunham to eschew heels is the shape of our feet. My feet, honestly, look rather similar to Dunham’s, which kind of resemble Wilma Flintstone’s feet. It’s not easy to get those feet into high heels, let alone be comfortable in them. High heeled, open toed shoes are much easier to wear in the beginning that closed toe–especially if you’re going to be walking in anything gargantuan (as RuPaul once advised.) But with our funny little toes and straight across, un-ballet-dancer-like feet, open toed or closed toed makes no difference in the discomfort department.
Also, as one’s weight fluctuates, and age sets in, it helps to stretch hamstrings, quads, and ankles as preparation for walking in heels.
Then comes the walking itself. This requires making sure your weight rests in your heels as you step forward.
Trust me. The whole walking-in-high-heels thing takes a whole lot of practice. A Whole Lot of Practice.
Even then, you may have to tolerate blisters, squashed toes, and perhaps shin splints. None of which are very glamorous and might confine you to flats and band-aids–or worse– for several days.
So, honestly, I get where Lena Dunham is coming from. If the girl doesn’t want to wear high heels, she shouldn’t have to. High heels, and walking expertly in them, are not, nor should they be, the sign of A Successful Woman anyway–not these days. Besides, there are plenty of pretty flats out there that would suit Dunham’s particular look . Heels just aren’t who she is nor what she, and other young women of her generation are about. In fact, isn’t it her, and the show’s, authenticity that everybody thinks is so great about the show anyway? ?
If anything, last night’s American Music Awards was a hair disaster. I have never seen more bleached blonde pomps since I walked into a New York nightclub in 1981. And, just like the 80′s the pomps were on boys as well as girls. Apparently, this-throwback-to-the-’50′s hairstyle–along with the pseudo-mullet and the fauxhawk are going to be around for a little while longer…..