High heels are like a beauty lift, in a flat, you can feel beautiful, but a stiletto changes your mood, how you move – like a wild, beautiful animal
I was once that gazelle-like creature, leaping through the safari of London in a ten point five centimetre heel. It didn’t matter the occasion – work, teaching triple-jump, all-night dancing – the staple stiletto was surgically attached to my feet. Can I recommend remembering your trainers for triple-jump lessons though; I have not inspired any future olympians in this discipline through my ‘requires improvement’ lesson (self-graded).
I have issues. I am the first to admit it. My life is like one long timeline of events in footwear. At one count, there was in excess of fifty pairs of heels living in my cupboard. The stilettos sealed the deal on my first date with my husband (Office nude platform – eleven centimetres). They successfully saw me through job interviews (Dune black patent stiletto – ten point five centimetres). They walked me in to a life of matrimony (YSL sky-blue platform – a whopping fourteen centimetres). They weren’t just shoes. They were like close friends that boosted my moral and told me I was fabulous.
Zanotti (we bow at the altar of your 2019 sandal collection) was not far wrong when he says you move differently in a heel. I don’t mean after a pint of chardonnay on the unsteady streets of London town, when it becomes veritable assault course to make it to the taxi without a sprained ankle. You hold yourself differently in a heel. It elongates you; makes you carry yourself taller. I always promised that I would be the granny in the high heels rather than the slipper boots – my heels would carry me like a beautiful animal to my deathbed.
Until I became a mother. I had to (draws a deep breath), embrace the flats. It pains me to say it. Despite my commitment to glamour (and gel party feet inserts… and back issues), a twelve centimetre snakeskin stiletto was just not going to cut it at soft play. I was not going to be able to sprint after an escapee toddler in a tan ten centimetre block heel. More importantly, it was not going to make me one of the most popular mums if I kebabbed a crawling baby with a nude pump at Sing and Sign. How was I going to be a beautiful animal now?
I had to turn this on its head. Giuseppe believed in me – he knew I could still feel beautiful in a flat. C’mon Giu – a Nike Air Max is no Jimmy Choo. However I came to the realisation – I wouldn’t be buying heels, but I would still be buying shoes. My addiction would be satiated, and I could still accessorise. Then began the furious trawling of fashion sites, ensuring the deliveries were made on weekdays when husband was at work. Bless you ASOS for your wide range of chelsea boots. Thank you H&M for your pseudo-Louis Vuitton chunky heeled biker boots – verging on too high but we’ve got this. There’s even some Next ballerina pumps that have pirouetted their way through the door.
Still my collection of best heels sit like a shrine in the dressing room. I occasionally stroke them and sigh wistfully. In our house, Thursday night is pub night: family meal, just the one glass of wine and home for bath-time. As this is the closest I get to a date night (not had one of those in two years), I always slide on a ‘beauty lift.’ Feeling all fabulous, I revel in the wild beauty of being down the local in twelve centimetre leopard print Jimmy Choos (Autumn/Winter 2015). Then as we navigate the potholes in the carpark and head home, I revel even more at being able to slip off the uncomfortable buggers, massage my feet and long for my granny Ugg boot slippers that are waiting for me at home. Don’t tell anyone – but I think my heels days are quite.. happily.. done!
Is there anything you have had to sacrifice for parenthood? Gents – I doubt it’ll be the heels (then again it is 2019) but what have you had to change? Are there any any fellow shoe-whores who just want to share a recent, fabulous purchase. Hit me (and my depleted savings) with it!