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Previously, we touched a little on the history of high heels and the stiletto, and how the tippy-toed fashion first started from the feet of men. So ladies, the next time your man complains when you take too long at the shoe shop, be sure to give him a little 5-minute education on who to really blame for this. (Above via parentsworld.com)

Since the ancient ages, the designs have evolved along with the changing themes and pop culture of the decades. With the crazed obsession that whirlwinds this foot accessory in these current times, one thing’s for sure – Monroe’s words will continued be uttered by millions of women to come. Here we explore the evolution of the high heel fashion trend, or what some of us would claim as an 8th wonder of the world.

The 20s

Twenties 1

Enter the roaring twenties that belonged to flappers and the Charleston. T-strapped high heels were in, and the First World War was out. The mood of celebration was in the air, and women were rejoicing in their fashionable shoes, which were mainly round toed, Cuban styled, and fastened with buckles or laces. The heels were mid length and wide-based, and the whole shoe in the era would usually be just one solid colour. Bo-ring! (Via glammediaitalia.it)

The 30s

thirties 2

The Great Depression may have brought exasperation into America, but it would take a whole lot more than that to wipe out the high heel industry. Unlike other aspects of ladies fashion which were downsized, women’s shoes surprisingly had an increase in variety in these testing times. Perhaps it was a means of distraction? Everything from ankle-strapped heels, peep toes, wedged heels – a variety of styles were available in the thirties, although the designs were geared towards a more conservative approach, having to keep costs at the minimum. (Via stylehive.com)

The 40’s

forties 1

As the forties approached, the war was back into the picture while high heels were not. Fancy shoe wear took a back seat as women were opting for more practical options, having to ‘foot’ much more responsibilities now that their husbands were away fighting for their country. The luxury of leather materials were no longer available as they were only to be strictly used by the military, and women enlisted in the force were made to wear black pumps with a heel no higher than 1.5 inches – don’t even think about stockings. Outside the force, things were not much different; heels were wider and lower, prioritizing comfort rather than aesthetics, as women were going to have to rough it out now more than ever in their daily lives. (Via etsy.com)

The 50s

fifties 2

As the world recovered from its traumatizing war times, so did women’s high heel fashion. Many women looked to the soon-to-be first lady, Jackie Kennedy for style tips, of which the words sophistication and comfort comes to mind. Watch any movie from the 50’s era and you’ll be able to see the obvious trend in the footwear. Mostly solid in colour but available in every different shade the human eye could perceive, ladies shoes were planned to match the colour of their dresses, hairpieces, cars, cats….you get the picture. This, my friends, is also the era where the sexiest of sexy, sexy heels made its first appearance: the stiletto. Unlike the many cheap cost-cutting versions that are available today, the true stiletto heel and shape can only be achieved when the stem of the heel is made of solid steel or alloy – a fact that was established well into the fifties. (Via etsy.com)

The 60s

sixties“These boots are made for walking” and that’s just what it did for the next two decades. This Nancy Sinatra record was released in 1966 when knee-high, pointy-toed, heeled ‘kinky boots’ were at in, and so were other forms of ankle stiletto boots which transformed regular legs into sexy calves. The 60s were also famous for the gaining momentum of the feminist movement, which rejected high heels as an oppressing, self-crippling, man-made sexual stereotype. As heels were once used long ago as a means of slowing down women to disable them from escaping the harems they were forced into, the feminist movement of the 60s saw it in a similar light, a means of submitting women to male violence. As a result, heels started becoming lower and chunkier, but never compromising on the chic factor – funky colours, metallics and buckled shoes were very in at the moment. (Via amazon.co.uk)

The 70s

seventies 1If you’re wondering where platforms came from, it was from the era of disco dancing, the sizzling seventies. Turn left and right and you’d see experimentation everywhere with drugs, sex, and thankfully also with fashion. Pushing the boundaries of style and amazing others with outrageous outfits, this decade was all about wowing and attention-seeking. Platform shoes did just that especially when paired with crazily high heels. John Travolta’s high heeled Cuban boots in the opening of Saturday night fever in the late 70s also escalated the platform shoe fashion among men, although his shoe choice might not have had nothing to do with the trending fashion, really. (Via ebay.com)

The 80’s & 90s

eighties jimmy chooThis eighties and nineties was a rocking time for everyone. Think Joan Jett, think Cindy Lauper. The rocker style was the craze of the era. Oh and move over, feminism. Your rejection of stilettos as a statement of submission has been, er, rejected. We’ve now decided that we don them for our own pleasure and delight. Heels gave women added height, which in turn gave them confidence, power and authority which they started to need now more than ever as many a woman were getting serious in their workplace and careers. Professional pointed and slender heels of mid to low height were a popular choice for the workplace while towering and sophisticated designer heels such as Jimmy Choo (a fellow Malaysian yay!) and Emma Hope were still a preference after hours. (Via kama-s-fashionl)

The 2000s – till present

Millenium 3As skirt hemlines rose, so did the variety of high heel designs. The early 2000s saw some strappy heels with a dainty feel that was a popular choice for evening classy wear. In the mean time, other designers like Antonio Berardi and Manolo Blahnik eliminated the heel section of from their shoes altogether to create the revolutionary anti-gravity heel that would be the inspiration of other whacky designs to come, and iconic with celebs who have a taste for the unusual – it would be almost sinful here to not mention the devil’s child herself, Lady Gaga. Not just that, the obsession of wearing high heels have become more common and accepted among the modern female society, that women are surgically restructuring their feet through procedures that shorten the toes and injects padding on the balls of the feet to allow them to walk in those stilts for longer. High heels have never been sexier and women’s feet have never been more deformed! (Via amazon.com)



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