Behold the two pairs of shoes that I pondered wearing on sat night. What's this got to do with turning 40? I was going to a 40th party, of course! Am in the (enjoyable) depths of 40th party season…
Is it 'girly' to say I love shoes? There's that old adage that 'shoes and accessories always fit' so as a not-off-the-rack-size-10 I guess they suit me often when a particular dress doesn't. My feet are (compared to me) a dainty size 5, and therefore happily fit into most high street brands who often have my size in stock.
But like many women I am often drawn to an unsuitable shoe. Um, see the pic for proof. That whistles shoe (pointy, silver, super high) is what I believe fashionistas call FIERCE. Fierce demands capitals, of course.
I bought them for a trip to Dubai (presumed I would be in taxis more than walking). They didn't arrive on time as they were an internet purchase. So I wore them to my book launch (Nov 2015), and managed to stay in them all evening. Hell, I was FIERCE. Especially because I also had on a sparkly jumpsuit and it was my book launch, after all. But I wasn't walking, I was shuffling most of the night. And there was no threat of dancing. Just the threat of a lot of porn star martinis (imperative when wearing high heels akin to a porn star's, non?).
Those shoes make me feel like the vamp of all vamps, a woman who could take on the world and win. But they make my feet feel sad.
On the other hand the Marks&Spencer shoes (low block heel, 60's style, gold) are like little cashmere gloves of wonder.
The other difference is: Whistles - £160 (leather), M&S - £25 (not leather).
The Whistles shoes don't pinch, they're just so high I can't walk in them. The M&S ones, are, by comparison, also going to be fabulous for another party (not a 40th, a 60th in fact, poss the 'new 40', to be discussed in another post) where all high heels will need heel protectors for the floor.
I know for some a heel is more comfortable than a flat. My friend Antonella, by comparison, is more comfortable in heels. She often totters around the office in sky high heels as if she were in slippers. And I am often envious. But no more, I say. I have a pair of silver loafers for work (wearing them today in fact) and I adore them. I've taken a little pic so you can see AND so I can practice loading two pics to a blog #techgenius.
Ooh, there it is! Go me, picture loading whizz kid... ahem. Back to shoes.
So my conclusion is: Metallic shoes are the best at all times. Metallic shoes will always be brilliant. Indeed at a wedding this year, one guest stole the footwear show with some silver flats that laced up the ankle. Oh how she walked, and danced, like a person who wasn't in pain while we in the heels cursed her. I was in a mid heel - a bit like the dance shoes they wear on strictly - so was spared stiletto duty. But I still had envy of the flats.
I agree, there is something about wearing a heel, the feeling of it, emotionally. I don't know if it's the glamour, the sexiness, the 'ready to party' element. It makes you feel a bit more in control of things, like a secret power is bestowed upon you because you are taller, and make a click-clack sound when you walk. Sadly I also make a 'thud' sound when I land if I miss a step in them. So this year, those M&S gold beauties will be my party shoe. They're coming to the 60th, they're coming to a wedding.
And the Whistles ones? I was considering selling them online but I might just keep them, you know, like a photo of that time I was an off-the-rack-size-10. Depends if I need more low-heel shoes (and therefore some funds).
Sarah Jessica Parker told The Telegraph last November that the secret to wearing heels is: "I tell people, get to the restaurant and take them off under the table. Get to the office and take them off. When you’re picking up your kids and you’re waiting, take them off…” Or, wear some you can wear all evening.
Your version of comfy might, like Antonella's, be the higher heel, in which case, please proceed. But at 39, I think it's fine to say mid height heel for me, thanks.
So, I'm not saying, 'as you turn 40, abandon heels', but I am saying '39 is a fine age to say which type of shoes you prefer and wear them happily'.
Because dancing into the night with friends as they or you turn 40 is more important than the shoes you're wearing to dance in.