One of my perennial favorite shoes is the stiletto. No surprise there right? I think they are everyone’s go-to shoe. Stilettos never seem to go out of fashion and as soon as you put them on, you just feel sexier and your legs instantly look better. I bought my first pair back when I was 15. I think I bought them at a vintage store. I just remember they were super high, dangerously pointy and almost impossible for me to walk in (sadly I have not gotten much better at walking in heels). They were sitting shoes. Ask any man what his favorite shoe on a woman is and he will say the stiletto. He certainly isn’t going to say your Frankenstein platforms or brogues. So when today’s NYTimes Style section had an article entitled “Who Made That Stiletto?” I just had to share it with you.
I assumed a stiletto was a skinny, high-heeled shoe with a pointy toe. I was partially right. It’s apparently more about the shape of the heel more than the height or the shape of the toe. Read Patricia Field‘s discussion of the stiletto with the NYTimes below (the rest of the article is linked above.)
What is a stiletto? A stiletto is a specific style. It’s a shape. It’s not a height. It’s a heel that looks like a Champagne glass. It could be a three-inch stiletto. Or a four-inch stiletto. It could be a two-inch stiletto. It’s the shape.
Why is the stiletto so popular? It is the sexiest, most feminine shape. The shape echoes the shape of the body. When you have a column heel, it gives a different feeling. It gives a more powerful heel, but it doesn’t have that feminine taper to it.
Will it ever go out of style? It’s like leopard, for example. It’s a classic. Sometimes it becomes highly trendy, and sometimes it gets quieter, but it never goes away.
Do you have a personal favorite? My most favorite pair is from Charles Jourdan; it was probably 1962. It was semi-pointy-toed, so I had toe cleavage. And it was about a four-inch stiletto. Maybe five. They cost me $80. That’s like $800 today.
Can anyone pull it off? Well, there are all different kinds of women, and some women can’t handle a high heel, let alone a stiletto, which has the thinnest bottom. You can’t ever put something on a person that they can’t handle. That’s the big faux pas.
What about men? Do you think the stiletto could ever become a men’s shoe? They could become popular for men when men return to dressing like Mozart.
What are the odds of that? The way we dress over time gets much more simplified — much more utilitarian. It’s the nature of the world. Aristocracy is a past tense.
Here are some fantastic Stilettos we found:
Prada Patent Pump, $620
McQ Alexander McQueen Flame Court Pumps (pictured at the top), $490
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