Love at First Sight
IT’S August 1964 and the hit song playing on the radio was ‘You Really Got Me’ from the Kinks.
I AM 10 years old. My sister thinks I am asleep but I am peeping out from under the blanket. I was fascinated. She was standing in front of the mirror twirling this way and that way. Going up and down on tippy toes on the highest shoes I have ever seen in my life. How was she balancing on those thin heels?
THAT was my introduction to the stiletto and I can still hear the Kinks’ song, specifically the chorus line ‘You really got me’.
History Of My Addiction
MY buying addiction started as soon as I earned my first pay check. As with any young women I was a slave to fashion and went from the stiletto to the wedge and back to the stiletto.
Early in my working career, I owned shoes in every conceivable colour and the make or manufacturer had not featured high on the list, only quantity mattered.
IT was much later in my life that I realised that the quality of the stiletto was the most important aspect of buying.
SO I did what can be called a ‘spring clean’ of my shoe cupboard and every poor quality shoe was thrown out.
Haste and Elegance, No Not together
ON your first wear out, make sure you rub your stiletto soles on a rough surface, particularly when the soles are leather, as most stilettos do have leather soles.
LEATHER soles are unbelievably slippery and I have a particularly bad set of scars on my shins as evidence! Ok, ok, it was embarrassing but I will tell.
IT was early afternoon, and I’ve had a really bad day at work. My boss was being an asterisk. Female bosses, who behave like men, are the world’s worst. Anyway, that is definitely for another article. I was, to say the least, in a mood from hell, and decided to go and get some retail therapy.
Grabbing my handbag, briefcase and my laptop bag I hurriedly left the office.
I WAS wearing a beautiful pair of Italian Contronseso slip on stilettos. I had two flights of stairs to go before I reached my car in the parking lot. On the last set of stairs, I put my foot to far forward on the step and I did what can only be described as ‘skiing down eleven steps (I counted them afterwards) on my knees. (ow!)
FORTUNATELY, I had my laptop bag in one hand and my briefcase in the other, which helped with the balance going down. If I did not have these two items in my hands, I would have surely gone down, head over heels. Now that would not have been a pretty sight!
I LANDED on my knees, head bent down, as if in prayer, whilst (oh heavens wait for this!) a gorgeous young blond man was just coming up the stairs. I wonder what he thought as I landed in front of him.
I wanted to die, but I did not.
HE so gently asked if I was ok, whilst picking up my shoe. I managed to get back on my feet and sit down on the stairs in about a nano second. I said, no I am fine with the biggest smile on my face, all the while dying of embarrassment inside, saying the funky word repeatedly as wow, I was so sore.
HE gently put my shoe back on my foot. Momentarily, I felt like Cinderella.
I SAID thank you and then literally ran to my car. Once inside my face screwed up like a ‘girl’ and I was in tears sobbing. All the skin was off my shins and my knees, ouch were raw. (No one would have seen this as that day I was wearing a long skirt)
NEEDLESS to say, when I showed my girlfriends they all burst out laughing and told me the sex must have been rough! Stupid women!
THOSE poor Controsenso stilettos were punished to the back of the cupboard, and it has been 18 months and I have not worn them since, poor sods.
Some Hints: How To Care For Your Stilettos
- WALK down stairs gracefully, no matter what your mood. Pointy Italian stilettos are, in most instances, longer than the actual step, which means put your foot down side ways.
- WITH each new pair make the leather soles a bit rough, by either rubbing on a rough cement surface or gently rubbing the sole with sand paper. (You can get this from your local hardware store)
- LOOK after your stilettos, never, and I mean never, wear scuffed heels. It’s just not done.
- ANOTHER major point, please go for regular pedicures. There is nothing uglier than a beautiful pair of Italian or Brazilian sling backs or slip on stilettos in a pair of cracked heels, dirty feet (uugh!) or uncared for toes.
- ALWAYS, wear a polish, preferably colour, on your toes.
PERSONALY, I am convinced that I must have the most crooked toes on the planet, but hey, they are mine and yes they are unique. So, I paint them in different colours and I am not shy to wear my beautiful stilettos with my ‘unique’ toes.
- DO not wear your stilettos on two consecutive days. Feet sweat and shoes need to air, no matter if they are strappy sandals or court stilettos.
- BUY good quality stilettos. This is very, very important. Cheap stilettos are bad for your feet and back. Good quality stilettos are designed to keep your weight well distributed, the leather is soft and in most instances you could easily wear the stiletto immediately after purchase.
- MY personal recommendation: Stilettos made in Italy or Brazil are excellent quality and comfortable.
- LAST but not the least, regularly check your stiletto heels, clean them with good polish and have them re-heeled. Good quality stilettos are not cheap and this way, even if they cost you an arm and a leg, they will last for years.
In Closing: A Brief History of the Stiletto
WE the stiletto brigade must thank Charles Jordan who in 1951, tried something different and introduced the sexiest and most sensuous shoes, the stiletto, so named after a small dagger with a tapered blade, which the heel resembled.
ALTHOUGH today we see stilettos of over three and up to six inches in height, Charles Jordan’s stilettos were a conservative two to three inches.
DID you know that when Charles Jordan opened his boutique in Paris in 1957, women mobbed the store and he was forced to create customer queues? Even the, then popular sex icon of the silver screen, Brigitte Bardot, had to enter the store via the service entrance!
Thank you Charles!
I WANT to wear my stilettos when I am ninety plus years old, so I invest in the best.
Going for the all time flats? No just not my style.
For me stilettos, says it like Shania Twain, ‘Man, I feel like a woman’.