Heels are back, and I don’t know how I feel about this.
On one hand, I love a great shoe as much as the next woman. On the other hand, heels are not just for gazing at lovingly or shooting for a highly styled Instagram flat-lay – protocol insists that one is actually meant to wear them. And just like how our binge-watching selves are finding it obscene and foreign and outright scandalous to have to wait week to week to catch the next episode of Game Of Thrones, starring this month’s warrior queen of a cover star Emilia Clarke (see how seamlessly I slipped that in there?), I’m now dangerously acclimatised to the comfort of trainers and loafers and chunky sandals. The quickened pace, the increased stamina... How will this newly energised, pain-free me respond to a return to crippling arches and that unforgettable misery of standing as still as possible at a cocktail party seven hours in to four-inch heels, wondering how – even when that sweet time to go home finally arrives – I will even make it to the cab rank? Frankly, I think I might struggle.
Indicative of the times we’ve been living in, there’s a lot about the past couple of seasons in fashion that has been subtly empowering for women, and I’m not just talking about athleisureas-everyday-wear (which I remain resistant to, despite myself) and politically charged slogan tees. When it comes to fashion – as in life – we’ve been woke, and when it comes to some of our newly enlightened fashion habits, I dread the inevitable day that the tide turns. Take the current cool-girl trend of going everywhere with just a phone and a wallet in hand, or at the most a highly mobile cross-body bag. Now that I’ve experienced such freedom, I can’t imagine ever being encumbered by a weighty top-handle in the crook of my elbow again, no matter how great the Olsens made it look in the noughts. Same goes for thicker brows (the natural-ish kind, not the heavily shaped and crafted versions that add a solid half an hour to your morning routine. Hats off to anyone who has time for both that and a paying job or regular meals, but I am not one of you) – we all look better with those, even though beauty history promises we’ll be plucked to within an inch of our lives again before too long. And I thank the sweet Lord every day for the rise of the soft-cup bralette over a perk-inducing underwire. I know I now sometimes might look like I’m the oldest woman in the world still wearing a training bra, but my comfort level has increased so much since one appeared in my life that sometimes I manage to go at least 10 minutes after walking through my front door before removing it – that’s real progress, so please never let Kendall Jenner’s au naturel French-woman droop go out of style.
More than anything, I’m hoping that in this crazy fashion world where a thing must always make way for another cooler/better/newer thing, that flats find a way to play the system and stick around. They will in the ELLE office anyway, where we’ve always believed in the power of personal style and self-expression over dictatorial in and out lists. Saying that, this is a season with some of the most fun and seductive new trends we’ve seen in a while – turn to p71 for our run-down of the looks we guarantee you’ll want to tap into, including the glitter heels that have already filled me with desire and made me forget everything I’ve written on this page.