Heels are back, and I don’t know how I feel about this.

ELLE (Australia) - - Contents -

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.

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