‘I’m tired of being scared of stairs, and spending every important event I go to worried I’ll fall over’
You could boldly wear trainers, like Lily Allen in 2005, but that seems too contrary. You’re not trying to make a massive style statement. You just want to look normal, and nice. Appropriate.
And so you put on the blister pads, and the heels, and the dress, and pay the taxi fare, and don’t dance, and gradually slump in pain, and then – if you’re me – fall down a ight of stairs and break three ribs, and think, You know what. Fuck this. I’m tired of being scared of stairs, and spending every important event I go to worried I’ll fall over and show my knickers. I’m going to do what men do.
For when men go to evening events, they can run up stairs, and dance, and get the Underground there and back, thus saving R500. They wear a suit, and some nice shoes, which they might have polished; but that is pretty much the extent of their primping. They are safe and comfortable and happier and better o , simply because they are not wearing a short, tight dress and a pair of heels. And they can wear the same suit over and over – they would be utterly confused by the common female panic of fretting that we cannot wear a dress, or a pair of shoes, ‘because I wore it last time’.
Men spend no more than 10 minutes thinking about how they will look at a black-tie event. Women start thinking about it weeks in advance.
Recently, I have started thinking that the answer to most of my feminist questions is: Just do what the men do. All that shit they do really seems to be working for them. And so I have. At the last two events I went to, I did as men do. I wore a suit. A tuxedo jacket, shorts, a silk blouse, and at shoes: at green and gold brogues from Marni, that I can walk in, and dance in, and stand in with perfect posture, enjoying my evening. And it felt amazing – to be able to walk around with my hands in my pockets, whistling. To feel at ease. To know I need never feel anxious about what to wear to a posh event again. I’ve got my out t, and my shoes, and I don’t really need to think about them again for the next ve years – unless it’s to go wild, and buy a new blouse. I felt like I’d discovered an astonishing secret. Women kept coming up to me, and going, ‘I wish I was wearing what you’re wearing. I’m going to have to take these shoes o in a minute.’ And at the end of the evening, they all got into taxis, to go home. I, meanwhile, walked to the pub with the men, and stayed out until 3am – spending my taxi money on champagne, and dancing. So, yes. I have nally given up heels. And it is just jim-dandy.