Shoes are the most symbolic accessory in our wardrobe. Wearing heels or sneakers reveals more about you than you might think.
With our clothes and shoes we represent the work of how we are ourselves. Our lifestyle, motivation, identity, personality … fashion is a good way to express who we are, and each one of us decides how to create the representation of what we want to show about ourselves.
Shoes are one of the most iconic garments we have in our wardrobe and for many women (especially) it seems that they never have enough. A few years ago, the British newspaper Daily Mail interviewed a thousand women, and of them 92% remembered the first pair of shoes they bought with their own money compared to 63% who remembered the name of the person they had kissed for first time. Surely this poll would be perfect for Carrie, the Sex and the City character when she exclaimed, “Men, maybe I don’t know you, but I know about shoes.”
There is no accessory that can express our identity with the same versatility as shoes: we wear sneakers for walking, heels for a date and loafers to work and give an image of formality. And many times the outfit can be the same and we just need to change the footwear.
The importance of shoes is also due to the increasingly original and particular style of fashion. Shoes help communicate uniqueness and define our personal identity, but there is much more. Certain types of shoes, like stilettos, speak of power and sex. When we get on a good pair of heels we get up and project upwards; our heels become an erotic premise that increases awareness in ourselves.
What your shoes say about you
The meaning of shoes must be interpreted in relation to the roles we play in society, the groups with which we identify and the dominant fashions in the group to which we belong. Footwear narrates the mediation between our real self (as I am), the ideal (as I would like to be) and the imperative (as we should be). It is fun and even useful to look at your closet and count your shoes and the type of footwear to which they belong to discover what you communicate about yourself when you wear them.
Flat shoes and ballerinas
Ballerina shoes are a reassuring elegant shoe without excess. They leave the top of the foot uncovered and are romantic and comfortable. Women who prefer to wear this type of footwear tend to be in positive harmony with others, they are confident and cooperative. They are shown as they are. Feminine traits prevail, such as warmth, sentimentality and understanding for others. A woman who wears ballerinas communicates that she is classic, elegant, sober and romantic.
Marylin Monroe said, “I don’t know who invented high heels, but all women owe him a lot.” The passion for heels even has a specific term: altocalciphilia. Women who never step off a good heel can be seen as voluptuous but also greedy.
Heels are a symbol of domination and power. They make us feel taller and leaner and increase our confidence and self-esteem. They also highlight the dominant side of our personality.
Very high heels inhibit our movements and cause a slow, rocking walk, which is seen as seductive. A simple high-heeled shoe can turn a casual outfit into a more elegant and sexy one.
There are shoes in theory created for male roles such as the military, cowboys or motorcyclists. They project an image of aggressive virility with their thick soles, heavy heels, leather, studs … These boots represent an armor that creates a barrier between me and the world. Women who like to wear this type of footwear have a strong personality and are usually very determined. They communicate about themselves that they are strong, resilient, trustworthy, and fearless.
Dr. Martens footwear can also launch mysterious messages and soften the female role, for example, when combined with floral or lace dresses.
The famous sneakers make us feel fast, agile and comfortable. They are a type of unisex footwear, they reinforce the feeling of rebellion among young people and the myth of youth among those who are no longer so. They have become the fetish accessory to match any outfit. Women who wear this type of footwear are seen as fast, toned people, who like to travel and flee from limitations.