Monday, September 12, 2011

Is the high heel over? Or is it me?

Maybe it's just me. I just bought a lovely pair of Camper mary janes and am completely sold on the combination of style and comfort. They also remind me of the '20s when Chanel was just getting started and women were wearing lovely shoes, elegant, low-heeled and very walkable.

The designer and artist, Sonia Delauney, is a fine example of how a working woman looked in the '20s. (For more on Sonia head to My Dog-Eared Pages.)

It still works. It works because it's comfortable, beautiful, one is both capable of walking a distance and sitting awhile longer. It can go from day to evening and is uniquely female without resorting to youthful ideas of sexiness. Notice the shoes...

A pair of either of these Campers in soft grey would suit me just fine this fall. A t-strap would be even better.

I suppose the sexual revolution finished off this style of dressing. The cult of youth and the desire to be 'sexy at any age' (gagging)has so diverted the classic female style of dressing (broken record begins here) while not interfering in the least with male dress customs.

Yet there's hope. A fellow lady in l'age was puzzling over skirt styles. She hadn't worn one in years because they were uncomfortable, often too short, too tight etc. etc. Of course any opportunity to foist my own views on another cannot be overlooked - go for the a-line, I cried. She went for it and proudly wore one of her two aline skirts last week, taking time to demonstrate her ability to sit down without the skirt riding up too high and provide adequate side-view coverage thanks to the extra fabric the a-line so kindly provides. This skirt (and a second) were found on the rack at a Cleo .And while both look like grey tweed they feel like cozy soft jersey. Chanel would approve.

All that said, I'll also be channeling the menswear look this fall. I have 2 lovely long jackets to show you. Both new (to me) and I'm tempted to pair them with another Camper shoe. The men's shoe for women.


  1. I'm with you. I haven't been able to do towering heels ever, and less so in recent years. However from the preponderence of towering hooker shoes still on the shelves, I don't think crazy high heels are quite "over" yet. I'm just very happy to finally have some options!!

  2. I'm with you AND deja pseu . . . so happy to see stylish and comfortable shoes for women of a certain age. I love a T-strap, mid-heel shoe!

  3. great post, Mrs. C.! to be honest, I'm really (really) trying to love comfortable shoes but dreading to leave behind my heels. I have found that El Naturalista offers good alternatives, probably too casual for any office but a nice alternative for me as I transition into L'âge. That's where I'm at...(whoo hoo).

  4. I am not a high heeled gal at all.
    Those shoes look comfortable without sacrificing style.
    They also look like they would work with pants and skirts/dresses.

  5. Love the pictures of the 1920s. I never stopped wearing low heels. I had a cream satin pair of embroidered shoes from that era that used to belong to my grandmother. They were very elegant and beautiful

  6. I love all of these, and especially the mary jane. I still enjoy the extra "attitude" I get from a pair of heels, altho' can't manage more than 3 1/2, tops. And after a day in those, I'm always very happy to spend a few in lower heels or flats. Campers are great, appealing to young women as much as to women of a certain age.

    I also love the way you've brought in the photos of 20s-30s styles. Fun!

  7. Excellent choice! I own two pairs of Paul Harnden shoes: one pair like the t-straps in the second picture, and one pair of men shoes.
    I would immediately shop the perfect skirt, if I could afford it:
    Have a look at this delightful skirt of Marc by Marc Jacobs. Silk, wonderful pleats, right length and an beautiful rendeer print.
    Hopefully it goes to the Sale.

  8. Hello, I just found your blog, and despite it being for a different demographic than myself, I can tell I like it already.

    This is one reason why I can't wait to age...a bit. At 22, I'm deeply, deeply in love with heels. I've got several hovering around 4", one of which is my daily go-to pair, and two or three between 5-6". I have to say I was bitten by the crazy-shoes bug the moment it started spreading, and I'm not sure I'm ready to give up yet.

    I will say, however, with very few exceptions, I'm an A-line or full skirt kind of girl. I like the juxtoposition of outrageous footwear with more elegant clothing.

    At my age, if you dress too, well, nicely, in this more traditional sense, it comes off as either trying too hard (ironically enough) or prudish; neither qualities are ones I'm looking to work on at present. But I anxiously await the age when I can say it's simply appropriate to dress in this manner.

    Again, thanks for this blog!

  9. Barbara: I love the skirts on that site. The reindeer print is so fun. And there are many other options that allow you to move! Thanks for sharing.

    Anonymous: You are a young woman after my own heart. It's amazing how restrictive it can be to be young - I found myself with the same issue when I was young - I dressed well beyond my age and never really fit in. What are you gonna do? I am impressed with your shoe collection - have you mastered the art of walking in them? Probably. Yes, outrageous footwear with elegant clothing - that should take the prudishness out of the mix. Please visit again!