Published in Expat Magazine, Spring 2009
“Last Saturday I had a conversation with my great friend Dan Smith about shoes”, says Lyn Balster from Access. Dan wondered about the fascination women have with their shoes and exclaimed “I can never understand why my wife has so many shoes!”
“I can totally relate to his wife”. It’s probably something only women can grasp. Consider Imelda Romuladez Marcos, the former first lady in the Philippines, who owned 1060 pairs of shoes. Collecting shoes is a world wide phenomenon that exists across all ages and countries.
What is this magical attraction between women and shoes? “Shoes make us feel good”, says personal styler Carina van der Kloet. “They always fit us even after eating too many chocolates and heavy meals. Unlike clothes we don’t need a bigger size. Shoes are a piece of art that give us a magical feeling and a kind of exaltation. When looking at a pair of Manolo Blahnik, Jimmy Choo or Jan Jansen we forget about our headache – beautiful shoes simply alleviate any unpleasant symptoms. Another distinct advantage is that luxury shoes are less expensive than purchasing a complete outfit of a top designer.”
The expression of a woman is reflected in her shoes. You can create entire new looks with flats or high heels. A lady with stilettos is provocative and sexy, a woman with sneakers is trendy and casual and a lady with slippers is laid back and cool. Shoes have a great impact on how we feel and on the image we project. “When I wear my high heels, I look taller, feel elegant and self-confident – I stand straighter and even speak with more conviction”, says Carina.
Bear the occasion in mind such as the dark sober pumps for a business meeting and elegant, colorful open pumps for a wedding – avoid the Mary Jane’s (abominable child-like shoes with straps) at all times.
The perfect height of a shoe differs from person to person, so find that suits you. The most popular heel height is between five and seven centimetres.
When buying new shoes, make sure that you are able to walk on your high heels. There’s
nothing worse than a woman stumbling about on her heels.
By wearing shoes that are in harmony with your outfit your create a restful and elegant effect. When your shoes stand out, you create a dramatic effect. Make sure to focus on only one dominant element and keep the rest of your outfit simple and clean.
By wearing shoes in a contrasting colour you appear shorter. To look taller, you can wear shoes in the same colour as your stockings and dress / skirt or pants.
Ävoid repeating the exact same colour as it is more exciting to wear a reminiscent colour (or element) than copying the exact same hue, e.g. a pair of bright red vinyl pumps with a red check bag in wool instead of a matching purse.
Try not to wear shoes for two or more days in a row otherwise they lose their shape.
Buy shoes of good quality. By keeping them polished and soled, your shoes will last longer.
And there’s nothing worse than a stylishly-dressed lady with dusty shoes and worn-out heels.
Carina, a personal stylist offers personal styling workshops in Amsterdam and in The Hague.
Carina van der Kloet is founder and personal stylist. She has twenty years experience. She has given numerous master classes and personal styling advice to thousands of people including management, executives, entrepreneurs, expatriates, diplomats working at various (international) organizations.
Carina van der Kloet grew up in French speaking countries in Africa and in the United States. She speaks English, French and Dutch.
"Carina van der Kloet is an inspiring speaker! With striking examples of how clothing works for you, she knows how to create a pleasant and intimate atmosphere. Great to see how you can create impact with few words."Miranda van Mondfrans, director Pro Assistance BV