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THE A TO Z OF SHOES


A

is for A-list advice. Why should the stars get all the perks? We believe everyone should have access to the crème de la crème of personal stylists too. Every month, as well as showcasing their latest picks and designs, our fabulous team – which includes Louise Roe, Michelle Cato & Aditi Persaud – offer must-know tips on how to wear these pieces. 

B

is for bottom. Experts have proven that wearing high heels helps tighten your glutes by an average of 25 per cent. Another reason why we love our heels.

C

is for choice. We think it's important you shop your way. In a hurry and know exactly what you need? Just browse our collection, pick your must have piece, and check out.
Want a more personal experience? Our team of personal stylists pick out the perfect pieces on your behalf.

D

is for 'did you know'... that the average person walks 2,000 miles a year? Surely this means we need more shoes.

E

is for escapism. Fairy tales often use shoes as a symbol representing an escape from an otherwise humdrum life. This fact does not surprise us in the least, as we always knew shoes were magical.

F

is for fit and footprint. Here's how to find your correct shoe size. You will need a piece of paper larger than your foot, a pencil, tape, and a ruler.

  • Sit with your foot firmly on the floor, and your leg bent slightly forward so that your shin is slightly in front of your ankle.
  • Trace the outline of your foot. Do this while wearing the same kind of socks or hosiery you'll be wearing with the shoe you have in mind.
  • Hold the pencil or pen upright and perpendicular to the paper and ensure it's resting snugly against your foot as you draw around it.
  • Use your pencil to draw straight lines touching the outermost points at the top, bottom, and both sides of the outline. Next, use your ruler or measuring tape to measure the length from the bottom line to the top line. Don't round up or down dramatically.
  • Subtract 5mm from your number. This is to accommodate for the slight space between your actual foot and the line made by the pencil. Now you're ready to find your shoe size, see below:

Size 3 - 220 mm ; Size 4 - 229 mm ; Size 5 - 237 mm
Size 6 - 246 mm ; Size 7 - 254 mm ; Size 8 - 262 mm

G

is for gaining weight. Well, we all do from time to time don't we? But while jeans may come and go, shoes will fit forever. Yay for shoes, say we.

H

is for history. Did you know that heels were invented eons ago, in the Middle East, to lift the foot from the burning sand? Sandals originated in warm climates where the soles of the feet needed protection, but the top of the foot needed to be cool.

I

is for individuality, something that everyone at Stylistpick is passionate about. Whatever your style, our super stylists will come up with selection of amazing clothing accessories to ensure your personality shines through. 

J

is for joy. Shoe joy, that is. Richard Thomas, writer and composer of the musical Shoes said that the average person has more memories of the shoes they have worn than they do of any other item of clothing from their past. 'It's like a metaphor… a metaphor for joy, desire, yearning, frustration, longing and, without wanting to sound too pretentious, humanity,' he says. We're feeling you, Richard. 

K

is for killer heels. 'Like most animals, we're wired to associate height with power,' says Helen Fisher, PhD, professor of anthropology at Rutgers University. 'High heels can literally raise your status because you're taller when you wear them.'

L

is for love. We need to start loving our feet more. A recent survey found that less than 20 per cent of women loved their feet. The best way to show you care is by encasing them in a brand new, beautiful shoe. Fact.

M

is for marriage. You need to strike the perfect balance between your shoes and your outfit. Much like the perfect marriage, opposites often attract, so don't get too hung up on matching everything to perfection. A pair of shoes in a striking contrasting colour can transform an outfit, and give it a new lease of life.

N

is for nude. Every woman needs a pair of nude shoes, according to french fashion icon, Ines de la Fressange. 'It is always a good idea to wear beige shoes, the same shade as your stockings, with a very pale dress, for they considerably elongate the silhouette'. She warns that white shoes can 'make your feet seem enormous' 
so wear with care.

O

is for oven baked - that's pointe shoes not potatoes. Made of canvas, calico, papier-mâché and thick brown glue, the prima ballerina shoes are baked in an oven for 14 hours to harden the toe-blocks before being covered in baby pink satin.

P

is for pedicure. Hot sandals, tragic toes? No thank you. Don't let your shoes down by having hobbit feet. P is also for posture. High heels significantly alter the posture, causing us to arch the lower back and stick out our bottom. For many this is their appeal, since it forces our bodies into a more womanly, alluring shape. We've also discovered that heels help keep our abs tight too. Core stability is crucial when it comes to doing the catwalk high heel stalk.

Q

is for queue. 'Shoe queues' have been seen up and down the country over the last few years, as shoppers have huddled to keep warm in the early hours before stores open, in an attempt to secure a pair of the hottest heels. Why bother, we say, when you can get them delivered right to your door, in a gorgeous chic box, complete with ribbon and oodles of luxe tissue paper. It's how the A-listers do it...

R

is for red shoes. Everyone loves Dorothy's ruby red slippers, from The Wizard of Oz. The man behind these most iconic of shoes was MGM studio's chief costume designer, Gilbert Adrian,who created the sparkling shoes especially for the 1939 film. They are now displayed in the National Museum of American History in Washington DC.

S

is for surfaces. Very important to bear in mind, especially when in heels. Take carpets, for example. You're fine unless faced with a really plush pile, in which case you will make your mark - literally. Escalators can also be tricky. Stand on tiptoes on the way down to avoid your heel getting caught and being crushed by the queue of unforgiving people behind you. Cobbled streets, well, they're pretty but a nightmare for heel lovers as those pesky little gaps can snag a heel. If it's raining, avoid altogether and take a cab.

T

is for trying on. The best time to try on shoes is at the end of the day, when your feet are most swollen. The point of waiting until the end of the day is to make sure that the footwear can fit you at your widest - kind of a 'worst case scenario' check.

U

is for unique. What looks amazing on your best friend or Blake Lively may not look as good on you. That said, what looks amazing on you may not work for Blake or your BFF. The good news is that we have an team of top celebrity and fashion stylists on hand to help you nail your look, so that for the rest of your life, you will have endless Cinderella moments.

V

is for vertiginous. Supermodel Veronica Webb coined one of our favourite sayings, which is: 'High heels put your ass on a pedestal, where it belongs'. 

W

is for width. Size matters and we're talking width not length. The thicker the heel, the larger the surface area your weight has to spread over, which is why wedges are great for high heel novices.

X

is for X Chromosome Why do women love shoes? Is our obsession with them built into our genes? Well, according to Suzanne Ferriss, PhD, editor of Footnotes, it could well be. She believes buying new footwear stimulates an area of the brain's prefrontal cortex known as the collecting spot and says that 'shoes are a collector's item, whether women realize they perceive them that way or not'. Does that mean we should put our new favourite shoes on a spotlight plinth? Now there's an idea...

Y

is for youthful. The key to youthful looking feet is shoes, lots of shoes. According to the NHS, wearing a variety of different styles and heel heights is the key to preventing cracked heels, blisters and hard skin. Don't forget to have regular pedicures, too. A fab shoe and hobbit feet? Your footwear deserves better.

Z

is for Zodiac. It has been said that while personality traits can be determined by your star sign, so too can your preferred style choices. Arians, like Victoria Beckham, are said to favour strong colours and sharp cuts. They are trendsetters who look their best in tailoring and carry off eveningwear with confidence and elegance. Capricorns; these ladies are best suited to subtle, dignified looks, are typically conservative, and favour the little black dress, as well as soft feminine shades. That's Kate Middleton spot on. By contrast, Leos are flamboyant and opt for striking colours every time. Their outfit choices are designed to make an impact, and like stage costumes, are all part of their performance in day-to-day life (Madonna is a Leo).