Fashion Trends with ANGELA CHISHIMBA
MOST women feel more confident to walk in high heels but the question is do they get it right?
Etiquette expert William Hanson reveals the best way to walk in high heels
Ladies, let’s have a chat. High-heels: you are getting it all wrong.
Most of you don your heels and wobble about thinking that just because you have a pair of expensive-looking footwear on you, everything will fall into place.
If you can’t manage to stay upright and look elegant, then it’s perhaps best you don’t graduate above one or two inches.
So, many of you (35s and under, mainly) are getting it badly wrong: goodness only knows what it’s doing to your feet and leg muscles. If the posture is okay, the gait isn’t, and vice versa.
Some of you look highly medicated when you teeter down high streets on a night out – the lack of length and tightness of your skirts not helping, either.
Due to having to teach deportment in my own etiquette classes, it came to my colleagues’ and my attention that I really needed to do more than talk female clients through the theory of high-heels and lead by example.
It was time to step up to the sling-backs and learn. What I’ve found, coming to it as a total novice, is that I seem to do it better than most ladies. I almost had to intervene in the opticians the other day when I saw the assistant’s heels that had bent (from bad walking and standing) to a perilous 45-degree angle.
The right shoes
First you have to find a pair that fits and are moderately comfortable.
Heels should really never be over four inches; unless you’re attending a party where ‘mutton dressed as lamb’ is the dress code. Generally, it is lower heels for daytime, higher for evening. Too many women think they will look sexier the higher the heel. Wrong.
Before you can even think about moving, make sure you are standing correctly. So, few of us today (of either sex) have good posture thanks to spending far too long slumped over computers.
It defeats the object of wearing the heels in the first place (to make you look confident and your legs look sexy) if you shuffle or slouch along. Roll your shoulders quite far back, imagine you are pushing them over a garden fence and back down the other side. Your hands should be behind the seam of your trousers/skirt and your chin should be parallel to the floor.
Clench your bottom, tip your pelvis slightly up and let your hips take you forward. Your waist plays no part in all this; it just remains straight and motionless.
Push your weight through the pelvis. Your ankle gets lifted up; knee bent and then straighten onto the floor. A traditional walk is heel-toe, and while in heels this is still true, it shouldn’t be as pronounced as when in flat shoes.
Too many women stand with their legs crossed – maybe they want to go to the lavatory?
Correctly done, stand with your heels lined up (a gap or two or three inches in between), your toes pointing in different directions, your right foot in front of the left.
Set off on the right foot
Literally! With correct deportment, we always set off with the right foot leading.
Step in time
Have some rhythm about your gait, but take your time over medium-length strides.
When seated, to show off your legs and shoes cross your legs and rest one ankle on your other leg’s shin.
The straight and narrow
As you walk, imagine you are walking down an invisible straight line. We don’t want to look like we’re on a catwalk, placing one foot directly in front of the other (too many young girls think that is the be-all-and-end-all of a stiletto), but imagining such a line will help you from walking along imaginary tram lines.
Have a blessed weekend.
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