Platform shoes are generally our very favourites when it comes to choosing comfortable and stylish shoes. We love to walk about adding height to our stature while still maintaining a modicum of comfort that only a platform has the ability to provide. The thick soles are normally made of cork, plastic, rubber or wood, the latter also known as clogs, and the idea of wearing such footwear has been around for centuries. Back in the day, we have people such as the Greeks and the Romans, the Japanese and the Chinese wearing platform shoes. In Ancient Greece, they were used to raise the height of important individual characters within the theatre performances, as well as high-born courtesans in 16th century Venice. The Ancient Chinese traditions of thick soles made of layers of white clothes are still kept in the Peking opera, while the Manchu women of the Qing dynasty wore platforms with separate heels that would later be adopted in European fashion trends.
Platform shoes are actually quite practical as well, keeping the feet protected from the muck and the dirt on the ground. These designs gained popularity in the 1930s up until the 1950s when it became clear that the fashion world was redefining itself, before exploding for the 1960s, ‘70s and ‘80s. The first modern version of this shoe was presented by Moshe Kimmel to actress Marlene Dietrich, a design that soon became extremely popular among the Beverly Hills elite. During the disco era, platform boots, also known as disco boots, were huge among men as well, while women would be wearing it for a very long time indeed. Women of all ages began to rock the look, and why not? It is simply too perfect in every manner and beats wearing flats all day. While the fashion would keep on changing over the years, and Vivienne Westwood’s 9 inch heels with the 5 inch platforms would cause Naomi Campbell’s fall on the runway, it would be girl bands like the Spice Girls who would bring back the height and comfort of the awesome footwear in the late 1990s. Soon the fad would be moving on to younger children as well when Disney characters began appearing on their soles
As adults though, with a stylish wardrobe and a whole world to conquer day in and day out, what are the best ways to be wearing your platform shoes?
• Tip #1: When it comes to the summer days, you might want to stick with lovely white outfits, possibly with some floral prints, have the shoes contrast and add a pretty bag that matches your outfit to really make things pop. Think white skin-tight top, rose printed peplum skirt and ankle strapped open toe platform sandals to hit the spot.
• Tip #2: When picking out your platform shoes, make sure the platforms are not too narrow at the soles so that you can wear them without hurting your feet too much. If you want something easier on the feet, go for the lighter feel of the cork made soles, with smaller platforms and breathable fabrics.
• Tip #3: You can always make it all look sporty as well, combining a pretty outfit with a platform sneaker, as created by Isabel Marant. It created the perfect craze last year especially and now everyone has a pair lining up her closet. It makes for a relaxed look, no matter how chic your skirt and blouse happen to be.
• Tip #4: If you plan on turning your office footwear into more comfortable platforms, you can experiment with a pair that is a lot more on the sophisticated side, pairing it with trousers, blazers and simple tees. You can wear suits with the platform slip on shoes, while also turning the two-piece into a lovely dress that looks perfectly appropriate without having to add on a blazer or wear multiple pieces together.
• Tip #5: Midi skirts and platform sandals look awesome together, particularly during the spring, summer and early fall. This just makes the legs look longer and the body look slimmer. You can pair it up with a crop top to show off some abs while accentuating your body, or go for the more demure, 1990’s look of pleated midi skirts, platform sandals and white shirts to finish it all off.
• Tip #6: You can wear the look with a maxi dress as well, though we thoroughly recommend going for something that flows, and has a slit up the side. This way you can ensure that while your shoes may not be showing the whole time, they do peek through the veils and appear to create a rather intriguing mystery around your limbs and footwear.
• Tip #7: If you have long legs, we say opt for the ankle length pants and the gorgeous platform heels you have sitting in your closet for a relaxed, tasteful appearance. This makes you take on an elegant appeal as well, particularly with work clothes, but most especially with cuffed denim.
• Tip #8: Platform ankle boots are a great choice for the winter months when you cannot wear sandals and pulling of the look with socks is near impossibly with your body shape. Instead, opt for the pretty versions of the ankle boots as it elongates the legs while still keeping the feet warm and safe from the elements around her.
• Tip #9: You can also go all decked out and crazy, wearing Prada pieces or something of the like. Whether you go for Christian Louboutin gradient neon looks or Dolce & Gabbana Italian style splashes of color, you can really have your platforms looking out of this world, including wearing one that appears to be a bird cage.
• Tip #10: Wear them as flat platforms, which may sound like an oxymoron but we assure you the pieces are priceless in design. Our absolute favourite in this section is the Oxford shoes with the platform heels that are neither too high nor too low, giving just enough height to make you happier with your vintage point. We remember a distinctively silver with clear platform combination look at the Simone Rocha SS13 collection we covet to this day, for it certainly was a piece of art itself.