When I think “party feet”, I think of the Alaïa open-toe sandals I bought in March. Even with a discount I was lucky enough to have, they were a splurge. “But they’re Alaïa,” I convinced myself. “They’re a classic – jeez, they’ll last FOR EVER,” I muttered, as I clicked on Net-a-Porter...
I can tell you exactly how long they “lasted” – one wear. Pissed off from hobbling instead of dancing at my mate’s birthday party, I linked arms with my boyfriend and shouted above the glorious din of old-school house music, “Help me – I’m in agony.” We finally located my bag and I put on a pair of white Stan Smith trainers and resumed my rightful place on the dancefloor – until 6am. Since that party, comfort will be forever factored into a BIG night out.
RIP, Alaïa, the recently deceased design maestro, and RIP, my Alaïa shoes. I’m keeping them – they are a thing of beauty – but I’ll never wear them ever again (it was the studs what done it). Lesson learnt? For sure. So, what I’m trying to say here is don’t just try the bloody shoes for 0.5 seconds – jump up and down for at least five minutes and, if you can still walk, breathe and smile, only then do you get ’em. Yes, we can take taxis, hang on to pals’ arms, panting like we’ve just climbed Everest on tiptoe, but if you can’t swoosh around a bar, jig on the dancefloor or cope with standing for hours at a family gathering, what’s the point? I love high heels, but they kinda have to love us back.
Which brings me to THE smartest shoe purchase ever made (apart from endless pairs of Birkenstocks). Last year, I bought a pair of v high, emerald-green, velvet block-heel shoes from M&S that have become my go-to party shoes. Just £35 and I’ve worn them to weddings, discos and wedding-discos. Bargain. This season, they have a similar pair in blue.
Yes, we can take taxis, hang on to pals’ arms, panting like we’ve just climbed Everest on tiptoe, but if you can’t swoosh around a bar, jig on the dancefloor or cope with standing for hours at a family gathering, what’s the point?
On the subject of socks – got a pair of plain heels that need something extra? I’ve been wearing my simple, black strappy numbers with a pair of sparkly silver socks underneath. An instant update and the best bit is it only cost me £3.50.
High heels not your thing? Worry not, you need a fancy flat. As in embellished, gloriously sparkly, spangly-looking things to wear with smart trousers, tuxedo suits, mini-dresses etc. But, while flats are a great party-shoe alternative to high heels, I worry about wearing them with certain skirt lengths. And so to avoid those “Dammit, I wish I’d worn heels” moments, I wear mine with something above the knee.
As well as M&S (who have aced it again this season), I’ve got my eye on Topshop’s jewelled block heels, Jigsaw’s velvet slingbacks and Whistles’ spaceman heels (check out my edit below). So, down the wine, have your emergency trainers on standby and strap on your party shoes – why not? ’Tis the season to be jolly, after all…