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What to Wear for a Business Holiday Party

When is the Party?

Week night parties (late afternoon or right after work) tend to be more casual. No one expects you to go home and change clothes for these events, so you are wearing the same outfit to the party as worn for work all day. Men can add a dress jacket and/or tie. Women can also add a dress jacket, and may consider changing shoes (more on this later).

Afternoon (weekend) parties are a popular option for family friendly events. Dressing young children in adorable matching outfits, darling festive dresses, and handsome suits with vests will trigger cuteness overload. To keep the kids happy and dressed, make sure these outfits are comfortable and allow them to participate in any games or events so they are happy to stay in the cute outfits the entire time.

Saturday night events are the wildcard, heavily dependent on the location.
Where is the Party?

Outdoors? Yes, there are holiday parties that are held outside. Several years ago I attended a company party at the Phoenix Zoo (temperature was in the 50’s). There were heaters and hot chocolate to keep guests warm-ish. Coats, shoes (many boots), scarves, and a few hats were the only clothing actually visible at the event.

Many companies save money on the venue by hosting in their offices (lobby, conference rooms, office courtyard). This could mean you are going to be navigating around cramped conference tables and office chairs, which may be a deciding factor for shoe or outfit choice.

Previous years, and again this year, we have a Saturday evening party at a business partner’s house. In this situation how casual or formal will depend on the host & company. When in doubt, aim for nicer attire than work, without going overboard in a formal gown.

For a resort gala, the venue may have a specific dress code (jacket & tie), this is the time to go all out! Fancy dress, ball gown or skirt, or pant suit and classic blouse are great options.
Here are 10 guidelines of What to Wear for a Professional Business Holiday Party for a professional, polished, festive outfit.

Leave the tacky Ugly Christmas sweater at home! Those silly and outrageous sweaters are great for a gathering with friends and family, not for your work “family”.

Ditch the club wear, thigh high slits, crop top, short skirts, plunging necklines, and too tight tops. Wear fitted clothing for a tailored, sophisticated look. Try a classic combination of shirt/blouse with midi or ankle length skirt, wrap dress, or sheath dress to show off your figure and look polished.

Resist the urge to wear matching sweaters and avoid anything too matchy with your spouse or date. You are not posing for a Christmas card. Outfits should coordinate on the same level of formality (how “dressy” or casual).

Coats, jackets, and the entire outfit should be clean at the beginning of the event. Double check for stains or spots the night before, to allow time to switch outfits or wash/dry clean. Shoe polish can do wonders for slight scuffs.

Wear shoes that you can walk around and mingle while wearing. Last year, a colleague’s date wore “Stripper heels” that she could barely walk in. It reflects poorly on him, and she was stuck sitting in the corner unable to walk around. Make sure that you can walk or stand in your shoes for a couple hours.

DO embrace the metallic neutrals (matte silver and brushed gold) look luxurious and festive without resembling a disco ball.

Be daring and wear winter white! Cocktail hour events are the perfect time to wear that cream turtleneck sweater, ivory pantsuit, or cream brocade dress. Stick with clear liquids (white wine, Sprite, or Gin & tonics) to avoid noticeable spills or spots.

Wear a bright, bold jewel tone color. Ruby red, emerald green, deep purple, and sapphire blue are festive winter colors that break away from the standard black.

Choose a classic style, flattering neckline, and quality fabric. For several years in a row, my Sister wore the same simple muted silver top and classic black pants for various holiday parties. She switched up the accessories and shoes for each event, providing a unique outfit build on the same classic pieces. It also helped that she did not have overlapping guests for the multiple parties.

Accessories can be more daring than normal work attire. Go ahead and wear bracelets, necklace(s), sparkly earrings, rings and more. Just keep it tasteful (no LED blinking earrings or reindeer antlers unless you never want to be taken seriously at work every again).

Feeling Our Pain: The Rift Between NHL Owners and Players… And Fans

There has been no better time to be a fan of the NHL! Sure, 422 games have been canceled so far. Sure, the two sides negotiating the new CBA have poisoned the well of compromise so badly that the bad blood is sure to carry into the next CBA negotiation. Sure, your wintry Saturday nights will seem listless and long. But people aren’t considering the major benefit that has emerged from this whole ordeal; the average NHL player and owner have never been more respectful or empathetic towards the average fan. They’ll tell you so themselves. And they will fight tooth and nail to make sure that as self-indulgent and damaging as this lockout seems, it is all for the greater good, and it is definitely not their fault. And we should all just sit back and enjoy the ride.

Consider the owners. Gary Bettman has continually made us blush by telling us that the NHL has the ‘best fans in the world.’ It’s why we all came back after the last lockout, he tells us. How can you argue with that? Fans in Ottawa, Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton all came back in droves to see their hockey teams. The fact that you could rename the Toronto Maple Leafs the Toronto Festering Sores, serve Soylent Dogs in the concessions, and play nothing but Kenny G over the PA between whistles and people in the Big Smoke would still be stepping over their own mothers to get tickets I’m sure can be overlooked. Judging by the caliber of hockey usually played at the ACC, the Leafs have been trying to give fans a good reason not to come the rink for years before the lockout, and yet they keep coming back. It’s the same with all the Canadian teams. Even when they are bad, they still draw fans. So we are the best fans in the world! We expect nothing from our teams, and in return give complete, unreserved support. That’s what Gary is talking about. That’s why it can’t be suggested that the league is taking advantage of this deep national character flaw. And of course if the fans up here where hockey is religion will always masochistically come back for more, then the fans in the US where hockey is still in its infancy in many places… well the fans will take their lead from us Canucks, and will always come back. Cause those teams are actually successful. According to ESPN.com, The New Jersey Devils, Stanley Cup finalists last spring, winner of 3 in the last 15 years, and all-around model organization sold on average 87.4% of their seats per game last year, including corporate seats. Seems like a solid number, except when you watch a game on television, and see that the seats may have been sold, but they are not filled. Corporate seats are usually given free to clients, or employees. Apparently there are simply not enough people who want to come see a consummate NHL team and franchise even for free. Phoenix was last in the league in attendance, selling less only 72% of their tickets, despite Gary’s insistence that the market is viable, the franchise is thriving, and the ownership is solid. The city of Glendale, the supreme court of Arizona, and even the team’s hitherto unflappable captain Shane Doan don’t seem as convinced, but what do they know? They don’t get to touch the Stanley Cup whenever they want.

Gary also will tell you that the league is on the same page with its fans. They’re being transparent, and share our frustration with the entitled players who don’t understand the realities of the current situation. When Bettman was asked about the most recent proposal from the NHLPA, he sounded off authoritatively, and showed just how in touch he is. “Hopefully there will have been some momentum from today’s session that we can build off of to hopefully bring this process to a successful conclusion,” Bettman said on Wednesday. Goosebumps. The successful conclusion he is talking about is of course the invention of an NHL time machine, so that he and Boy Wonder Bill Daly can travel back, hop in the Bett-mobile and warn his former self of the impending loss of 422 regular season games at a critical moment for the league amidst financial uncertainty not seen in twenty years. That must be what he’s talking about, because that is pretty much the only scenario that would represent a ‘successful conclusion.’ As it is, especially for the fans, there is no such thing as a ‘successful conclusion’, even if hockey started again tomorrow. But Gary knows that, he’s a lawyer.

Just like he knows that it would be wrong to renege on player’s contracts years after they were signed. All the league is asking for is a re-do. We all know that those evil, cap-circumventing, front-heavy contracts were all signed at gun-point by sweating owners and GMs while Ilya Kovalchuk and his agent sat in high backed chairs and simultaneously stroked white fluffy cats. Now the owners are calling foul. They are the champions and defenders of financial sanity, and they’re only asking for what used to be theirs until they gave it to someone else. I think the average NHL fan can relate to that. After all, they used to think that hockey belonged to them on some level. Gary will set us right though. We need to stop worrying, and just wait at the turn-style, money in our fist.
And he’s so in touch with our pain that he’ll do anything that is necessary to get this thing fixed, including damage his spotless reputation by requesting a two week hiatus just when talks seemed to be heating up. What a crafty negotiator. This is a man who gets things done. Nobody presents the Stanley Cup like he does! Of course, that’s because nobody is allowed to present the Stanley Cup like he does. Probably because nobody could match the level of commitment that he displays while doing it. Despite being resoundingly drowned out by boos no matter what city he’s in (even cities that have just won the Stanley Cup take time off from their revelry to lustily jeer the commish) he resolutely plows forward with his congratulatory remarks, and darn it if he isn’t going to get all of his platitudes out before he gives up that trophy. We fans should know better, and will just have to wait. And thank goodness. Gary makes sure we know the names of the players who have just won the Stanley Cup, he reminds us of the hard work and perseverance we’ve all been watching for the last three months, and makes sure to give a shout-out to his good personal friend, owner of team X, and even though he has worked in close quarters with this person (and is currently representing them in major negotiations), still manages to say their name like he’s reading it off a queue card. This the generosity, the genuineness, and the geniality of our commissioner. Triple G.

NHL fans, stop railing against it. Stop thinking that you have the slightest idea of what is going on. You couldn’t possibly. Only one man does, and don’t worry, his smiles may never reach his eyes, his platitudes may never be reflected in his actions, but he feels your pain, he has your best interests at heart. Trust in Triple G Bettman, and we will reach that ‘successful conclusion.’
But what of the players? Do they not also commiserate with hockey fans affected by this tyrannical owner-induced lockout? Of course they do. Just ask Donald Fehr, president of the NHLPA, and chief negotiator for the oppressed and under heel players. “The players are suffering right along with the fans” pronounced Fehr, as if that wasn’t already clear. The fans, just like the players are being forced to get paid thousands of Euros to play hockey in European abysses like Prague, Moscow and Cologne. Some of them even shamed into returning to their home countries, fulfilling dreams of playing for their childhood clubs. Some of them have even said that things are so bad for them where they are right now, they might actually never leave. Obviously not as many of the fans are doing this as players are, but the kindred feeling of despair is obvious. TSN had briefly flirted with the idea of working out a broadcast agreement with the Russian KHL and other European leagues, but gave the up the idea of chasing hockey all the way to Europe as ludicrously expensive and impractical. But just because TSN, with its millions of dollars of endorsement money shouldn’t be willing to cross the Atlantic, that doesn’t mean fans shouldn’t. After all, the players are suffering with us, making all of these sacrifices, forgoing their usual hundreds of thousands of dollars to play in the NHL, and instead collecting hundreds of thousands of Euros to play overseas. The least we as fans can do is quit our regular jobs to hop the pond to support them.

And the players themselves leave little doubt as to how closely they can identify with the plight of the fans. They have conducted themselves with nothing but honor and decorum. Scathing tweets from European hotel rooms as to the mental prowess of NHL executives, and infighting between union devotees and malcontents have surely done nothing to tarnish the reputation of these blue collar heroes. Why, only last week Washington Capitals defenceman Roman Hamrlik voiced his displeasure about the seemingly farcical and ponderously slow progress of negotiations under Donald Fehr. But former Montreal Canadiens teammate Erik Cole was quick to quash these remarks, calling them the “the most selfish thing I’ve heard during the lockout.” You can imagine that the competition in that particular category is stiff, but Erik Cole, People’s Champion that he is, is right. Being upset about the fact that nothing is getting done while most suffer and some do not is very selfish. Roman Hamrlik should be ashamed to voice his displeasure, just as we fans should too. It would be selfish to criticize people who are clearly so relatable and who share our pain. Cole heroically went on to betray private conversations that Hamrlik had in the Montreal dressing room with other former teammates while foolishly believing that the sanctity of what is discussed between teammates and friends would never be thrown on the sacrificial pyre of CBA negotiations posturing. You fool, Roman. If you believe that, the terrorists win. Hamrlik even went as far as to suggest voting (Voting?) among the membership of the NHLPA before a proposed deal is summarily dismissed by the leadership. Even if there were some kind of international network that could be used to share information, the idea of people actually voting about things is frightening and untraditional. Hamrlik should just take his socialist agenda back to Commie-land. Soon we’ll be holding elections to democratically elect an NHL commissioner.

The idea is certainly cumbersome judging by the NHL players’ complete lack of ability to use social media. Chicago forward Dave Bolland admitted it that he erred in re-tweeting a death threat made against the commissione by one of Bolland’s followers. “It was a mistake” said Bolland. After all, some things should never be said. Also some things should never be said publicly. Also, some things should never be said publicly and then publicly endorsed by a high profile athlete with thousands of subscriber sharpening pitch-forks and lighting to torches, just looking for a good time. I’m certain that the damage done to any young and impressionable fans will be mitigated by Bolland’s ‘aw shucks’ admission that threatening to kill people is wrong, but it’s sure as heck funny enough to post it for all to see.

Former NHLer Jeff O’Neil was also in hot water for tweeting that he wanted to ‘make whole’ in Gary Bettman’s head, referring to the legal lingo assigned to the owners’ acknowledgment that to not pay contracts is stealing. O’Neil later reported that he was the victim of a nefarious hacking scheme, where persons unidentified hack into innocent people’s twitter accounts, and then post the innocent person’s exact thoughts.

Back in the trenches, Erik Cole, or ‘Che’ as he has come to be known in the world of labor dispute, went on to extoll the nobility of the unions cause. “”That’s what this is supposed to be about, that’s what makes hockey players different. You sacrifice something for the people coming behind you. That’s where the respect factor comes in. Whoever’s kid is the best kid on your son’s hockey team, you want that kid to have the same opportunity that you’ve had. That’s what it’s about.” Come on fans, this is not about your love for the game, or the players incredible good fortune to be able to do it for a living. This is about people getting what they deserve because they’re better at something than you. It’s not even about your kid, because as Eric points out it’s going to be somebody else’s kid, because let’s face it, no kid of yours is going to be good enough to make the NHL. Let’s stop being all entitled, and thinking that hockey belongs to everyone. We all know it only belongs to those who do it best. Really, by following them so closely, and cheering them on, we’re doing them a disservice. Our ignorance, selfishness, and lack of talent drag them down. They don’t need us, they’re good at hockey, and they have to make sure the world will be a better place for other people who are good at hockey too.

So let’s all just take a step back here, fans. We Canadians are too weak willed to abstain from hockey if and when it comes back. NHL fans in general are too mentally feeble to begin to comprehend what might represent a ‘successful conclusion’ in this whole unmitigated disaster. We lack the will to change our minds once we’ve signed our name to something. We don’t get to present the Stanley Cup. We are totally selfish for wanting hockey back before those much more enlightened than us deem it fit. We are probably just as good at hating our bosses, but we lack the savvy to get away with wishing their immediate and painful deaths in public forums. We’re not even good at hockey. This lockout is not the fault of the players, or the fault of the owners. It’s the fault of the fans for being timid, weak-willed, ignorant, selfish, and untalented. It’s all right there in what both sides are saying. They know it. And now we know it. So I propose that if this whole mess is our fault, the best thing we can do is stay away. Let’s stop enabling both sides to pour resources into winning a PR battle instead of suing for peace. And when the turn-styles open again, let’s let those who are better suited to dictating what’s good for the game do just that, and not go through them. Of course, I’ll be there opening day, Soylent Dog in hand, humming along to Kenny G.

Retail Perspective – Is India Ready For Luxury Shopping?

Let’s look at this question logically. Luxury shopping is a function of considerable disposable income, which only now coming back into evidence after the global economic slowdown in India – or, for that matter, in the rest of the world.

As long as there’s affluence to any degree, the yen to go buy luxury goods follows – to that degree. So, is there a demand for luxury brands right now? Sure – but when it comes to India, I don’t blame luxury players for looking only at the three major metros of Delhi, Mumbai and Bangalore for expanding their footprint right now. After all, these are the cities where luxury retail is really understood – and where a certain degree of demand for luxury retail exists.

That said, I still feel that the critical mass needed to sustain profitability of luxury stores is currently not available even in these cities. There’s no getting away from the fact that at the core, Indian retail will continue to be defined by value-consciousness, which means that value retail will always have the upper edge in terms of numbers. And so, there are still only two full-fledged luxury malls operational in India – UB City in Bangalore and DLF Emporio in Delhi. And they are HUGELY outnumbered by the Big Bazaars of this world, which sort of proves my point.

On the other hand, Indian shopper sensibilities and inclinations ARE slowly evolving. We are beginning to see wealth creation happening even in the smaller cities and towns of India. So, other than the three major metros of India, cities like Chennai, Pune, Hyderabad, Kolkata and Ludhiana are also on the radar for the future expansion plans of luxury retailers. In the first place, these cities have always been traditional centres of commerce, and they also have a high concentration of old money families. But luxury retail coming there in force over the next two years? No, I really don’t think so….

At this point of 2010, developers are still a bit leery of planning luxury malls ANYWHERE in the country. That is not to say that there’s no evidence of luxury retail at all – there certainly are luxury shopping components to existing malls such as Phoenix Palladium in Mumbai, and Spencer’s Mall in Kolkata also plans to have such luxury outlets. Also, most 5 star hotels such as the Grand Hyatt, Taj Mahal Palace and Oberoi Trident in Mumbai and similar establishments in other cities have a component of luxury shopping.

Are any new luxury brands planning an entry into India right now? Yes – but as retailers, not as mall developers. In that spirit, brands like TopShop, Zara, Diesel and a few others have already tied up with local partners so that they can get a foothold on Indian soil. In fact, a few of them are even talking to potential partners for JVs.

Even so, luxury retail is going to face some challenges in India over the next two years. During the boom period, there was an incredible demand because the stock market was sizzling, and that resulted in considerable disposable income. Compared to those high times, matters are still sort of stagnant on the luxury retail front. And why should that surprise anyone? After all, luxury retail requires very high initial investment. There are pricey factors like standardised fit out procedures, high import duties and what have you to consider. Also, it doesn’t make much sense to launch a luxury mall at the faltering beginning of revival in Indian retail – the gestation period to break even in this business can be as long as far as 5-7 years. And we’re not even talking of the high rents applicable to luxury retail… rents high enough in cities like Mumbai to cross the eyes of even the most well-heeled international brands.

Everything You Need To Know About High Heels

High heels are footwear commonly used by women. People say that wearing high heels immediately makes a woman look and feel sexy. Although this type of footwear is most commonly associated with the female gender, there are designs made for males too.

Cuban heels and cowboy boots are worn by men. Cowboy boots has no lace, has a curve on the tip and have high or tall shaft. This particular style is widely used for riding horses and are most commonly worn by cowboys. A Cuban heel, on one hand, has a fair height with a straight front and is a little bit narrow at the back. Heels have many varieties and come with different types which are mostly worn by women.

Different types of high heels for women

· Stiletto

Stilettos have slimmer heels with a minimum height of 2 inches and not more than 0.4 inch in width. The highest stiletto could be as high as 10 inches. It gives you the visual illusion of having long and slender legs and it makes you appear taller as well. An added advantage is that it makes your bust and buttocks become more prominent.

· Wedge

A wedge covers the whole space under the heel and arch fractions of your foot. Its height varies so you can easily choose as to what suits your comfort level. What classifies it as a wedge are the length and shape of its heel. This heel type is quite popular in contemporary fashion.

· Puppy

The height and diameter has a measurement of roughly 2 inches. The heel is square, black and is usually thick.

· Louis or spool

This type of high heel is wide and has an obvious slimmer look at the midpoint.

· Prism

The heel appears to be triangle in shape at the tip with its triangular flat sides.

· Cone

The heel is round and wide and clearly narrow at the tip.

· Kitten

The heel is short and slim with a maximum height of 2 inches and width of not more than 0.4 inch.

The History of High Heels

High heels had been in and out of the fashion scene since World War II. High heels are worn by most European royalties during the 16th century. Back in 1580, men with power or influence had been known to wear high heels. It was back again in the later years of the 80s and again in the early 1990s. Typically, it is worn by most women today with height variations ranging from 1.5 inches kitten heel to 4 inches or more known as stilettos.

Disadvantages

Heels that are more than 5 inches in height are normally used for aesthetic reasons and are not advisable to wear. It can be the cause of most severe foot problems and has been an issue in health care. Results of wearing very high heels include the following repercussions:

· You can have foot pain because of too much arching of the foot.

· You may tend to walk slower.

· You will increase the possibility of sprains and fractures.

· You will have uneven or a wobbly walk which could predispose you to injuries.

· Foot deformities can be created.

· Your calves will appear stiffer.

· Those always wear high heels have a higher risk of degenerative knees.

· You are incapable of running.

· You can have foot and tendon problems.

But wearing high heels is not all flaws. The reason why high heels are still being used until now is that they also have their own benefits.

Advantages

· You instantly look taller.

· Your legs tend to appear much longer and slender.

· Your feet arches become well defined.

· Your posture is changed for the better.

· For shorter people, you can sit on a high chair with your foot on the floor. Plus, you will be able to reach items on higher shelves.

Wearing high heel shoes is one of the most sure fire ways of enhancing your looks and boosting your fashion sense today. Starting with low heels first is quite advisable in order for you to get used to wearing high, sophisticated heeled shoes.

Deals On Heels – Are Your High Heels An Investment?

You may remember an episode of Sex In The City when Carrie Bradshaw realized that she had spent a house deposit on shoes and potentially had nowhere to live. Then in an opening scene of another episode Carrie wanders towards a hip street market narrating,

“I was looking for a 5 dollar vintage dress to go with my new 500 dollar shoes.”

Carrie seemed to use her high heels as the center of her wardrobe and she saved elsewhere on clothes and accessories. For example she teamed high heels with vintage dresses, funky cheap accessories from outlets stores or paired them with casual shorts and overalls. Carrie created her own style that started at the heels.

So, to borrow the Sex and the City’s rhetorical narrating tone:

Could Carrie Bradshaw have it right after all?
Can shoes actually be a smart investment?

The survey says!

Let’s look at the facts. As reported on ABC via a ShopSmart magazine article studies suggest the average number of shoes owned by a woman is around 17 pairs. Interestingly this survey suggests that if a woman has 17 pairs of heels at any given time, she only wears 3 on a regular basis. Why would that be? – Discomfort!

According to a UK study by The College of Podiatry, the average woman spends one hour and six minutes in her heels before her feet begin to hurt and one in four women have danced barefoot in a bar or nightclub for this very reason.

That’s crazy, you buy cheap heels and kick them off because they kill your beautiful pedicured feet and usually don’t wear them again. The only time we ever saw Carrie barefoot was when she walked from the bed to her expensive shoe closet (or twice when her shoes were stolen).

So let’s do some shoe math.

Let’s say our deals on heels shoe-addict spends $680 for the year on 17 pairs of cheap high heels averaging $40. But she only wears three of those pairs regularly and basically wastes the other $590. So Sad!

Now the shoe investor’s mind works it in a different way. I (I mean “she”) would buy 1 pair of lovely Jimmy Choos or Manolo Blahnik at around $600 and then maybe buy two pairs of filler heels at DSW for an average of $40 each. You following me girl?

Let’s go macro for all my “with it girls.” Our high heel investments are like wine they get better with age. In 5 years’ time you can have five pairs of designer heels that you wear constantly all while feeling like a million bucks. Say no to cheap shoes that you have delivered to the local landfill every year. So not cool!

By spending more per shoe, but buying less shoes overall and keeping your budget the same, you are investing in footwear for now and the future. Although you’re spending more money up front, believe it or not you are getting great deals on heels.

Still not convinced?

Here are some other reasons why you should invest in designer heels or handmade high heels.

Your Image

Discerning people know fabulous shoes. I had a friend who worked in an exclusive club in New York where the billionaires try to dress down and blend in, while wannabes line up at the door in their knockoff clothing. He said you always look at the quality of the woman’s shoes to know if she’s important. True story!

Your Health

High heels are not just about fashion. You can walk tall knowing that you are caring for your feet and spinal health or staggering with blisters and damaging your spine. Rising rates of foot problems and heel problems are increasing around the world because of cheap heels.

I have one friend in her early 30s whose physiotherapist has banned her from all heels which is a real pity. In her 20s she didn’t have the money for designer heels, now she does, but she has damaged her spine.

The Environment

A lot of ‘vegan’ shoes label themselves ‘ethical’, but they are actually nothing more than plastic. This means they are produced with dangerous chemicals and are environmentally unsound products. They will not last as long as leather and they’ll end up… you guessed it… in landfills.

In Conclusion

The safest heels are hand-made from trace-able sources, and that usually means designer heels. Take care of those beautiful feet and buy high heel shoes as an investment not a momentary adrenaline rush that will lead to serious pain (in the foot and the bank account). The choice is yours!

How To Make The Right Choice Buying High Heels

A large number of women love high heels because they make them look and feel sexy. The shoes have a way of adding to a woman’s sway as she walks and they can actually be very empowering when they are worn sensibly. However, it cannot be ignored that high heels can make you suffer, especially when you end up making the wrong shoe choice. Very high shoes can end up stressing the feet and this will not end well and the same goes for shoes that are not the right fit. But by making a few considerations before you make a purchase, your chances of getting high heels that will make you suffer are greatly reduced.

Heel width – There are so many types of high heels and they come with different heel widths. To make sure you make a choice bound to be comfortable for your feet, let your body frame guide you in making the choice. It is advisable for lean women to go for thinner heels and for women with larger frames to choose shoes with thicker heels.

Heel length – When going for high heeled shoes, ensure that you choose a heel length that you can comfortably walk in. Remember the higher the heel, the greater the agony is going to be. High heels have a tendency of causing back, knee and foot pains. You also do not want to end up in heels that can make you topple over or heels that give you an awkward walking style. A good rule should be to start from shorter heels like the 3 inch and 4 inch ones and then work it up as you become used to the shoes.

Sole shoe attachment – It is one of the things that are commonly overlooked, but one that remains to be very important. The soles could either be glued on or sewn on. If you get a glued shoe, then ensure you examine the edges for any peeling signs. For sewn on soles, make sure that the stitching is strongly held. The last thing you want to encounter is a sole that starts coming off after a walk. Even the slightest disconnect between the sole and the shoe can make your walking very uncomfortable and dangerous too.

Heel bottom – It is another area that most women do not think about when they are out shopping for high heels yet it is very important. The material that is used on the bottom of the heel will determine how slippery the shoes are on certain surfaces. To ensure that you do not walk with heels slipping all over the floor and posing dangers to you, try and get shoes that have a rubber in place at the bottom. The strong rubber layer prevents slippage as you strike the ground or floor walking.

Toe design – High heels can be open toed or they can be closed and pointed. Never settle for a shoe that forces your toes together uncomfortably and instead test and select a pair that offers enough room for your toes.

History of High Heel Shoes

High heel shoes can have an amazing effect on women and are able to fill them with pleasure and excitement when shopping for them at Prada. The shoe in particular is a matter of contentious and heated discussion. No other shoe has gestured toward sexuality and sophistication as much as the high-heeled shoe. So many women are dreaming of having their closets full of shoes, but in reality they are merely pay attention to the fact that shoes could be one of the oldest inventions of our ancestors.

Heels are not a modern invention. Rather, they enjoy a rich and varied history, for both men as well as women. Controversy exists over when high heels were first invented, but the consensus is that heels were worn by both men and women throughout the world for many centuries.

Most of the lower class in ancient Egypt walked barefoot, but figures on murals dating from 3500 B.C. depict an early version of shoes worn mostly by the higher classes. In ancient Greece and Rome, platform sandals called kothorni, later known as buskins in the Renaissance, were shoes with high wood or cork soles that were popular particularly among actors who would wear shoes of different heights to indicated varying social status or importance of characters.

Around 1500, European nobility developed heels as a separate part of their shoes, primarily as a means to help keep their feet in the stirrups. The wear of heels by men quickly became the fashion norm, primarily in the courts, and this practice spawned the term, “well-heeled” as a reference to those who could afford the costlier shoes.

The modern European fashion of the high heel comes from the Italian “chapiney” or “chopine” style: mounted shoes on a 15 to 42 cm high cylinder. In 1430 chopines were prohibited in Venice, but nothing could stop the trend. The invention of the high heel is attributed to Catherine of Medici in Paris, in the 16th century, who used them due to her short stature, and soon introduced them into fashion amongst the European aristocracy. At the age of 14, Catherine de Medici was engaged to the powerful Duke of Orleans, later the King of France.

In the 17th century, the English Parliament punished as witches all women who used high heels to seduce men into marrying them. In his biography, the famous Giovanni Casanova declared his love for high heels, which raised women’s hoop skirts, thus showing their legs.

In 1791, the “Louis” high heels disappeared with the revolution, and Napoleon banished high heels in an attempt to show equality. Despite the Napoleonic Code against high heels, in 1793 Marie Antoinette went to the scaffold to be executed wearing two-inch heels.

In the 1860s, heels as fashion became popular again, and the invention of the sewing machine allowed greater variety in high heels. In Victorian art and literature, cartoons and allusions to tiny feet and the affliction of large feet (typical of the elderly spinster) were ubiquitous. Victorians thought that the high heel emphasized the instep arch, which was seen as symbolic of a curve of a woman.

While heels enjoyed widespread popularity in the late nineteenth century but the Depression during the 1930s influenced Western shoe fashion as heels became lower and wider.

With the creation of the miniskirt in the early 1960s, stilettos came into fashion and were attached to boots that enhanced the look of bare legs. A stiletto heel is a long, thin heel found on some boots and shoes, usually for women. It is named after the stiletto dagger, the phrase being first recorded in the early 1930s. Stiletto heels may vary in length from 2.5 centimetres (1 inch) to 5 cm (2 inches) or more if a platform sole is used.

Unlike the medieval period of Europe, when extravagance was more sought after that practicality, the fashion today trumps comfort. Women in the 21st century have more shoe choices than ever before. From athletic wear to the 2006 “heelless” high heel, women can choose to wear what they want, even hybrid shoes such as “heeled” tennis shoes and flip flops. While these may be oddities of fashion, they gesture toward an exciting array of fashion choices women have today.

Every woman deserves to wear shoes which match her outfit, look elegant and wrap her delicate feet. Whether they are lace up, platform or clear heel each of the shoes definitely compliments the outfit and makes the women love walking and feeling sexy.

When it comes to high heels they are teasing and flattering, they make women feel special and empowered as well as highly confident regardless of when or how they are worn.

A Few Hints to Help Choose the Right Pair of High Heeled Shoes

There are a world of assorted types of high heeled shoes, including pumps, platforms, sandals, wedges and high heeled boots for ladies…there is also the increasing trend for men to now wear heels, this indicates just how many styles today’s shoe fashion embraces. Heels don’t have to be too high to be in fashion and acceptable …so here are a few ideas for choosing the right pair of high heeled shoes:

Choose the right heel and shoe shape for your legs…. If legs are too thick, heels with a pointed toe may seem much smaller and may make feet look out of proportion with the rest of the body. Find a heel that makes the legs look in proportion with the shoes. Many people make their legs appear leaner by choosing a wider design in heeled shoes. Heels that are too sturdy may make your legs look sturdy also.

What shoes are suitable for an outfit?

Color, dress length and style are critical to shoe choice, as an example, if very high heels such as stiletto are worn with a mini skirt there is real danger of the wrong message being given out. A pair of heels will enhance the look of long skirts on a shorter person but take note of the height of the heel as the dress or skirt must not appear too long or too short. A full length dress does not require elaborate shoes because they will not be visible. Mid height heels may be more suitable for knee length outfits.

Be careful of wearing highly decorative shoes with a longer dress particularly as they may conflict with the dress details. Extravagant shoes achieve better results with shorter dresses. Simple classic heels are more suited to longer elaborate dresses. Avoid black shoes with pastel outfits unless bags and belts are coordinated. If wearing jeans, the shape of the bottom of the jean leg can also determine the type of heels that should be worn. Platform heels can be great with jeans and if the jeans are longer the impression is that you are taller which can be a bonus!

Safety…. With high heels and stilettos, beware of strappy shoes. They can look super sexy but ankles can be twisted easily. Take care that straps are firmly attached and the heel chosen is well balanced. Maybe choose a wedge heel. An additional idea would be to roughen the bottoms of new heels which can avert a nasty accident on the dance floor.

Flexibility…. Wedge heeled shoes can provide greater flexibility and can give all the ‘leg slimming’ and ‘extra height’ benefits of a heel that’s not so high. They are great with mid and mini skirts and are great for wearing to the office. heeled boots can also be very flexible and can be worn with almost all outfits. They are great with skirts and suitable for office wear.

Comfort…. High heels don’t have to mean ‘super high heels’ or stilettos which can be very painful if not selected properly, and they are also not geared for walking too far in. If heels do need to go hand in hand with comfort, which is a sensible option..then a lower heel or a kitten heel should be selected. Maybe choose a style with squared-off toes or open toes and shorter, chunkier heels instead of stilettos or maybe, again, the all round wedge heel which slopes the foot gently and supports the whole of the foot area. Wedge heels are good for the office because they can be worn for longer periods of time without too much strain on the foot. maybe shop later in the day as feet swell as the day goes on. Also break them in in advance if one intends to wear them to a special function. Ultimately, the heel height one chooses should be determined by how many aches and pains one can allow oneself.

Sex appeal….Sandals with heels and boots with heels are very, very, sexy, and very versatile as well. In addition to enhancing ones femininity, sandals fastened at the ankle, or higher up the leg, will draw attention to legs as well as feet. Most sandals, including flip flops, some of which do fall under the category of high heeled shoes, have small, delicate heels, called kitten heels, which gives them a look that can be dressed up or dressed down, depending on what one prefers.