Walk the Walk: How to Glide in Stilettos

BY GABRIELLA DAVI-KHORASANEE, EDITOR-IN-CHIEF OF M.I.S.S.

Stilettos got their name from the Italian word for “dagger” (and if you’ve ever been stepped on by one, you know why). The stiletto made its debut on the Christian Dior runway in 1955, designed by none other than shoe genius Roger Vivier. Marilyn Monroe and other Hollywood starlets helped make the stiletto infamous. Whenever I have to get dressed up, my motto is “the higher the better.” If you’re going to wear them, wear them well. And never let the shoes wear you. Here’s how.

Stand up straight
Posture is so important, especially when wearing stilettos. Follow these simple rules: 1. Hold your chin up. 2. Make sure your shoulders are down and wide (not up by your ears). 3. Suck in your stomach. 4. Tuck your butt in (no arch in your back, it’s all in the muscles). 5. Straighten and elongate your spine. 6. Straighten your legs (but don’t over-straighten so that your legs are concave). Ballet, Pilates, and Yoga classes are amazing for help in this area because they deal with lengthening muscles, finding your center, and developing your core strength – all of which lead to better posture.

Perfect the stroll
When you wear stilettos, you have to do the “stiletto walk,” which should be different from your walk when you’re in flats or sneakers. Imagine a line in front of you that is centered with your body. With each step, extend your leg fully and walk one foot in front of the other with a purpose. It prevents you from looking sloppy and slouchy, and most importantly, it gives you the natural swivel of the hip that is necessary to have when you’re turning heads.

Pick your poison
Nothing looks worse than a beautiful woman in a gorgeous dress at a formal event – barefoot. So when you’re picking out that pair of perfect stilettos, comfort is key. Look for elements like a wider toe box or a hidden platform. These features make those sky-high heels far more manageable. Going bigger is always better, because you can slip in a pad for extra comfort. Never buy something that will pinch your feet, because no matter how fabulous the function is, you won’t be able to enjoy it.

Now that you know all the tricks of the trade, walk tall, strut proud, and, if you’re in the giving mood, share your stiletto superhero powers with all your flat-heeled friends.

April 23, 2010