If the shoe fits…

12th April 2016

Posted In: FYI
House of Colour

What is it about shoes? They’re endlessly fascinating, aren’t they. Could it be the instant mood-boosting power of new shoes? Or the fact that while our weight goes up and down, our shoe size stays the same.

Or, dare we say it, could it be something to do with shoes being sexy?

Here comes the science bit…

Words: Maria Macklin, House of Colour

According to the neurologist Vilayanur S Ramachandran, it’s hard-wired into our brains. Apparently, the brain areas controlling feet and private parts are next door to each other in the somatosensory cortex. All it takes is some neural cross-talk and hey presto, shoes become the footwear equivalent of George Clooney.


How to choose your perfect shoes

When it comes to shoe style, the heel and vamp are key. OK, you may be thinking `What on earth is a vamp?’  It’s part of the upper – the bit that covers the foot from the toe cleavage upwards.

Shoes with a high vamp (think boots, loafers, trainers) look great on longer legs and work well with trousers and short skirts. Shoes with a low vamp (think court shoes and ballet flats) elongate the legs and look good with most dresses and skirts.

As our body shapes dictate the best clothes to suit us, here are some useful tips for picking shoes according to your natural foot and leg architecture:

Shorter legs: A low vamp is essential. Peep toes are also good and try out on trend nude shoes for leg-lengthening.

Thicker ankles or calves: Go for low vamp and a thicker sole or platform. A wider heel, stacked heel or wedge is better than a stiletto, and sling-backs work well. Avoid ankle straps.

Slimmer ankles and calves: Steer clear of chunky looking shoes. Instead, choose fine straps, heels and soles. Wedges should also be fine and slim.

Longer feet: Horizontal straps and high vamp will help shorten the feet. Bear in mind that pointed toes often make your feet look longer.

Shorter feet: Go for a low vamp. Try and avoid straps that cut across your feet, although a T-bar can work well.


As with wardrobe decluttering, try and spot your repeat buying habits and the gaps in your shoe wardrobe. Once you’ve found the gaps, hit the shoe shops.

A tip for buying new shoes. Feet expand during the day so plan your shopping trip towards the middle or end of the day. The later you go, the more likely you are to find the perfect fit.


And add your personality…

Shoes are a great way to express your personality and if you’ve completed your personal style class, you will know all about your clothing personality and the key words that express your own unique style. These magic words are also great to use when choosing your perfect shoes:

Dramatic: Shoes with something extreme e.g. angles or asymmetric details or scale of design for a striking and bold look.

Classic: Quality, beautifully made shoes in leather or patent finishes with understated details.

Natural: Shoes or boots that are relaxed with natural fabrics and textures for interest.

Gamine: Express your fun side with quirky details. Ballet pumps, neat fitting boots and block heels with a youthful edge will work well.

Ingénue: Small, intricate details and sheen or sparkle work well in kitten heels or Victorian style button boots.

Romantic: Think shine and sparkle and all that glitters to add embellishment to your shoes. Heels work better than flats for a glamorous look.


Visit Maria’s House of Colour blog for more tips!