Fashion Faux Pas? How And When To Wear Platform Shoes

Platform shoes - who can wear them? And when? And how?

Platform shoes - in fashion? Out of fashion? Who can wear them? With what? And when?

Well, to take things in order - platforms, like mini skirts and capri pants (both of which look good with platforms, by the way), are one of those fashion items eternally loved by some, hated by others, but which always seem to be around in some form or other. So - in fashion? Yes. If you like them, keep on wearing them.

But are there any rules about who can wear them? Are they only for short girls? Definitely not. Tall girls can, and do, wear them, too. (I'm 5'9", and until recently platforms were the only shoes I owned.) The only people who should not wear platforms are people who find themselves unable to walk in them - if you have difficulty walking or trouble with your balance, you should stick to flats or at least lower-heeled (1"-2") platforms.


Are there any fashion rules about what outfits you can wear with platforms? Not really - there are almost as many styles of platform shows as there are outfits to wear them with. Strappy sandals, thongs, chunky mary janes, boots from ankle to thigh-high, even platform sneaker. Match the style to the outfit (formal, casual, etc.) and the platform itself will only enhance the look you are trying to create.

Just a few suggestions for platforms and certain body types: if you have particularly chunky legs, you should probably avoid wearing platforms with shorter skirts as they may draw too much attention to this feature. With anything mid-calf length or below, though, you should be okay with platforms. And if you have, um, larger-sized feet (I wear a size nine), you might find that a round-toed style (such as a platform mary jane) makes your feet look just a little smaller. (At least, I like to think so!)

Finally, when should you avoid wearing platform shoes? Well, platforms are probably not the best choice for a job interview, at least for one in a conservative, corporate setting. You might also not want to wear platforms if you are going out on a date (especially a first date) with a shorter man in case he is sensitive about the height difference.

You should also check the weather conditions before going outside in those platforms - on icy sidewalks it can be hard enough to maintain your balance without having to deal with those extra few inches of height. If it's pouring rain, however, and if you're not worried about your shoes getting wet, then go for it! After all, platform soles originated hundreds of years ago as a way for people to splash through puddles without getting the hems of their clothing wet.

One final circumstance in which you should avoid platforms is when you are carrying a baby or small child in your arms. That's what finally did it for me and my all-platform shoe collection - I wore my platforms through all nine months of pregnancy (although I probably shouldn't have), and I wore them for the first nine months of my son's life when he was still small enough for me to tote around in a baby carrier (the kind that doubles as a car seat). Now that I'm carrying him in my arms every day, though, I have (sigh!) banished platforms from my wardrobe for the time being. Better safe than fashionable. Luckily, there are also a lot of really cute flats out there"¦

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