Tag Archives: flat shoes

Flat In Flats?

flatAs regular readers will know, I’ve been nominated for an MS Society Award for my blog.

I’m over the moon and chuffed beyond belief, as is The Teenager, who will be my plus-one.

The dress code is ‘smart’.

Hmm. I feel ‘smart’ if my knitted hat for work has been washed the day before (it gets chilly stumbling around building sites, checking on concrete foundations).

A night out in smart clothes involves jeans, boots and a top. A coffee with friends involves jeans, boots and a top. You could say it’s a kind of tragic demi-student uniform.

But, I tried. I thought, ‘ok, this is my opportunity to show I can wear a dress’. I gave it a go. I stood in endless shop dressing rooms, tugging at hems, checking my reflection from twenty-seven different angles. I ordered three different sizes of the same dress off the internet, then sent them all back the next day.

I’ve had to admit, I’m just not one of those amazing women who suits a dress. Apart from the fact that most dresses look lousy with flat shoes, I’m just not … me. No amount of Spanx will convince me otherwise; I look like a sack of turnips.

However, when I slip on my lovely black trousers and black shoes, I feel transformed. Teamed with a beautiful top I bought for my visit to Downing Street (get me), I feel good. Normal, but much better. Confident.

I was discussing this problem with The Teenager yesterday. We went out for lunch, as a well-earned break from his studies. He asked me when I had last worn a dress. ‘Um, my wedding day?’ I replied.

‘Ah’, he said. ‘That was, like, back in the 90’s. Everyone wore dresses, probably, and blokes didn’t have man-buns.’ Impressive reasoning, I thought.

He patted my hand and said, ‘they’re not there to see what you’re wearing, they’re there to see your sad face when you don’t win. So make sure you’ve fixed your lippy.’ He sat back, impressed with his sage advice.

He’s got a point. ‘Comfy’ is creeping in to my lexicon. There’s other ways to push my boundaries and I don’t think dresses are one of them. So I will be monochrome on the day and will check that my lippy is present and correct.

My phone pinged. ‘Um, why are you texting me?’ I asked The Teenager. ‘You’re sitting right across the table?’ ‘Like, d’uh, I know, just wanted to tell you, no matter what happens, you’ll be fine. You’ve got me with you. And can I have your bread?’

The text read, ‘Love you. All good.’

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An Unlovable Frump

high  heelsIt is a truth universally acknowledged that a woman in flat shoes will forever remain a frumpy, dumpy singleton. According to Amanda Platell anyway.

The journalist and previous press secretary to William Hague when he was leader of the Conservatives, has been reduced to bashing out sexist tosh in an article ‘How a week in flatties left me feeling SO low‘ (how the mighty have fallen, eh?).

The piece is disguised as an ‘experiment’ of a life-long high-heel addict testing flat shoes for a week. In reality, it is a two-pronged call to arms for women to a) attract a man and b) strive to appear slimmer (to attract a man).

Amanda’s verdict – in suitably childish, petulant language, ranges from ‘….he looked at me as though I was Frodo’s mum: a short, portly hobbit with weird feet’ to ‘(I was) walking flat-footed like a duck – and looking like one too’ to ‘flatties make you a fattie’. Incisive journalism at it’s best.

To ram the point home, she descends into even more offensive language. After testing a pair of £149 black velvet slippers from Pretty Ballerinas and being teased by a friend more used to seeing her in heels, she writes, ‘The ignominy, the shame. A slut who leaves home in her slippers! Move over, Vicky Pollard.’

So according to Amanda, if you wear flats, you’re not only a frump, but a frumpy slut. Furthermore, women in flat shoes have no hope of ever finding love. We must put our own needs to one side and strive to revert to the bad old days of dressing for men. Amanda is clear on this – ‘while women might love the comfort and stylish insouciance of flat shoes, men hate them. They’re just not sexy. There was never a pair of ‘kiss me quick’ or ‘fancy me’ flat shoes. They don’t exist.’

Who is this more offensive to – men or women? I’d be seriously worried if I met the man of my dreams and he spent the entire time looking longingly at my feet, rather than gazing in to my eyes and actually engaging in conversation.

She can keep her pathetic Cinderella fantasies, forever waiting for her Prince Charming to turn up, stiletto heel in hand. As for me, flats may limit my clothing choices, but they certainly haven’t dulled my brain. Jog on, Amanda. If you can….

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