The Perils of Height and Heels

Henrietta Easton discusses her concerns over wearing her favourite heeled shoes due to her height and society's expectations. 

I love wearing heels. Any outfit can be made that touch more elegant and glamorous just by putting on a pair of heels. But there is a problem… I’m five foot ten.

I know you’re probably reading this thinking why does that mean she shouldn’t wear heels, and I agree. But I am not overly confident and heels make me so much taller than all of my friends and my boyfriend. I feel generally like a baby giraffe in a herd of gazelles when I wear heels out. Most of the time I’ll plan to wear heels and then see how much taller I am than everyone else and revert to flats, because I don’t want to draw too much attention to myself. But then I’ll spend the whole night feeling clompy and inelegant, wishing I’d worn any of the pairs of heels I have in my cupboard (I have many). It’s a real dilemma, if I’m honest.

For my eighteenth birthday my boyfriend got me a beautiful, beautiful pair of red suede heels from Topshop….with a height of six and a half inches. I wore them for half of the party but quickly felt awkward and fed up that I was having to bend down to hug my friends. Dancing without feeling like a clown was also a nightmare.

I still love my shoes and I have spent hours planning outfits around them; but I’ve never worn them out again. It’s entirely my own under-confidence that prevents me from wearing them, I know I’ll feel awkward and embarrassed despite the number of compliments I may get.

But I shouldn’t. Why should I not wear these beautiful shoes just because I am that little bit taller? It’s a mentality that I am determined to get myself out of. There is nothing stopping me except myself. My boyfriend doesn’t mind me being taller than him and I actually think he secretly prefers it, even if he does have to hold me up after an evening out in heels (walking on cobbles in stilettos is not an easy task). My Grandma also always tells me that my height is an asset that I should be proud of, and she's right, just as grandmothers always are.

I’ve decided to make this my fashion-based New Year’s resolution (one of many). When I think that wearing heels is a good idea, I will wear them. I hope this will make me feel more comfortable and that heels will become an integral part of my style, rather than something I add occasionally when I feel brave enough.