22 January 2007

'Tis no small feet (part II)

Like man-hands or a wonky eye, there is no solution short of corrective surgery to make enormous feet attractive.

The most a woman in this unfortunate position can do is to mask their size through tricks of the eye and by avoiding certain styles at all costs.

Here are rules for what not to wear:

1. No pointy shoes -- the extra material into which your toes don't fit unnecessarily elongate your feet.

2. No mules or slides -- not having any kind of back boundary (like those pictured at left) makes your feet look like they could go on and on and on, which is good for legs but not good for feet.

3. No barely-there strappy shoes -- if the skin to shoe ratio is too high, it will make your big feet look even bigger. Remember the "Tommy Boy" allusion in my earlier post? Fat guy in a little coat? Same logic.

4. No bright colored pumps -- nothing says "I'm probably a tranny" like a pair of yellow pumps on size 11 feet

5. No flashy materials or prints -- like you wouldn't wear a leopard-print tube top if you wanted to hide your flapjack breasts, wearing a flashy shoe - even in an acceptable style like the peeptoe above - will draw unwanted attention to your large feet

The primary goal is to strike an even balance of skin and shoe, and to be as proportionate with color and material from the ankle down as you would be everywhere else on your body.

Here are my suggestions for what would be most flattering on a large-footed woman:

1. Round instead of pointy -- since your toes end where the shoe ends in a round-toed pump (at left: Marais pump by Max Studio, $128.66 at zappos.com) there won't be any excess material to make your feet like a half-size bigger than they are. You should still stick to muted colors like browns, black, a berry red, and gray. You should also stay close to the reservation in terms of materials, opting for matte leather, neutral tweed, suede and at the flashiest, patent leather.

2. Peeptoes -- when a universally flattering style is also the most fashion forward of its kind, magic happens. The peek of toe breaks up the material in a subtle way that makes people forget you're wearing a double-digit shoe size. These Givenchy 573970s ($443.95 at zappos.com) are ideal in color, style, heel-type (skinny heels will make your feet look more delicate), and material.

3. Try embellished instead of strappy -- instead of going the strappy route for dressy occasions, cradle your feet with embellishments. I don't normally like rhinestones or shells or any of the other doo-dads that commonly tacky-up evening shoes, but in some cases, like these Marcial peeptoes below left from Enzo Angolini ($107.10 at zappos.com), the bit of sparkle adds a very ladylike quality. Though I wouldn't recommend getting the shoe in a bright color, feel free to indulge in an eye-catching color with the embellishment.
4. T-straps and D'orsays -- other options for breaking up the material in a shoe without revealing too much is with a close-toed t-strap or D'orsay. Both offer the chance to show skin but temper the exposures with a good amount of coverage. As long as the base color is muted, you can choose a fun trim like these black and gold "Kell" t-straps below right from Betsey Johnson ($180 at nordstrom.com).

So that's it. Those are my rules and those are my suggestions. The last bit of wisdom I'd like to impart is that a limitation in one area does not mean you can't make up for it somewhere else. If you have big feet, play up your great back or toned arms instead. As Jessica Biel well knows, there is much more satisfaction in the hot body parts you've earned, than in the ones you've inherited.

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