It' been a long time since I bought a killer pair of heels. I did insist on wearing heels throughout my pregnancy, but I have to admit that it was usually wedges or chunky heeled platforms. And I certainly didn't buy new heels while pregnant. After the little man was born, my high heels were pushed even further back in my closet. I do too much baby-wearing or just running around for high heels. So when date night comes (or girl's night out or whatever), I'm usually pretty excited to bust out my high heels. Except. I have noticed that in the last couple of years high heel trends have shifted a bit. The bootie - which was just getting big when I was pregnant two years ago - is still here, and is influencing the stiletto. Stilettos are now serious, dominatrix looking things, straps and studs and craziness everywhere, and the resulting look is a little stronger - more sexy, less sweet. I predict that this shoe trend will continue well into fall....and this trend makes my tasteful (yet still sky high) strappy sandals look almost dowdy by comparison. Time for a seriously sexy shoe to sex up my old existing going-out outfits.
My first pick would be the Fendi's High Heel Gladiator Sandal, pictured above left. Since my first picks are usually out of the question from a price perspective (I'm picturing my husband's face as I outline for him the various merits of an $830 sandal...) let's just use the fabulous Fendi's as a source of inspiration for other hot date night shoes. If however, you are not scared away from an $830 price tag, you can buy the fab Fendi's at www.eluxury.com.
Since date night shoes are hardly practical, I want to find something as cheap as possible, but that still accurately captures the strong, sexy look. Here are my picks for affordable, drop dead sexy date night shoes:
The first sandal pictured above is the super-hot Alfisi from Aldo, $120. I love the metallic studs. Next, is the Steven By Steve Madden Women's Martiny Open Toe Strappy Ankle Boot, $96, and the Carlos by Carlos Santana Women's Cage Ankle Strap Sandal, $80, both from endless.com.
The first shoe shown above it the Nine West Kentaro sandal and usually retails for $89. However, if you order from www.ninewest.com, it is currently 25% off....leaving a bargain price of $66.75. Due to the hot heel shape, crazy criss-crossing straps, zipper back and studs....this might actually be my favorite pair of the bunch (except for, of course, the Fendi). Next is the Simply Vera by Vera Wang Didi Dress Heels, $30 at kohls.com, and the Mossimo Petrova Gladiator Sandals, $30 at target.com. Don't be scared away from the dark brown color of the Simply Vera sandals, the black heel ensures that this pair will still look hot when paired with black. I love mixing brown and black, anyway. So chic.
How to Style
Now, pay attention - this gets complicated: Put on your favorite date-night outfit...then add these shoes. Done! Seriously. These babies go with everything - little black dresses, skinny jeans, summer dresses, pencil skirts, minis, shorts - you name it. The genius behind this style is that it sexes up virtually any outfit. So. If your date night look is already straddling that fine line between hot and trashy....then you might want to skip this shoe.
For the skeptics out there, let me illustrate the versatility of this shoe with a few pics:
The three looks above are all from www.shopbop.com. The pic above left shows how the shoe can make a little black dress much more interesting. The pic in the middle shows how you can take something fairly work-appropriate, lose the blazer and sex it all up with the shoes. The pic above right shows how these kinds of shoes can anchor a light colored dress -- the look becomes a little more sexy, a little less sweet.
However, these days, most of my date nights are pretty low key. For a date night look that's pizza and beer appropriate, I wanted to find a pic that shows how these shoes can sex up even a tee-shirt and jeans. The look at left (also from shopbop.com) is exactly the look I'm going for. This outfit is sexy, but won't make you feel out of place at your favorite dive. FYI - the jeans pictured are part of a collaboration of Levi and DKNY. This jean is their 501 Boyfriend Jean, $225 at shopbop.com.
ps. I know gladiators also come in styles that criss-cross all the way up, right below your knee. Unless there is a costume party and you are going as an actual gladiator (feathered helmet and all), just say no.