In the world of fashion, women's shoes are iconic. High heels are no exception. They have come a long way since their origination in ancient Egypt. Originally worn primarily for ceremonial purposes, they were a status symbol of the time. According to Articles on History, high-heeled shoes were limited to those of a higher social status. Now, centuries later, high-heels have evolved into various shapes and styles that can be worn by everyone. Among some of the most popular are pumps, peep-toe, evening sandals, slingbacks and the ever-famous stiletto.
One of the more popular styles is your basic pump. Pumps can be traditional or made with a platform design. Traditional pumps come in several variations and colors, and can be round-toe or pointy-toe. Leather, vinyl, fabric, satin or suede are among several of the materials from which pumps are often made. Typically, heels on a traditional pump are 2 inches high or as much as 4 inches tall. Traditional styles of the pump are most often seen in an office environment, where you can find your standard black, brown or navy pump. The platform pump is much like the traditional pump but adds a bit more flare. It features a 1-inch platform added to the front of the shoe, just under the ball of the foot. This design creates additional lift in the front of the shoe.
Evening and Flare
Evening sandals and peep-toe heels are often paired with both formal and cocktail wear. The evening sandal, commonly referred to as the strappy sandal, is both sophisticated and sexy. More casual versions are made of leather and feature a standard ankle-strap buckle. Those designed for formal events are typically made of satin and are often sparkly with details such as glitter and rhinestones. These types of heels tend to be on the lower side, no more than 3 inches high. Peep-toe heels are a casual, playful version of the high-heeled shoe. They range in heel height of 3 inches to as high as 5 inches tall and offer a tiny peek at your toes, with a small opening at the front of the shoe. This playful design can be paired with more formal wear to make it casual and appropriate for a cocktail party or bar hop.
Stilettos are the grandest of all high heels. They sport an extremely high and narrow heel -- and while they are difficult to walk in, their look is one of ultimate femininity. The pencil-like heel requires a combination of balance and poise. Generally, stilettos are at least 4 inches high and can be as high as 8 inches, according to The Times of India. More often than not, they feature a pointy, closed toe. However, stilettos are sometimes made with details from other high-heeled styles such as the platform seen on the pump as well as the open-toe look of the peep-toe. Ironically, the word stiletto means "knife" or "dagger," and for a high heel that is so fragile and feminine, it demands power and authority for anyone who wears it.
Slip On and Go
Another variation of high heel is the slingback. They are known for their one-strap, slip-on feature. You just slip your foot into them and fasten the strap around the back of your ankle/heel. The slingback is often a hybrid of other high-heeled shoes. Some versions are peep-toe and feature the platform design of a pump with the popular ankle strap closure associated with the evening or
strappy sandal. Slingback heels can be casual or formal, depending on the material used. For instance, a satin slingback with a rhinestone buckle would be best paired with a more dressy look, versus a slingback made of fabric that sports a cork heel. Cork heels are made from cork material often used in wine bottles and can be found on all types of heels.
Expressing personal style through fashion is seen every day. We portray who we are as individuals in the clothes we wear and in the accessories we carry. A woman's purse is no exception. A purse not only serves a functional purpose, it is a symbol of a woman's personality. You can tell a great deal about a lady just by the purse she carries. The impression is just as important as the contents inside.
The history of the handbag dates back to the mid nineteenth century. It was originally designed to hold essentials and over the years has evolved into a symbol of personal style. Despite this transformation, women use purses for carrying everyday items and therefore want something that satisfies both function and fashion. In fact, for some women, functionality is more important than style. In these cases, a purse that is convenient to use and holds all the necessary items is essential.
There are hundreds of choices when it comes to the size of a handbag. Some women prefer smaller purses while others want larger, tote styles. The size and structure of a purse can be viewed as serving both function and style. How a woman carries her purse is equally as important as its style. While she may prefer the larger size to hold all the necessary items, if it is too large it is uncomfortable. Size factors into style because it can determine the overall aesthetic of a particular handbag. For instance, if a bag is too large for a woman's frame it will overwhelm her body, creating an uneven look. On the other hand, if a purse is too small it can appear messy and unflattering to her overall appearance.
The brand of handbag is important to some women. Wearing certain brands offer an elevated social status. Louis Vuitton is one of the most well-known designer handbag brands in the luxury market. These purses can be seen in fashion capitals all over the world. Many women are devoted to their collection and only buy their brand. In certain instances, women will chose a purse solely based on who made it, with no regard for its function. In this case, it is the status that comes with carrying the bag that is most important. The perception that comes with wearing a particular brand makes the purse even more important because it is not only an expression of style, it is a status symbol.
IN THE BAG
Handbags may be symbols of an individual's personality, but they influence overall culture as well. Purses are status symbols to some and everyday items to others. Women who value the look of a bag rely on its visual appeal to express their personalities. For them, a handbag is important because it defines where they are within society and how they want to be perceived by others. Women who value function over appearance see the importance in how well the bag performs. They want a purse that can carry everything they need and is convenient to use. A purse is important because it holds the personal items of the woman who carries it. Without her handbag, a lady is lost.
Fall is an exciting season for fashion. Designers release new lines that explode in vivid colors. Models grace the runway wearing everything from wool to leather. Magazines are filled with images of cool-weather wear, accessories and perfect evening wear for your holiday parties. Dressing for fall is an opportunity to express your personal style, and it is right around the corner.
When fall arrives, it brings the promise of new fashion and a fresh start. Shopping for weather-appropriate apparel is a necessity when you live in an area that is drastically colder when the season changes. Select a few transitional pieces that can be worn in both warm and cool conditions. Choose garments that can be layered for the optimum effect. Cardigans or blazers paired with lightweight blouses and camisoles are great options for the first few unpredictable days of the fall season in which the weather starts off cool, then gradually warms as the day progresses. Pair skirts and dresses with leggings or tights and boots to incorporate a chic yet season-appropriate look.
And don't forget, the fall season comes with a lineup of parties and events for the holidays. A fall wardrobe for the festivities, including holiday parties, may require dressy evening wear and sophisticated cocktail dresses that are appropriate for business events.
Fall brings new trends and fabrics. Each year, designers implement both traditional and modern. Coat lengths and styles vary and are made in an array of fabrics from plaid to animal prints. Wrap coats from pea coats to trench coats with coordinating belts for easy closure are stylish outwear options. If you prefer a more traditional form, try the ever popular button-down coat. Look for matching coordinates. Fall fashion designs provide the perfect opportunity to coordinate jackets with slacks and suits.
Long, extended pants are another popular choice for fall. Select slacks that are long and wide in traditional fall colors such as black, dark gray and brown to create the illusion of longer legs and a slim silhouette.
Common accessories for the fall season are belts, hats and scarves in neutral colors. Surprisingly, pastel hues are also suitable choices for the fall. Typically debuting in the spring, pale shades consisting of light blues and pinks show up in winter scarves and hats. Choose accessories that complement and accent the staple pieces of your outfit. You might try pairing a light blue pastel scarf with a dark gray fall suit. The contrast between light and dark makes any ensemble stand out in the crowd. Fedoras and wide-brimmed hats add a little something extra to your look in addition to keeping you warm; choose several hats to express your personality from wool, felt, suede and crochet.
Remember to break the rules when you dress for the fall season. New fall fashions break the monotony of tradition and defy cliches. Women walk the streets in dark slacks paired with light-colored coordinating pieces. Light, floral prints pair well with dark work wear. Short or long, warm or cool -- there is something for everyone when dressing for the fall season.