Wednesday, March 08, 2006
Shoes are you ?
According to Belk (2001), we appear to have an innate preference for products that not only function well but also have expression. Males are often more daring and naughty than their female counterparts in what they choose to wear. One theory why men use heavier apparel to create illusionary effects of masculinity and virility is because they have fewer erogenous qualities. Women on the other hand use less to highlight their natural erogenous features. Female footwear shows personality and uniqueness e.g. I am someone special. Male footwear is part of a uniform to mark membership in a group i.e. I am a cowboy.
Footwear suggests connection with terra firma "both feet on the ground". An elevated heel implies the ability to defy the Earth's gravity whereas four wheel drive shoes send quite a different message. Shoe watchers believe women's shoes can be classified into three general groups.
Revealing shoes or bares all footwear with the toes, heel, ankle and top of the foot all visible and calling attention to the frailty of the small delicate foot.
Concealing shoes transmit a suggestive erotic message of tight containment. Both proclaim femininity, individuality and sexual allure. High heels make the frame appear more curvatious with bosoms and buttocks protruding and less accentuation on the waist. Increased height may appeal to the height challenged as well as giving an outward appearance of a smaller foot. To the less well endowed, added height from heels encourages an attractive boyish appearance, so enjoyed by the ancient Egyptians.
Masking shoes, the third category, down plays personality by discouraging its notice. Often worn with socks, sensible shoes tend to be boxy, sturdy and squared off.
Gender specific footgear for men also falls into three categories: dominant, submissive and neutral.
Dominant shoes are robust, wide, thick soled and heavy.
Submissive shoes are narrow, lightweight thin soles, with tapering toes. Gracile to suggest vulnerability with a deliberate down play of foot's size and bluntness.
The neutral shoe is fashionably bland and introverted. It is neither wide nor narrow, neither pointed nor blunt. The sole is neither thick nor thin, nor is the shoe obviously masculine or feminine. Neutral shoes project non-rebellious non-dominant anti-corporate mood in the work place.
All shoes can be divided into different design lines, which suit certain types of feet.
The Classic line caters for the average foot with its emphasis on refinement, elegance and high fashion. These shoes are sleek, slightly chunky with smooth circle or geometric shapes but no angles.
The Dramatic line is more suited to the narrow foot with its trim sleek and elegant lines and emphasis on angular shapes.
Small feet are highlighted in the Romantic line with soft flowing lines that showcase foot contours. Detailed but lavish footwear. Moderate to large feet are often best in natural lines which are shoes sometimes chunky and always funky.
The Gamin line favours moderate to narrow feet. Sharp, straight and crisp footwear designed in geometric and asymmetrical shapes, Worn in colourful leathers and often with dark hosiery (sheer).