I consider myself reasonably up-to-date on trends and fashion. I highlight my hair, buy new mascara every few months and peruse (OK more like devour) fashion magazines every month. However, there is one thing I have never been able to accomplish. I cannot wear heels.
What a petty thing to be bad at, no? The thing is, I’m 5’9”. It’s a miracle to not be the tallest one in my group anymore (thanks Dan and Sam). Being the tallest person, and woman, in a group of friends is intimidating to other people and intimidating for me because I always feel like I am the one on display.
My mom is 5’11” and my sister is 6’0”, so they are a no go on the heels-wearing front as well. I could count the number of times I’ve seen either of them wear heels on one hand.
I love heels, though. I think they truly change the shape of a woman’s body and they are often the perfect accent to an outfit. So I have been slowly buying heels at fairly safe heights and wearing them whenever I can, which in New York is whenever I’m not walking more than 15 blocks at a time.
However, last Friday I had the opportunity to meet my favorite living fashion designer, Prabal Gurung. The event was a trunk show of his fall/winter 2013 collection at Bergdorf Goodman, so I knew I needed to not necessarily dress fancy, but classy. I wouldn’t be decked out in Michael Kors or Céline like the other women probably would be, but I could at least wear heels.
So I set off for Manhattan on Friday morning with Isabel and Kaylie wearing low, chunky, booties. And I promptly fell.
Of course I did. I stepped off the sidewalk for a moment while on the way to our bus stop and there was a nice little hole waiting for my shoe to twist around and force me to the ground.
I hopped up as soon as possible and told my laughing friends to never tell our guy friends, who would certainly never let me hear the end of it.
So we get to Manhattan and meet Gurung, who is lovely, adorable and makes fantastic clothes. After drooling over Prada bags and the Dior boutique, we trekked to the giant Forever 21 in Times Square, which is much more realistically priced.
Now, on Saturday all five of us had plans to go to a nightclub. Dan is a huge electronic dance music junkie and one of his favorites, Madeon, was spinning at Pacha NYC. Clubbing was never my scene, but I wanted to go to support Dan, as he once followed me around Saks Fifth Ave. for hours.
Isabel is a clubbing aficionado and she told me, in no uncertain terms, that I must wear real heels, with a platform and stiletto. Cue panic.
Once at Forever 21 I immediately set off for a pair of heels I could realistically walk around in for hours. Possibly dance, too.
News flash: it’s probably not a good idea to judge shoes’ comfort by the 10 second walk taken down the aisle when trying them on.
Well, I bought the shoes. We set off in search of bagels because, of course, New York bagels are delicious and could be eaten for every meal.
Then I fell again.
In front of Dan and Sam, no less, who had joined us in Times Square. I still had my bagel in hand.
With no dignity (but I still had my bagel), I brushed off the dirt and huffed down the sidewalk, only to have Sam suggest I put on my new heels, which were three inches taller. I stared at him incredulously. Did he want me to die?
Everyone agreed with him, since I would be wearing the heels all Saturday night and practice would be good. I begrudgingly pulled them on and trooped around Manhattan for the rest of the night clutching the arm of whoever was closest to me.
The pain I felt while wearing these heels is indescribable. All I can say is that it felt like very dull butter knives were digging into the balls of my feet. Wearing them at the club the next night wasn’t any better.
This time, I had to dance in them, for four hours. Pure misery. By the end of the night I’m pretty sure I was only standing with the help of the crowd pushing me from all sides, trying to get closer to the DJ booth.
As soon as I grabbed my coat and subway shoes (mercifully flat) from coat check, the heels were off. My future career requires heels to be worn at the office and I want to live in New York forever, so my inability to wear heels must be rectified soon.
Let’s hope practice makes perfect.
Amanda White is a junior majoring in journalism. She appreciates good books, good style, and good conversation.