Hi Miss JW,
I'm no Hong Kong fashion expert, but I find that ankle straps make my legs look chunky. Is it me or is it the shoe? I would love to be able to wear an ankle strap shoe but I just don't know if I should. What do you think?
Dear Lou Lou,
Firstly, it's not you -- it's most definitely the shoe that makes your proportions change (for the worse, I'm sorry to say)!
As a personal stylist, I tend to err on the side of being anti-ankle strap as opposed to a lover of them. Having heard many a negative opinion such as “It interrupts the line of the leg!” , “It creates instant cankles!” and “It ruins a long, lean look!”, I tend to lean more towards a classic pump in honour of a longer, leaner look.
But with ankle straps being such a huge trending style this Spring/Summer 2012, designers by the likes of Celine and Nina Ricci are getting me to step out of the box (literally) and into a pair of ankle strap heels.
Not to mention, ankle straps add a wonderful amount of ankle support. Ever noticed a ballroom dancers foot? It's always fashioned with an ankle strapped pump!
The ultimate verdict is that it's doable, but it's a look that takes tweaking. So, here are a few tips and hints that will make an ankle strap work:
- Never, ever, wear an ankle strap with a flat shoe. This is a disaster for anyone regardless of if you're Kate Moss or Gisele Bundchen!
- If your calves are the masterwork of many an hour on the treadmill and rather robust in size, opt for a pump. Ankle straps are much better suited to leaner calves.
- Wear a delicate strap if you are on the shorter side, as a thinner strap is less evasive. Leave the ankle cuffs for the long-legged!
- An open toed shoe with an ankle strap creates a more flow-on effect, meaning visually, your leg will look longer. This is also a fab chance to show off your perfect pedi.
- Do not wear opaque tights -- too many blocks of solid colour, not enough “leg” feeling.
- Any skirt that falls below the knee should be kept far, far away from ankle strap shoes. It will only shorten you, making you look more bulky than leggy.
My top pick of an ankle strapped shoe in Hong Kong are the Obstcl-S by Steve Madden:
Check them out at your nearest Hong Kong Steve Madden store.
Till next time,
Do you have a burning fashion question for Miss JW? Send them to her via Twitter @HongKongStylist or email firstname.lastname@example.org to get them answered on the upcoming editions of "Ask a Stylist".
Jasmine Webster is a Hong Kong fashion stylist and blogger (www.dressmeblog.me) who's all about fashion made REAL for REAL people - still with a bit of glitz and glamour to keep things interesting along the way.