Yup! That's right, you guessed it! Today, I will be sharing on the history of high heels and how it evolved over the years! To think that the ‘heel fashion’ only started at the beginning of the Modern era would be wrong.
“Did you know that heels started with men? “
Dating back to approximately 4000 bce, heels were observed in ancient Egyptian murals on temples and tombs (only for higher status, those of lower status would be depicted barefooted) - I know right, how could we have missed this back in Egypt's lecture! I do not know exactly when heels originated or who made them, but historians have noticed them Before the Common Era.
Notably, it all started with Persian men in the army as a way to keep their feet in stirrups – back in 1500s (refer to picture below)
And as we all know from our Persian lecture, Persia had one of the most powerful armies in the world… Which resulted in many Europeans idolizing them after they had conquered the Ottomans.
Fun Fact: To the Europeans, the Persian was seen as an exotic fashion icon!
At the height of the trend, King Louis XIV made a law that no one could wear heels as high as his!
I know right.... What a diva!
Like how the corset works, heels sculpted the body to make one appear more aristocratic, redefined, and more desirable. Being short was not ideal for a man’s ego, so he took measures into his own hand to make himself taller and more desirable!
As time pass and fashion filter down, people of lower status started to adopt the heel trend. However, once normal/average people want them, people of higher status no longer want them… Additionally, because of Napoleon in 1791 – French revolution and many other revolts – the “high heel” trend started to vanish as the revolts started.
Moreover, the Enlightenment pushed high heels (and many other things) out of style , where men started opting for practicality (less fancy clothing)… while women started donning on high heels and brightly colored clothes, for the sake of fabulous-ity.
In this period, heels were kept for those who were irrational, emotional and uneducated – in other words… women. Like the heels, women were considered impractical, as they were often seen as foolish and sentimental for wanting to don on such impractical footwear.
However, in the 70s (based on ‘That 70s show’), heels made a comeback for men… remember the disco period?