History of High Heel Shoes

High heel shoes can have an amazing effect on women and are able to fill them with pleasure and excitement when shopping for them at Prada. The shoe in particular is a matter of contentious and heated discussion. No other shoe has gestured toward sexuality and sophistication as much as the high-heeled shoe. So many women are dreaming of having their closets full of shoes, but in reality they are merely pay attention to the fact that shoes could be one of the oldest inventions of our ancestors.

Heels are not a modern invention. Rather, they enjoy a rich and varied history, for both men as well as women. Controversy exists over when high heels were first invented, but the consensus is that heels were worn by both men and women throughout the world for many centuries.

Most of the lower class in ancient Egypt walked barefoot, but figures on murals dating from 3500 B.C. depict an early version of shoes worn mostly by the higher classes. In ancient Greece and Rome, platform sandals called kothorni, later known as buskins in the Renaissance, were shoes with high wood or cork soles that were popular particularly among actors who would wear shoes of different heights to indicated varying social status or importance of characters.

Around 1500, European nobility developed heels as a separate part of their shoes, primarily as a means to help keep their feet in the stirrups. The wear of heels by men quickly became the fashion norm, primarily in the courts, and this practice spawned the term, “well-heeled” as a reference to those who could afford the costlier shoes.

The modern European fashion of the high heel comes from the Italian “chapiney” or “chopine” style: mounted shoes on a 15 to 42 cm high cylinder. In 1430 chopines were prohibited in Venice, but nothing could stop the trend. The invention of the high heel is attributed to Catherine of Medici in Paris, in the 16th century, who used them due to her short stature, and soon introduced them into fashion amongst the European aristocracy. At the age of 14, Catherine de Medici was engaged to the powerful Duke of Orleans, later the King of France.

In the 17th century, the English Parliament punished as witches all women who used high heels to seduce men into marrying them. In his biography, the famous Giovanni Casanova declared his love for high heels, which raised women’s hoop skirts, thus showing their legs.

In 1791, the “Louis” high heels disappeared with the revolution, and Napoleon banished high heels in an attempt to show equality. Despite the Napoleonic Code against high heels, in 1793 Marie Antoinette went to the scaffold to be executed wearing two-inch heels.

In the 1860s, heels as fashion became popular again, and the invention of the sewing machine allowed greater variety in high heels. In Victorian art and literature, cartoons and allusions to tiny feet and the affliction of large feet (typical of the elderly spinster) were ubiquitous. Victorians thought that the high heel emphasized the instep arch, which was seen as symbolic of a curve of a woman.

While heels enjoyed widespread popularity in the late nineteenth century but the Depression during the 1930s influenced Western shoe fashion as heels became lower and wider.

With the creation of the miniskirt in the early 1960s, stilettos came into fashion and were attached to boots that enhanced the look of bare legs. A stiletto heel is a long, thin heel found on some boots and shoes, usually for women. It is named after the stiletto dagger, the phrase being first recorded in the early 1930s. Stiletto heels may vary in length from 2.5 centimetres (1 inch) to 5 cm (2 inches) or more if a platform sole is used.

Unlike the medieval period of Europe, when extravagance was more sought after that practicality, the fashion today trumps comfort. Women in the 21st century have more shoe choices than ever before. From athletic wear to the 2006 “heelless” high heel, women can choose to wear what they want, even hybrid shoes such as “heeled” tennis shoes and flip flops. While these may be oddities of fashion, they gesture toward an exciting array of fashion choices women have today.

Every woman deserves to wear shoes which match her outfit, look elegant and wrap her delicate feet. Whether they are lace up, platform or clear heel each of the shoes definitely compliments the outfit and makes the women love walking and feeling sexy.

When it comes to high heels they are teasing and flattering, they make women feel special and empowered as well as highly confident regardless of when or how they are worn.

Fitness Activewear – 10 Reasons to Look Great When Going to the Gym!

For the exercise activists and the occasional exercise participant alike, going to the gym, like all female endeavors, requires a great outfit. If fashion were irrelevant in the fitness world, tennis shoes would not come in the variety of colors and styles that they do. When we feel good in the clothes we wear, regardless of the occasion we walk a little taller due to the confidence radiating from within. And who among us doesn’t want that extra push when working out? On this note we reflect on the top 10 reasons to look your best at the gym.

1. Motivation and confidence!

Fitness apparel is no exception to wearing nice clothes and feeling great in them. Feeling good about yourself from head to toe is one of the many perks of a great outfit. When you mix it with exercise and advancing your physical health, imagine the body confidence your going to have! Having so much extra motivation about how your going to look even better in your new pants will keep you going for that extra set of reps! Achieve your goals by rewarding yourself with a fitness activewear outfit!

2. Function

Fashion aside for a moment, today’s activewear brands offer so many new perks. Companies use fabrics that wick away sweat from your body and keep you dry throughout your workout. Activewear fabrics breath wonderfully and move with the body, allowing you to feel cool and your clothing to move effortlessly as you do. Also, the activewear fabrics are often colorfast, so wash after wash the colors stay vibrant!

3. Flattering

We all have areas on our bodies where we wish we had a tad extra “concealing.” Activewear can be quite flattering. Most high end brands are made from a tight stretch material that actually makes you look slimmer. When paired with darker colors it will immediately create longer, leaner, flattering lines.

4. You never know….

You never know when fate is going to play a hand, so always be prepared! You could meet the man of your dreams coming off the elliptical. The gym is a great place to meet someone who shares similar interests.

5. Compliments

The gym or yoga studio is a very social place where chit-chat normally occurs. Looking your best is a sure fire way to draw in those compliments to no end! Who among us doesn’t love getting a compliment?!

6. Motivate fellow gym goers

We all know that guys at the gym work out harder when a girl in cute workout clothes walks past. By looking good you are motivating those boys a little bit harder.

7. Competition

Lets be honest here ladies; we are all competitive in one form or another. Who can run the fastest, who can do that yoga pose a little bit deeper and who can climb the most stairs. No matter the venue, the best dressed is always a top contender. Who is wearing the best activewear?

8. Save time

Looking good at the gym means you look good on your way to the gym and immediately after the gym. Whether you are running an errand before or meeting the girls for a drink after, a well placed gym outfit can save the wardrobe changes without sacrificing the fashion!

9. Consider the alternative!

Now working out is not like going to the Oscars; we do not spend three hours on our hair and makeup prior, but some effort is still needed. How do you get that extra self assured boost when you are wearing a stained sweatshirt and dripping with sweat stains?!

10. You deserve it!

You play hard and you work even harder! Its ok, and even necessary to spoil yourself every once and awhile. It will do you a world of good to allow yourself to indulge in something that not only makes you feel fantastic but helps your health as well!

Looking good at the gym is about achieving you highest self greatness. When we look and feel our best we preform our best. Performance is altered by our emotional and mental state. Amazingly enough, something as simple as an activewear top and matching pants will have huge impacts for the better. Always be the best you can be, inside and out.

(C) 2010 ActivewearUSA.com

Latest Fashion News and Ideas: Bags Invade, and the Clutch Wins!

This season is your turn to try the sassiest bag! From classy bags to funky ones, here are the latest fashion news and ideas and the best handbag designs so far.

Pick the bag that suits your fashion style. You can pick top handles: No matter how you decide to wear them, this year choose your bags with small top handles as they are here to conquer the fashion runaways. You can also go for bucket bags: this trend has been going on for a few seasons now and it is far from disappearing, as it is evolving more and more in different shapes and many embroideries and designs.

A new fashion trend in the bag region: camera bags: It seems the trend of technology in bags is not limited to phones only. This season you will also be seeing a lot of camera bags, which are bags but with a little more volume and size, big enough to fit your bag.

Or you can go for clutches. When you think of clutch handbags, you think weddings, prom night, or dinner parties, but never everyday outings. They’re not very practical, and you can barely fit your phone, wallet, and keys in there.

Nevertheless, they do have their perks; they look pretty, minimalistic, modern, and are a chic change from traditional handbags. So if you’ve been wanting to convert to a clutch but don’t really feel they’re comfortable, here are some tips on how you can pull off the look.

Use a strap: You don’t have to carry the clutch in your hand. And instead of carrying a large, heavy bag on your shoulder, carry a clutch with a strap. It’s light and practical.

Take just what you need: Take a look at your bag right now; what can you find in it? You’ll probably find a bottle of perfume that’s been empty since last spring, along with lots of other stuff you don’t use. When you go out, what do you really need besides your wallet, keys, and maybe a couple of makeup essentials? That way, you’ll not only make it lighter, but you’ll also find what you’re looking for faster.

Pick a clutch that has pockets: Some clutches have pockets on the outside, which can hold some extra items like your phone or mascara. You can also use that space to put your cash and cards instead of taking your wallet, so you’ll free up some space in the main pocket.

Choose the right size for you: Some clutches are actually quite large, which may tempt you to get them. But if you have a petite figure, a large clutch might look awkward, so take a look at yourself in the mirror before you buy it just to make sure it’s not oversized for you.

Choose the pattern/color carefully: If you have a basic style in clothing, go for a patterned clutch to add some flair to your outfit. But if you’re wearing something with lots of stripes and designs, you should carry a clutch with.

What do you think of the latest fashion news and ideas