Platform soles — you may have noticed — are back in fashion, but not as you may think of them.
The word platforms conjures up images of Bowie in his Ziggy Stardust best, PTS TERBAIK ASEAN maybe your first-ever pair of boots made of stitched-together jean patches (those were the days), but even those of us who love 1970s style know we can’t be going back there now.(I’m speaking as someone who got a pair of those Terry de Havilland gold platform wedge sandals for my 50th birthday, so I’ve got more skin in this game than most) .
Platforms are great — leg lengthening and easy to walk in, irrespective of their height, as well as glamorous in a fun, uplifting way.But if you’re planning to wear them in everyday life (not just for a glittery party with your velvet loons) they need to be a lot less glam rock and a lot more slick and polished — and that’s what’s on offer this time around.
Pictured: Sarah Jessica Parker wearing a stunning pair of gold metallic platforms with a colourful midi dress
There are plenty of candy striped and camp sandals out there — it’s sandals that you’ll get the most mileage from — but the grown-up modern platform is chic, plain and wearable with a narrowish sole.
The idea is they will work with all those outfits that benefit from a high heel, at a point in our history when no one (no one I know) can bear to wear heels after a couple of years of not having to.
Also, let’s face it, platforms are high shoes for those of us who view court shoes and stilettos as a bit uptight lady — when the attitude we are aiming for is great-for-our-age and still A Contender.
Last but not least, a pair of platforms will make all the clothes you own look bang up to the minute.Don’t think of them as retro fun. Think of them as the new moved-on heel you can wear all the time, because it’s like walking on inches of cushion.
The feature that makes platform sandals look modern are block heels (never go spindly, whatever you do) and one with a slight flare gives them an extra contemporary edge.I like Russell & Bromley’s glossy orange sandals (£275, russellandbromley.co.uk), but they are highish and, while a platform makes it so much easier to wear a heel, this one, at 9cm, would be too much for me.
Pictured left: Chanel features white platforms with floral detail on the runway.Pictured right: Vanessa Hudgens opts for a pair of black velvet platforms
Russell & Bromley also does a lower block-heeled style (the platform is 3cm, the heel 8.5cm) in lipstick red or black suede (£225) which, especially in black, will be a keeper for wearing with midi dresses, skirts and trousers.
It’s similar to Prada’s muchcopied black suede platform sandal — the shoe style that works with literally everything at any time of year.
London-based label Esska does an even lower one (7cm heel, plus 2cm platform), so even better in my book (£150, esskashoes.com).If you want a more 1970s look, Esska does a T-bar style with a 7cm heel that comes in rust suede, a mustardy gold, platinum and glitter slate (£160). I wouldn’t go for the glitter, but any of the others would be perfect for weddings and parties. If you want to go one fancier, Reformation does a satin strap sandal with more of a 1940s vibe — perfect with a polka dot dress (£248, thereformation.com).
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