Frock Advisor

Sweaters, not jumpers, and sensible shoes.

(L-R) Snake effect courts, €195, Lucy Choi at Arnotts. Carven featured fitted sweaters on the catwalk; Aran 'Eleanor' sweater, €120 Hobbs, Dundrum Town Centre; Mock Croc ankle boot, €140, Rockport.

(L-R) Snake effect courts, €195, Lucy Choi at Arnotts. Carven featured fitted sweaters on the catwalk; Aran 'Eleanor' sweater, €120 Hobbs, Dundrum Town Centre; Mock Croc ankle boot, €140, Rockport.


I know my legs look better in a heel but I just don’t have the capacity for self-torture any more. Is the notion of a comfortable high heel complete anathema?
When it comes to women’s shoes, the potential for unhappiness is boundless. We’ve been through a trend for bunion-inducing calf killers, but, thankfully, fashion has a natural pendulous quality: what’s ultra-hot gets cold and clammy really quickly.

Those of us who succumbed to vertiginous heels are now weighing up our options, and the chiropodist bills, and travelling back down to earth. The majority of women, we’re delighted to report, have a realistic approach to the heel. The fact is a heel makes the leg look longer, leaner and better, but style and comfort need not be mutually exclusive.

We’ll warrant there are shoes in your wardrobe that cause pain. You spent money on that pain, so you either keep wearing them, regretfully, or you leave them at the bottom of your wardrobe.

Quite often the issue is simply one of height. We all have different thresholds for heel height; know yours. Measure the heel on your highest, most comfortable shoes; take away the height of the platform if one exists. This is your optimum aesthetic comfort ratio. This will be lower for people with small feet as the gradient will be more extreme. Height is not the only issue. The placement of the heel supports the entire body. If it is in the centre of the heel anatomy, maximum stability is achieved.

All manner of latex assistance is now available to make your shoes more comfortable. It’s preferable, however, to start with high comfort in the first place, and let’s face it, some of us just have princess feet.

A new breed of shoe design is finding favour with women. These shoes have comfort woven into their brand message. Rockport is the scientific option, offering Adidas sports technology to give cushioned support for long, arduous days. They make really effective footwear basics. The brown croc-effect ankle boot (€140), from the Seven to 7 collection at Rockport, Wicklow Street, lives up it its name. Jimmy Choo’s niece, Lucy Choi, has built a more fashion-forward offering with her eponymous brand. These elegant snake-effect courts offer a design aesthetic at a less than Jimmy Choo price – €195 (at Arnotts). It’s also worth mentioning Spanish designer, Chie Mihara, who started her career working in an orthopaedic shoe store. The concept of the comfortable shoe is one very close to her heart. Her Rumena Disco court is great fun. It costs €225, from Cocobelle in The Royal Hibernian Way.

Hang on a second; are jumpers now sexy?
Frockadvisor doesn’t condone the blanket Americanisation of common English, however, in fashion speak, it’s not a jumper, it’s a sweater. And oh yes, they are sexy, Marc Jacobs say so.

When a sweater is worn with machine washable trousers and comfortable shoes, it turns back into a jumper again. When worn with something suggestive or revealing, a wonderful level is found; the sex provokes the sweater and the sweater tames the sex, making it look effortless.

Witnessed at Louis Vuitton, a luxurious deep V-neck sweater tantalisingly paired with a gossamer fine slip, is steamy hot. But there’s more, using the same concept of conceal and reveal at JW Anderson, a high-neck sweater, offset with lots of leg, creates a sports-luxe superwoman. Yes, you probably will catch your death without tights in an Irish winter, Frockadvisor gives you leave to weave them into your look. Many will try to lure you into the fashion relevance of the polo-neck. Proceed with youth and irony, or extreme caution.

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