Will YOU ever wear heels again? Sales of flats soar by 60% in lockdown
Will YOU ever wear heels again? Sales of flats soar by 60% as women opt for comfort during lockdown – as experts reveal you’ll need TRAINING to walk in stilettos again
- With lockdown easing, many Britons are preparing to make a return to the office
- Having worked from home for months, heels are gathering dust in wardrobes
- Celebrity stylist Anthony McGrath says people likely to cling onto comfy and relaxed WFH wardrobe for several months while restrictions still in place
- David Bell, founder of pumps brand Pretty Ballerinas, says sales are up by 60%
- Podiatrist Dina Gohil advises doing calf stretches if you’re returning to high heels
As Britons gear up for a return to the office post-lockdown, many will have started dusting off their work wardrobe – and becoming reacquainted with their heels.
A large number of us won’t have looked at a stiletto since March, when restaurants, pubs, bars and clubs were closed and the country was urged to work from home.
So will there be a return to high heels in the coming weeks? Or have women across Britain got used to the luxury of a flat shoe?
Anthony McGrath, celebrity stylist and lecturer at the Fashion Retail Academy in London, told FEMAIL: ‘Since people have stopped leaving the house to go to work and visit restaurants, clubs or bars, they have been seeking out more comfortable clothing to wear, and that goes for shoes too.
As Britons gear up to return to the office from lockdown, many will have started dusting off their work wardrobe – and becoming reacquainted with their heels. Pictured: stock image
‘Flat shoes had been rising in popularity even before coronavirus — think back to pictures of students on nights out, with women matching their best clubbing attire with a pair of trainers.
‘But since the lockdown, the numbers of people turning to this style of footwear has exploded.
‘Flats, pumps and flip flops have become the go-to shoes while heels are collecting dust at the back of the wardrobe.
‘In the short-term, even when pubs and restaurants reopen, social distancing restrictions will likely mean Brits will be meeting up for quick casual catch-ups rather than long, drawn-out meals and nights out.
‘That’s going to have an impact on their choice of outfit too, making it much more likely, in the short term, that they’ll cling on to the more relaxed wardrobe that has found favour over the past few months.’
Celebrity stylist Anthony McGrath said flat shoes had been rising in popularity even before coronavirus – but since the lockdown, the numbers of people turning to this style of footwear has exploded. Pictured: Victoria’s Secret model Alessandra Ambrosio, a brand ambassador for Pretty Ballerinas, donning a pair of their pumps
David Bell, founder of Pretty Ballerinas, a brand that specialises in ballet flats, pumps, loafers and moccasins and is a favourite among celebrities, told FEMAIL that sales are up 60 per cent since this time last year.
He added that the company has gone from ‘lockdown and furlough’ to ‘all guns blazing’.
‘It’s crazy but fun times,’ David said. ‘We are seeing a lot of interest in classic round toe ballerinas – sales are up 60 per cent since last year like for like where we are open.
‘Web traffic is also up 100 per cent since last year. We have created a whole digital department to improve the customer experience which has helped.
David Bell, founder of Pretty Ballerinas, a brand that specialises in ballet flats, pumps, loafers and moccasins and is a favourite among celebrities, told FEMAIL that sales are up 60 per cent since this time last year. Pictured: influencers Gayle Rinkoff (left) and Naomi Ross (right) show off their flats
‘We see signs all around that the ballerina is back and are looking to open stores in growing markets – as seen by our recent opening in the department store SKP Beijing, where sales are going gangbuster and we are struggling to keep up replacing what’s selling.’
However, Anthony said he expects people’s attitudes will shift yet again once lockdown measures are more significantly eased.
‘Don’t bet against the heel making a comeback once the country can put all quarantine measures behind it,’ he said.
Expert reveals how to prepare your feet for a return to high heels
If you are embracing your heels once more, podiatrist Dina Gohil, founder of DG Podiatrist and an ambassador for CCS Footcare, said it’s wise to start physically training yourself for the change.
She told FEMAIL that wearing heels frequently doesn’t just have an impact on your feet – it also affects body parts much higher up including your back, shoulders and neck.
‘A common consequence that people may find after wearing heels too often is that when they go barefoot, their calves can feel tight,’ she said.
‘This is because having your foot in an elevated heel position changes the angle and puts more pressure on muscles and joints elsewhere.
‘So naturally, going back to a more flat profile can help heal those traumas and it can even help lengthen your calf muscles again and provide more comfort to you.
‘If you’re returning to the office and would like to wear heels, then it would be best advised to do some calf stretches at home such as single leg squats on both legs, and some ankle exercises like pointing your toes in and out and writing the alphabet in capital letters.
‘Also, try and go for heels with ankle straps that support your feet and ankles. It really can make all the difference.’
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