1992 and I am climbing the stairs at school to my Latin lesson. The class clown is walking behind me, and he laughs and makes a big deal about my "70’s platforms." I feel embarrassed and the next day go back to my trusty ballet pumps. Two weeks later and everyone in my class is wearing thick-soled chunky heeled shoes just like the ones I had worn two weeks earlier. The class clown doesn’t even remember the comment he made but I still feel totally vindicated. Cue the rise of the fashion fad of the nineties that was the chunky shoe!
The thick-soled chunky heeled shoe was a true part of 1990’s women’s fashion and a comfortable one too. Unlike the platform, it had a separate heel. It was a bit more genteel than the platform but still not really that delicate. It was however very comfortable. In my school it was worn with tights, scrunched socks (white ribbed over the knee socks that were scrunched down until your ankles and
calves looked like a concertina) or virgin socks (short ankle socks with lots of little holes in them like a lace effect. Called virgin socks at our school because they were holey (holy – hahaha)). Chunky heels outside of school were worn with mini skirts, dungarees, cargo pants or A-line dresses. In fact they went with pretty much anything – as much as a shoe which seemed to simultaneously make you taller and shorten your legs could do.
Chunky heels were seen on many feet, in TV shows such as Blossom and Friends and even in the movies with practically every female character in the movie Clueless wearing them. One of the bonuses of chunky heals was that they were comfortable and easy to walk in. Also, they were sometimes styled with hefty foot friendly laces or thick Mary Jane straps. The draw back of-chunky heels was that, even though they added height, they reduced all ankles to blobby messes and made even the skinniest legs look like they belonged to an elephant. So wide was the trend for thick soles and chunky heels that even some sneakers had them. The chunkier the shoes the better, as long as they stopped just short of platforms, even though this trend was inspired by the 70’s revival. For true authenticity in 1990’s women’s fashion then vintage was best.
Hey, I wonder if an old married woman like me could still get away with virgin socks?