High Heels During Economic Lows?

BY Cristen Conger / POSTED July 15, 2010
Hammerbrook - City can this really be true?
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Whither the economy goes, so goes women’s fashion. At least that’s the thinking behind armchair economic indicators, such as the hemline index. According to that theory, a relationship exists between the popular length of dresses and skirts and the state of the financial markets. Hence, when the bottom dropped out during the Great Depression, the thigh-bearing flapper style gave way to more modest calf-skimming silhouettes.

A slideshow from the New York Times indicates that high heels may be another barometer of the fiscal climate. Only heel height is inversely proportional to the economic prognosis with super stacked shoes enjoying a sky high moment during the current recession. Designers also created notable platform styles during the Great Depression, World War II and the oil crisis of the ‘70s. In explaining the link between high heels and economic lows, Elizabeth Semmelhack, the senior curator at the Bata Shoe Museum in Toronto, remarked New York Times “These little trifles can elevate one’s mood.”

Perhaps Wall Street should take a cue from Carmen Miranda and adopt platforms as the financial district footwear du jour.

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