Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Confidence in Heels

I wear a lot of high heels:

And I'm tall.  So, when lovely reader Janet asked me about if I had any tips on confidence for tall girls in heels, saying,I wore a 4inch pair the other night and while my husband loved it I got stares and comments non-stop from strangers on the street and ended up feeling very self-conscious... Would love to hear how you feel/think about tall girls in heels...” I knew I was the right blogger for the job.

As I said in my reply to Janet, I’m thrilled to be asked about this because this is a topic very near and dear to my heart.  I haven’t always been confident enough to wear the 5”-heels that I wear today.  And even though I am, for the most part, very comfortable in my heels, even I get to feeling self-conscious sometimes.  But, I have a few tricks for maintaining confidence even when I’m taller than everyone else in the room.

Here is the thing about wearing high heels.  There will always be stares and there will often be comments.  When I put on my heels, I know for a fact that I am going to get stares.  I know this.  But, I’m six foot tall, so I get stares even when I’m in flats.  Knowing that they’re coming has helped me prepare for them.  And, I’ve found that if I’m confident in my look, it changes the nature of the stares and comments.  Seriously, exuding confidence changes the stares/comments from “Holy smokes, Hubert, look at that freakishly tall woman” to “I wish I were tall; I bet she can reach the top cupboard so easily.”

So, how do you get that confidence?  By being comfortable with your look.  For example, don’t wear shoes that are too tall or otherwise physically uncomfortable for you.  It’s like wearing a short skirt.  It only seems too short to the people around you if you’re tugging on it like it’s too short.  If you rock that skirt like it’s a perfectly acceptable length, people won’t give it a second look (unless its obscenely short, but I know you know better than to do that).  The same is true for high heels.  If you stride in those heels (no tottering) like it’s normal for you to be 6’5”, people will admire your height (and your poise).  They won't question it or try to get you to join their cut-rate circus.

Another tip is to tone down the rest of your outfit when you’re wearing heels.  Most people can accept heels, especially when they’re worn with confidence.  But, a combination of heels, sequins, layered necklaces, a turban and a caftan might just be too much for the average person.  Now, if this is your look, and, mark my words, it will be my look in about twenty years, then go for it.  But, if you don’t want to draw any more attention to yourself than being 6’5” brings, a less diva-like look is your best bet. 

Which brings us to the third tip.  If a sequined caftan and turban is what you feel best in, then wear it.  When you wear heels, you want to wear what you feel looks best on you.  Because, as I said above, people are going to stare.  So, if you’re going to have all those eyes on you, make sure you’re wearing something you want people to see you in.  Whatever that is. This is especially true if you're new to wearing heels.  You don't want to go too far out of your comfort zone all at once.  Yes, I know it worked for Sandy in Grease, but for us mere mortals, it's best to take baby-steps.  

And, finally, if all else fails, you can always fall back on faking it until you make it.  I'm pretty sure the less-tall among us can sense our discomfort and if they think that you feel weird being so tall, they'll think it's weird too.  But, if you exude comfortable, calm confidence, they'll just figure that everything's kosher.  And, as an added benefit to this particular trick, even if you're not feeling particularly confident in your height, if you act like you are, you'll receive some positive comments that can actually make you feel confident for real.  It might sound crazy, but trust me, it really does work.

This concludes my tips and tricks for wearing heels with confidence.  How about you, Dearest Reader Friends?  Do you have any tricks to share?



  1. *Stands* *Applauds* You go girl! I'm still working on my confidence in heels, but I'm getting there. I think your tips are great!

  2. I have been getting crazy stares and somewhat rude comments from people ever since I got my first pair of heels. I'm only 5'9", but apparently people think it's ridiculous that I would wear shoes to make me taller. Here's a newsflash for those people - I don't wear shoes to make me taller. I wear them because I think they are super cute, and if they happen to be 4in heels, so be it!

    I also find that when someone says something about my high heels that isn't really a compliment, I just say "Thanks!" anyway. :-)

  3. Another five-niner here. I think walking steady and confident is key. Practice, baby giraffes, practice. Nobody looks cool wobbling in heels. The altitude up here takes some getting used to, but it's a powerful drug.

    PS- love your blog!

  4. I have the opposite problem am tiny and always wear flats lol.

    1. I'm the same! I had to give up the heels, but flats can look just as cool.

  5. Great post, Gracey! I have always yearned to be a tall girl - you all look so awesome to me. My husband, 6'3", says he loves it when I wear heels and come face-to-face with him : >

  6. I'm 5-9, and 3-inch heels are pushing it for me, but the principle is the same. Confidence about one's awesomeness and delight in what one is wearing are all that are needed. And if you aren't convinced about your awesomeness, here's a chance to practice.

  7. Great tips. I think tall gals should wear heels. We need to embrace who we are and celebrate it.

  8. I am around 5'10" and constantly get comments about my height...
    And I love heels. Wear them a lot!
    .... and some people seem to think if you are over 5'8" you shouldn't wear heels.
    To that I say BOSH! Go get dipped! If you love heels, wear them! Wear what you love! Be happy in it! Who cares what the rest of the critics think?! If it pleases you, rock it! lol :D

  9. At 5'9 I used to feel a little self-conscious about wearing heels, because I am often the tallest woman in any given situation, even without heels. And I'd get the occasional comment about how I don't "need" heels. I mean, does anyone? But I can't help being tall, and I *like* being tall and I have some pretty cute heels, so I kind of got over it. I do still get comments, but anymore it's along the lines of people wishing they were tall.

    Though that said, I'm wearing flats for my wedding. My fiance and I are the same height, and although I don't have a problem wearing heels around him normally, I guess I didn't want to be taller than him in pictures (though 3 members of our wedding party are around 6'4!). So I guess I have a little bit of self-consciousness left there. But honestly, I'm wearing a floor-length dress, so I figured no one will know what kind of shoes I'm wearing anyway.

  10. Great post, Gracey. I'm not a tall gal, but I love that you are an ambassador for tall women! I would totally rock the highest keeps I could tolerate if I was tall!

  11. Great post and great tips! I am 5'9" and I am a smidge taller than my husband. When I wear heels, I am very noticeably taller than my husband. I'm still working on it, but I think you are right in that confidence is key. Rock it out!

  12. Hi Gracey, first timer here, and I love this post!
    As with most things, it's all about the confidence. There are no rules, if you feel great in heel then you wear them well whatever height you are. I am 5'8" and I like to wear heels, though I can't cope with anything too high, but it's more about lengthening out my legs (long torso, short legs here!) and getting better proportions than adding height.
    I completely agree that if you look confident and comfortable, then other people have fewer issues with what you wear.
    Love Curtise x

  13. This is so well put, so well written. I´m not tall (nor am I short), but have all kinds of other issues with confidence and clothing and shoes, and what you have written is really applicable to that whole issue. The last year or so even a tiny heel makes my toes numb if I stand more than ten minutes (it´s aging, I suppose), and I´m working up the confidence and know-how to be dressed up for special occasions in flat-flats. I intend to print your text and put it up on my wardrobe for confidence support!

  14. I'm perpetually taller than people around me and I'm not even that tall. I'm just a little over 5'9" so I don't consider myself crazy-tall, but man... other people sure do. So when I slap on a few extra inches they think I am sticking out of the atmosphere. Hehe. This was a good post to share with people how to wear 'em and be proud. I've given up being not in the top percentile of height everywhere I go.

  15. I'm 5'10" and not a heel wearer. Mostly it's comfort and practicality. I just don't go anywhere where I need heels. I work from home, and dress up maybe 4 times a year. I also have a Morton's Neuroma in my foot, and any pressure on the ball of the foot (such as when wearing heels, even 1-1/2" heels) aggravates it. So I keep my shoes under 1-1/2".

  16. Great advice Gracey! This--"If you stride in those heels (no tottering) like it’s normal for you to be 6’5”, people will admire your height (and your poise). They won't question it or try to get you to join their cut-rate circus." is the truth x1000!

  17. THANK YOU Gracey! Janet here -- very much appreciate your post ;-) I agree with you that it is about being confident and comfortable in your own skin (or faking it til..)! I thought alot about why I felt so conspicuous the day I wrote to you, and I think it comes down to working out what's best for each of us. For whatever reason I love in my heels 1) a decent heel of 3"+ 2) a front platform for comfort 3) a thicker heel for stability (stilettos too wobbly!) BUT i have now realised that this also needs to include 4) a front platform 0.3"<1" and heel height 5) 3"<5".

    For whatever reason those last 2 upper limits make the heels 'look' elegant to me while being sufficiently comfortable and I couldn't care less what other people think! step outside those (so to speak) and I become very self-concious - so as you say, find the confidence and strut out there!! thank you again, Janet

  18. This is such sound advice, and widely applicable to any sartorial option there is judgement about -unusual hairstyles, any clothing which stands out so some degree or other. Carrying oneself confidently = carrying it off no problem! I love this post, Gracey - nice work.

  19. Stand tall, Amazons!! I am 5'11" and stalk around campus in 2.5 - 3" heels regularly (I'll go higher with a platform). Here's the thing: a tall woman has power because she has visibility - a LOT OF VISIBILITY. So yes, it can be a bit of a surprise for others when we start wearing heels because there is no way to ignore the visibility and presence that we can wield. I say, if you like it, own it. There is no reason we should shrink or try to deny our bodies or make ourselves invisible. Flaunt it, fellow giraffes - and let no one shame you into thinking you don't have every right to that power and presence that comes with our glorious height!

  20. This is an awesome post. At somewhere between 5'8" and 5'9" I'm usually the tallest female in a given situation. I'm slowly trying to learn how to walk in heels. Because after thinking most of my life that I didn't "need" them because I was tall, I'm embracing my tallness because heels are super cute and why shouldn't I (or any other tall lady) be allowed to wear them?

  21. I am 5'9" and I love to rock skyscraper heels! I agree that confidence is key. My other tip is "don't wear cheap shoes." I don't skimp on stilettos because the higher-end ones are [generally] crafted and engineered better--they're more comfortable and more stable. Since our center of gravity is high enough as it is, we need all the stability we can get when we're rocking our high heels.

  22. I get comments at work about my heels (I'm also 6' tall). I just quip, "short girls don't get all the cute shoes," and keep on walking. ;o)

  23. There are a lot of 5'9" women out there! I personally don't like wearing heels over 3.5", simply because I no longer find them comfortable, and they inhibit my stride a bit. The biggest tip I have is to walk gracefully in heels: do the heel-toe thing, because then your leg swings naturally from the hip. It's the smoothest, gracefullest thing ever. The other option is to stalk flat-footed, knees permanently bent and the whole torso tilted forward as if climbing a hill. It looks really awkward, at least to me!

  24. Days late, but this is a fantastic post! As a fellow six-footer, all that ever really stops me from wearing heels all the time is practicality, or already-sore feet. I've also concluded that really tall heels look fantastic on really tall folks because the proportions are so good. Tall person, tall heels, I think it just works visually.

    Also, my husband is just a bit over 5'8", and loves me in high heels, even when I'm towering over him way more than usual. He thinks it looks great, and also appreciates being able to see me in a crowd, or from a distance. Mind you, sometimes I feel so tall that I wouldn't be surprised if you could see me from space, but I'm happy about it anyway.

  25. I know I'm days late but great advice. I have NEVER shied away from my height and I think that has to do with my family. My fathers side is very tall and they wear it like a badge of honour and so do I.

  26. I love this post.
    Amber of Butane Anvil (http://butaneanvil.blogspot.nl/)
    told me about it.
    I am 5.10" and thinking about buying a pair of heels.
    I don`t have any, because i am not that confident about it.
    And i also weir a headscarf, so i already have more eyes on my
    than most people.
    But i don`t want to buy very small heels, cause i think that`s almost the same as flats.
    My husband doesn`t care if i'm taller than him with heels, but i need
    to build up some confidence for going outside the house. :-)

    XO Arezu


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