An Ode to the Undoubtedly Feminine Kitten Heel
A timeless footwear staple we’re styling in unexpected ways.
We know you’re bored of hearing the phrase “fashion is cyclical,” but as we’ve sort of put ultra-high heels to bed for the time being, the kitten heel has reemerged as a wonderful alternative. The feminine style offers a dressed-up silhouette that you won’t want to kick off after a few hours.
Known for its curved low heel, the miniature stiletto has been around for centuries, but in terms of recent history, the low-heeled style rose to popularity in the ’50s due largely to designer Roger Viver, preceding stints in the spotlight of both the ’60s and ’90s. According to an article in CR Fashion Book, “the name came about because the style was considered a training heel for ‘kittens,’ aka young girls not ready for grown women’s high-heel stilettos.” A symbol of timeless glamour, the low-heeled style has been favored by movie stars and first ladies alike.
Designers have begun to challenge the traditional silhouette of the kitten heel, too. What started as an attribute of a pump now transcends to sandals, boots, mules, flip-flops, and more. Recently, there have been a few incredibly iconic styles that shot across the fashion industry, like the Balenciaga Knife Mules, the Khaite Zebra Boots, and the Dior Slingbacks.
In my opinion, the coolest way to style them is to disregard all notions of their traditional pairings—the ultra-feminine silhouette needs something masculine to ground it. Think oversize silhouettes, denim, and boxy tailoring. You can also try implementing a little irony with contrasting statement materials like leather or sequins.
Shop Modern Updates of the Classic Style:
Le Monde Beryl
Kitten Heel Mule$480Buy
Leather Slingback Pumps
Croc-effect Leather Slingback Pumps$670Buy
Porte & Paire
Belle Vivier Buckled Patent-leather Mules$750Buy
Maysale 50mm Buckle Pumps$745Buy
Slingback Kitten Heel Pumps$139Buy
Patent Leather Slingbacks$920Buy
MICHAEL Michael Kors
Brie Two-tone 60mm Pumps$160Buy
Eel Heel Sandals
Ava Kitten Heel Mules$454Buy
Square Toe Leather Mules$60Buy
Toe Strap Kitten Heels
Lizzo Kitten Heel Bootie$150Buy
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