I've been seeing tons of supercute ankle strap shoes in stores lately, and I've just gotta say: I think they get a bad rap.
I think the ankle strap is sort of like the really pretty, thin, tall girl in your high school class—sure, she’s intimidating, and standing next to her makes you look short and frumpy, but if you get to know her, she’s not that bad.
Here’s the thing: if you find a shoe you absolutely love, and it happens to have an ankle strap, I don’t think that should warrant an automatic re-shelve. Try it on. Does it make your leg look like a giant sausage stuffed into a too-small casing? Then you should probably put it back, but if not, or if only slightly, here are a few tips to help you rock those ankle straps:
- Try tights. I know, I know, I always say this, but opaque tights, especially black ones, make legs look so long and lean that unflattering shoes hardly matter. Tights the same color as your shoes=legs for miles, ankle straps or not.
- If you love the whole shoe except the ankle strap, wear them with slim pants that show everything but that damn strap.
- The higher and thicker the heel, the longer and slimmer your legs look. This rule applies to all shoes, but it’s especially applicable when considering an ankle strap. There’s a much greater chance that a four-inch platform with an ankle strap will look fabulous on you than a flat shoe with an ankle strap.
- Speaking of flats with ankle straps—the chances of these looking fabulous hovers at about 2%. I bought a pair of these about a year ago after I saw them on Nicole Richie (yes, I'm an idiot), and sweet mother of god, I had no idea my legs could do such an uncanny impression of...two giant sausages (I just seriously tried for ten minutes to think of a funnier, more creative analogy, but I've concluded that "giant sausage" is the best I can do right now). If you can rock 'em, rock 'em, but proceed with caution...
Update: A creative and enterprising reader just sent me this brilliant chart with another, slightly more brutal idea for dealing with ankle straps:
Super cute, right?