Subliminal Style
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Catching Rae

Flash Some Ankle

We have a vote going down in my neck of the woods today, so it's fitting to talk about the ankle strap trend for Spring 2017!

But what does a vote have to do with ankles??

We actually owe the ability to decorate and flaunt our sassy little ankles in part to the Women's Suffrage Movement, which was all about gaining women equal voting rights. During this time, a women's body became a tiny bit less of a scandalous sexual object to be covered up - and more of an able body requiring freedom of movement and mobility. From the Smithsonian website:

In general, fashion of this time was starting to reveal just a tiny bit more of women’s bodies: daytime outfits could now show a bit of collarbone instead of having those high, snug collars of just a few years ago. Sleeves could be elbow-length instead of to the wrist; and you might catch a glimpse of ankle—very shortly after 1913, hemlines rise to a few inches above the ankle. (Although women still felt they should wear boots rather than reveal their actual ankles for a few more years!)

All these freer, looser styles allowed more freedom of movement, which suggested great strides were being made in women’s ability to get around and be less constricted physically.

Over time, people became much MUCH less concerned with the exposure of women's legs. Ankle straps were popular in the 1920s, when flappers embraced skimpy slip dresses and short skirts. Today, we're not only baring ankles, we're wrapping 'em up in all kinds of doodads to actively draw the eye down there! 

Positive Connotations

  • Free
  • Feminine
  • Powerful
  • No-Nonsense (straps keep the pump secured to the foot)
  • Purposeful
  • On-the-go
  • Flirtatious

Negative Connotations?

  • Girlish?
  • Too sexy?

I can't really think of any real negatives to an ankle strap in today's society. If anything, it depends much more on the style of the shoe than the strap itself. Dainty straps are retro and ladylike, while crazy buckle straps on black patent platforms can look aggressive and dominating. Regardless, ankle straps will always be a subtle comment on embracing the female body and it's ability to take action in the world!