Thanks to those of you who answered [Wednesday’s] blog question about the correlation between women’s heel heights and the economy. We definitely had some interesting responses and the results are not what you might expect; in fact, it is an inverse relationship. The IBM research shows that in an economic downturn, heel heights historically go up and stay up. Low heeled flapper shoes in the Roaring 20s were replaced with high heel pumps and platforms during the Great Depression. Platforms were revived during the 1970s oil crisis, reversing the preference for low-heeled sandals in the late 1960s. More recently, the low, thick heels of the 90s grunge period gave way to “Sex and the City” inspired stilettos following the dot-com bust at the turn of the century.
Today, bloggers are noting a decrease in heel height as we end 2011. Is it a hopeful sign or a shift to a mood of long-term austerity evolving among consumers? We will see.