Breaking news: being chunky is now in

IMG_5006.jpgWhat is it about the chunky heel that is making its way across both million-follower Instagrams and the Midtown bars lately? The stiletto is out, ladies and gentlemen, and the block heel has made its way to Gainesville with no signs of slowing down. 

I first noticed the chunky heel becoming popular last spring, when Steve Madden released a collection of minimalist and affordable ankle strap sandals. These types of sandals aren’t new, I might add, but his were different. They came with some cubic-shaped height. 

A heeled shoe is elongating. This is a fact. Wearing them makes your legs look longer and slimmer – what could be better? But for tall girls like me, a too-tall heel can make you feel like a Freedom Tower among barely-there skyscrapers. 

Luckily for me, and those who can’t keep balance on stable ground, the chunky heel rarely comes too tall, and it doesn’t make you fit in at a nursing home like a kitten heel. It is youthful and sophisticated and practical. You can even wear chunky heels with casual outfits, which is my particular favorite thing to do. It makes you look chic and well-dressed when you’re really not, and no one has to know! Often a heel that is too high brings you to formal dress status, but a chunky heel will never bring down the caliber of an outfit. 

The Huffington Post said that thick, 1-inch heels are the best kinds of shoes for your feet. If you don’t believe me, believe Arianna Huffington.

Now that the summer weather is taking its last bows, chunky heeled boots and booties are making their way onto the main stage, giving the average girl a way to stay chunky with warm feet. But where did the chunky boot trend see its incarnation? Celebrity street style, of course. Kendall Jenner, Gigi Hadid and Taylor Swift have all been seen taking on the trend, to the imitation of their Instagram followers, and now, college students.

Yesterday, Steve Madden himself came to the University of Florida, thanks to the work of the school’s Retail Society. Madden sat down with College Fashionista’s Amy Levin and answered her questions about his life, his time in prison (shout out to Wolf of Wall Street), his business and his plans moving forward (men’s shoes and pajamas, but that’s between us). 

Of course, the attendees were mostly female, and appropriately clad in Steve Madden footwear. Let me tell you, I saw chunky heels on ankle booties, chunky heels on over-the-knee boots, chunky heels on pumps, chunky heels on chunky heels! If it was a shoe, it was a chunky heel. 

If you’re interested in joining the trend for either practicality (your heel will never get stuck in grass or dirt again) or style or both, here are a selection of chunky heels from ankle-height velvet to Chelsea faux leather and over-the-knee suede. Forever 21 has a TON of these styles for a great price. The quality is fantastic too!

Platform Chelsea Boots $34.90

Thigh-Highs $39.90

Tan cutouts $68

Open-toe lace-ups $34.90

Faux patent leather $39.90

Cutout faux leather $34.90 (pictured above)

Need some inspiration to get you going? Trying to decide how to make your chunky heeled debut in your closet? Pair your new shoes with these jeans, these trousers, or this dress. Off you go!


Is Harry’s style finally reaching young men?

Suede Topman Chelsea boots worn by Spencer Thompson

Harry Styles made a name for himself as a member of the world-famous boy band One Direction nearly six years ago. Though he rose to prominence thanks to his gravelly voice, crooked smile and untamed curly hair, Styles has been known to push the envelope when it comes to his fashion sense, once wearing a flare-legged floral print suit on the American Music Awards red carpet and another time sporting a single dangling cross on his ear during a British X-Factor performance. One of Styles’ most iconic staples, however, is the worn-in ankle boot.

Since Styles first brought the ankle boot on to the scene, he has taken it far beyond the classic outfit complement. Now, the shoes he wears are the center of many of his most daring looks, even if they don’t catch the viewer’s eye at first.

The ankle boot is not the only clothing item with which Harry has created a personal brand; Styles’ style has been emulated time and time again by his female fans for his blazers and scoop neck tee shirts, his wildly printed button-down shirts and his casual take on the classic fedora. Styles once wore a silver paper airplane necklace that was later copied and sold on Etsy. I myself am still guilty of this copycat behavior, buying an embroidered bomber jacket that resembles the Saint Laurent one he wore while on his last tour with 1D.

At long last, young non-celebrity men are taking on the fashion game and are using Styles as their muse. One who stood out to me recently was Spencer Thompson, a junior journalism major at the University of Florida. Waiting outside our Mass Media lecture hall, I noticed the pair of shoes I had seen so often on another more famous person’s feet. I asked Thompson, who was previously a stranger to me, about them, and he replied that they were inspired by Harry. Well, Spencer, thank you, because your fashion choice inspired this blog.

Spencer Thompson wearing a Harry Styles-inspired ensemble

Thompson told me these particular shoes were made by Topman. And he wears them with his signature black skinny jeans, also from Topman, and a simple white shirt.

“I’m really inspired by British fashion, which is where Harry Styles comes in. Someone else whose style I like to follow is Matty Healy from the band The 1975,” Thompson said. “They both like to push the envelope, and it’s easy to emulate their fashions because they wear clothes for skinny white boys like me.”

Styles’ most popularly copied look is comprised of extremely tight, ripped black skinny jeans, a white tee shirt, Ray Ban sunglasses, a possible fedora or headscarf, and of course, the iconic leather or suede boot. All of these were featured on GQ’s list of 6 Style Moves to Steal from Harry Styles. His outfits can be copied piece-for-piece by men and women alike.

For females, I have put together a few outfits comprised of affordable items you can wear to bring Harry to life in your own closet.

Look 1: Embroidered bombers are in this season, and since cooler weather is upon us, this look is perfect to keep you warm and looking cute while out and about. You will need: this bomber, these jeans, this body suit, this choker in tan and these booties in black.

Look 2: Of course, we needed a boot-centric look. I fell in love with this pair of Vagabond Olivia leather boots while browsing the Urban Outfitters catalog. It’s a statement piece that compliments a statement outfit. You will need: this bodysuit, this bralette, these cropped jeans, this flat brim hat and these boots.

Look 3: Winter Harry is probably the most iconic Harry when it comes to the seasons, and what’s underneath the coat is just as important as the coat itself. Since Styles is all about the bold, you will need: this coat, along with this turtleneck, this skirt in black, these tights and these boots.

For males, we are going to bring life to your wardrobe with four steps, and the choices are surprisingly just as easy to find.

Step 1: Leave the monochromatic button-down behind! Bring a bit of pop to your tailored suit and some fun to your simple khaki bottoms with prints and vibrant colors. Here are a few great shirts to consider: one, two, three.

Step 2: It’s time for a new suit! Leave behind the black and boring and consider some suede, blue, or even printed two-pieces. I won’t push the envelope with flare hems but here are three great suits to add to your closet: one, two, three.

Step 3: Bottoms are just as important as tops! Show some ankle! Some knee! Some thigh! I am going to challenge you to deviate from your boring khakis with these shorts: one, two, three … And your too-big jeans with these: one, twothree.

Step 4: Shoes! Set aside your trainers for the gym and consider investing in some leather and suede. Take your pick: one, two, three, four.

Many have questioned Styles’ wardrobe choices, wondering if his outlandish and loud looks have any correlation to his highly-questioned sexuality. I believe that personal style is mutually exclusive to a person’s sexual preferences. His choices seem to be more inspired by the rockers before him who were daring enough to establish themselves doubly as fashion icons, like Mick Jagger and the late David Bowie.

Since their time, most men have shied away from expressing themselves uniquely through the clothes they wear. Styles is single-handedly bringing back individuality in a man’s wardrobe and making headlines for it. After all, One Direction is currently on hiatus, and the boy bander is currently a free agent with a personal brand to curate to iconic status.