Kitten heels: for women who like their feet

As we settle into Women's History Month, let's pay homage to the springtime accessory that's truly a woman's best friend.

The trendlet

The kitten heel. Considered matronly and lowbrow by men (who don't have to wear stilettos), the kitten heel is enjoying a colorful resurgence.

Where does it come from?

First came the stiletto.

In 1954, shoe designer Roger Vivier added a mere three-quarters of an inch to the standard pump, and, debuting at a skinny 3.1 inches, the stiletto was born. It was an instant hit.

Fashion is in the business of extremes, so it didn't take long for designers - we don't exactly know who he, or she, was - to make a lower heel more suitable for adolescents. This new kitten heel, named for the kittens (wha??) who would wear them, hovered at 11/2 to 2 inches. Short, yes, but classy, too.

Where there was a classic fashion trend, there was usually a Hepburn. Thanks to award-winning costume designer Edith Head, Audrey Hepburn wore the kitten heel as her signature look in Breakfast at Tiffany's and Funny Face.

The heels have revolved in and out of fashion ever since.

Who wears them?

Michelle Obama. Hillary Clinton. Taylor Swift. Reese Witherspoon. Anyone who doesn't want to aggravate her bunions.

Would Elizabeth wear them?

On occasion. I wear them sparingly because I always want to look taller. (In my mind, that's leaner.) When that's not the case, I prefer a ballet flat.

Should you wear them?

I say yes. Sexiness oozes from the soul, not from an unsteady gait.

ewellington@phillynews.com

215-854-2704

@ewellingtonphl.

All shoes available at www.ninashoes.com. Emmie kitten heel in navy, $99; Felisia in pink, $148; Jaunt in taupe, $138; Felisia in black-and-white nappa, $148.