Toe cleavage

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Pumps reveal toe cleavage. Leatherette pump shoes showing toe cleavage.jpg
Pumps reveal toe cleavage.

Toe cleavage is the partial exposure of toes in shoes that are cut low enough at the vamp. [1] Low cut shoes reveal toe cleavage similar to how low cut tops reveal breast cleavage.

Toe cleavage was considered to be fashionable in 2005 by stylists such as Susan Conterno, columnist for FAMOUS magazine. [2] Manolo Blahnik himself opined that "the secret of toe cleavage, a very important part of the sexuality of the shoe" is that "You must only show the first two cracks.". [3] In an "InStyle" magazine article, Samuel Ogden writes about the low cut angle in the bend of the shoe cover, stating that the curve creates a balance between the skin of the lower foot and the beginning of the toes. [4]

Shoe designer Christian Louboutin takes a more provocative view of toe cleavage and states, "The point is, it's more provocative to show a low toe cleavage than it is wearing sandals that reveal all. In flip-flops you see everything but that is not at all sexy." He takes this further by relating, "The curved inside part of the foot, the instep, is the most sexy part so I like to close the heel and reveal the arch." [5] "According to fashion insiders, "toe-cleavage shoes sans stockings" are part of the "unwritten dress code" of the "Voguette", as dictated by the magazine's longtime editor in chief Anna Wintour – "even in the bitter New York winter". [6]

Fashion advice also centers around the amount of appropriate toe cleavage. A pump (court shoe) with a "slightly low vamp for a hint of toe cleavage" should not be "too racy for a conservative office". [7] Financial guru Suze Orman says it is "the only cleavage that should be shown around an office". [8]

The implied sexual aspects also come into play for some. Dominatrix Claudia Varrin references the attraction to "stiletto pumps with the low vamp" that allow "lots of toe cleavage". [9] American lingerie brand Frederick's of Hollywood has promoted open-toe shoes as "sexually suggestive" due to the toe cleavage. [10]

Related Research Articles

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Stocking</span> Hosiery that covers the feet and legs to the knee or higher

Stockings are close-fitting, variously elastic garments covering the leg from the foot up to the knee or possibly part or all of the thigh. Stockings vary in color, design, and transparency. Today, stockings are primarily worn for fashion and aesthetics, usually in association with mid-length or short skirts.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Tom Ford</span> American fashion designer and filmmaker

Thomas Carlyle Ford is an American fashion designer and filmmaker. He launched his eponymous luxury brand in 2005, having previously served as the creative director at Gucci and Yves Saint Laurent. Ford wrote and directed the films A Single Man (2009) and Nocturnal Animals (2016). From 2019 to 2022 he served as Chairman of the Council of Fashion Designers of America.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Thigh-high boots</span> Boots extending above the knee

Thigh-high boots, known also as thigh-length boots or simply thigh boots, are boots that extend above the knees to at least mid-thigh. Other terms for this footwear include over-the-knee boots, a name originally used for 15th century riding boots for men. These are sometimes called pirate boots, especially when cuffed. Over-the-knee boots are sometimes abbreviated to OTK boots. Lengths vary from reaching just over the knee to reaching almost to the crotch.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Sandal</span> Type of footwear with an open upper

Sandals are an open type of shoe, consisting of a sole held to the wearer's foot by straps going over the instep and around the ankle. Sandals can also have a heel. While the distinction between sandals and other types of footwear can sometimes be blurry, the common understanding is that a sandal leaves all or most of the foot exposed. People may choose to wear sandals for several reasons, among them comfort in warm weather, economy, and as a fashion choice. Usually, people wear sandals in warmer climates or during warmer parts of the year in order to keep their feet cool and dry. The risk of developing athlete's foot is lower than with enclosed shoes, and the wearing of sandals may be part of the treatment regimen for such an infection.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Mule (shoe)</span> Type of shoe

Mule is a style of shoe that has no back or constraint around the foot's heel. Mules have a history going as far back as Ancient Rome, even though they were not popularly worn until sixteenth-century Europe. There, mules were bedroom slippers and not worn in public. Through the centuries, mules have changed in style and purpose and are no longer just boudoir shoes but are worn at any time, for any occasion. In addition to Western examples, mules come from cultures such as Turkey and Egypt, and appear in popular culture, from famous paintings to iconic celebrities' shoes.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Oxford shoe</span> Type of shoe

An Oxford shoe is characterized by shoelace eyelets tabs that are attached under the vamp, a feature termed "closed lacing". This contrasts with Derbys, or bluchers, which have shoelace eyelets attached to the top of the vamp. Originally, Oxfords were plain, formal shoes, made of leather, but they evolved into a range of styles suitable for formal, uniform, or casual wear. On the basis of function and the dictates of fashion, Oxfords are now made from a variety of materials, including calf leather, faux and genuine patent leather, suede, and canvas. They are normally black or brown, and may be plain or patterned (brogue).

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Stiletto heel</span> Shoe with a tall, thin heel

A stiletto heel, or just stiletto, is a shoe with a long, thin, high heel. It is named after the stiletto dagger.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">High-heeled shoe</span> Footwear that raises the heel of the wearers foot significantly higher than the toes

High-heeled shoes, also known as high heels or pumps, are a type of shoe with an upward-angled sole. The heel in such shoes is raised above the ball of the foot. High heels cause the legs to appear longer, make the wearer appear taller, accentuating the calf muscle.

Lady Kinvara Clare Rachel Balfour is an English creative director, producer, writer, and public speaker. She is the second daughter of Roderick Balfour, 5th Earl of Balfour, and Lady Tessa Fitzalan-Howard. Balfour is a niece of the Duke of Norfolk.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Christian Louboutin</span> French fashion designer (born 1963)

Christian Louboutin is a French fashion designer. His stiletto footwear incorporates shiny, red-lacquered soles that have become his signature. Initially a freelance designer for fashion houses, he started his shoe salon in Paris, with his shoes finding favor with celebrity clientele. He has partnered with other organizations for projects including limited edition pieces, gallery exhibits, and a custom bar. His company has since branched out into men's luxury footwear, handbags, fragrances, and makeup.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Court shoe</span> Type of shoe with low-cut front

A court shoe or pump is a shoe with a low-cut front, or vamp, with either a shoe buckle or a black bow as ostensible fastening. Deriving from the 17th and 18th century dress shoes with shoe buckles, the vamped pump shape emerged in the late 18th century. By the turn of the 19th century, shoe buckles were increasingly replaced by black bows, which has remained the contemporary style for men's formal wear, leather or patent leather evening pumps ever since. This latter style is sometimes also called an opera pump or opera slipper.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">1820s in Western fashion</span> Costume and fashion of the 1820s

During the 1820s in European and European-influenced countries, fashionable women's clothing styles transitioned away from the classically influenced "Empire"/"Regency" styles of c. 1795–1820 and re-adopted elements that had been characteristic of most of the 18th century, such as full skirts and clearly visible corseting of the natural waist.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">1650–1700 in Western fashion</span>

Fashion in the period 1650–1700 in Western clothing is characterized by rapid change. The style of this era is known as Baroque. Following the end of the Thirty Years' War and the Restoration of England's Charles II, military influences in men's clothing were replaced by a brief period of decorative exuberance which then sobered into the coat, waistcoat and breeches costume that would reign for the next century and a half. In the normal cycle of fashion, the broad, high-waisted silhouette of the previous period was replaced by a long, lean line with a low waist for both men and women. This period also marked the rise of the periwig as an essential item of men's fashion.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">1700–1750 in Western fashion</span> Clothing in Europe and areas under its influence from 1700-1750

Fashion in the period 1700–1750 in European and European-influenced countries is characterized by a widening silhouette for both men and women following the tall, narrow look of the 1680s and 90s. This era is defined as late Baroque/Rococo style. The new fashion trends introduced during this era had a greater impact on society, affecting not only royalty and aristocrats, but also middle and even lower classes. Clothing during this time can be characterized by soft pastels, light, airy, and asymmetrical designs, and playful styles. Wigs remained essential for men and women of substance, and were often white; natural hair was powdered to achieve the fashionable look. The costume of the eighteenth century, if lacking in the refinement and grace of earlier times, was distinctly quaint and picturesque.

Maud Frizon de Marco is a fashion designer specializing in women's shoes. She began her career in the 1960s as a model for Parisian Haute Couture Houses of Nina Ricci, Jean Patou, and André Courrèges. At the time models had to provide their own shoes to match the clothes designers assigned them for their runway shows and photo shoots. Frizon disliked the available shoes from other designers, and in 1969 elected to create her own and opened her first boutique in the Saint-Germain-des-Prés district of Paris.

This is a list of existing articles related to fashion and clothing. For individual designers, see List of fashion designers

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Ballet flat</span> Type of womens shoe similar to ballet shoes

Ballet flats are women's shoes for everyday wear which are similar to/inspired by a women's ballet shoes, with a very thin heel or the appearance of no heel at all. The style sometimes features a ribbon-like binding around the low tops of the slipper and may have a slight gathering at the top-front of the vamp and sometimes a tiny, decorative string tie. Ballet slippers can be adjusted and tightened to the wearer's foot by means of this string tie.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Slingback</span> Style of womens footwear

A slingback is a type of woman's footwear characterized by an ankle strap that crosses only around the back and sides of the ankle and heel, whereas a typical strap completely encircles the ankle all the way around it. It typically has a low vamp front similar to that of classic full shoe heels.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Sock</span> Item of clothing for the feet

A sock is a piece of clothing worn on the feet and often covering the ankle or some part of the calf. Some types of shoes or boots are typically worn over socks. In ancient times, socks were made from leather or matted animal hair. In the late 16th century, machine-knit socks were first produced. Until the 1800s, both hand-made and machine-knit socks were manufactured, with the latter technique becoming more common in the 19th century, and continuing until the modern day.

Herbert Levine is an American luxury shoe label founded in 1948 by Herbert Levine and his wife Beth.


  1. Meredith Broussard (23 April 2003). "Foot for Thought". Philadelphia City Paper. Archived from the original on 1 October 2015.
  2. Susan Conterno (2 May 2005). "Toe Cleavage". Archived from the original on 27 September 2006.
  3. "Manolo Blahnik". Design Museum.
  4. "The Best Waterproof Walking Shoes". Retrieved 10 August 2017.
  5. Cat Callender (28 August 2006). "Christian Louboutin: The joy of toe-cleavage" . The Independent. Archived from the original on 2022-06-21.
  6. Jerry Oppenheimer (2005). Front Row: Anna Wintour, the Cool Life and Hot Times of Vogue's Editor in Chief. Vogue. ISBN   0-312-32310-7. A ... candidate for a ... features editor job ... had been well-briefed by a friend, a Voguette already safely ensconced in the elite fold, as to the toe-cleavage shoes sans stockings. Anna ... dictates everything that goes into the magazine, along with the behavior ... in its hallowed halls, from how subordinates should act on the elevators ... to how they are supposed to dress if they want to work there and go out... Thus, naked legs and open-toed stilettos in the bitter New York winter were requirements of the famed and feared editrix's unwritten dress code.
  7. Kendall Farr (2004). The Pocket Stylist: Behind-the-Scenes Expertise from a Fashion Pro on Creating Your Own Look. Gotham Books. ISBN   1-59240-041-8.
  8. Laura Harrison McBride (2004). FabJob Guide to Become a Personal Shopper. Peter J Gallanis. ISBN   1-894638-55-7.
  9. Claudia Varrin (2005). The Female Dominant: Games She Plays. Citadel Press. ISBN   0-8065-2669-6.
  10. Charles Panati (1998). Sexy Origins and Intimate Things: The Rites and Rituals of Straights, Gays, Bis, Drags, Trans, Virgins, and Others. Penguin Books. ISBN   0-14-027144-9. Frederick's of Hollywood has always promoted its open-toe and open-heel models as sexually suggestive because they reveal foot flesh and toe cleavage.