Little girls like high(ish) heels and wedges, because they want to look like their moms and celebrities and possibly Suri Cruise. Should we freak out?
The New York Times, which reports that "wedges and heels for tots and tweens have gone mainstream, turning up in schoolyards and on playgrounds far from Hollywood or Madison Avenue," isn't sure.
Industry observers say the trend is part of a bigger, so-called “mini-me” craze in the children’s wear market, linking fashions for children’s clothing and accessories with the latest from mom and dad’s runway, no matter how impractical it may be for a child’s rough-and-tumble lifestyle. Witness, for example, the maxi-dresses on sale at GapKids or the rise of pricey designer duds for the under-6 set.
“We’re into fast fashion,” Jill Green, an East Coast sales representative for Steve Madden, said of her company’s big bet on wedges. “Something sells well in women’s, we’ll pick it up in kids.” Roughly half of Steve Madden Kids spring/summer collection (six sneaker styles and a dozen other wedges and heels) has an elevated sole. (The company made pink, fringed wedge boots in toddler sizes last fall.)
The cutely chunky wedges on display look pretty harmless to me, but maybe that's because I was a diehard height aspirant as a child (or perhaps just super ahead of the times?). This trend piece triggered traumatic memories of one particularly unbearable 6th grade P.E. session. I was wearing platform tennis shoes, as inspired by the Spice Girls and my neuroses (as I've explained, being the last one picked in gym class really messes you up).
We picked softball positions by running as fast as we could, and I wanted to be catcher, because it was hot outside and home base was shady. I sprinted, tripped, and broke my ankle. Repeat: I broke my ankle because I ran for shade in sparkly white platform sneakers.
This did not deter me from wearing Rocket Dogs throughout middle school.