It’s Friday night. You’re getting ready for a night out with the squad. You rouge your cheeks with your best, shimmery blush. You clip your hair back into a soft, messy bun and slip on your favorite pair of heels. You take one last look at yourself and think “cute, I guess.” Meanwhile at the club, men are lining up at your feet, offering you all sorts of drinks and sexual innuendos. Why the sudden interest, you think? That’s because the looks you’re rocking all have one thing in common; they make you look like you’re ‘ready for sex.’ Let’s take a closer look at how the patriarchy first assigned this ‘sex appeal’ to these items.
Blush: like a rush of blood to the face after sex
Blush dates back as far as ancient Egypt. On top of inventing winged eyeliner and pyramids, Egyptian men and women used to grind red ochre to add rosiness to their complexion. They’re not the only ancient society to have done this; the Greeks used crushed mulberries and flowers, whilst the Romans rubbed Vermillion on their cheeks.
Once prostitutes started wearing blush for maximum allurement (and to cover bruises and tired eyes) there was a huge chunk of time where society frowned upon it. It was during this period where ‘higher class’ women would paint their faces white or use leeches to remove natural redness from their skin – like really? Y’all disgusted by sex work that much?
Still, the reign of blush continued in many societies, albeit sparingly, and even though it was made with toxic chemicals. Only during the industrial revolution did blush become much safer to use and much more common. And just in time for WW1, when the patriarchy decided they wanted women back in the kitchen looking all pretty and ‘ready to go.’
While today, blush is just a staple makeup product to give us a rosy glow, its universal popularity came from what it represents: the rush of blood to the face after, er, getting it on.
Bedhead: a hairdo tangled up by sex
Rocking bedhead may serve to liberate our morning routine, but Urban Dictionary defines it as “a hairdo that looks like you just finished having sex”. How did this happen? Well, similar to the rise of blush, messy hair was once only synonymous with “improper” women, whilst neatly styled locks was a symbol of decency.
In one recorded example of how scandalous messy hair could be, a man once came home to see his wife with a twig in her hair and assumed she had cheated on him with another man on the ground. So, he stabbed her in the chest, killing her. I want to make a joke about this man’s lack of communication skills here, instead I gulp down the injustice that is gender-based-violence and continue
The changeover of bedhead from “unfaithful whore” to “desirable woman” can largely be attributed to the rise of sex scenes in film, where women would be made to act as if dripping with sexual energy in the bedroom with their mussed up manes and smudged lipstick. Models like Kate Moss, and even male musicians like Robert Smith helped turn bedhead cool and effortless, too. I mean, I guess it’s only cool depending on who you are. Selena Gomez looks effortlessly sleek with a messy bun, whilst Donald Trump looks like he’s been pulled through a bush backwards.
Stilettos: a physical sign that we’re ready for sex
The original high heels were invented for men to be able to secure their feet in stirrups, and later, for aristocrats to parade around towering over everybody. But they too eventually took on a hyper-sexualized meaning when they were later only meant for women. The story goes that the original chunky platform was deemed too dangerous for women, especially when pregnant. So for us fragile, ‘baby making machines’, voilà – we were gifted the stiletto.
While to women today, high heels represent glamour, ambition, and power; to men they once represented a woman ready for sex. This is ‘because’ heels cause an arched back which suggests openness to “mating advances”. I laughed out loud while typing that.
When asked what men find attractive about a woman in high heels, a French shoe designer once famously said that it was that “heels slowed the woman down, giving the man more time to look at her”. Clearly, no one wanted women to be able to get away either. Anyone else thinking rape culture?
Since then women and heels have become one. Like sharp weapons beneath us, we can run when we’re late to meetings, jump over hoops for our family, and dance the night away on our tippy toes. But at the end of the evening you’ll probably see us barefoot – cursed heels in hands – wiping away our contoured cheekbones when we’re home and brushing our hair before bed. And I can assure you, none of this means we’re not down for sex. But instead of judging that from the sate of a few accessories, educate yourself on consent, and ask us instead.
When it comes to shoes – especially sneakers – you know that the look is never really that universal. You’ll see the shoes on the model, the shoes in real life, but they’ll always have a unique fit on you.
So we decided to do something different when we discovered Cariuma, and instead, had our team try them on, instead. Who better to tell the truth, right?
These six women – Deema, Yannise, Meagan, Aafiyah, Tamanna, and Tiara – are the willing testers.
Meagan (top left):I work in an office setting so I’m all heels and flats during the week and typically wear booties or flipflops (depending on the weather) on the weekends. Sneakers? Not so much. I never felt like I had the legs or style to wear them without looking a little silly. I mean, of course, I wear them to the gym, but that’s different!
Aafiyah (top middle):I don’t really wear sneakers, choosing instead to wear boots. I always thought that I wouldn’t be able to buy sneakers that are reasonably priced and still be able to dress well. Instead, I usually choose to wear boots and my past experiences with sneakers? Nothing to write home about.
I never felt like I had the legs or style to wear them without looking a little silly. —Meagan
Tamanna (top right):Sneakers are my everyday go-to, but finding shoes that are stylish, sustainable, and comfortable is close to impossible. In my experience, I have to compromise at least one of these factors for the rest. Because of my chronic pain, I prioritize comfort, ending up with sneakers that allow me to painlessly go through my day.
Tiara (bottom left):I’ve always been a big sneakerhead. I grew up in the South and it’s just a part of the culture there. Every year, I was always so excited to pick out a new pair of sneakers to show off to my friends. To this day, I’ll quickly grab a pair of sneakers over anything else. Comfort is a must, though, otherwise, I get plantar fasciitis, which exacerbates my flat feet and bad ankles.
Deema (bottom middle):More often than not, my carefully-curated sneaker collection can’t be used out of fear of creasing and wear. As someone who wears sneakers 75% of the time, this can be a bit of a struggle. Logical? Not really, but hey, aesthetics matter to me.
I’ve always been a big sneakerhead. I grew up in the South and it’s just a part of the culture there. —Tiara
Yannise (bottom right):I don’t remember when it became the norm, but sneakers have always been my go-to for casual footwear. If I had to choose my favorite brand of sneakers before this experiment, I’d have to say Converse. Their style has always appealed to me, and can really elevate an outfit. I’ll wear them down until they have nothing but holes in them, which I prefer anyway!
Since Cariuma’s always touting just how eco-friendly, consciously-made, and comfortable their shoes are, we definitely had to put them to the test. So we each got a pairand wore them every day for a week. Here’s what happened.
…some thoughts while waiting for the packages to arrive…
Meagan:Frankly, I was a little worried. I kept thinking, ugh they’re suede so I can’t wear them everywhere, plus I have no idea how to match sneakers to my outfits.
Deema: I’ve been a borderline sneakerhead since I wore my first pair of classic Adidas. When I discovered Cariuma, I was hesitant. Ordering shoes that were ethically sourced was something that was largely new to me. In a way, ordering the clean-cut OCA Low sneakers in Off White Canvas felt like a way to “give back.”
Tiara: Before the shoes arrived, I assumed they wouldn’t work for me. Generally, canvas shoes that look similar to the OCA Low sneakers that sport the flat bottom shape are absolutely terrible for my feet. I was also worried they wouldn’t fit since my feet are wide (flat + wide feet = difficult to find cute shoes).
The shoes we got were a variety of OCA Low and High sneakers. Sustainable and eco-conscious materials are a big part of Cariuma’s brand, and they use everything from canvas, rubber, and leather (both vegan and not) to make their stuff.
So some of us really loved getting the packages in the mail. Like, really, really loved it.
Tamanna: The first thing that caught my eye when I received the shoes was minimal packaging. I have reused, repurposed, and recycled every part of the packaging, which is rare for an international online order.
Aafiyah: The box is bright and colorful. I love it! To this day, I still put my shoes back in the box so that I have an excuse to keep the box.
I have reused, repurposed, and recycled every part of the packaging, which is rare for this sort of order. —Tamanna
Tiara: When the shoes arrived at my door, I was so excited! I’m a massive shopping junkie, and I absolutely adored the Cariuma packaging. I know it sounds strange but I loved that the box was completely sealed. I hate when I order shoes that come in the traditional box because they’re always half-open. I’ve had instances when my shoes come all messed up. I especially liked that Cariuma sends you two pairs of shoelaces because it allows me to play around with my style a lot more.
…and how things went down when we threw our fresh pairs on for the first day out:
Yannise: Putting on the OCA Low Stripe Leopard Suede sneakers wasn’t difficult, and they surprisingly had some height to them (I am 5’1 and love those extra inches). Since I was going to work, I wore light blue high-waisted jeans, a gray long-sleeved top, and an oversized black jacket. Usually, I wear long socks, but this time I chose to wear ankle socks with these shoes. Big mistake.
Not only was it a rainy day, but the back of my socks slid off of my heel, making the commute somewhat uncomfortable. Can’t blame that on the sneakers, but definitely make sure you’re wearing longer socks if you rock the low tops (or no socks!).
Tamanna: I got the OCA Low Navy Canvas sneakers. I was excited because they aren’t completely neutral and can bring some understated color to an outfit. On my first day, I styled them with wide pants and a colorful button-up. I love that they didn’t take away from my overall look, but were also interesting in their own right. Over the next few days, I styled these sneakers with midi skirts, jeans, and dresses.
I styled the shoes with a metallic blue skirt from Zara and Madewell shirt and the sneakers pulled the entire look together, giving a classic edge to street style. —Deema
Meagan: When I pulled out my OCA High All Camel Suede sneakers, I couldn’t wait for daylight to try them out – I decided to go out that night. I immediately put in the brown laces (the OCA sneakers come with two shoelace colors) and was off to a winery with some friends. I combined them with jeans and a green flannel shirt. I looked cute.
Tiara: The next morning I styled the OCA Low All Black Suede sneakers with my normal work attire: black slacks and a sweater, and took off. When I wear shoes with no support I can almost immediately feel the shock in my ankles when my feet hit the concrete, but that wasn’t the case this time! I can’t say I made it all the way to work without any twinges of normal discomfort, but they’re much more comfortable than most of my other shoes. My ankles remained supported and for me, that’s a win.
Now that our week with Cariuma is over, here are our main takeaways:
Meagan: I will say that the next day my butt was a little sore…strange right? I wonder if the shoes act like shape-ups and help tone my legs while I wear them? Technically, they aren’t meant for that, but that’s my belief. Honestly, these are cute-ass sneaks that match with a ton of different stuff and they are ethically-created. Plus I didn’t experience any of those first-day-of-wearing-new-shoes blisters. The price for what you’re getting? Worth it.
Aafiyah: To be completely honest, initially, the inner sole cushioning worried me slightly, and that I would feel it against my foot. However, it’s felt like I’ve been walking on a cloud.
Honestly, these are cute-ass sneaks that match with a ton of different stuff. —Meagan
Since I first heard about Cariuma through The Tempest (they’re not that well-known in the UK), I was worried about how good these shoes actually were. To date, though, none of my other shoes compare to the comfort of these sneakers. Since the first day I slipped these on, they remain my go-to for whenever I have to do something for long periods of time. I’m a massive fan.
The shoes are light, somewhat airy, so it doesn’t feel like you’re wearing anything less than a cloud. —Yannise
Tamanna: I love these sneakers, and they’re going in my regular rotation! Even after my busiest days, my feet didn’t get cramps like they usually had before I discovered Cariuma. There was a break-in period for me (I mostly felt it on my ankles), but after a week, they felt like a second skin. These days, you’ll find me in my Cariumas if you run into me – so my verdict? Hell yes.
Tiara: To my surprise, I was pleasantly comfortable in my Cariumas – but! Cariuma, if you’re reading this: in the future, I’d love to see a little bit more cushion or arch support, for those of us with foot problems. I feel like it’s possible to have cute shoes that both help out the wearer and the environment.
[We reached out and asked Cariuma, and they stated that”our insole is completely removable and can be replaced with special insoles as needed by the wearer!”]
Even after my busiest days, my feet didn’t get cramps like they usually had before I discovered Cariuma. —Tamanna
Deema: The shoes did not disappoint. I’ve been wearing my Cariumas for over a month now, and the fact that they only get more comfortable every day makes me a die-hard supporter. The shoe’s classic look and resilience to wear and tear consistently delivers, making them one of my favorite accessories. Absolute 10/10 on quality, style, and performance.
Yannise: The shoes are light, somewhat airy, so it doesn’t feel like you’re dragging your feet (which is a massive plus if you live in New York City). Of course, they will feel a little tight when you first wear them, just like with any new shoe. But they’re perfect for styling with any type of wear—casual, formal, dressy, etc. Overall? Ten outta ten.
So now, when you see Cariuma on Instagram you’ll know what they’re all about — and if you want a pair of your own, check out their online store. In the words of one of our fave memes:
If you told me two years ago that 2016 would be the year of the clog, I would have laughed for days (but then again, a lot of strange things have happened in 2016). After all, clogs were ‘mom shoes.’ You know, kind of ugly, but wayyy comfy (the kinds of shoes that moms fall head over feet for). Oh, how wrong I was.
It started with a pair of red sandal clogs. I had gone shoe-shopping to find a pair of practical walking shoes, but when I spotted that first pair of Danskos I was sold. These babies had a mix of Wizard of Oz ruby slippers vibes and earthy chic style (that farmer’s market + fair trade coffee + biking to work vibe). Apparently, I had become a clog person.
I was pretty sure I was the only millennial in the entire world wearing clogs (after all, I had found the one pretty pair, but all other clogs were still ‘mom shoes’), but I was quickly surprised. Apparently, clogs had made a comeback among younger generations while I wasn’t paying attention.
As I quickly discovered the wonders of my own pair of clogs, I realized what moms had been on to this whole time. Not only were clogs super comfortable (mothers and nurses and all the doctors from Grey’s Anatomy had been right about something), but their style was growing on me.
[bctt tweet=”Clogs, it turns out, give off this artistic, earthy, active vibe that can’t be matched. ” username=”wearethetempest”]
Clogs, it turns out, give off this artistic, earthy, active vibe that can’t be matched. Slip on a pair and you’re instantly ready to bike to the public library where you lead a creative art class for local children. Slide your feet into another pair and you’re off to your local co-op to buy just-picked radishes for that community picnic next week. Choose another pair and you’re ready for an evening of swing dancing with friends. It doesn’t matter who you are, clogs will bring out your hip and alternative side.
Perhaps the greatest part of wearing clogs is that they’re perfect for almost any occasion. Getting dressed for work? Check. Heading to class? Check. Taking a long walk or bike ride? Check. Girl’s night out? Check. Date night? Check. They’re both comfortable enough for activity and cute enough for work or fun.
[bctt tweet=”Perhaps the greatest part of wearing clogs is that they’re perfect for any occasion. ” username=”wearethetempest”]
And,they no longer come in just the boring shades of black and brown that your mom probably wore to work when you were in your pre-teen years. Gone are the days of limited colors and cuts; you can pick between red sandals or purple studded slip-ons, autumnal work shoes or t-strap style dancing shoes. Thanks to the rebounding popularity of clogs, the options are limitless.
As we head into winter, don’t be afraid to match colorful socks (or that hand-knit pair that you found last week at the family-owned fiber arts store down the street) with your clogs.
There are no rules when it comes to wearing clogs: just comfort and effortless earthy style.
When spring comes into the picture, the color black and I have a bit of separation anxiety. In fact, during the fall and winter, nearly all I wear is very simple and more on the gray scale (I know, boring). But these new colorful trends have made me reconsider the addition of color into my overall look and have reminded me of how much I used to love pastels, unicorns, and rainbows as a kid (I was obsessed with Agatha Ruiz de la Prada).
So without further ado, here are ways in which you can show your love for color this summer.
1. Pastel clothing
Chloé added lots of color to their usual romantic designs this season (shown above). Whether you decide on a dress or blouse, these pastel stripes are everywhere and can give a unicorn/rainbow feel to any boho look. If you’re looking for similar options on the affordable side, check out this H&M dress, or this one, or check out this Zara blouse If you want to add just a touch of this trend to your look but don’t want to go too overboard (this will probably be me). Also, remember that the color pink is very “in” this season (yay!) and something as simple as this H&M dress can keep your look trendy, classy, and feminine.
2. Pom pom sandals
Tassels have been a thing for quite a while in clothes, handbags, and shoes. But now, candy-looking pom pom’s are becoming quite the sensation this summer. Dolce & Gabbana (on the left) and Aquazzura (on the right) featured varying shoe designs with colored pom pom’s, including strappy sandals and heels. Steve Madden and other brands like Zara, have cheaper versions of these designs, but you can also DIY and add other accessories as well. For those who don’t want to wear these beauties on their feet, there’s also the option of adding them to a handbag!
3. Rainbow highlighter
This summer, you don’t have to limit the use of colors to your wardrobe, you can add them to your face as well. This rainbow highlighting technique might be a bit out there, but it’ll certainly step up your strobing game. You can get the product at Etsy and apply it with a flat brush on your cheekbones for a subtle rainbow glow. You can also try it on your eyelids (specially on your inner corners) and nose.
If you’re like me and don’t plan on wearing this look on a daily basis, it can certainly work for a summer concert or a really cool unicorn-inspired photoshoot.
4. Colored ombré eyebrows
If you’re not all about the subtle pastels and want to try bolder colors on your face (and not particularly on your lips), then this makeup look is for you. Although thicker and fuller brows have been trending ever since Cara Delevingne became famous, now things are being taken to another level with this fun addition to the usual brow filling.
If you feel like switching things up and using bright blues, pinks, or purples (instead of browns), then all you have to do is follow your usual brow routine but switch the color you’re using. Also, you don’t necessarily have to do ombré, but if you do, check out this tutorial.
5. Pastel hair colors
Playing around with hair colors is something that some of us have been doing for years, but now it’s becoming part of the norm to do so. Celebrities like Ariana Grande, and Kylie Jenner have been trying out soft blues, pinks, and lilacs (many times as wigs) and have changed the meaning of hair dyeing. If you’re not willing to compromise on one color for your entire hair, then you can certainly try out less radical techniques like pastel-colored highlights or ombré (as shown above).
Personally, I love this mermaid/unicorn-inspired trend because it’s subtle and playful. I think it’s a unique way to play around with your hair color without necessarily going with bright colors, and hey, you can always try clip-ons.