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Fashion Cheat Sheet: How to Tell Different Shoe Types Apart

Yes, a platform is different from a wedge heel!
Fashion Cheat Sheet: How to Tell Different Shoe Types Apart Yes, a platform is different from a wedge heel!

It's of utmost importance to be schooled on fashion lingo, girls. We at Preview value your style education, and we hear you: it can get rather hard to tell certain shoe silhouettes apart. Like, aren't platforms and wedges pretty much the same thing?! Loafers and brogues too, right?

Short answer: no. Learn a thing or two from this quick guide to differentiating some of the most interchanged shoe shapes. It's class time!

IMAGE Charles & Keith

Both are similar in shape, easy to slip into and currently best worn with low block heels, but the presence of a single strap makes all the difference. The mule (and its open-toed counterpart, the slide) is purely open-backed, while the slingback is characterized by a strap that anchors your foot in from behind the heel or ankle.

IMAGE Gucci

It's easy to confuse these certified classics we girls easily stole from the boys of yore, so here's a bit of historical context: loafers were invented in 1847 for King George VI to use as a casual, slip-on house shoe, while brogues first appeared in Ireland as a lace-up outdoor walking shoe!

IMAGE Steve Madden

Okay, let us just get this out of the way: wedges can have platforms and vice versa, but they're not the same thing! One can exist without the other, and telling 'em apart is just a matter of placement. The wedge heel's mass is concentrated on, well, the heel, while the platform is stacked in front, right below the balls of your feet.

IMAGE Zara

Both styles were very much present in the Sunday's best finery of our far-off childhoods (worn with those itchy ruffled lace socks, remember?), but they simply aren't the same thing. The T-strap's name telltale speaks for itself, while the mary jane is usually a pump or a closed flat with a single band across the top of the foot.

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