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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!

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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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