In this day and age, there are three known varieties of cleavage. The obvious one is boob cleavage, which needs no explanation. Butt cleavage is by far the most risqué, and still a fringe movement, although Hilary Swank pulled off a tastefully suggestive version at the Oscars. And finally, there’s toe cleavage, a glimpse at the lines between toes, just where they sprout from the foot. This is seemingly the most modest of cleavages, but it can be quite suggestive. In style back in the ’80s (Atomic Passion has tons of vintage low-cut shoes), showing off a few toe buds is again gaining popularity.
The Internet abounds with rumors of a surgical procedure to remove foot bones in order to create more beautiful cleavage “down there.” We’re not quite buying it (“foot bones?”), but the trend is duly noted as more than a one-season wonder. This season we are seeing low-cut heels, as well as flats like the ballet slippers that dominated last summer. A low-cut shoe is enticing and supposedly flattering to the shorter-legged among us, while ankle straps and other lines across the foot cut off the leg and accentuate stumpiness.
But before you take the plunge to achieving longer legs, beware the pitfalls of toe flaunting. A heel plus toe cleavage is double-sexy in theory, but if that heel is too high, it’s like bad cleavage of any kind—your feet will look bloated and red from the force of gravity, and the throat of the shoe will dig into your flesh like a bad push-up bra. It is wise to stick with a medium heel, like the ballet-inspired pumps ($198) at The Shoe in Nolita. Their round toes won’t squash your assets, and they soften the seduction.
If you are tall or have nice thin calves, congratulations—you can wear ballet slippers with skirts, while the rest of us should pair them with jeans. French Sole now has a line that is specifically cut to show off toe creases. Their website describes the lowcut look: “This is a very young and sexy look! The vamp is cut very low and shows toe cleavage.”
If you are the kind of girl who wears a loose-fitting, see-through top rather than something tight and low-cut, you might want to show off your cleavage in a strappy sandal rather than a closed-toe shoe. Hollywould has medium-heeled sandals with gathered straps across the toes to give a glimpse through, like a sexy lady behind Venetian blinds.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on March 22, 2005