Tracy Tjoeng writes...

Admit it - part of the appeal of Christian Louboutins are the unmistakable red soles and the nearly naughty peek of color just along the heel. And when you wear them, gawkers can tell from miles away exactly how much you spent on your lovely heels (approximately US$400) and what kind of classy lady you are (one with good taste, presumably).

So would you spend US$400 on Louboutins that only few could tell from another, potentially less expensive, shoe? Someday, I hope to be the kind of girl who can assemble a beautiful, chic outfit without high-end designer inspiration... but too often I need cues from the well-paid in the fashion world. So there, I'll be first to admit it - as much as I think there are quite beautiful aspects about a Louboutin heel besides its red sole, I'd be dissapointed if mine were mistaken for lesser, or even just different, shoes.

But not always. On the other end of the spectrum, wouldn't I sometimes wish to hide the identity of my shoe? Louboutins scream for attention just the way a Birkin would - please, take advantage of me, con me into buying things I don't need, judge me based on my outfit, and pick-pocket my purse, cos what I'm wearing is worth at least US$500! A sensible person would suggest: if you don't want folks to recognize your Louboutins, then...don't wear them.

There's an old wives tale going around my house, claiming that Louboutin's are the most comfortable heel among designers, second only to Prada boots. Well, I thought... that can't be true, I love Jimmy Choo! I debated this heartily with my household for a few minutes, and then I decided to call their bluff - we would treck to Nordies, help each other try on heels and declare which shoe was the most comfortable of them all. Lo and behold, I eventually nominated a pair of lovely black Louboutin Mary Janes as the most comfortable shoe, and since then, I never looked back.

There is a beautiful mesh of comfort and style when it comes to a Louboutin, which is why I love them so. Too often, though, we're attracted simply to the red heel. If thats the case, frauleins, then why don't we want this equally expensive and beautiful patent leather pump by Miu Miu (US$395)? Or this bold Betsey Johnson 'Whitefield' pump (US$240) which surely takes a cue from the latest shoe fall fashion? How about either of these lovely red sandals? What's the difference anyway? (Christian Louboutin, US$640, and Manolo Blahnik, US$585.) So, girls... would you not only wear, but also buy Louboutins if no one could tell? Or conversely, would you avoid Louboutins because everyone knows? The curse is quite double edged, no?

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