Slideshow will continue in seconds. Click to skip
1. A Contrasting Sole
When the upper part of the shoe is a different color than the platform itself, it seems like a deliberate look rather than some feeble attempt to blend in a few extra inches with nobody noticing. You want people to tell that you're walking around on a thicker-than-usual sole because look—isn't it so cool?!
2. Substantial Heels
If you're going to go for the platform pump thing, you've got to go for it! Whereas spindly little stiletto heels behind a big chunky front seems non-committal, shoes like these scream, "This is my style and I'm going to own it!"
3. A Barely-There Platform
Because less than an inch is barely an upgrade from single sole status, heels with just a teeniest boost at the bottom look a little more ladylike then something thicker. An excellent choice for the office!
4. Exotic Details
Avoid anything that seems too clubby—crystals, glitter, studs—and look for really special fabrics and shapes that stand out. If the shoes seem like they might be vintage, purchased abroad or custom made by Italian cobbler, then you're on the right track.
5. Slightly Smaller Bottoms
Sculptural soles that ever-so-slightly peel away from the shoe give the vague impression that you're actually wearing classic stilettos with too-long heels—are those matching platforms just holding them up? The avant-garde visual is what makes these more fashion week front row than Friday night at the bar.