This section is slated to contain various information, trends and news related to feet, foot adornments and footware . If anyone would like to submit anything newsworthy please feel free to contact us.
Looking for that perfect summer accessory? This year, bare skin goes glamorous in all that glitters. Rings that twinkle on polished toes are being paired with everything from tiny T-shirts to evening gowns for a look thatís both fun and sexy. "You donít have to go out and get your navel pierced," said Michelle Orman of the Jewelry Information Center in New York. "You can get a nice pedicure, throw on a nice pair of strappy shoes and put on a toe ring. That subtle flash of glitter on your toe, thatís just sexy and itís a wonderful way to make a very individualistic statement."
The trend, according to Orman, is a reflection of the Eastern influence prevalent in todayís fashions. "If you have a dull outfit," she said, "these spice it up. I just feel like my outfitís more hip and stylish, and I feel more confident."
"Iíd much rather let her get that than any of those piercings or tattoos," said Deb Ott of Plumstead, shopping with her daughter, Kara, at BonTon in Doylestown. "For now, sheís just allowed to have toe rings. I donít mind them." It doesnít matter what your age is, according to Orman. Body jewelry is for any woman looking for a little flair. If youíre hesitant to cover your skin in crystals, try an ankle bracelet or a toe ring, she suggested.
The toe rings, most of them in brass or sterling silver, come in simple bands or more elaborate designs. Some also are accented with pearls or gemstones. The toe rings are also favorite accent pieces for many women in their 30s.
Calluses, bunions and chipped nail polish aside, there is something alluring about dressing up the tootsies in jewelry, even if it's just to camouflage the imperfections. And this form of body adornment has reached a new level -- celebrated with friends in the private environment once reserved for makeup and plastic-container parties. Toe ring parties appeal to women of all ages -- from grandmothers to grandchildren -- and the fad seems to be spreading.
Recently, friends of Linda Roberts gathered in the basement of her Noblesville home for a toe ring party presented by Kristi McKittrack, a certified nail technician and owner of the Grand Illusion Salon in Noblesville who does this as a sideline. Karaoke became the perfect accompaniment for the evening's fun.
"I try to paint my toes to make them look better, but there's only so much you can do," said Lisa East, 25. She came to the party, ready to invest in the jewelry if it was guaranteed to perk up her toes. The rings come in a variety of shapes and sizes. As the ring at last slid onto the toe, McKittrack jokingly said, "With this ring, I thee wed." She claims the only hazard of her job is when she runs into a client who is ticklish.
East's friend Michelle Schildmeier, 24: "A toe ring with a pair of sandals is what summer is all about." Most of the guests first met their hostess at a local fitness center. A few previously owned toe rings, but most were introduced to the jewelry for the first time at the party. Curiosity brought many to Roberts' house.
"This is just part of our social club," said Roberts, 47, the mother of two adult children. "We work out together, we walk together, we sing karaoke together, and now we're trying on toe rings together. It's not easy to find toe rings, you know." Roberts, who moved to Indiana from Texas, said she bought her first toe ring in Dallas.
School counselor Lee Dyer, 52, attended the party with her daughter Meggan, 25. "I heard someone say that they've heard of parties for Tupperware, baskets, candles and cookware, but never for toe rings," said Dyer. She wears toe rings to school, and many of her students don't even notice. "I think toe rings are indicative of the fashion trends today. They've come from way out and worked their way into the mainstream. It's so common now, and it's really pretty subtle."
Most of the women said the gathering was different from other home parties they had attended because there was no formal sales pitch or presentation. McKittrack, 31, says she doesn't have to push her merchandise -- it sells itself. She began offering the toe ring parties about a year ago after attending one herself given by people who learned about the parties from someone in Florida. McKittrack, who has a retailer's license, doesn't know of many other salons or individuals who throw the parties locally. She's done about a dozen. She also sells foot thongs -- an ornate sling-type adornment that wraps around the ankle at one end and the toe at the other end. It looks like a sandal without the sole.
McKittrack averages about $300 worth of jewelry sales per party. The hostess gets 10 percent of the sales to spend on her own jewelry. Some local stores also are finding toe-ring customers. At Claire's Boutique in Washington Square Mall, Lavon Osborn sells anywhere from 10 to 20 toe rings a day to females between the ages of 13 and 40. At Castleton Square, Shannon Murphy recently sold out of the most popular toe ring at Spencer Gifts -- two flowers crossing at the top of the toe with blue and white rhinestones. "We have a lot of teens buying the rings, but we've been surprised by how many middle-aged women are also buying them," said Murphy, a store manager. "Most women want to wear their sandals, but they want something pretty for their feet."
One of the women at Roberts' party, Trudy George, 62, believes toe rings and ankle bracelets, like many current fashion accessories, are a blast from the past. "I don't think it's a big deal to be a senior citizen wearing a toe ring or an ankle bracelet. Even back when I was in high school a lot of people wore dog collars around their ankles."
Kara Krueger, a 39-year-old massage therapist, wasn't sure she was going to buy a ring until her friends encouraged her. "OK, they tell me it's sexy. I've been married 16 years, so I guess I'll get one to celebrate my anniversary," she said. Another of McKittrack's customers dropped $75 for rings and ankle baubles.
"I told my 14-year-old I was coming, and he didn't believe me," said Deb Frankel, 45. She had a ring once before, but it was "a cheap adjustable one" that always got caught in her carpet. "Now that was a real crisis," she said, laughing. "When I started trying these on, I liked them all and I couldn't make up my mind. It adds up." The most popular look is a set of three rings. One gold and two silver or one silver and two gold, worn on the second toe.
Some, however, make a statement by going overboard. Jennifer Gustin, 26, touched up her nails with fresh red polish and, just for fun, McKittrack piled on the jewels. "You know I've always thought my feet were really ugly, but with all this stuff on them, they're really kind of pretty," Gustin said.
You don't need to be a foot fetishist to know that well-adorned tootsies rank high for sensual lure. No surprise, then, that toe rings have been around through the ages, a staple at traditional Indian weddings and a favorite among ancient fashion icons like Cleopatra.
More recently, celebs such as Drew Barrymore, Minnie Driver and Mena Suvari have been seen stepping out to premieres, parties and photo ops bearing rings on their toes. It's not rare to find silver and beaded rings at places like trendy shops on the Venice Beach boardwalk.
Though warmer climes and an obsession with pedicures do allow Angelinos to show off these rings throughout the year, this is not just a sun-drenched phenom.
Teenagers have always gone to extremes to be cool, but now they may actually be risking frostbite. Throughout the frigid Northeast and blustery Midwest teens began sporting flip-flops and open-toed sandals. A perfect reason to show off your toe rings all year round. The winter sandal trend has even gone international with Britain's Prince William seen sporting flip-flops on a recent cold winter day. Stepping over a snowy new York City curb, Alex Donovan, 16, claims she's not cold at all wearing her Tevas in the snow. Kathryn Smith, who sells shoes in New York, attributes the trend partly to the extreme sports craze and says that summer footwear is now selling way past the traditional season.
Parents may protest, but only for so long. While walking through her Philadelphia neighborhood, Tracey Hart, 14, admits her toes get a little cold. Her mother Sandra just shrugs and hopes she doesn't get sick. Will the trend continue? For those who like to show off their toes all year round it's a great excuse to dare to go bare. Besides its a perfect way to drive parents and other grownups crazy.
Long gone are the days when wearing even a simple gold anklet could be considered vampy. And though jewelry from the knee down might strike some as a little unusual, the trend definitely has a toehold in the accessories market. Playing around with the jewelry, which can be found in boutiques and department stores, is half the fun.
Anklets can be worn singly or stacked just like bangle bracelets. Same goes for toe rings. For women who are sqeamish about showing their feet, much less showing them off, with all the open-toed, stylish shoes, especially in the summertime, first it is important to be well pedicured. A french pedicure for example is a great way to have clean, understated, pretty toes.
Adding a simple, elegant piece of toe jewelry is a perfect way to be sexy and sophisticated in any open-toed shoe. Yunnie Kim, owner and buyer for the Tiare biutique at Fred Segal Santa Monica, added: "Having a diamond cuff on your toe is a perfect way to take attention away from whatever it is you don't like about your feet. Feet are a very sensual part of your body. Foot jewelry to men is eye candy. Men love it. They see a pedicure and then the jewelry and they go ga-ga over it."
Now, kick up your well-groomed and bejeweled heels and sparkle.
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