By the 16th century, high heels had moved from being external wear only, to become ornate and decorated fashionable wear for well off men and women of fashion. This led to the birth of a saying we associate with the well-to-do of today. What is this expression?
Answer: Well heeled
Because those high heels were so very fashionable and chic by the 16th century, only the wealthy could afford to buy them or have them specially made. The shoes came covered in silk and buttons and bows, and even jewellery in some cases. Not only were they worn as fashion statements, but they also made women appear taller and more graceful, and men larger and more impressive. Both sexes still wore the excessive ornamentation though. Catherine de Medici (1519-1589) and Mary I of England (1516-1558), both of whom were rather short, were two famous figures noted for their wear. Because of the cost of having these shoes made, it led to the well known expression “well heeled” which, at that time meant a very impressive set of shoes, but today has come to be associated with those of considerable wealth instead.