All Keyed Up: Unlock Your Sexy Side With The New Peep Toe


Peep toe shoes were originally designed in the 1930s during the Great Depression. This new style showed just a tinge of toenail and adhered to the ladylike trend that was sweeping fashion. Vintage versions of this silhouette became so popular in 2006, that brands began designing them again. Since then, the peep toe pump has hung onto its super star status with few modifications. After all, why mess up a good thing, right? It’s feminine, it’s chic and it’s incredibly sexy. But this season, we are seeing one tiny tweak to the classic silhouette. The peep itself has gotten a modern update: the opening that traditionally allows your first two toes to peek out is now significantly smaller and in the shape of a teardrop. We’re calling it the keyhole peep toe. And we’ve already seen it on a few of our favorite celebrities.

Stars like Claire Danes and Kelly Ripa have taken this style from film screenings to late night TV. What I love about these ladies is how they illustrate the power of color. Claire paired bright keyhole peep toes with a bandage dress from Herve Leger by Max Azria in a neutral hue. Kelly did the exact opposite and balanced her vivid coral Victoria Beckham dress with pale peep toes. Both women look sophisticated and graceful, but never boring!

Actress Ginnifer Goodwin and country crooner Faith Hill unlocked their sassy styles on the red carpet. Each woman accessorized her white sheath with a pair of cunning keyhole peep toes. Although they opted for shoes in neutral hues, I think adding a bold burst of color with a glossy blue pump, like’s Vonzell, or a teal snakeskin platform, like Brielle, would really make those ensembles sizzle.

Take advantage of the keyhole peep toe’s je ne sais quoi quality, and experiment with monochromatic looks. Just match the color of your stilettos to your apparel, a la Sandra Bullock and Emma Roberts. They went for timeless elegance in all black, but I’d try something a little more unexpected like brilliant pink separates with a corresponding pair of textured heels, like Valencia. It’s a bit of a risk, but no one made a name for themselves in fashion by playing it safe!

Of course, if you really want to go all out and cause a sartorial stir, then light up the night with dazzling sparkles! American Idol judge Jennifer Lopez looked ravishing, yet refined, in a glittering gold gown by Gianfranco Ferre and ebony peep toes. 90291 star Shenae Grimes put the twinkle on her toes with a jewel-adorned pair of Giuseppe Zanotti heels worn with an onyx dress by Raphael Cennamo.

Regardless of how you wear this key shoe for spring, I hope you’ll release your inhibitions and give it a try. It just may be the style solution you’ve been looking for!

About Jillian Dauer
Jillian began her career in writing as a journalist. She’s covered a variety of topics from trials and tradeshows to produce and local businesses before landing herself in the fashion industry. She spent two years as Associate Editor at WSAToday, a trade magazine for footwear and accessories buyers, where she focused on women’s shoe brands and luxury handbags and jewelry. Currently she manages the content of JustFabulous The Blog, as well as generates copy for the brand site.

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