Anyone who visited Armenia in the early 2000s was surely impressed — and slightly envious — of the girls who would wear their stilettos to walk up and down the wobbly streets of Yerevan from morning, noon and night. And in a sea of shoes in the city, there were practically no flats in sight, except on men and boys and tourists. Us women know that walking long distances in heels takes effort, but walking in heels on uneven pavements? That takes mad skill. Back when I visited in 2008, I thought it was silly that women here would get so dolled up to leave the house in the morning (I thought, who wears sequins in broad daylight?!) but now when I compare their look to those who wear their pajamas outside, I think I prefer the sequins over sweats.
But in the recent years, the look in Yerevan has changed drastically (more ripped jeans and funny message tees; less sequins and fur) and the biggest change is in the footwear. So many more ballet flats and oxfords and sneakers. There are definitely still those women that refuse to part with their sky high heels, but they are far and few between these days. Since being here, I have seen some women wear high heels in the bus and while grocery shopping (see above). Part of me thinks it’s way too much effort, especially in the sweltering heat, but part of me commends them for wanting to look good at all times. After all, in a small city like Yerevan, you never know who you’ll run into.