I am only 44 but was recently diagnosed with arthritis in my knees and was told by my doctor NO high heels. Any time I cheat and wear even a low heel (2 inches), I end up in pain for three days, so I’m back to flats. This summer has been fine because I can get away with ballet flats, and I can wear riding boots in the winter. But when I need to look professional for meetings and presentations, I need to wear skirt suits and a very professional-looking shoe. Can you help me? —Beth

Manolo says, ayyyyy! It is true, time is cruel! One minute you are the 22-year-old hottie who looks amazingly great dressed only in the ill-fitting burlap sack from the Sears, and the next you are twice that age and have just received the personal letters from both the Dolce and the Gabbana asking you to please, please, please stop wearing their clothing. (Look! Stefano has even enclosed the check and the Talbots catalog!)

And this says nothing about the various infirmities and physical indignities that are brought by the process of aging. Indeed, the Manolo, who is the gentleman of the certain age, has his own trick knee, one that renders him unable to walk without the slight limp or drink the vin ordinaire.

Here is the Flatiron from the Stuart Weitzman, the smashingly smashing dress flat ($375, Zappos.com) in the rich cognac aniline finish that will leave the teeny boppers in their burlap dresses gaping with envy.