Yesterday, I was annoyed by an anti-flower-feet article in the New York Observer. The article, which is heavy on sarcasm but short on funny, also slammed chunky platform wedges, peep-toe booties and — worst of all — gladiator sandals!
Not only did the author malign shoes that delight my eye and appeal to my senses of adventure and humor, but she offended my feminist fashion sensibilities by trotting out the old “men-don’t-like-these-fashions” chestnut. By men, she means straight men, of course. And that’s supposed to terrify us. Oooooh, straight men don’t like these shoes! The horror! The horror!
Please. I think we all know what happens if we try to dress for straight men.
It doesn’t matter what you wear, my lady peeps; straight men are always going to think your clothes would look better on the bedroom floor. If you’re going to dress for men, dress for the gays. Remember, a compliment from one gay man is always equivalent to 10 straight-man compliments.
Of course, there are exceptions to every rule and in this case, the exception is my gorgeous husband, MrB, who joined me for shoe shopping during our trip to Los Angeles last weekend. He was quite disappointed when I declared the Miu-Miu teacup shoes to be too tight in the toe. He thought they were beauteous.
He gamely posed with a Maison Martin Margiela cork boot, though we both agreed that the cork sandals I got last year were much more attractive.
And then he helped me pick out two delightful pairs of gladiator-esque sandals.
First we picked this pair of Jil Sander wedges, in white to honor my beloved white gladiator flats of 1985.
Then I debated endlessly over this fabulously ’70s Lanvin style.
They were very comfortable (and I’m generally dead serious about comfort) and I thought they would be fabulous with many of my vintage dresses, including my Ossies. But because I tend to be a perfectionist when it comes to shoes, I was bothered that one toe looked like it was trying to escape.
As I pondered this, the very low-key and pleasant saleswoman said, “You know, you could just embrace the toe.” And I thought, “That’s genius!” After all, I’m always telling people to chill out and accept the inevitable: necklace clasps will creep around to the front, rings will get scratched, etc. Similarly, BarbaraB used to tell me, “Stop looking at things so closely!” So what if one toe yearns to hit the road sans sandal? Dream on, toe! You’re nothing without the rest of me. I think the shoes are going to look great with my vintage Zandra Rhodes dress.
I’ll leave you with a song that was hot in 1985, back when I had my first gladiators. The group is Nu Shooz.
UPDATED TO ADD: The Iron Chic has wonderful historic perspective on the shoe issue and Fashion Nation sees the beauty in the ugly. Also, I’ve ogled these Chanel shoes in several stores but haven’t tried them on yet.
UPDATED AGAIN TO ADD: Alas! I have decided that while I was able to embrace the big toe, which is what I initially focused on, I am unable to embrace the struggling-to-be-free pinkie toe, so I must return the Lanvin shoes. Returns always stress me out, especially long distance returns, and especially long-distance returns of super-nice, vintage-y, comfortable shoes. I think we should all observe a moment of silence for the Lanvins. Sympathy cards should be sent to my Zandra Rhodes dress.
LOL. The sneaking little toe! hahahaha this post is HIGHlarious!
Whew, WendyB. I’m glad that you’ve decided to return the shoes that couldn’t hold the wayward little toe. I was quite fearful as I read that you’d decided to get them, thinking in no time you’d be an unhappy gal.
I’m so jealous of your Jil Sander wedges!
Ah, Lynette, you are a wise woman.
I LOVE both pairs of shoes and your feet are SO cute. I just got some Sam Edleman sandles for my trip to St Thomas and I love them.