Listen, summer is officially here and there are certain things that just get my goat. One of those goat-getters is sloppy footwear. Why in the hell are flip-flops deemed reasonable public fare? It’s absolutely disgusting. I don’t need to see your feet but more importantly, nobody else does either. It’s a testament to how lazy we have become as a society. We would rather walk around half barefoot than wear proper shoes. You wouldn’t go out without a shirt on, but if you do (and you know who you are), it’s time to put your clothes back on like an adult and stop sweating all over everything. I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking that, “oh, but it’s the summer, I’m entitled to some breathable footwear,” in that high, shrilling voice of yours. If that is the case, then stop reading now. If I am alienating some people, grow a pair. . . of shoes. You can’t live your life as if you’re wearing house clothes. Flip-flops are akin to slippers and, yes, there is such a thing as clothes you only wear in your house and clothes you wear outside of it. It’s a sad thing that we as Americans have such low discipline and self respect that we choose to let ourselves go (along with our posture, apparently). It’s just sick and I don’t like it. Now, you might be asking yourself, “Well genius, what the hell do you suppose I wear on my feet?” Well, I’m glad you asked. Now lose the ‘tude, turd and don’t become the flat foot of a joke.
Oxfords look and feel sleek and important. I have a pair of brown oxfordesque shoes that I got from Banana Republic around six years ago. I never wore them then because I didn’t like the way my feet looked in them but now I have definitely come around with the classic look of these shoes. They do the job of luxing up any extremely casual look. For men, try wearing them with some denim cut off shorts (the length is up to you, but for most men it‘s a little either above the knee or a little below), a white t-shirt and a black leather jacket. Beware of all white oxfords though, you don’t want to look like an imperialist. For women, try pairing your oxford kicks (brown, black, or two-toned) with a tank dress. Women might be able to get away with white ones a bit better than guys but, I would only recommend it to the truly daring.
I have literally gone through two pairs of Chelsea boots and I continue to fall in love with the look. In the same ankle bootie trend that has swept chic feet for about three years, I first got the idea from the Pedro Almodovar classic “La Flor de mi Secreto” (The Flower of my Secret). In the film, Leo, played by Marisa Paredes, seeks out her friend’s help to remove some Chelsea boots given to her by her husband because they pinch her feet (much like their marriage). The look would be for daring dudes: a pair of loose khakis, rolled up to expose black Chelsea boots or suede Beetle boots, a striped t-shirt, and vest. The shirt should be tucked in and belted by a pilgrim buckle. For go-get-em girls, a flowy floral shirt-dress in the ’90s tradition, and white socks paired with any kind of color boot. Beetle boots might require a little more deconstruction, perhaps a black or grey legging with a bustier and vest.
Now, when I say platforms, I mean the quintessential chunky heeled shoe not the sky-high airplane platform kind of shoe of recent times. Wear them simply, in either black leather or brown suede. Here’s the kicker: I’m talking about the unisex participation in this anticipatory trend. Now, I know you might be calling my bluff, but in the ’70s men wore platform shoes and they looked expletively cool. Granted, we can leave the gold medallions and chest hair in the past, but we can keep the bell bottoms. For muchachos, I think a subtly flared pant paired with a short sleeve button down with an exaggerated collar and you’ll be positively fresh. For the ladies-who-funk, overalls that are cut off with a sleeveless undershirt underneath would complete a “sundae girl” look as sweet and cold as ice cream.
I understand certain people will think, “what about my sweating, aching feet?” To that I say: gross. Look, I know these shoes aren’t exactly what people think of when they think of sun, sand, and saliva but if you’re taking the effort to go out, at least dress the part. Keep your flip-flops and man-dals in a bag and save them for the beach. When it comes to sweating, there’s this miracle product called baby powder: use it, stupid. Also, aren’t ankle socks still in the picture? You wear them in the winter yet in the most plausible season they aren’t anywhere to be found. We are adults, it’s high time we start dressing the part. As always, don’t be a stranger but do be stranger.