Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Flippin' Out on Flip Flops


I was reminded this morning by a story on GMA of the country's current fascination with that ultimate beach accessory, the flip flop. The story was not about the appropriateness of when and where to wear such footwear, a subject that someone must address soon, particularly after last month's fashion faux pas when the Women's Lacrosse Team from Northwestern visited the White House and an astonishing number of them trekked through the Rose Garden and had their picture taken with the president while wearing flip flops. The incident caused a bit of a scandal back home in the sensible mid-west where apparently they still understand that flip flops are not appropriate for every situation. I wish the same were true here in fashion-forward New York City.

Don't get me wrong. Personally, I love flip flops--always have. But not the kind with that thing between your toes. That drives me nuts. I wear that sports kind that were popular 5 years ago from Nike or whoever. The sole actually has some support and there is a band of vented plastic or rubber that exposes your toes, but covers most of the front of your foot. Despite my love of flip flops I have always understood when and where it is appropriate to wear them. Let's start with the beach--flip flops are always a safe bet there. A pool, a lake, maybe a taking the dog for a quick walk, around the corner to pick up coffee or a newspaper, and of course the shower at the gym. That's about it for me.

They should not be worn for long walks through the grimy streets of New York or for any lengthy walk at all. They should not be worn on the subway. They should not be worn on escalators. They should not be worn to a wedding unless the couple is being married on the beach. They should not be worn to the theatre, opera, symphony, ballet or church. And they should certainly not be worn with business attire. Ladies, nothing says "I just drove in from my trailer in eastern PA." like a pair of feet, filthy from the ankle down, in flip flops while wearing a business suit. And that steady accompanying beat of rubber slapping against your heels as you schlep your way through the city streets completely defeats the affect of a "power suit."

The story on tv this morning was about the dangerous affects flip flops can have on your feet. I am constantly reminded of this by my sister, a sports medicine physician, who chastises her patients regularly for showing up for their appointments in flip flops. The story was riddled with warnings from doctors and the sob stories from stupid women who had broken ankles or toes from slipping on cottage cheese or banana peels all while wearing flip flops. Apparently flip flops offer no support and the open exposure of the foot can leave one vulnerable to injury. What a shocker. This is news.

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13 Comments:

At 7:23 PM, Blogger Donnie said...

I love flip-flops. I agree with you, though.

 
At 10:27 PM, Blogger Lisa said...

AMEN! I am the chastising physician he refers to - if you want sore feet, knees, hips, back - flop away!
Oh but do please wash your feet in the bathroom sink before coming in for your appt with me.

 
At 10:33 PM, Blogger Matt said...

I've rarely seen flip-flops that I like, or that are comfortable to me. I did find a cool pair of brown leather ones that I loved once they were broken in. They are long gone, though ...

 
At 1:11 AM, Blogger TCho said...

I completely agree with you.

but at the same time, I wish there was a better option for a casual shoe to wear with shorts.

 
At 9:12 AM, Blogger Dave said...

I work in a downtown office, and I'm always amazed when I walk to lunch with women from work and they complain about how uncomfortable their high heels are to walk in. My favorite is when they say some ridiculous shit like, "It's not fair that men don't have to wear high heels like we do." Umm, lady? No one has to wear anything. If your feet are all fucked up, don't come crying to me.

It's the same with flip flops. Everyone is stumbling around in these ridiculously uncomfortable and impractical things, just because everyone else is doing it. And have you ever been stuck walking up a flight of stairs behind someone wearing flip flops? It takes them friggin' forever.

 
At 10:40 PM, Blogger Scott said...

I like the kind that have that little thing between your toes.

 
At 12:10 AM, Blogger Travis said...

If it doesn't have that thing that goes between your toes it isn't a flip-flop.

 
At 1:40 PM, Blogger Todd HellsKitchen said...

I'm not a flip flop person... I want to be able to run at high speed at any moment that running might be necessary...

Hehehe

 
At 10:23 AM, Blogger Acid Reflux said...

Their should be a Emily Post approved book on the etiquette if flip-flops

 
At 8:24 PM, Blogger T$ said...

I agree with acid reflux...

I also agree that it's a disgusting thing to do in New York...but I still do it anyway.

 
At 2:17 PM, Blogger Palm Springs Savant said...

Living in Southern California, I live a casual life. But I firmly believe there is a time and place for everything. For exampl,e I'm not a religious person, and rarely go to regular service, but when I do, I try to dress a little better. At work, on casual Fridays I wear a collared shirt, (no t-shirts) etc. I think people just need to remember that its not all about them all the time. If you are going to a nice restaurant or someplace nice, respect it and think about someone other than oneself. So anyway, I like this post, it gets people thinking!!

:-)

 
At 4:30 PM, Blogger BigAssBelle said...

say it's not so!! i am crushed :(

 
At 2:11 PM, Blogger Ming_the_Merciless said...

I wore flip flops last summer for the first time in my adult life. Here I was, thinking I was the epitome of urban chic, walking down East Village...until I felt something pricked my big toe on the corner of 3rd and St. Mark's. It was a piece of broken glass.

Needless to say, I'm back to socks and shoes. Urban chic, be damn.

 

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