Wednesday, January 18, 2006

I Am One Big Fashion Don't

Manolo of the Shoe Blogs is one of my not-quite-sinful indulgences. He is witty. He finds the most super-fantastical shoes (although out of my price and comfort range). He celebrates women in all our curvaceous glory and encourages individual style--but not tackiness.

He also has a Carnivale of Couture #2 wherein many of his fans listed their "Fashion Don'ts That Make You Crazy."

I was surprised that several commenters hate--absolutely HATE--athletic shoes outside of the gym. Now I know that athletic shoes with business suits are NOT a fashion statement. But how can you hate athletic shoes with jeans????

Maybe it's an age thing. When I was growing up, jeans were "play clothes." And we played hard--crawling through backyard jungles, climbing trees, sliding into home on asphalt or on to our bottoms while roller skating. And we wore "tennis shoes," which were made of canvas and rubber. To me, athletic shoes are merely a more substantial version of tennis shoes. (I wish we had them when I was roller skating. Clamping skates on tennis shoes could hurt! I usually had a pair of old school saddle oxfords that I wore specifically for skating because they had the ridge around the sole that the clamps could grab.)

Of course, I pay $20.00 or less for my jeans. The "distressing" and fading on them comes after months of wear and abuse. Any holes--outside of the ones caused by chemistry classes in college--have likewise appeared naturally. I rarely wear "cute little loafers" with my jeans and I never paired them with heels!

One poster made the point that French women walk all over the cobblestone streets in high heels, so there is no reason for US women to wear athletic shoes with our business suits. If we must "save our shoes" we should get stylish flats to wear.

Obviously, this person has never walked a downtown street after an earthquake, littered with shattered glass. Or stood on a bus for 2.5 hours, then walked two miles from the bus stop to home. Which is what happened to me in 1989. I had my faithful athletic shoes (and socks) under my desk and once the building stopped shaking, I changed my shoes. I should have grabbed a granola bar as well, but I didn't realize how long it would take me to get to my parents' home. Athletic shoes are made for walking and that's what I did that night!

So now I carry a granola bar, a bottle of water, and a flashlight in my briefcase (it's dark when there are absolutely no lights on anywhere!). A pair of athletic shoes are under my desk, ready for my lunch time power walk or the next Quake. And I'll be smiling wisely at those lovely mam'selles who are mincing through the rubble in their stylishly strappy heels.