Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Shoe Lookin' At Me?

Thought for the day:  Little known fashion law- if the shoe fits, it's probably ugly.

Spit shined any shoes lately?
What are you wearing on your feet right now? Yeah, that's right. This very minute. If you're wearing shoes, are they well-shined?

That's what I thought. (Yeah, it's a huge waste of time trying to polish slippers, isn't it?)

I can't remember her exact words, but my maternal grandmother used to say something about feet making pride take a fall. And no, she wasn't referring to my tendency to trip over my own feet, either. What she meant was, "Polish your shoes!" Because she held fast to the tradition that a person would always be judged by the state of his shoes. Maybe that held a modicum of truth once upon a time, but I don't think it's applicable anymore. (Especially for those of us who are retired.)

As a kid, I never thought much about shoes, because like it or not, what we got was what we wore, so why bother thinking about it? Fashion wasn't even in our vocabulary, let alone in our budget. Except for one time. In the late 50s, all my friends were wearing saddle oxfords, so when it was time for me to get new shoes, I dared to ask for a pair.

Now, I don't know about your mothers, but mine had an uncanny skill. Of necessity, she was thrifty, so she had these ... unknown sources. Stores where she could purchase items on layaway that almost looked like the latest fads, but were much cheaper. And much much uglier. The saddle oxfords she brought home were the heaviest, clunkiest things I'd ever seen. Each one must've weighed five pounds, was thick-soled and extremely wide, with a horrible rounded toe, when all my friends had feminine, thinner-soled ones with a slightly pointed toe. Only thing those new shoes were good for was street skating, because the skates could clamp onto those thick soles like nobody's business. But I'm telling you, those shoes Would. Not. Wear. Out. Believe me, I tried. And just my luck, my feet went into a stalled growth pattern about then, so it seemed like I wore those things forever. And (ugh) polished them religiously. It wasn't what my grandmother meant, but believe me, with those shoes, polished or not, my feet definitely made pride take a fall.

Did you, your friends, or your kids ever have shoes that looked more like the ones on the left? Worn out and molded to every nook and cranny of your feet, and riper than the dumpster behind McDonald's on a hot summer day? Shoes you loved, no matter how bad they looked?

When I was in high school, most of the boys wore shirts and ties to school, but almost always sported a scuzzy-looking pair of Converse sneakers on their feet. (Or a pair of knock-offs from that unknown source store.) My brother's six years older, and when he was in high school, most of the boys wore black shoes with Cuban heels. And cleats. (If they could get away with it.) And there was nothing scuzzy-looking about those shoes. My grandmother would've approved, because they were as well-polished as a well-loved '55 Chevy.

Nowadays, it seems like people wear flip-flops just about everywhere. To church. To weddings, even. I mean, dressy flip-flops. Talk about an oxymoron. (Although, I must confess, I wore dressy flip-flops to our daughter's outdoor, ultra casual wedding.)

On the other hand, there are the Imelda Marcos type shoe lovers in the world. The ones who think nothing of paying triple digits for a single pair of shoes, and who fill an entire room with them. The designer shoes. Me, I still have a few pairs of gorgeous 6" stilleto heels with ankle straps. (NOT designer, and NOT even close to triple digit.) Now, I haven't actually WORN them in ages. Still, it's nice to LOOK at them as I shuffle past in my scruffy slippers. Like visiting old friends.

So, are you a shoe person? Ever hear of Kobi Levi? He's an Israeli shoe designer with imagination out the wazoo.  I'm sure his shoes are way beyond my cheap thrifty lifestyle, but if I had a pair, I wouldn't know whether to wear them or display them. They're as much art as they are shoes. Check 'em out:

So, which pair would you wear? The "tongue" shoes would work for a rabid Rolling Stones fan ...

Anne Petry said, A man hasn't got a corner on virtue just because his shoes are shined. And I say, a woman doesn't have to wear high dollar shoes to be attractive. Because, in the end, of all the things you wear, the expression on your face is always the most important.

So, SMILE, baby! (You're cool.)

                                         Until next time, take care of yourselves. And each other.



  1. Okay, as for those shoes at the way would I be caught dead in any of those. Those are for the Lynsay Lohans of the world.

    I'm in the mukluk category of slippers myself. I bought two pair last year (totally on wicked sale) and have just about worn them out. I wear them everywhere, even in summer.

    I can't wear flops anymore, or my Dr. Scholl's (the wooden ones). My feet are too old and so need to be constrained, so walking sneakers are my feets' best friends these days.

  2. OMG! Those shoes! Aaaaiii!

    I'm barefoot right now. Not yet dressed for the day, and it's not cold enough to drag out my fuzzy slippers.

  3. I love shoes, but, alas, can no longer wear most of my extensive collection. They have been taken over by the youngest. heehee

    Wallene actually had a pair of high tops [in pink] where they were coming apart from the sole. I finally had to steal them and toss them out. She loves her shoes, but boy she is hard on them.

    My favorite shoe at the bottom is the one that looks like a doggie. The brown pump. I wouldn't wear it [or any of them - they're weird] but they are display worthy.

  4. I couldn't get away with wearing any of them but....IF I COULD....I would so wear those banana shoes. I wonder what that says about me?

  5. I love the Kobi Levi shoes! I'd wear all of them (if I could) but especially the slingshots and bananas. Meanwhile in reality, I'm barefoot most of the time and throw on a pair of topsiders if I have to wear shoes. I do miss high heels, not for the walking (and falling) in them, but for their look and the looks I got wearing them. ;)

  6. Hi Susan,

    Like you as a child, my parents never had the money for fancy shoes. I remember getting them from a sale table in the bargain basements of department stores. They were always tied together and it was hard to walk in them to see if they fit. My glory days though was the time I got a pair of black and white saddle shoes from Buster Brown. I remember that so well.

    All shoes in my family were worn till we outgrew them. However, they were all taken to the shoemaker for new soles and heels and we also polished them when they looked the least bit scruffy. We didn't have much money, but it was important to look neat and clean.

    Today I also have lots of shoes with high heels from bygone days that I have not gotten rid of either. If I put them on now, I probably would hurt myself badly. However, I like to look at them and remember when....

    BTW, I also wore a pair of fancy flip flops to my daughter's beach wedding.

    Today my favorite footwear is a pair of green slippers that I bought in the grocery store. The bottoms are a shag material that can be used for dusting floors. My life since retirement has changed drastically.

  7. I'm so glad we don't have to polish shoes anymore. I was a doc marten lass. I still have a pair of baseball boots and usually wear runners or my sporty flip flops (not the ones with that thing between the toes... that freaks me right out). I'm obviously not a true woman because I don't have a thing for shoes. ;) I did try heels and even a handbag once, but it didn't take.

    I'll take the bunny's! And if I HAD to choose some heels, I'd pick the slides cause I love kids stuff.

  8. I am a slipper, flip flop, sneaker, flat-soled shoe wearing fool who today, is trying high heals for the first time in years. I have issues with tendons in my foot and have been told walking in high heels will help. The jury's out on that...but I do think the look is, well, improved.

  9. It was sneakers from J.C. Penney for us as kids. Now, flip flops or hiking shoes mostly although I must confess to a shiny pair of wing tips.

  10. Hi, y'all. Thanks for your comments.

    Anne- Yeah, I could never pull off wearing any of those shoes, either. The "weirdest" shoes I ever wore were a pair of bright pink Keds ... with matching jeans.

    Linda- Bare feet are good. Never have to polish them, either.

    Skippy- Isn't it strange when your daughters are big enough to wear your shoes ... and clothes? Luckily, my daughter is a little bigger than I am, so the window of size-overlap was very short. Then again, I never had too many things she ever wanted to wear. Except on Halloween.

    Delores- I think liking the banana shoes best says you have a fun and playful personality.

    Austan- Yeah, a nice pair of high heels really does make our legs look good, don't they? Too bad my highest ones also make my toes go numb. (So they can only make my legs look good for a verrrry short time!)

    Arleen- I'm telling ya ... separated at birth. I mean, we may be the only two mothers of the bride in the world who wore "fancy" flip-flops to the wedding!

    Carrie- You remind me of my daughter. She has little use for a purse, and doesn't care for dresses and skirts, either. (And she never did.)She would definitely pick the bunny slippers, too, but she'd want them in any other color but pink.

    Liza- Oh, good luck with the heels. I thought all they were good for was causing foot problems, not curing them. I hope it works. (And just think how pretty your legs will look!)

  11. Why, Mr. C, I do declare. A shiny pair of wing tips. I love it. A true Southern gentleman. The only time my hubby wears shined shoes anymore is for funerals and weddings. (Being retired rocks!)

  12. I am not a shoe person at all, but then, I'm kind of fashion deprived altogether. When I was a kid, I was made to wear "orthopedic" shoes. Yeah, you know what that meant!

    Even now, I have to have insert in my shoes, or else I have knee and hip troubles. That limits my shoe choice.

    Can't wear flip-flops at all. They have no support.

    But I actually make out pretty well with Dansko shoes, no insert. Of course, they make clogs and clog-like shoes. Nothing like those pictures above!

  13. I LOVE the shoes!! I'm a shoe person, no question about it. I can't wait to show them to my daughter--also a shoe person. Thanks!

  14. I love the second ones that look like puppies! So fun. I also loved what you said about your old visiting old friends. :-)

  15. Hi-ya, Dianne. Sounds like you must've enjoyed shoe shopping about as much as I did.

    Connie- Glad you liked the pics. If you do a google search on Kobi Levi, you'll find a lot more of his designs.

    Tracy Jo- I like the puppies, too. Yeah, the stilettos are like old friends, but it's been a long time since I had any desire to hang out with them again.

  16. I love "if the shoe fits, it's probably ugly!" Comfort is key for me and my orthotics. I also like the banana shoes, but I'm sure that I would slip in them like a banana peel!

  17. Hi-ya, Julie. Yup, the really pretty shoes always look better or someone else's feet, or cost too much to even consider. Ergo, I wear out a LOT of slippers. If you slipped in those banana shoes, it'd be rather appropriate.