Wednesday, July 20, 2005

On flip-flop fashion

Okay, so I was going to just leave this alone, but having been branded a "fashion commentator" by several individuals, I thought I'd at least use my power for some kind of good.

The biggest fashion-related to-do came when Northwestern University's national-champion women's lacrosse team were rewarded with a visit to the White House to meet the president. The girls got themselves all pretty, behaved appropriately, posed for pictures with the pres and went on their merry ways.

It was when Kate Darmody got home that she read the e-mail from her brother: "YOU WORE FLIP-FLOPS TO THE WHITE HOUSE???!!!" Aly Josephs's mother was "mortified" that, in fact, four of the nine girls in the front row of the picture were wearing flip-flops.

Whoop de fricking doo.

The news is all over it. Mothers have been interviewed to tell how embarrassed they were at their daughters' choice of shoes. Shoe experts, and apparently there are some, people who write books on shoes have been called in for heated debates over whether or not the footwear was appropriate.

Well, let me say first that the first thing to catch my eye was the length of their skirts. The fact that none of the girls had their butt-cheeks hanging out below their hemlines was impressive, as was the fact that none of them were wearing casual denim, tiered, or broomstick skirts.

The shoes should be a non-issue. It's not like they were wearing jelly sandals or rubber flip-flops with three-toned soles. The fact is, flats are in this summer, which comes as a great relief to those of us whose arches need a break from high-heeling it around town every day. I wouldn't even say that these girls were wearing flip-flops. I'd probably call them flat-heeled thong sandals.

Now, I probably wouldn't wear flat-heeled thong sandals to the White House; even the nicest flats are still more casual than a cute pair of heels, and a low-heeled, open-toed mule would be almost as comfortable as a flat. But to all of the "shoe commentators" who are up in arms over these girls wearing flp-flops (gasp!) to the White House (choke!), remember that this is the home of a man who makes a distinction between casual and formal cowboy boots. I seriously doubt he took it personally.

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