Two of my favorite FashionMisters, Tim Gunn and Clinton Kelly, have this thing about flip-flops. Both admit to wearing them, just not out.
Gunn discusses “the flip-flop phenomenon” in “Tim Gunn: A Guide to Quality, Taste & Style“: “Where is this taking our society and culture other than into a long and winding fashion decline (2007, p. 26)?”
In his book “Oh No She Didn’t,” Kelly shows a pile of flip-flops burning the way books burned in Fahrenheit 451.
When it comes to comfort clothing, Gunn explains, “The key is not being dressy. The key is being appropriate (“Gunn’s Golden Rules,” 2010, p. 116).”
Makes sense. Gunn and Kelly spend a lot of time in New York where flip-flops are not appropriate.
Who knows when you might run into Sarah Jessica Parker or The Donald or a dead rat. Those three are different how, you ask? I jest about the similarities between them, but when we lived in Chicago, the latter nearly happened to me.
As soon as my husband and I arrived, I set forth scouring the Windy City for an apartment to rent. It was freezing. When they say cooler by the lake, they don’t mean Bartles & Jaymes. Had to wear my winter coat. In June.
But Chicago weather is almost as unpredictable as St. Louis weather. Soon the temperature tables turned, the sun came out, and my coat was sidelined.
Warm and happy, I went apartment hunting one morning in a little dress, sunglasses and flip-flops. Adept at walking while reading a map, I was in Streeterville when I became particularly distraught. I’d gone to see an apartment only to get the leasing agent’s cold shoulder. May have been the flip-flops.
I stumbled onto Ohio Street, got my bearings, put my map in front of my face, and by golly, I marched on. Trudge, trudge, trudge in the sunshine. Look ahead, look at the map. Look right, look and the map. Look left…
On the other side of the street, five burly construction workers were lined up on the sidewalk smiling at me. Not in a hound dog way. More in a ready to bust a seam way.
Being Southern, I smiled back and looked down to make sure all was in order. My gaze landed on the pavement just in time.
There on the sidewalk in front of me was the largest, bloodiest, deadest rat I’d ever seen. It had been run over once, and I was about to barrel over it again in my flip-flops.
This may be the real reason why Gunn and Kelly do not wear their flip-flops out. In which case, they should amend their books.
Admit it, guys. There are plenty of places where flip-flops are perfectly appropriate. It’s in places like New York and Chicago that you must closet the flip-flops, keep your chin up, and always, always watch your step.
“…The Lord doesn’t see things the way you see them. People judge by outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” 1 Samuel 16:7 NLT
Flip-flops are my friend Erika’s business.
Her company flippin’ cute! infinitely customizes them with your choice of colors, monograms and teams. Imagine them in school or sorority colors. Or itty bitty for little girls. Brides have even worn them in weddings. (Can you hear Clinton and Tim screaming?)
Priced from $15-$25, they’re an affordable luxury. See more at www.flippincute.blogspot.com.