I was sitting on the balcony of my mother's condo tonight watching the fireworks and talking to her friend Chantal when they topic inevitably turned to shoes. We were talking about the lack of closet space in older homes and lamenting the fact that if you want a home with character you need one that has an extra bedroom for a closet for shoes. I have to wonder if women in earlier eras didn't have the access to fabulous shoes that we have today.
Anthropologists and archaeologists will tell you that you can often discern the history of a person by their shoes. I think that is true today. For example, if you see a woman walking down the street who is dressed to kill except she has on tennies, you can know she is going to work. After all, she wouldn't be wearing tennies into a restaurant or store or museum when she's dressed well. You can't change your shoes just outside, so she's clearly going to work. She isn't wealthy enough to have a driver, so she's working class. See how easy it is?
If you see a woman walking around in Crocs and she is not on her own property gardening, you can be sure that her history involves some sort of final defeat between her pride and her willingness to put comfort over all else. There's nothing wrong with being comfortable, but do we wear our PJs to the opera? Do we wear them to the upscale mall? No. Wearing Crocs is the same thing and shouldn't be done.
One more? when you see a woman strutting herself like she knows she's fabulous in 4-inch Manolos, you can be sure she knows the value of beautiful, well made shoes. While this can't tell us anything about her social status, it does tell us about her intelligence. She must have above average intelligence to be able to recognize true art in its wearable form. She clearly cares about how she looks but doesn't shove it down your throat with branding laid bare; only those in the know will know which label she is wearing. This woman is the woman we should all aspire to be: chic, intelligent, sophisticated and fabulous. In other words, she listened to Suz and I and benefited from it forever.
There is nothing wrong with judging a person by the shoes they wear; how else will you know if they are someone you wish to allow into your life?
Today's favorite shoe:
Roberto Cavalli "J6708"
Thursday, July 05, 2007