Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Dressing for Men: Death to the Clog Master

The ladies' section of my shul gives a good view of male attire. 

There is one kid who never, ever, comes to shul wearing a proper laced-up shoe. He only wears a pair of battered clogs. 

All right, I thought. One lazy teenager may yet learn proper shoe etiquette. 

Yet, I saw another fellow from shul on the street on a weekday. Wearing, yes, the same dreaded clogs. 

To reiterate: the beauty of clothing is that it creates the optical illusion of a better figure. The feet deserve the same treatment. 

  • Clogs make the foot look gigantic.
  • I have never seen someone take a dignified step while wearing clogs, only unattractive zombie-like shuffling.
  • Clogs do not hold on properly, so painful accidents such as tripping over one's own feet and flipping over are a greater possibility than lace-ups.  
  • Crocs, which fall into the category of "clog," is hands down the most frightening item currently on the market. They are terrifying. Like real crocs. 
Comfort, you say? No. 

Get instead a pair of sneakers.
Or a rubber-soled loafer.

Clogs can be equated with mules, and they are a hazard to men and women alike. In an NY Times interview, former French Vogue editor Carine Roitfeld had this to say:
NYT: You’re always railing against mules. What did mules ever do to you?
CR: I hate mules. I hate the noise when someone walks with mules. Clomp, clomp, clomp. I think it’s very not chic. I don’t even like a flip-flop. I don’t like this noise. I don’t think I’ve used mules one time in a story. 
According to
Backless shoes can have distinct advantages, since they are so easy to put on. They also have some disadvantages, including the fact that an unsecured back may occasionally slip or not provide enough stability for walking long distances.
The one benefit clogs has is that it takes a second to put on whereas loafers maybe take two seconds. Make time for your feet; they deserve a little pampering.  


Tovah Brinton said...

I had this favorite pair of skechers with the open toe and backless. I loved those shoes. My feet could really breathe. (I have really bad feet and it's really hard for me to wear closed toe shoes)

Anyhoo...I'm at this job and I had alot of walking between departments to do and I guess my shoes were making alot of noise. However, I was oblivious, because I was uncomfortable.

So, about my 4th month into the job, my supervisor said that if she heard me clomp across the floor with those again, she would shoot the shoes off of me.


You know, I was offended by her long ass hair on someone 50 years old and I didn't say anything.

Anyway, long story bought out, brought back my skechers and we all live happily ever after.

Tovah said...

Oops! Sorry, meant to say I was oblivious because I was COMFORTABLE!

I need to press that PREVIEW button before I just send off a comment.

tesyaa said...

I'm the kind of person who doesn't make blanket style prohibitions. Like, I generally don't approve of clogs, but I like my low-heeled Clarks. They are super comfortable and acceptable, if not massively stylish, as summer office wear. They don't clomp. I think there's always an exception that proves the rule. Just don't ever wear clogs of any kind with hosiery of any kind! That's my blanket prohibition!

(And I realize your post was about men, but just try to get men commenting here about footwear!)

tesyaa said...

BTW, there's a great little book I own you might enjoy called "The Meaning of Sunglasses" by Hadley Freeman. Best line (I don't remember it exactly): "about Uggs on men: there ought to be a law. I mean literally, a law."

It's a great book, even if you don't agree with every pronouncement.

Princess Lea said...

Tovah: There is comfort. There is chic. Sometimes the two will meet, but chances are not very often. For instance, in my house there is a saying along the lines of, "What, I have to be able to breathe every day?"

Although there is an episode of Modern Family called "Disneyland," where Gloria insists on wearing her killer heels, and when she finally can't walk anymore Jay buys her a pair of Minnie Mouse slippers. She is in heaven. Jay asks her, "Is it possible, that all those times you suddenly get angry, it's because of the shoes?" She answers, "Maybe."

But I am sure there are shoes out there by comfy brands like Aerosles that can be relatively sharp and non-murderous.

Tesyaa: Of course there are exceptions to every rule. Except for the one about men in Uggs. It really is gross. There is a frum guy on my train who wears them from time to time and I just want to push him onto the tracks.

You'd be surprised what sort of dude feedback I had gotten on my previous "Dressing for Men" posts! Some do take an active interest.

Princess Lea said...

Oh, and the meaning of sunglasses is anonymity. It's great for when you don't want to make eye contact.

SunshineDreamer said...

When my sister was single, she went out with a guy three times. On all three dates he wore clogs. To nice restaurants. In Manhattan. She hated it!

tesyaa said...

Thanks for mentioning Aerosoles - I do like them for their looks and comfort. And they are affordable, too!

Two classes of men seem to be able to get away with clogs - doctors in hospital gear, and chefs. In fact, it almost seems like there is some kind of professional code that requires them to wear clogs.

Princess Lea said...

SD: He understood a posh eatery but not a decent loafer? Yeesh. These men nowadays. I know if I let my father shop for himself he would look like a train wreck.

Tesyaa: One can still find a decent looking shoe without succumbing to clogs. I'm not sure if I want my food cooked or my eyes checked out by people in clogs. Shiver.

Joshua Josephs said...

I will gallantly take up the gauntlet thrown down by tesyaa, to be a man commenting on said post.

Footwear rules are really pretty simple for guys if they gave it some thought.

If you shirt is tucked in then you really need some form of leather shoe either lace up or loafer.
The only excuse to wear sneakers is with jeans or when working out.
While I admit that clogs are comfortable, they are also ugly and crocs ought to be consigned to the trash heap.
And one further note, that if you do wear leather shoes that are not seude or nubuck, please buy shoe shine, it can be had in any grocery store.

Princess Lea said...

JJ: Oh, thank God! A man with wardrobe pride!

Depending on the sneaker, it could be OK with slacks providing they don't look like a sneaker. Like how dudes now wear Converse to their weddings, along with their whole grooms' party. It would be better if they wore a proper shoe, but it sometimes works.

Repeat after me: Crocs must die. Crocs must die. Crocs must die.

goyisherebbe said...

I am a Cohen in Israel and on non-rainy season days on Shabbos when I have to duchen twice I wear my clogs to shul to avoid having to fool with shoelaces and putting shoes back on without touching them.The tongues slip, the backs go down, and meanwhile I'm trying to daven. I change my shoes when I get home. I hope I get an exemption.

goyisherebbe said...

My main shoes are black New Balance 624, nice compromise between respectable and athletic.