The Peril of the Flip Flop

June 30, 2006

A couple of weeks ago, my friend and I went to the West Hollywood Gay Pride Parade. We got there bright and early and were sitting front and center. We avoided the traffic and problems with parking and had a GAY OL’ TIME!! I wore my cute espadrilles, and my friend wore a pair of very nice, expensive, Coach flip flops. Fast forward to the end of the parade, and we were both in a tremendous amount of pain due to the shoes we chose to wear. My feet just hurt, but my friend’s feet were cut up and bruised. She’s still recovering…

Now, I understand wearing flip flops to a gay parade, to the beach, or just to hang out. But would you wear flip flops to work? To the White House? To your wedding?

According to this article, style gurus are warning against wearing this trendy shoe to work because it could ruin your career.

Lauren Cardinale, 25, who works at West Glen Communications, wears beaded or other fancy flip flops to the office — when she can get away with it.

According to an online survey, more than 31 percent of women said flip-flops were the single “must have” item for work this summer. But many companies disagree.

Style gurus warn that flip-flops, which are worn mainly by younger women, could be harmful to a career.

“Shoes convey the mood of a woman. Wearing flip-flops conveys the mood that you are relaxed and on vacation. That’s not a good message in the office,” said Meghan Cleary, a style commentator who wrote the book “The Perfect Fit: What Your Shoes Say About You.”

The term “flip-flop” derives from the noise they make while slapping against the wearer’s heels and the floor but they are also known as thongs in Australia, jandals in New Zealand, and slippers in Hawaii.

…or chancla in Spanish.

But flip-flops took on a new life among the young and trendy a few years ago. They have surged in popularity with shops now selling them in every conceivable color, with sequins, flowers, and even bridal flip-flops with over 300 Swarovski crystals on the straps for about $140 a pair.

Last June the Northwestern University’s champion women’s lacrosse team was widely criticized for wearing flip-flops when they visited the White House and met President George W. Bush.

Like I said, flip flops are ok while on the beach. Work? I don’t think so. Your wedding? Man! I don’t care how many Swarovski crystals there are on the straps, it’s just not gonna happen! Gay parade? My friend would be the first to say, “hell no!”