June 22, 2007

"Shuffling phalanxes of men and women with bright orange, yellow and red Bozo feet."

Robin Givhan would like everyone to stop wearing Crocs outside of the sports milieu. There are two big fashion issues here.

1. Comfort:
[T]his is a culture quick to justify wearing virtually anything in the name of comfort -- pajama bottoms as pants, sneakers as business footwear, leggings in lieu of trousers, Uggs with miniskirts -- Crocs now rival flip-flops as the most annoyingly omnipresent style of summer footwear.
I think the Uggs and flip-flops thing went beyond comfort. Women were wearing Uggs with bare legs in the summer. Those things are for keeping your feet really warm in the winter. It was absurd. And flip-flops are only comfortable if you aren't walking very far. I see people practically hobbling along in flip-flops, suffering pain in a place -- between the toes -- where there's absolutely no reason ever to feel pain.

2. Adults dressing like children:
[A]ll those adults walking around in Crocs... look like overgrown children. They are like the workday Peter Pans who carry backpacks in the city. Not grown-up leather backpacks, but the kind made of nylon with water bottles stuck inside a web of bungee cords and a canister of Bear Be Gone hanging off the side.
Now would be a good time to remind adults not to wear shorts (outside of the sports milieu). You look like an oversized child.

Ah, what's the use?

27 comments:

al said...

No Crocs here. Just Columbia sandals.

Now would be a good time to remind adults not to wear shorts (outside of the sports milieu). You look like an oversized child.

Thats fits as I'm a child at heart. I have to grow old but I don't have to grow up.

George said...

Dansko clogs.

http://www.dansko.com/Home.aspx

Last forever. Incredibly comfortable.

Pogo said...

Crocs are hideous. A guy I work with wears black ones to the office. With socks, they are even uglier. All I can think of is What the hell happened to your feet? Oh. Well, then, what the hell happened to your brain?

If only they read The Manolo.


P.S. I oppose the shorts ban, however. If I wore pants doing yardwork when it's 90 out, I'd faint. I'd then be fashionably supine, I suppose, but fairly unproductive labor-wise.

Bruce Hayden said...

I don't know where I saw it a week or two ago, but there was a picture of President Bush in Crocs and low socks with the Presidential seal on them. Not surprisingly, given the origin of the things, but you seem them all over the place here in Colorado, including, routinely in the grocery store.

Uggs are definitely a fashion item now. I remember last winter with two high school girls comparing theirs and then making sure that if one wore them out, the other did. Of course, that was in the middle of the winter, and we are talking summer here.

Oh, and the same thing with flip flops. End of the year at high school, and probably about half the girls are wearing them. Being a private school, a lot of them are orthopedic, but still...

Finally, as to Ann's pet peeve - half the men in the grocery store in Dillon are wearing shorts this time of year. And some of the older ones look decent in them. Of course, most of those wearing them are 20 somethings who exercise a lot (which is why they live there). Indeed, I always marvel at the guys wearing them in the middle of the winter. One guy, about 40, works in a ski shop, so you often see him fitting people in elegant ski garb for rental equipment, in his shorts.

But this has been part of the atmosphere there for 30 years. I can remember driving back from D.C. maybe 25 years ago, and seeing some guy hitching along I-70 in Ohio wearing shorts and hiking boots, but no shirt. Guessing accurately where he was going, I picked him up, and drove him all the way to Breckenridge Colorado (about 20 miles from Dillon, where I was going).

On the other hand, I am over 50, and if I am not working out, you won't catch me in shorts. Ever.

Ann Althouse said...

You picked up a hitchhiker who wasn't wearing a shirt?!! That's insane. At the very least, you should have been more fastidious about the grimy sweat that would get on the upholstery! And just the nerve -- the effrontery! -- of thinking someone would let you into their car when you were that close to naked! Ugh!

Bob said...

Personally, having discovered Djellabas in Morocco and how comfortable they are as a garment, I'd love to try making a fashion statement of my own by wearing them around malls, etc.; lovely ones made of seersucker (not the blue/white striped, seersucker comes in dozens of wonderful patterns) for summer wear, and lightweight fleece for winter wear.

halojones-fan said...

I don't have a problem with shorts worn in situations where shorts are appropriate--i.e. field work in a hot climate.

I do have a problem with shorts worn "oh because it's so much more comfortable" as opposed to thinking about whether or not we want to see your hairy, bulging legs.

But, as Ann points out, "oh it's so much more comfortable" is pretty much the only standard of dress these days. I recall boarding an early-morning flight and seeing a family where Mom and all three daughters were wearing flannel pajamas and sneakers.

Invisible Man said...

First flip-flops become ubiquitous and now Crocs. I swear this country is attempting to keep me restrained to my Condo for the summer. Why o why are people determined to throw away every small bit of social etiquette just for the sake of a little comfort and their pack mentality. I consider myself a liberal, but footwear and overall dress is where I find myself in league with conservatives who pine for an earlier age, where men were embarrassed to show their feet and women at least put forth a minimum of effort in their look. Ah, the good old days.

corporate law drudge said...

1. You would be wise to avoid Bermuda.

2. Call any vegetable,
And the chances are good,
The vegetable will respond to you.

Tim said...

Keens - kinda like tennis shoes with holes in them - worn only w/shorts after work or on weekends, when it's warm, in extremely casual settings.

And yes, Crocs are infinitely much more hideous than Keens. Their day-glow colors should warn any adult male off, and any female older than 25.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

The only thing Crocs are good for is working in the yard. You can hose the dirt off, even while you are wearing them. And if you kick them off in the mud room or on the deck, their day-glo colors make them easy to spot.

Ann Althouse said...

Let's consider gardening part of what I mean by "the sports milieu."

Clearly, they are very functional water shoes.

Super-Electro-Magnetic Midget Launcher said...

You look like an oversized child.

No, I look like a man wearing shorts.

Speedos, on the other hand, under any circumstances at all... Rule 303.

Revenant said...

Now would be a good time to remind adults not to wear shorts (outside of the sports milieu). You look like an oversized child.

Yeah, but I feel comfortable, and that's what's important to me. I don't dress to please anyone but me.

XWL said...

Here's a professional athlete getting some grief for wearing short shorts, even in a 'sports milieu'.

He's taking his job title of Tight End to heart.

(I think maybe he's hoping for an endorsement deal out of this)

Sigivald said...

Note to Givhan:

The idea that a nylon pack is "childish" is silly. (A Spongebob-branded one, yes, but not a backpack-that-is-not-leather as such.)

The problem with someone with a nylon pack, water bottle, and can of bear-spray in the city is that he's acting like he's in the woods, not that he's childlike.

Nylon is fine; it's a sound choice for a pack, though I'm more of a canvas man, myself. (And a leather backpack? Why?)

A water bottle is also fine. Nothing wrong with hydration.

Bear spray is just silly. And illegal in various cities, since it's pepper spray.

(People wanting spray or a firearm for self defense are better off keeping it somewhere more accessible and more secure than dangling from their pack.)

I just don't comprehend what's "childish" about a backpack that isn't made of leather specifically.

Perhaps it's because I live in a town (Portland) full of outdoorsy types, and I have associations of backpacks that aren't "what kids carry their books in".

(I don't think Crocs or shorts are "childish" as such; just very, very informal, and suitable for wear when doing recreational activities or gardening.)

blake said...

So, I'm watching Touch of Evil the other night and there's a scene where Janet Leigh is being spied on in her apartment as she takes off her sweater.

When she realizes it, I swear, it takes her a good two minutes to get dressed again. She tucks, she smooths, she layers.

Last night I was watching The Ghost and Mrs. Muir with Gene Tierney and Rex Harrison (how Gene & Rex got in my living room I'll never know...) and I was struck at how...grown up...they looked. All those clothes!

Well, I live in the desert. Wearing stuff like that is murder. (That's why they're always sweating in those film noirs: Three-piece suits and L.A. make for misery.)

But still, there's a pseudo-nostalgia here.

rhhardin said...

Now would be a good time to remind adults not to wear shorts (outside of the sports milieu). You look like an oversized child.

Hey! Bermudas are the only way to go. I've been in them exclusively since 1968 or so, when I started riding a bike to work. In the winter, you don't go to long pants, but to sweat pants over the Bermudas, if necessary two sweat pants. That distributes the airflow and cooling and heating beautifully.

Bermudas are for eveywhere.

``You're not going out like that, are you?''

That's always some woman.

LoafingOaf said...

Subjecting everyone to gross feet is a lot different than merely not looking "grown up" enough in shorts. If you could feel how light and airy these new Quicksilver shorts are that I have on, you'd wear 'em too! More comfy than PJs!

Althouse can have her weird pet peeves about shorts and I'll continue being part of the problem. But I am with you all on the anti-flip-flops thing. Apparently yesterday was National Flip Flop day, so perhaps a backlash is imminent. People do hobble around in discomfort in those things. I can understand feeling lazy about putting on shoes and socks, but are people so lazy about that that they'd prefer to suffer the rest of the day?

When I was a college freshman I made adjustments some PJ tops so they'd be semi-acceptable out and about, because I was mad normal clothes weren't as relaxing. I guess that was pretty dumb and I've long since reformed myself.

J. said...

And flip-flops are only comfortable if you aren't walking very far. I see people practically hobbling along in flip-flops, suffering pain in a place -- between the toes -- where there's absolutely no reason ever to feel pain.

Australians must have tough feet... or maybe they're just not pussies.

LoafingOaf said...

I just don't comprehend what's "childish" about a backpack that isn't made of leather specifically.

There's nothing "childish" about a non-leather backpack. The woman who wrote the article is just a weirdo, far more annoying than all the people wearing crocs and whatnot. There's good reasons to prefer nylon. For one, it's lighter. For two, no animals were tortured and slaughtered to make it. And since people carry water, they probably would want a pocket for that. This stuff about bear-be-gone is just made up. But good luck to the lady who worries about what peoples' backpacks are made out of and whether this makes them look "grown up" enough to her. She must be such a drag.

Kev said...

You'll stop me from wearing flip-flops when you pry them off my cold, dead feet... ;-)

(Remember, I'm in Texas. Climate does make a difference sometimes.)

"Free your feet; your mind will follow."--from a Teva sandals box. I think those particular shoes are ugly, but I love the slogan.

Ann Althouse said...

"The woman who wrote the article" is the Pulitzer-prize winning fashion critic for the Washington Post.

Christy said...

Its all downhill
Since I gave up the high heel.
Shorts are but the end of slope.

Kirk said...

LoafingOaf said...

"There's good reasons to prefer nylon... no animals were tortured and slaughtered to make it."

Well, dinosaurs had to die, didn't they? :-)

And Ann, the fact that Givhan is Pulitzer-prize winning and works for the WaPo doesn't say anything good about either organization, does it? They'd do well to replace her with you (on the subject of shorts) and The Manolo (on everything else).

LoafingOaf said...

"The woman who wrote the article" is the Pulitzer-prize winning fashion critic for the Washington Post.

Oh, yeah, her. And I'd bow down to her if I didn't know she won a Pulitzer for slamming the fashions of Republicans on a regular basis while gushing over Democrats.

But I apologize for calling her a weirdo for worrying about what materials a backpack can be made out of to avoid the horrors of looking too youthful and playful around all the sophisticated grown ups on their way to work. She's a weirdo for spending a column attacking John Roberts' little kids. Though I'm sure that, more than anything, was what made her the toast of the Pulitzer committee, and certainly they know better than a loafing oaf. Her pic on the Pulitzer web site screams out to me: This is the woman who should be policing your appearance!

jane said...

Crocs are uni-sex unmanly. Crocodile’s better. Best for men are boots and maybe sandals you pick up in Oman.