05 March 2007

I should've been more specific

When I suggested to you heel-haters that cute flats were a supposedly more comfortable alternative when commuting to and from work, I should've caveated my recommendation with one major precautionary fashion don't that frankly, until I reached the intersection of 17th and K this morning, I didn't even know existed.

It has always been instinctive to me not to stuff a bulky sock into a delicate ballet flat, especially one that isn't in the same color family as the shoe itself, but apparently for the two deep-in-a-legal-conversation women committing this offense, this concept - and the fact all four of their feet looked as if they were in their third-trimester - wasn't as readily obvious.

What was obvious, however, is the existence of a counterpart to the tried-and-true pretty-girls-hang-out-with-pretty-girls phenomenon; upon seeing these two women, it made m realize that astylish women seek out their own kind, too, creating a symbiotic, fashion-free, mobile habitat for themselves. And what better place to flourish and multiply than in DC?

If I had the time, I would delve more deeply into their style woes to help prove my point, but this quick post is focused on the pressing issue of how to wear flats properly.

In general, in terms of color coordinating, there is no one right or wrong look, but it is important not to mix patterns. If you're flat is a busy animal print, wear a muted black tight; if your tights are a black and pink polka dot a-la Tracy Reese's Winter/Fall 2007 show, I'd go with a simple black flat in either a patent or matte leather material.

With pants:
A trouser sock, maybe. A thin dress sock, perhaps. But a near faded-to-gray wool black sock definitely falls outside the safety zone. When it's too blustery outside to wear your flats with bare feet, I suggest choosing a boot or heel in its place and save the flats for when you can wear them as they were meant to be worn. If you're darn insistent on wearing flats on that snowy morning, try a pair of thick, opaque tights.

With skirts and dresses:
Regardless of the length of your skirt or dress, your only option here is tights. I heard somewhere down the line last year that knee-highs had made a big comeback - even "stylish" women like Eva Longoria, Kirsten Dunst and Paris Hilton indulged in it - but I was not a subscriber to this look then, nor am I now.

With shorts and dressy bermudas:
If it's warm enough to wear either of these styles, it should be warm enough to rock the bare legs and bare feet. If you choose to wear them, anyway, you'd better be wearing a plaid skirt and a bright felt vest and doing a jig on makeshift stage at a Midwestern County Fair. If you aren't, you must learn not to be offended when menopausal women approach you mid-flash and want to know what Michael Flatley is like in person.

Anyone who knows me will tell you I am the most cold-prone woman in my circle of cold-prone friends and family. My apartment is an 81-degree jungle at all times between October and April, and because I don't have to pay the heat bill at work, my office is a few degrees warmer than that. Point is, I get cold just thinking about being cold, and there's no one more sympathetic to the malady of poor circulation than I am. In this case, however, I don't buy the cold excuse. In my five block walk this morning in very open-to-the-elements t-strap flats, I didn't catch a single shiver. Not one.

If you can't handle some exposed foot skin on a 42 degree morning, you either need to switch shoes, sack up or move to Myrtle Beach.


Anonymous said...

I'm so glad you addressed this. I have an urge to open up an anonymous e-mail account and send this to a woman in my office who wears bulky socks and flats almost every day, and not just walking to and from work. She actually wears this shit in the office!

dc girl said...

I can testify under oath that Johanna's apartment is like a Russian bath house.

Minus the fat hairy men, of course. Only Monte!