A very stylish friend of mine emailed asking my advice as to whether or not flip flops would be appropriate to wear to a style show luncheon. The event was to be held in a back yard garden.
Knowing my friend as I do, I realized when she said ‘flip flops,’ she was referring to the posh, bejeweled variety.
Not the thin, cheap, rubber slides that are often mistaken by your dog for a chew toy.
I don’t profess to be a style expert, but her question got me thinking: When is it, and when is it not, appropriate to wear flip flops?
Perhaps you can get away with wearing flip flops if you are young. You might remember the kerfuffle a few years ago when the Northwestern University girls’ lacrosse team was invited to the White House after winning their national championship. If you forgot, here’s a photo.
It doesn’t seem like then-president George W. Bush minded the girls showing up at the White House practically bare-footed. In fact, he probably never even looked at their feet. But what were the girls’ moms thinking? Hmmm.
The condition of your feet may also be a factor in your decision. If your toes are perfectly pedicured, why not show them off in flip flops?
I won’t show an image of “bad feet in flip flops.” I assure you, when I Googled it, it was not a pretty sight.
What, precisely, is the definition of a flip flop? Are sandals considered flip flops? Are flip flops considered sandals?
Is a flip flop simply a backless sandal? Just a flat piece of rubber with a thong?
Years ago, we referred to flip flops as thongs–or shower shoes. Now a days, thong has a completely different connotation.
According to an article by Justin Fenner, in GQ Magazine–mind you, this is for men–the image on the left can only be called a ‘sandal,’ while the image on the right is technically termed “flip flop,” because of the thong (not the one above) separating your big toe from the rest of your toes.
Flip Flops with Flair
I definitely think you can wear flip flops with flair.
The Answer to my friend’s question is: There is no answer. It’s up to you.
There is certainly a taste factor and an appropriateness factor involved with your decision to go with flip-flops.
Some places I probably wouldn’t wear flip flops:
- a funeral
- an interview
- a black tie event
- Buckingham Palace
I might include a wedding. But on the other hand, my son-in-law wore flip flops to his own wedding–when he married my daughter.
Flip flops do have a ‘casual’ connotation. If that is your intention, then go for it. But it is important to note that not every occasion is casual.
As always, I would love to hear YOUR opinion on this issue. Please comment below.