So, the summer season has arrived.  Strangely, though it’s probably the heat, this is the season where most people lose their damn minds and start dressing in clothes that I wouldn’t wear to do laundry.  I’ve seen guys at the bar wearing things like sweat shorts, cheap plastic flip flops, Crocs (!?!) and the worst?  These:

Sorry, kids, but WHAT THE HELL?!   These look awful.  I feel like the person who wears these is some hippie who was kicked out of a store for being barefoot, so they spent $75 to make sure they can still “feel” barefoot.  WHY ARE YOU WEARING THESE IN PUBLIC, PEOPLE?  They are ugly.  They basically make you look like the Borg Queen!  Ugh.

However, I never like to say that you should NEVER wear something.  My mother always said that the key to style is picking appropriate pieces for appropriate venues.  If you are going kayaking or hiking or doing some parkour training, then go ahead and wear these shoes.  If you are going to be doing some sort of Cross Country event or a fun-run?  Go nuts.  But if you are going out shopping or worse – out to eat – then please consider another shoe.  Or be prepared for whispers, bold-faced questions about your weird toe shoes, and staring. (Full disclosure: I don’t own these shoes, nor have I even wanted to)

But – in the event that you wish to own these odd shoes for something athletically appropriate (parkour, kayaking or rafting), then please, check out their website: Vibram FiveFingers

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In fashion, there is a purpose for everything.  This may in fact be the foundation of a good wardrobe: wearing articles of clothing at the appropriate time.  This would include shoes.  There’s that old axiom that you can’t wear white shoes after Labor Day (which, you can, but they need to be a winter white).  And today, I have to get this off my chest. Flip Flops are not okay as an all-purpose shoe.  Actually, unlike flour, there is no all-purpose shoe.  And if there were, flip flops would not be one of them.

The flip flop is meant to be a light, casual (VERY CASUAL) shoe used primarily in summer and that’s the only time it’s appropriate.  Ok.  ONLY.  So, when the leaves start changing and you have to start wearing a jacket in the morning? That’s the time to retire the flip flops.  Go for a sneaker.  There are even some sneakers that do not require that you tie the laces.  Shocking, I know.  So that’s when you should wear flip flops.

Now for the where.  DON’T WEAR FLIP FLOPS TO A BAR!  I cannot stress this enough, people.  Your feet will get dirty and on top of that, you will probably get stepped on at least once by someone wearing real shoes, which you will deserve. So stop it.  Also, if you are going out for a night on the town and even if you have really nice leather flip flops?  Put them back in the closet and put on a dress shoe.  Please.  You know where you can wear flip flops?  A nice backyard barbecue in April (assuming you live somewhere where you don’t still need a parka in April), a daytrip to the lake for fishing, camping, going to the city pool.  Those are appropriate places.

Also, there is some indication in a few academic studies, that flip flops can actually cause damage to your body because of the way you have to hold on to them with the toes.  And, look, I’m not saying that you shouldn’t wear them ever (it’s not like a wire hanger).  But seriously, wear them during the appropriate season and at the appropriate venue.  That’s kind of my whole point.

OH!  And PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE – clean your feet if you are going to wear flip flops.  This means make sure that the skin is clean and not cracked and dry and that the toenails aren’t yellow, chipped or overgrown.  And men!  If you wear black socks during the week and are wearing flip flops on the weekend?  Clean out the black lint under the toenail.  Not just for your sake.  But for everyone who has to see them.  Please.

Ok, so even though my bank account is tapped at the mo’ (thank you very much Martha’s birthday night as well as Camel Lights), I still go shopping online fairly regularly. Mostly because I don’t have to leave the comfort of my home and I don’t have to get dressed up for shopping. Which, tangent: why on earth do some store clerks make you feel like crap for wearing anything other than nice clothes. I hate feeling like a total schlub when I’m just looking at some clothes. The male sales associates at Express are the worst. Anyway, I just wanted to throw in some recommendations for great online shopping sites.

  • Shoes.com – Oh, how I love them. They aren’t as diverse in selection as zappos.com (they provide Clinton and Stacy’s shoes on What Not to Wear), but they’ll do. And if you are a member of 24 hour fitness, there’s a nice discount there, too. Love it.
  • Urban Outfitters – I know, they are terribly “scene’ and “hipster” and trying to find any size that is normal is beyond futile. Apparently every male who shops here is 26×30 for pants measurements. But, they have an awesome catalog of trendy clothes at pretty decent prices. Stay away from the Urban Renewal line of stuff. Why pay $60 for a used track jacket when you can go to Goodwill and get one for $1. Also, track jackets are over. Just sayin’.
  • OldNavy.com – They are smartly moving away from their family-friendly theme which is a good thing, in my opinion. The clothes aren’t exactly HUGELY fashion-forward (for men anyway), but they are generally classic and make for good foundation wardrobe pieces (button-downs, khakis and sweaters). They also have a business casual line that looks really sharp compared to Wal-Mart’s (and sometimes cheaper than Wal-Mart’s).
  • Target.com – This one is for the ladies; Target’s GO International line is fabulous. They bring in guest designers for limited time lines. Coming up, Milla Jovovich’s line. LOVE IT.

So, there you have it. My favorite places to shop online. Also, I should note that tomorrow is President’s Day and therefore a national shopping holiday. THE SALES! Oh, THE SALES! I’ll be heading out to Macy’s for sure.

So, it’s been awhile since I last updated (totally forgot about New York Fashion Week and frankly, I ain’t dealing with it this round anyway). Plus, real life has to take priority. But, I haven’t forgotten about this little blog. I’ve been thinking about some of my least favorite fashion faux pas that I see everyday. I work for a mortgage company that has a “business-casual” approach for most of the company. Can I just lament the fact that formal business attire has been retired? Anyway, here goes:

1. Belt with braces (suspenders):
Belts and braces
My issue here is mainly that you are using 2 support accessories that don’t need to be used together. In this picture, the issue is that his braces are the button kind and there’s very little chance that the pants will fall without them. On the other hand, the pants have belt loops and thus look weird without a belt. So, dilemma? Here’s my own verdict: Braces or belt, not both. Generally, go with a belt. Not that braces don’t have a place in men’s fashion, because they do. But if the pants have belt loops, wear a belt!

2. White Socks/Black Shoes

Black Shoes White Socks

Ok, so how stupid does this look? First, no one can pull this look off (no, not even Michael Jackson [Thriller era]). It’s glaringly obvious that you don’t know what you are doing and it looks incredibly like you do not like the look of an all-black bottom half and so you have decided to give the finger to the fashionistas and wear white athletic socks with formal black shoes (the ones above look like penny loafers, so not formal, but it’s not casual either). Second, it ruins the entire outfit; it’s like you are a plant with wonderful stems and leaves and flowers but a terrible case of root rot. Same problem here. Is it ever ok to wear white socks with black shoes? In my opinion, no. But, if you are wearing black sneakers, then you could get away with it, provided you aren’t wearing pants (shorts work better). But there are black athletic socks that work just as well. You could also use RIT dye to color your white socks black if you are too cheap to buy black socks.

And lastly, because I’m getting hungry and I don’t like doing HUGE entries (that came out wrong).

3. French cuff shirts with no jacket

French cuffs

The french cuff is made for being under a jacket. Plain and simple. I think the issue with this look is that people like the white collar and cuffs with the color body. It’s a nice look, methinks, but you can find this look on regular cuffs. It’s a formal shirt and should be worn with a jacket (I like a single vent in a jacket, but a double vent works, too).

So, that’s it for today. I have a few more fashion peeves that really bother me, but I’ll save those for another entry.