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PostHeaderIcon Are We A Flip Flop Nation?

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I was on BART late Sunday afternoon coming home from San Francisco.  Too tired to read, I decided to observe the shoes people were wearing.

Of the approximately 80 people in my car, roughly seventy percent wore flip flops, and maybe forty percent of flip flop wearers had the cheap rubber ones.  I know it's hot, I know they are comfortable and everybody can afford a pair.  But what does this say about us?

America is already known as a dressed down, jeans and tee shirt society, so adding rubber flip flops just finishes the ensemble and confirms the stereotype.

In most developing countries, rubber flip flops are the cheapest footwear available, often costing less than one dollar.  Because of their low cost they are very widely used in these countries as typical footwear and not as a fashion statement.  Despite their disposable design, street vendors will repair worn sandals for a small fee.

However in many developed countries, such as The United States, flip flops are typically treated as seasonal, short lasting footwear, with a life expectancy of a year or less.  Most people in developed countries do not bother to repair flip flops and just throw them away and buy new ones.  We like disposable and yet we like to talk green, too.

What's with that?

If we treat flip flops as a shoe, what about the praise women chant of their love of shoes?  "They make me feel beautiful and confident."  "I like shoes because they complete my created image from morning to late night."  " I don't know why, but shoes just make me happy!"  "Shoes help me carry my mood through the whole day."

Now, try to replace the words "shoes" or "they" with "flip flop" and read the above sentences again.  How does it sound to you?

Pretty silly, right?

Complaining doesn't accomplish much, though, and I can't go out on a minor note without offering a solution.  I understand comfort and I love simple, but I'm itching to add a little bit of style.

What about considering very simple but fun leather thong sandals that are an upscale and more fashionable version of the flip flop?

Or, if you are OK with a more enclosed type of shoe, explore the wide range of wedges for women, or fashion sneakers and leather sandals for men.

Let's flap in flip flops to the beach and the pool, but let's also support designer creativity and good craftsmanship, as well as our tired dirty feet, so the shoe industry will thrive for good.

Happy feet and a stylish summer! - DP

As a freelance wardrobe consultant, Diana Placiakiene, AICI, MBA, works with men and women who are looking to advance their professional and personal image.  Most of her clients are professionals who want to take their business to the next level.  In her practice, Diana combines her business skiills, understanding of human psychology, natural visual talents and passion for fashion to help people have more ease, fun and success.

To contact Diana, e-mail This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .  You can also find her through www.linkedin.com/in/dianaplaciakiene, www.facebook.com/pages/ispeakstyle/17026118958 or twitter.com/dianaPlaciak.

Last Updated (Wednesday, 31 July 2013 18:22)



0 #2 2010-07-02 15:43
I do not advocate flip-flops either unless you are at a fitness swimming pool.
0 #1 2010-06-28 18:39
Okay--I will admit I am guilty of wearing flip flops much of the time during summer, but I did buy some more stylish leather thong sandals with better support for my feet! The article is great and gives us something to think about!

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