An ode to flip flops and wearing white after Labor Day


My daughters say my short toes don’t look so good in them, but I love me some flip flops. In Atlanta, we wear these whimsical, slippery shoes well into the fall. For me, they are the closest thing to going barefoot.

Our office is pretty casual, so I wear them to work, prompting comments like, “I didn’t know you were that short.” Generally, I have good intentions. I will wear them in then change into heels once I’m at my desk. Lately though, I’ve forgotten the heels in the car, opting for comfort but not sacrificing style. I have them in every color in the rainbow. I even picked up two pairs of Coach flip flops in Virginia, where the weather was turning cool. What can I say? They were on sale ya’ll.

Not everyone is a fan of this casual footwear. I called my friend John-John Williams IV, fashion editor at the Baltimore Sun, and boy did I get an earful. In fact, I felt a bit uncivilized after talking to him.

“They are just so casual,” he said. “People don’t dress up enough in society. That is just the ultimate in us being casual. It’s a slippery slope. Where do you stop? It turns into wearing yoga gear out to dinner. There has to be a time when people say enough is enough.”

The Howard University graduate and New Orleans native hates seeing people wearing flip flops at work, church and semi-formal affairs.

Making matters worse, said John-John, are people who expose their heels and toes to the world despite not having had a pedicure “since Hector was a puppy.” I had to laugh at that one. A New Orleans saying, he said.

On the flip side, wearing white after Labor Day is not only acceptable, it’s fashionable. John-John recently saw Rihanna in concert and marveled at the singer’s Christian Louboutin white snake-skin over-the-knee boots.

“A very bold and confident woman can pull off white. It doesn’t hide anything. Black is slimming, white does the opposite,” he said. “There’s nothing prettier, nothing more regal or powerful than a woman in an all-white ensemble.”

Think Olivia Pope. All the fall and winter collections contain white this year, he said.

There’s one notable exception, he said. White shoes should definitely stay in the closet after Labor Day, unless you happen to own a pair of white snake-skin boots with those famous red bottoms.



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