Tuesday, July 3, 2012 / 2:05 PM
Thong. Who even uses that word for beach sandals anymore? Wait, who even says beach sandal anymore? They're flip-flops. No, I take that back. They have become just sandals. From Old Navy to Tory Burch, the utilitarian shower shoe of yore has climbed the social ladder to become respectable. Almost.
I was thinking about how dark-colored Old Navy flips-flops feel like legitimate sandals. I am sure if standing at the door of Thomas Keller's French Laundry restaurant in Napa, sporting a lovely Missoni dress and sandals that cost me a full three dollars retail, someone might scoff at my choice of foot attire. But my old boss, Ben Barker of Magnolia Grill in North Carolina, once told me that he didn't care how people dressed—he just wanted them to come eat his food. Still, I didn't ask Ben how he felt about flip-flops. Yes, flip-flops. Nobody calls them thongs. Thongs are underwear. Rubber thongs are fetishwear.
Step it up a few financial levels to Havaianas, the more haute cousin of the Old Navy flip-flop (who has a white trash cousin found at Target). Go up another echelon and you will find Tory Burch with her gilded logo plaque sitting atop the same rubber shoe with a better price tag, hence finer pedigree. Is this the Eliza Doolittle of the shoe world, all dressed up and still yelling, "Move yer bloomin' arse!!". Like, really, does an $80 rubber shoe have anything over the cheapie other than membership in an elite club that is actually a group of women so dumb to spend that much on a plastic shoe? Rubber. Sorry. You want to talk about Gucci? Chanel? Chipkos? I am well-versed in the luxury flip-flop although I do not partake myself.
Still, I love flip-flops in the summer. And I like Old Navy's the best. They come in umpteen fresh colors and are cheap as can be. They look cute with jeans—they're pefect with a long tube dress over a bikini and yes, they even look decent with a Missoni dress. Or maybe they don't. Maybe all that matters is I'm tan and my feet look moist, which is a must when sporting any sandals. If it rains, my shoes have not been ruined. If I want to stomp puddles with the neighbor kids, I can, and if I want to buy six pairs of shoes without feeling irresponsible, I can do that too. Don't get me started on how they're made and what they do to the Earth, okay? Let me have my little fantasy that some wonderful things are still cheap and harmless.
On sale yesterday, today, and tomorrow too at your local Old Navy.
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