All summer long, in the corridors of power where we’d expect to see brogues or loafers on smartly suited men and tidy pumps worn with skirts, there was a strange phenomenon afoot — pardon the pun. I call it, Invasion of the Beachcombers.
Flip-flops became the footwear of choice for a diverse group of men and women. Field reports confirmed that contrary to my initial assumption, these flip-floppers were not recovering from foot surgery, but exercising a misplaced sense of style. Professional people attended conferences and boardroom meetings — even met clients — conspicuously under-dressed. In my books, the beachcombers showed up for work with “naked” feet. And believe me, I heard about these offences; the flip-flop police kept me informed.
Cooler weather means flip-flops have been tossed to the back of the closet but now I’m on full athletic shoe alert. Known as trainers in the UK, running shoes in Canada and sneakers in the States, sports shoes have no place in the nation’s boardrooms. Yes, the foot is fully clothed but Brian Atwood, Bally Shoes hip new creative director, says it best of all: “Put on a pair of bad shoes and it doesn’t matter how nice your suit is.”
Voice your thought on office inappropriate. Have you crossed the line when it comes to flip-flops and sneakers, or are you simply not certain how to “smarten-up” a footwear offender? We’re always interested in your ideas, suggestions or comments and invite you to give us your feedback.