When I read the title ‘Sandals That Are So Ugly They’re Chic: Fashion Embraces Flat, Birkenstock-Style Sandals’ in last Wednesday’s Wall Street Journal, I gasped. Never in my wildest dreams did I ever imagine Birkenstocks would be considered high-fashion. I have always hated Birkenstocks and always will. Growing up only hippes and Dead Heads wore them. That’s like trying to convince me Crocs are fashionable. They aren’t.
I’ve heard repeatedly that they are uber comfortable, but I don’t care. Birkenstocks make the foot look flat and uglier than I think feet already are. And when men wear them? Forget it. I could never look a man straight in the eye that wears them. Birkenstocks just look like orthopedic shoes. Plain and simple.
Now designers like Consuelo Castiglioni of Marni and Phoebe Philo of Céline have bejeweled and furrified them and now they are ‘acceptable?’ I beg to differ. Giambattista Valli, you should be ashamed of yourself! I concur heels have gotten too high. I agree that women’s feet should not be put through the concentration camp of footwear. But, to go to this extreme? With evening wear yet? Can you even imagine attending a formal event with these on your feet paired with a gown? There are so many better options. How about a 2 inch heel or a flat? Lord, even a gladiator sandal. Anything that doesn’t make the foot look splayed out. Gross.
The term “ortho-chic” is an abomination to the world of fashion. Although I am sure retirement communities everywhere are rejoicing. Finally Grandma is vindicated. Next you will see them paired with black knee socks.
– Lauren Dimet Waters
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