Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Jenny's adventures in clog-land

Frédérik here with another special treat; a guest post from reader Jenny Harrison. Inspired by my pontificating on the topic of clogs - see a few words with Tessa Clogs - Jenny set out discover for herself whether clogs truly are a blight or if, somehow, there is more to them than fashionistas give them credit for.

So, with my thanks for sharing her adventures with us, I turn it over to Jenny. Did her quest lead her to buy clogs for herself? Did she run away screaming from what she found? Grab yourself a cuppa and read on, dear Reader, read on...


Two months ago, I came across Frederik’s article about society’s underestimation of a particular shoe style...the clog. Even just seeing the title of the post, “a few words with Tessa Clogs,” brought to mind images of fat, yodeling Swedish women who had just got done milking cows in the hills. I mean, really Frederik? You’re writing a FASHION post about clogs? I continued to read to see how he could possibly try to make these shoes seem fashionable. I mean come on here, clogs are big, clunky, heavy shoes only socially acceptable if worn by women who live on mountains far away from civilization, women over the age of 50, or for that sexy milk maiden Halloween costume. Oh yeah, you could say I’m caught under society’s stigma upon clogs – at least, I was…

I read on in the article– “Clogs… have a certain proletarian quality that comes across as bohemian and down-to-earth.”

Well, bohemian sounds fun and carefree, and I would like to be viewed as down-to-earth. That doesn’t sound so bad…

“And practical? Oh yes. Clogs are comfortable footwear with the substance of a shoe but the ease of a slide.”

Practical and comfortable? That doesn’t sound so bad either…but what about aesthetics? Aren’t we missing that key element? Isn’t that what fashion is mostly about? How things LOOK?
So, with a harsh and prejudiced eye, I looked at the posted picture of Chanel’s 2010 Spring Collection and the Tessa Clog website which was mentioned later in the post. While most of them were still hideous looking to me, I was actually surprised by some of the heeled clogs. They had a subtle sexiness to them (a clog, sexy?!) but at the same time maintained a playful coyness. I thought,”Maybe clogs are evolving, you know, getting with the program.” It was at this point that I decided maybe I should get searching for some of these updated clogs for myself. How could I pass up the chance to be sexy AND coy? And more importantly, how could I pass up a chance to buy a new pair of shoes?

Before beginning my new clog searching journey, I opened my shoe closet (not really a closet, but a small cabinet that I like to over exaggerate about) and took a look at my shoes. Just like every woman, I’ve got those nice and simple monotone heels for work, the blister-forming but oh so sexy shoes for a night out, the low-key sandals for beach days, the dressy sandals for summer nights or that perfect sundress, the flats for days when I want to be comfortable but still look girly, and finally, boots to dress up my sweater dresses, or for when I’m actually in cold weather. I realized all of these shoes evoke certain feelings and memories. I wear these shoes based on my current mood or I wear these shoes to reflect what I’m feeling that day (or what I want to feel).
In what situation would I want to wear a clog? I pondered for a moment and decided I would wait before I came to a conclusion prematurely. I would have to try some on for myself to see how I felt actually wearing them.

I first visited O’ My Sole which is known for selling “fashion and comfort shoes” according to their website and was less than excited about my findings. Only the typical frumpy, flat, boring clogs here - nothing cute, sexy, or playful to be found.

I traveled back to my car thinking this whole experiment was a bust when a small, glimmering, white light caught my eye. Ah..yes…a DSW sign… I decided that THIS would be the place to find fashionable clogs if they did exist. I excitedly bounded my way into the store.

I searched aisle after aisle. “Are there ANY clogs in this store?” I wondered. Then suddenly I came across 2 pairs, side by side as if loyal friends in the sea of more socially acceptable shoes. And to my surprise they weren’t too bad looking either. So I tried the first pair on. They were the Bessie Clogs by Rocket Dog:

They had a nice heel to them which I liked, and a nice, soft interior, so they were also very comfy. I also was intrigued by its neighbor the Bella Clog by Madden Girl:

The sweater material was very playful and girly, and being a wide flat it was naturally comfortable. So the moment of truth came when I had to ask myself, “would you actually buy and wear either of these?” And the internal questioning began…

“Where and with what outfit would you wear these?” They were both too casual for work or a night out. The flats almost seemed to look like slippers which would even be too casual for everyday wear. The heels I felt were too bulky to wear with jeans, and would look out of place if I were wearing shorts or a shirt. So…nowhere and with nothing basically.

I thought back to all my shoes in my “closet.” “Would these shoes bring me the same feelings and memories that my other shoes evoked?”

Sadly, I decided no – these clogs are just not for me. If I can’t even think of an outfit to wear them with or a situation in which to wear them, then I’ve got nothing. But I DID come to a discovery about what “fashion” really is for me.

Fashion is not a matter of what meets the eye. Fashion is about attitude. It’s about how you FEEL when you wear something, whether it be suave, sexy, flirty, outgoing, casual, authoritative, or even lazy. My fashion choices are directly correlated to how I feel and who I want the world to see.

So who am I to judge clog wearers? I guess people who wear them just want to be and feel practical, comfortable, and down-to-earth. And by my new-found reasoning (like I said in the beginning) – that doesn’t sound so bad.

Adriana Lima sums my thoughts up perfectly - “Be sure what you want and be sure about yourself. Fashion is not just beauty, it's about attitude. You have to believe in yourself and be strong.”

So, thanks Frederik. Although I did not gain a new pair of shoes after this experiment, I did gain a new holistic outlook on the true meaning of fashion, which, to some, might be even more valuable. :)

If you'd like to share your own fashion thoughts here at The Fashionoclast, I'd love to hear from you at fsisa[at]thefrontpageonline[dot]com
- F

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