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Saturday, April 30, 2011


I love shoes.

No, I just don't love them. I LURVE them.

You'll understand, then, when I tell you that while others were still "oohing" and "ahhing" over Catherine's gown, I was lamenting, "The shoes! I can't see her shoes!"

I was having a bit of a conniption fit over on FaceBook about it. Some kind soul found a picture of them for me. There they are, above.

I was mildly surprised. I mean, they look like something one of the Spice Girls would wear, rather than the future Queen of England.

Clearly, they are elegant, made as they are of "ivory duchesse satin with lace hand-embroidered by the Royal School of Needlework," according to the Royal Web Site.

You can get a pair just like them for a mere $995. Retail. But who buys retail? In any economy?

They were designed to perfectly match her wedding dress. But, those four and a half inch heels!

They're not exactly the Manolo Blahnik's that Carrie Bradshaw ('Sex and the City') wore for her wedding day, but still! YIKES!!!

The little number to your left is called 'Something Blue' and retails for $945. Retail. I've seen them 'on sale' for $300. I love them, but talk to me when they come down under $100 and maybe we'll have a deal.

Not for me - I'd probably kill myself on something that high - but for one of our daugthers.

I'd imagined Catherine might have worn a demure little slipper thing. She is 5'10", after all. William is bit of a tall drink of water, and, even with these heels, he still towered over her, but my goodness! They are rather high, no?

The round toe is ladylike - a saving fashion grace for the future Queen of England.

Then again, I mostly wear Dansko Shoes, purchased primarily online - and only on a Really Good Sale - at the Dansko Outlet.  I have red ones, black ones, plaid ones and these, to your right,  are my favorite pair.

Dansko was the original designer of the 'clog' type shoes worn by the surgical heart transplant team in South Africa, where the first heart transplants were done.

If you've got to be standing on your feet for 8-12 hours, you want something that is comfortable and supports your foot.

They were favored for years by medical and nursing professions - male and female - but they were large, clunky, unattractive things.

And, mostly white. And, washable.

Dansko got smart and started making them more stylish.

Like this red number to your left.

Same design. Similar heel. Just more stylish. And, very, very comfortable, especially if you are going to be up and on your feet from 6 AM to God only knows when in the fast lane of parish ministry.

I packed like a monk to come to spend a semester as Proctor Scholar here at EDS. Just two pairs of knock around slacks, a pair of jeans, a pair of dress slacks, a black skirt and two black dresses - different styles, of course.

I added three jackets, a couple of sweaters, a few shirts and T-shirts, a clerical shirt, three scarfs, and a ziplock bag full of various earrings, necklaces, pins and such. Oh, and a clerical collar and my "Janie"

But, I brought a bag full of shoes.

Like, these Dansko dress boots.

Yes, purple. To go with my purple sweater.

And, black slacks and black jacket, with a purple scarf.

Or, my black skirt or one of the black dresses and purple necklace and earrings. You know. Just to mix things up a bit.

What is it that Clairee (Olympia Dukakis' character) says in Steel Magnolias?: "The only thing that separates us from the animals is our ability to accessorize. "

Shoes, my darlings, are my favorite accessory. I mean, you have to wear them. Why not make a fashion statement when you do?

Case in point: My rain boots.

Anyone can wear galoshes, right?  They are important to have on when it has rained so hard and so long the puddles come up past your ankles.

A rather ugly necessity, right? Au contraire, mon cher.

A stylish pair of galoshes can brighten even the gloomiest of rainy days.

I found these on sale at the end of the season at the Eddie Bauer Outlet Store in Rehoboth Beach.  Paid $25 for them. And, no sales tax.

No, they are not "Wellies".  Everyone has those. So really, what's the point?

Yes, those are pink flamingos on them.

Why? Well, why not!

When it's just damp and drizzly, or if it's warm and sunny,  or if I'm going to the beach or working in the garden, or sprinting around town doing errands, I wear these 'princess style' Crocks.

Jon Richardson and Megan Sanders bought them for me about five years ago when they were my seminarians after I busted their chops for wearing Crocks to church on Sunday.

It was also a joke because I tease Ms. Conroy all the time about wearing Crocks. Well, not about wearing Crocks but wearing them all the time. Everywhere. To every occasion.

See also Clairee's quote about accessorizing.

Yes, I do have the prerequisite pair of Birkenstock sandals that every good feminist / lesbian has in her shoe rack. Black. Suede. Classic.

I just didn't bring them with me. I did bring a pair of flip-flops for the few weeks of warm weather we'll have here in Boston before I leave the end of May. Well, two pair. They took as much room to pack as one pair of Birkenstock and ... well... two pairs of flip flops gives me a choice.

Which, other than the hokey pokey, is really what it's all about. Choice. Options. Selection. Style.

I will get a pedicure before I wear them, though. I'll risk sounding like a total, shallow snob and say that there's nothing worse than flip-flops or sandals on feet with nails that are yellow and curled over in desperate need of a trim, or dry, thick, scaly callouses on heels that haven't seen the scrub of a gentle abrasive soap or a pumice stone in years.

Women are rarely offenders but boys, pay attention. This is not attractive - to gay or straight people. You can get a mani/pedi in most places for $25. Lasts 6-8 weeks - or more if you don't use color. If you walk by a nail salon in any city and look in, you'll often see as many men in there as there are women.

It's very "metrosexual," darlings.

I don't know why, exactly, I have a 'thing' about shoes. I don't think it rises (or, lowers) to the level of fashion fetish, but I admit that, in the past, when I have seen a pair of shoes I Really Like, my hands have gotten sweaty.

It's not really an obsession, either, because I won't positively, absolutely DIE if I don't get a pair of shoes. I really don't much think about shoes until I get dressed in the morning. And then, they just have to match or or compliment or offset what I'm planning to wear.

I think of them as an investment, although I've rarely paid more than $50 for a pair of shoes. Thankfully, living in Rehoboth Beach and near all the discount malls, I rarely have to. And, did I mention that there's no sales tax in Delaware?

I choose shoes to compliment my clothing as well as for style and comfort. It's really that simple. Oh, and to have choice. Selection. Options.

I'm still not sure what I think about Catharine's bridal shoes.

We have seen the face of the 'new Royals', and now we have seen their feet.

The view - from this side of The Pond, anyway - is that it looks like it's going to be a whole, new, brave, fashionable world.

If the shoes are any indication, I'm rather looking forward to it.


Kirkepiscatoid said...

I would make fun of your girly obsession with shoes...'cept for the fact I have those 15 or so pairs of cowboy boots in my closet in a variety of liturgical colors. Not to mention about another dozen pair of hiking boots, and another dozen pairs of various high top tennis shoes, Birkenstock clogs and sandals, and rubber chore boots.

But I ain't gettin' no pedi. If people don't like my feet, don't look at 'em!

Peggy Blanchard said...

Satin, check. Lace, check. But those heels? One site I read said she was actually ordering four pair of shoes to match the dress, including a pair of almost-flats to wear for the wedding (all that standing, climbing in and out of car and carriage, kneeling, getting up, etc.) and the others were moderate to high. Wonder if this is like the pair she actually word, or only on the outside?

Elizabeth Kaeton said...

Kirke - honestly. Just try a pedicure. Even Ms. Conroy gets 'em. It will make your feet feel sooOOoo good.

Elizabeth Kaeton said...

Peggy - I would really like a pair of the wedding flats. If you see them, let me know.

Re: flats. My daughters are concerned about whether or not flats are designed to show "toe cleavage". I love it.

RevMama said...

My 4-and-a half, going on sixteen, year-old daughter would so agree with you. She does not leave the house without the proper accessories and shoes, usually her good Sunday shoes. She wears her best dresses to preschool too, except the Easter dress, which we won't let her wear to school because it is white satin and way too fancy for school.

As for me, I gave up heels about the same time I gave up dresses and skirts. My Sunday shoes are a sensible pair of black Oxfords. There was a time, when I was recovering from plantar fascitis, that the only shoes I could were were Birkenstocks, with a high-arch footbed, and Crocs. I always kept the Crocs cleaned and polished for church.

When I wore the Birks to work or church, I always wore socks, thanks to a high school Latin teacher who would not allow bare toes in sandals in her classroom. Ever. I think she had your aversion to ugly feet.

Elizabeth Kaeton said...

I rarely wear heels, RevMama, except the comfortable ones made by Dansko. I did, once, buy a pair of Mifisto sandals when I went to Ghana a few years back. $125. A great deal when they sell retail for $325. It was a smart investment. Very Central Park West, NYC.

If you have trouble with your feet or back, I think Dansko or Mifisto are a good investment. They last for YEARS and they are the most comfortable shoes I've ever worn, without sacrificing style.

Zappos dot com carries both and occasionally have great sales. No S&H and returns are free.

JCF said...

Lipstick Lesbian bonafides intact, Lizbeth. ;-)

Shoes, for JCF: Wingtips!

Elizabeth Kaeton said...

I rarely wear lipstick. Might I be a "shoe lesbian"?