Conspicuous Consumption: Flats (Again)

I admit it. I have a problem with my addiction to flats. I've added several pairs in the last few weeks (and by several I mean more than three) and just yesterday I added two more. I would hang my head in shame but buying these last two pairs may actually lead me to a cure.

I don't wear flip flops, not even in the privacy of my own home. When we first moved back to Los Angeles a couple of years ago after a decade (for me) in San Francisco, I was really grossed out to see almost bare feet everywhere I went with a strip of molded plastic dissecting the toes and the rest of the foot spilling out onto the street. Feet, as a rule, are not cute and man feet are even less cute. Man feet, all hairy and knobby, in a pair of plastic foam flip flops has to be one of the grosses sights out there.

Let me stop here and make the distinction between sandals and flip flops because there is one. I wear sandals, not flip flops, ever. I have a couple of pairs of leather T-strap sandals that look nice with jeans and shorts and feel no need to augment those two selections with any additions--I'm just not a sandal person. And there is such a thing as nice looking sandals for men. I've seen them. But like a bra, many must be tried on to find the right fit and look because when you get it wrong, it looks just so wrong. I made the mistake encouraging the husband to buy a pair of sandals after I spied a chic European tourist wearing a very spiffy pair. Mistake. I've gone as far as hiding them and throwing them away but like the doll from that Twilight Zone episode, they just keep turning up again to torment me.

Anyway, since I've sworn off flip flops I have to find something stress free and comfortable to wear this summer with my limited warm weather wardrobe--I also don't own a pair of cropped cargo pants and only wear tank tops with a built in bra when doing yoga. So what to do? Buy ballerina flats, of course! But not just any ballerina flats--London Sole ballerina flats. The husband bought me back a couple of pairs when he was in London a few years ago (there they're known as French Sole) and I wore them until they fell apart. Which was good because they ain't cheap. The pair I have my eye on (the Annie, top left) dip into the $200 range.

I'd also like to check out their ballet sneaker (right) for upcoming trips to New York and San Francisco. But these I'll have to try on to make sure they're comfortable and won't make my feet look like torpedoes, pretty torpedoes maybe, but torpedoes nonetheless. Yes, $215 is a chunk to spend on novelty "sneakers" and yes I could make due with something else. But that's exactly the point! In the price lies my salvation. Since they're so expensive I won't buy them just to buy them. Good shoes are an investment, cheap ones a brief thrill later regretted.

And I just know I won't regret the two pairs of Pirouette flats (example left) that are on their way to me as I type. If the husband complains about the appearance of yet another pair of shoes, I'll buy the grossest flip flops I can find, maybe even a pair of ill-fitting cargo pants and a saggy bra tank and he'll change his tune fast enough. He may wear sandals a 14th century peasant might have sported but even he has his standards when it comes to what I put on my feet.

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