FREE YOUR FEET AND YOUR MIND WILL FOLLOW: Flip-flops for Everyone!

Are you into fecal matter? Sprained ankles? Comfort? Then slip on a pair of flip-flops.

Jul 5, 2012 at 2:00pm | Leave a comment

Tomorrow is my last day of work until August.  Man, am I ever ready to start my summer.  I am ready for swimming pools and freedom from obsessively blow drying my hair.

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Livin' Easy.

I am ready to rock a messy side braid and most of all, I am ready to wear flip-flops every day!  I own about 189 pairs of shoes, (I counted, I’m disgusting, I know) but all I ever really want to wear in the summer are flip-flops.  I wear them mostly out of total laziness but also partly for mad style.

I usually end up in flip-flops because I’m wearing a vintage prom dress out to a bar when it’s broiling hot.  It just seems so stupidly overwrought and serious that I want to drastically tone it down with a pair of flip-flops.  I promised Lesley I’d have this to her in an hour or I’d take a pic of this combo for you.  I don't want to get in bad with the new boss!  A prom dress+flip-flops is an awesome look, you’ll just have to trust me on this one.

The Japanese are really who started the flip-flop trend way back in the mid-1800’s with the Zori sandal.  In Japanese culture, one removes their shoes before entering the home, so a simple to remove shoe was a no-brainer.

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Traditional Japanese Zori sandals.

My personal favorite flip-flops are Havaianas, the Brazilian interpretation of the original Japanese Zori sandal.  The distinctive textured foot-bed of Havaianas is meant to mimic the rice straw sole of the original Zoris. 

Havaianas have been around since 1962 but came to the US with a bang in the late 90’s with the iconic World Cup model:

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"Brazil" World Cup Havaianas, $24.00, Havaianas.com.

I own about a dozen pairs of the World Cup Havaianas.  It’s my all time favorite flip-flop.  I cannot ever live without it, so I have backups.

Even Christian Louboutin is a Havaiana addict.  He owns about 40 pairs of them, and had this to say about them:  “Every woman should own three pairs of shoes—high heels, flats, and Havaianas.”

The amount of different styles on the Havaianas website is just crazy.  There are even Bridal Havaianas.

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Missoni x Havaiana "Rachel" sandal, $70.00.  Havaianas.com.

You can also design your own Havaianas on their website--you can add charms, studs, crystals and initials to your pair:



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Of course I got an "A"!

I pay $14 for my plain Havaianas at Light Blue on Ocean Front Walk in Venice Beach.  They have the best selection in town for the price.  Make sure to say hi to Harry Perry while you are down there.  Actually, DON'T.  He will follow you around until you almost want to punch his lights out.

My other favorite flip -flops are Locals, awesome rubber sandals that used to only be  available in Hawaii for about 10 bucks at random convenience stores and surf shops.  I was always bugging my rich friends who went to Hawaii to bring me back a pair.

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Locals black strap 'slippa', $11.95, LocalsUSA.com.

Now they are available online in all sorts of great color combinations, but I still only ever order black. 

Locals are a supreme example of a sturdy yet inexpensive rubber flip-flop.  I have run far distances in strange circumstances in my Locals and not had a blowout.  (A blowout is where the thong part that goes between your toes pops out of the sole and you fall down like an idiot.) 

The Hawaiians are very specific about their flip-flops.  They don’t even really call them flip-flops; they call them 'rubbah slippahs’.  Hawaiians wear their rubber slippers to weddings, funerals and to work at an office--doctors in Hawaii even wear rubber slippers with their lab coats while seeing patients.

The only doctor I ever see is my dermatologist, and he wears Vans all the time, so I suppose I could maybe get behind a doctor wearing flip-flops.  Now that I have written those words, I find myself fearing seeing his toes.

When I told my mom I was writing about flip-flops, I’m sure her first thought was "BORING" but what she really said to me was “GERMS.”  

Do yourself a favor and DO NOT Google “flip-flops+germs”.  The amount of fecal bacteria and E. Coli bacteria that accumulates on a pair of flip-flops in just 3 short days of walking around the city will make your eye sockets retch.  I toss all my flip-flops in the clothes washer about once a month.

More terrible things about flip-flops: they of course offer no arch support, they don’t protect your feet, and can get caught under the pedals of your car when driving.  You can twist your ankle or stub your toe.  It's too bad that none of these things will ever stop me from wearing them.

I know you only read my ramblings to get to the cute pictures--sorry I made you wait so long for these:

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Gold plastic gladiator sandals, $57.00, InStyleSwimwear.com.

I am pining for these plastic Chanel flip-flops with their signature camelia on them.  As there is NO PRICE GIVEN, I can be pretty sure I'll never own them.

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PVC flip-flops with large camelia and Chanel logo, no price given, Chanel.com.

I think I will settle for this cute knock-off:

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Black PVC flip-flop with sort-of a camelia and no Chanel logo, $50.00.

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Sparkle Jelly sandals, $19.00, VictoriasSecret.com.

Happy summer!

XO,

Alison

Twitter: @IveyAlison