Halting The Downward Slide


In retirement, I have found it’s very easy to slide down the appropriate clothing ladder. All the way to the bottom. Especially when days consist of early morning pajama-clad and sofa-based writing, interspersed with garden forays and the boy child’s old Outdoor Action shirts.

When I have to leave the house, I can’t be arsed, as the British say, to get dressed up. Luckily I haven’t yet shown up at the grocery store in pajamas.

No, mostly when I go out – on errands, mind you, social occasions warrant a little more effort – I grab whichever pair of boyfriend jeans hangs on a chair in the bedroom, a t-shirt, a cotton jacket, and a pair of earrings. Then I slide my feet into Birkenstocks. The other day I caught myself thinking that the Vince sneakers were too much work because I had to bend over to pull them onto my heel.

How the mighty have fallen. Or, more aptly, how those concerned with the social ticks of a workplace may dress when their career has quieted. BTW, I did speak strictly but fondly to myself and put the sneakers on my dang feet.

I find so much of retirement dressing, for the Sturdy, involves ensuring that even one’s absolute dregs are presentable. To that end, I’m thinking of buying a pair of slides. You know, shoes you can “slide” into?

The Grande Dame might like these, by Miu Miu. Diamonds on the heel of her shoe.

 

Miu Miu

 

Tory, of course, is her friend, if a tad “rustic” on occasion.

Tory Burch Slide

The Artsy Cousin, in her urban guise, loves the minimalist artisan look at Need Supply. And yes, MinArts is a thing if we say so.

Need Supply Slide

In her more traditional mode, Artsy will be sourcing embroidered Turkish slippers on Etsy. Vintage is best, although she does want to support a new generation of craftspeople.

Vintage Turkish Slides on Etsy

The Sturdy Gal worries, “Where do one’s toes fit?”* and chooses these. Sturdies love a little glitter – besides gold pairs so well with navy.

Loeffler Randal Slide at Nordstrom

Or these, Adidas originals, because she’s worn these since her college lacrosse glory days and didn’t know they’d bloomed fashionable.

Adidas Slides

If none of the above tickled your fancies, Grande Dames might like Jeffrey Campbells’ not-too-expensive flowers, the minimalist Artsy a lilac (!) not-too-expensive Babouche. Sturdies might feed their secret desire for luxury in Donald Pliner’s black suede.

(Hat tip to Twitter, where, when I posted the Need Supply shoes,  someone replied with that question about toes. Wish I could remember whose brilliance to credit. Unrelated, don’t rude phrases sound so much better in British English? Edited to add, sorry I forgot, affiliate links may provide commissions.)

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27 Comments

  • 05/26/15
    7:52 am

    Reply

    Frances/Materfamilias said...

    Fun choices in an entertaining post that I should perhaps pin up somewhere as a cautionary tale (except that it’s probably too late).

    I tried, a few years ago, switching up the sandals that I wore day after summer day (my months away from the office/classroom each year a dangerous indication of sartorial tendencies for retirement). But I never found anything as truly functional as my Birkenstock Gizehs, in bronze. And I got tired of the clutter and the sorting and the choosing. Not completely “giving up” yet, though — I still “polish” the Birks by virtue of a bottle of OPI and a pedicure (to honour one questionable pun with another).

    05/26/15
    7:58 am
    kathy said...

    Just posted at the same time about the bronze/platinum Gizah’s !

    05/26/15
    8:45 am
    Lisa said...

    I mostly wear my Arizonas. But I do have some pearlized white Gizehs too:). Versatility!

  • 05/26/15
    7:57 am

    Reply

    Laura Lewis said...

    As long as you don’t fall into the crocs cesspool, you’ll be ok. Down south, they are the footwear of the populace.

    05/26/15
    8:48 am
    Lisa said...

    @Laura Lewis, Love them in my garden. Am collecting multiple pairs. Have never yet, and don’t think I will, wear them anywhere else.

  • 05/26/15
    7:57 am

    Reply

    kathy said...

    What a timely post for me as I was just thinking this morning about how lazy I’ve become in my dressing. Just tying sneakers seems like too much work. My “dress” shoe has become the Gizah Birkenstocks in a platinum color. The truth is I don’t know that I care that much anymore? Am I forcing myself to put more effort into something that’s no longer my priority?
    Like you, I do put more effort when going out in the evening, but for during the day, I feel like if I’m clean and somewhat groomed, it’s enough.

    05/26/15
    8:48 am
    Lisa said...

    @kathy, Clean, groomed, and I like to indicate that I have an aesthetic. But it can be a very subtle indication. You, as an artist, might have paint splatters somewhere, which seems sufficient;).

  • 05/26/15
    8:08 am

    Reply

    MJ said...

    You mean the rest of you can wear slides without slipping out of them and twisting your ankle? You are far more accomplished than I.

    05/26/15
    9:32 am
    Lisa said...

    @MJ, The Birkenstocks stay put better than many pumps I’ve worn. But what you say is truer and truer the close to a mule one gets.

  • 05/26/15
    8:29 am

    Reply

    Seema Sugandh said...

    I find I need a one inch heel w a rubber bottom to align the lower back properly now. I keep wishing @JackRogersUSA would create a monogram option in their mid-wedge.

    I must admit, not being able to find the perfect leisure shoe is a rather nice problem to have.

    Enjoy your day and thank you for another fun post!

    05/26/15
    9:32 am
    Lisa said...

    @Seema Sugandh, Such a nice problem to have;). I was never comfortable in heels, and so have been able to revert to heels pretty easily.

    05/26/15
    5:58 pm
    Mamavalveeta03 said...

    @Seema Sugandh, I can totally relate! Major foot problems, here, and I can no longer wear a steady diet of my beloved flats (artsy or regular). My Achilles Tendon problems call for the 1″ wedge or heel. But I can’t find something that appeals to my eye. I want the Babouche, or the minimalist artsy from Need Supply!!!

  • 05/26/15
    8:32 am

    Reply

    Sisty said...

    The problem with slides, I fear, is the slapping sound one makes walking in them. That, and the effort it takes to grip with your toes to keep from sliding out of them.

    I have a pair of silver Gizehs and a bronze pair, too. Just right for errand running and practically everything else. The only problem with Gizehs is that you can’t get them wet.

    05/26/15
    9:34 am
    Lisa said...

    @Sisty, I believe the Californian reliance on flip-flops has inured us to the slapping sound;). And I have the same program with my suede Arizonas. Just can’t get them wet.

    05/26/15
    10:55 am
    Frances/Materfamilias said...

    My Gizehs have survived numerous soakings — they’re obviously unpleasant to wear in those circs, but they can’t easily be destroyed. I periodically coat the cork sides with a glue that used to be sold with. (My first pair of Birks lasted over 15 years, seriously, but they might have been a bit too hippy, by the end…)

  • 05/26/15
    9:13 am

    Reply

    Carol said...

    Love the Miu Miu. I seem to own too many of the Adidas and need to upgrade

    05/26/15
    9:36 am
    Lisa said...

    @Carol, I think a wardrobe consisting of Adidas and Miu Miu would be just about perfect;).

  • 05/26/15
    9:20 am

    Reply

    Mary anne said...

    You had pinned a pair of pointy-toed shoes. I wondered how the toes would fit. So, might have been me.

    05/26/15
    9:36 am
    Lisa said...

    @Mary anne, I thought it was you, but when I went to look through tweets I couldn’t find it. Thank you!

  • 05/26/15
    9:42 am

    Reply

    Sandra Sallin said...

    I thought it was just me. Because I still have a cast on my wrist I can only fit into certain tops. Regarding pants, this group got me into bofriend jeans. Next purchase will be a pair of platinum Birkenstocks. Talk about a uniform! But as long as I wear earrings I feel “polished.”

    05/26/15
    4:25 pm
    Lisa said...

    Exactly! The earrings, big ones, are totally my polish too.

  • 05/26/15
    9:49 am

    Reply

    Duchesse said...

    Retired, here. Like MJ, I •cannot• wear slides; the lack of heel strap means stepping out of them at infelicitous times, like getting off a bus. Also have learned to pitch faded, old clothes- you can always wear them around the house, but in the end they are just depressing.

    Since I need the heel security, my go to sandals are the Naot “Kayla” and various Arche styles.

    05/26/15
    4:25 pm
    Lisa said...

    At a guess, I may eventually have to give up slides too. But for now, for now.

  • 05/26/15
    9:52 am

    Reply

    kathy said...

    I would like to add that for me a good handbag is a major part of my aesthetic these days. It’s the area that I do splurge, but I only carry one, and don’t change bags.

    05/26/15
    5:13 pm
    Lisa said...

    @kathy, My bag habits are just like yours. Works really well, I find, to pick up at least some of the style slack.

    05/26/15
    6:18 pm
    Mamavalveeta03 said...

    @kathy, Me either, Kathy. Who has time to change out bags?!?

  • 05/26/15
    10:09 am

    Reply

    RoseAG said...

    I like to have a pair of metallic slides in my wardrobe and have found that sometimes you can turn up good buys that are also comfortable at Target.

    05/26/15
    4:24 pm
    Lisa said...

    What would we do without Target!

  • 05/26/15
    2:00 pm

    Reply

    Jane said...

    I tried to like the Birkenstock Gizeh but in the end my foot was not happy with the Birkenstock footbed – that ridge was hitting my toes at the wrong spot- ouch! Instead, I found a pair of Kenneth Cole Reaction gold “Gizeh” lookalikes that didn’t have the ridge – perfection! Now I wear those every day and everywhere. And yes, gold goes so well with navy and everything else.

    05/26/15
    3:58 pm
    Lisa said...

    Perfect. The toe ridge is either the greatest thing ever or torture. I find I buy the Birkenstocks in a smaller size than a regular shoes.

  • 05/26/15
    6:17 pm

    Reply

    Mamavalveeta03 said...

    As an aside, Lisa, you wore the Adidas slide? I thought those became popular in the mid 90’s for the first time. Perhaps I’m wrong or you’re very athletically talented and attended college in your 30’s?

    I’m all about easy, but like you, I’d love a bit of style. In theory, anyway. In reality, it’s “Do I tie the Converse or slip into the Vince-dupe cheapo slip-ons that came unglued at the sole?” Although sort of still wearable!! (I tend to return to the house with half of the beach stuck in the bottom of the shoe!)

    05/26/15
    7:47 pm
    Lisa said...

    No, I only see them on young women athletes nowadays – no personal experience I was never sportif. My youngest sister, however, was a very good college athlete.

  • 05/26/15
    7:30 pm

    Reply

    joannawnyc said...

    I am attracted to the idea of flatform Tevas.

    05/27/15
    7:33 am
    Lisa said...

    @joannawnyc, There’s a wonderful photo out there in the interwebs of Linda Rodin in white flatforms white and dropcrotch pants. She may not be wearing Tevas per se, but pretty darn close.

  • 05/27/15
    2:55 am

    Reply

    Faux Fuchsia said...

    The Australians say can’t be arsed too, but we say it better with our adorable accents.

    I cannot think of you as retired!

    I am loving my career so much at the moment- if only it could always be this satisfying and challenging! Only another 25 years to go.

    I wouldn’t be caught dead in these shoes unless I was at the beach but I support choices in every way so you Go Girl.

    Yours in authenticity and commitment, xxxxx

    05/27/15
    7:35 am
    Lisa said...

    @Faux Fuchsia, I think we have to change the meaning of the word, “retired” to include this life I’m living;). And you wouldn’t even wear those Miu Mius? We’ll talk again in 10 years, when your feet may join the rebel ranks! I hope you can walk in heels forever. You may be among the immortals:).

    05/27/15
    7:32 pm
    gsl64 said...

    @Faux Fuchsia, the Den roars its approval! Lisa, these are perfect options to go with those paper smocks in hospitals…

  • 05/27/15
    4:43 am

    Reply

    Kerry Steele said...

    I love a good slide. I live in them as much of the year as I can. A few years ago, I bought some Dr. Scholl’s slides, you know the kind they sold in drugstores in the 70s? Now, I wear my Addidas slides nearly everyday, much to my teen daughter’s chagrin.

    05/27/15
    7:36 am
    Lisa said...

    @Kerry Steele, Dr. Scholl’s! Oh yes! With that little locking closure on the toe? Brilliant.

  • 05/27/15
    6:03 am

    Reply

    Kathy said...

    My go-to pair are my topsiders. Best without socks, but that’s a seasonal option.

    05/27/15
    7:36 am
    Lisa said...

    @Kathy, I suppose you fold down the back to slide in?

  • 05/27/15
    7:55 am

    Reply

    Debbie (Artsy in Boulder) said...

    I’m all over the “can’t be arsed” these days! My wardrobe has gone from a confetti blast in a paint factory to an intentionally edited palette of black, white, denim/indigo, and cobalt, which makes getting dressed so much easier, freeing up the creative space (farewell, decision fatigue) for decorating, studio art, and, these days, gardening (if the ground ever dries out). Any polish added to the Artsy/Sturdy ensemble arrives via shoes–fun sneakers or flat sandals–and a necklace. Thanks for modeling (in both senses) the virtues of simplicity!

    05/27/15
    10:31 am
    Lisa said...

    @Debbie (Artsy in Boulder), My pleasure. I am interested that so many of us, from artists to professors to businesswomen to women in the home, are feeling this way. And I find your combination of indigo and cobalt very sophisticated.

  • 05/27/15
    8:38 am

    Reply

    AK said...

    I had a pedicure yesterday and had to run errands afterwards in rubber flipflops. I felt very tacky indeed. In addition to my Birkies, I’m loving my new Naots and retro Bernardos. The latter have zero support, but are fine as long as little walking is involved.

    05/27/15
    10:32 am
    Lisa said...

    @AK, Bernardos! My mother lived in those. Very mid-century chic. And I don’t wear my rubber flipflops out much, unless we’re in the middle of a heat wave, but have done the pedicure walk of less appropriate myself;).

  • 05/27/15
    10:39 am

    Reply

    Andrea said...

    These days, when I am not in my Birks, my retro go-to slides are my Dr. Scholl’s. Red, black, and pink. The red pair sees the most action. I’ve been amused to discover that men are more likely than women to comment on seeing them “back.” I assure them they were never gone.

    05/27/15
    5:35 pm
    Lisa said...

    @Andrea, The good things don’t go, they just take a break;).

  • 05/27/15
    12:26 pm

    Reply

    Rb said...

    Lisa, have you considered sling back flats or even regular pointy toe flats? I think they look more polished than these and are easier to walk in. Maybe it’s just something about how I walk, but I’m always stepping out of slides.

    I just googled “flat slingback shoes” and saw some really cute options right away.

    05/27/15
    5:37 pm
    Lisa said...

    @Rb, Yes, they do look more polished, I agree. I’m just looking for something to raise the bottom of my sartorial barrel, and I fear that slingbacks and pointy toe flats would still be too much work. In all seriousness. BTW, I mean this about the suburbs. In the city, I’m more polished all around.

  • 05/27/15
    2:40 pm

    Reply

    AK said...

    Is it true you can’t get Birkenstocks wet? Mine were filthy and I washed them under the faucet and scrubbed with an old toothbrush. They seem fine.

    05/27/15
    5:37 pm
    Lisa said...

    @AK, Good to know!

  • 05/27/15
    3:05 pm

    Reply

    Jean S said...

    Merrells saved my feet after my run-in with plantar fasciitis. And Keens are super-popular here in Oregon. Can’t do slides, have to be careful with flats. So it goes…

    05/27/15
    5:37 pm
    Lisa said...

    @Jean S, And so it goes..

  • 05/27/15
    7:32 pm

    Reply

    Megan said...

    Your post is very aptly-timed “on the heels” of my throwing out or donating any shoes that weren’t comfortable or that were too formal for my casual lifestyle now that I’m retired. I can’t wear slides because of my floppy ankles, but I lived in slip-on shoes when I was working (very casual dress code & open-toed shoes weren’t allowed in the factory for safety reasons) & I live in slip-on shoes now that I’m retired. In the summer, I wear sport sandals–not that I’m really especially athletic–I just like their comfort & the way they fit, supporting my feet & not flopping around & tripping me up.

    05/28/15
    7:12 am
    Lisa said...

    I think we are, as a demographic, involved in an intensive study of stylish casual;).

  • 06/11/15
    1:56 pm

    Reply

    Mardel said...

    I’ve been giving away shoes in great waves. But slides stay, and in summer, when it is hot and humid, they are all I can manage. I prefer Mephisto Helens, but Birkenstocks have always hurt my feet.

One Trackback

  1. […] Lisa from Amid Privilege is considering a pair of slides to amp up her footwear style. Her readers are also recommending shoes by Arche, Naot, Jack Rogers and Bernardo. […]

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