Posts Tagged ‘flip-flops

26
May
08

An L.A. Native’s Guide to Summer ‘No-Nos’: No Heels at the Beach!

The first hot weekend in L.A.–And I’m talking about when it’s 85 degrees by 9 a.m., the air is stagnant and those who continue to excercise outside are just showoffs–usually sends the local masses migrating to the beach.
There are two distinct categories of “Summer Girls”: Those that wear flip flops,and those that wear high heels to the beach. Having grown up at the beach myself, I firmly believe that heels have no place near sand or slippery surfaces.
I hate to say it, because it sounds a bit snobby, but you can tell the flip-flop girls from the high heel girls from a mile away. The flip flop girls wear string bikinis and Reefs and let their hair air dry in the sun. The high-heel wearing girls wear the designer stuff that look amazing on the pages of Vogue but, sadly, odd and potentially deadly on the sand.

When I lived in Manhattan Beach, my new roomie startled me one afternoon by emerging from her room wearing a white one-piece suit with diamond shaped pieces cut from both her sides, and two giant pieces cut out from each side of her rear. She paired this with a smattering of gold bangles, some giant Bono-sized sunglasses and sky-high Christian Louboutin wedge heels. Wow. I normally bow down to the girl who owns anything by Christian Louboutin, but that day, as we walked side by side down to watch the professional volleyball players sweat and flex their muscles, she in her ass-chapping white get-up and I in my faded cotton triangle top and cut off shorts, I have to say I felt a little bit like the odd couple. Where were we? Vegas?

At any rate, the poor thing tripped and leaped forward several times trying to balance those Louboutin wedges in the hot sand. Oh, did I mention she also had one of those gigantic fold-up beach chairs strapped to her back? She looked like a stripper on a camping trip. I traipsed after her from a safe distance. She finally got the hint that she wasn’t going to be able to walk in her shoes and, untying them, slipped them off. This was also a bad decision, because no sooner had she done this then the pink skin of her feet met with the blistering heat of the sand. Still wearing the fold-up chair, she began gyrating back and forth, doing what athletes and trainers like to call “High Knees”, trying her best to stay calm but looking like she was having an epileptic fit. Of course I jumped to attention and gave her my towel to stand on and that was the pinnacle of our day at the beach. We decided to set up camp right there and avoid any more unwanted attention.
My point with all of this is that this summer when you go to the beach, or the pool or wherever you go to stay cool,of course you must preserve all that is your individual sense of style. But take it from me when I say, there really is something to that saying, “When in Rome..”

13
Mar
08

His name was Eduardo, Patron Saint of Flip Flops

In and around the same time as the illustrious New York Fashion Week, I found myself haphazardly in New York City with my charming sister. It was a hot and sweaty Indian summer and we were gallivanting around exploring. She hit up tourist locales since it was her first time, such as the Empire State Building, Ground Zero, and that enormous Macy’s, and the Met; and I took a little tour of Brooklyn and observed the local hipsters at their hipster watering holes. We were all over the place at all hours of day and night, soaking up the summer vibes of a bouncing city, sometimes deciding to meet up and shop or have a coffee together. It wasn’t that we weren’t intent in sharing the experience; it was more that we were having a hard time dealing with one another’s idiosyncrasies. This is the story of how a loss for flip-flops and New York Fashion Week brought us back together again…

Unbeknownst to either of us, it was the first day of Fashion Week. We had been arguing all week, for the first time recognizing we had some drastically different interests around the city and it almost came to blows when we fi

nally decided to go our separate ways. Amanda (my sister) went to the top of the Empire State building and I went to Brooklyn Heights with a friend. Also unknown to us, we both spent the day writhing in pain over our current shoe situations that were just about coming apart at the seams and giving our feet blisters from all the walking. I was now scurrying around Brooklyn looking for a dollar store to buy some sort of replacements, and she was about to drop 50$ on a whole new pair of shoes, out of desperation. We both got to grumbling and cursing when she realized she didn’t budget 50$ for new shoes, and I couldn’t find a single pair of size 8 flip flops in all of Brooklyn Heights. So I got on a train back to Manhattan about to try somewhere new when suddenly I got this feeling that I should go to Bryant Park. I got up, changed trains and out of the corner of my eye peeped someone very familiar groaning and looking at her feet sitting in the corner. It took me a good 5 minutes of blank staring to realize that it was my sister. I gave her a poke and she freaked out, at which point we both marvelled at the coincidence and got a little glassy-eyed. I told her about Bryant Park and while she thought it was a little random, she agreed to come. We marched on over there (more like shuffled and cursed) and tried to look pretty outside the tents with nothing much to do but sit and sob over our blisters when all of a sudden a man came out of the tents and walked directly towards us. He tapped me on the shoulder and asked if we’d be interested in seeing a fashion show?

With our mouths wide open, we nodded and followed him without flinching, and he went on to explain that he was a representative of the HAVAIANAS flip-flop line at the tents, and would we like some free new “Flash Way Etnics” women’s style flip flops in pink and blue (you can find them here)? So excited she almost fell over, my sister started chirping away giddily, and we proceeded to walk the red carpet, drink espressos, horde swag and bump into ridiculously attractive giants (the people they refer to as ‘models’). It was all topped off by Ms. Gwen Stefani’s L.A.M.B. Spring Collection show followed by feverish chatting and giggling for the rest of the trip.

Today, no one really remembers the fighting or disagreements; all was resolved by one man and Fashion Week.
His name was Eduardo and because of him much fun was had by all, but more importantly our feet.

04
Mar
08

The L.A. Native’s ‘Must Have’ For Spring: The Havaiana Sandal

I know it’s not quite spring yet….but the warm weather we’ve been having in L.A. is making me giddy and delirious with

anticipation.

There’s a simple beauty about Los Angeles in the spring. The city’s still coming out of the rainy season, so the air is crisp and clean. The sunshine is warm, not hot. The roses start to come back, green and leafy with new life. A passing breeze blows the scent of jasmine through your window. I love stepping outside and feeling the hot pavement under my bare feet.

I know this is about as far as I can go before the rest of the country (currently still enduring freezing temps) blasts me for being… just plain mean.

So before you leave this little blog, let me tell you why I’m so excited. Maybe it’s all the vitamin D, but I’ve discovered an amazing spring ‘Must Have’ that I have to share with you now, even if you still have to wait a few more months to wear them. Let me introduce the Havaiana sandal.

The Havaiana is not a new shoe. It’s been around for a couple years. At first glance it looks like your average rubber flip flop. But don’t be fooled! It’s the most comfortable sandal I’ve ever worn. And, they have a cool web site in English, Spanish, and Portugese, too, for all you Brazilian beach girls out there.

Here’s what caught this Californian’s attention.

Growing up in Pacific Palisades, I am what you might call, a beach girl. And in the Palisades and, I think it’s safe to say, across Southern California, beach girls have always worn Reefs. The Reef sandal is part of a brilliantly bohemian ensemble called “surfer chic.” The sole is black rubber, and the thong is made of multi-colored braided cloth; paired with right string bikini, the combo is unstoppable. I’ve never strayed from this fashion belief–until now.

Yesterday I decided to get out of my house and walk–yes people–walk up town. Is that bad? Is it an L.A. thing? Anyway, can I just ask the question: what is it about warm weather that boosts the serotonin levels in our brains and makes us want to shop? And even more astonishing — exercise??

Larchmont Boulevard in L.A. is an amazing three blocks of boutiques, coffee shops and restaurants. Now, I don’ t know if it was my freshly pedicured toes (Essie’s Pink Ribbon), the warm weather, or a random need to buy a pair of flip flops, but when i popped into my favorite boutique and spotted the Havaianas in the corner, my heart did a little flip-flop of its own.

Like a crazed person I searched through the bin, picked out a pair of black ones, (size 9) and bought them without even trying them on. When I got home, I kicked off my old Reefs, threw them into the closet where they couldn’t see, and slipped on my new Havaiana.

(Sigh.)

Heaven!

Seriously folks, allow my insanely good mood to influence you here for a moment. Despite being comfortable and easy to walk in, these shoes are the first pair of rubber thongs I have ever owned that did not give my feet the usual break-in blisters.

Personally, I prefer the solid colors, and there is literally a rainbow of them to choose from.

But for those of you who love a little ‘bling’, they also make sparkly, jeweled ones!

I’m telling you, I’m in love. I’m having an affair with my Havaianas and I just don’t have the heart to tell my Reefs.

So there’s my tale. I’ll still keep my Reefs around. After all, classic shoes never go out of style. We’ll always be friends.

But for the time being I’m subscribing to the Haviana fan club– and as we head into the summer season, I highly suggest you do too!

25
Jan
08

Slippin’ Into the Future, Part One

I’d grown accustomed to living without them. I even dated men who flat-out refused to wear them. Nothing beats walking barefoot on the beach. And hey, it certainly takes the pressure out of deciding which pair to wear everyday. After awhile, it was actually kind of liberating, really.

In the islands, wearing shoes is out of fashion. Not only are they impractical to wear in warm, tropical climates, especially on land surrounded by sand and water, but also, locals believe that walking barefoot keeps them in touch with their ancestors and staves off illness by constantly hitting reflex points on the bottom of their feet.

So it’s understandable that the most commonly worn “shoes” in Hawaii are “slippahs,” or flip-flops—thin rubber soles barely attached to your big toe by a single, carefully placed strap—something that can be slipped off easily when running into the ocean, or gingerly left by the door when entering someone’s home (shoes are “kapu,” or forbidden, inside).

This is not to say I didn’t miss wearing shoes. In fact, after 10 years living on Maui, it was one of the deciding factors in my departure.
I know that sounds superficial—and perhaps a bit melodramatic. But it’s true. The shoes I was wearing, or not wearing, had become yet another symbol of choice—another example of the many options that were sorely lacking on my little rock in the middle of the ocean. Maybe I wanted to cram my sand-encrusted toes into a nice four-inch heeled stiletto. What if I liked the feel of thigh-high vinyl zipped boots?

That’s why, as I said goodbye to my friends at the curb, and headed towards the security check at the airport, I threw my oldest, most comfortable, worn-down pair of slippahs in the trash.




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