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“They come running just as fast as they can
‘cause every girl crazy ‘bout a sharp dressed man.”
I see him through the crowd, from a distance away down the bar. While casually chatting with his friends, he’s slightly leaning against the bar, somewhat trying to get the bartender’s attention for the next round. The crisp short sleeve button down he has on is unbuttoned just enough to expose the slightest tuft of chest hair. His hair, only a little messy, chestnut brown, and perfect in every way. It’s his laugh and smile, though, that get me. It’s infectious, and I immediately need to be in on whatever joke he’s listening to. I suggest to my friends that we try to make our way over, through the crowd to make our intentions and moves known. Carefully sliding past other patrons, I have him in my sights, and that’s when I see… he’s wearing flip-flops. I sigh, throw my drink on his feet, light a cigarette, and flick the ash on to his feet so that the abomination of fashion sin he’s committed can burn forever in hell. As my friends and I make our exit from the bar, I pull the fire alarm.
Did this actually happen? Of course not – I don’t smoke. Call me “shallow” or “cruel” or “bitter” for walking away (in a completely fictitious situation) because of the shoes that a man was wearing… go ahead, I’ll wait… Okay, glad that we’re past that now. There seems to be an epidemic of good-looking guys wearing heinous footwear lately, and I want it to stop. I hate to see anyone put together an amazing outfit only to ruin it because he doesn’t know what to put on his feet. Might as well just be wearing baseball cleats all the time; it wouldn’t look any less ridiculous than what some of you are putting on your feet now. I know that I sound way harsh, and I’m sorry if I hurt your feelings. But the truth of the matter is that there is a certain level of attractiveness when someone takes a little time and puts in a little effort to their physical appearance, including footwear. Please let me highlight three areas where you gents seem to be making a bit of a mistake:
Let’s start with the flip-flops, boys. Before I attack your choice of footwear, let me just say – if you want to wear flip-flops, that’s fine (I guess), but there are many clauses that come with the flip-flop contract. First, I get that it’s summer. Your feet are probably sweating like no other, and with sweat comes a stank. But guess what? Wearing flip-flops all the damn time doesn’t actually help your stinky self: not only do you have to clean your flips (yes, clean. your. flips.), you also have to take care of your feet. Wash, dry, powder, etcetera. Please, please, please, if you are going to expose your little piggies, don’t take them to market; take them to a Walgreens and buy a set of nail clippers. Before you even think about putting your feet on display, clip your toenails, caveman. And if you are truly ride-or-die team flip-flop, maybe reach deep into your pockets and treat yourself to a pedicure. Really, the only place that you should be wearing a pair of flip-flops is to a body of water, but if you’re going to wear those damn things out and about, wash the damn sludge off your feet when you’re done.
There is nothing wrong with a decent pair of boat shoes. What I’m talking about is the grody, grimy, washed up shoes that some guys can’t seem to separate from. What is it about a man and his boat shoes? I know several post grads that still have a ratty old pair from their glory days of undergrad. The ghost of parties past are still lingering in them. We can see the “water” stains from across the room, fellas. Like, okay, we get it, you were in a frat and you cradled a lax stick for just shy of eight years. Cool. But it’s time to grow up. There is no excuse to still be wearing the same style of, let alone pair, boat shoes you wore the same day you did your first keg stand. I mean, I will be the one to say it… You cannot wear the same shoes you wore in college to your first job. Build a pyre, say a prayer, light a match, and then lay the old boat shoes to rest, guys. I mean, God forbid, splurge on a new pair, or better yet upgrade to some loafers.
Sneakers, tennis shoes, kicks, whatever you call them… just invest in a decent pair or two, one for athletic purposes and one for more casual endeavors. You do not need any neon bullshit on your kicks; you are a grown-up, not a kid going to pick out his back to school shoes for kindergarten. Keep your sneakers “neutral” by picking a gray or a navy or even black so it will match everything. And just to be clear, in no way, shape, or form are sneakers to be worn with a suit. Who do you think you are, Kendall Roy? Just like the way that you dress says a lot about you, so does the way that you take care of your sneakers. Above all, sneakers require maintenance: You have to take care of the soles of any sneaker, no matter the color, to keep them fresh and sleek. Scrub the soles every week or so and keep a Tide-To-Go pen or wipe handy for any smudges on the other parts of the sneaker.
Guys, the ladies are out there, and we see you, all of you. You might be headed towards us with a sweet smile, a nice head of hair, and a great body, but if you’ve got ratty, flimsy, washed up clunkers on your feet, please keep on walking down the road..