A wrong step is doubly mistaken if done in ugly shoes.
Guggenheim Fellow, My roommate, and perpetually tapped resource Michelle Handelman and I have discussed in length the fact that Boston is doing itself a disservice by paying attention only to functional foot wear. Michelle commutes to bean town 3 days a week from NY to teach at Mass Art. As a visual artist, New Yorker, instructor, commuter, and person with EYES, she is highly credible in these matters. She explains how you’ll see a fairly attractive person with enough style to get by. You hone in, taking them as the individual whom you’ll be glancing at coolly and periodically for the duration of this train ride. You start with their hair, and proceed to look them up and down. Oh look, they’re reading that book you’ve been wondering about. You continue downward to the train’s faux wood paneled floor, and the person is wearing these:
ugh. I hear you saying, “My, aren’t we a SASSquatch today!?” Well yes, but only on particularly half-assed matters is my distaste this pointed. But don’t get it twisted, I will eat your babies. Especially if they’re wearing Crocs.
Incidentally, this is Michelle and some images of her video art, all sleek and dreamy, all fashionably viable:
I am a secret agent… well, really I’m a creep. No, I’m just a shoe snob. Anyways, I took some stealthy pics on the train last week in Boston, and these are the first two RANDOM pairs of shoes sitting across from me. That’s right, I’m reducing people to their feet! Let’s take a look:
Now, this situation isn’t hopeless or the worst offense on the orange line, it’s just the first I faced. The shoes are good in a running capacity, but not much else. She’s not running with that huge bag (which is kind of nice…) so why the lack of consideration for style. She does match socks and skirt, which took minimal moxie and some gall if meant ironically (trust me, it wasn’t). Which brings me to a brief Public Service Announcement:
PEOPLE. The things you like under the guise of satire DO say something about you.
I bet she’s just a teacher which grants her some immunity if only for that groups’ commitment to this particular look.
Moving along, this is the second snapshot I took:
The green sandals are whatever, but those white and brown shoes are what burn me up the most. They’re a mutated take on Adidas that people in Boston often default to. It’s like they have this archetype of style met with comfort and they grab for the first thing that’s in it’s family. Sometimes there’s 2 lines (not 3), sometimes there’s 4 lines. A lack of vision is more offensive than the wrong one.
Now, people in the south would refer to these as Bobos (look it up Yankees!). But what truly defines a bobo is not that it cost’s a $1.99 or that it’s in yo neighborhood, but that it’s generic. A cheap shoe can be unique, and an expensive shoe can be generic. Bad, however, is just Bad.
Phew! All of that was Cathartic. I would like to now show you some do’s in order to cleanse us of these demons.
These Bed Stu boots have that pretend utility (neither these or the Keens will ever meet mud), but are also urban and sophisticated. I like most of what’s going on here.
And a wild card:
In conclusion, Boston needs shoe help. Cities that do not are, obviously, New York, and Paris where everyone wears something dark, daring, and sleek; and everyone looks like Sade. At ease.