Friday, August 10, 2012
One of the best images of the young Ralph Lauren, and I understand that he was a very well dressed man, has him arriving for a trunk show in a navy pin striped suit with a pair of black velvet slippers on his feet. Another, more recent photo, this one of Alan Flusser, shows him standing be-slippered with the Churchwell brothers. Such are the modern precedents of suede and/or velvet house shoes.
I have grown increasingly fond of the things myself (I am wearing a dark green pair trimmed with black to dinner this evening, where they will have a gravitas comparable to black pumps). Summer is after all the time for footwear that would never stand the puddles of winter, and I live in dress slip-ons, Sloops, drivers, espadrilles and house shoes, alternating about a dozen pair. And though some men might worry that the house shoe bows might be perceived as a little effeminate I will remind them that they are considerably more discreet than the bow on a pair of opera pumps and those were worn by quite a few dandies whose honor would require pistols at dawn should a comment have been made about the masculinity of themselves or their footwear.
In my opinion, the house shoe is another way of expressing the carelessness that is the best of men's dress.