Flip flops? Really? When & How to Wear Them!
A Little Off the Top
Topnotch tips to help define your style from the owner of Shorty’s Barber Shop and Public Service Salon in Los Angeles, Chris Bair.
California style is relaxed gentlemen, yes, it's true. And flip flops may be cool and comfortable and seemingly fit that style, but when they're worn in the wrong situations they're just... well... wrong.
So being the fashionable gentleman that your are (and not a troglodyte), here are some proper places for flip flops: on the beach, by the pool, in the locker room and shower of your gym (Please, guys, do this!) and on Ocean Drive, Miami Beach or the like.
Not fashionable or acceptable places? Bars (Oops! Did I step on your toes and now you’re throwing me shade?), restaurants, the gym floor, the shopping mall— basically, everywhere else.
When did guys get so lazy about putting on shoes, kicks or vans? Well, it's time for that to stop, and here are some ways to make flip flip sandals work.
Clean It Up
Flip flops are never acceptable if you have feet and toenails that look like you’ve been climbing trees or scaling rocks.
Or impersonating a lizard.
Or all of the above.
That's just nasty, and while this photo may be an exaggeration, I’m constantly amazed at how little attention guys pay to their feet and toes. We’re all seeing them, can’t you?
The solution is simple and inexpensive. Give yourself a pedicure and remember these steps:
1. Exfoliate with a good foot scrub or buffer from the drug store.
2. Moisturize the skin. A normal, moderately priced lotion is all you need.
3. Trim and buff those nails.
You can also spend a little cash (and really doesn't cost that much) to just go to a salon for a pedicure and enjoy the pampering. As my mother always said, “You can tell how well-groomed a guy is by his feet and teeth.” Mom was never wrong.
Wear It Right
Now that you have good peds and are at one of my previously noted acceptable places, then PLEASE DO wear a cute pair of flip flops.
Which ones are hip, affordable and stylish? My personal favs are Havaianas. They can go from mild to wild, with tons of styles that aren’t going to set you back a foot (and a toe). For around $20 bucks you are ready to hit the sand. You can even make you own one-of-a-kind creation on their website! www.us.havaianas.com
Another one of my favorite brands is lesser known in America and around the same price: iPANEMA flip flops. These are a bit more mod and sophisticated for an affordable option. Named after the most glamorous neighborhood in Brazil, it is from this culture that designers at iPANEMA footwear draw their inspiration. Who doesn’t want to believe they are on the beach in Rio when they are in their flip flop sandals? www.ipanemausa.com
With the right style in the right space (and so that you don't have to worry about those toes getting stepped on at the bar any longer) you'll be looking hot and ready to trot!
Images (feet above, and left): Photos.com
A Little Off the Top. Chris Bair is owner of the award-winning, trendsetting Shorty’s Barber Shop and Public Service salon in California. Always observing and sharing new trends that make for interesting twists and turns in culture and lifestyle, Bair is a regular contributor to Gay.net. For more information on Bair’s shops, visit www.shortysbarbershop.com and www.publicservicela.com, or follow him on Twitter @shortysbarber.