I’m flip-flopping on flip-flops

From Gawker (oh yeah, I admit it), people are wearing flip-flops to work. Flip-flops are abundant at Microsoft. Flip-flops are incredibly abundant in my closet. I can imagine situations at work when they aren’t particularly appropriate (and I do pick my outfit relative to who I am going to be seeing that day). At the same time, my cute little navy canvas ones with lobsters on the straps are just begging to be admired.

I’m not sure I know the right answer, and I suspect it’s mostly contingent upon the accepted dress at work. And I’d never wear the super rubbery thrift store kind to work. And flip-flops make foot grooming a requirement.

If I say it’s OK to wear flip-flops to work under certain circumstances, does it mean I have lived in Seattle too long? I mean dress flip-flops, definitely dress flip-flops.

Comments (24)

  1. Drea says:

    Flip flops are required professional attire at my office, especially in the summer. And on those colder "winter"-like days, at least wear a long-sleeved shirt with those flip flops! We once even put that in a recruitment ad. It didn’t receive quite as many responses as our Chocolate-themed ad.

  2. kizzer says:

    I onece worked for a Co. who’s dress policy included the immortal:

    "No Thin, Dirty Flip-Flops."

  3. HeatherLeigh says:

    Drea-you must be at Aquent in LA…the chocolate the the flip-flops are a tip-off

    Kizzer-that would definitely clear it up for me.

  4. Mike says:

    Flips Flops are not that much different than most women’s shoes. So most women have naked feet according to this article.

  5. Tomse says:

    No Flip flops allowed here. 🙂

  6. Wine-Oh says:

    I own 1 pair of nicer flip flops. However I am a klutz and have been known to walk out of them many times. Sometimes even in the middle of the crosswalk. They are good for walking the dog or for driving. But I prefer sneakers, shoes or even Tevas to a flip flop. Also for support reasons. Flip flops have no shock and support. Walk in them too much and your feet will revolt.

  7. HeatherLeigh says:

    True, Wine-oh, but they are liberating on a hot day. If your feet are even trying to free themselves from the flip-flops….well, I think you now have to refer to them as "freedom feet"…man, I am funny on Saturday mornings.

  8. RJD says:

    "Certain circumstances" should include having cute feet.  You can’t unsee the ugly ones.

  9. HeatherLeigh says:

    RJD- I would personally agree with that. Though I have found that a lot of people are not good at being honest with themseles about that kind of thing. Also evidenced by the "muffin top".

    A good pedi makes all the difference in the world!

  10. RJD says:

    Or worse, Spandex shorts stretched to their limit, in sizes they never should have been made in the first place.

    I forget where it is, but there’s a site out there that features photos of people who need a little help in the self-appraisal department.

  11. HeatherLeigh says:

    RJD- I’m one of those people that feel that you should only wear spandex is you are on a bike ride (with the shoes and the helmet, etc). I need to know where that site is if you ever happen to remember.

    Even at the gym, I can’t help but question some peoples’ choice of fashion. My trainer told me before "don’t worry, nobody is looking at you in here", but that is so not true. I’m evaluating fashion choices so I can take my mind off the pain. And really, I’m only judging the people that seem to be trying to draw attention to themselves with their fashion choices. I’m sorry, cleavage in the gym is so neither necessary nor appropriate. Also, it’s physically uncomfortable (sorry if this is TMI).  I suspect that these people are proud of their bodies but puh-leez…it’s a gym. Tight spandex and revealing tank tops are a "don’t".

  12. tod hilton says:

    Hehe – yes, there are some things that should never be worn to the gym!

  13. RJD says:

    >I’m evaluating fashion choices so I can take my mind off the pain.

    Some cause pain.  Sometimes best to close your eyes and try to find your happy place.

  14. wmc says:

    Only when it is too hot to go to work and if you have good looking,clean feet !

  15. HeatherLeigh says:

    wmc- Brittney Spears needs to hear from you! ; ) Ah, the dirty bare feet kill me!

  16. mom says:

    I confess, I am wearing them to work today–casual Friday–pedicurial excellence, I assure you.

  17. HeatherLeigh says:

    mom- your work environment is very casual so you can get away with it.

  18. Chris Taylor says:

    Perhaps if you work outdoors in sunnier climes they’d be fine, but I live in a place with two seasons (winter and July) and in the financial district we would never see them as appropriate business wear for anybody not running a Caribbean charter.

    Companies are blowing millions of dollars to hire accountants and auditors from this firm, and they expect serious professionals.  The clients can get downright *angry* if our people aren’t dressed to the nines — even if the customer’s own dress code is business casual.  While our policy is to dress according to the client’s own dress code, very often it has to go several notches above that.  I have heard auditors get sworn at by client VPs, along the lines of "we’re paying you x-thousand dollars a day — couldn’t you at least wear an effing suit?"

    In our business flip-flops tend to say the opposite of serious professional.  This office tower is full to the brim of people wearing nice dressy suits and ties; here, flip-flops are not okay.  They are not even living in a yurt on the outskirts of the Siberia of okay.

  19. kizzer says:

    I don’t mind the look of these shoes so much, but their noise — that "fwap, fwap" sound that many slings and thong-type sandals make on the floor — is very distracting.

  20. Terri says:

    It’s horrible, I see women dressed impeccably from the knees up, and then they’re wearing flip flops.  How can they think flip flops look OK for anyplace except the beach???  There is a time and a place for them, and the office isn’t it.  

    Wearing flip flops to the office tells the world, "I enjoy looking like a skank, and have no concept of how to dress appropriately."  

  21. HeatherLeigh says:

    Hmm, Terri, that’s pretty strongly put. I think it depends on the culture and dress code of the company. "Skank" isn’t what flip-flops say to me. Maybe "casual"…maybe "too casual"…but "skank"? For what, showing ankles? Toe cleavage?

  22. terri says:

    The reason I say ‘skank’ is because is the absolute most grudging acknowledgement of a ‘no shoes, no service’ policy.  The barest minimum you can get away with.  And under no circumstances does it look nice at all, no matter how manicured the feet are.  

  23. HeatherLeigh says:

    Hmm, I guess there’s a regional difference in the definition of that word. To me, the connotation has something to do with a person’s, um, extracurricular activities.

    I wore flip-flops to a baseball game yesterday and felt perfectly fine (quite comfortable, actually). I wouldn’t wear them to work if I gave a presentation (having to look "nice"), but most days don’t require that anyway.

    Weekends in the summer are all flip-flops. I guess it’s up to the individual to decide the appropriate time and place for flip-flops and whether they care enough about the opinions of people that are judging them based on their footwear. There’s footwear I find unstylish and that is one thing, but in the big picture, footwear is pretty trivial to judge people by, in my opinion.

  24. truegem3 says:

    In South Texas pretty feet are mandatory since it is hot here almost year round and everyone wears sandals and flip flops all the time. Even in the winter. Coming from the NW it was an adjustment to pretty up the feet and brave the bare feet new world at work.