Sunday, February 28, 2010

Pretty vs. Practical: a classic battle born over jellies

When I was a little girl, all I wanted was a pair of glitter jellies. Do you remember them? They were those plastic sandals made for children that came in a variety of "princess" colors like pink, purple and...more pink.

My neighbors had a pair of jellie
s. I thought they looked so pretty running around playing make believe games with their sparkly shoes on.
Alas, we (my sister and I) were not allowed to have jellies. My father, always the pragmatist, thought they were a frivolous purchase. Poorly made with absolutely no promise of comfort or practicality, I guess he just figured that they weren't worth the money.

So instead of glittery pink, I wore tennis shoes with rainbow shoelaces. And patent leather mary janes for church on Sundays.
Little did I know that the early seeds of a classic battle were being born right then. The duel between comfortable, supportive footwear and the OTHER kind of shoe--the beautiful, glamorous, dainty, shimmery shoe.

Once I grew a bit older, the battle leaned in favor of practicality for quite some time.
I went through many years wearing some variety of heavy brown shoe to school, and velvet black strappy sandals for fancy occasions. There were the clogs for a time. Then the birkenstock-like sandals. Then the closed-toe loafer/boot hybrids. And believing that black really does go with Everything...I wore that black strappy sandal to Every Single Prom, dinner and dance that required a skirt.
As I look down at my feet now--clad in metallic rose-gold flats with rosettes on the toes--I realize that somewhere along the way the battle swung back in favor of the "jellies." You'd be hard pressed to find any type of heavy brown shoe in my closet now, and though I do still keep a black strappy sandal on hand, I DON'T wear it with everything formal.

The truth is that practical and comfortable just don't make the top of the list for my shoe-criteria any more.
And feet do hurt after a day spent in open-toe wedges. And yes, sometimes I get cramps in my arches--a casualty of poor support. But I just don't care.

As far as I'm concerned,
I'm making up for those years coveting jellies and wearing sneakers instead. It's my time for pink glitter, and I'm not turning back.

Is there a fashion item from your childhood that you fondly remember? Do share by posting your comment here!


  1. I have jellies (as an adult). I also have more pairs of 3-4 inches heels than Matt thinks is necessary ot appropriate. Shoes always make you feel good - especially when paired with a lovely pedicure. I feel bad for men actually, with all that practicality, how can they possibly have any fun?

  2. I just read an interview with Victoria Beckham where she said that heels and sunglasses can fix any outfit. I couldn't agree more.

    And there is something special about shoes, isn't there?

  3. For the record, Kerri wore her grown-up jellies last night for me to see.

    I was jealous. Oh so jealous.


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