Beauty…and the Male: The Flip Flop Revolution

Part of the reason for my column on COM, is that several ladies commented that they want to know more about what men really like. Many times, men are too embarrassed or frightened to tell you what we really find attractive. So we just go along, to get along. However, I feel compelled to use my voice to speak out for all men (well, the ones that care about fashion).

I’m not sure exactly what is happening in the culture of women’s fashion in this country, but the flip flop has seriously taken over. And as a man, I have to say, I am NOT happy about it! First, let me say that I am all for comfort in today’s stressful society. If you are out and about on a weekend, running errands, or taking your kids to soccer practice, then by all means, enjoy yourself and the comfort of having your feet exposed to the sun (pedicure–mandatory).

Yet, while I believe in comfort, I also believe in appropriateness and the envelope has been pushed way too far! Recently, I did an informal survey and just began to pay more attention to women’s footwear in professional and more formal settings. I observed flip flops at work, at school, in airports, in business meetings, and even at funerals! Is it too much to ask for a little black pump during a FUNERAL!?!?!? The sexiest image is and continue to be a woman walking down the street in a nice skirt and a nice pair of heels!

Call me a bad person, but I firmly believe that this is the difference between our current generation and the ones in the past. Take a look at the adults in the 20s and 30s. If someone came out in public wearing flannel nightclothes, they would have been stoned in the public square. Yet, we allow it under the guise of it being more comfortable.

Very slowly, our society is corroding. The “rules” are being relaxed. Even in those instances when they should not be. Well, I, for one am ready to stand against it!! Get a grip and hold on to your soles, ladies…here’s a newsflash…the Flip Flop Revolution is OVER!

Until next time,

More about Kenneth:

Kenneth D. Pratt Esq. is a graduate of Morehouse College and the Florida State University College of Law. A native of Tallahassee, Florida, he began his career there, as a certified legal intern at the Office of the State Attorney and progressed to the Office of the Attorney General where he served for three years. Pratt has published several short stories, poems, and op eds in National as well as local publications. In his spare time he enjoys reading, travel, and sports.

  • Ma’at

    I despise flip flops, and wish that they were illegal outside of the home (they're plastic/rubber house shoes for pete's sake)… Ok maybe at the pool.

  • The Asian Girl

    Thank you! I agree; flip-flops are very pervasive, especially here in Florida. There are times (probably when I'm incredibly lazy or going to the beach) that I'll throw on a pair, but definitely not in a professional setting. Besides, there's a whole another world of shoes to own/wear.

  • ambersmash

    I agree that professional and formal occasions should have a different standard of dress. But in airports and at school? Let's not be ridiculous. While you may find heels and skirts most attractive, they are not always practical. Neither is dishing out money for pedicures. Perhaps the newsflash is to you; Get over it.

  • Miss Yaya

    I only half agree. I think the general flip flop is a wide group of footwear. There are a lot of dressy flip flops that look great.

    On the most part, I'm a firm believer that rubber flip flops and all other flimsy versions belong as house shoes, by bodies of water, or as pedi transportation to home. However, I have found plenty a sexy flip flop with enough pizazz to make it look good.

    I still think people (men AND women) get this funny walk when they don flip flops, and it has been reported on numerous times that wearing open footwear of anykind raises your risks for getting sick (i.e. you walk on the ground that sick people spit on, dirt, garbage, germs, etc. and most of it flies up under your foot in the process b.c there's no barrier).

    I'll forgive anyone in a flip flop so long as they keep track of how dirty their heels get, moisturize their footsies, and take care of their nails. It doesn't have to be a perfect french pedi every week, but I don't want to fear a meeting with someone's toenail on a subway.

  • Miss Yaya

    oh and personally… i think men need to quit it with the flip flops. I really do. Women – even if sometimes sloppy, rock 'em much better, :)

  • T.R.

    I agree about flip flops that are for beach wear. Yes they are okay if running to the beach, around the house, or quick errands with a nice casual outfit.

    But there are TOOOO many pretty sandals out there or as Miss Yaya said cuter flip flops (which to me are sandals) for a girl to wear and have. At a funeral? Okay now that's just … I have no words.

    Personally I don't get the fascination. Probably b/c I tend to trip tooo many times in mine. :O)

  • rmcandlelight

    I'm with you on the flip flop issue. I'm from your generation. It bugs me to see men walking around in flip flops. When I was growing up if you saw a boy with flip flops (talking about when I was a teenager) we would think he was a punk. I was used to seeing guys wearing socks and tennis shoes. (converses)!!

  • B

    I used to be A SERIOUS flip flop lover. I think I had ALL of the flip flop colors Old Navy had in middle school. If Florida had a state shoe, the flip flop would be it. But now, you may find ONE pair in my closet and those are some jazzy sandal-like flippies. I just don't like how they look on me so I haven't resorted back to them.

    This is one trend that I doubt will ever fade away. Flops are cheap, easy to find, waterproof and take no time sliding on. I can't cosign on the comfort and Yaya is right—I can't STAND to see a man with flip flops on. Somethin' just ain't right about that.

  • slackey210

    Well I've gotta sound off on this. I'm a shoe lover, flip flops included. I have all colors and multiples of my basics like black, white, brown and tan. They are a staple for my summer wardrobe. Throw on a pair of capris or shorts and a colorful tank top or tee with flip flops to match and I'm ready to go. This is typical weekend, errand running attire for me. And I keep a pair on stand-by in my car for lunchtime errands, after work grocery runs, etc. Yes I'll have on my work clothes and a pair of flip flops! It might not look like a fashion statement, but I don't look forward to cruising the aisles of the grocery in my heels that I've worn for the past 8 hours. Flip flops do have a place and a funeral isn't the right place, but I see nothing wrong wearing them when the time is right. And as far as men….I don't like men in them unless it's at the pool or beach or in a shower house, but that's just my personal opinion.

  • Lee

    I agree with Kenneth. I think flip flops have gone too far. On the beach, on the weekends running errands, cool; but at work, or any other professional settings, absolutely not. And I can't fathom seeing them at a funeral. While I don't think its practical for women to always be in heels and skirts, (I know I won't), I think we have gotten a bit lazy. And I don't like men in flop flops either.

  • Tiffany

    great post! i never knew that men thought that till a few days ago; me and my bf had the same exact conversation!

  • Anonymous

    Great revolution, am agree with you flip.

  • Black Skin Care

    I like this beauty and mail revolutionary post that is really very nice. M with you flip and thanks for sharing..

  • Kimberly

    Coming from an avid shoe collector & flip flop wearer myself,I whole hardheartedly agree with you on the aspect of wearing flip flops in a professional setting & certainly not a funeral. There are certain flip flop etiquette guidelines which must be followed.

    But as to the flip flop revolution being over it is not, nor do i hope it ends any time soon. Yes, we women are aware as the the man's hatred of the things.

    Frankly speaking most women now days are so busy with our daily lives we need a shoe that is comfortable, that we can just slide our feet into. Honestly on days such as those, we really don't care who is watching so long as we can get our errands done in peace & comfort.

    True I can appreciate your despise of the flip flops, but than again I've yet to see many men running around in pumps & high heels. Believe me, try wearing a pair of sexy stilettos for a day & i think you'll understand our love of the flip flops.

  • D.

    Whatever. I rarely listen to what men have to say about fashion – even gay men. Just stick to your old fashioned ideals about what a woman should look like and I'll stay comfortable in my own skin and not subscribe to this blog anymore. Yeah, I get the whole "tongue-in-cheek" with a side of seriousness this man is proffering, but I am not buying it. Um, the 20's and 30's…? Yeah, I really wanna wear layers and layers of clothes and silk stockings at all times. Unless we are supposed to walk around in flapper-like style, you don't know what you're talking about.

  • B

    D—> Not to speak for Kenneth, but perhaps looking at the bigger picture would help. No one is implying that women should walk around in heels 24/7. I think this post was more geared to the unprofessionalism that is flip flops. NOT the implication that" women should never wear them".

    My idea to have a male editor on Clumps was to not make women feel as if they should look and dress like how MEN want us to look and dress. The inclusion of Beauty…and the Male is simply a platform to allow a male to discuss what he thinks about beauty. And for anyone who wants to…to toss in their input. Although women may deny it, we DO care what men think every now and then. And to an extent…I think that's okay.

    I think it's interesting that you choose to unsubscribe to my blog due to a post done by someone else. It's a rather hasty move–especially if you've been satisfied with Clumps thus far. But I appreciate your input nonetheless…it helps with the betterment of Clumps overall.


  • MissS

    I agree with KP, to a certain extent. I am not a fan of flip flops but for a slightly different reason. They are horrible for the health of your feet! :) I used to have horrible pains on the heel of my feet and discovered Birks. Granted, not the most attractive footwear but the foot bed has helped and now my pains are gone.

    I do agree that society has relaxed quite a bit. There are some pros and cons to this. On some things I am a bit old school.. It's nice to dress 'up' for church, meaning no cut-off jeans and flip flops. It's nice to dress up when going to the ballet or a muscial. But I live in the NW…the land of fleece and I feel quite alone in my belief. :)

    Thanks KP!

  • Her Royal Poshness

    D: 'I rarely listen to what men have to say about fashion – even gay men.'

    What an ignorant statement. Beauty and the male gives COM an extra edge. If you don't like Kenneth's opinion then express yours but don't insult him or the blog. Flip flops in a professional setting is very tacky whether you agree or not.

  • sabrina

    I don't like flip flops (not speaking on those thong sandals that are dressy, talking about those rubbery plastic things) either. I think that they a copout. There are shoes that are easy to put on, can be matched to many outfits, and look way more put together than those things. I also read a article about injuries that result from flip flops and how one have to walk to keep the shoe on. I do own a pair that I use to go get pedicures, but they are not worn on a regular basis.

    Oh yeah, I don't like men in sandals period. I hate those sports sandals with socks even more!

  • Anonymous

    I wouldn't be surprised if some of the people who are up in arms are the type to wear flip flops to work/ a funeral/ the opera. I whole heartedly agree with this posting – there is a time and a place for flip flops… And crocs while we are on the topic of footwear worn in inappropriate places :-). Yes, I have seen crocs at the opera – yes, it was a matinee but still!! And I also agree with one of the commenters regarding health – it does worry me when I see people wearing flip flops walking through the city. Whatever you think is possible to step on, I have seen worse :-( And like it or not, the man has a point – a lot of women do look better in heels than in flats, I know I do. But the message I believe he is sending isn't saying one can't look good if not dressed to the nines – just stop looking sloppy in public.

  • kateypie35

    While I agree with KP that flip flops are not for funerals and office wear….I think he may have bumped his head if he thinks flip flops are over.

    I am a busy 38 year old Mom, not to mention a 5'10 tall Mom. Flops are quick, easy, comfy, and come in purdy candy colors that make me happy. I wear them daily.

    I especially am going to wear them in airports til the day I die. Get used to it. Its so much easier to juggle kids and luggage going through security if I can just hurl my shoes off in one swift movement. And I can put them back on with one hand while grabbing a runaway kid with the other. Heels? HAHAHAHAH. You must be daft.

    I challenge you KP – will you accept? Borrow some 19 month old toddlers…then wear some heels with stockings while running some errands or maneuvering through an airport. You will be BEGGING for some Flip Flops. Trust me.

    Hey – will you babysit while I go get a pedicure? That would be awesome.

  • D.

    @Her Royal Poshness: How is my statement ignorant? I didn't insult him. Did you ever think that perhaps I don't care what men think because I'm not romantically interested in them? Of course not because everyone is straight, right? And you call me ignorant… I didn't call him gay either (which, in my book, is NOT an insult and if it is to you, you have problems). I was referring to the fashion industry at large that is largely populated with gay men that outfit impossibly small and infantile women in outlandish outfits with no basis in reality. Please, if you want to call someone ignorant, please take a look in a mirror and maybe pick up a fashion magazine like Vogue or maybe even start with something small and sophmoric like "America's Next Top Model." Enlighten yourself before you try to school me. Thanks. And before you call me a big fashion-less dike, honey, I am VERY stylish. I am a makeup artist myself, so I don't read this blog for *tips* – I read it because I thought the blogger was very candid and funny about her experiences with make-up. I have only subscribed for a short while and this is the first post I've read written by this man.

  • Andrea

    My shocking (rubber)flip-flop moment was seeing a mother & daughter wear them to Sunday church service. I thought to my self: "I realize that the dress code is relaxed…BUT THIS IS RIDICULOUS!!!!!
    –Personally,I only wear my rubber flip-flops around the house or after a pedicure.
    Great post Brit!

  • B

    D—> I know your last response was to Her Royal Poshness, but I'm going to comment anyway. But not to her defense (even though she is a personal friend, make-up artist, fellow blogger and flyest thing walkin' roun the UK right now).

    There are only 2 genders (that I know of….LOL) in the world. Male and female. Being that my blog is written by a female for females, it is very rare that you see the views and opinions of a man on Clumps. I decided to include them only because….why shouldn't we (straight or lesbian women) care what men think? Men are our fathers, brothers, best friends, uncles, sons, nephews, husbands, etc. My having a male-written series on here is not meant to make women and act and do certain things to appeal more attractive to men. It is about getting a different viewpoint. That's all.

    This may be the first post that YOU'VE seen by Kenneth but he has contributed to Clumps many times before. And not just in opinionated areas–but he has also done product reviews.

    You seem to be very bothered by mainstream beauty–and to an extent, I can understand that. Instead of channeling your anger/frustration/annoyance to me and my readers, why not start up your own blog? I'd be interested in reading some of your material.

    And uh….you did insult me. Threatening to unsubscribe to my blog because you didn't like a post that I didn't write is a little unsettling. Will I loose sleep over it? No. It ain't that deep. I know all of my posts can't appeal to everyone. And that's fine.

    Anywhoovers, I'm done. Don't hesitate to email me ( if you have any other questions or concerns. I'd much rather keep Clumps' comments all bubble gum and cupcakes and sprinkles-like. We deal with enough drama in this thang called life so if I can keep it off my blog, I've done my job!

  • Her Royal Poshness

    bubble-gum, cupcakes and sprinkles-like

  • Scrangie

    Thank you for saying this!

    I hate, hate, hate flip flops! On me, on men, on women, on anyone, ever!

    Especially the irritating noise they make.

  • Scrangie

    Okay, I hit post too soon and forgot my main point:

    Why not just go barefoot at that point? It's practically the same thing without that flop-scrape-flop-scrape-flop sound.

  • Beautifully.Conjured.Up

    I agree, and that's all I have to say.

  • ‘Funlayo

    I am completely on the anti fli-flop bandwagon! Sure, as many have said, I do wear them at the beach or when getting pedis but the noise is annoying and, as many have said, they are VERY bad for your feet and your spine. While we're on the topic, heels are equally bad for your feet and spine so they aren't the solution either. There are comfy shoes that aren't flip flops — I've got lots of 'em :0)

    I would also venture to say (and I've heard MANY MANY men say) that the women in pants phenomenon has gone way too far too. I'm not saying women should NEVER wear pants (although I don't wear them at all anymore) but any time I walk into a women's clothing store and search rack after rack without finding ANY skirts – ok, maybe one that's too short to even be called a skirt – something's wrong.

  • elle

    I see your point, and get that this post is intended to be lighthearted, but it's a little classist, in addition to being slightly uniformed. Flip flops are often the cheapest shoes you can buy, and are popular in some warm climates (particularly in many third world countries) because of not just price, comfort and practicality, but also culture. Some form of thong sandal has been around for thousands of years and what we know as a flip-flop was probably the first shoe. Guess the revolution started way before you think.

    Did you know that before they became popular, Havaianas cost about $3 and were primarily the shoes of the poor and the working class in Brazil (much like denim/blue jeans in the US were popular amongst farmhands and factory workers) and now they go for $10-$15 a pair and even come with Swarovski crystals for much more.

    I get that most of the people you are complaining about are probably not wearing them because they're the best shoes they can afford, but I bet that many of the people making those sex black "Italian" pumps are wearing flip flops. It's not just an issue of people being "lazy" or having fallen away from the social graces or times when we were more "stylish." Furthermore, I think it's cute you picked the decades the of the Great Depression to point out a time when we were more stylish. It was certainly a time when we were far less materialistic. And a person who showed up in public in flannel night clothes then was probably just…hungry. If anything is corroding our society, it's materialism and a flagrant lack of concern for other people.

  • Meagan Elizabeth

    I hate flip flops! I will only wear them on 3 ocassions. 1) To the beach, 2) to a swimming pool, and 3) in my house, and that's only because I don't like walking bare foot.

  • Lish

    Wow everyone went hard on this subject lol…Kenneth you made me chuckle

  • Rachel

    Kenneth, you're reading my mind.

    A few years ago there was a group of girls invited to the White House to meet the President. Many of them were wearing (GASP) flipflops. I honestly couldn't believe it. WTH were they thinking? This is the PRESIDENT you're meeting! There's no way in hell I'd go there even wearing open toed pumps!

    The year before that photo appeared, I commented to one of my friends at a rooftop party at the Peabody Hotel ("The South's Grand Hotel") about the number of girls there wearing sundresses and skirts with plastic flipflops. TACKY. For $40 more you could have bought a nicer pair of LEATHER SANDALS!

    I thought I was the last girl who stuck to old-fashioned Southern etiquette. Guess not. There's hope for us as a society!

  • Danielle

    Flip flops are fine for casual wear, even though it causes you to have flat feet. But they don't belong at work or funerals.

    What I really don't care for, though, is men who think that women should ONLY wear heels. I'm not saying that you are, but I think there is a double standard when it comes to footwear. Why can't men wear something as uncomfortable as heels and have that be a fashion standard?