As someone obsessed with fashion, I try to stay open to different ideas even if they’re a little bit weird. I just have one exception: no Crocs. Normally, I say phrases like “what exactly is wrong with socks and sandals?” or “why can’t I wear three patterns at the same time?” Who is there to say that there is one right way to dress?
Every time I see someone wearing Crocs though, I inwardly cringe—their bulk, their color and who came up with that shape? They look like shoes meant more to be slippers than everyday wear.
Then, the unthinkable happened: my favorite fashion designer sent them down the Spring/Summer 2017 runway. Suddenly, someone whose work I respected above anyone else’s was telling me that Crocs were fashionable.
Christopher Kane transformed the traditional Croc into a marble patterned, rock studded art piece. But, is it a wearable art piece? Though vamped up, it is still a Croc—recognizable from the other side of the street and not in a good way.
After hundreds of fashion shows per season though, what is more needed than something new to shock numb eyes to take notice? We’re in a world where commercialism reigns and stores want items that sell not items that are most creative. Who am I to disparage something new in a time where almost everything in fashion is a reworking of the past? Not only that, but it’s a comfortable shoe. Maybe it’s finally time to move away from heels or at least take a little, much needed, break from sore feet and barefoot dances.
I’m not saying I still don’t think they’re ugly. I really don’t think I could ever look at them and actually be fully okay with them, but I recognize the fact that I have no basis to reject people wearing them. I can’t imagine what people from Biblical times would think of the shoes we wear today (ignoring, of course, the Jesus sandals a lot of us wear), so who knows; maybe the Croc is the shoe of the future. No matter your opinion on Crocs, it’s your choice to wear them. I don’t have the right to judge those choices especially as the person who supposedly professes to be a proponent of weird dressing. Can the girl who pairs a cat-eared hat paired and cat tights on a regular basis really judge anyone else for their outfit choices?
I watch fashion shows all the time that make clothing that is only barely wearable, and I defend that as an art regularly. Crocs were created as a practical shoe at first, but it seems they’ve slowly moved their way into the world of high fashion where, typically exclusivity reigns. It’s always a question whether fashion influences the general public or vice versa; here is a clear example of the latter.
I know this started with my outrage about Crocs, but my point really is wear whatever you want. There’s nothing wrong with experimenting or even making some kind of fashion mistake. Taking risks can lead to odd outfits, but it can also create something new and inspiring.