White Shoes


I fell in love with them on sight. A wonderful pair of white golf shoes, the same style as that fantastic pair of red ones I wore out twenty years, a style and quality which have long since disappeared from shoe shops. Relics of a bygone era yet in almost new condition, they sat there on the shelf in a Riverton Op Shop, waiting for me.
A perfect fit! Mr Ayers ground off the spikes and gave them a new rubber sole, and off I went out into the sunshine in my first ever pair of white shoes. I love them, but somehow feel slightly uncomfortable actually wearing them out of the house. What’s that about?
Come to think of it I used to loathe white shoes and have made many nasty comments about them over the years, provoked to scorn by those hideous white sports shoes worn by people either too lazy or lacking the skill to dress well, but who pretend they just want to be comfortable. Also there was a time when men wearing white shoes looked like middle-aged predators in the worst way. Is that what the problem is?
Then again, why do I suddenly like them so much? I admired Jolene’s fawny cream brogues last summer – perhaps I’ve been looking out for something similar. Jolene is always ahead of the game. It turns out these pale brogues are in the shops again, as fashion cycles toward and away from black: 2012 might even be the Year of the White Shoe.
But most of all I love shoes I can actually wear all day and walk for miles in. I love shoes that fit well and are made of leather and lined with kid. I love finding them like that, as if they have been waiting to reward my taste and discernment, not merely succumbing as those new, thin-soled fashion objects succumb to any purse. It’s the start of a new friendship, a smile from the patron saint of dress.
I wore them to party with black pants and an aqua vintage coat, felt like a queen. I wore them again, this time with bare legs and a skirt. Everything changed. Nobody said anything. They were the elephant in the room.
Its been a wet spring in Dunedin and my legs are as white as my ancestry – so not great with white shoes. There is no contrast, and suddenly they look a bit shabby. (What can I do about those scuff marks?) I still like them, but maybe just with trousers.


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