DC has the reputation of having terrible fashion. And with this tiny bit of snow, I can understand why. Out come the child-like footwear worn by so many federal workers (and some non-feds as well, I’m sure): strange lug-soled shoes, Timberlands, old sneakers, or full-on hiking boots, worn with business attire. I’m not sure where these people are coming from, or how they are commuting to work (by dog sled, perhaps?).
It’s not so bad, I suppose, to wear such shoes on the rare occasion of actual snow. But I’ve noticed that a lot of people wear such shoes, or athletic shoes of one strain or another, nearly every day. Or “soft” dress shoes, like my mother used to force me to wear to Catholic school: rubber soled, leather (maybe) that won’t polish, ugly.
I graduated from all such footwear for professional dress years ago. I now only wear “hard soled shoes,” loafers and such. I live in the city, I work in an office, and I’m a grown-up, so I dress like a grown-up. But I see so many middle-aged men who work in offices just like mine dressed like they are off to Sister Angela’s class. I half-expect that they are wearing tough-skins and clip-on ties as well. Why don’t grown-ups dress like grown-ups? I have the requisite collection of Birks and flip-flops and hiking shoes and Sambas, but I don’t wear them to work!
I have loafers that I’ve worn for years, and they are the most comfortable shoes I’ve ever owned. I’ve worn them to both Paris and Rome, where I walked miles and miles a day, without any discomfort. And I wear them all around DC, all the time. So I was thrilled when my brother bought me a pair of rubber galoshes for Christmas, the kind you slip right over your shoes. These things are terrific! They are the SUV of city footwear. No more dancing over puddles or refusing to go out in the snow, or, worse, wearing Catholic school shoes to the office. Now, I just walk jauntily along, anywhere I please, in any weather. I suppose I’m an anachronism. My wife thinks I may be Highlander, as my actions and my ability to recall arcane historical facts belie an chronological age of well over two hundred and fifty years. Rubber overshoes may have gone out with the rotary telephone and sock garters, but I say that quality and usefulness never go out of style!