Footwear 101: flip-flop fashion

Theresa Kozul

As September draws to a close, the bathing suits have been pushed to the back of the closet, white shoes, skirts and pants have been hung up since Labor Day, and soon jackets and sweaters will become daily essentials. But one sign of summer still remains – that trusty pair of flip-flops. While flip-flops are a shoe for all ages, it is a necessity for the college student life style.

When running late for class, why bother grabbing socks and lacing up, when a pair of flip-flops are so easy to slide on? Students on Villanova’s campus can be seen wearing flip-flops as early as March until at least November. In other words, whenever it isn’t snowing, flip-flops are an acceptable foot wear. Flip-flops can be heard echoing through the stacks of the Falvey Library. Girls wear them to formals with cocktail dresses and formal evening gowns for a more comfortable dance shoe. Students living in residence halls rely on flip-flops to protect their feet from the horrors of communal shower stalls.

Just as they are no longer a sandal for the summer season, flip-flops are not just a plain thong sandal anymore. Flip-flops can be found in a wide variety of colors, styles, fabrics and prices.

Two popular brands of flip-flops commonly seen on the feet of Villanova students are Reefs and Rainbow flip-flops. Rainbow flip-flops come in different colored leathers, commonly brown leather. The sole is made to fit to the wearer’s foot for a life span for “the life of the sole.” Classic colors and sturdy soles must make the forty-five dollar cost for flip-flops worth it. Reef flip-flops are surfer inspired footwear, most commonly known for the “Fanning” flip-flop, named after surfer Mike Fanning. Reefs also cost about forty-five dollars, guaranteeing great arch support to the wearer. Which brand is better? One would have to say it depends on the foot of the beholder.

If cheaper flip-flops are more your style, Old Navy, Target, American Eagle and J. Crew sell a wide variety of flip-flops from five dollars to twenty dollars. No wonder no one wants to put away their flip-flops anymore; styles have become so elaborate for the once simplistic thong sandals. Bows, ribbons, flowers, glitters and more are used to decorate flip-flops. Add a heel to flip-flops and it becomes the ladies’ newest evening shoe. Flip-flops made with soft terry cloth material can make the most comfortable slipper. Also, one can now show where one’s loyalty lies, on your feet! Villanova’s bookstore sells navy blue flip flops with the ‘Nova logo, and the sororities on campus can buy flip-flops with their letters on them.

But some find that flip-flops are not appropriate footwear. For example, local parishes asked parishioners to not wear flip-flops to church because they were considered “beach wear.” But here at Villanova masses, more than half the congregation is dressed in a wide variety of flip-flops.

Also, many offices of employment restrict flip-flops from the dress code. While flip-flops are the all purpose college shoe, it would not make the best impression for interviews to wear flip-flops. But on campus, when students are always on the go, flip-flops are a fun and comfortable shoe to complete any ensemble.