Here they come again.
Heavy footwear with thick soles and wooden heels, clogs were huge for stretches of the ’70s, ’80s and ’90s—really. They slip off all the time, they’re not practical, and they can easily make you look pretty trashy. With Crocs being that final nail in the coffin, what most (okay, everyone?) regard as a definite fashion faux pas is back again, but this time with a more refined look: sky-high, somehow-not-frumpy and versatile.
And who can we thank for this spring’s biggest resurgence? Karl Lagerfeld, of course. The 76-year-old Chanel creative director sent plenty of pairs of high-heeled clogs down the spring 2010 runway (along with Chanel rub-on tattoos . . . but let us not speak of those) in black leather, tan leather, cream leather and snake, some with studs or ribbon that wound up the calves.
The trend was further solidified when both Celine and Louis Vuitton featured clog-inspired footwear at their spring shows. And when clogs ended up on the feet of Mary-Kate Olsen and Alexa Chung, it was a done deal.
A pair of Chanel clogs, if you can even find them at the South Coast Plaza boutique, will set you back more than $1,300. But Asos.com, a U.K.-based website known for its affordable version of celebrity-inspired looks, offers a near identical pass-off for Chanel; the Promise leather-studded clog goes for a mere $140.
For those who are a bit weary of the clog, try Frye’s Emily slingbacks at $228 (thefryecompany.com). The buttery, paneled leather is a play on the full-on clog—and this pair will actually stay on your feet. The shoe company known for its tough engineer and motorcycle boots also has a great array of more traditional clogs right now.
Pair the shoes with anything from ultra-skinny jeans to short floral dresses this spring. And take it from personal experience: Wearing them without stockings is actually safer, as bare feet provide good traction. As for learning how to walk in them without destroying your ankles, that’s another matter.
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But first a word of caution: Avoid pairing the black-leather clogs with leggings, lest you feel like taking after Sandy Olsson, post-greaser-slut-makeover, or, worse yet, Peggy Bundy.
This column appeared in print as "It’s Clog, Clog, Clog!"