I know I'm about to insult, like, 98 percent of you out there who actually read this column (yeah, all two of you . . .), but I'm beginning to harbor this brand-new disdain for flip-flops. And they're everywhere! On everyone! With everything!

Oh, there's nothing wrong with flip-flops in general. That's not what I meant. I like 'em. They're comfortable and easy to slip into and all that other stuff, come in tons of colors, are relatively inexpensive (though I guess you can argue that just about anyprice for pieces of foam with two plastic straps is expensive), blah, blah, blappity blah. I don't need to go on. You get it. You're a Californian. It's more of a lifestyle thing than anything else. I know.

But when people start wearing them beyond times of necessity and pairing them with pretty, swishy dresses and slacks and stuff, flip-flops can easily cheapen an outfit. Or just ruin it. Flip-flops just have the ability to make otherwise-presentable clothing look thrown together and haphazard.

There are so many better alternatives available, ladies (guys, too, but we'll leave that for next time). Andthey're just as comfortable. Andyou'll be unique. Promise.

Take this girl here, spotted with her rump roast of a Welsh Corgi dining al fresco. She's opted to pair her black skinny jeans with some Bernardo black-leather T-strap sandals she picked up at Intuition in Los Angeles (they're are also available at your local Nordstrom or in a wide, wide array of colors online at bernardofootwear.com). They're flat, comfortable, stylish and hip, and they go with just about everything. She's been sporting them for almost three years now.

Check out what she's wearing: a simple brown-hued flannel button-up; a great military-esque inspired, lightweight chocolate-colored coat; and some tapered jeans. Sounds like a pretty effortless outfit, right? But paired with some chic-as-shit sunglasses (by Gucci at a cool $270—but they looklike they cost that much, at least . . .), a fantastic haircut (that cost $25) with airy layers and the always-complementary side bangs, and an adorable dog who has a penchant for ramming his head into random stationary objects, this girl has successfully pulled off that elusive apathetically hip look that many just can't achieve. Not with flip-flops, at least.


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