I raised the topic of men and clogs a couple of weeks back on Every Clog Has Its Day and inspired a lively discussion between a number of clog fans who are male. Thank you again to all the men and women who chimed in. As I mentioned before, I know of at least one clog maker who's been following the discussion and I like to think that others are giving some thought to the overlooked men's clog market.
It was clear from the Comments to that post that many men feel a passion for wearing clogs, but the culture we all inhabit doesn't readily dole out rewards to those act on that passion. I should know. Time was I chose a more conservative path in fashion. And it took me a number of baby steps to break away from that a let my wardrobe choices flow a little more freely. I started out from a place of feeling I needed permission from others to live my life the way I wanted...and ended up discovering that all the boundaries I thought existed were ones that I had put in place myself.
I think Frédérik Sisa, the blogger at The Fashionoclast, summed it up best. One male reader posed the question of whether a chunky higher heeled clog would work on a man, and Frédérik replied,
something someone once told me about writing applies for fashion, too: everyone gets to vote, but you decide which votes actually count. If the heel calls to you, go for it, experiment, have fun.
And in that same spirit of marching to a different drummer, let me share a few photos that some of my male readers have shared with me.
T Scott from the suburbs of Chicago sent me some fresh pics of a pair of men's clogs he scored on eBay awhile back. He wrote to say "I got them from a gent in the U. K. who bought them from a 'bloke' at a hippie market in Dublin, Ireland in the 70's."
But that's not all! T Scott also sent along some photos of a pair of shoes that are tailor made for the holiday season:
I love red clogs and got these for a steal on eBay a couple of years ago. They're size 44, so I guess they're men's. They sit in their box in my closet only for me to pull them out every so often and think where the f*#% am I going to wear these? Christmastime may give me the break to wear them in public.
Sending out my supportive thoughts to you, T!
Meanwhile, a little to the north and west of where we Chicagoans sit shivering on the shores of Lake Michigan, Tim, a self described "unrepentant clog nut", writes in from Alaska to show off some Troentorp clogs that he's been enjoying lately. The style is the steel toed Picasso clog. And while it's good and rugged in its all-black version, I think Tim merits a round of applause for the red pair he can occasionally be spotted in as he goes about his daily life. You, sir, rock!
So what of men and clogs? Clearly, where there's a will, there's a way. And how fitting on Christmas Eve to consider Tim's own reasoning in support of being a clog wearing man: it runs in his family!
I am descended from a Bernese Swiss farming family, whose earliest written documentation, a vineyard lease agreement, dates from the the early 1600's. I have a late 1800s photograph of my ancestors standing in front of their massive barn with everybody sporting their hand carved poplar, klompen style clogs. If anyone makes a comment about my modern Swedish counterparts, I inform them my family has been wearing clogs for over 25 generations, and probably much longer.
(Need I point out who wears the clogs in this family?)
Happy holidays to you! May you also find yourself surrounded by the ones you love with your favorite shoes firmly on your feet!
[On my feet today: Can't say! I prepared this post a couple of days ahead of time so I don't know how to fill in this blank right now. I can tell you that my daughter was poking around in my closet this afternoon to see what new clogs I'd purchased while she was away at college. The Canasta lace up oxford clog from Vince Camuto caught her eye. And so did the fur trimmed Claudie clog bootie from Zigi Soho. Thank goodness I wear a size or two larger than her, or I'd find my shoes disappearing rather quickly!]