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July 24, 2009 / Brittany Hendrick

I did the unthinkable: I bought f… f-f-f… I can’t even say it!

There are two clothing items that exist in this universe, that I loathe, that I’ll never be caught dead wearing. So, when I’m dead, watch my family bury me in the non-NASA-approved get-up I’m about to describe.

“She was The Unconventional One anyway, so this is what she’d want,” they’ll say.

I’m also The Private One, so they won’t know my wishes anyway. Better make sure no cameras are allowed, or keep that casket closed.

To offset the horrors that follow, here is a picture of Levin looking like the Cobra Snake caught him on the verge of passing out with his pants down in a bathroom stall at the Viper Room.

Levin recent 003

I’m not sure that photo improves the situation. Anyway.

1)  Sweatsuits

There is a deep-rooted reason why I hate sweatsuits. When I was in first grade, there was this girl, Leslie, who was a classmate and also rode my bus. She was of different economic status than I was… but I didn’t know that at the time, of course. Leslie wore plain sweatsuits every day. And she also had crusty snot stuck at the bottoms of her nostrils. And her hair was long and uneven at the ends, always pushed back with a plastic headband. Basically, she was unkempt.  Strangely, I envied Leslie… sort of. My mom outfitted me in dresses every day. Every day, except on P.E. days. My hair, always in a braided, pigtailed or barretted configuration. Why couldn’t I wear pants every day, like Leslie? Why was my mom so mean? Truth is, she cared about me, and Leslie’s mom… either didn’t care or didn’t know any better or just did the best she could.

For today’s purpose, I must clarify myself narrowly. First, sweatsuits are acceptable only in certain circumstances such as pre/post sports games or the gym. You know, an activity that is actually athletic– one that may induce an autonomic nervous system response called perspiration, or sweating. Second, specifically, there is no way in HELL I’ll own a pair of sweatpants. Now, I do have some Adidas and Patagonia pants; however, they have style to them and aren’t your typical fleece-lined duds. A plain-old Hanes (or any brand) outfit constitutes as the most offensive type of sweatgear. I’d wear an I.O.U. or PePe Jeans sweatshirt from 1990 before swathing myself in something so sloppy and shapeless.

One day, someone got the idea to “update” the sweatsuit, by doing away with the elastic bands at the pant hems, sometimes adding embroidered letters or artwork, and making it available in velour. Do not be fooled: this version is not any better than the former. It still says “I don’t give a shit”, but with a sheen. It’s still a sweatsuit.

A sweatshirt and sweatpants, worn separately or together, in private or in public, as a substitute or supplement for your “outfit for the day” is unacceptable to me… not to mention a waste of money. However, I’m lenient with sweatshirts if they have something special going on with them. And I understand that sweatsuits are “comfy” and you can just “throw” them on to go about your day. I suppose, when I do decide to get dressed, even if not leaving the house, I prefer to employ effort with comfort. Bottom line: sweatsuits are not cute. And no amount of lettering makes sweatsuits appealing to me, even if it says “look at my ass” “J U I C Y” across the back of the pants. It should say “L A Z Y” instead, if there is anything to do with someone’s ass.


Moving on to the pièce de résistance…

2) Flip-flops.

What the fuck. In what post-grunge year did it become acceptable to complete an outfit with the grungiest attire of all, $5.99 PVC pieces of shit? This must be why people all over the world continue making poor footwear decisions: the toxins from the plastic seep into bare feet soles, thus poisoning the body and damaging the brain’s frontal lobe, affecting judgment.

As with sweatsuits, it must be clarified that flip-flops are appropriate in these informal cases: beach, pool, boat, gym, shower room, spa and tour buses (trust me), where footwear is optional but still a good idea, and so your usual footwear– if you happen to own anything other than flip-slops (typo, and it stays)– is not destroyed by the elements.

I don’t have a deep-seated reason for hating flip-flops. But I have plenty of common-sense reasons.

First, I don’t like my feet getting dirty in everyday situations; I believe this is 50% of the reason why footwear exists in the first place. The other 50% is so we don’t hurt ourselves, from shielding sharp objects to properly supporting arches and lumbar. Why would I want to walk on cheap, flimsy, flat footwear all day? Why would I want dirt, pebbles and shit in my shoes?

Which of leads into the second reason: I don’t want to see other people’s dirty-ass feet. I could go without witnessing someone’s black imprint inside the bottom of his flip-flop. That’s just… ugh. Gross. And I see this a lot in public, because flip-flops wearers seem to have issues keeping them on their feet, especially in restaurants. OSHA, WHO, NIH, CDC and NASA need to intervene.

Third, like sweatsuits, wearing flip-flops is a piss-poor way to outfit oneself. Flip-flops with jeans. Flip-flops with dresses. Flip-flops with shorts. Flip-flops with skirts. Flip-flops in winter, on dates, at work, in restaurants, at concerts, at baseball games. FLIP-FLOPS WITH SWEATSUITS. They’ve taken over, dominating every “Mmm… you may want to re-think that” situation.

Fourth, flip-flops are a waste of money. Both the cheapest and most expensive flip-flops have one thing in common: all you’re paying for is a cheap-ass sole and a couple straps. When I spend money on shoes, I like to buy SHOES.  Sneakers, high heels, knee-high boots, mules, wedges, clogs– I have them all. They are substantial, and the costs are justified.

So when my mom told me to “go buy” a pair of flip-flops for our family beach trip next week, I almost threw up. (I won’t even get into the fact that I will be on a beach, in the sun.) How dare she! I’m unemployed! I only wear good shoes! How can I justify parting with $5 to $10 on something a) ugly, and b) worthless. And where do I begin? Do I go to Target? Old Navy?

“I expect a reward for this,” I told my mom, half-jokingly.

Like the good shoe aficionado that I am, I set out to find decent quality– or at least decent brand– of flip-flops that are passably interesting looking and not plain, while spending as little money as possible. If I have to do it, I may as well do it right.

Not surprisingly, I achieved my goal. I had a $10 off coupon for DSW (of course). After perusing hundreds of flip-flops and trying on only two reputable brands, I settled on the BCBG pair over the Roxy. The BCBGs were priced at $16.95, which I would never spend ordinarily on damn flip-flops. But then with another $10 off,  $6.95 seems pretty good for these abominations. I got to have my cake and eat it, too. But when the beach trip is over, back into the box, in the back corner of my closet, the BCBGs go.

Addendum: I also do not like camouflage-patterned clothing worn as fashion– especially during wartime (which seems to be permanent “game on”). Hey, Civilian, you want to wear camo? You think it’s cool? Join the fucking armed forces and then get back to me on how fashionable you think camo is.



Leave a Comment
  1. Brittany Hendrick / Dec 13 2009 11:52 pm

    Hahaha! This is great! Mike, you’re in my Comments Hall of Fame.

    “What Comments Hall of Fame?” you ask.

    The one I just established, just now. You’re a vanguard.

    We can be friends during the Autumn and Winter months. Which is why I waited until now to reply to your comment. 😉


  2. mikewright / Aug 19 2009 1:03 pm

    I could not agree with you more on the sweatpants issue. I would love to see you give a similar treatment to overalls. they both make you look like you have poopies in your pants. Gross!

    However, as a person born and raised in Southern California, flip-flop are as necessary to summer as deodorant. The main reason is, I don’t wear shorts and I’m not alone.
    I’ve had this discussion with several of my peers and the general consensus is, adult men should refrain from wearing shorts unless your working-out, doing chores (in or around the house only), or unless your swimming. Now, this is all fine except for the fact that it gets stupid hot here in the the south in the summer.
    So what’s a boy to do in order to get a lil summer relief? We could either break the capitol rule and buy a pair of cargo shorts (barf) or make a pair of cut-off (dudes in daisy dukes… double barf), go shirtless, or rock a pair of flip-flops (not “mandals”, not Tevas, regular ol $1.99 flip-flops)
    Now I’m not saying you can wear said flip-flops everywhere, I don’t wanna see yo damn feet when I’m eatin’ and I don’t wanna step on yo dirty ass feet at the bar or club, please for god sake never wear them shits to work (unless you work in a hot as hell studio). But I will say that most casual occasions are flip-flop worthy.
    ….I’m just saying considering the alternatives, flip-flops ain’t so bad.

    hope we can still be friends


  3. Lisa Brower / Jul 24 2009 9:20 am

    Aha! Finally found you, am so glad! If you hate flip flops, you would DIE if you came to Valdosta. People here wear them to work. In offices. With suits on. They wear them to go out to our few nice restaurants. They wear them to funerals and other formal events. They wear them with poorly pedicured feet.

    It makes me crazy.

    Can’t wait to read your other posts! Have a good vacation.


    • Brittany Hendrick / Jul 24 2009 12:30 pm

      The horror! The horror! Suits?! Funerals?! Such atrocities. Ugh! Maybe Valdostans are confused that flip-flops are OK to wear everywhere because that’s about where palm trees begin appearing abundantly in Georgia? Oh yeah– that, too– I don’t want to see people’s calluses, dry skin, blisters and other dermal maladies. I couldn’t walk out of the house like that.

      I haven’t forgotten about you… but I have been forgetting to email you. I have your last email saved in a folder, which causes me to forget. I’ll get to it!
      p.s. Fuck Hollis. 🙂


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