Tuesday, March 18, 2008

A Question for the Ages

Whew! Fifty essays, four days, a long and tiring TA meeting to prep the final that will soon descend upon us (and we didn't even have the sure-to-be-equally-long-and-painful paper norming session yet), and my mind is about as sharp as cream cheese. Mmmm, cheese for brains! (drools.) I have about twenty posts I want to write and another twenty I want to respond to, but that will have to wait for some sleep.

I gave up on cooking supper tonight and went straight to the Trader Joes chocolate raspberry sticks. Weight and health will return as actual concerns after this bout with grading, but not during.

So it's time to ask my peeps for some important and highly intellectual help: what shoes do you wear at a graduation? Under the fancy robe-thingys? At an outside ceremony which involves processing in down a long grassy hill?

I'm thinking any sort of spiky heel thing would get stuck and at best, aerate the turf, and at worst, send me careening down face first, perhaps to start a huge chain of pratfalls like those cool displays of dominoes that make patterns, except that this would not actually be cool at all, barring perhaps those sadists in the audience.

On the other hand, everyone's doing those ballet-flat type shoes, and I think if you are already short and have wide, flat feet like a duck (thanks for pointing it out, Dad!), those shoes don't fit very well or look particularly flattering either.

And while huge ass-kicking Dr. Martins or maybe even motorcycle boots sound great on a metaphorical, message-sending level, I'm not sure that I actually want to go for that look.

So, what to wear, what to wear? Suggestions?

I should add that I am a fashion schizophrenic (no offense meant to actual schizophrenics) ---- I bounce back and forth wildly between wanting whatever makes me "fit in," as in blend in and be invisible among the crowd, and, desiring wild and funky stuff that either seems "unique" (yes yes, I know how loaded that term is for the fashion system) or sets me apart as too smart for or somehow transcendent of the fashion system. Sometimes I aspire to both at once, which I understand is not really the way to go.

So: color? Should you stand out, contrast, wear black or neutrals? The school colors?
(Some of you might recognize that I have these in leopard-print... but leopard-print just doesn't seem the right tone for graduation, does it?)

Strappy sandal-ly things or closed? shoes? Go for funky and weird or try to make your feet the most unobtrusive things about you? Eh?(I've been liking bronze lately... no clue why. I'm a little scared of pointy-toe-ness.)

I went and pulled a bunch of pics off zappos. You can see my random, occasionally retro, tastes:

Some of these are cute and some of them are so hideously ugly that I'm fascinated and must have them anyway. Isn't that strange? And I thought I had uploaded more sandal-type shoes, hmm. Where did they go?

So, I like all of these or am fascinated by the idea of wearing something that screams, Look at my hideousness! I don't know if any of them would go with regalia or what I want; I'm mostly posting pretty pics for my own amusement and am completely open to suggestions.

What say you? And: send me you relaxing and mindless shopping entertainment suggestions! As I will have finals soon, very soon.


~profgrrrrl~ said...

I like the bottom pair -- are they light blue? Who makes them?

I think mary janes of some sort would go well with the whole academic costume. But then again, I think mary janes go with anything. Ditto cowboy boots.

Thoroughly Educated said...

Mary Janes sounds like a nice idea. If you're not going to wear flats, you do at least want something where the heel has some flat surface area to it. How about something with the proportions of a character shoe? Everywhere I've ever processed, the walk has been in squishy wet turf laid down on a substrate of mud by the groundspeople for the occasion. I'm a huge fan of color in general, but I would STRONGLY suggest going with black or neutral, possible a neutral that will coordinate with your local mud color.

dance said...

Most of those heels look too pointy for grass to me.

I vote for distinctive shoes, have some fun with it, but COMFORT over style. They will make you line up and wait for a long time, no? I would not worry about matching colors at all--if you are buying shoes, aim for shoes that you will keep wearing and when people say "hey, cute" you can say "I graduated in these." Like a functional memento. If you are into mementos.

Actually, this is one moment when you can both fit in (everyone will have similar robes) and stand out (with funky shoes).

I don't know what a character shoe is, but something with a bit of a platform sole can be good for mud, though hard to find these days.

Mike Shapiro said...

May I use this moment to reveal my terrible taste in footwear?

I may?

Oh good.

(The worst thing is that I seriously believe those shoes would be even better if they risked a more daring shade of yellow.)

gwoertendyke said...

i also like the bottom ones on the right, and also the ones right above them and ALSO the first ones, the cool crazy color.

i love shoes. you remind me that i'm in serious need for some retail therapy ala shoes.

have i told you lately how happy i am for you? and how jealous that you're doing the full-on graduation thingy? i really wish i had.

Maude said...

i'd go for a wedge, actually. first of all, wedges make legs look incredible! plus, you get a heel and height and you won't sink. you could probably find a mary-jane type wedge, if you want a mary-jane.

for myself, if/when i actually graduate, i'm wearing fuchsia or orange. i want to stand out. fuck "decorum." since it's taken me so damn long, i want EVERYONE to pay attention to ME!

at the graduation i went to in august, a girl was wearing red chuck taylors. i thought that was so cool.

Maude said...

p.s. those dr. scholl's gel insoles work wonders, too, so if your standing around and the shoes are mildly-moderately comfortable, spend the extra six bucks for some. i have them in most of my "work" shoes, and it makes standing for four hours so much more bearable. just f.y.i.

Susan said...

The wedge heel would be what I recommend for grass. Otherwise, have fun but buy a pair that you'll wear again. As for sandals/shoes, wear what you'd wear with normal clothes. Presumably after the ceremony you will celebrate with friends, but you will take off the robe. If you can find a color that matches your robe and whatever you wear underneath, it's a home run.

The other thing about the robes -- they are warm. When I got my Ph.D. it was a freezing day -- my Aunt even wore her fur jacket -- so we were the only warm ones. Everyone else left the ceremony as soon as the degrees had been awarded.

WildlyParenthetical said...

I *would* delurk to discuss shoes, wouldn't I? I have hidden depths, people, I swear it!

My recommendation comes from discovering the bestest heels ever, with the fitting-in-but-not-really thing that I do too: john fluevog shoes (Mike! How could you say that's terrible taste?!?!) Most of his heels have this cool hourglassy shape, or the blocky one like Mike linked to. I own a pair of these and I loves them. I want them in other colours (but the exchange rate plus postage is kinda a bitch...) And as for retro flavouring... :-) They are kinda pricey, but seriously, worth it: I've had mine for over two years now and they're going strong. And I wear shoes hard.

Good luck with the quest!

Sisyphus said...

Hmm, wedges? I'm not getting the wedges thing. But then again, I broke a bone in my foot from tripping and falling down a hill wearing wedges, so, for me, they're harder to walk in than pointy heels. (or it's a sign that I'll be breaking my leg no matter what I wear on graduation day.)

Point noted though that these heels are all too "sharp" for grass. I had a pic of some black sandals with a very chunky wide heel, but like I said, I can't find it now.

Mike, I like Fluevog, (and yellow and blue are the UC colors, hmm) but did you notice they are two hundred freakin' forty five dollars!?!?! The pics you see here run about 50. I am a poor, if not humble, grad student. And yay, WP is back! Your Fluevog MJs are very cute, esp. in green, but besides the ghastly price (ahem) there's something about the heel I don't like.

Susan --- wait, you're supposed to wear things under the robes? That will put a crimp in my streaking-through-the-Chancellor's-house plan then. I sure hope these aren't heavy robes, as SoCal in June is nice and sunny and warm.

Thanks for all the help and the well wishes!

If only I could turn in a chapter on shoes instead of an academic argument. Sigh...