Dear Fashion Industry…

I feel as though I‘m missing something.

I’m sure there must be some logic behind it that for whatever reason is just completely beyond my grasp; if there were not, it wouldn’t keep happening. Every year. Without fail. Someone out there must understand the very special kind of sense this makes, because I cannot recall a single year when I was not forced to grapple with the bewilderment born in my soul at the sight of…

The Open-Toed Winter Shoe.

Over the years, there have been other things that I have questioned in the realm of winter apparel for women; questioned and, if not reached wholly acceptable conclusions, at least made my peace with their existence. Things such as the sleeveless turtleneck. I am resigned to the fact that I will take to my grave a lack of understanding of both the concept and the reality of the sleeveless turtleneck, but other women seem fine with them so I have to conclude that, in this particular instance, it really is just me. Fair enough, not the first time and likely not the last.

Another favorite is the sweaters made from yarn so thick you could blindfold a yak with a single strand of it, which is then woven coarsely enough to allow for the passage of air, hailstones and whatever pigeons may have inadvertently flown into your dresser that morning.

I have heard many times the standard explanation for garments of this type; they are meant to be layered. I have one thing to say in response; if it is not underwear, layering should be an option, not a requirement.

But for all of this, there is nothing in the lexicon of fashion behavior that confounds me to the same extent as the consistent production of the Open-Toed Winter Shoe.

Winter is fairly well-known for some standard items such as low temperatures and many wondrous forms of precipitation. I can think of few things more unpleasant than having any of that finding its way to my foot via the gaping hole in the front of my otherwise quite winter-friendly footwear. Why, in the name of all that is holy why would someone make a shoe that is thick, warmly lined, heavily stitched and sturdily heeled, and then cut a big hole in the front of it? In whose mind does this make sense? This is the same logic that brings us velveteen dish towels and dry-clean-only baby clothes. This logic goes from flawed straight into nonexistent with nary a pause for breath and I for one deeply resent the fact that people actually make money from it.

(Unless any of these same people are interested in hearing about my ideas for ‘Bacon In A Can’ or ‘Appliances by PetPower’, in which case all is forgiven and my contact information can be found in the footer of this blog.)

Even putting practical considerations aside for a moment, let’s ponder this; you are not supposed to wear any kind of stockings with open-toed shoes. That’s in the rules, everyone knows it. You do not go bare-legged in winter. Everyone knows that, too. The industry that made these rules is the very same industry that inflicts upon our sensibilities every year the Open-Toed Winter Shoe. Are they just trying to see if we’re paying attention? Is it some sort of Cosmo Rorschach Test, defining your inner rebel with what you are willing to see as less wrong? Or is it the industry trying to illustrate the true spirit of Fashion, a timeless placeless seasonless thing, a thing that by definition must break rules, even the rules of its own making, in order to thrive?

And for just a moment, that sounded so good even I almost believed it.