A Medievalist’s Right to Shoes

So I’ve been thinking about what my first post should be since Academic Writer asked me to join her in this sartorial think tank. I am now a medieval renegade and, in violation of the order of description, I’m starting with the feet.

Here at In Professorial Fashion, Eastern Division, the weather is what the English would call “fresh” and what I would call “inhospitable.” I live and teach in a town on the ocean where it rains and snows and blows in horizontal fashion and where, if I don’t take precautionary measures, I run the risk of wet, cold feet. So I wear rubber.
On those days when I don’t forget my shoes–and on those days when I do, I’ve decided that it’s charming to teach in outdoor footwear–I generally wear heels. High-heeled shoes, I have discovered, are very often on sale and I cannot resist something pretty or a perceived bargain. “Perceived” because high heels mean I clatter all over campus (awkwardly and painfully), suffer trouser socks (another post altogether)
and an inevitable, embarrassing, minor injury (pending).
I think I have found an alternative, at least for some days. The other day I wore black cigarette pants, a mauve turtleneck with extra long sleeves and a three-quarter sleeve cropped black cardi. On my feet I wore pale grey sneakers. In theory I was Audrey Hepburn; in practice, perhaps not so much. But my feet did not hurt at the end of the day and I could get places I needed to go unimpeded.

Academic Writer has remarked to me that we should be dressing for the lives we have and not for the lives we think we have. That means not wearing shoes that are better suited to a limousine. And carrying our stuff around in a backpack instead of a briefcase. I’m inclined to agree. I live in a wet and windy place and I bike and/or walk to work. On those days when I forget my heels, I’m pretty sure my students still learn stuff from me, even if it is only that Sorels make an an effective (and charming) fashion statement with a shirtwaist dress. The sneakers may not be perfect, but they are a step in the right direction (See what I did there?)
New challenge. Save up for these babies:
With black tights and a suit with a mini and a cropped, boxy jacket? That is the life I want to have.

2 thoughts on “A Medievalist’s Right to Shoes

  1. Gravity Pope. Giraudon, in the sale section. They are not available in my size anymore but I think they might be in your size … Do it! You deserve a prezzie after this academic year, which is nearly done. Then I can live vicariously through your feet.I taught a LOT in the red wellies first term. Because I forgot my shoes. This might be why students remark on my hilarity in their evaluations. Because I am dressed like a clown.I have to find the instruction booklet for my camera because I can't figure out how the timer works. Or if there is one. All cameras have timers, right? Gah.

  2. I LOVE those black shoes! Where can I get them – and how much do I have to save to make this happen?Also, I have those EXACT sorels. I've not worn them to campus, yet, because I'm destroying the environment instead (i.e. I drive. I've got too much to carry. Plus someone's got to drop the fuzzy roommate at doggie daycare). And finally, I covet the red wellies and cannot comment on the sneakers until I see the whole outfit. When can that happen?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s