Saturday, 20 April 2013

In a Man's Closet: Ballet Flats

Closet Content Analysis: Ballet Flats

Choices: Male or Female - some things are universal when it comes to passion and philosophy

Photo Source: Brian Davis TB Eddie ocean breeze water snakeskin flats

When I review my blog stats, "ballet flats for men" is a key phrase that has instigated a great number of hits. You can tell by, "Posts Others have Liked" where my first interview with Brian Davis is often within the top three. This post further explores Brian's passion and life philosophy.

A Second Conversation with Brian Davis about Wearing Ballet Flats


JoyD: Since the interview in September, 2012, this blog has had a significant number of hits searching for “men wearing ballet flats”. Did you have any idea how popular the topic was . . . and is? I’m curious about your reaction to this.


Brian: Today I'm not surprised at all. In 1998 I bought my first computer and the Internet was my first real exposure to other guys around the world with the same feelings about women's shoes. After seeing I wasn't the only person who had these thoughts my desires grew even stronger. As time progressed I realized that my love of women's shoes centered around ultra feminine ballet flats. In our previous post I mentioned that most shoes whether marketed as men's or women's can be made to look like the opposite gender's quite easily. That can NOT be said about ballet flats (or high heels). I think they will always be perceived as feminine footwear.

JoyD: What do you believe is the motivation behind these searches - is it just curiousity or is it a search for support and validation?

Brian: Just guessing, I would think only a few of the hits are from men or women who are curious about this topic. I honestly believe most who visit here are looking for support or validation. I included women in this answer because I think there are women who are dealing with the fact their boyfriends or husbands have these desires.

Those who are curious are most likely young males who are trying to find out who they really are, much like I was many (many) years ago. Or possibly men or women who have seen a male wearing ballet flats and want to know more.

Support and validation is likely more common and is most likely from guys who are VERY happy to find that they are not alone. I re-read our first interview (September, 2012) for both support and validation. I'm sure anyone else who has these "shoe" desires feels the same way when they read that interview. Wearing feminine flats is not something most guys would feel comfortable asking a friend about. Most guys keep these desires behind closed doors in the privacy of their homes. Your previous post is most likely about support and validation. I hope this one becomes just as popular whether it be curiosity, support or validation.

Regardless of what brought them to read that original post I hope it will have fulfilled their expectations and raised their comfort level for either wearing them or accepting other guys/spouses that wear them.

JoyD: When and how did your interest in wearing ballet flats begin?

Brian: My interest in women's shoes started when I was very young. I didn't really understand it; all I knew was I liked the look of women's shoes better than men's. After I got my first job, my desire for women's shoes grew stronger since I was now able to buy my own women's shoes which I did. That led to wanting to wear them in public which I sheepishly started doing . . . I would go about my regular day in a public place while wearing women's shoes but not during busy times of the day and I always had a "back up pair" of men's shoes, just in case I saw someone I knew.


Brian in green ballet flats. Photo Source: Brian Davis
JoyD: In the past you have referred to wearing ballet flats as a “fetish”; would you reconsider that now and call it part of your everyday choices from your closet or do you still consider it a “fetish”?

Brian: According to my Google searches, I found a source that said the second most common fetish for men was shoes. I'm not sure where ballet flats rank on the fetish list for men. Wearing flats is an everyday choice for me (weather permitting) but I'm not sure if it is a fetish.

JoyD: I have suggested and so has a commenter or two on this topic, that men wearing ballet flats is the beginning of a natural evolution toward becoming the norm in the same way as women with tattoos, men wearing earrings, men with ponytails. How do you feel about this "natural progression" and being an advocate in the early stages?

Brian: I'm glad to be part of it. I now know how all of those people must have felt as their desires were presented to the world and the acceptance level adjusted. As a male that wears ballet flats I hope it becomes an accepted piece of footwear for men. I know there are lots of men who wear flats but as for the acceptance level from society, that varies. The levels of acceptance I have experienced are; "wow that's cool; whatever/who cares; and lastly WTF?"  Any other guys that wear flats in public likely agree.

I've had questions like "are you wearing women's flats?" Obviously I was, so my answer was yes. The response was "good for you".  That was cool.

I've heard comments between passers-by like "that guy is wearing ballet flats". And responses like "who cares or so what".

Lastly the "WTF"? There have been several occasions were I have received negative reactions. The one that stands out most in my mind was November, 2012 at the Scottsdale Fashion Plaza. I was window shopping and what appeared to be two dads and their kids walked by. I was wearing pink ballet flats so I'm not surprised at this reaction but here's what happened. They spotted me, burst out laughing and had an "iPhone camera frenzy". I knew I was getting digitally photographed but I just let it go. Let them do what they had their minds set on, and then move on. I heard them comparing who got the better pictures of the guy in pink flats as they walked away. Bottom line if you are doing something out of the "norm", you should be prepared for any kind of reaction. Men wearing ballet flats is still not widely accepted but I'm very glad to be part of it.

JoyD: Regarding the photographing and reaction to "doing something out of the norm"; bottom line, their behaviour was disrespectful . . . My calculations tell me that you have been wearing ballet flats for over five years now. Does your family roll their eyes and consider it Brian’s fetish or are they seeing your choice as part of your regular wardrobe? 

Brian: Five years is right. About twenty years ago I felt the need to tell the two best friends in my life, my Mom and Dad, that I like to wear women's shoes. Today they see it as my regular wardrobe. So do most of my friends. If they object, they aren't my friends.

JoyD: That is so reassuring. Your feet can obviously fit "women's" shoes well enough for fashion and comfort. Many women tell me that they don't find ballet flats that comfortable. What are your "fit experiences" with ballet flats?


Brian in Tory Burch black Revas. Photo source: Brian Davis. 
Brian: It's funny how fashion and cuteness can win out over comfort and fit. I've fallen victim to this many times as have many women. The shoes I'm talking about are the iconic Tory Burch Revas, flats named after Tory's mother, Reva. A quick Internet search for "must have flats" for most women (and a few of us men) is the Tory Burch Reva. Another internet search for "Tory Burch Reva reviews" will tell you they aren't for everyone. Owning five pairs, I can honestly say they aren't made for everyone's foot. These adorable feminine must-have flats have caused me foot pain and discomfort in trying to break them in. That said, I wouldn't hesitate to buy another pair.

JoyD: I'm happy to hear that we share the same "shoe un-sensibility". Tory Burch flats, then, are a favourite. Tell me about your other favourites.


Tory Burch Reva flats. Photo Source: Brian Davis
Brian: This question could be a whole post in itself.  After my initial purchases of flats I soon realized I was a huge fan of higher end flats like Michael Kors and Puma flats. Puma actually makes some amazing flats.  But my true favourites are my Tory Burch flats. She is iconic in my mind. Her classic Reva flats with the gold or silver medallion are a must have. Again thanks to the Internet I know I'm not the only guy to have a pair of these. Crazy thing is I now own 14 pairs of Tory Burch flats. Not all Revas but other styles too. I can't say for sure but I would think I'm in the 99th percentile of Tory Burch wearing males. At this moment, my new faves are my TB Eddie ocean breeze water snakeskin flats.

JoyD: I think a post featuring your favourites would be great. Let's work on that. Besides ballet flats, what shoes make up your footwear closet?

Brian: As you know, I live in Canada. With cold winters and snow, I wear boots. Again I cross the gender lines and buy women's boots so flat knee high women's fashion boots are my winter footwear preference.

JoyD: Does your attitude about wearing what you want, irrespective of “acceptability”, come with experience or personality type?

Brian: You know, the older I get the more I see friends miss out on things in their life due to health reasons. (And most aren't that old.) Experience says you work your whole life to enjoy life after work. I live by the following two phrases: "It's better to have done something and regretted doing it than to regret not doing it"; and second "life is like a coin, you can spend it any way you want but you can only spent it once."  I now do things I want to do. Last time I checked I was living my life. Not my life who someone else wanted me to be even though . . . acceptance is huge.

But to answer your question, it's become obvious to me it's my personality and beliefs, which includes quite a bit of stubbornness.

JoyD: It seems rather superficial talking about shoes because in fact it is more than just shoes, isn't it?

Brian: When I started wearing flats in public, I knew or expected that people would react so I'm conscious of others' responses. Since you helped me with my breakthrough, I am still aware of peoples' reactions but really don't care. So now I think that for me at this moment it's about the shoes. I like them. I wear them. I don't worry about changing other peoples' attitudes, but I know that just by wearing them, I might make a difference for someone.


Making a difference, that's what it is all about.






  




61 comments:

  1. Hi Brian and JoyD,
    I love the article and as a guy that also wear flats on public, I understand clearly what a man that wear ballerinas has to overcome and the positive and negative comments/sights that we have to deal but at the end is our life and feet, and sometimes when I explain people that I have problems with my feet and that flats are the only shoe that fits me their attitude change, even they stop to make little jokes or something like that, in my case I noticed that women are more open (with few exceptions of course) and they dont judge you or insult you, and in many cases they made compliments about my flats or even I swapped flats with some salesladies as I have really small feet (women size US 9) hehe, and as one lady, the owner of a store where I usually buy artisan soap, who also loves to wear flats, told me: "everybody can wear flats, flats are slippers to walk outside, and you have good taste for your flats". So not big deal mot of the sales ladies are friendly and even curious that a guy has the courage to wera flats on public and 80% of people doesnt care about your footwear, I live in East Canada and I wear my flats in a discret way, even that the city where I live is gay frienly there are unfortunatley some ignorant homophobic people, but when I visit friend in Montréal, there I can wear capris and pink flats without problem big open minded city, nobody cares, and I saw men wearing dress and heels, other ones wearing women sandals, one senior wearing a custom of Uncle Sam, and the list go on ! I wish Western culture became more aware of the need that as a men whe require in term of footwear and let people live their lifes in a respecful way. Great article, and JoyD I hope your niece, the designer, will soon design nice flats for men ;)

    Cheers

    Ivan

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    1. Thank you Ivan for your comments.

      The woman's description, "flats are slippers to walk outside" made me think of a male Chinese friend who had slippers to wear in the house that were exactly what one might consider feminine by Canadian criteria; and historically men have worn "ballet flats"; and in the dance world they are functional footwear. So culturally, historically and artistically men have worn and do wear them. Therefore, with the marginal acceptability now and with more and more men like you taking the initiative, particularly in the urban centers, this footwear will evolve and become mainstream. That is my assessment and prediction!

      As for my goddaughter, she is young and has changed her mind yet again - she too will evolve. The right designer will come along, I am certain of it!

      Respect for others is the key, no matter what the situation.

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  2. What a great article. I'm another man who wears women's flats, as well as mary-janes. Keep up the great work making this the next fashion revolution for men!

    Brenn

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    1. I am happy to contribute to mainstreaming the ballet flat for men, but it is exactly people like you, Brian Davis and "the senior male from Texas" (see next comment) along with all the other males out there who are providing the reference point for the ballet flat to be acceptable footwear for males.

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  3. Enjoyed the artical being a senior male in Texas I get looks every time I wear my flats, sandals or wedges in public but that will not stop me. Have loved womens shoes for 40 years and now I'm too old to care what other think. I have a high instep and flats feel so good.

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    1. You are not the first male who has made the comment about ballet flats feeling good for those with a high instep. It is ironic that most women I ask about ballet flats tell me that they find them uncomfortable. Here's to wearing ballet flats for another another several decades!

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  4. pinkpanther2225 May 2013 at 23:19

    Thanks Joy for interacting with Brian to do a followup to you September, 2012 blog. It has initiated a lot of feedback and input from other males, like myself, that enjoy wearing ballet flats on a regular basis. I definitely received "support and validation" to wear ballet flats from reading you blog...Like Brian, wearing ballet flats is an everyday choice for me...I'm still a little intimidated showing off my ballet flats in front of other males...again reading Brian's and other males comments has given me the confidence to say that is their problem...I absolutely love my Maria Sharapova Air Bacaras.They cushion the heel with Nike technology, the design helps out a guy with high arches, and they just make me look good. They are elegant, simple and sophisticated. I wear them with jeans and shorts. They are incredibly comfortable and versatile... A couple of weeks ago I wore them shopping at the West Edmonton Mall. I received two compliments from sales women. They both asked were I purchased them from. The conversations were very genuine and positive. It just reinforced my decision to wear feminine ballet flats in public, was right for me. Thanks to Joy and Brian for making a difference in my life!!

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    1. Thank you for the excellent articles. I am also a male who experiments with wearing women's flats. Hopefully these discussions will eventually lead to equality in clothing for men and women. Women use conversion charts to find the right mens size for their Chuck Taylors. Strange how women can wear men's items and it is considered fashion. What could be wrong with men wearing a pair of women's shoes? Thanks, Brian

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    2. Interestingly, even in situations where men are buying in women's departments for women, there is discomfort. I found a quote by Jimmy Cannon that applies here, "Women aren't embarrassed when they buy men's pajamas, but a man buying a nightgown acts as though he were dealing with a dope peddler."



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    3. To PinkPanther222: I want to do a Flats "favourites/NICE" post so you may see me mention your Maria Sharapova Air Bacaras in the future. By the way, you are welcome. It's a pleasure to write something that is significant for a reader.

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    4. pinkpanther2227 May 2013 at 00:30

      I would be honored if you mentioned my Maria Sharapova Air Bacaras in your post. Anyone wanting to see these flats should google "Maria Sharapova ballet flats"...some great pictures, you tube videos and reviews.

      I recently purchased a pair of Merrell Wonder Glove mary jane ballet flats. I'm proudly wearing them everyday in Saskatoon and recently did a review on the Merrell web site (see below) entitled "Amazing shoes for males, as well!"

      http://www.merrell.com/US/en-US/Product.mvc.aspx/26427W/74451/Womens/Barefoot-Life-Wonder-Glove

      _________________________________________________________________________
      Amazing shoes for males, as well!!


      I just purchased a pair of Wonder Gloves (Aluminum)...they are so comfortable, flexible and light on your feet...as a male I was looking for an attractive "barefoot style" shoe...hard to find in the men's section...Thank you Merrell! I wear them with my jeans on a regular basis...I have already received compliments from a few women and my wife.

      Merrell's Reply:

      We are so glad you have found the perfect "Barefoot style" for you. We appreciate your feedback and passing along the compliments.
      _________________________________________________________________________

      Of the 90 reviews, mine is the first submitted by a male...you will notice (see above) that it was read, accepted and responded to irrespective of my gender...perhaps, they have recognized that males are an untapped market


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    5. I write reviews for every pair of shoes I buy and have written many reviews of my Skechers bikers mary-janes. All have been accepted. If all of us men who wear would say so in reviews, it would help raise awareness.

      Brenn

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  5. Dear JoyD and Pink Panther,

    I love the conversation between both of you, I tried the Maria Sharapova Cole Haan in one boutique in Quebec City and I found them super comfortable and unisex, unfortunately out of my budget, I honestly recommend to all the girls & guys who love to wear flats as myself: the Nine West model Facinate, they are super comfotable and look great with any outfit ($100)I tried my self but not buy them, Banana Republic carries Ashley ballet flats very cute and better than home slippers, I own 2 pairs in black and cognag and I love them ($99), and if you live in Canada , Le Chateau has some comfortable flats (article 276019
    and 302807) I have the first one and they are very soft and comfy and easy to match with all my dressy pants and jeans, the upper are made of leather so no blisters in your heels or toes price range between $29 to $69.

    Personally I don´t recommend Steve Madden Heaven these flats looks really nice but they always cause me blisters in the toes and sweaty feet cause the insoles are made of synthetic and Bloch ballerinas, they are really cute but the toes areas is very narrow I usually wear women shoe size US 9 or 9.5 and with this brand I had to go up to 10.5 to have some comfort in the toe area, price is high ($225) if you have that money I better recommend you to get a pair of Michel Kors flats very comfortable and elegant flats.Other options of comfy high end flats that I tried at the shoe store are: Sam Edelman Baxton and Lindsay Phillips Liz ballet flats black patent quilted.

    A good option for modest budgets like mine is Winners: Me too NY flats are very comfortable and its price is $40, if you check carefully Winners brings good brands such as Rocket dog, Sam Edelman and other good brands at good prices. If you need flats in bigger sizes than women size US 11 , Payless is a great option, very cute comfy flats and not expensive, and you can try them without asking the sales ladies for their help lol. Hope this review can help other guys when choosing flats. If Joy D and the guys have some other nice brands suggestions , just let me Know ;)

    Cheers

    Ivan

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    1. I appreciate your positive feedback and recommendations, Ivan. I will collect all the favourites and recommendations given in the comments and put them together in one post - makes it easier for the reader. My email address is provided - joydcreations@gmail.com - and so if others would like to make recommendations without commenting, I would gladly include those options as well.

      Although many have written about name brands and labels, that is another good idea for a post. Thanks for the comment and the ideas!

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  6. Hi JoyD ,

    I'm another male in Canada that loves too wear ballet flats . My favorites are the Juicy Couture scrounge flats which I own several pairs in different colors and also the Gap fold able ballets and they so comfortable and cute . I've been wearing them for about 10 years and love them . What most people don't know is that the ballet flat,heels ,leggings and skirts which are known as typical femenine attire were originally made for men exclusive . All we need to do is retake what was originally made for us and make our own again but sharing with the women . Men's fashion is so blah and repetetive . We should have more options . Women are very accepting of this fashion on men . Men would mostly anything to make their women happy,so it would be helpful if the women would push their bf to wear them and I think with that kind of help it would be be more quickly accepted . Thank you Joy and Brian for the article .

    Sergio

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    1. Thank YOU Sergio for re-affirming this "style" choice and for pointing out the historic roots and the relationship requirements - if mama ain't happy, ain't nobody happy! I have some other clothing cross-overs that have nothing to do with cross-dressing but everything to do with comfort and "wear-ability". The next ballet flats post I do will be about a particular "brand-name" flat from a man and a woman's perspective. In my mind, dealing with both in one post is moving toward acceptability rather than isolating each to his or her own. I'm learning too!

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  7. I am so glad to hear that men wearing ballet flats is becoming more popular. I have worn them in public for several years now. I wear mostly dark colors without bows to attract less attention but every now and then someone will notice and I usually get a smile of a nod. My wife used to object to my wearing them but now doesn't seem to mind as much. Guess she's getting used to the look of me wearing flats.

    I wear the ballet flats because they are comfortable and I can slip them on and off easily. They are light on my feet and due to the lower cut of the vamp, are cooler in the summer. I always wear them barefoot.

    Most of my flats are from the Gap. I have a few JCrew flats and Steve Madden. I do honestly have more flats then mens shoes.

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    1. Thank you for commenting. I eventually want to do a post with several people's favourites so if you are so inclined, along with others who are so inclined, feel free to send an email with a picture or two of those favourites. I'm speculating your wife's feet are not the same size as yours - good for you or else you would have to share!

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  8. Great article! It surprizes me always that there's so much to do about men who simply take their freedom to wear what they like. I think that it is not the type of clothing and shoes that makes it feminine or masculine, but the way things are worn. Since many years, I have worn what I(and my wife of course) like. Ballet flats (or derived models, like platform ballet flats) are my favourite shoes!
    Sorry I do not have enough time at the moment to write a long comment, perhaps a link to my blog about the clothing I wear can replace it! www.saaibestrijding.blogspot.com

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    1. I visited your blog Paul and your clothing choices appear to be simply articles of clothing without a specific gender assigned. Wouldn't that be a great concept - to simply go to a retail outlet "clothing article department" and there choose what you want without having to rationalize to yourself or others that you simply want a pair of pants or a skirt or a top or a pair of shoes or boots no matter whether you are man or woman. This is a most agreeable situation.

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    2. Paul - I really like your style of making clothing unisex.

      Brenn

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    3. hi
      Unfortunately, I don't have the time to follow all the sites, blogs and pages that are interesting. But time by time I take a look on the www on the theme of alternative male clothing. It surprizes me always to read about the extraordinary atmosphere which appears if ot comes to wear simply what you want. Since I quit totally ordinary male clothes (a decade ago, I think) I never met any negative comments on my outfit - even the most "female" things don't turn the heads in Maastricht. I like clothes which fit good and are easy to wear. Sometimes, for a special occasion or when we go to a museum or so, I choose more extreme outfits which can be a bit more difficult. For example, it is great, but not always easy to wear 10cm/4 inch platforms, and a top with a very high collar which blocks any view downward!

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    4. Thank you for taking the time to comment, Paul. This blog started out from a female perspective, and still is predominantly, but the orientation is changing and I appreciate your contribution to help me along with this. It is interesting that women can wear men's clothing without a second look. Turning heads is a good thing; each experience helps those who turn their heads to become more tolerant the next time.

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  9. My wife bought me a pair of Jessica Simpsom leve(square toe, bow on toe) ballet flats in black. At first it started I would wear them around the house, then she forced me to wear the barefooted out. I get many compliments on them. I wear them barefooted even when it is cold out and very comfy. I just started wearing them to work on dress down Friday's with Lil Maggie Low rise jeans. The bow on the toe makes them look real girlie.

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    1. You are brave - the bows are quite another thing - as you say, quite girlie, but then again, I'm the one who has been proposing gender-less clothing. The word "force" is a tad disconcerting - I don't think anyone should be "forced" to wear anything. I will assume that you are using the word "force" in the kindest way a couple could and would use it.

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    2. Wife purchased my Jessica Simpsom Ballet Flats at Macy's. She says bows on toe and wearing them barefooted help to make the ballet flats stand out in public. I am wearing my ballet flats barefooted as I respond

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    3. I have been wearing my jessica simpsom ballet flats to work for the last two weeks barefooted. I got caught wearing them when one of my clients made a surprise visit. She thought they looked cute on me. She was dressed in heels and stockings. She left and came back wearing the same jessica simpsom ballet flats barefooted. She told me to wear the ballet flats barefooted to her office the next time we meet. She taught they looked sexy on her and were so comfortable.

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    4. There you go . . . we fear for no reason and we influence without being conscious of it.

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    5. I visited my client last week wearing my ballet flats barefooted. My client was also wearing a pair of ballet flats barefooted. She made me dangle my ballet flats to see if I was wearing them barefooted.I felt comfortable and sexy wearing the ballet flats to her office. After our meeting she took me to lunch at a fancy restaurant.. I received many compliments that day from her co-workers and strangers at the restaurant.I am wearing my ballet barefooted as i respond.

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    6. Thank you for the update. And lunch at an upscale restaurant! Nice. I don't think she would have bothered if you had been wearing black socks and brogues.

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    7. Hi anonymous, I was wondering, do you work in an office environment? If so, what has your co-workers reaction been as well as your boss if you have one. I am considering wearing flats to work but hesitant since it is my bread and butter. Hate to rock the boat too much there. I wear flats outside of work from time to time.

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    8. I have a female boss and female co-workers have encouraged me to keep wearing ballet flats to work barefooted I work in a small office. Wear your ballet flats or maryjanes to work. Let me know how it goes.

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    9. Up Date I have been wearing ballet flats barefooted for two years now to work,. My wife has thrown all my male socks and shoes out.I recently bought a pair of string bow ballet flats from Bannana Republic called Ashley, I wear them on weekends with my Lil Maggie low rise jeans They are low that my belly button shows,

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    10. Update My wife just bought a pair of repetto ballet f;ats with the draw string bows that ties for me So comfy barefooted I still wear them to work everyday, Get many compliments

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    11. That's the only way to wear ballet flats! Obviously you live in such a climate that can accommodate ballet flats in December. I'm curious, you wrote that your wife bought them . . . are you shopping for ballet flats or is that still on your "to do" list?

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    12. I'm all for genderless or non binary clothing (this is the cultural gender part, gender identity is a more genuine and personal think, of which true gender dysphoria is part of), but, with all respect, this sounds like a literotica about forced feminization as, not how the premise of how this would be emasculating is kept unaltered.
      I tried to talk with these people about hey, how does a clothing or a hairstyle is actually female exlusive, maybe you just think it looks better, more flattering and less constrained than the typical male fashion boundaries, but no, the premise that they are less of a man is essential to their fetish.

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  10. How do Geox ballet flats fit a wide foot?

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    1. Sorry, I can't help you on that one but perhaps others might be able to comment and add their thoughts on how different brands fit a wide foot.

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    2. Sorry, I'm no help here either. I've never tried the Geox flats before. All I can suggest it go to a Geox store and try a pair on.

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    3. Hii there,
      I tried Geox flats they are comfortable and let the feet breathes but they are a little bit narrow in the toe area, they are designed for long and narrow feet rather than wide. Banana Republic makes flats that are more adapted for wide feet.Hope it helps

      Ivan

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  11. I too wear and collect and love women's flats size 12w-13

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    1. Welcome! I am assuming that you are male by the context of the comment. Although I am not male, I, as a blog writer have found a "cause" and it is to promote freedom of expression in what we wear. In this case, particularly on our feet. Hope you find freedom in wearing your flats.

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  12. As a guy I love wearing ballet flats. I wear them most of the time in public. They are so comfortable and stylish. I like lots of toe cleaveage so I generally have to cut the vamps down a bit as it is hard to find very low cut flats. I also am a colors guy. I don't own any black or white flats only colors. I have enough colors to match almost any outfit that I wear. I love being able to wear say a red shirt with red flats or an orange shirt with orange flats. I would love to see this catch on as a fashion trend. Like some of the of the others have posted I have gotten mixed reactions in public. I fiddle with my flats constantly and love to dangle. I am from a rather conserveative area of the US.Thanks all of you who have posted it was interesting to read everyone's story.

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    1. You would be very comfortable in Europe where men are much more likely to wear brights especially in their accessories. Funny thing, even women in North America will get comments about matching clothing and accessories. It's one of the first things people notice. Personally I think any one who makes comments are secretly wishing they had enough self-confidence to do what you are doing. Bravo!

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  13. I too have several pair of Jessica simpson flats. I love them. When I worked and when I do part time work. I wear my flats barefoot to work as well as visiting clients. Glad to see that there are many more of us guys wearing our flats to work.

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    1. Nice . . . obviously you also are self-assured enough to wear them to work. Geography, culture and society are all considerations for the men who are wearing them out and about, that in addition to personality type. Thanks for commenting.

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    2. Joy. Thank you for your comments. I enjoy reading what everyone has written. Over the years I have had several pair of Sam & Libbys they are comfortable as well. I wear my flats most of the time and have probably 25 to 30 pairs in many colors. You are definately right about Europe being ahead of the US in that regard. I would be very comfortable over there. Would be nice to see it catch on as a fashion trend here in the US.

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    3. Just keep doing what you are doing. Some trends come from what celebrities are wearing and many trends come from what the person on the street is wearing. The more men who are seen wearing them, the more men will say, "why not"? And with that, shoe manufacturers and the shoe stores come into play . . . and that's another couple of posts.

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  14. I am posting this out there looking for advice from any of the readers. I would love to be able to get to the point like the fellow whose wife through out all of his male shoes and socks. I wouldn't throw them out I would donate them to Goodwill or charity. Wouldn't be able to get rid of all my pairs as I would would need an old pair of sneakers or whatever for mowing the lawn and certain chores where I need to be on a ladder etc. Wouldn't be safe to be wearing my flats. But other than that for everything else I would love to wear only my flats including to church. I can for the most part and do wear them in public. There are a few occasions such as church and other events that my wife insists that I wear my regular shoes. Is there a good way to ask her or convince her that I am only going to wear my flats and other than for my work shoes when I need to mow or whatever my wardrobe would be only my flats. Would loved to have been that fellow whose wife threw his male shoes out or the fellow whose wife bought him a pair and had him wear them with her in public. That sounds like fun. Any help would be appreciated. Meanwhile I will continue to wear my flats as often as I can.

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    1. It sounds like you are on your way as far as your wife's acceptance goes and it will only be a matter of time; however think about the tortoise and the hare - slow and easy wins the race. My first thought was if you have a pair of black smooth leather flats, (not patent, no adornments, no bows, no medallions, no buckles) put them on with your dress pants and simply ask, "What do you think?" If she says, no way, don't argue, just say ok and put your regular Sunday shoes on. But I suggest you buy a pair of lightweight leather loafers and begin wearing them with your Sunday best - they are as close to a slip-on flat as you can get in a men's shoe store and some of them have lightweight soles that make them look like a slipper. If she's adamant that you wear black oxfords, well then, wear them, but repeat the process of asking "what do you think?" until she says, Go ahead. For the most part, no one notices - really, I can't remember the last time I paid attention to the shoes some man was wearing in church. So what shoes are you wearing to formal events - that will give you an indication of pproximately how long it will take before she doesn't even notice.

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  15. Thanks Joy. Sounds like good advice. I have to wear my regular shoes when we do something formal. I think she is concerned about what will people say or think as we do live in a rather conservative area. All the times that I have worn them when we have been out together I have not heard any comments pro or con. I have tied mocs before but have not found them to be much more comfortable either. On times when she has been out of town and I had to attend church my self I have worn flats an no no noticed at no one said anything. My though is I may try and compromise and wear on of my darker flats maybe my Navy blue which would be less noticeable and ask her with the understanding that if someone says something I will go back to my regular Sunday shoes until a later time and if no one says anything than contiune to wear as most people probably will not notice them and see what she says to that. At least that way everyone should become more comfortable and in time I may be able wear one of my brighter colored pairs. I may try the same thing for our next formal event as well. I can live with wearing my other shoes only to church if I have to.

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    1. It is true that we are most often concerned about things that others could care less about. I once had a concern that I shared with a professor - her response was not very nice, but she said to me - you think too much of yourself, no one cares. I was offended but in fact I have seen the truth in that statement, no matter how callous it sounds. So I like your idea for negotiation - wear the dark flats and agree to a condition "if someone says something I will go back to my regular shoes" and that something would have to be negative or sarcastic. I predict you will be wearing your flats regularly to church. Good luck!

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  16. I recently approached my wife about what she thought of flats in general and told her I was curious about trying a pair for indoor wear. She was delighted at the idea and without hesitation, we actually ended up going online that very evening to check out what was available in a size 10. We both got a pair and I have to admit, the comfort factor is there indeed. The way I see it...nylon hosiery with open crotch has been around for men for several years now...therefore men wearing women's flats is just another reclaim of what was once a male's apparel, if one goes back far enough in history. There will always be a segment of society that will frown upon such shifts in gender fashion conventions while others that will embrace it with great satisfaction. It is after all at the end of the day what it's all about, in this case the satisfaction that comes with the ultimate comfort in wearing a cherished pair of flats...female flats to emphasize the gender imperative.

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    1. Thank you for your thought-provoking comments. The very first post I did on men wearing ballet flats made reference to the historical perspective as well. Yes, we are a judgmental lot and of course, one has to judge in order to make good choices - it's when the judgment damages or harms someone else that it needs to be curbed.

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  17. Hello Anoymous: That is a great post about you and your wife both purchasing a pair of flats. Glad that she is supportive and wears flats also. Maybe at some point you will both wear your flats out together with each other. Were they matching colors? That would be so cool to both be wearing a pair of flats. I have been wearing flats since I was a kid in the 70's. Like you I take a size 10. Back then there wasn't much available in size 10. Luckly today you can up to size 11 or maybe even 12 at Payless and on line as well. I am a colors guy so I do not own any black or white flats mine are all different colors and I try and match up to what I am wearing.

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  18. Joy: I have been wearing my flats to church regularly for about 2 month now. Any comments have been positive even suggested that I was a trend setter which is good. Started wearing my brighter colors as well even my orange and gold flats. My wife suggested the other Sunday that I switch pairs since she didn't think the orange pair that I had selected went as well with my outfit so I actually changed shirts. Hope this trend continues.

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    1. Just bought two pairs of cotton maryjanes at URBAN OUTFITTERS 2 for $20.
      So comfy wearing them barefooted every day even to work.

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    2. You must be in the United States . . . I can't imagine getting prices like that anywhere else . . . certainly not in Canada. Please, someone, prove me wrong.

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    3. Good for you. glad to hear that you are wearing them to work. I am curious as to what your co workers think. I wear my flats all the time, barefoot of course. Enjoy the flats.

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  19. Hi Joy D, do you like Visual kei, by chance? For me it's not a matter of male or female clothes, I just want male fashion to become as various and creative as female style, like women now, rightly so, partly because of feminism (the true kind) got to wear male clothes and even make them their own and taylored to the female body and wearing their hair short, at first also stirring scandal, even more than male crossdressing would now, so I'd like to think we are at a good point. Cross assumes there is a line to be crossed but such line is illusory, but the term might stand as way to design not necessarily dressing as a woman would but trying to phisically resemble one, which is also all about fine and great once in a while to have fun with friends, outside or at home, or even home alone, halloween, mardi gras, etc :), if it's done with taste it's great and classy, see Bryan Molko, Eddie Izzard, Redmayne etc.
    This is another thing, it's incorporating clothes and practice once exclusive to the other gender, but even better if taylored to a male body, similarly to how women did. It has been done in Glam, goth, rock, metal, punk and visual kei, which often included eye makeup and painted nails, sometimes defined eyebrows.
    It's also (or can be) a countercultural protest against constraining gender norms and culture, like it has been for women, though that doesn't stop a guy dressed in visual kei from engaging in machismo, because in itself it has nothing to do with all aspect of a gender culture.
    Actually all these things, used to be male things in past, high heels, nail polish, even boots. It's blatant in the case of boots, that as women started to adopt them, men stopped, maybe a fear of association? Or that as a something starts to be "dominated" statistically by women, part of the men start to devalue it, like it happened with biology, "liberal arts" etc, and now the "true hard scientific things" are moved to those fields still dominated by men.
    I dunno whether completely subscribe to such observation, of course, but definitely something I noticed :).
    Similarly happened with clothes. Almost any male cloth is now unisex, though and men have not stopped wearing it because of women, why?
    Maybe because boots have been somehow sexualized and part of men assume that anything they sexualize must be tributed to them exclusively, if they objectify what they deem as women clothing, why would a man would step down and become objectified? Some women also buy in this structure, especially if very traditional (I would not say conservative, as that's very broad and includes all kind of individuals, mainly designing a vote choice) and want the man to "act like a man", not as himself, notice, as it would logically follow but as a prescriptive model.
    Antonio

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  20. Thank you for your analysis and contribution to the comments.

    I try to take an anthropological point of view to clothing and in that there is no judgement. The "why" is interesting but I also sometimes think, "what does it matter?" It hurts no one to wear what some may think is culturally unacceptable and if it brings the wearer pleasure - well then, so be it.

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Your comments inspire me and so I read them in gratitude and reply with delight. Thank you.