My cousin wore clear shoes to my wedding. I remember the moment when they first caught my eye. My two bridesmaids/girlfriends huddled around me and whispered “plastic shoes” to me under my veil. They then proceeded to be apologetic on behalf of my cousin’s sacrilegious fashion choice, especially on such an auspicious day.
I have fond memories of it all. She couldn’t have known it was an inside joke from our days in Miami. We giggled so hard that they tried to make me stop to prevent my mascara from running under my layers of ivory tulle and lace. It was my Big Fat Persian Wedding, after all, and I could laugh if I wanted to.
In our defense (although my cousin is the lawyer), it’s probably because she wore her clear shoes with a glittery leopard print halter top, which she wore as a dress. Did I mention that this was a wedding?
The bottom line was that this look might have been appropriate for another occasion (I’m not sure which), but it wasn’t the right look for what I would like to remember as an elegant affair at the Island Hotel. She had gone too far by wearing too little and the clear shoes hadn’t helped tip the scale in her favor.
I can understand the appeal of translucent shoes, but there’s a fine line to wearing them well. And most of the time, it’s best to wear them with something on the conservative end of the spectrum.
It was probably in the early ‘90s when I bought a pair of clear shoes along with a clear handbag. I had bought them both from a little shop on London’s King’s Road, which was then the center of the punk scene and where both of the sales clerks had pink mohawks and wore Doc Martens.
My black, high-heeled shoes had a translucent PVC band across them with thin black patent piping around them, giving the illusion of walking on air. And my see-through handbag showcased my flashy gold-cased YSL lipstick and other note-worthy accessories before cell phones came along. I knew I was on a fashion cusp, even though I wore them with my least provocative clothes.
My fascination with everything clear is still influenced more by classy Cinderella than by exotic dancer Cinnamon, but with fashion, everything is relative. And even a designer clear-heeled shoe, when worn with the wrong outfit, is only one step away from being tacky.
I’m all for the Lucite trend this season. Although I use it sparingly, I’d like to put my best foot forward in a trendy clear shoe, and regardless of how expensive it is, I will try to avoid wearing it with a slinky leopard print mini-dress. That is, unless I get invited to my cousin’s wedding.
If The Shoe Fits
This is the ultimate, translucent glass-like slipper. The metallic silver leather heel and band add elegance, and the translucent body means you’ll get your money’s worth because it can be worn with almost any color. Marilyn sandal by Aperlai available at Saks Fifth Avenue/South Coast Plaza, $820.
Off The Cuff
Alexis Bittar has got to be the “King of Lucite” and I’m in love with this thick transparent cuff from his latest Lucite collection. The gold and crystal detail across it makes it stand out, and the mod shape makes it the perfect fashion-forward accessory for day or night. Available at Nordstrom/South Coast Plaza, $245.
I’m crazy for this Perspex clutch by Charlotte Olympia and its signature spider metal clasp. It’s perfect for an evening out when all you’ll need to carry is your iPhone and lipstick. And it comes complete with a removable metallic zippered pouch to hide more discerning items. Pandora clutch by Charlotte Olympia. Similar styles available at Neiman Marcus/Fashion Island, $1,095.